Photographer: Tim Hout via Apiece Apart
A few nights ago, I spent a fair bit of time window shopping online, and the following day, I spent a day out shopping where I relentlessly tried stuff. I bought nothing. I was feeling restless, style-wise, but I didn't actually want anything new. I was merely bored, and thankfully, impulse control prevailed.
One of the things I used to do was to collect images of inspiration, and post them on my Tumblr or here. I stopped doing that due to lack of time to read blogs and blog, but then I started wondering into shops more, often something trying stuff on just see how something looked on me. And this predictably, led to actual purchases.
At the end of the day, I'm drawn to simple pieces, usually based on classic shapes, and it's not impossible to update a wardrobe of such pieces to acknowledge the current - an unexpected shoe-pairing here, some layering there, taking up the hems of an old shirt or dress. Which means some of the things I buy don't end up getting much traction, because nice as they are, they never meant much to begin with. I could have done more with what I had.
So I started slowing down and lingering over fashion imagery I like again, in particular looking out for looks that remind me of things I already have, or pair similar pieces in unexpected ways. I started pulling out things I'd stopped wearing for a while and trying them on when I had the time - sometimes I think of new ways to wear them, sometimes they're fit differently from how I remembered. Even if there is nothing remarkable about an outfit - it doesn't take much imagine to put together a simple long-sleeved top, jeans and white trainers - I think seeing it done well on another person, beautifully photographed, is a nice reminder that gets me going: "Why am I over-thinking it when this works so well?"
The types of images I go for are ones featuring a style and colour palette similar to what I own, and I avoid things that I know have no place in my life: heels, formal clothing, winter-wear, to name a few. Yes, there is the chance that looking at such images prompts a craving to buy new things, but usually the urge passes.
"Shop your closet" has become a catchphrase, like "investment buys", but unlike the latter, I think it's immensely sensible, surprisingly fun and it actually saves you money. If you're at that stage of your life when you've spent at least a decade buying your own clothes, and you have a decent trove* of clothing to tap, you shouldn't let that go to waste.
*This is why I think decluttering is overrated. It's too easy to go overboard with the purging.