Myth: It’s time to shop the stores for new clothes.

Truth: It’s time to shop your wardrobe
before shopping the stores.

Recently, I saw a post on social media asking if women prefer shopping the stores vs. shopping their own wardrobes. I didn’t see a lot of the answers given, but my answer is that I like both. It’s nice to wear something brand new, but it’s also nice to have fun and get creative with what I already have. I won’t say that I prefer shopping my wardrobe because that’s really a must.

From me, you get the truth.

No matter what, you should not be shopping the stores for anything new unless you have shopped your wardrobe within the previous six months. By shopping your wardrobe, I mean that you went through everything you have, you’ve weeded out what you don’t wear, you’ve reorganized what’s left, and you know exactly what you have and where it all is.

Why do you need to do this?

Firstly, you must know what you already have. It’s not unusual for women to buy something new thinking that they “need” it, only to find that they already have it and the item just got buried in their crammed wardrobe. There’s nothing wrong with having multiples of the same basic item if that item works perfectly for you, but that has to be deliberate. I mean that if you’re buying something that you already have, you’re buying it knowing that you have it and that it works for you and that you want to have more than one in your wardrobe.

Secondly, knowing what you have also means knowing what you can do with what you have. My clients are pleasantly surprised at how many outfits they actually have using the clothing items that are already there. It’s often a matter of “I never thought to put these things together.” They might think that the navy jacket and skirt make a great suit, and they’re right - but they don’t realize that the jacket would look great with a gray skirt, too, or that the navy skirt would look great with a dark green button-down shirt. 

Sometimes it’s a simple matter of adding accessories or changing the accessories used. A very simple skirt and top can look like one outfit when worn with a pink oblong scarf, but it’s a different outfit with a blue necklace and another different outfit with green earrings. Sometimes the client does need a new accessory or two to add interest and variety, but that’s easy (especially since I make jewelry).

This brings up another advantage of shopping your wardrobe: creativity. There’s a lot of satisfaction to be had when you get creative and put together new outfits using what you have. I do this a lot, even for special events, and it feels amazing.

Thirdly, it’s not a good idea to waste money. If you’re going to spend money on something new, it should be either something you really do need, or it should be something that screams at you “buy me!” Maybe you don’t need that “screaming” item, but if it works well for you and you have money to pay for it, it’s okay to buy it. However, if you don’t know what you already have and need, you’re much more likely to waste money.

In addition, when you weed out your wardrobe, you’re seeing what works and what doesn’t, and you get a better idea of why certain things work and others don’t work. You definitely do not want to waste your money on anything that doesn’t work.

Now is the time of year when we are shopping for new clothes. Just don’t get so caught up in it that you forget what you have. If you shop your wardrobe first, you’ll be better able to shop the stores productively and save time and money. When you’ve saved time and money, you’ll be much better able to enjoy your items and revel in how great you look.

Meira E. Schneider-Atik is a wardrobe organizer, personal shopper, jewelry designer, and fashion writer/blogger and speaker. She helps women look great while saving time, effort, and money, all within tznius. And she’ll add to that with custom-designed jewelry. Read more about her ideas on her blog- She also has the youtube channel “Look your best in mitpachot” where she does headwrapping tutorials and she is available for private demonstrations. She can be reached at (718) 644-6135 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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