5 Things To Know Before You Splurge On A Wardrobe Item

5 Things To Know Before You Splurge on a Wardrobe Item

When are you ready to buy an investment piece for your wardrobe with zero regrets?

“A few years ago, I would never have spent this much on a pair of boots. EVER. Why am I ok with it now?” I asked my friend after showing her a purchase of an item I’d admired from afar for YEARS.

After stocking my wardrobe with pieces I’d found on sale, on Poshmark and eBay for most of my life, why was I suddenly ok with spending this much money on one item? My budget was the same, so what had changed? I wasn’t sure.

The question stuck with me, and I wondered if I was making a mistake. In the past I had agonized over much smaller purchases. Do I keep it? Send it back? Wait for something else? And now I felt absolutely no anxiety over a very significant purchase that I’d paid full price for. Was something wrong with me?

April from Stunning Style wearing a stylish black sweater dress and boots.
  • Going down the list of reasons I could have lost my sanity didn’t reveal the answer. 
  • No recent head injuries
  • No fever
  • No midlife crisis-inducing life changes 
  • And I wasn’t under the influence of anything but these boots

Finally, the answer came to me, and it’s something I’ve said many times in the last year and a half. I am so satisfied with my wardrobe that I’m not building it anymore. The gaps are few, and I keep a list of what I’m looking for so I shop very strategically, avoiding impulse purchases that won’t build my wardrobe.

That means I really don’t shop much anymore, outside of when I’m shopping for the Classic Wardrobe Guides each season, but I’m really shopping for you, not me. I mostly shop my closet each season. As a result, I have built quite a nest egg in my clothing budget account, and I had the money for a purchase like that.

But there’s more to it than that, and there are some other reasons I can tick off that made me comfortable splurging and investing in items for my wardrobe. Before you invest in pieces for your wardrobe make sure you have these 5 tips covered.

April from Stunning Style wearing a stylish winter outfit featuring a leather skirt and boots.

This article and the video below are taken from the Stunning Style Weekly Style Snack! Join us Wednesdays at 1pm ET on the Stunning Style Facebook page or the FREE Capsule Wardrobes for Classic Style Facebook Group.

Know Your Style

Buyer’s remorse after investing in a piece and finding out later it’s all wrong for me is a feeling I know all-too-well. About six years ago, when I was just starting to find my style again, I became obsessed with buying the perfect, the ultimate, the forever…and the first trench coat I’d ever own. I’d never even tried on a trench coat before, but I was convinced it would solve all my style woes. Every outfit becomes instantly chic when you put on a trench coat, right?

After researching exhaustively and finally spent my birthday money and some money I’d saved from my budget to buy THE ONE. It ticked all the boxes, it met all the requirements, it was perfect…for someone else.

woman wearing light tan trench coat and blue scarf

As it turns out, I don’t like to wear double-breasted coats, and that wasn’t the only issue. It turned out to be a very expensive lesson when I ended up selling it for a fraction of what I paid (which was better than hiding it in my closet and hoping it would never resurface).

Since then, I’ve refined my style so much that I can tell you without a doubt whether I do or don’t love something, and I can tell you exactly WHY. It cost me a lot of money, a lot of time, and a lot of mistakes to learn that, which is why I created the Perfectly Put Together: Find Your Style course to help you figure out exactly what you love and don’t love so you can learn the same things at a fraction of the cost and time.

Because I know my style, I feel confident investing in an item, knowing I’ll wear it for years and years. Instead of researching what others say makes an item perfect or relying on the current trends to dictate what I should and shouldn’t love, I make my choices based on my style and my preferences.

This is my perfect trench. Single-breasted, black, leather sleeves and collar, zipper details. Perfectly Edgy Classic. Perfectly me.

April from Stunning Style wearing a stylish winter outfit featuring a red top and plaid skirt with long black coat.
April from Stunning Style wearing a stylish winter outfit featuring a red top and plaid skirt with long black coat.
April from Stunning Style wearing a stylish winter outfit featuring a red top and plaid skirt with long black coat.

Know Your Lifestyle

Another wardrobe mistake I made for years was buying items that didn’t fit my lifestyle. It sounds ridiculous when I tell you I continued to buy pencil skirts, heels, blouses, and sheath dresses after leaving my corporate career to be a stay-at-home mom, but it’s a common mistake!

That’s my very favorite style of clothing, and I knew what I liked. But buying those didn’t help me with the wardrobe I needed for my everyday life. I still had nothing to wear. In the Perfectly Put Together course, one of the very first things we address is your lifestyle and what kinds of clothing you actually need most of the time.

Now that I’m honest with myself about what types of clothing I need in my daily life, I have built a wardrobe I love that I can actually wear every day. Not only that, but when I invest in an item I know whether it’s an everyday wardrobe piece or a special occasion piece, and I factor that into my decision.

April from Stunning Style wearing pink top and dark leopard print pants with leather handbag.

Know Your Color Palette

Comments and messages on my outfit pictures say things like “You look great in every color! Nothing looks bad on you!” And I always reply the only reason it seems that way is because I only wear colors that look great on me! I assure you there are colors that make me look like I ate something spoiled, that I might faint, or that I just ran a marathon. My skin can range from sickly to pasty to ruddy just with the change of a color.

Wearing my best colors means I look and feel my best in my clothes. Knowing my best colors not only means my wardrobe is cohesive, but I can confidently invest in items knowing they will go with everything else in my wardrobe and I’ll look and feel fantastic in them.

One of the bonuses in the Perfectly Put Together course is the Quick and Easy Way to Find Your Best Colors because it can be such a game changer.

April from Stunning Style wearing a stylish outfit featuring a brown knit top and jeans.

Know How to Dress Your Body Shape

When you see celebrities who “look great in everything”, it’s because their stylists only dress them in clothes they look great in. Not only do they put them in their best colors, but they dress them in clothes that work with their body shapes.

Last month we talked about the fact that not all clothing styles are made for all body shapes. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you! Your body is perfect. It’s the clothes! Imagine trying to park your car in a bike stall. Is there something wrong with your car? No, it’s the wrong shape and size of parking spot for a car, but it’s perfect for a bike. Both are modes of transportation, but they are shaped differently and need different parking stalls.

It’s the same for your body, and choosing clothes that aren’t meant for your body shape leads to wondering what’s wrong with your body. Absolutely nothing! When you know the right clothes to wear, everything is so much easier.

I recently launched a 2-part course called Style Your Silhouette to teach you how to dress your shape, and we are having so many aha moments! You can learn more about it here.

April from Stunning Style wearing a stylish winter outfit featuring a black top with shoulder embellishments and black pants.

Make Your Own Rules

Ever since I first saw The Devil Wears Prada 14 years ago, I have been in love with the brown leather jacket Andie Sachs wears at the end. I’ve searched for it off and on over the years, and this fall I finally found it in my size!

Anne Hathaway wearing brown leather jacket in Devil Wears Prada

If I followed the rules made up by other people, I wouldn’t have bought this jacket. Many color programs say I can’t wear brown, but they’re wrong. Certain browns look amazing on me. I mean strangers will stop me to say how amazing this color looks on me. It rivals black as my best color.

April from Stunning Style wearing a stylish winter outfit featuring a brown leather jacket, black top and denim pants.

Instead of letting others dictate what is and isn’t best for me, I decided to figure it out on my own, and I rediscovered an old favorite. This is a gap in my wardrobe I’ve finally been able to fill, and I will get so much wear out of it. If I let others create my rules, I wouldn’t truly develop my own style.

Many of you have been following the jacket saga because when it arrived it was badly sun damaged. After sending it away twice for repair, it’s back! And I wanted to share it with you.

GEt a Head start finding your style

I created a FREE masterclass, 5 Steps to Find the Right Clothes for You, to help other women get started on figuring out what they truly love and feel fabulous in. It comes with a free workbook to help you work through the steps at your own pace. You can sign up below.

masterclass march

Join My Top masterclass today!

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BONUS workbook to guide you through the exercises!

4 thoughts on “5 Things To Know Before You Splurge On A Wardrobe Item”

  1. Yes, after a year of Stunning Style Society and working through Perfectly Put Together, I am amazed to say that I no longer feel the need to take every personal style course I come across ! I don’t get confused by being told I ought to wear clothes that aren’t right for me at all. . . or upset because the clothes I love (smock styles with heirloom trim in light warm neutrals) are never mentioned by most stylists.
    Hurrah and Many Thanks to you April.

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