What you want VS need

Continuing my posts about wardrobe maintenance, I’ll explain the rules I use to distinguish between what I want VS what I need. As I wrote in these posts about cost per wearslow fashion and how to apply the capsule rules, this is the rule I want to live by, for the most part and how I go about it is necessary to explain. I still love clothes, I will always love clothes and the day I don’t care about what I’m wearing will be a dark one indeed. I’m not going back to my teenage days. Here are the ways I make sure that what I want to buy is worthwhile:

  • When I buy online, I put everything I like in my basket. The next step is to go through each one and check the sizes of all of them, if any don’t come my size, that narrows down the list.
  • Wait for a couple of weeks, maybe more. If you can wait a month, try it. If they are sold out, that rules it out.
  • Look in your wardrobe and see if you have anything similar. If there is, take it out and examine it to see what it is about it you feel isn’t worth keeping. The features of the item you want to buy should be different enough in the same garment to justify buying it. If you don’t really wear the item you already have, don’t buy the already similar one. Put that black lace pencil skirt on the ‘mix or ditch’ list and see if you can wear it once a week for a month. If not, you don’t need another one.
  • Does it fulfil a need in your wardrobe? How many denim shirts will you wear and will yet another plain black dress really be necessary? If you don’t have a trench coat and feel you are lacking in one and are convinced you will wear it, go ahead and decide on one. Be realistic about what you can justify getting and what you will actually wear.
  • The rest that has survived the cull, I usually wait longer and see if I really still love it and if so, then I can justify the price and occasion for it.
  • For a bonus buy, justify the purchase if you time it a month before your birthday. Ask your friends or family as collective to get these exact items in the exact size so you know you’ll get it and hopefully that will be more motive to wear them more often.

That is how I decide the difference between want and need. Now this doesn’t mean I buy only functional things, I do have my moments where I buy something I don’t wear much and I end up feeling guilty about but generally, this is the way determines my wants VS my needs in regards to my wardrobe. It’s fine to want something but if you do get it, make sure you get as much wear out of it as you can over the years.


4 thoughts on “What you want VS need

  1. I totally leave items sitting in my basket for long stretches of time, too! It’s definitely a strategy that has helped me weed out impulse buys. I also agree that differentiating between wants/needs is so important, and it’s something I still struggle with.

    One of my favorite youtubers/fashion gurus Jenn Im once said in a video, (something along the lines of) she won’t buy something unless she can imagine it being part of 10 different outfits. That’s sort of the philosophy I’ve been trying to apply. If something is that useful/versatile, I can more likely justify the purchase.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that is a fantastic idea. I loosely use that rule, such as I know this jumper I want to get will go with every pair of trousers I own and a few skirts. But sometimes I do get things I know I can pair with only a few things but I still love it so I will get it

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same! It doesn’t help that I have a weak spot for pieces with features I find odd/less wearable as well as special occasion-type pieces. I’m learning to embrace my personal style, but to be choosier about what’s a better long-term investment. It’s also challenging me to wear things in different ways. 🙂


      2. Me too, it’s just so much more fun to wear things that aren’t basics. I rarely need them tbh but when I do have them, they are pretty much always in patterned black and grey so it doesn’t get boring with blocks of neutrals


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