11 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying Anything New For Fall

Sales, new arrivals, and influencer culture create the frenzied shopping experience we know and love as fall. If you’re building your capsule wardrobe for fall, you’ll need a strategy to avoid a cluttered, unwearable seasonal wardrobe.

By Alyssa Vandermeulen3 min read

With the return of cable knit sweaters and boots, it’s so easy to order from the newest fall collections, only to realize that you don’t have what you actually need for the season. Take the time to look through your current closet, removing any pieces that you don’t love, won’t wear, or need to be replaced. Then, use that momentum to evaluate your entire collection for its seasonal potential. 

Before the start of a new season, it’s helpful to ask yourself a few key questions before adding all the sweaters, flannel, denim, and other layers into your cart. 

1. What was I missing in my fall wardrobe last year? 

This first question is the most important. Determining what was missing in your wardrobe last year is a great place to start when creating a capsule wardrobe. Is there a piece you wished you would have had last year? Maybe you know you need an extra pair of dark wash denim. Or your boots need to be replaced. Was it cold, and you needed a heavier coat? Keep these things in mind when preparing or considering a new purchase. 

2. Can I style this item with pieces I already own? 

If you already have a fun fall piece in mind, check it against your current closet. You need to be able to style the item at least three different ways with pieces you already have in your closet, or else the item doesn’t make sense with your style for the upcoming season. Needing to purchase several additional items in order to wear this one piece reveals that it’s unsuitable for your fall capsule collection. 

3. Where will I wear this item? 

When buying almost any piece of clothing, you need to ask yourself if the item is practical for your lifestyle. Is there an occasion to wear a full-length dress? What about a pair of high-heeled booties? If you can’t think of a reason or occasion where you would wear the item more than once (except for a special occasion), you don’t need it in your fall wardrobe. Easy as that! 

4. Am I only buying this item because it’s on sale? 

If you love a good deal, you might be tempted to overbuy or add to cart simply because the item is on sale. However, spending money on clothes you won’t wear is still unnecessary spending! Save your cash for something you truly want, or wait for a more expensive item to go on sale instead. This question is also important to keep in mind when thrifting! Low price tags can appeal to us even when we don’t need the item, adding clutter and unwearable pieces to our closets. 

5. Am I only buying this item because it’s trendy? 

There are so many trends flooding your social media pages that it can be easy to buy things just because they are on trend. But if the item doesn’t fit with the rest of your closet or your signature style, you definitely don’t need it for fall. On-trend pieces will likely only last for a season before they’re outdated and don’t work with your wardrobe anymore. 

Creating a capsule wardrobe foundation can allow for a few trendy pieces that will add to your closet, not take away from it. If you really love a trendy item, then buy it, but don’t get influenced to spend a ton of money on pieces that aren’t worth the investment

6. Does this color flatter my skin tone? 

If you’ve seen the color matching process on TikTok, you’ve probably noticed that the right color can bring out the best of a girl’s features. However, the wrong color can have the opposite effect! Before making the purchase, check the color against your skin tone. Does it brighten your skin? Add life to your fall/winter skin tone? If the answer isn’t immediately yes, then there are better options out there for your fall collection. 

7. Does this color flatter my hair color? 

In a similar fashion, always check to see if the color of the particular item flatters your hair color. Blondes often appear washed out in warm tones, whereas brunettes may struggle to find the right pastel or light shade that doesn’t leave their hair looking meh. Hair color can change, however, so if you hit the salon on a regular basis to play with color, you might want to stick with neutral tones until you commit to a specific shade for the fall season. 

8. Does this silhouette flatter my body type? 

While certain pieces might be cute and trendy, not every fall style will flatter you and your body type. Oversized sweaters, high-waisted jeans, bodysuits, and accessories fit every body differently, so it’s important to find styles that help you to look feminine and lovely all year long. If you aren’t sure what your body type is, check out this helpful guide.

how do i look audrey hepburn

9. What is the cost per wear? 

Figuring out the cost per wear on an item is another helpful tool to determine if an item is worth the price tag, especially if it’s something you’re on the fence about buying. This mathematical equation isn’t too difficult to calculate – simply divide the price of the item by the number of times you think you will wear it. 

For example, if a sweater costs $50, you would need to wear it at least 11 times before the cost per wear is below $5. If you don’t see yourself wearing the item that often, you should evaluate the dollar amount you’re comfortable spending on an outfit per day. 

10. Will this need alterations? 

Short girls, tall girls – you know the struggle of needing alterations for a variety of different clothing items. Alterations can be expensive and time-consuming, so it’s important to ask yourself if the item needs to be altered or if you have the mental capacity to schedule alterations. Don’t let this item hang in your closet unworn due to broken promises to yourself!

11. How do I care for this item? 

The wash and dry procedures for a particular item can be daunting, which is a good reminder to check the care instructions before making a purchase. Don’t buy pieces that are impractical for your current lifestyle or that require extra care you don’t have time for!

Fall weather invites the coziest of materials into your daily wear, but wool and cashmere have very specific care instructions to keep them in shape throughout the season. Another thing to consider is whether or not you have the space to store these sweaters correctly in the off-season. For more information and our go-to guide for proper clothing care, check out this article

Closing Thoughts

Before impulse buys take over your fall wardrobe, ask yourself these easy questions to determine whether you actually need the item for the upcoming season. Happy shopping!

Support our cause and help women reclaim their femininity by subscribing today.