My Golden Rules of Shopping

How often do you shop?

I’ll admit, I love a good shopping day as much as the next girl, BUT I am trying to break myself of that.

For 2019, I had originally had the resolution of a “no-buy” year but then I had this whole “Time Capsule Wardrobe” idea, so I resolved to only buy a few things if I needed them for the sake of creativity.

But even before this, being a striving minimalist, I try to shop as little and as mindfully as possible, even following my own set of rules to keep myself on track.

Rule #1: Only buy with something specific in mind

Having a capsule wardrobe, I know what pieces are missing and what I already have. I also try to avoid having multiple items that serve the same function. But if I’ve been thinking for months “man, I really wish I had a cashmere sweater for a cozy basic”, then I will definitely do some research on decent brands and browse a few thrift stores. That being said…

Rule #2: Thrift First

My closet is about 90% thrifted or second-hand. Not only is thrifting a more sustainable way to shop, it’s so much more exciting and satisfying when you find that perfect piece you’ve been hunting for! It’s also much more affordable overall, you can still find your favorite brands (lots of my thrifted pieces are from Zara and J. Crew), AND you get better quality for a fraction of the cost of buying new.

Rule #3: 30 and Below

With very few exceptions, the majority of items in my wardrobe cost me $30 or less. On a rare occasion, $40 will be the absolute limit (for something like a dress, blazer, or shoes), but anything over that is treated as a seriously thought out investment purchase. Before dropping over $40 on any item, I have to consider how long it will last me, if it fills a void in my wardrobe, and if I can find it cheaper somewhere else.

Rule #4: Avoid Fast Fashion, but…

If there’s something you’re eyeing and you know you can only find it in one place, it’s okay to allow yourself the occasional, once-in-a-blue purchase. Since my naive disposable income days, I have tried my best to stay out of fast fashion shops. However, if I see something that’s exactly my style that I know I won’t find elsewhere, I’ll scoop it up with the intension of loving it for a very long while. But not before…

Rule #5: The Rule of 3

As stated in Rule #3, if any item will run me more than $40, I will ask myself whether I can find it cheaper elsewhere. A similar rule goes for any fast fashion purchases. If there is anything I feel I need in my wardrobe, I will go to at least 3 thrift stores to find it before giving in to the convenience of fast fashion. If I make it through 3 thrift stores and try on every pair of jeans and none fit me the way a new pair would, or if I never find a decent pair of shoes my size (where my 9.5 ladies at?) or if I just can’t find a blouse with that perfect pattern I saw in a window, then I will give in to a new purchase after some consideration.

Rule #6: Timeless Over Trendy

The few items in my wardrobe that I did splurge on or that cost a little more than the rest are either basics that go with everything else or designs that fit my style as it’s been for years. Considering whether something will last you a long time isn’t just about assessing its quality, it’s also thinking about how long it will stay in style and how long you can see yourself wearing it. Ripped jeans for example are always a kicker for me. They’re a trend that I loved in high school but don’t really fit in with the clean look I now prefer. Once in a while I’ll see style bloggers sporting them with white t-shirts and leather jackets, looking super chic, and I have to remind myself that the look doesn’t really suit me but if I did want to try it, I would do so very thriftily by looking for the best deal possible. My Coach trench coat, however (which was graciously passed down by my momma), would have been well worth the investment if I found it in a shop. It fits well, goes with every item I have, lasted my mom about 8 years, and is in good enough shape to last me just as long if not longer.

In the new year, I will be doing more research on ways to shop sustainably and looking into buying from environmentally conscious brands, but these are the rules that I’m following along my way. A lifestyle is a process.

But there you have it folks! My golden rules of shopping.

I hope you find them helpful and I’d love to hear about your shopping or anti-shopping endeavors!

And if you have any sustainable shopping tips, feel free to pass them my way 🙂

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Published by The Time Capsule Wardrobe

The modern vintage lifestyle blog

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