I don't know about you, but spending lots of money on clothes I rarely wear does NOT sound very appealing to me! I've been guilty of that in the past, but no more. As we work towards designing a capsule wardrobe, our style intentions are going to be one of our key money savers. If you haven't read How to Set Your Style Intention, please take a look so you know what I'm rambling on about. If you have done the exercise, keep your style intention sentences in mind as you read this post.
Your style intentions can save you $$.
Really? Yes, really! Let's take a look at the key sentences again. If you haven't done the pre-work in the previous post yet, just mentally fill in these blanks.
- I want to feel ________________ when I get dressed every morning. (I want to feel sophisticated/fun/chic when I get dressed every morning.)
- At 3 PM I want to look in the mirror and see an outfit that looks ________________. (At 3 PM I want to look in the mirror and see an outfit that looks pulled-together.)
- I want to wear clothes that feel ____________ and combine for outfits that look _______________. (I want to wear clothes that feel luxurious/cozy and combine for outfits that look glamorous/laid-back.)
- I want to wear clothes that make me feel ____________, _______________, and _______________. (I want to wear clothes that make me feel confident, comfortable, and modern.)
Meet Laura. Her style intentions look like this:
- I want to feel carefree when I get dressed every morning.
- At 3 PM I want to look in the mirror and see an outfit that looks uncontrived.
- I want to wear clothes that feel comfortable and combine for outfits that look laid-back.
- I want to wear clothes that make me feel relaxed, fun, and confident.
There are two key components to your style intention: how you want to feel in your clothes, and how you want to look in your clothes. The clearer you are about these two important areas, the more money you'll save (in the long run) and the more cohesive your wardrobe will be. Here's why:
You know how you want to feel in the clothes you buy.
Laura wants to feel comfortable, relaxed, fun and confident. She also wants to feel carefree in the mornings when she gets dressed, meaning she prefers to throw things together and not have to worry about how she looks. You might want to feel adventurous, calm, or in control. Most people would love to feel confident in their clothes; staying true to your style intentions will help with that, too.
You know how you want to look in the clothes you buy.
Laura desires a look that reflects her personality and does not seem artificial. She doesn't want to come across as if she spent hours planning the "perfect" outfit, because the laid-back look is more her style. This is more about how YOU see yourself in your clothes, but it also likely reflects the image you project to others. You might want to look modern, professional, or youthful -- perhaps all three!
Create your Style Intention Guidelines
Your style intentions can be used to create guidelines that will steer you towards buying items that are right for you! Using our new friend as an example, her style intentions would guide her to look for clothes that meet the following requirements:
- Fabrics: soft on the skin and move with the body, like cotton jersey. Clothes must be easy to care for - no hand washing or dry-cleaning here (save special exceptions). Stiff fabrics are a no-go.
- Styles: simple, clean lines in relatively classic shapes. Nothing fussy or overly detailed.
- Construction: well-made without too many bells and whistles. Not too structured.
- Colors: solids and simple patterns only, likely in basic neutrals and muted tones. Nothing too shockingly bright or attention-drawing.
- Outfit Coordination: new pieces should easily mix with at least 3 owned pieces, ideally 5. **This is a good rule for everyone, no matter your style!
- (You may add any other categories you'd like!)
What are the takeaways from your own style intention sentences? Take some time to write down fabrics, styles, colors, and outfit coordination thoughts that do and do not work with your style intentions. Once you've done that, you're almost ready to shop in a money-saving way.
So how exactly does this save me money again?
Now, every time you are considering buying an item of clothing ask yourself these questions:
- Does this item make me feel how I want to feel? If not, stop right there. Do not purchase this item!
- Does this item make me look how I love to look? If that's a no, again, don't buy it.
- Does this item meet all of my style intention guidelines? If yes, great! On to the most important question of all. If no, then pass on it unless it is for a specific purpose, event, or seasonal need that might need their own style intentions.
- Can I afford it? If the answer it no, that means no! If yes, then take it to the register!
- Why did I not put this as the first question? Because going through the exercise has told you exactly what you are looking for in that type of item. Now that you know, your search for a similar, less expensive option that still meets the requirements will be easier!
If you follow this template, you will NOT end up buying items that don't fit your style or make you feel how you want to feel. Your wardrobe will be made up of pieces that really work for you and make you feel confident, which in turn will keep you from unnecessary shopping.
Do you think this will work for you?