3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Your Next Clothing Purchase

(This post was shot at East Austin Hotel. We highly recommend you check it out if you’re local or next time you’re in town!)

Confession: I’m currently on a spending freeze. It’s not so much that I was out of control (at least not by my own standards– ha!), but it is just so easy when we are always shopping for shoots to keep a few things here and a few things there and I really wanted to put more intentionality behind my purchases. Also, I’m such proponent of investment pieces which is hard to do if you’re always buying a little here and a little there. Instead, I’ve decided to give myself a seasonal budget. I’ll give myself an allotment of money every three months to spend for the season. When it’s gone it’s gone and if it’s not gone it can roll over. The idea of being able to save for more exciting purchases that will stand the test of time is very interesting to me! Summer’s budget is gone, so it’s no more shopping until September for me.

Whether you’re staying on a budget or not, it’s nice to be thoughtful about what you’re buying. Here are the questions I’ve been asking myself before making a purchase:

1. How will I wear this piece come fall? (Or whatever the next season may be.)
Pieces that can transcend different seasons are much more enticing to me. This skirt for example I would wear with an extra chunky knit sweater and mules when it gets chilly enough.

2. Can I name three ways / places I would wear this piece?

A swimsuit cover up for vacation is fine, but it’s much better if you can also wear said cover up as a dress on a summer day at the park, for every remaining pool day of summer, and around the house on the weekends because you love it THAT much. Does anyone’s closet really have space for a piece that serves just one very specific purpose?

3. Does it fit my present self exactly the way I would like? My present self meaning the exact person that’s looking back at me in the mirror. Not my self if I do Soul Cycle for the next three months in row. Not myself after I lose the “baby weight”. Is it perfect as-is right now?

If the answer to the question isn’t yes, return it stat! The odds of you ever wearing it or taking the time and spending the money to get it properly tailored are slim to none. Buy clothes that make you feel confident in your body exactly the way you are right now.

Skirt || Top || Sandals (Similar… actually not that similar but these are exactly what I would buy to wear with this if I was in the market for new shoes!) || Purse

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  1. I try to ask myself all of these questions too! I need to start giving myself a budget though.

    Jennifer
    Effortlessly Sophisticated

    • Jen Pinkston

      07/09/2019

      The budget is nice because it actually gives you the freedom to feel like you can totally splurge on that one really expensive hand bag or pair of shoes… just as long as you don’t surpass your total budget.

  2. Arden R.

    07/09/2019

    Just bought this skirt! It’s so cute!

  3. Denise

    07/09/2019

    I so needed to read this today. In the summer with all of the sales my spending can feel like a runaway train.

    • Jen Pinkston

      07/09/2019

      saaaaaame, girl, same. i needed a reset. no spending for me ’til september!

  4. Elizabeth

    07/09/2019

    Love this, jen!

  5. Natalie

    07/09/2019

    Just curious, how much is your seasonal budget?

    • Jen Pinkston

      07/09/2019

      so i debated adding this. everyone’s budgets are so different. it feel enormous to some and like pennies to others, but it’s $1000 every three months and I try to just buy 2-8 pieces with it. i would much rather own a few beautiful, well-made pieces than a ton of fast fashion. (although a couple fast fashion items usually make it in, too.)

  6. such great tips! AND JUST WANTED TO SAY THANK YOU FOR YOUR HONESTY ON SHARING YOUR BUDGET. IT’S SUCH A PERSONAL THING AND EVERYONE’S IS DIFFERENT FOR DIFFERENT REASONS. I JUST RECENTLY BOUGHT SOME NEW THINGS THAT I DESPERATELY NEEDED FOR MY SUMMER WARDROBE BUT AM GOING TO TRY THIS METHOD FOR THE FALL SEASON.

    • Jen Pinkston

      07/13/2019

      Thanks, Kelly! I really appreciate it! I find the sales this time of year are so hard to say no to. Sometimes you have to take price totally out of it and really think about the necessity of it all.