Since I started my new Etsy Vintage By Suzanne Shop it has given me an excuse to buy and hoard even more great vintage pieces. Like I needed more help in that area!
I have to keep reminding myself the reason I created an Etsy shop is not to hoard more for myself but to share my vintage obsession with the world! I need to sell the majority of the pieces I buy.
Sell the majority of the pieces I buy.
Sell the majority of the pieces I buy.
That is my mantra to keep reminding myself of that small but very important detail of being a vintage reseller.
A great example of me debating how to choose what to keep in my wardrobe and what to sell is this lovely black suede dress…I would LOVE to keep this baby.
It fits like a dream and would be easy to layer with some pussy bow blouses or turtlenecks for winter. Every time I look at this in my shop I wonder if I should delist it and simply add it to my already bursting closet. When I get that urge I force myself to move onto something else and stop obsessing about it. We’ll see though…the more I look at this the more I think it would look great styled over a dress as a long vest. Oh yeah!
How to choose what to keep in your wardrobe…
- Do you LOVE it?
- Do you own anything else like it?
- Will you be able to wear it with other items in your closet?
- Is the fit and material practical for your lifestyle?
- Do you think you can do better?
- Will you regret it if you don’t buy/keep it?
- Does this improve your life?
- Is this a one-of-a-kind piece?
- Does it communicate what you want to say to the world about yourself?
- Do you see yourself in the mirror or someone else staring back at you?
Do you love it?
This is a broad question since I have a big heart when it comes to fashion and what I love. This question isn’t a huge help to me normally but often times if I try to shop retail rather than vintage I find I don’t really love the piece. I want it, but I don’t love it. It is like trying to recognize the difference between lust and love. One of them is shallow and fleeting, the other deep and enduring.
Do you own anything else like it?
I can get caught up easily in this question. Often times I will have “similar” pieces but not exactly the same and I justify keeping one more item just because it is slightly different. I’m trying to put my foot down on this. It is a learning process ; )
Will you be able to wear it with other items in your closet?
Ha! Well when you have a closet as big as mine you can make almost anything work if you try. I do find however, that as far as colours go most of the colours in my closet are warm colours. When I’m considering keeping a cool colour piece I need to really think about how it’ll work with the rest of my wardrobe.
Often times I will simply create a minimum of four outfits with whatever I’m thinking about keeping. If it is dead easy to make outfits and be excited about how they make me feel, I’ll keep the piece. I also try to take photos of the outfits so I can remember them in the future.
Is the fit and material practical for your lifestyle?
This is a good one to consider. While I adore leather pieces as they are easily wiped clean, suede is another story. A person needs to be a bit more careful not to stain it.
Did you know you can often clean spots on suede by using a soft white eraser? It’s true! Just be careful to not rub too hard otherwise you may remove all of the nap of the suede. A person can also buy spray paint for suede pieces to make them look like new. You can buy it at shoes stores or a shoe cobbler.
Fit is also an important question to consider.
I love form fitting dresses, but I need to limit the amount I own since I also have fat days like everyone else where all I want to do is hide in layers of fabric. (As I get older I see this happening more. I am NOT embracing this part of aging.)
If the item doesn’t fit you properly you won’t want to wear it, no matter how cute it looks on the hanger.
Do you think you can do better?
I have a bad habit of buying things that are “almost” what I’m looking for but not quite. A “good-enough-for-now” strategy that amounts to items that aren’t 100% what I’m looking for. I’m trying to remind myself now that it is better to wait until the right one comes along rather than making due with an inferior version. This reminds me a bit of my youth and looking for the right guy! Ha ha! How many times did you suffer with an inferior version?
Will you regret it if you don’t buy it?
Leaving an item for a few days to think about it is always a good idea but not really practical when thrift shopping. As a thrift shopper you need to make up your mind right then and there. I’ve pre-shopped sales at thrift stores only to have the items I pre-shopped be long gone by the time I got there. If you like something when thrifting you need to buy it or be prepared to let it go when you walk away from it the first time.
Retail shopping allows you to think about a piece for a while before you need to commit. I will often go home and think about it, or if it is online I will keep the items in my cart and think about it for weeks or a month and then often I decide I don’t need it anymore. I call it cart shopping, similar to window shopping but with a bit more risk as it is easier to simply click a “buy now” button.
Don’t get caught up in the idea that you can buy it and take it back later. We all know how that ends up.
Does this improve your life?
This is a big one. How often can you say an item of clothing will improve your life? Not very often. I did buy some new lined leather gloves recently because my old ones had holes in the fingers and I know this will improve my life because my fingers won’t freeze. Same would be true for some lined boots I bought two years ago. These are often practical and what I would consider boring purchases but they are the basic backbones that make up a workable wardrobe.
Is this a one-of-a-kind piece?
As a thrifter and vintage shopper these are the kind of pieces I fall head over heels in love with. Items I know are truly unique make my heart beat just a little faster. My closet is made up of maybe 80% unique items. I would not recommend this strategy unless you really like to play with your clothes. One-of-a-kind pieces can be overwhelming for people to pair with other pieces. Statement pieces demand to be the focal point of an outfit. Too many and they compete with each other which can confuse the eyes. A better strategy might be 50-50 or 30-70 when just starting out. For me personally I thrive on the challenge and will often keep a piece because it is so unique.
Does it communicate accurately how you want to be perceived by others?
I’ve chosen my style statement ( you can do the same here) and it includes the words, artistic, unique, relevant, fun and strong. Those adjectives are what I want to communicate to the world about myself. If the item doesn’t meet one of those requirements, it doesn’t stay.
Do you see yourself in the mirror or someone else staring back at you?
I know this may seem obvious, but truly, you need to feel like yourself in your clothes. If not, they belong on someone else.
Here is an example of a similar skirt styled two ways…one using more conservative options and the other with one-of-a-kind pieces. You can see how it is a fun way to challenge yourself however it wouldn’t suit everyone’s personal style statement.
One thing I know as an avid thrifter is that although I must let some things go, there is always the thrill of hunting for and discovering something new. That is wherein the excitement lies…the chase.
As in life, the joy is in the journey, not the destination.
What questions do you ask yourself before you buy or decide to keep an article of clothing for your closet?
Do you find yourself buying “good-enough-for-now” pieces?