I Won't Order Anything Without Asking These 11 Questions

Online shopping (and shopping in general) can be an overwhelming process. There are literally millions (make that billions) of items to choose from, but most of us don't have a limitless budget, which means that it's best to take careful consideration before spending your hard-earned money on just anything. After one too many impulse purchases in my past, I've developed a list of questions that I ask myself about the item before placing an order. As a result, I've found that I actually wear my purchases on repeat occasions, and I have to deal with the hassle of returns far less frequently. While I can't say that my life is impulse-free all the time, I can say that smarter shopping and generally more thoughtful purchases have occurred thanks to these 11 questions I ask myself.

Keep scrolling to see the list, then shop pieces that passed the test for me.

1. What are the laundering instructions?

It's important to consider how the item in question will be washed, because if dry cleaning is required, the price of the piece may not be worth it.

2. What size is the model wearing?

I'm much more likely to buy an item if this information is available, as it's easier to tell if it runs true to size or not. If the model's size isn't displayed, oftentimes the item's measurements are, which is also helpful.

3. What type of fabric is it made of?

When shopping online, knowing what the fabric feels like is essential. For example, if you want comfortable, breathable jeans, you're not going to want to buy a 100% cotton pair.

4. Do I already own something similar?

We've all been there: you fall in love with a piece and buy it on the spot, only to later realize that you already have several iterations of the same thing in your closet. Take a beat to ensure that isn't the case before making your next purchase.

5. Is it on sale elsewhere?

A simple Google search of an item has saved me lots of money in the past. That's the beauty of the internet—it makes it very easy to comparison shop.

6. Is it too trendy?

I'm certainly not opposed to adding of-the-moment trends to my wardrobe, but if something is fairly niche and doesn't have potential to stick around for a few seasons, I'm less likely to spend a significant amount of money on it.

7. Will I still want it in two days?

Oftentimes the best thing you can do when considering a purchase is to pause for a few days. A majority of the time, my "I have to have this" feeling will have passed by then.

8. Do I have anything to wear it with?

When you buy something that you don't already own multiple pieces to wear it with, it can lead to more purchases that you may not have needed and/or wanted beforehand.

9. Does it suit my lifestyle?

While I'd love to fill my closet with fancy dresses and heels, I don't get a lot of opportunities to wear them (which means I'm less likely to buy them).

10. Is it within my budget?

I'm all for saving up for investment pieces, but the lure of a sale or popularity of an item can easily cloud judgment. To keep myself on track, I find it helpful to remind myself of an investment-worthy piece on my wish list (e.g., a new handbag or piece of fine jewelry) to keep me from overspending on something else.

11. Is it flattering?

I've definitely been guilty in the past of buying into a trend that doesn't really suit me. I've since realized that if something isn't flattering on me, I'm not going to wear it (aka it's most likely a waste of money).

Shop the pieces that passed my test:

I live in Levi's sherpa jackets this time of year.

Available in sizes XS to XL.

The constellation print on these flattering leggings is subtle yet special.

Available in sizes XS to XXL.

Just as versatile as a black mini bag, but so much cooler.

Wrap skirts will never go out of style, and neither will this pretty print.

Available in sizes 34 to 42.

I'm ready to invest in slippers that won't fall apart after one winter.

Available in sizes 5 to 12.

This is exactly what I want to wear with jeans right now.

Available in sizes XS to XL.

I've been in search of statement earrings that don't make too much of a statement, and these fit the bill.

I'd choose this little red dress over a little black dress any day.

Available in sizes 0 to 12.

I'm ready to invest in a new pair of It sneakers (that are still timeless). 

Available in sizes 5 to 12.

One can never have too many wrap dresses, in my opinion. 

Available in sizes 14 to 26.

This gingham pants would be so easy to style.

Available in sizes XS to L.

I finally buckled down and bought snow boots two years after my return to the East Coast.

Available in sizes 6 to 11.

Years of inevitable repeat wears of this blazer will mean money well spent.

Available in sizes XS to L.

Because I'll need something pretty to wear under the above blazer.

Available in sizes XS to L.

Dark denim is set for a major return in 2018.

Available in sizes 16 to 22.

Practical, cool, and affordable.

Available in sizes XXS to XL.

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