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Page 2 in the conversation "Tell me about your mistakes" by Synne
I'm with Rachylou - too many of (nearly) the same thing. It's like having seconds or thirds of a delicious food. You don't feel great afterwards.
I have four different pairs of silver shoes: slingbacks, mules, sneakers, and shooties. And only one closet! They do get worn, but I feel like I must wear them rather than I want to wear them. There is a sense of obligation rather than joy.
Blush items. Blush can be such a lovely colour on others, but on me it just looks "meh." Too soft and muted to go with my other wardrobe colours and my colouring. Icy pink and icy lilac work much better. I need clear, cool colours.
With Rachy and Roberta - I am a consummate duplicator/triplicator, especially when I find shoes that fit and work. But usually I wear only 1 or 2 of the colors very regularly. I am thinking about my Steve Madden open toe block sandals that I have in black, navy and nude and my Sam Edelman booties with the fringe that i have also in 3 colors.I also keep buying dressy things when I have less and less occasion to wear them as my work life has slowed down so much the last few years.
Angie's post about her shoes fitting into 2 boxes has inspired a long hard conversation with myself....
Oh my. Definitely overbuying almost right things at the thrift store - I am much better but still far from perfect. Not being able to resist shoes. Hoarding too many bags when I only actually use a small set. Many more I am sure.
I have two areas that I make mistakes
1) Essentials - where I have a hole to fill and I am not quite fussy enough.
2) Pieces I buy from a friend who sews/makes clothes. I do tend to get it 50% right - and the pieces I get right last for years and are truly fantastic workhorses. But the ones I get wrong often are not right for me and I don't have a need for them........ The finds below are her designs.
We all make shopping mistakes. There's really no avoiding it assuming our style evolves along with us! Just thinking of it that way has helped me accept this with less self-castigation. Acknowledging a mistake and passing the item along as quickly as possible also really helps.
Historically, my biggest mistake was buying items (esp. footwear) for fantasy weather conditions and lifestyle. Now that I live in a more temperate place, I'm not making that mistake any more, but it's not really because I've improved. It's more like my weather has improved, so what I'm attracted to is actually practical for this environment.
I think I also buy more than I need. For years I bought too little and in some ways I seem to be trying to compensate. But you can only wear so much, right? Especially if you are buying well! If every item in your closet is a genuine "love" you only have so many days a year when you will get to wear it and if you have too many "loves," some will go unworn. I'm a pruner, not a hoarder, but even so...
Another mistake I often made in the past was to buy something because the colour was so perfect for me -- even if the cut made it awkward to pair with other items in my closet, or even if it felt a bit "off" for my style in other ways. I do this much less than I used to, but I'm not completely over it. If I see a great dress on sale, for example -- if the colour, cut, price, care instructions, etc. are all great, I sometimes ignore the fact that I'm not nuts about the print. I will wear the item and even love the item (largely because it fills a genuine hole) but at the same time I will be chafing out of a feeling that it's not moving my style in the direction I want.
Thanks for all the interesting replies, lovely fabbers! Comforting to see that even the fourum veterans make the odd style mistake now and then. That's part of the game it seems. Will hopefully reply more in depth when time allows. Have a great day style gang!
*plops down big fat book of suntiger's shopping mistakes*
To sum it though, I have a really hard time finding what I really want. There's very little out there for Dark Autumn + Theatrical Romantic. And my life atm is not my ideal-in many ways. So I settle-a lot.
Right colors, wrong style. Retailers think autumn colored people only need/want casual rugged clothes.
Wrong color, right style. I often default to winter colors.
Buying for fantasy life and climate. I'm better about this than I used to be, and (too slowly) working on moving my life to where it needs to be too.
Trying to rescue things with alterations. I buy things that I love the fabric, but have multiple styling issues that bug me. Then I think altering one of them will help enough-it doesn't.
Buying the low hanging fruit instead of the things I really need. Aka: happy little magpie goes into a boutique on lunchbreak just to get away from dreary office!
Duplicating, then deciding I'm bored with the style and make 180 degree change. About every 2 years I do this.
Buying things that I assume will work with the rest of my wardrobe, then having to buy a capsule of things to go with. Repeat. Repeat.
Suntiger is so right about the colors— I love autumn colors but they seem to come in such a narrow style bandwidth: rugged. Or cozy casual sweaters.
I love pretty skirts but the places and occasions that I may wear them are far fewer in number than my pretty skirts. The same is true for my pretty shoe collection. The world, at least in the western US, has become more casual than I like to admit to myself. In the store, Inhave begun to ask myself, “Where are you going to wear that?” and not putting up with my silly answers. No, I have not achieved perfect behavior but I have avoided wasting quite a few dollars in the few months that I have been doing this. It can get depressing unless I follow Willie Wonka’s advice occasionally, “A little folly now and then is cherished by the wisest men.”
I have also come to realize that there is usually a big gap between how a thrift store find looks in the store and how it looks after it follows me home. And what color a skirt is in the store and what color the top at home is, a top that I thought I could wear with that skirt.
My mistakes are almost always items from Old Navy or Joe Fresh - basically things I know are a risk but want to try (last year’s self belt ‘chambray’ tencel skirt, never worn), or items that seem to tick several boxes but deep in my gut I know are just ok when I buy them. The price goes a long way towards convincing me to buy. I’ve gotten better about this over the years but not perfect. The cost is not super regrettable, it’s more having these things hanging around that bothers me. I do donate quickly and often but I don’t fool myself that donating makes up for the overconsumption issues with fast fashion. Better to nip it in the bud.
Oh, so many mistakes!
I’ve kept too many slightly wide-ish or largish shoes (at least with boots I can wear thick socks, but this has been a problem with sandals as I wear them a couple of times and then they stretch and flip off my feet). When shoes are slightly roomy on my slightly narrow, slightly low volume foot, they feel more comfortable initially, which sometimes fools me into believing they are the right size.
Overbuying for non-casual wear items. My life is super casual and I tend to think I can dress everything down, but the reality is, I default to easy care pieces and lots of denim.
And sometimes I seem to buy something to prove to myself that I somehow CAN wear it or make it work (cullottes, a cardigan, blush pink) only to say later, “whyyyy?” Some items are just not me, so I need to stop trying to force a style that isn’t my thing. Fortunately those tend to be inexpensive experiments, but still.... I’m learning.
Hmm, some very good mistakes here. I've been on YLF for more than 10 years now, so I am definitely better at it, but I also think some mistakes are unavoidable especially through periods of transition (body changes, work environment changes, life style changes, etc.), I am getting better at it, but after all these years I am still susceptible to one mistake. If the price is right, I tend to overlook one big flaw of a garment. So if the price is right, the color is good, and the cut is ok, I may just ignore the fact that the garment is not quite in line with my overall aesthetic. Which, like Suz, leaves me feeling like I am not quite moving in the style direction that I want. So I try to be extremely discerning in consignment stores, and during sales.
and this by Jules, my feelings exactly:
"The price goes a long way towards convincing me to buy. I’ve gotten better about this over the years but not perfect. The cost is not super regrettable, it’s more having these things hanging around that bothers me. I do donate quickly and often but I don’t fool myself that donating makes up for the overconsumption issues with fast fashion. Better to nip it in the bud. "
I also relate to that comment from Jules. Sales goggles are a real thing!
Like Jules, I am too tempted by a low price, and like April, I purge too quickly. These are related: I end up with a lot of stuff (because of low prices) and then feel guilty about how much I have and so purge (as if a smaller wardrobe alone will solve the cycle - when it tends to encourage the buying of more!). It’s complicated. I’m really working on learning to be satisfied (!!!) and to shop my closet.
One of the mistakes I make is shopping for what is easy to fit--which for me is shoes--rather than for what I need. As a result, I accumulate shoes while the rest of my wardrobe languishes. My fix is to remind myself of this and stick to the list! I can't let my eyes wander.
Another mistake I have made is settling when I'm looking for something in particular. If the price is low, settling is OK, but if the price is not low, I have to be firm with myself and send the thing back.
I see that you have not had true happiness shopping at thrift stores. I am the same way. After finding a few items at a thrift store, I ask myself, Do you really like these items, or are these simply the best out of the selection at the store, and you wouldn't otherwise go for them? It's always the latter, so back on the rack they go.
I find that in general, I become unhappy with something over time for one of two reasons: (1) the item doesn't fit quite right, or (2) the item isn't quite my style. Both of these factors will make it harder to continue to wear the item over time, after the novelty has worn off.
My biggest issue is emotional shopping, feeling a bit low and buying a fab new pair of shoes, dress, lipstick.... never workout gear which is what I need to update but does not have the fun factor.
Purchasing more than I can wear in a given season.
Buying items that do not fit my lifestyle.
Settling for items that do not fit well or are not quite the right color.
Failure to think about how something will play with the rest of my wardrobe.
Buying something too trendy and then feeling awkward wearing it in my community that is slow to adopt trends.
Buying anything with stripes, solid white, or patterns that have overly crisp or straight lines.
Failure to consider my style personal style goals when making a purchase.
Jean jackets, ugh! I never wear them. They just feel wrong but I have four of them....why? Why? WHy? WHY?!
Thinking about this more, I like what Jules, Viva and Gigi have said. Most of my purchases are on sale. Mainly this is because I am a tightwad. I think also my track record on how much I will wear something had not been great. So I am actually scared to pay the full ( large- clothes are expensive here in NZ, small market a long way from anywhere) price, as I feel it could well be a waste, and the same money could be spent on something better- for the house mainly, or for travel. I don’t like the feeling of wasting money. It’s actually a psychological hang up from my childhood I think. If I spend more and actually use whatever it is a lot, that feels OK.
My worst mistake is having too many clothes I think for what I can wear. I like a lot of styles, I like colour and pattern, so I can usually find things I like quite easily! Especially with shoes! So many things make my heart sing, make me feel happy. So I am trying since joining YLF to notice the not-so-great points about something I like and stop myself there *before* I buy it. This is helping, because I am really trying to wear the stuff lots of times for a number of reasons.
1. It gets real value from the money I paid.
2. It means I won’t cast it off hardly worn, for it to end up in landfill or in a poorer country where it may hurt the garment industry in that country.
3. It “uses up” the environmental resources that went into producing it.
The issue can be that even then, I have so many items that it is hard to wear them that many times when there are other choices. And after they hang in the wardrobe for years, I get tired of them. The solution is to buy less. A lot less. Even 29 items last year and 18 the year before was still too many
How do I count the (mistake) ways? I think just identifying my mistake tendencies helps but does not alleviate them. . .
1. Thrift/Ross Dress for Less purchases unless the category (jeans to hack; panties) has been identified ahead of time. Impulse purchases are generally bad purchases for me.
2. Buying when with DD or DH. They are enablers and these are impulse purchases and are almost always mistakes.
3. Not wearing stuff because it's *too precious*. Now, 99% of what I buy, including jackets, is machine washable. I won't buy blazers because I know I have a psychological block. I no longer dress as sloppily as I did pre-YLF, but I still have a tendency to *save* stuff.
4. YLF Lemming wear. Just because something looks great on other YLFers doesn't mean it will work as well on me OR that it really fits with my style.
5. Buying the same thing in multiple colors. I haven't completely broken this habit, but at least now I only duplicate and don't triplicate or quadruplicate!
6. Just because something fits and looks good on me doesn't mean I should keep it. Maybe it doesn't work for other reasons. Or I don't really need it.
7. Not buying for a changed climate and body that needs to dress more warmly. I get cold without a collar; collarless + scarf is rarely warm enough for me.
8. Trying to convince myself that 7/8 fit is a 9/10. This is especially bad when it comes to footwear because one or two hour shoes aren't very practical.
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