These are some questions I’ve found helpful and I think are good to ask yourself before buying anything new:
Do I love it, or am I trying to convince myself I need it? Is the price/sale factoring into my decision?
Give it a few days before you buy it. It’s easy to get excited about something new so make sure it’s an item you want and will use (giving yourself some time to think about it often helps). It’s also incredibly easy to be tempted by sales, ask yourself if you would feel the same way if the product was regular price.
Make a wish list! To avoid impulse sale purchases – to know that you really need/want it.
When/where will I wear this? Clothes should fit your lifestyle; only buy pieces you know you’ll actually wear. You start with doing things and then buy – you probably need fewer
things than you need.
What will I wear it with? Make sure the outfit is your style and works with what you already have/doesn’t require you to buy other things to wear it.
Does it fit and is it comfortable? And if it doesn’t fit right, can it be altered? Your clothes should fit the way you want and if it’s not comfortable when you try it on, you likely won’t enjoy wearing it.
What is it made from and how do I care for it? Make sure the material has the properties you want (eg. soft, breathable, water-resistant, etc.) and is a fabric you like wearing. Check the care instructions and only buy things you are prepared and able to care for properly.
Is it good quality? Inspect the sewing and fabric construction, is it something that looks like it will last or get worn out/fall apart quickly? Read reviews and gather information (especially if you shop online)
How long can I see myself wearing this? 1 year? 5 years? This helps avoid fleeting trends and the longer you can see yourself wearing something the better the investment it is.
Does it fit with my budget? Make sure you can afford it and that your money isn’t better spent on a different piece(s).
Are there any sustainability aspects? Is the company trying to reduce their environmental impact? Does the company align with your values? Do they use child labour? etc. Look for sustainable materials, eco-friendly production, or any other areas where the brand is conscious of the sustainability of their products. Support companies who manufacture in an ethical way – pay their workers a living wage. Check out the brand’s social responsibility policies and their suppliers/factories.
I hope these questions can help you make informed decisions when buying new clothes. There also other more sustainable options to update your wardrobe like thrift shopping and renting or borrowing a friend’s outfit even if it is just for you to try it out.
Finally, ‘shopping your wardrobe’ and using your existing clothes differently to create new outfits can help you make the most out of your closet and save money too.