The Rules to Follow Every Time You Buy Something New

A closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. I’ve certainly been there before, and I’m betting that many of you have as well. To me, there is really nothing worse than spending my hard-earned money on a pair of shoes or a new dress that I’ll have second thoughts about a few months down the road. And equally important, I can’t bring myself to take up valuable closet space at home with something new unless I really love it.

As a fashion editor, I’ve learned some very important shopping rules that I follow when adding new pieces to my closet. I still make a few mistakes and shopping regrets along the way, but I’ve really cut down on them by sticking to these rules each time I’m making a new purchase. Ahead, I’m breaking down the five key rules to follow if you want to build a closet of pieces you love instead of items that will end up in the resale pile.

Rule 1: Consider "cost per wear"

Whether you’re buying an investment piece or something new and trendy, always consider the “cost per wear.” This is how much you’ll spend on the piece based on how many times you actually wear it. For example, I bought these Chanel slingbacks last year.

They weren’t an impulse buy but rather something I’d been eyeing for years. Though they clock in at $875, which is pretty pricey, I’ve slipped them on at least four times a week in my first year owning them, so they end up costing just $4.22 per wear. To me, that makes them a better buy than a trendy $50 dress I would wear only once.

Shop pieces with low cost per wear

Sizes upon request.

Rule 2: Save money on trendy pieces

Instead of dropping your rent on a trendy designer piece that you will only wear for a few months, look to more affordable options for the season's biggest trends. 

Available in sizes XS to L.

Rule 3: Think about shelf life

If you end up buying something with a recognizable print or an It piece, like the season’s most iconic shoes, the shelf life could be shorter than something that’s more neutral. These attention-grabbing pieces are cool at the moment but often look dated pretty fast. I’m not saying you should never get these pieces—for instance, I just ordered a Dior logo bag—but be selective with these items.

Dior Mini Saddle Bag (price upon request)

Available in one size.

Rule 4: Only buy things that fit

One of my worst mistakes when shopping have been buying pieces that I love that don’t really work for my body type or don’t fit right.

Available in sizes 0 to 12.

Available in sizes XS to XL.

Rule 5: Skip uncomfortable pieces

Another huge mistake I’ve made in the past: buying pieces that are uncomfortable. No matter how cool or stylish, they end up sitting unworn in the back of my closet. (Note: I have a pair of sky-high Balenciaga heels from the 2000s that sat in my closet unworn for years.) Instead, buy pieces that are both comfortable and stylish.

Available in Danish sizes 32 to 44.

Rule 6: Stick to quality over quantity

More isn’t always better. Instead of focusing on filling your closet with new things to wear every day of the week, curate your closet with a collection of pieces you can mix and match that will last a long time.