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 get clearer on your style so that you only buy the things that are right for you!

Can you specify what is clearly NOT your style?

P.S. Want more help getting your style on track? You will our style course!


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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