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7 questions to ask before purchasing clothes

Almost every woman has purchased an item of clothing on impulse and then gone on to wear it just once or not at all. There are a lot of reasons that pretty blouse or dress may seem like a good purchase and end up becoming something that’s shoved into the back of your closet.

Building a wardrobe should be done with care so that the items you buy are practical, along with being stylish and flattering. If you want to make sure you’re always buying clothing you’ll love to wear, ask yourself these seven questions before making any purchases:

1. Where will I wear it?

Sure, a brightly colored cocktail dress might be flattering and eye-catching, but only if it ever makes it off the hanger. Before buying a piece of clothing, consider a few places or events you’ll be able to wear it. Versatile items – say, a blouse that can do double-duty and be worn at the office and out after work – are great purchases because you know you can wear them again and again.

Model posing in cobalt top

2. What will I wear it with?

For tops and pants, make sure you’ll be able to pair them with other items you already have in your closet. Try to come up with a few different outfit options for each piece of clothing you buy.

3. Is it easy to wash?

Many women make the mistake of buying high-maintenance clothing items that have to be hand washed or dry cleaned. Decide if you have the time, money and energy to take good care of any high-maintenance clothing. If you don’t, you’ll most likely avoid wearing it altogether.

4. Is it comfortable?

You don’t want to take care of housework or run errands in an itchy sweater or uncomfortable pair of jeans. When buying clothes online, check what materials they’re made of before buying, and look for fabrics you wear often.

Model in neutral duster

5. Would I still want it if it wasn’t on sale?

High heels that are on sale are automatically more enticing, but that shouldn’t be the “sole” reason you purchase them. Make sure any clothing item is practical and that you like it for other reasons than its price before buying it.

6. Does it fit my body right now?

Many women buy items that are a little too small because they’re hoping it will motivate them to lose weight. But what happens if you don’t lose weight? The item will be unflattering at best and simply not wearable at worst. Buy items that will look great on your body right now, and you may find you feel more confident overall.

Model in Summer Midi Dress

7. Is it too trendy?

When building a wardrobe, most fashion pros will tell you to start with basic items, since they’re the most versatile and long-lasting. This will ensure you buy practical items you can wear for years. While experimenting with trends can be fun, make sure the clothes you’re buying won’t go out of style in the next year.

And don’t forget these key style considerations:

Spin the color wheel

It’s open season on all chromatics and now’s the time to expand your palette. Black is not the only shade suited to slimming your frame, and you really can wear white year-round. Along the spectrum of hues, beautiful brights are never off-limits. If you’re not convinced that you want to jump into Technicolor just yet, try toning down a bold color with more subtle accessories. We’re sure you’ll like what you see.

Say yes to stripes

Bold lines are in. Go ahead and buck that fear of wearing horizontal stripes because anyone can look fantastic wearing them. The key is to choose patterns that proportionately align with your figure. Wider stripes – think a couple inches or more – flatter fuller shapes, while fine lines have the opposite effect.

The power of prints

You are not fated to a life of only solid colors. If prints are what you fancy, go for them! Follow the same tips you would with stripes: choose shapes and textures parallel to your proportions.

Even better, said Harper’s Bazaar, you have the freedom to mix and match prints. Dots and abstracts? Florals and stripes? Yes, please. This won’t be the first season mix-it-up styles have been on trend. Now you can multiply your outfit options using pieces you already own.

Shift your outlook

One commonly repeated fashion mantra is to choose dresses that emphasize your waist. While creating such a shape is guaranteed to be flattering, it doesn’t have to be your only move, said Fresh. If you like the look of a shift dress, there’s no reason not to go for it.

Daisy Lace Shift Dress
Daisy Lace Shift Dress

Wear skinny jeans

Baggy jeans tend to create a boxy silhouette, and there’s no reason not to show off your curves. Slim jeans are another great option.

Don’t sweat it

Say goodbye to drab gray. Sets of sweats now come in designer varieties that look sleeker than gym wear, said Refinery 29. Embrace the stylishly casual.

Leggings for the win

Who says stretchy can’t play on the same team as classy? Given the right fabric and cut, leggings connect fashion with form. Balance them with a flowy top for a polished look that will keep you comfortable.

When shopping for clothes, the most important rule of all is to stay true to yourself. Make sure you’re buying items you love. If you love it and feel great in it, it’s a must-have!

Woman in black control waist leggings, white top and black heeled sandals

Comments (10)

It was helpful when you said to check what materials they’re made of. My cousin told me on the phone last night about how she wants to start searching for more clothes to get for her winter wardrobe. I’ll pass these tips along to her if she starts searching online for clothes!

Thanks for mentioning how it is smart to look for clothing that will pair well with things you already own. My sister is hoping to purchase new clothes that she can wear this summer. I will have her consider her current wardrobe so she can find clothing that will go well with the outfits she has.


Easy to wash and comfort…always my main concerns

These are very great tip, especially for someone like myself, cause I tend to be an impulsively buy clothes &things that I never get to use. Thanks for the great Tips!

Thanks for the comment Arian! 🙂

I have a hard time with fit. For the first time in my life, I have a thick waist and it makes it hard to be comfortable in clothing.

All good questions to consider a new outfit. I normally go in looking for a particular thing.

I always wonder if the fit will be right. I tend to look at the return policy just in case, before buying online.

Would I still want it if it wasn’t on sale? That is a good question, sometimes the price is such a bargain.

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