Rules to Shop By

When it comes to buying clothes, many people buy whatever strikes their fancy. Sure they may look at price, brand or sizing, but all in all, if they like it and they can afford it, they buy it.

And listen, I’m in the same boat!  I’ve bought my fair share of clothes simply because they were beautiful or, to put it simply, I just wanted  something new.

But I stumbled across an idea online yesterday that really resonated with me, Rules To Shop By. I’ve seen several bloggers (most who fall into the eco fashion/frugalista/green categories) who have created their own rules to shop by. That is, they’ve written down a list of commandments to help them not over-shop, and buy products that can really make a difference.

It got me thinking, however…what are my own rules to shop by? How do I go about making my own buying decisions? What benchmarks do I use when buying clothing and accessories?

I know I have rules and standards, but I’d never thought to consciously write them down. Well, no time like the present, right?

Rule #1: Look for Used First

I try not to buy brand new clothing whenever possible. So, I hit up thrift stores and consignment shops first. If I get desperate, then I go new.

Rule #2: Look for Handmade Second

I love handmade products. They’re unique, they’re made with love, and when you buy handmade your purchase helps an independent artist. For instance, the fair trade bags made here at Earth Divas are all handmade. Every single purchase helps support one of our artisans in India and Nepal, especially since all of our profits are sent back to them at the end of the year in the form of a bonus check. That makes a lot of people much happier than buying a commercially made bag from Target or other big-box store.

Rule #3: Don’t Buy Something Just Because It’s On Sale

This is a biggie. I used to fall for this one all the time. I’d see a great bargain, and think, “Wow! I can’t afford NOT to buy it!”

And then into my overstuffed closet it would go, to languish in the dark.

Sales can be a very good thing. But they also contribute to overconsumption and overspending. If you see something you’re tempted to buy because it’s a bargain, then sit on the decision at least 24-hours. Chances are, you’ll have forgotten all about it tomorrow.

Rule #4: Don’t Buy Anything That’s Not Comfortable

If you try something on and it’s not comfortable right now (versus when you lose 10 lbs next month) don’t buy it. You won’t wear it if it’s not comfortable, and you’ll just end up wasting money and closet space.

Rule #5: Know Your Colors

Yellows, oranges and reds don’t look good on me. My skin responds to more of a winter pallet, which means I look best in gleaming white, stark black, and cool, icy color tones.

It’s important to know the colors you look best in. I’ve seen tops I loved passionately, but have passed up because the color just wouldn’t look good on me. No matter how much I love the piece, if it’s not flattering I’m simply not going to wear it.

Go through your closet and pull out the pieces that look best on you. Google “skin color analysis” or “seasonal skin tones” to see if you fall in winter, spring, summer or fall pallets.

What about you? Do you have any rules to shop by?

(Photo credit: antwerpenR)

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One Response to “Rules to Shop By”

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