Purchasing wardrobe items for an imaginary lifestyle and climate is a common practice. This happens when your style preferences and lifestyle do not match up. When you purchase items that are in line with your style persona, but that you rarely have the occasion to wear them because you don’t lead that life. 

It might be buying cocktail wear when you rarely attend formal events. Buying multiple pairs of dressy shoes when you spend most of the time crawling around the floor with a toddler. Having an abundance of casual wear when you’re in business separates five days a week. Accumulating a very large wardrobe when you wear scrubs or a uniform for work. Buying wool coats, cashmere and tall boots when you live in a hot climate. Adding a large capsule of breezy dresses and airy tops to your wardrobe when you live in Seattle. Does this sound familiar?  

It makes practical sense to build a wardrobe that suits your lifestyle and climate. After all, most of us have to stretch our budgets and make cost effective wardrobe choices. Items that are bought but not worn are essentially a waste of money. So it’s definitely a good idea for your wardrobe to reflect your dominant season(s), and that you purchase items that will get regular wear. 

But I’m also going to play devils advocate here. Although it’s not sensible to purchase items that are worn infrequently, it’s fun to do that from time to time. If our budgets can bear it, we’re allowed a few pairs of uncomfortable but killer “sitting shoes”. Purchasing a couple of incredible dresses at the prospect of wearing them once a year is not such a bad idea. And there is no shame in buying an amazing wool coat that will only be worn a handful of times if it makes you feel extra fabulous when you wear it. Adding in the odd great accessory that will barely come out to play is not the end of the world. 

We don’t need to make practical and sensible wardrobe decisions 100% of the time. Where is the fun in that? I say 90% is a great goal. There is room in our lives for a few frivolous purchases because just knowing that we own them makes us smile, and the process of attaining them was enjoyable. That’s worth it in my book. 

But this should be the 10% exception. For the most part, your wardrobe should reflect your lifestyle.

To what extent do you purchase items for an imaginary lifestyle and climate? Is it more or less than 10%?