On Tuesday we spoke about style personality. Knowing your style personality as well as your body type and style preferences can greatly help you with finding your own true unique style.

When you couple the knowledge about your style personality and the components of your style, it can also greatly assist you with your shopping.

It’s always good to compile 2 lists:

1. Things that are missing in your wardrobe and that you need for the coming season.

If you have gone through the style course or the many articles on this site in the finding your style and how to dress after 40 sections, you will have a good idea about your style preferences and what suits you. You have analyzed your closet and know exactly what is missing and what is needed.

It’s good to go through your closet before every season and make a new list of the things that would really improve your wardrobe. This can be clothes, but also undergarments, shoes or accessories.

2. Things that you know you should avoid

Just as important is a list of things you should avoid buying. Have a look at all the clothes that you have worn only a few times. Were these impulse buys? Why don’t you wear them? This can be a permanent list that you keep in your wallet and can refer to whenever you go shopping.

There can be many reasons why some clothes just don’t work for you:

  • They don’t suit your body type (they don’t highlighted the parts you like most about your body)
  • They don’t suit your style personality (they are too much removed from who you REALLY are)
  • The fabric irritates you
  • You never any proper occasions to wear them (it’s important to buy clothes for the climate you live in and the life that you lead)

Some of the items on this list for me are:

  • No polyester
  • No clingy fabrics
  • Skirts not too short (should cover or come close to knees)
  • Clothing must be comfortable

Be as precise as you can and add as many requirements as you need to.

Are you able to make these 2 lists easily? Do you know what works for you or not?

Impulse buying

Now back to our original question: should you buy on an impulse? The answer depends of course on how GOOD you are at impulse buying.

If you have a very clear sense of your style and what suits you, chances are that impulse buying can really work for you. The opposite is true also. If you’re not clear on your 2 lists, then impulse buying can lead to a lot of buying mistakes. Let’s look at a quick overview of some of the advantages and disadvantages of impulse buying.

Advantages of impulse buying

  • Impulse buying can really add an element of surprise to your wardrobe. You can’t plan for everything and sometimes, you just don’t know what you want.
  • It also lets you explore some new directions. If something really appeals to you in the shops, it may appeal to one part of your style personality that surfaces sometimes. It’s good to have clothes for different parts of your style personality.

Disadvantages of impulse buying

  • It can lead to many buying mistakes. Have a look through all the clothes in your closet you don’t wear. How many of these were impulse buys?
  • You often buy things you don’t need. You may already have something similar and it can lead to needless spending. (if that is the case for you then you can consider organising and documenting your clothes with closet organising apps.)
  • If you buy on impulse continuously, you may end up with many attention drawing clothes in your closet (the show stoppers) but are short on the essential basics (the building blocks of your wardrobe).

Finding the right balance

I believe there is definitely a place for impulse buying in your shopping. However, you need to be careful that it is not your dominant way of buying clothes if you want to have a wardrobe that is sustainable long term and will always give you something to wear. Sometimes your impulse buys can add that bit of of a spark and excitement to your wardrobe, but always make sure that you understand your style and that your closet is full of great essentials for your particular style.

Are you an impulse buyer? Is it working for you or not?


P.S. If you are tempted to buy any of the items featured in the image, they are all available from the shop section of this site in the relevant category.


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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