Too many of us fall prey to the forces of retail therapy. We insist of churning out our wardrobe every so often and keeping the machine going by spending our hard earned money on another new pair of blue jeans that are slightly skinnier/baggier/bluer/denim-ier. It can become unbearable and extremely expensive to stay up to date with the latest and greatest trends.
But I'm going to let you in on a couple of little secrets that will help you maintain some form of sanity when it comes to shopping for new clothes.
1. Most people are concerned with how THEY look
This translates to a simple fact: If most people are concerned with the way they look, they're definitely less concerned with how you look. When you go out and wonder if everyone is looking at you, just remember that everyone around you is wondering the same thing. We all constantly worry if other people are looking at what we're wearing which means we're all observing ourselves more than others.
Basically, if you're wearing last season's blue blazer, it's going to be OK. This season's blue blazer is only slightly updated and almost impossible to notice if you're a normal human being. Using the blazer, pants, shirts, ties or anything else that's already in your closet is probably the best way to go.
2. Trends recycle
If you had a jacket with elbow patches on 6 years ago and you spent half of your rent buying it, hang onto that bad boy because it's going to be in fashion again in a few years and will be heralded as a new trend when it hits. It won't be new. It'll be old. It'll be "vintage" 60's and it'll look like something your Dad wore. You know why it'll look like something your Dad wore? Because he wore it. It was in fashion back then too and it's cycled back around, again.
That denim jacket you rocked hard in the 90's? It's coming back big guy!
The key here is to not hoard things. If it's badly made, cheap and nasty and incredibly "on trend" then the chances are you should wear it for a season and throw it out. But a suit is something that you can spend good money on and have it wear extremely well through the years. With a little tailoring here and there, it'll turn out perfectly for at least 5 years.
3. Mix and match
I often buy things in isolation of other things. Occasionally I'll purchase an item that actually goes perfectly with something that I've had in my closet for years that I completely forgot about.
Everyone should shop in their closets before they turn to the retail stores that charge for recycled styles. You may have a rocking brown leather jacket that you can wear with that new pair of denims you bought. Or that old pair of boots that you've been wearing for 4 years could go fantastically well with a jacket and tie combo that you remembered you had from last year.
Go back into your closet and revisit items, lay them out on your bed (or dining room table if you need a lot of space) and see how they look together. Go through your jackets, formal shirts, chinos, denims, suits, t-shirts, pants, loud socks
and anything else that's in your closet and see what has come back around into fashion, what you've missed wearing and what you really need to get rid of.
The chances are, you'll find stuff you haven't thought about in ages and can start wearing again.
Always shop in your closet before you spend money on a new item.
*image courtesy of bccnyc