Photo: Chambre et Nimes
In order to keep my buying habits in check I have four rules to which all my purchases comply to. The rules are governed by these very specific questions in the EXACT order as listed:
1. Do I need it?
2. Can it be worn with three other items in my closet?
3. Does it fit me and does it look good on me?
4. How long will it last me?
In the winter, my everyday uniform is made up of dark jeans, a shirt and a sweater with either lace-up boots or oxford shoes. In the summer, I tend to go with a black skirt or lighter color cuffed jeans and Breton tees with oxford shoes or flats. So for my specific needs, I found that I had to purchase more shirts and sweaters than the average number given by a minimalist style guru. I also discovered that despite what most people say, I've never needed a trench coat or a pencil skirt (and neither of which looks good on me) so I've just never bought them.
The secret to buying less is to stick to a regiment. Just like losing weight or eating healthy, you have to know what works for you and then adhere to it like clockwork. Carving a uniform for yourself, knowing what looks good on your body and knowing your own personal style is key to parring down on your purchases. For example, I know that I am one of those girls who will never be able to pull off tall boots, anything flowy and floral and any shoe with a 3 inch or higher heel. I find myself more of a short, tomboy-ish character who likes being comfortable and usually loathes carrying a bag. So for my personal style, I would look for things with pockets (great for stuffing cash and credit cards in, hee!), skimming but not restrictive clothing, and flat shoes. There's no use in buying something that doesn't fit your body or attitude because there's too much effort involved in trying to 'work it'. Once you've carved your own uniform, it's much easier to forego mindless buying and start investing in quality instead.