When I think of spring, I dream of sunny days and birds singing and flowers blooming. Of course, in reality, it’s more like noses running, wind blowing (and ruining an otherwise perfectly nice day), and tax season.
Still, I’m so excited to kiss winter goodbye and embrace warmer weather. My closet is getting a major overhaul as I pack up my sweaters, take my spring/summer wardrobe out of storage, and make my shopping list.
I asked myself a couple of questions to figure out what I wanted in my wardrobe this coming season. See if these four questions help you come up with your list:
- If I had no budget and no limit to number of items, what would I want to own in a spring/summer wardrobe?
- Notice question 1 is NOT “what I want to buy”, it IS “what I want to own”. This means list everything, whether you would like to buy it or you already own it. Seeing your shopping list in the context of what you already own gives you a better vision of how your complete wardrobe will function. Even if you’re trying to keep your wardrobe minimal and know your budget does not allow you to buy all of the items you want to add, still list everything. Why? Because I think it will help you get a clear direction of your style. In winter I was so focused on purging that I didn’t take time (or set aside very much money) to purchase items I would like to have in my wardrobe. I think my style suffered as a result. Keep in mind that just because you would like to own something does not mean you will buy it right away. It is a wish list. The next steps help you decide what to buy.
- Of the items on my wardrobe list, which items do I already own or have something similar enough to?
- Asking “what do I already have?” seems obvious enough, but taking it a step further and asking “do I have something similar enough?” is an even smarter way to approach your wardrobe planning. If you’re going to have a lean closet, you don’t want a lot of multiples. If you aren’t willing to part with an item you own, see if it matches up or overrides an item on your wish list. Thankfully, I already own a lot of items on my wardrobe list. Less to buy!
- Of the items I don’t already own, which are most needed?
- This separates the needs from the wants. Or more accurately, priority items from the true wish list items. I have a new pair of skinny jeans on my shopping list because I wear denim almost every day. I also have a cocktail blouse on my list because I’m trying to add some dressier items to my wardrobe. Hopefully I get to buy both, but I will prioritize the jeans since I know they will get more use. If you’re an office professional, you might prioritize a new trouser pant in front of everything else. If you plan carefully and look for deals at consignment stores like this one, you might still have money left in your budget to get items in the wish list section after buying your priority items.
- Of the items most needed, which items am I willing to settle for a cheaper alternative, and which do I wish to focus on quality?
- When I made my wish list, I kept brand in mind. Paige Denim are my absolute favorite jeans, but they are not cheap. Since the last pair I bought lasted over 5 years and I wore them at least twice a week, do I want to splurge on them again? Or would I rather buy a similar but much less expensive version like this one to leave room for other purchases? It’s totally up to you! If you’re looking at cheaper alternatives though, my personal philosophy is to use good judgement and don’t buy anything that I don’t think will last at least one year. Also, I think it’s smarter to be budget conscious on seasonal items that you’re only going to wear one or two seasons out of the year (like a sweater or a sundress) and not something that you’re going to wear all year long. A cheaper version of anything is almost always going to wear out faster with constant, continuous wear. Again, I can’t stress how much it is worth browsing a resale shop. You can get great brands for much cheaper than retail, so you don’t have to sacrifice the money or the brand you love.
TIP: If you are a visual person, start a Pinterest board like I did! Pin items you already own and items you want to add to your wardrobe. This is a way to check yourself and be sure you are staying true to your style and that the items you are choosing are versatile enough to work together with what you already own to make many outfits. I think it’s important to see the items you already own next to the items you want to buy to get a clear sense of your style and visualize how new items will add to your wardrobe.
Something else I’m doing different this time around? For the most part, I plan on wearing this entire wardrobe for not just one, but two seasons (Spring and Summer). I also plan on doing a challenge in spring and another this summer where I make 10 different outfits using just 10 items, and wear them over 10 days, like this one from Banana Republic.
I’m going to do the bulk of my shopping mid-March, but I’ve already “bought” a few items using store credits from some clothes I sold during my most recent purge. I’m in a transitional phase in my wardrobe where as I bring one Spring item in, I pack up or get rid of an item from my winter wardrobe.
What items are on your spring shopping list?
Follow my Pinterest board here to see my wish list and find ideas for yourself!