Before going out to buy that article of clothing take a look in your closet and see what you may be able to mix and match first. Maybe you have a shirt in your closet that hasn't been worn for a while. Pair that with a skirt you love or your favorite jeans. Layer it with a blazer or even a cardigan and you have a totally new look! Maybe there's a pair of shoes in your closet that's been hiding for years! Take them out and see what you can wear with it. I had a pair of navy blue crocodile pumps that I absolutely loved (they were a brand name purchase on sale at Marshall's so I definitely had to pick them up). However, during the week my attire is very casual. So, what did I do? In that it's a cooler month now, I paired my pumps with my favorite blue jeans, tights, a nice blouse, a blazer, and some funky jewelry and was out the door! It was very classic-chic and allowed me to pair my pumps down so that it would be functional during the week.
If you've worn everything in your closet (which might just mean that now it's laundry day) evaluate the items that you actually need. For example, maybe you have all of the classic pieces and you need a few trendy items. Grab a magazine of the latest trends and pick two or three that you want to choose for yourself. Maybe you don't have those classic pieces. Then, write down the ones you need and buy them. It might be easier to spread them out to one or two at a time. If there's a sale (different from clearance item) pick up two or three and add them to your closet. You just found a great deal! Even changing your accessories can make an item seem new. Buy some new jewelry. Get a new handbag. You'll be surprised at what a difference this makes.
Here's a sample of my list (my true list is actually much longer). I'm preparing for the new year and thus, reorganizing my entire wardrobe. Some pieces I'll be keeping but most items I will actually have to break down and buy. As you can see, I started my list by writing down all of the items I want in my wardrobe, which includes a few classics and some more modern pieces. Next, I went through my list and determined which items I already owned and wrote "Own" next to them. I know that when I go shopping I won't have to pick these articles up because I already own them. This also takes away from buying an article impulsively, especially if I already have two or three of the same item. Now that I have my list and know what's already in my closet I'm ready to shop!
2 pair of black pants
1 boyfriend blazer
2 pair of blue jeans (bootcut)
1 pair of blue jeans (skinny leg)
1 skirt suit
1 shift dress
slouchy hobo bag
1 safari-style jacket
1 trendy item
As I go shopping, I'll pull out my list from my wallet and choose one or two items I want to buy. If you're able to buy all of the items and not have to forfeit gas, groceries, or a mortgage payment then wonderful! However, if you are on a budget, determine how much you are willing to spend for that day, pay period, or month and choose your articles based on that. Once I've determined my budget and bought my needed items, I'll have to figure out how to style them with items of clothing I already own. (Note: If the item of clothing is likely to go with very few items in your wardrobe you'll be better keeping it on the rack and saving the money!)
Make sure that when you get home you take the time to pull out articles of clothing you already have. This may take an hour of your time (more or less depending on the size of your wardrobe). Pair your new purchase(s) with the articles that you already have and take pictures of how they would look together. Also, that current magazine you were looking at for trendy pieces? Use that to get ideas on how to style your clothes too! Before you know it, you'll have a new look and a new you! Until next time....