Keep a shopping list for clothes

Guest post by Andria

Got holes in your closet? Try the clothes shopping list! (Photo by: Tammy StrobelCC BY 2.0)
I’ve never been a big clothes shopper. Growing up, my mom would take me to the mall for new clothes twice a year: before school started and right before Christmas. I might get a third trip if I’d outgrown my shorts by the next spring, but I was okay with avoiding the dressing-room-dance as much as possible. As a teenager and young adult, I’ve struggled to figure out how my female friends spent hours just browsing and trying on new outfits.

Don’t get me wrong, I like clothes — but these days I’m much more likely to accidentally stumble on a new favorite dress in a thrift shop than to go searching for one in a department store. I think the last time I made any large acquisition of new clothing was a clothing swap.

My lack of fashion-seeking prowess has led to a wardrobe that, while totally me, has some major holes in it. Like the hippie skirt I love, but rarely wear because it’s so hard to match the colors with my tops. Or the shirt that’s too low-cut to wear without one very specific cami, which is usually in the laundry due to its popularity. You get the idea.

This morning, while putting away laundry, I had a baskets moment about my wardrobe situation…

I was reminding myself for about the hundredth time that I need to get some new white camis, and it occurred to me: why not keep a shopping list for clothes? In the kitchen, I keep a running grocery list on a pad of paper. As I notice things run out or get an idea for a meal, I add those items to the list. Then it’s just a matter of grabbing it when I run to the store. Why not do the same thing for clothes?

Next time I pull out that skirt, I can write down to find a top to match it. And next time I lament my lack of a wide belt, I can write that down, too. It doesn’t mean I’m more likely to find myself at a department store, but next time I get dragged shopping or am out thrifting, I can hunt for things I’ll actually use, instead of finding another cute blouse that doesn’t match anything.

What about you? Would keeping a clothes-list help you develop a more useful wardrobe?

Comments on Keep a shopping list for clothes

  1. I’ve done this for years! Mostly because I love browsing online, but often can’t afford what I see, at least not right away. My solution was to make a wish list of things I wanted and needed, and go down that list one item at a time, whenever spending money happens. I’ve found that this way I end up shopping for quality over quantity, and impulse buying is vastly reduced. I feel like I have a luxurious wardrobe (my friends seem to think so too) while shopping probably not even half as often as the average person.

  2. I just did this yesterday after cleaning out my closet! I’m like a raccoon – easily distracted by shiny things – when I’m shopping. So, I often forget what I actually need in my closet, and buy things that don’t go with other items I already have. I’m thrifty, too, so that’s part of it – there are just so many different things to choose from! If you’re building your wardrobe, making a list of the styles and shapes that work best for you can help keep you focused, too.

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