Whether it’s rigid, loose, or intuitive, wardrobe planning helps you to fill holes, prevent duplications, and evolve your style. It helps you stick to colour palettes, and to maintain the right top-to-bottom ratios, solid-to-pattern ratios, and seasonal mix. It also helps you to build a foundation of the right wardrobe essentials and basics. This practical, organized approach to shopping eliminates the feeling of having a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear because it forces you to think about the way individual items can be combined to create fab, pulled-together outfits.
But there are times when you find wardrobe items — or they find you — that are not on your shopping list. They are unplanned, spontaneous, impulsive, do not fill a wardrobe hole, and are not necessary. Yet they evoke a high level of positive emotion that can not be denied. You love the way you look when you try them on, and they make you smile. Budget and storage space permitting, I vote get the item because this is in itself a fun experience that keeps the heart and emotion in your wardrobe and style.
Practically though, it’s good to make sure that the spontaneous purchase works with what you have in your wardrobe in order to prevent orphans, and “what was I thinking?” feelings that might come later. Also, make sure that the item fits and feels as good as it did when you first tried it on. And most importantly, that you will actually wear it.
I made two very unplanned purchases recently. First with an orange pair of vegan leather wide cropped pants, and second with a tomato red Lodge wool coat. In both instances, the unexpected purchases found me, and it was love at first sight. I raced across J.Crew to try on that orangey red coat — that’s how excited I was about it. It’s beautifully Mod in a great ‘60s way and has a gold zipper. It also has a VERY warm Super-fill lining that makes it as insulating as a puffer coat. I was further encouraged by Greg giving both items the big thumbs up when I tried them on in stores. Neither was on my shopping list. But since I am fleshing out the solid components of my wardrobe, and these are dead right for my colour palettes, they earned a place in my wardrobe. Practically, they are the right items for my climate and lifestyle.
I have worn both items multiple times already. There is something to be said for the occasional fabulous unplanned wardrobe purchase because it’s fun, and gives you quite the adrenaline rush.
Of course, relying too heavily on your emotions when shopping is problematic because you forget to purchase for your needs. Your emotions need to be focussed on the right pieces in order to create a functional wardrobe. This brings me back to the importance of creating a stylish balance. Consult your head AND your heart when adding items to your wardrobe.