Updated: Jul 16, 2022
It might originate from Ancient Greek, but "know thyself" is also very important styling advice... Especially when faced with the decision of whether or not to purchase multiples of a particular item.
I met up with a client the other day, and she asked me what I thought of her basic tank top. I told her it looked great, and she replied: "Good! Because I bought 10 of them!"
This lovely client of mine is very particular with clothing (fabric, colour, fit, etc.). She has trouble finding items she loves that also fit well. She found this tank top and purchased one, intending to return to the store and buy another... only to come back and discover that they were sold out. Completely.
So when the tanks became available again on the website, she bought 10, in a number of colours and in two different sizes (she's on a post-pregnancy weight loss journey).
Does this sound extreme to you?
Maybe it is - but it works for her, and that's what counts. She knows herself.
I was out shopping with another wonderful client who needed work clothes and usually hates shopping. We spent around 4 hours trying on clothes in a multitude of stores, and had already made a number of purchases. But she still needed a few more summer work tops.
While browsing H&M*, we happened upon a fabulous cap-sleeved v-neck top, and a cap-sleeved top with a shirred neckline. These shirts fit her beautifully, and made her look serious, competent and impressive (which she is - and now she also looks like it!).
I told her to pick out the colours she liked.
"Colours? Plural? You think I should buy more than one???" she asked me.
My reply: "Have I not been here with you these past 4 hours, right by your side? How many tops did you try on? How many fit as well as these, and looked as good as these do on you? They're H&M, they might not last that long... And look at the price!"
She bought 3 of one top and 4 of another, in different colours/patterns.
She has since reported back that these tops have been a saving grace in her wardrobe.
Now... what about YOU?
When you come across an item you love, should you buy more than one? Should you buy another couple pieces in the same colour? In different colours? Different sizes?
This is where knowing yourself and your preferences comes into play.
When SHOULD you buy multiples of an item?
- If you often find yourself saying things like: "I wish I'd bought another one..." or "I wish I'd bought the one in cream/black/etc. ...".
- If you have trouble finding items you like that fit well, and do not tire quickly of your clothes.
- If the item is a relatively basic, classic piece that doesn't stand out and won't go out of style. (You don't want to be known as "the woman in the candy-red striped pants".)
- If your body weight fluctuates regularly and you know that you'd be happy to have the same item in a different size when you gain/lose weight. (For some of us, these fluctuations are inevitable. Know thyself AND thy body.)
- If the item is a quality item and you know it will last.
- If you know you will wear the item often. (Bear in mind wear and tear - especially relevant during the Israeli summer, when you have to wash clothes more often.)
- If the price is reasonable.
As for how many items you want to purchase... I leave this up to you!
When should you NOT purchase multiples of an item? If you love variety, you find clothes easily, tire quickly of items, or already have an overflowing wardrobe of items you love and wear... this strategy is NOT for you. Purchase only one.
Have you ever regretted not purchasing multiples of an item? What was it? Did you find a good replacement, or are you still looking?
* Not my go-to, but it depends on the client's budget - and occasionally, great finds can be unearthed in H&M, too.