Reading the comments on Angie’s shopping mistakes post, I really related to those who suffered from filling wardrobe holes with something not-quite-right. I’ve gotten better, but one of my biggest issues is waiting too long to shop for replacement essentials.

My essentials are actually essential, so when one becomes unwearable, I have a hard time getting dressed and really need to replace it as quickly as possible. Sometimes, that means I don’t have time to choose made-to-order from a preferred sustainable manufacturer, to shop around for different options, or to wait for the perfect piece to come back into stock.

Case in point: I had two of these silk tanks, my go-tos for layering under sweaters and jackets. Bought in 2017, they had 188 wears between them, but both had to be retired over the course of the past month, failing in slightly different ways as the integrity of the fabric gave out. I didn't prepare in advance for this eventuality and now I'm scrambling.

How do you manage wear and replacement on your essentials so you’re not caught off-guard? Do you make a list at the start of the season? Regularly inspect for early signs of wear? Expect to replace after a certain wear count/number of years? Have backups handy well in advance?

How can I get better at this?