Why on earth did I buy this? Or how to avoid costly buying mistakes

by Sylvia

How to avoid buying mistakes
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I’m sure you’ve asked yourself this question at some time or another. I think there are few women that don’t make at least a few buying mistakes. The trick is to minimise those mistakes or eliminate them altogether. So how can you do that?

How to avoid buying mistakes?

Of course it helps if you understand your style. You may want to list the components of your style on a note pad or add them to your smart phone as a note. Before shopping, go check this list and know the key elements of your style.

As an example, here is what I currently see as key elements of my style:

  • Something different, unique
  • Asymmetry
  • Colours
  • Not synthetic
  • Comfortable
  • A fun element would be great too

However, it ALSO helps if you can make another list that specifies what is clearly NOT your style. Then stick to that. Here is what would be on my list. I do not want my style to be:

  • Bohemian
  • Girly
  • Romantic
  • Unflattering
  • Synthetic
  • Boring
  • Difficult to wear

If you get tempted to buy something that you know that is not really you, go through this list and avoid buying items that have too many (or even 1) of the components on your NO list.

My own buying mistakes

If I go through my own closet, I can clearly see why some garments were a mistake. In most cases they have a lot of elements from the ‘NOT my style’ list. The clothes turned out to be uncomfortable, not flattering, or just plain boring. Don’t just buy an item because it fits you well and is ‘nice’. Remember, you have a whole cupboard full of clothes. What you buy needs to be better than anything else. Otherwise you will not wear it.

So do yourself a favour and create your lists before heading for the sales. You may want to read some of my previous articles on how to find your style and my 10 essential tips for shopping at the Sales as well.

Tomorrow I will let you know what I will be looking out for in the sales these coming months.

Can you specify what is clearly NOT your style?

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen Lisson

I like the idea of making the clothes on the rack at the store ‘compete’ with your current clothes for a spot in your closet. Right now, my style is NOT loose tops, clothes that do not accentuate my waist, jeans, clingy dresses or black.

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Sylvia

It’s indeed a good rule. Since you have so many clothes, you can always select the best outfit. No point buying second rate clothes….

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Nanne

My closet used to be full of buying mistakes because I was so uncertain of my style. I still haven’t nailed it 100 %, but at least I’m making fewer mistakes. My style is NOT floral, romantic, pencil skirts and baggy clothes.

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Sylvia

I’m not sure if it’s possible to nail it 100%. I think your style is always evolving and every now and then you have to take risks so you don’t get too boring or too stuck in wearing the same things. But I think it really helps if you understand your style better.

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mythriftycloset

Great tips..you are always so clear about the kind of style you like. I think i am a bit of everything. The only styles i don’t touch is punk rock and bohemian

mongs
mythriftycloset.blogspot.com

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Sylvia

Me too actually. I get tempted by so many things. That’s why I need to be a bit stricter to avoid these mistakes. Even today I was in the shops and I saw this really nice pastel outfit. I have to keep remembering myself that I’m not into pastels!

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pippa

Good reminders here Sylvia! I hate looking at the “mistakes” in my closet … just because they are cute, in-style or a good deal does not mean they will work for me!

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Sylvia

It’s tough though. I’m shopping the sales right now and it’s unbelievable how often I am tempted. So difficult to be patient and find the right thing!

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Greetje

Knowing what suits me and what not in style and colour helped me a lot to avoid mistakes. But I still make them as is obvious when you look at my grey man jacket on your style forum. This time I managed to swing it into something that does suit me, but if that is not the case and I cannot return it, I immediately give it away to one of my friends. Everybody happy. It is nice to give and it is nice to receive.
My avoid list should state: ” is this another outstanding item that can only be combined with something simple?” Because I should buy more simple clothes that are more versatile.

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Sylvia

Or, you can find more ways to combine your special items…. You only need a few basics to accommodate many special tops.

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Greetje

I have tried to do that today together with Tangobabe (Anja). We went through part of my clothes in order to find more combinations. I have put the first (extra) combination with my moss green jacket on your Style Forum.

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Sylvia

Great. Sounds like fun Greetje!

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Heather Fonseca

Like you I avoid bohemian, but I really,like trying new looks and will often get something that I don’t think is “me” but it looks and feels great. Sometimes those are my best purchases! Also, I do buy basics when needed, they just have to be great basics. Right now I’m searching for a pair of black cropped twill pants or jeans. Boring, yes, but very wearable!

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Sylvia

So how do you avoid buying mistakes Heather? Or are you one of those lucky women that get it right all the time?!

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Heather Fonseca

I definitely don’t get it right all the time and I do make mistakes! Oddly, however, it’s when I’m looking for something specific that the mistakes occur. When I’m just out and I pick something up randomly is when I get the real treasures. Focused shopping seems to create more problems for me than random, intuitive, shopping does.

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Sylvia

Interesting Heather. Thanks for the feedback!

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reva

Thanks Sylvia,
Since blogging, I have made MORE of those mistakes than when I wasn’t a style blogger!
I had to start to remember that not all looks suit my frame,nor my style.
Hugs
Reva

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Sylvia

I guess as a blogger you are willing to take more risks with your style and try out new looks. This is great but can lead to more mistakes. We’ll see how I go this season….

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Rita

I definitely make mistakes because I have things I would like to wear (I call those my alternate universe clothes…very Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy) and things I actually wear that I’m comfortable in and suit my lifestyle (jeans or khaki pants/shorts/skirts, and plain tops with a cardigan, maybe a little safari edge to my most casual clothes). Luckily I can jazz up what I actually wear with fun shoes and handbags if I need to look a bit fancier. :-) Alas, I have some very pretty things in my closet that I almost never wear. I actually like a Bohemian pieces, too, but again, alternate universe clothes! LOL!!

The style I am definitely NOT is goth! I can’t stand wearing black…too depressing for me. I guess browns and khakis are my “go to” neutrals like black is for some folks.

Thanks for “tweeting” some of your old articles. It’s fun to catch up on the topics since I’m a newbie. :-)

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Sylvia

Great that you found this article through my tweets Rita!

It’s good that you are aware of the fact that you need to buy more for your casual self. It’s good to have a few items in your closet for ‘special’ days, but you should mainly shop for your current lifestyle, as I think you are already doing.

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Rita

Thanks! I don’t “tweet” much, but I do read through them once a day or so.

Thanks for the encouragement. I do often feel like I need to step things up a bit so if I venture forth, I do have things I can wear. :-)

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Margie

Hi. My “I do not want my style to be” is almost similar except I “do” like bohemian! I am still confused and make some big mistakes! I look forward to sorting out my wardrobe as I do avoid some events for fear of not having anything to wear.
Thanks for the by interesting blogs! Margie

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Sylvia

It takes time to find your style and know exactly what is right for you. This site is here to help you along! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your feedback!

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