When was the last time you asked yourself “is this piece of clothing worth buying?”
I get requests for comment from journalists looking for input or quotes on fashion, style, clothing, etc. One of these came asking for clothing recommendations and the question they asked stylists to answer in regards to their recommendation was: “why is this piece worth buying?”
It’s a common question in these types of requests and seems innocuous enough. And when you’re shopping it’s an ok question to ask. (Pro tip: if you don’t have an answer, don’t buy it.)
But it is a terrible question for filtering your clothing purchasing decisions. Let’s have some higher standards people!
Is this piece of clothing worth buying?
If you look hard enough you will always be able to find some reason to buy a piece of clothing.
What makes this worth buying should not be the first question we ask when considering a new piece of clothing.
Since we live in a culture hooked on instantaneous fast fashion (no matter how expensive a piece of clothing is) our perception of the relationship between clothing and money is warped. It is off balance, and often ill informed.
So as we’re raising our standards for our style, and raising our standards for ourselves, we would also do well to bring our perception of clothing and cost back in right relationship with each other.
Too often we look at clothing through the lens of cost before considering any other factors.
I encourage you to look at clothing purchases through the lens of value, or style, or preferences, or joy, or love, or connection, or fit, or beauty, or practically anything else before you look at clothing through the lens of cost.
Ask these questions instead
Here is my list of other questions to ask when you’re contemplating new clothing.
First ask the non-money questions:
- Where is the joy?
- Is it a perfect fit?
- Am I delighted?
- What makes this worth wearing?
- Does this portray what I want to portray to the world?
- Is this aligned with my values?
Then ask the money related questions:
- What makes this not worth buying?
- Do I have a reasonable belief that I can accurately approximate the cost per wear?
- What makes this worth buying?
- Have I calculated (or at least considered) the FULL price?
If we run through this framework non-money questions and then money questions – then the money related questions have very little to do with cost, and much more to do with price.
When we look at clothing through the lens of cost, it is easy to be swayed into a scarcity decision.
But when we first look at clothing through the lens of delight, or joy, or fit, or quality, or values, or style, we can make a well informed, clear hearted decision, from a place of abundance.
When we make abundant decisions the price is just the price. Maybe we can afford it, maybe we can’t. Maybe we pay it, or maybe we don’t. But it no longer has undue influence over our decision.
And we have taken one more step to bring our view of money and clothing into better balance.