10 rules for buying less and keeping up the style

Buying less and keeping up the style
Image: @aylin_koenig

A change of seasons is a great prompt for purging your wardrobe, getting rid of clothes that you no longer wear and topping up on essentials. We have all been there. It is easy to get dazzled by the latest trends and tempting new collections and make impulsive purchases. We end up taking up even more space in our wardrobes but ironically the “I have nothing to wear” problem continues to weigh over us as heavily as ever. Until now. We discuss the ten golden rules for helping you save money, space and time spent on choosing your outfits. And most importantly, these tips will elevate your style.

1/ Only buy clothes that fit

The concept of style is more complex than it seems. Say, you scoop up the entire shortlist of items recommended by your favourite fashion editors and impeccably recreate the look. But style is as much to do with comfort and confidence, meaning there is no place for clothes that do not suit your body shape. Are you still holding on to that pair of jeans sitting at the back of your shelf in the hope of one day losing those extra centimetres off your hips? What about that tight sweater which is meant to motivate you to get slimmer? We all make these mistakes and completely miss the point. By the time this “ideal figure” is achieved, you will have likely changed your mind about the clothes and will have spent your money in vain. Observe your figure and choose clothes which highlight your good sides as they appear now and disguise your flaws (if any!).

2/ Don’t shop for a one-off event

Birthdays, friends’ weddings, New Year’s Eve party, you name it. We all have events in our lives when “stunning” is the only dress code. But a single triumphant outing of this kind often leaves behind a dress that never gets worn again. There is a reason Coco Chanel’s little black dress was and still is the talk of the town. It was proof that classic simplicity is the one way to look elegant and stylish amidst an overdressed crowd. Get yourself a monotone silk dress or a trouser suit. Both can be worn effortlessly in the day and transformed into party wear with a touch of accessories.

10 rules for buying less: don’t give in to trends
Image: @tati_vk

3/ Don’t give in to trends

The fashion industry produces enough micro and macro trends each season for there to always be something that will resonate with you. So what that everyone wears pearl hair clips left, right and centre? The truth is – they have no place next to your formal office wear. And those pretty but tiny “baguette” handbags are useless for carrying your laptop, planner and makeup. Don’t buy things just because they look good on someone else. If you really want to be fashionable, focus on prints, fabrics and accessories which work with the clothes you already own.

4/ Analyse each purchase

Thoroughly assessing each purchase is a crucial rule which you should abide by every time you shop. If a quirky non-essential item caught your eye, think hard about how it would fit in with your existing wardrobe. If the only combination you can find for a flaming orange sweater is a pair of black jeans – think again and look for something more functional which can form part of several different looks.

5/ Aim for quality over quantity

A good quality cashmere sweater can serve for many years to come. Three fast fashion acrylic jumpers for the same price will not keep you as warm in winter and will disintegrate in no time. It is a question of giving up variety in favour of moderate consumption and quality. An evergreen way of looking stylish and well-to-do, while completely justifying the investment.

How to buy less and keep up the style
Image: @pernilleteisbaek

6/ Regularly revise your wardrobe

Wardrobe revision is best done at the beginning of each season. There is no better time to swap summer dresses for a wool coat and figure out which items you no longer wear and what you might be missing. This process will help free up space on your shelves and inform your shopping list before you get side-tracked by what you see in the shops. Anything that feels too dated or overused but that maintains its good quality can be given a new lease of life. They can be donated to a charity or sold at a car boot sale which is common in some places.

7/ Look out for sales

When it comes to accumulating clothes you don’t really need, you’ve got sales to blame and the impulsive buying habits they encourage. Red labels marked with sensational -50%, -70%, if not -90%, stickers prompt us to buy new items we might have never even cast our eyes on at their original price. But sales can also be a great opportunity to get quality clothes which you could not otherwise afford or to finally get your hands onto that dream item at a comfortable price tag. Start planning ahead by making a list of things you actually need. Arguably, there are much fewer temptations to throw in some extra items on your way to the till when shopping online.

8/ Don’t duck vintage

Vintage shops or quality second-hand stores are becoming increasingly popular. Try swapping boutiques for these shopping alternatives every once in a while, and experience a bit of a blast from the past by browsing through these unique items. Some of the things you can find might include vintage Chanel clip-on earrings, silk scarves with unique patterns and the tried-and-tested original Burberry trench coats. An item from the 80s or another bygone era can elevate the style of any outfit, creating a certain mood.

How to buy less and keep up the style: discover new brands
Image: @khaite_ny

9/ Discover new brands

We all tend to hold loyalty to a specific brand but let’s not forget that unique new names crop up on the market every now and again. Their creators and designers often come from the new generation of cutting-edge talent. They have a fresh perspective on fashion and produce innovative items. So, it is worth keeping an eye on these kinds of younger brands too. Perhaps this will be your new route to discovering stylish and quality finds. Some names that have turned our heads include NanushkaKhaite и Rokh.

10/ Manage your basics

It’s not the first time we mention the basics. But it is worth reiterating that a curated capsule wardrobe is a perfect canvas that can always be topped up with the latest trending items. Remember that all of the elements in your capsule should work together. This makes it the answer to your morning dilemma of pairing an outfit as you rush to get dressed for work. It also works with anything more eccentric and trendy. A quality pair of black and blue jeans, a white shirt, chelsea boots, a beige wool coat, a structured jacket, a shopper bag and other similar items will form the foundations of several stylish looks at once and, more than anything, simply make your life easier.

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