I tried a new shopping strategy this year. Specifically, I implemented a major shopping spree at the start of each of my two major seasons (Summer and Winter).
Here is a post that details my final shopping tally.
I had a list of questions to evaluate this new strategy. Before I review my list of questions, I want to say outright, this new shopping strategy is a GREAT STRATEGY. It makes so much sense. I think it will be VERY SUCCESSFUL for me overall. I had to reach a certain financial point in my life before I could consider implementing this strategy. I certainly could not have shopped this way just after having graduated from college or during the aftermath of my divorce. This is an important consideration that should not be overlooked when evaluating shopping strategies.
Review questions follow.
Did I continue to spend at the same rate throughout the remainder of the season?
Nope. Stopped shopping ... mostly. Didn't need anything. Wanted to wear the clothing I purchased, Having just said that, I DID buy two additional pairs of slacks for dressy casual. I had trouble finding exactly what I wanted during my one-month seasonal shop. I knew I would continue to look for very specific items. I found two pairs of pants that fit seamlessly into my wardrobe. They meet my needs and I am pretty thrilled to have found them. I evaluate purchases based on cost per wear and everything I bought will achieve a very reasonable cost per wear by the end of Summer. They won't be of much use during the Winter months. So they are almost all one-season items. I think this is ok. I was buying for Summer months. The fact that I won't be able to wear them into Winter is reasonable. I have long ago accepted that I have two completely different wardrobes with no overlap whatsoever. Sigh.
How often did I wear the new items?
Ok. I am wearing all the new clothes. That would be considered great, except I am wearing my older clothing A LOT LESS. I thought I would wear the new and the old somewhat equally, but that is definitely NOT the case. There are only seven days in a week. I have been wearing my new clothes because they are the most interesting and most exciting. Thirty days in, no buying mistakes. I am happy with my purchases.
Did buying a lot of new items means that older items in my wardrobe were neglected?
Well, yes. What might I have done differently? Don't know. Buy fewer tops? Maybe 11 new tops was ridiculous. I am wearing them, but my older clothing are being neglected. I am only wearing the new items. Every single day, I reach for something new.
What was a success?
This new strategy needs a little bit of fine tuning, but I think it is far superior to my former shopping methodology. Thirty days in, SUCCESS. Needs a bit of fine tuning though. That will come with time and practice.
What was a failure?
Well, I bought a lot of tops. Too many tops. Not only did I buy too many tops, I duplicated a lot of them. As an example, I bought both the Banana Republic and two of the Caslon tops shown below. All great purchases, but I wear the Caslon tops nearly nonstop (I am currently living in white or navy tee shirts). I love the Banana Republic top, but I still reach for and wear the Caslon one far more often. Why? Comfort. It just feels good against my skin. I like the neckline quite a bit as well. Launders really well. If I hadn't bought the Caslon tee shirts, I would be wearing the Banana Republic sweater top more. As it stands now, I have worn the Banana Republic three times in one month. I have worn the Caslon tops 11 times during this same period. Lesson learned: duplication may not be in my best interest.
Was this a more efficient and effective way to shop for clothing?
I have financial tracking data. I have spent just $10.41 more in 2017 than I did in 2016 at this same time (June). I think overall, this strategy will actually prove cheaper in the long run. And the happiness factor is much, much greater.
How did the cost compare to this time in 2016?
I spent exactly $10.41 above my June 2, 2016 expenses. Even IF I spend the same or more in 2017, I am happier with my wardrobe. I feel like I have a lot of clothing in my wardrobe that I want to wear. I don't obsess about clothing like I did in 2016 (always looking, always searching for the next new purchase, next new sale). I am not swayed or seduced by the need for any new purchases. I want to focus on wearing my existing wardrobe. YES. I did buy two additional pairs of slacks. I know. I know. But I did admit that should very specific, dressy casual slacks be found, I would buy them. I found them. I bought them. Yay.
Final note: that color combination shown in the Banana Republic stock photo has become my May/June signature. I wear it often with pride.