We don’t mean to get all mom and dad on you, but the truth of the matter is establishing good habits in your 20s, especially in the shopping department, will benefit you for years to come. Sure, everyone’s guilty of overspending from time to time, but instituting these 11 rules into your life will ultimately make you a smarter (and more successful!) shopper in the end—we promise. Now who doesn’t want to be that?
Image via Elle Adore Style
1. Set A Seasonal Wardrobe Budget
It’s time to be smart with your finances and realistic about what you can spend on a monthly or seasonal basis.
WWW Tip: Mint.com is a great online source that offers an easy way to create a personalized budget based on your spending habits.
2. Focus On Your Work Wardrobe
If you’re serious about your career, you should be serious about your nine-to-five wardrobe, too. Before you buy that new crop top, think to yourself: do I need a new work-appropriate blouse or pants more? The answer is probably yes.
WWW Tip: Dress for the job you want, not the one you have!
3. Invest In The 3 Bs: Blazer, Bag, and Boots
These three pieces should be mainstays in your closet at all times.
WWW Tip: Quality over quantity always reigns supreme with these purchases.
4. Buy Fast Fashion Wisely
Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for the thrifty find, but the reality is you’re getting too old for poorly made items. Instead, invest in the key pieces that will last you for years.
WWW Tip: High street brands are great for picking up those super trendy items you’ll wear for a single season.
5. Do Inventory On Your Closet Before Spending
If you already have five leather skirts hanging in your closet, you probably don’t need another one.
WWW Tip: To quickly see the items you already own, closet organization is key.
6. Test Drive Before Buying Multiples of Something
It may be tempting to buy that crewneck sweater in every color, but make sure you really love it before buying 10.
WWW Tip: See how versatile the piece is with your current wardrobe, and ask yourself: can you it wear it to work and on the weekend?
7. Be Smart About Sales
It’s easy to equate the word "sale" with "must-have." Before jumping the gun, consider whether you’re actually getting a good deal.
WWW Tip: Believe it or not, there are opportune times to buy certain pieces at a discount. We break it all down in this cheat sheet.
8. Ask Yourself, “Will This Work For More Than One Occasion?”
At least 80-85% of your wardrobe should be able to do double duty. If you can only think of one place you’d wear an item, leave it in the dressing room.
WWW Tip: If you’re going somewhere that you'll never be again, this is a good “rent it” opportunity.
9. Take Care Of Your Investment Pieces
Knowing how to properly store your knits and leather can save you a ton of money in the long run.
10. Know When To Go Vintage/Thrift
Your local vintage or thrift shops are a treasure trove for finding classic pieces, like a trench coat or denim jacket, and bigger ticket items, like a Chanel bag.
WWW Tip: If you’ve got your eye on a designer piece, you can most likely find a similar style for a fraction of the cost at thrift stores. Click here for more vintage shopping secrets.
11. Find Your Signature Staples
Now is the perfect time to play with different silhouettes and styles to discover those key pieces that always look good on you and you’ll wear for ages.
WWW Tip: Once you find your silhouette, don’t be afraid to experiment with of-the-moment fabrics and prints to give your look a fresh update every season.