How soon do you wear something after you buy it?
Alright, so I have written a lot lately about how I am trying to limit my shopping habits within reason. I’m making an effort to shop my closet this spring, and in general try to only buy things that I see myself using for a long time.
But, like, I totally still shop.
And I want to ask you something really important. How soon do you wear something after you buy it?
I’m not talking specific occasion or seasonal wear here. You won’t be wearing that new swimsuit until you go swimming, and the dress you bought for your best friends wedding probably wont be making a trip to the grocery store before you hear the vows.
I’m talking the standard everyday stuff. The new jeans, the box fresh trainers, the shorts suit you absolutely had to have. When do these items make their debut.
My roommate freshman year of college pointed out something very astute about my shopping habits. She said that if I didn’t wear something immediately after I bought it, I wouldn’t wear it. And she was absolutely right. I have always been a tear it open, throw it on straight away type of person.
Eighteen year-old me thought that my roommate’s statement was very deep. I figured she clearly understood some hidden truth about me that I didn’t even know was there. And aside from remembering it, I didn’t dig much deeper into what she said.
But I did know it was true. Nothing made me happier than putting together a new look with a new thing. I loved getting it home, showing it off, trying it on again and if I was lucky wearing it somewhere that very same day. And the things that for some reason didn’t get to go out within 24 hours usually wound up in the back of the closet, forgotten. Maybe to be rediscovered, maybe not.
When I look back at this now, I figure that the items that didn’t get an instant reveal probably didn’t work with what I already had in my wardrobe. There was an Urban Outfitters near my university and when they would take an additional 50% off the sale section I would pounce! I later went on to work at this Urban, which didn’t help.
(I also had a terrible habit of buying amazing cocktail dresses for the all the amazing cocktail parties I was not being invited to. This is a habit that took years to break.)
Essentially I was shopping quantity not quality, which is exactly what I work so hard to avoid now.
Even now, armed with better shopping habits, I still want to wear everything right away. When I bought a winter coat in the sales at the end of the season, closer to spring to be honest, it absolutely killed me that I had to put it away for 9 months until the temps dropped again.
There is something about new clothes that feels like levelling up. Obviously I know that the clothes don’t make the man, nobody should let their clothes define them, and whatever.
But I can’t help it. It’s like each new item helps build the next “best me I can be.”
I’m sure there is something to be said for waiting until the absolute perfect moment to bust something out. But think of all the time you lost when could have been wearing something amazing! As a very wise woman once said. “Seize the moment, ’cause tomorrow you might be dead”