Since I started doing a Q&A on my Snapchat (username: jessannkirby) I’ve had a lot of questions about shopping for clothes. What to buy and when, where do I shop and how do I maximize my budget? In my teens and twenties I went by the motto of more is more. Always shopping and buying things that ended up almost never being worn. I’ve since discovered more about my style and my buying habits, and I’ve compiled 5 tips for maximizing your wardrobe shopping investments.
1. Seasonal Investments – Each season I make a few key investments for pieces that become the core of my wardrobe. In the summer I always buy a new bathing suit, a cover-up, sandals, denim shorts, and a few dresses. For fall, I purchase denim, boots and booties, and sweaters. Winter I purchase at least two coats, a wool/cashmere blend and a puffy coat, winter boots, and cashmere. I don’t typically make a ton of investment purchases for Spring because it’s a weird season in Rhode Island. We haven’t had much of a spring in several years now so my shopping for that season tends to be more filling in the gaps with dresses, skirts, a new pair of heels etc. Click here for my wardrobe essentials checklist.
2. Where to Buy What (and When) – First, I will admit I rarely go into stores anymore. I just don’t have the time and online shopping is so easy I tend to make the majority of purchases online. One of my favorite sales to shop all year is actually happening right now. The Nordstrom Anniversary sale is one of the best to shop for fall and winter. It’s one of the only sales you can shop for items for the upcoming season. Typically you have to wait until the season is almost over to buy pieces on sale, so this is an opportunity once a year to make purchases ahead of time (here is my post on why and what to shop at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale). Other good times to shop are during holiday weekends (Labor Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving). Almost every store you can imagine has sales or promotions going on during these times. I’ve listed a few of my favorite places to shop below and what I typically purchase from them.
Nordstrom – Boots, Booties, Cashmere, Denim, Outerwear
Shopbop – Dresses, Denim, Tops/Button Downs
Revolve – Swimwear, Dresses, Shorts
Anthropologie – Dresses, Flats
Ann Taylor – Pants/Trousers
Reiss – Sweaters, Suiting, Shoes
French Connection – Dresses
J.Crew – Blazers, Tees/Button Downs
Madewell – Denim
3. Loyalty Programs – Most Loyalty programs are completely free and give you access to shopping events, exclusive discounts, rewards and other great perks. Some of my favorites are from Sephora, Anthropologie, and Nordstrom.
4. Find Your Style – Think about the pieces and outfits that you love and make you feel amazing. Do you lean towards wearing bright prints? Or maybe you feel great in a monochromatic outfit with an amazing pair of heels. The pieces that you reach for over and over, the ones that give you confidence when you walk out the door, are the things that you should highlight in your wardrobe. Don’t feel like you have to try every trend, it’s great to experiment and find what works for you, but just because a magazine says it’s the next big thing doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go out and buy it. Focus on what works for your style and go from there (I shared some thoughts on personal style here).
5. But Do You Really Love it? – Ask yourself the question “Why am I buying this?” Impulse purchases are almost always regrettable. We all do it, but how many things do you have in your closet that you have not or almost never wear because you bought it impulsively. There’s many reasons we do this, it was on sale, I had nothing to wear, I’m sick of everything in my closet, but all those impulse purchases add up, and that money can be better utilized for something you will actually love and wear over and over again.
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