Summer Shopping

After a long and brutal winter, spring has finally come to Chicago. The weather is warming up and I am starting to get my summer wardrobe in order. I have to address wardrobe because many of my things from last year are in bad condition. They need to be thrown out. I just haven’t taken the step of purging them yet.

I also want to do a better job with my appearance. Lately, I just feel like I look like a bum every day. I want to present a better image of myself so I have decided to get some key pieces into my wardrobe. I had to go shopping, something I haven’t done in a long while.

It felt weird to shop after so many years of intentionally not shopping. I was reminded of how very easy it is to overspend. I was reminded of how your mind works when shopping: I love this! I’ll wear this all the time. I need another option for shirts/pants/skirts.

You start to see yourself wearing the clothes in different settings and imagine how you’ll feel stepping out in that flattering new outfit. You get caught up in that emotion and before you know it you come home with a bag full of clothes.

This whole experience of pulling out last year’s clothes and buying new ones has given me some insight into what I want my shopping habits to be like going forward.

First, shop for quality. I love a great bargain as much as the next person, and I don’t have the biggest budget right now, but I now recognize the need for buying quality merchandise. It’s important because quality makes a huge difference. The cheap pieces I had before look a mess this year. They look ratty and worn, even some that I got just last year. That’s not a good return on my investment. Quality garments look better to begin with and they maintain a better look over time.

For example, I have trouble with light colored pants. I would like a pair of khaki or white capris but the ones I am trying on look absolutely ridiculous. I think it’s because I am being bargain conscious and going for the ones that are on the biggest sale. I realized yesterday that I need to go to a store known for making quality pieces and get a well-made pair of pants. It simply will not do to skimp on quality here.

Shop for the long haul. Yes, that brightly colored dress is the height of fashion this year, but about when you pull it out next year? Consider carefully and focus more attention on the timeless classics.

That being said, high-quality, timeless pieces tend to cost more. That means that I generally will purchase fewer items and I believe that’s a good thing. A small wardrobe of quality pieces that I love is better than a bunch of cheap clothes that don’t look good. It is worth the investment to buy good clothes. Going for quality items from the beginning will decrease shopping time and save money in the long run. Lesson learned.

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