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Purchasing with Purpose

Each day at the shop we deal with people from all walks of life with one thing in common - they’re all super busy. With such busy schedules, people often put things off that they think can wait – car maintenance, house and yard maintenance, trips to the dentist or eye doctor – and for sure, closet and wardrobe maintenance. One of the most common mistakes we see people making with their wardrobe is not their quality choices, but the lack of planned purchasing. Here are a number of planning mistakes men commonly make when clothes shopping

1. TRAVEL PURCHASES. People work hard, and when they’re on vacation they tend to treat themselves because, after all, they deserve it. With this comes vacation shopping. They are out and about, feeling great, weather is good and they see some pieces that they like in a shop window. They go in, try them on, and with the spousal approval, they buy. We see a TON of people fall into this trap. Generally what they’ve purchased is nice, but rarely works with the rest of their wardrobe or the climate back home. Now, we’re not telling people to stop clothes shopping on vacation. We do suggest, though, you step back for just a minute and think about how the items tempting you would work into your current wardrobe. Do they duplicate anything you have? Is the item seasonal and only appropriate for the climate you find yourself enjoying at that moment? Is it something you see yourself wearing in six months time? This will help you avoid the “diary of your past vacations” hanging at the back of your closet.

2. BECAUSE BLACK GOES WITH EVERYTHING. This is another “rule of thumb” guys embrace to keep them selves in check on the fashion front. Throw the rule out. Black is great, but so is color and diversity. Men who use the “black goes with everything” rule to simplify their purchases ultimately end up with very dark closets. BORING! A small amount of planning can usually curb this problem. Often a guy just needs to ask, “What’s the function? Who will be attending? What time of year is the occasion taking place?” Generally, 95% of the time the appropriate getup is not black. Try something grey, navy or earth-tone - brown shoes - colored shirts, ties and sweaters. Have some fun. And if you have to, check in with a professional and confess your fears.

3. CHOOSING THE RIGHT FABRIC. This one’s important, and generally the reason people end up disappointed with their clothing purchase. It’s not that the garment is of poor quality, but usually the WRONG fabric is chosen for the intended purpose. Example: Harris Tweed for a tropical destination wedding - wrong! Or, linen-blend anything as a basic wardrobe piece. Both scenarios line you up for disappointment. This is an easy fix though – be honest with yourself. Evaluate the gaps in your wardrobe and fill accordingly. If you plan to wear something frequently, purchase accordingly. A super 180’s suit will not perform like a 110’s high twist – 180’s fabric is for special occasion dressing while 110’s fabric is a workhorse choice.

Long story short - plan your purchases. This doesn’t mean spending half a day at a drafting table, but instead thinking through use, frequency, and location. Simple. You’ll be glad you did.

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