Why would you buy clothes you weren’t certain would work for you? That’s a great question and what we will tackle in this post.
This whole post was inspired by something I heard on a podcast:
“She was telling me on a walk that she just purchased a cool dress that she really liked for an upcoming wedding. I don’t know when that wedding would be, but it’d be a cool dress. Yet she also confided by saying, “Yeah. I don’t know if I’ll really be able to wear it or fit into it, or maybe it won’t work for this particular wedding.” And it just blows my mind. Why would you buy something when you don’t know for sure that it’s doable?” (From this podcast episode.)
It was a husband talking about his wife’s clothing purchases. If you’ve never been faced with having to make a purchase you weren’t 100% sure about, or with purchasing clothes that didn’t workout like you intended – this seems like a reasonable question.
(And how fortunate for you. May you never have to experience the hair pulling frustration.)
Really, the answer is quite simple (though circular).
Why would you buy clothes you weren’t certain would work for you? Because you couldn’t be certain they would work for you.
Why would you buy clothes you weren’t certain would work for you?
As much information as we can gather about clothes before we buy them, we can’t always be certain.
There are tons of reasons that a clothing purchase might not work out.
We’ve talked about the reasons that a piece of clothing might not fit (all 84 of them), but fit isn’t the only reason a piece of clothing might not work out as expected.
Some of the ways that a piece of clothing can fail to work out:
- The color is off
Especially if you’re shopping online, or keeping a tight color pallet the shade of the actual piece of clothing can be off. But even when you’re shopping in person the lighting in store can vary drastically and the piece might be a very different color when you get home.
- The fit is off
As we’ve covered here, the fit could be off in a variety of ways significant and minuscule, but even tiny “off” measurements can have significant impact.
- The fabric is off
Especially when shopping online and you can’t touch the fabric before purchase, the fabric might not be what you’re expecting or we’re looking for.
- The cut is off
Maybe off enough to impact the fit or maybe just not the right cut. This is things like pieces being cut off grain, patterns being off, sleeves not being set right, etc.
- Something could be “off” but not “wrong”
Sometimes the cut, fabric, fit, or color are “off” but not necessarily “wrong”. It just might be not quite right for you right now.
- It could be too formal for the event
A piece of clothing might be too formal for the event you bought it for. Or too formal for your wardrobe in general.
- It could be too casual for the event
The piece of clothing might be too casual for your event. Or too casual for your style.
- It could be inappropriate for the event in some other way
Or something else! It could be big-I Inappropriate for the event or your closet. Or it could be little-i inappropriate.
- It would require further purchases to work (shoes, undergarments, other accessories)
Sometimes the piece is fantastic, but calls for additional items (the right shoes, specific undergarments, different accessories, etc). Sometimes it’s worth getting those supporting items, sometimes it’s not.
I don’t think we talk enough about the smell of clothing. But smell is another reason an item of clothing might not work out.
(We talked more about clothing and all the senses in this post about tuning into the fit and feel of your clothes.)
Some clothes make obvious sounds, some make subtle sounds, and like smell, this can be an often overlooked reason clothes don’t work out.
- Touch & Feel
Your body has a lot of information to tell you about your clothes, and if clothing feels off, it usually is.
So there you have it! A whole host of reasons a clothing purchase might not work out. Next time someone asks you “but why would you buy clothes you weren’t certain would work for you?” you can tell them “if only it were that simple.”
This is also why when I work with someone on procuring their perfect closet additions we shop methodically to increase the likelihood a purchase will work for you. We look at your wardrobe, we consider your style, we find options, and then we select the best option to fulfill your needs. (And we have backup options.)