Our time and our budgets are finite, so it is seldom possible to buy everything on our shopping list. We need to prioritize the items and try to ensure that we buy the most urgent and important ones first. But deciding which items to prioritize is quite the trick. It is very much dependent on your specific situation: What wardrobe holes do you have? How much do you like to follow the trends? Have you recently experienced weight gain or loss? And how much of a change do you crave on this leg of your style journey? These and many other questions will factor into your priorities.

That said, I have seen some patterns emerge when I have worked with clients to prioritize the items on their shopping lists.

Bra, Hairstyle and Specs Take Top Priority 

Although your bras are invisible to most of the world, the support and shape that they create is very visible and important. It’s especially important to be refitted for a bra after weight loss or gain, particularly when you are large in the bust. 

When people interact with you they spend most of the time looking at your face, so your hairstyle and specs (when you wear them daily) are your most important accessories.

Outerwear is Important if Your Climate Demands It

When you live in a climate that regularly puts coats and jackets through their stylish paces, they become a high priority. 

The Important Occasion Outfit

An occasion outfit, such as a party dress, wedding dress, interview outfit, funeral attire or any other outfit that is necessary to look the part at an important event, will often take priority over other wardrobe items when you can’t shop your closet for the look. 

After Weight Loss or Gain, Shop for Bottoms First

For both comfort and visual reasons, prioritize getting new bottoms after weight loss or gain, even when its just a size up or down. A too tight waistband is just as annoying as bottoms that keep sliding off. Tops are a little more forgiving with weight fluctuations because of fluid and oversized fits, and the genius semi-tuck. 

That said, unless you have the right sizes in a holding zone, you’ll be looking to update most of your wardrobe after significant weight loss or gain. Build a small versatile mix-and-match capsule to begin with and take it one well-fitting outfit at a time. 

Footwear & Handbag for Maximum Impact

Shoes and handbags have the ability to refresh your style more successfully than any other item because they set the mood for the outfit. It’s amazing how well these pieces can change up the landscape of your wardrobe, especially when you enjoy sporting the trends. When your budget is tight, make these your shopping priority. 

Jeans as a Staple

Updating your denim capsule becomes a priority when you wear jeans daily and lead a casual or smart casual lifestyle. You make a statement with your jeans, so keep them the most current versions of what you can afford each season. 

Wardrobe Essentials to Maximize Your Wardrobe

Sometimes you have a closet full of killer items that you love and that fit well, but they don’t work together to create complete outfits. You’re missing the wardrobe essentials that glue the items together to create a pulled together look. Think about what those items are, and make those your shopping priority if they are missing from your wardrobe.

Trendy Items & Wild Cards 

We make wild cards and trendier pieces the shopping priority when my clients are looking to change up their style more significantly. This takes more time, courage and patience since it’s easier and less risky to refresh our wardrobes with items that are within our comfort zone. But if you desperately want a change, hang in there because high risk can yield high return.  

I’ve prioritized all of these items on my own shopping list at different points along my style journey. Last year I made a concerted effort to choose the right wild cards, change my hairstyle, and update my jeans capsule — and those were good decisions. I always make footwear and handbags a shopping priority because the items make a significant visual difference in my outfits, and handbags in particular spark great joy. 

Over to you. How do you prioritize the items on your shopping list?