You Are An Actor On Life's Stage: Don't Just Buy Clothes, Invest In Your Brand
How many times have you gone to your favorite retailer to try on clothes? And how many times have you wondered to yourself, “Is this a wise purchase?” Now, how many times did you go ahead with the purchase, despite your better judgement, only to have said garment(s) linger in the murky depths of your wardrobe, tags still attached?
Any woman who enjoys shopping has likely been in that predicament, myself included. And the same old tune plays over and over again. You keep telling yourself you’ll put it on; that you’ll finally wear it out of the house. But every time you throw it over your head or zip it up, it just doesn’t “feel right” and back to the closet it goes.
The biggest culprit of the “dress destined to gather dust in your closet”? The discount rack.
Getting a killer deal feels great, but understand this: Even if you’re saving 75% on that Michael Kors pant or DVF frock, you’re actually wasting money if you never wear it.
So how does a bargain loving fashionista amend her ingrained shopping habits? By understanding — and investing in — her personal brand.
Think of your closet as actors’ garb. Who are you? What is the message you want to convey to the world? Once you can answer those questions (which does require thoughtful, inward contemplation), you’re better equipped to plan your wardrobe.
Take, for example, “Sarah,” a figurative business woman in her late 40s who works in a corporate setting and recently back in the dating market. The clothing and accessories that “Sarah” wears should reflect the fact that she’s an established, successful woman who’s self assured. Because she’s single and hoping to meet a winsome partner at the cafe, happy hour or otherwise, “Sarah” would benefit from wearing clothing that’s (tactfully) inviting.
“Maggie” serves as another illustration. She’s a single, early 30s woman who makes roughly 75k a year and lives in a Manhattan studio apartment. She works in a fast-paced, new media setting and devours fashion blogs (alongside garden fresh salads) on her lunch break. In order to convey her spritely spirit and passion for fashion, “Maggie” would do well with a wardrobe full of fresh patterns and prints, the season’s hottest colors and enough statement accessories to sate her style needs.
See how both women can still be on trend and in the style know, but each have their own distinct personal brand?
Planning a wardrobe does take time, but the effort pays off both financially and in terms of your personal brand. Start by accumulating a set of wardrobe must-haves (basics you know you’ll wear often), along with accessories that speak to your personal aesthetic. Then, whenever you shop, ask yourself the following questions: Does this convey who I am? When and where will I wear this outfit? Do I have the appropriate accessories/pieces at home to create an outfit with this garment?
If you can answer all those questions easily, buy it. Buy it because it speaks to your personal brand and not because it’s on sale or because you feel like spending money.
By following the above steps, you’ll create an enviable wardrobe that ensures you’ll have something to wear for all occasions. The best part? You’ll save money along the way, even if you do make a few big splurges.
Tip: go through your closet to get rid of anything you haven’t worn — or will not wear — in 18 months. Donate these items, sell them or return them to the store if possible. Designate that money to your “new purchases” fund.
By Wendy Rose Gould
Know something we don't? Email us
at [email protected]