5 Costly Shopping Mistakes, And How to Fix Them

It’s all too easy to be swept away with a good season fad, and even easier to find yourself engaging in bad shopping habits and impulse buying trends. You see pictures of models, all gold-lidded and messy haired, the newest take on the ‘70s trend hanging effortlessly cool from their shoulders. You see bloggers running across streets in the same styles in their photos, frozen mid-laugh and looking impossibly stylish. You find yourself entertaining the thought of how you would look in that same outfit. Then you're in a store, surrounded by bell-bottoms and paisley prints, with suede fringe seeming to go wall to wall and calling you to try it on.

The next thing you know you’re a hundred dollars lighter, a couple of shopping bags heavier, and none the wiser how to actually, you know, wear the trend. You know it’s pretty, but have no idea how to actually make it play nice with your closet.

So back to the wardrobe it gets stuffed, until you either A) get inspiration on how to wear it without feeling like a fraud or B) it’s spring cleaning time and you donation trash bag is out and ready. To help you prevent this sad scenario from happening ever again, below are the five impulse-buy habits that revolve around trends, and tips on how to fix them.

1. You Don’t Take Your Wardrobe Into Account When Purchasing A Trend

Say you’re looking at a sheer skirt in the store window and you feel yourself inch closer and practically press your nose against the glass — that’s how much you love it. Before you run into the store, waving your credit card like a mad woman, take a moment and think how exactly you’re planning to incorporate that skirt into your wardrobe.

Do you have the proper undergarments to wear that, like a slip or high waist undies? Do you have any dresses you can layer it over, or any slim maxi skirts that could at least act as slips? Do you have any longer shirt dresses or sweaters you can layer on top of it, so you don’t have to worry about the underwear situation? If most of the answers to these questions were solid nos, you might be better off skipping this trend. You have nothing in your closet that would support it, which means it'll sit untouched for months.

2. You Don’t Think Of The Remixing Value Before Buying

Say you have a few pieces that could work with the trend — great, you’ve jumped over your first hurdle! Now let me throw a second one at you: Just how far is this piece’s remixing potential? For example, do you have more than four items that would work well with it? Do you see yourself wearing it comfortably in at least four separate outfits, or is this going to be a “once every half year” type of item?

If you can’t see yourself easily incorporating it into more than a handful of looks, then this is going to be hanging all lonely-like in your closet for a good portion of the year. Granted not every item in your closet has to be a workhorse, but you also want to make sure you don’t have a wardrobe that has no meat and potatoes. You want a solid foundation before you start adding trendy pieces that might not get a lot of air-time.

3. You Don’t Think Of Your Lifestyle

Sometimes when you see something amazing hanging in the store window, you get crush-like emotions and your mind becomes foggy and your knees wobbly and you get this silly grin on your face you just can’t control. You’ve fallen in love and you’re going to buy it no matter what.

The regret comes when you’re at home and realize it doesn’t really fit your lifestyle, and therefore probably will never get worn. For example, are you more of a burger bar, neighborhood dive kind of girl? Then that sequin bodycon dress was probably not such a good idea. Do you feel embarrassed or shy when you bring a lot of attention towards yourself? Then that statement necklace that jangles like a gypsy tambourine at every step might have been a bad move on your part. Keep your lifestyle in mind and you won’t make any purchases you’ll regret! Well, at least not as many.

4. You Forget What You’re Comfortable With

Say you’re tempted by the mod mini dress trend, but aren’t the most comfortable with a short hemline. You feel like you can never sit down comfortably without flashing everyone, and are always worried your dress is inching its way up into shirt territories. Then dabbling in the trend might not be the best use of money, especially since chances are you'll pass over that dress in your closet for your more comfortable options.

Or what if you’re the type that doesn’t feel completely okay with showing her delicates to the world? Then the sheer shirt trend (while completely fabulous and deserves your adoration) might not necessarily get worn too often outside the safety of your bedroom. You either have to get over your hang ups or admit to yourself snapping up this trend might not be the best use of your wardrobe money.

5. Have You Checked Out Its Variations First?

The nice thing about a trend is that, by definition, it’s widely available and copied many times over. This means that there isn’t just one version of it! If you don’t like a certain detail of the piece, chances are you can find another one with the tweak you want.

For example, take the overalls trend. Say your vision of them is to own a clean-cut but baggier, lighter blue pair. That means you don’t have to settle for the tighter versions, the ripped-knee versions, or the baggier, mechanic-resembling versions. You can keep patiently searching until you find just the right one. So before impulse buying a trend keep that in mind. Does it hit all your criteria? And if not, do you know a place where you can check for a different version? Be totally honest with yourself and you'll end up with a closet full of pieces that you love.