When you look in your closet what do you see? A thoughtfully planned wardrobe rich with investment items and peppered with those less expensive items that bring in a dash of style? Or do you see a hodge podge of items bought on the clearance rack at a department store, Old Navy or even Target, that don't actually go with anything? And they haven't been worn, like, ever. In fact the price tags are still on and you cringe every time you see that glaring $29.99 in red and think of how many lattes or fresh flowers you could have bought for that price (or even stashed away some of that money towards the $300 jacket you REALLY wanted).
Many women go shopping without any real goal in mind. You drift aimlessly from store to store in search of that 'perfect something', even though you have never defined what that is. Oh, you already know that you'd love to have those perfectly tailored camel trousers that could be worn 12 months a year and would go with just about every top in your closet, but they're $250 and that's way too much to spend on a pair of pants. So instead, you buy things to temporarily satisfy your desire but, like a craving for food, it never really does the trick. So you buy more to fill the void. You’ve overspent (much more than the $250 those pants would have cost) but all you have to show for it is a closet full of sale items that are just ok. Help!
Well, the good news is you're not alone. In my experience as an image consultant I see it all - the good, the bad and the ugly (so no need to be embarrassed). Most women don't grow up knowing how to build a wardrobe (yes, I said build - not just throw together) so we do the best we can. Trust me, I've been there. But instead of carefully planning out your wardrobe you end up with a random assortment of items that may (or in most cases, may not) go together. It can be an exercise in frustration to get dressed. But the worst part is how much money you throw away. When I show up at a client's home for a closet clarity session we get rid of all those items that don't suit them, don't flatter them or they just don't wear. My clients are often amazed at how many items they are able to let go of, but the biggest surprise is how much money they basically "threw down the drain" in items they never, or barely, wore.
Really, when you think about what you have in your closet versus what you actually wear, the truth might surprise you! When I leave a client's home after a closet clarity session, I leave with hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars' worth of items that will be donated to Dress for Success or other charities, or taken to a consignment shop (where they'll get back maybe 1/4 of what they actually paid for an item). So next time you go out shopping, think long and hard about what you buy. Because going cheap is costing you WAY more money than actually investing in a nice wardrobe would.
Here are some tips to help you plan your wardrobe and get the most bang for your buck:
1/ Buy items you truly LOVE and can't wait to wear. You'll relish each time you put them on and ensure that you get your money's worth.
2/ Do a cost-per-wear analysis - Figure up how long you might keep an item and how many times you might wear it during that time. For example, if you bought the $250 pair of pants and kept them for 5 years, wearing them 50 times per year, that's 250 times and comes out to be $1 per wear - a real bargain! Conversely, if you spend $40 on a trendy top that you keep for 1 season and wear 4 times, that's $10 per wear. Not such a bargain!
3/ When you buy something ensure that it goes with at least 3 items you already own (and wear).
4/ Learn your best colors and styles so you can be assured that you're buying what's right for you.
5/ Plan your wardrobe. I’m a big believer in creating a wardrobe strategy that supports you through days, weeks, months…When you look at your wardrobe as a comprehensive whole rather than just what you’re wearing at any given moment, it brings a new perspective to it and helps you to approach it more effectively. Working with an image consultant can save you valuable time and money. While it is an investment up front, the dividends will pay of handsomely for years to come! Invest your wardrobe dollars wisely and you'll reap the return.
Change your wardrobe and you can truly change your life!