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Before you buy that 16th pair of jeans...

woman holding pastel-colored paper shopping bags
Image courtesy of gonghuimin468 on Pixabay

In my late 20s and early 30s, my brother would jokingly refer to my attire as my "uniform". My outfits consisted almost solely of jeans or classic tailored black pants, and a black top. Sometimes I incorporated colour, in the form of a white camisole under the black top. While I did actually own clothing in other colours, I always gravitated towards the same outfits, in the same colour, black.

Thankfully, it was only a phase.

Most of us do tend to be drawn toward particular items, and to purchase those same items (or a variation of them) over AND over AND over again. After all, it is comforting to know we'll look good in them. It's easy; we don't need to think about how to wear them or what to pair them with. We already know.

But what makes this tendency problematic is that we often forget just how many of those articles we already possess.

In just the past few years, I confess I have amassed a lifetime supply of black v-neck t-shirts... at last count, over 25 (all purchased on sale - that counts for something, right?)... and a huge quantity and variety of black pencil skirts and wiggle LBDs ("Little Black Dress"). Are you sensing a colour theme, here?

I bet that if you were to open up your closet, and go through your clothes, you would find an excessive number of at least one particular item.

It's human nature. It's true of most people. Don't beat yourself up about it!

And this really wouldn't even be an issue if we wore those articles of clothing until they were threadbare. But let's be honest with ourselves: Styles change. Tastes change. Bodies change. Shiny new fashions emerge, calling our names! Fashion houses come out with brand new pieces we long to make our own. And then those black v-neck t-shirts, those pencil skirts and wiggle LBDs... are relegated to the back of the closet, never to be looked upon again (though the buyer's remorse may remain with you).

So what can you do to prevent this phenomenon?

- Go into your closet and review your clothing.

- Identify patterns of over-purchasing specific garments or accessories. Count how many you have of one item, if that will help bring the issue home.

- When you're shopping (online or in the store), and you find yourself drawn to that particular item that always draws you, remind yourself how many you already own (tell yourself the number if you need to). Remind yourself that the money can instead go to something you've been saving up for.

- And before you buy that 20th tailored white shirt or that beautiful silk scarf which you already own in multiples, ask yourself: Do I really need this?

If the answer is still "yes"...

I'm afraid you're in good company.

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