After purchasing a dress that was way more than I normally would spend on a dress but I really really loved and got a zillion compliments on and felt amazing in, I had a revelation: What if I only bought things I loved from now on? I mean really loved.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my wardrobe and the whole reason I started this blog — I have so many clothes and yet I honestly feel like I have nothing to wear. And in some ways, I’m right. I have nothing to wear for the things I have to do or the life I actually live. My approach has been to try to only buy practical things that go with everything, but honestly, I am bored of my neutral basics wardrobe now. I never feel that excited about getting dressed or feel great when I go out into the world each day. And since having a baby, my style preferences have really changed. I’m more excited about colors and prints and more feminine styles. Honestly, sometimes I don’t even recognize me. Investing in basics has paid off in some ways, but if I’m not excited about what I’m wearing and if it doesn’t make me feel amazing each day and more confidence and ready to take on the day or wherever I’m going, then honestly what’s the point?
I keep thinking about how much better I’d feel if everything I wore was cute and made me feel great. I know that’s all of our goals but why can’t it be reality? Why can’t I purge my closet of everything I’m not in love with, stock up only on things I love love love, and instead of always overthinking every purchase, just buy what I love. Wouldn’t that better help me find my style, and also just be happier about what I”m wearing?
I once read advice from a famous interior designer who said just to buy what you love and then it would all end up going together. The idea is that we spend so much time overthinking our spaces and what will work with what we have and last forever, and if we just bought stuff we loved, it would all end up working together and we’d be happy every time we stepped into our homes. While that’s hard in an NYC apartment where space is at a minimum and a lot of what I love just plain won’t fit, I can apply that thinking to my closet. If anything, it would help me clean out my closet and hopefully, buy less but buy smarter. What do I really have to lose? It’s not like I’m loving getting dressed right now, and I definitely have my share of buyer’s remorse. I may regret this, especially when James spills or spits up on whatever I”m wearing and I love it to death (which probably also means I splurged on it), but honestly, should I buy crappy clothes from now on for him to spit up on, or just suck it up and wash my cute clothes that get spit up on more? Just wearing crap in the event your kid will get you dirty means I’ll be wearing crap for the next 10 years (or more!) and that, my friends, is no way to live.
To start off the experiment, I bought a DVF floral shirt I’d been lusting after for months. I haven’t bought it, because it doesn’t really go with a lot in my closet rn, and it’s got a white backdrop and James tends to decorate whatever I’m wearing with some sort of goo or guck, and then there’s the fact that it was pretty pricey for a shirt that could get ruined. But it was on sale and then super sale, and I honestly, have bought at least 5 shirts I don’t love in the meantime, when I could have just spent on this one, worn it a million times and been much happier about the money spent. And so far, I’m glad I bought it. I just felt pretty wearing it, and I got a few compliments on it right out of the gate, making me feel even better. I’m still a little like, what am I going to wear this with?, but I’m going to force myself to wear it a bunch and get the most out of it, so I guess I’ll figure it out.
This Patagonia pullover may not look like anything to write home about, but I wanted a comfy layering top for cool afternoons and evenings at the lake and for weekend activities. I’m obsessed with this Patagonia pullover and even though I questioned investing in a weekend top when I have a bunch of raggedy old sweatshirts and old fleeces I could wear, I’m glad I bought this one. Patagonia stuff lasts forever (I still wear my Patagonia fleeces and jackets from years ago), has an awesome commitment to the environment, and is truly great outerwear. And I’m glad I bought this. I wear it all. the. time. and it’s much more comfy and looks nicer than my college and childhood pullovers that were admittedly starting to look a bit ragged. And actually, it hasn’t gotten as dirty as I thought might happen with the color, but when it does get baby and puppy stained, I just toss it in the wash.
This Tory Burch dress has been on my mind since I first saw it on pre-sale. I am obsessed. I wanted to get for a wedding we had earlier this summer but it wasn’t out yet, and then when it was, it was I felt like I had nothing to wear it to to justify buying it. But then it went on super sale, and I was so tempted but held back and to my dismay my size sold out. But then! I found it even more on sale with one left in my size, and I jumped on it because I thought, why not buy stuff you love? Admittedly, since I bought it, I’ve put it on to wear to work and then chickened out on wearing it a few times. Idk, I just feel like it’s a little over the top, but then I’m like isn’t that why I work in magazines, so I can dress over the top? Also, as part of this only buying what I love philosophy, I feel like I need to also only wear stuff I love and that includes things that might be more of a statement piece but I love. And really, are there even dressing rules anymore? So fuck it, I’m wearing it to work since I don’t really have any parties to wear it to yet. Plus, when I play it safe and buy something that’s more affordable, stain-hiding, and work “appropriate”, I might wear the item all the time because it’s easy, but I don’t feel particularly good in it. For example, I bought a more work-friendly navy dress and while I could see myself wearing it all the time, I don’t love love love it. It’s just practical and relatively comfy but makes me look put-together, which is actually pretty good criteria for a dress, but you know what? It doesn’t make me feel amazing.
As soon as I saw this animal print coat, I knew I had to have it. I didn’t know if I would wear it all the time though, and I was worried it wouldn’t be practical — it would be too lightweight for actual coat weather and one it gets warm, it would be too heavy for non-coat weather, especially since it seems we only have two seasons in NYC — hot and freezing. But I love it, and I knew I’d feel amazing in it. And isn’t the idea to buy and wear what I love, so this one is coming my way this week.
I’ll report back on this and let you know how it’s going. This may be super dumb and ruin my whole commitment to only buying a few key investment pieces, but I consider this still part of that strategy. I am just going to go for high-quality things I really love rather than trying to fill holes with things that go with everything or cheap versions of trendy items because I think I’ll be over it in a season. I’m going to forget trends and forget trying to predict what I’ll want to wear in a year because even if I buy something I can wear forever, I am always over it by the next season. So I’m going to see how this goes. At least it will be less thinking and second-guessing. Plus, it’ll make shopping soo much more fun.
What do you think? Do you have certain shopping philosophies you use to fill out your closet or to vet a purchase? Please share.