I've spent years agonizing over my wardrobe, reading (and writing) endless stories on the essential pieces every woman should own, carefully deciding which trends I'm going to adapt, and weeding out all the unflattering, damaged and "ew, this?" styles that make it hard to find space for new stuff.
It's all built up to my current predicament: I feel like I'm finally nearing, or arriving upon, total and utter wardrobe completion. I no longer sigh when I open my closet door. The teenage me who used to whine about having nothing to wear has turned into a grown-ass woman who actually gets excited about browsing through her closet.
This makes me sound like a millionaire with The Perfect Wardrobe, but that's not it at all. Most of my stuff is vintage or snagged from a sale, but after purging and acquiring for years and years, I've finally whittled it down to the best-quality pieces that truly represent my style.
So what does this mean for a girl who loves shopping? Well, for starters, I'm cutting way back. I find myself saying, "But you already HAVE silk blouses" instead of just buying yet another silk blouse that happens to be have an appealing print. I'm also trying to avoid temptation triggers like sales and social shopping ("Let's eat lunch instead!"). I'm even unsubscribing from the Instagram feeds of my favorite brands.
The biggest help has been upping my snobbery. I won't let myself buy something unless it meets the following criteria:
- I love it so much I would probably actually marry it.
- I don't already have something similar (an all-too-common occurrence for someone like me who's magnetically drawn to black everything).
- It's reasonably priced and worth the expense.
- I'm not likely to ruin it (hi, every white item I've ever owned).
- I find myself yearning for it after I've left the store, like a long-lost lover haunting my dreams.
Those are some hefty qualifications, right? Of course, I also have some exceptions. I will ON OCCASION let myself impulse-purchase something if it meets these standards:
- It's so cheap it's practically free — like the $11 bracelet I got the other day (it feels like a $100 bracelet, I swear).
- I'm buying it to replace something else — like the black (duh) silk fringe blouse I got to replace my pink (ew) silk fringe blouse.
- There is no other circumstance in which I will be able to buy anything like it ever again for as long as we both shall live ... and I have two seconds to decide. Sometimes this happens right when the thrift store is closing. Gotta trust my instincts.
Perhaps wardrobe satisfaction is a state every women eventually achieves, and I'm now able to check that box alongside changing a tire and investing in stocks.
Of course, no wardrobe is ever TRULY complete. That won't happen until Google or Apple invents holographic fabric that permanently affixes to the body and morphs with however you're feeling that day.
Until then, I'll still be making little tweaks here and there, picking up a few new things with each season. But I can do so knowing that my foundation is set, and I don't truly NEED anything. It feels a little funny, but nice too — something I could get used to.