How to Make Good Shopping Decisions When Buying Clothes and Maintaining Them: Know Yourself and Your Style

Tips on how to make good decisions when buying clothes so that you don't have to be shopping all the time.

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By Rue Rusere

When Hillary sent me a message asking me to write another article for Mcheno & More, advising people on how to buy clothes and how to maintain them, I actually chuckled at the part of his message indicating “why one doesn’t need to be shopping for new clothes all the damn time”.

Knowing him and his choice of words, he has never used these kind of words; at least not to me .He is usually calm and collected so when I saw the emphasis in that message I knew I had to intervene fast as he could be one of the people waiting for the article so he could stop shopping for new clothes all the damn time.

This article is a continuation to the must-haves and the main difference is this one covers aspects of buying. I believe that everyone must have the *must haves*; the black formal jacket you can pair with jeans or skirts, or a formal dress depending on the event, or the denim jacket you can pull up almost everywhere, and the in-between pants.

You can have all these but if you don’t know your style, you’re going to buy the wrong type of denim jacket, the wrong blazer, the wrong sneakers, and when you finally realize it…you will be about to dress up for something important, so you get exasperated because you are now forced to go and buy new clothes – which brings us to Hillary’s plea: ”why one doesn’t have to keep shopping for new clothes all the damn time”. Haha!

As humans, as sentient beings, we have different body types and this is why we have different types of jeans and skirts and pants. Bless you if you can look great in any type, really, but for most people it’s usually one or two types per each category.

Therefore each and everyone has to know their body type, and be willing to say, “Rue looks good in these boyfriend jeans” without having the unexplainable urge to buy them when deep deep down you know slim fit jeans flatter you better. Know yourself and buy what suits your body.

You know you’re in a dilemma when you have a closet that is packed but you cannot come up with an outfit for something simple like lunch. Most people get carried away when they get in a shop or when they see something trending on social media. They do not sit down to think if that piece will suit them, so they go on to buy because “it looked good on Yahya” yet you’re totally different from Yahya.

Whenever you want to buy something, pause and breathe…then ask yourself: If this is my style, what am I going to pair it with? And where will I wear it?

Funny story, I have bought a couple of tiny jumpsuits and for each I had the perfect setting to wear them, which was fine, but it’s been years and I have never gone to such an event that I told myself I would wear the jumpsuits for, reason being that type of event is simply not me. I thought I could go but as years go by and I’m getting to know myself on a daily, I realize that I will never be drawn to some places.

Many a time I have subjected myself to impulse buying especially in thrift stores, where I see a beautiful skirt and buy it because it’s beautiful. Then I get home and try to wear it and realize, oh no, I have nothing to pair it with! If have to wear it I will need a new top and shoes as well.

Other times I have found tops and shoes for cool pairing purposes but I still frown as I realize it’s not my style and I feel cramped. It takes a brave person to then say: I will give these clothes away. Well, I am not part of the brave ones.

A very good friend of mine, Devon, has about eight jeans in different shades. (I’m sorry Devon, I counted your clothes). He also has about six t-shirts, usually plain in different colours, five flannel shirts of different colours, as well and six pairs of dope, amazing sneakers.

Devon never wears a jacket. When I feel cold and I wear a jacket he wears a flannel on top of his tee and that’s his style everyday. Yet, he always looks dashing you would think he walked out of a Vogue shoot but no. He simply understood his body and style; and he religiously sticks to that.

The only solution to this clothing conundrum is knowing yourself; the amount of clothes you have doesn’t matter much if they are the right clothes. Devon can have 100 more pieces of clothes and still look great on a daily because he buys what suits him.

So the secret to stop shopping for clothes all the damn time, Hillary, is to know yourself, your body type and your style. After knowing thyself, also take time to check the material of the clothes you buy.

In a time where there is a runner for everything it takes a lot of discipline to buy a 20 dollar jean because it’s great quality when you can buy three from a runner but at the end of the day it’s better to have two jeans that are of high quality than five that will be out of colour in a month. Invest in good pieces of clothes and you will never go wrong .

*Remember, you don’t have to fill the whole closet to look good. Be like my friend Devon*

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