TFM Fashion

No More Buyers Remorse: A Guide For Smarter Wardrobe Shopping

We have all made the impulse purchase we’ve regretted. Whether it be that cool hipster sweater that you’ll never wear because it actually just looks like something your nana owns, or the dress you bought to get revenge on your ex that you wore once and then realized you actually just looked like a slut in it. To avoid future mishaps, here is a guide for smarter wardrobe shopping.

1. Do a closet inventory:

Before you head out shopping, do a quick clean up of your closet and get rid of anything that you just don’t wear anymore. If it’s something high-end, list it on eBay – otherwise donate it. This will give you an idea of what you own, what needs to be replaced and where there are gaps that need to be filled. When you are able to head out with specific items you need in mind, you are more likely to stick to that plan and not buy things you don’t need.

2. Ask yourself these questions before buying:

  1. Do I really need this? Yes, it may be an amazing white button down with some cute detail, but if you already own a white button down, a cream button down, and a light grey button down – you don’t need another freaking button down. If you have enough similar items, you simply don’t need it. 
  2. Can I find this for less? If something is a little pricey, it is always worth going home and checking online to find it cheaper. I often find things from department stores for alot less on eBay. Put it on hold, comparison shop, and then you’ve also given yourself a night to think about the purchase and if you really actually want it that badly.
  3. Can I afford it? Without fail, you will always find things you can’t live without when you have no money. It’s just the way the world works. The thing to remember is, no matter how much you love something, if you are already drowning in debt the stress from having no cash will end up outweighing the joy of the purchase. The trick is to NEVER try it on if it’s out of your price range. Studies show your mind takes possession as soon as you see yourself in it – so you’ll feel a greater loss if you don’t get it. Keep it in the back of your mind, and go for it when your financial situation is more comfortable and you don’t end up having to pay tons of interest on your credit card.
  4. Am I buying just because it’s on sale?: I always ask myself “Would I buy this if it was full price?” If the answer is no then I move on. We get so caught up with sales sometimes that we buy things that we never end up wearing simply because we feel like we got a good deal. If you never wear it, it doesn’t matter if it was 80% off – its still money down the drain.

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3. Only buy where you can return:

We have all learned this lesson the hard way at one point or another. I have been stuck with store credits I’ve never used after not inquiring about the store’s return policy, and that kind of stuff gets me really really upset. Most big stores have great return policies, but smaller boutiques generally offer exchange or store credit only. If you are not 1000% sure about a purchase, be sure to keep the tags on and take it back if you realize you don’t really need it within a couple of weeks.

4. My picks for must have wardrobe pieces: 

From experience I heave learned that the best buys are the ones you can wear day or night. This includes:

  • Dresses that can be worn during the day with flats or dressed up with heels at night. Keep them solid colors – nothing too trendy 
  • A black and/or white blazer that is tailored and fits you like a glovemust have wardrobe
  • Black and/or nude simple pumps with no higher than a 4″ heel so you’re never that girl holding her shoes in the club
  • Skinny jeans that make your ass look amazing in a dark denim or black
  • A few high quality tanks and t-shirts. My favorites are from James Perse
  • A black/white button down. These are great for day with flats or night with boots
  • A great black leather jacket – you can layer this in cooler weather making it a staple piece that looks chic and gets a ton of wear

This is the guide that I follow when I shop, and it has kept me out of tons of trouble. Remember that you don’t need a huge wardrobe if the items you have are great quality, and you can get a lot of wear with them. Being a little creative with your outfits and saving your money for things like experiences will bring alot more happiness your way than simply more stuff. I promise.



  1. I love the “would I pay full price for this?” question. My dad taught me this when I first started shopping and it has helped me save money and time. It keeps me focused on what I need/want and not just buying for the entertainment value of it. I will say that when I try to pass this wisdom on to other women I get dirty looks. They act like I sold them out by not being a mindless shopper. It kills me when women won’t pay full price for one really great thing that will enhance their wardrobe, but will spend tons of cash on a bunch of stuff they don’t need just because “it was 50% off” or “I got all this stuff for $”

    • Its so true – I’ve fallen victim to the warehouse sales and always got stuck with clothes I didn’t even love but just knew I got a good deal. Such a waste of money. Thanks for sharing Shelby!

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  3. Jeesun Kim says:

    “Am I buying just because it’s on sale?” Learning something new today. Thank you

  4. Great post! I loved the comment about not buying something you wouldn’t pay full price for. So true.

  5. Another good one to use is to think how many hours I have to work to pay for this! I soon learned to not buy much at all.

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