As the summer days recede and the cooler temperatures head our way, I'm starting to think about my winter wardrobe.
In the next couple of weeks, I'll bring out my existing winter clothes from storage, give them a freshen up and pack away the summer ones. I definitely subscribe to Marie Kondo's "Spark joy" approach to my clothes - if I don't love it, I don't keep it. So as I know I'll need to buy a few more things, I'm starting to look online and am loving loads of what's on offer. In the words of "Queen", I want it all! But, obviously, this isn't going to happen.
Over the years and as part of my decluttering journey, I've moved away from buying several inexpensive options to buying fewer better quality pieces. I'm also sickened by the thought of landfill and how we send tonnes of clothes to their graves every year. It's a waste of resources and is toxic for the environment. It's also a waste of money!
So I've coined this thoughtful retailing approach as "shopping with intent" and it's become quite strategic.
Firstly, I never go window shopping to fill in time. I've tried to become more disciplined with my time and use it to do things that matter more - spending time with family or friends or working on my businesses. This has cut out soooo many impulse buys, which really does feel great.
Secondly, I only shop when I need something. I write a list of what's needed, then go online and research. That's when I see the things I love and what's in fashion. As an interior designer, I put together room concepts all day so I apply the same method to this wardrobe planning. If I see a jumper I love, I work out what pants, accessories etc will work with it. I tend to buy good quality staples that work with loads of things, so I can have some fun with 'feature' pieces.
When I was 16, mum sent me to Sydney to June Dally-Watkin's finishing school to learnt etiquette and how to dress well. One thing that Miss Dally said was that she would pick one colour each season and only buy things that would work with that. It meant that her whole wardrobe for the season would be harmonious and she'd get lots of wear out of everything. I apply this method to my own purchasing but I allow myself a couple of colours (choosing just one is too limiting for me). This year, my colours will be around cobalt and rust. Cobalt will go with all my blacks and greys and the rust will work with my tans and creams beautifully.
Shop with intent by doing wardrobe concepts - planning out what you can wear with what
And when I am shopping, if I instantly love something, I know I'll love it for a long time, so I'm confident it will work hard in my wardrobe. And I look after my things to extend their use - mainly because I love them, but it also saves money and the environment. As they say, if you look after your pennies, the pounds will take care of themselves!
I also keep my eye out for sales - because who doesn't love a bargain? I enjoy mixing high end with lower and I tend to buy brands that are a better quality and will hold their value better too (for if I ever wanted to sell them).
At the end of the season, when I'm packing them away for hibernation, I take the opportunity to declutter my wardrobe. Anything that's still in good nick goes to a charity otherwise it goes to the bin (which I hate). Cotton tee shirts and trackie dacks become cleaning rags, so at least they're re-purposed. I condition my bags and shoes to keep them in good shape and if needed, I repair items. Before packing them away for a few months, I dryclean and wash everything. Handy tip: I pop a bladder of laundry softener in the box as it keeps everything smelling freshly washed!
And so the cycle begins again. Do you do something similar? Do you shop with intent?