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Page 2 in the conversation "Update on New Shopping Strategy (Seasonal Shops)" by
Thank you for posting this very thoughtful review. I too have sort of implemented a seasonal shop, though without too much consideration - I just kind of did it because I'm finally in a financial position to do so. I did a lot of shopping in April-May for both Spring and Summer (I had a lot of summer clothes already).
Mostly, it's worked out well. There are a few challenges for me, though. First of all, I was shopping for a season while most of the clothes I already had for that season were in seasonal storage. That made it tougher to see wardrobe holes, so I bought a bit indiscriminately. I have way too many warm weather tops, and am having trouble culling them, for instance. I should use something like Stylebook, as suggested above, but I have enough projects around the house to occupy my free time right now, and they're all bit more urgent.
I also still want new stuff, even though I'm down to just a couple of wardrobe holes to fill. I think figuring out my wardrobe has become too much of a hobby for me, and I need a new hobby that will enable me to step back from it a bit and "shop my closet" more. But that's a life problem that's a bit OT from this post I could at least focus my energies on integrating the new pieces with the old, at any rate.
What you say about sale shopping also resonates with me. I probably can't let go of doing it after years and years of frugality (long time in grad school), but I can at least think about whether I'd buy stuff if it weren't on sale. I did just buy some sneakers I wanted that weren't on sale (and were quite pricey). Many stores nowadays have kind of trained us to hold out for sales, so it's very hard to let go of that mentality. I'm glad you're making headway!
Congrats and excellent job on changing the way you think and shop for your wardrobe!
Lyn D. Stylebook seems like a fabulous wardrobe cataloging tool. I intend to research it this weekend and see if it would meet my needs. Thank you for the suggestion.
Hi Christina F. Seasonal shopping has definite advantages, but the individual has to be in exactly the right position to make it successful. Finances were definitely the first consideration for me. I would never have been able to rationalize seasonal shopping if my finances didn't support the change. I would advise every single person to consider this aspect before undertaking seasonal shopping as a strategy.
Defining a seasonal-needs list when some or all of your wardrobe is in storage is challenging. I couldn't have done it. Although I swear I know every single garment in my wardrobe, I am always surprised when I do my seasonal switch outs. I got lucky this spring. I just happened to have switched out my wardrobe right before I began my seasonal shop. Purely coincidence, but obviously an important step.
So we both learned that seasonal shops are more success if you have a strong grasp of your base wardrobe. An app like Stylebook might be helpful, but I have admit, the idea of setting it up discourages me. I worry about backups and seamless syncing between devices. If I lost all my hard work, I would cry. Like you, I also have other things going on in my life that need immediate attention.
I will say that at this moment in time, the shopping bug is completely gone. I went on a two and half week vacation and just haven't had time to resume my "normal" life yet. THAT will change as I transition back to my normal life and my fashion hobby re-asserts itself (AND it will). We both know that. But right now, I am trying to catch up on everything else in my life.
Thanks Lisa. Your encouragement is always welcome.
Sterling, are you getting a sense of how many items of each type you need to get through a season? I'm sure this depends on how much repetition you prefer, but if there are 90 days in my summer season (sadly, that's about it for sleeveless top weather here), and I want to have a reasonable CPW, it seems like I should be able to figure out a target number of tops, pants, etc.
Not that I need another stitch of clothing since all I am wearing are camo pants and fishing shirts while I work outside. My pretty stuff is waiting for me to take a day off. Maybe July.
OH WHAT A GREAT QUESTION, Rambling Ann. The Vivienne Files actually addressed this very question based on your personal preferences and desires. Let me see if I can find it for you.
Here are a few posts I found for you:
I admit to only having read the one posted by Janice at the Vivienne Files, but I found it both interesting helpful. I am more than happy to explore this topic with you, if you are interested. Let me know and I think I will start a separate thread.
Here are some of my numbers from the Vivienne Files:
1. What is the time period for which we are planning?
182.5 (or half a year)
2. How many outfits do you wear, on average, in a day?I wear two outfits (work and casual) three days a week. I wear one outfit (casual) four days a week. So I wear ~1.3 outfits each week. This is more than one, but less than two.
3. How many garments are in your average outfit?Two. I wear a top and a bottom in every single outfit. Rarely do I wear a topper.
4. How many times (within your time period) are you willing, or do you desire, to wear each garment?I am a big repeater. I can wear the same garment multiple times. This may be where you and I differ. A lot of people cannot wear the same thing on repeat. I can.
I decided I can wear the garment four times per month or weekly. That means I will wear a garment 26 times in 182.5 days. (I hope others will check my logic here).
Now comes the math:
182.5 days x 1.3 outfits/day x 2 pieces per outfit = 474.5 is the number of garments you will wear during your selected time period. Seems like a lot, but we have to factor in the number of times you are willing to wear a garment on repeat.
474.5 garments divided by the number of possible repeats.
In my case that is 474.5/26 is approximately equal to 20 garments. Ten of those should be tops. Ten of those should be bottoms.
I hope that is correct. I'll do it again with the aid of a spreadsheet.
This is very conservative. There is no way I could live with just 10 tops. I would double that!!!!!!!!!! Wait. I have doubled that. Perhaps I don't wear my clothes as much as I presume.
As a test, I calculated the number of tops I have across all seasons.
Nine short sleeve tee shirts for casualSeven long sleeve tee shirts for casualFour sleeveless tops for workOne short sleeve top for workNine knit tops for either casual or work.
TOTAL = 30
When I changed out my clothes I found out I had more clothes than I thought. Although I think I would like some new items, and I am looking to fill some holes, I have been happy with remixing my old items. I have added a sleeveless sweater -my first - and a pair of lightweight crops. Will look for lightweight elbow tops to go with my patterned bottoms. And I'd love a more stylish lightweight dress. And a ta mini top. YLF and posts like these have really helped me analyze my purchasing habits. So thanks.
Something you might like to try when you do your next seasonal shop, is to build a colour capsule around a trending colour, or one you just fancy. During my seasonal shop (like you I do S/S and F/W) I try to collect at least 4 items in a new-to-me colour (a la Vivienne Files). Since my core wardrobe is black, grey, white, and blue, almost any new colour will mix and match.
F/W 2016 I added maroon/wine and olive. S/S 2017 I'm trying blush and red.
I am pleased that it is working so well for you Sterling. I remember you struggling to find tops so it makes sense to me that you stocked up here. Sometimes pieces that were favourites one year become second favourites the next year.
I would find 10 tops not enough for me for a dominant season - I am a repeater too. My office/home ratio is similar to you and I would repeat one whole outfit normally every week and mix up a couple of others. I would be thinking somewhere from 15-20 for summer would work between casual tanks for the weekend (2-3), long sleeve popovers (2), office tops (8), and evening/dressy tops (2) plus a couple of others...
Congratulations on adding your first sleeveless top, Barbara Diane. I have always found them to be both comfortable and sophisticated. I hope yours will make you just as happy.
What a great idea, RunCarla. That would add both interest and variety. Having just read Delurked's post about her seasonal shop, I realized I lack variety. Your suggestion might be the solution.
Sal -- I agree the math just does not match reality!!! Even though I claim to be a serial repeater, obviously I am not. I think everyone needs more than 10 tops. I have a few favorites that I repeat over and over again, but the rest of my wardrobe is worn much less than once a week or even twice a month. I don't exactly know how to capture that new piece of information. I
Somewhere between 15 - 20 (probably closer to 20) "feels" right to me.
Brilliant Sterling! This is a very timely post for me, because I'm reviewing my own strategy at the moment. There's a lot to take in just now, so I'll be back later to read the whole thread in detail.
I've found it very useful to analyse my needs and prioritise a couple of important purchases rather than shop opportunistically. This is not to say that needs haven't been revised on the fly, or that there hasn't been any frivolity (hello Ann D shoes and monkey backpack), but I've filled quite a few gaps and there's a satisfying sense of completeness to my wardrobe at the moment, so I'm thinking of reimplementing the shopping fast for a few months while I enjoy the summer season.
Hi Approprio -- always so nice to hear from you. I read all your posts while I was on vacation, but I was unable to respond or comment. Still I managed to keep up.
I am always a firm believer in purchasing fasts because each time I do one, I learn exponentially. That drives future changes/revisions. I doubt I would have any success with my seasonal shop if I hadn't implemented a purchasing fast first. I encourage you to fast during the next couple of months and see what you learn.
There as a tailoring question on a post by lozz-oz. I was wondering if you saw her post and had the opportunity to help her out.
This post wove across multiple subjects, all of them interesting to me.
Approprio indicated she is considering a purchasing fast for the next few months. This really resonated with me. IF my new purchasing strategy is as successful as I think, I should not need to buy anything between now and August 31th. Three months. That is a long time. I can imagine identifying lots of things "it would be nice to have" to complete or upgrade an outfit. Rather than buying them I'll add them to a list for future purchases.
Sterling - I am not shopping for June. I am not usually good at shopping fasts, so I don't want to extend my official time. However, the summer usually has too exposed things for my tastes (super thin fabric tops, short dresses etc.), which is part of why I follow Angie's example of trying to shop early for the season. That's also the reason if I do need fall/winter items I shop early for them. By later in the season, it's too heavy and in fabrics that are too hot for me. I will keep a list if I see things this month - mostly so I can talk myself out of ordering anything to test out how it could be just the thing I "need".
I actually just went through my online receipts and looked at what I have ordered in the last year. Not just what I kept, but what I returned too, to remind myself of brands that are or are not working, types of items I'm gravitating toward, or wardrobe holes I may have already filled. I started by looking at what I ordered last NAS and went forward.
Also maybe off topic, but I like the look of larger earrings (I saw I ordered a cute pair last Fall, but returned due to bring too heavy), but my ears won't tolerate much weight on them. I am a new fan of Nickel and Suede leather earrings, which are so light to wear, so that's another category I won't look for except through that website.
No topic is ever off topic in my threads. I am interested in all things fashion, Delurked.
Congratulations on not shopping in June. I wish you well in that. Like you, I just don't love summer clothes. I agree, they are flimsy, sheer, and generally cheaply made.
Keeping lists is a powerful shopping tool for both buying and abstaining from buying. After a few days, I either really, really still want it and then I happily buy it or I cross it off my list. Most of the time I cross it off my list.
You are so brave to review your receipts. I used to track returns using iBank. It was so embarrassing!!! I had such a high return rate that I hung my head in shame. I can see how this would be helpful. You can immediately identify manufacturers and retailers that don't work for you. But shot! I don't know if I could face those long lists of numbers.
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