My new year’s shopping resolutions post turned out to be a lot lengthier than predicted. It’s called “the art of being concise” for a reason. Initially, it was supposed to be a short list of resolutions, so feel free to skip the discursive part.
Through trial and error, I have indeed learned my lessons and become more aware of my style and taste. Moderating my consumption hasn’t been a hard task at all. I obtained less than 10 garments in 2010, including basics. Last year, I bought some clothing that I ended up reselling. I suppose I’ve finally learned that certain looks and garments can only be admired from afar no matter how pretty they are. This year I am aiming for items that will remain in my closet.
It’s evident that I am fairly good at adhering vehemently, sometimes too religiously, to lists. Unfortunately, I missed out on several staggering finds because I was acutely fixated on merely buying the 4-5 items on my seasonal list. At times, I failed to notice the minor faults in some of my purchases. Moreover, I somehow managed to overlook my consistent style when hunting for the items on my list, in the sense that my purchases didn’t have the intuition of congruity.
What I am trying to indicate is:
I’ll try to ease up on adhering to my lists. I have to learn to give in to a few unpredictable buys if they have the immediate gut feeling of rightness (trust me, I’m so picky that this happens once in a blue moon). From my experiences, the unpredicted purchases are the most successful purchases and the most cherished items in my wardrobe.
2011 will be the year of apostasy from dictatorial lists. I need to trust my instincts more and quell the over thinking. Being vastly selective is a beneficial skill I’ve developed, but when I know that an unanticipated item is absolutely right (e.g. my Isabel Marant coat or boots, both unpredicted purchases, yet the most worn and much-loved items), I won’t hesitate even if it isn’t part of the plan. By all means, I will shop with conviction.
The shopping method I’m using this year is the same one I exploited back in fall 2009. It worked out superbly, which is why I’m repeating it. The method is a cross between sticking to a very strict list of items and mindless, haphazard shopping. I have an extensive list – which is regularly amended – of items I consider as wardrobe necessities. I allow myself to buy 4-5 items a season, but only if they are perfect by my standards. I use the list as a basis but I won’t let it dictate the shopping.
I would also make a smaller list of currently available clothes that I’d take into consideration. Then I’d put these items through an extended deliberative process. I like to wait a couple of months before I settle, because the item must be right. Regarding items such as expensive designer bags, I am willing to wait a couple of years before settling. Inevitably, I always end up eliminating 4 of 5 items from the list, so a deliberative process is required. However, some designers don’t give much thinking time, e.g. Isabel Marant. In this case, I just have to follow my guts.
Rather than being determined to get hold of certain pieces that I don’t seem to unearth, I will move on to the other items on the list and search for something else that may be available. Otherwise I will end up with items that are completely uninspired or just wrong, only because my list says I have to obtain them or because I try to intentionally fill a gap in my wardrobe.
On a different note: I haven’t covered all the basics yet because I’ve been prioritizing statement pieces. In addition, I am quite picky about the basics as they must be perfect. This year, I want to focus on the basics because they are pretty much my style as much as they are my foundation. Then again, if I stumble across a special piece of clothing that ticks off all of my requirements, I won’t bypass it. Incidentally, I will not exceed the limit of 15-20 items a year. Nevertheless, what are the odds of finding 20 perfect basics in a year?
Last but not the least, I have to stop settling for second best. Once second best, always second best. I know that sooner or later I’ll regret and resell the item. I once stated, “I want perfection, not fast fashion”, and I’m sticking to my statement.
To sum up my musings, here are my shopping resolutions for 2011:
- Admire certain garments from afar and face the truth that they will never work for me
- Not fall into the list trap
- Give in sometimes to unpredictable finds
- Go with my instinct more and quell the over thinking
- Focus more on the basics
- Not exceed the limit of 15-20 items a year
- Stop settling for second best