I’ve had a huge wardrobe clear out recently and it got me thinking about the amount of money I’ve wasted in the past on clothes. When I was in sixth form, I practically spent all my money I earned on trainers and beanies (along with bottles of Mickey Finn and packs of Silk Cut Purple) but it was all impulse purchases. I’d click onto ASOS, scroll through the sale, find a pair of Converse which I liked but wasn’t crazy about, add them to my basket and voila, they’d arrive the very next day (hallelujah for ASOS premier) – buying for the sake of buying! It was an awful mentality to have and my thought process fortunately has changed since then.
When you buy clothes that shortly end up in a bin bag for the charity shop or your best mate’s wardrobe or even Depop (whatever happened to Mercari btw?!), it’s not only your money that you’re throwing away but it’s so unsustainable as well. So to kick the habit of buying for the sake of it and wasting your hard earned pennies, here are some questions to ask yourself before you buy new clothes, shoes, bags, jewellery or anything really!
Do you have anything like it already?
The number one question. Is there anything remotely similar to your potential purchase in your wardrobe? I know you can never have enough animal print in your wardrobe but if you’ve got a leopard print shirt, do you really need to buy a zebra print one too? This is a question I have to ask myself a lot and nine times out of 10, it’s the one that makes me realise I really really do not need another pair of black boots.
Are you going to wear it within the next month or do you have an event to wear it to?
I’ve made the mistake way too many times of buying a fancy LBD or pair of heels just because I liked it, not because I actually had an event or party to wear it to. And then, guess what? I never wear it! To combat this, I leave the labels on my clothes until I actually wear them so I can take them back if they don’t get worn within a month and I make sure I only buy an occasion dress when I actually have an occasion (which is never because my life is so boring). When you start cutting down on purchasing clothes that you could wear to a potential event that’s not even been confirmed yet but might happen one day, you’ll save a lot of money (and space in your wardrobe). Also remember what season it is.. Are you buying something in the end of summer sale just because it’s half price even though you’re more than likely not going to dig it out of storage until next June?
Does anyone have something you could borrow?
If you need to buy something for a one-off event then have a scout around and see if any of your friends, family or colleagues have something you could borrow instead. They could have the perfect fancy dress costume or bag to go with your outfit tucked away in their wardrobe, you never know! I often raid my mum’s wardrobe for the odd accessory and I know she steals my clothes all the time!
Can you find a cheaper alternative elsewhere?
If you’re into your trends and items that don’t stick around in the shops longer than a couple of seasons then it’s always worth looking for cheaper alternatives. We all fell head over heels with the animal print trend (and most of us still are head over heels) but I made a conscious effort to look for cheaper pieces as I knew they were out there. I think Topshop were selling a leopard print denim skirt for £40+ whereas I managed to pick one up for £20 on New Look and there were even cheaper ones in Primark. So if you’re into your trends and know that the likeliness of you wearing a neon bodysuit or pair of flared jeans for the next few years is pretty low then definitely look into cheaper alternatives. Obviously if you’re working on building a capsule wardrobe based on high quality pieces then you could probably ignore this question!
Do you really need it?
Okay so maybe you’ve fallen in love with a dress which would be perfect for Aunt Sally’s wedding in a few weeks and you’re adamant that you need it in your life because it’s so beautiful and amazing and flattering and all of that bollocks. But do you seriously need it? Don’t you have other dresses hidden in the depths of your wardrobe which you could wear to dearly beloved Sally’s wedding? I’ve started asking myself this question before I buy anything these days and it’s definitely saved me some pennies. It’s not until you properly question yourself until you realise that more often than not, we don’t need all this stuff.
Do you have the money?
Sometimes it’s nice to treat ourselves but if you know it’s going to put your bank account in jeopardy then it’s not really worth it is it? It doesn’t take long to hop onto your banking app to see whether you can really afford whatever it is you’re after!
We’re all entitled to do whatever the hell we want but I’m definitely trying to cut back on the amount of money and products I waste. Simply asking myself these questions before I hit ‘checkout’ or trot over to the queue has saved me buying things for the sake of it and the laborious process of listing things on Depop!
Do you find yourself buying new clothes for the sake of it?