How I Discovered My Biggest Shopping Mistake

Allyson Payer

As someone who likes to plan ahead, doing the same when it comes to my outfits is sort of a given, as is the fact that I’m always going to choose my accessories first. I’m a shoe person. I’m also a bag person. And a jewelry person. And a hat person. And a scarf person. You get the idea. I'm an accessory junkie—so much so that the actual clothing I'm going to wear is often an afterthought.

Recently noticing that my closet space is at capacity, and yet knowing I often complain that I have nothing to wear, I took an inventory of my wares and (shocker!) I was quickly overwhelmed by the pairs of shoes taking over like ivy, the overflowing bins of handbags and scarves, and the stack upon stacks of hats. Suspicious that my wardrobe was becoming an accessories-only zone, I took to my Pinterest Wishlist board (this is aside from another board that’s entirely devoted to shoes) and eBay Watch List to explore further. Both were filled with accessories: a KENZO bandana, a pale pink Rag & Bone hat, Isabel Marant sneakers, a rose gold fringe necklace, a leather tote—the list goes on. It was then that I fully realized the extent of my sartorial problem, one that's been developing over the past few years: I spend most of my wardrobe budget on accessories. There’s actually a sound, practical reason for this—as an avid online shopper and eBay devotee, I rarely get the opportunity to try something on before purchasing, so the majority of what I purchase ends up being items I’m certain will fit, items like accessories (including shoes, because I know my size in my favorite brands and it never varies).

The problem with this is that accessories need something to accessorize. I realize that building a well-rounded wardrobe is a constantly evolving task. One that requires time and patience, and a more evenly spread budget, in my case.

I will always see accessories as the ultimate investment. They hold their value and could even become a collector’s item one day—not to mention that you get your money’s worth based on how often you can wear them (just try wearing the same dress every day for a week, as you would a bag or necklace). But I’m going to make a point to be more judicious with my accessory purchases. For starters, my Net-a-Porter shopping bag currently holds a pair of statement-making sunglasses and a pair of sensible black pants that I’d probably wear to work once a week. Obviously, I should get the pants. But the heart wants what the heart wants, so for now, I choose both. Hey, baby steps!

Scroll down to shop pieces that will complement your favorite accessories beautifully!

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