I don’t believe in waiting before wearing. The reason you bought the item in the first place was to wear it, not to stare at it. When you’re considering a new purchase, ask yourself: “if I buy this today, can I wear it in the next few weeks?” If you can, it’s bonus points for the item. 

Of course, it’s not essential to wear a new piece within weeks of purchasing it. And sometimes it’s a great idea to purchase items well in advance. Here are five reasons for doing that.

1. Off-Season Bargain Shopping

End-of-season sales yield the best bargains, but the suitability of the item might be past its window at the time of purchase. In most cases it’s a good idea to pass on the item and wait till next season. But if you’re sure it’s a really good piece, a wardrobe essential, or a potential wardrobe workhorse, you might reconsider.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale sells hot-off-the press Fall and Winter merchandise in the middle of Summer as a fun prelude to the next shopping season. It’s usually months before we can wear the items so we have to hang tight. In my experience, NAS items can become wardrobe workhorses and treasures so it’s worth participating in the sale. And when it’s unseasonably cool in Summer, you have fun new stuff to wear right away.

2. Shopping for an Event

It’s tricky finding a fabulous formal outfit for a wedding or event. Starting the shopping process early so that you can take your time finding something that’s right is a great idea. Also, you bump into the best formal outfits when you’re not looking for them. Sometimes it’s worth purchasing them in advance so that you’re ready to go when the event pops up.

3. Swimwear

The best time to buy swimwear is in the dead of Winter, which can be months before you actually wear the piece. By the time Summer rolls around, size ranges and collections are very picked over. You might bump into a gorgeous bathing costume when you least expect it. I vote buy it and save it to wear for the right setting.

4. Early Season Shopping

The early bird gets the worm. The best items are stocked at the start of the new retail season, and across a full range of sizes. Purchase the best items when you see them so that you don’t settle for second best. You’ll also have something fresh and new to wear when the weather is in line with your seasonal purchases.

I’ve learned to do this for Spring and Summer especially because my size sells out fast, and usually so do the items that tickle my fancy. Nothing that I bought to refresh my look for Spring and Summer this year is available in my size at this point.

5. Finding a HEWI

A HEWI is a highly elusive wardrobe item. Needless to say, grab it when you see it if you’re still looking for the item and it works for the current leg of your style journey. Put it away until you need it, and remember that you bought it.

I bat for Team Wear and can leave a store wearing the item I just purchased. But I also purchase items before I can actually wear them. I enjoy the NAS enormously and have been participating in the off-season sale for thirteen years. I have a good capsule of dressy and formal attire so there’s little need for me to shop ahead for those types of occasions. I bought my new swimwear capsule in February and will use it for the first time in June. I’m a huge early season shopper and happily allow items to hang for months before the weather is right to wear them. And when I see a HEWI that has not passed its expiry date, I buy it.

Over to you. Do you purchase items only if you know you can wear them in a couple of weeks, or do you also purchase items in advance?