Monday, November 9, 2015

Quality Over Quantity

I was talking to my mom yesterday about clothes because I had just left the mall in Cincinnati. The idea of a capsule wardrobe came up. (If you're unfamiliar with what a capsule wardrobe is, check this out.) Now I'm not ready to actually make a capsule wardrobe and I'm not sure I ever will (major props to those of you who do!). But the idea of simplifying my closet and buying quality pieces was the idea of the conversation. I will never stop buy super cheap t-shirts from Old Navy, but I have started investing in higher quality items!
In today's society quality typically means pricey. Y'all know I'm a poor grad student so shelling out $50 for a top just isn't practical. So how do I do it? Here's some of my tips:
1. Hit up sales!!!! I cannot stress this enough. I very very very rarely pay full price for anything. Even when grocery shopping I'm less likely to buy something if it isn't on sale. So how do I find these sales?
Sign up for e-mails from your favorite stores. Yes your inbox will be cluttered but if you use Gmail, there's a Promotions folder that all of your store e-mails will go to. This is great because it keeps it out of your main inbox. Getting these e-mails clues you in to sales going on. Every now and then you'll get a coupon just for being subscribed! Some of my favorite stores to get e-mails from is:
Old Navy
J.Crew
Gap
The Limited
Dick's Sporting Goods
Nordstrom
Kohl's
2. Clean out your closet! I use the following rule: if I haven't worn it in the last year or if I didn't wear it last season, it goes. Of course I have a few items that are special occasion items that usually stay tucked away to one side or in the back. I actually cleaned my closet out last night. I got rid of everything I didn't wear this spring/summer. I'm amazed at how many pieces of clothing I keep because I think "well I may wear this one day." NO! If I didn't wear it this season, what makes me think I'll wear it next season? I also usually clean my closet out in rounds where I think thoughts like this:
Round 1: "I still have that? I thought I said I hate it last year?"
Round 2: "Yeah I didn't wear that last season. Buh-bye."
Round 3. "That's still pretty cute. Did I wear it though? Will I wear it? Oh my gosh I don't even know what I'm eating for dinner! Maybe I'll leave it in here because maybe I'll have a reason to wear it."
Round 4. "Okay no I won't ever have a reason to wear that. If I haven't worn it yet I will never wear it. Stop lying to yourself."
Cleaning out my closet involves a lot of lying to myself then rationalizing with myself and finally getting rid of that one top my mom bought me that I said I like but I really don't but I feel bad getting rid of it because she bought it for me and I don't want to be a terrible daughter but yeah I'll never wear it. Sorry mom. I'm sure if someone were to watch me do this it would be very entertaining.
3. Don't go shopping just for the sake of shopping. You'll end up buying things you don't need (every woman's story of a "quick trip to Target" amiright?) Wait until you know exactly what you need. It's like grocery shopping - you should always get your groceries when you have a list. If I don't take a list to the store with me, I end up forgetting to buy things I need and end up buying things I don't need.
4. Check out flash sale websites. These websites have heavily discounted sales that last for a short amount of time (think a few days). You can find almost anything in these sales! From clothing to kitchen gadgets to stationary and everything in between. My favorite is Zulily! They organize their sales by the brand being sold. They even have Vera Bradley every now and then! Another great one is Jane. Just keep in mind that you usually can't return things you buy on these sites.
5. Buy items during the off season. Think buying Christmas decorations after Christmas, buying Halloween candy on November 1, and so on. The same applies to clothes! Buy summer clothes at the end of the summer. Just make sure they're clothes you're positive you'll wear! I bought a few sweaters from J.Crew Factory in August because they were so heavily discounted (because who wears sweaters in August?!). Check out this great infographic for some ideas.
6. Here are some of my favorite places to get quality items:
J.Crew Factory: J.Crew always has higher quality pieces that I love! But they're so expensive!! I'm sorry but I will not pay $90 for a sweater. On J.Crew Factory everything is discounted. It's amazing. Then if you check out their clearance it's a sale on top of a sale! (PS You can take an extra 35% off your online order today!)
DSW: Because every woman needs shoes! I'm a fan of DSW because they carry high quality shoes but at a discount. You can currently take an extra 25% off clearance shoes.
Zulily: This is my favorite place to buy dresses. You can frequently find items that are 60% off.
Old Navy/Gap: Typically if one store is having a sale, the other is having a similar sale as well. Old Navy (as I've said before) is great for basic items like t-shirts but they also have great pants. I'm a fan of the Pixie Chinos - they're great pants that work well in the business casual area. They're currently having a flash sale with most items up to 60% off. Gap has a lot of great tops. Gap is a little higher quality when compared to Old Navy. They're also offering 40% off your online order right now!
Nordstrom: This is another place where I only buy something if it's on sale. Luckily right now they're having their fall clearance sale until 11/15 where you can save up to 40%!
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I'm slowly trying to shift my wardrobe from college/grad student to young professional so that when the time comes for me to get a big girl job, I won't have to totally revamp my closet right before starting my job. I'd much rather buy a new piece or two every now and then than buy a whole new wardrobe at once. I feel like I'm much more likely to buy pieces I love because I was patient when shopping!

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