Simple Style: 5 questions to ask yourself before your next pandemic purchase
Treating yourself to something that makes you feel good is a form of self-care, but part of being financially responsible is making sound purchasing decisions. During a time of global uncertainty, making strategic financial decisions is more important than ever. This week, I'm sharing five questions to ask yourself before you buy something during the pandemic. This set of questions focuses on clothing purchases since that is how I notice many people are passing the time in quarantine, myself included.
Do I need it?
I'll be the first to say that this can be the hardest question to answer truthfully. Do you really need the item? To effectively answer this question, contemplate your current work status, (are you an essential worker, working from home or currently out of work?) catalogue your wardrobe and think about similar items that you own, or holes in your wardrobe that you need to fill.
For example, if you're an essential worker and are constantly on your feet, it's probably worth it to invest in a solid pair of shoes that are functional, supportive and comfortable to wear throughout a long day of work.
Think about voids in your wardrobe and what you consistently find yourself searching for when you build an outfit. Does this item help fill that void? If the answer is no or if you already have similar items, chances are that you don't need it and can save your money.
Realistically, how often will I wear this?
We all want to go back to "normal," but it's important to consider what your life might look like going forward. If you'll be working from home for the foreseeable future, you probably won't be wearing heels that often. Furthermore, you probably won't be getting dressed up to go to a bar with friends any time soon. This doesn't mean you can't enjoy your clothing and get dressed up for a virtual happy hour or fun night at home, but it is important to consider the current climate and state of your life before making a purchase.
You may like something, but if you know you won't really wear it because it's outside your comfort zone or doesn't work with your current lifestyle, it's probably not worth the expense. It's always good to boost your mood by donning clothing you love, but if you know deep down that you won't wear it, don't force it and buy something for the sake of buying it. The likely consequence is that the item will just sit in your closet, which is a waste of space and, more importantly, money.
What can I wear this with?
When it comes to a great wardrobe, versatility is key. Think about items that you already own and how you can style the item you're considering. Can you create a lot of outfits with it based on your current closet? Can you mix and match it, or does it clash with a lot of things?