Most Women Build Their Wardrobe Backwards. Here’s How To Fix It

By Nicole Andre
·  6 min read
Most Women Build Their Wardrobe Backwards. Here’s How To Fix It

Most women build their wardrobe backwards. We can help you not be one of them.

The average American woman buys 68 items of clothing each year. That’s a ton of clothes. And while it might not have been much per item, that’s still a lot of money! But here’s the thing, how many of those clothes are most women wearing? And more importantly, do they love the clothes when they do wear them? I’d wager that the answer is, not really.

In today’s day and age we have constant pressure coming at us to buy everything under the sun. Your favorite influencer is showing you these brand new ankle boots she just got that you just HAVE to swipe up and buy, meanwhile the bathing suit ads are already rolling in, and to top it off, you still haven’t worn that top you bought a couple weeks ago.

Modern shopping feels efficient because it’s so easy to click “add to cart,” but the way that we do it really isn’t. Not only are women buying more clothes than they need, they’re buying clothes that, if they were honest with themselves, they don’t really want all that much. 

So if you’re tired of feeling like you have nothing to wear or are bored with the clothes you have, but every time you go shopping you feel like you’re back in the same spot a week later, you’re probably shopping backwards. Luckily for you, it just takes a few small steps to fix the problem!

Buy Less, Spend More (Sort Of)

If the average American woman is buying 68 pieces of clothing each year, that's just too much stuff. Rather than buying tons of different items, focus on buying a few new pieces each season, but spending more for each piece than you normally would. The result is clothing that’s better quality and will last longer, saving you money in the long run and very likely leading to less spending overall because all those purchases that seem small at the time really do add up. 

The average American woman is buying 68 pieces of clothing each year.

The other benefit to spending a bit more on each item is that you’re less likely to justify a purchase that you aren’t completely in love with. The result is fewer clothes in your closet, but more clothes that you truly enjoy wearing.

Shop Based on Logic, Not Emotions

If you’ve ever tried to get ready and realized that your closet is missing the different basics that every woman should have in her wardrobe, you’re not alone. I totally feel you! The thing is, it’s more exciting and fun to buy statement pieces than it is to buy the style staples that you actually need.

But resist the temptation, ladies! Because as fun as it is to buy statement pieces, those things are “nice to haves” not “need to haves,” so shopping for them first is essentially shopping backwards. When you have a closet full of accent pieces and none of the basics, you’ll look into your closet feeling like you have nothing to wear. 

Statement pieces are “nice to haves”; staples are “need to haves.”

So get out a pen and paper, and go through your closet making a list of the essentials you don’t have. White-button down, blue-button down, the perfect pair of jeans, white jeans for the summer, you get the idea. Buy the essentials first (this takes discipline), then add the accent pieces as needed and as your budget allows.

Think about What You Already Own

If you’re the kind of person who falls in love with a pair of bright pink stilettos and buys them without asking yourself the question “How will I wear this?” you’re setting yourself up for failure. Because now suddenly you have to buy two, three, even four more items to create an outfit that will work. The old one-purchase-begets-another trap. 

Versatility is better than one on-point outfit.

Not to mention, you may up with a bunch of pieces that make one outfit, but that you can’t mix or match. A working wardrobe is versatile. Ideally, it should feel like shopping in a big store where you have everything you need and can create endless outfits, except in this store you can do it without spending a dime. Versatility is better than one on-point outfit, both for your style and your wallet.

Wait Until the Time Is Right

Avoid buying a cheaper piece if isn’t what you really want. While there are exceptions, it’s oftentimes better to save up and wait until you’re able to afford the item you wanted. 

Chances are you’ll never be completely happy with the cheaper version.

Chances are you’ll never be completely happy with the cheaper version and, depending on how much of a downgrade the quality is, you end up buying another just to replace it when it falls apart. This doesn’t mean every piece needs to be a splurge or a designer item. Use some common sense on how to best allocate your resources so you can get the most bang for your buck. And always keep the law of diminishing returns in mind!

Buy What Best Suits Your Body Now

It’s tempting to think “I’ll buy these jeans to help motivate me to lose the extra weight.” Except, if I had to guess, there have been many women who have gone before you who tried the same thing and, spoiler alert, they never did end up fitting into those jeans. Rather than shopping for the body type we wish we had, we should be focused on buying clothes that will suit our current figures. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try to be the healthiest version of yourself! But just buy the jeans when you get there. There are other ways to motivate yourself that won’t put a needless hole in your wallet. 

Shop in Stores, Not Online

Don’t get me wrong, I get the appeal of online shopping (and I do it myself). But if you aren’t doing it right, you just might be wasting a lot of time returning clothes that don’t fit you right or just don’t really match the vision you had in your head of what you thought they would look like when you clicked “add to cart.”

When shopping online, stick to the brands you’re absolutely sure about your size in.

Shop in-store when possible. This way you can get the perfect fit the first time, avoid returning clothes, and support all the jobs in the retail industry all at once. As for the online shopping, you don’t have to ditch it entirely, but stick to the brands you’re absolutely sure about your size in. Always ask yourself if you’ll like the way a garment looks on you because most of the time the model’s body type is different. Clothes are about what looks good on you, not what looks good on someone else!

Closing Thoughts

If you want the wardrobe of your dreams, it’s going to take some effort. Thoughtful shopping requires patience and discipline, but it’s more cost effective and will leave us happier with the clothes we own.