Wardrobe purchases should address your needs, eliminating the feeling of having a closet full of clothes with nothing to wear. So keeping a running list (in your head or on paper) of wardrobe holes, items that need updating, and new trends that tickle your fancy is important. Regular closet reviews and edits improve the accuracy of your list. 

This is a practical and organized approach to shopping for wardrobe items. It forces you to think about the way individual items can be combined to create effective outfits, and the way they work with other items to create efficient capsules. 

On the other hand, I have also found that shopping is most successful when it is accompanied by a high level of positive emotion. A great item is love at first sight, you love the way you look when you try it on, and you feel like you can’t live without it. It is only an item of clothing, but it makes you happy to bring it home. And it continues to make you happy whenever you put it on.

Organization and emotion are both important. The problem comes in when shopping is either overly organized or too emotional.

Overly organized shopping can lead to a wardrobe that you don’t love as much as you should. By focusing on lists, numbers and analytics, you forget to listen to your heart. You aren’t allowing that all important emotional spontaneity to help you guide your purchases to what feels right, both physically and emotionally. Any conscious analysis we do can never completely capture our ever changing needs and preferences. Sometimes our intuition knows better. So the plan is a very useful guide, but sometimes we need to trust our intuition and ignore it.

Of course, relying too heavily on your emotions when shopping is equally problematic because you forget to purchase for your needs. You can fall into the trap of shopping for an imaginary life, duplicating items unnecessarily, or having a closet full of items you love, but that don’t work together in outfits and capsules. Your emotions need to be focused on the right pieces in order to create a functional wardrobe.

The answer is to consult both your head and your heart when adding to your wardrobe. Have a good plan, but make it flexible. You will come across items that speak to your emotions. If they are on your shopping list, so much the better. If not, and if the item works for your lifestyle, don’t ignore what your heart is saying to your head.