What is a “forever” wardrobe? A mix of pieces that will stand the test of time. You will want to build your “forever” wardrobe over time and have it stocked with well-tailored, professional clothing for those job fairs and interviews, as well as for just looking well-kept and put-together. These are a few things over the years I have learned that made building your closet a little easier:
BUY IT IN EVERY COLOR
This is something that I learned from my hubby. I like to be practical and buy things in navy, gray, and white just because they will match everything, but my boyfriend is not afraid of color. He will buy a pair of shoes, and if he likes them, he will go back and buy the same pair of shoes in another color. The key is to purchase “every color” in things that will last, both physically and with the trends.
QUALITY > QUANTITY
This is something that I learned from my dad. I learned to value quality over quantity ever since I was a child. I would watch my parents choose whether to buy something, not just based on price, but on quality. The first time I realized how engrained this was in me was when I purchased my first Blu-ray player. I could easily have gone with the cheapest, low-brand player, but I chose the one with the features that I was looking for. I ended up spending twice as much, but it is something that I have used consistently for the past few years. The same applies for clothes. You will want to begin building your professional wardrobe in college, and over time. It is always worth it to buy things that will last a long time and that you know you will wear.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
This applies to everything. Research Blu-ray players. Research what ingredients are in your moisturizer. Research what that sweater is made of. Research and compare prices. You cannot learn to value quality over quantity if you do not know what quality is.
TRY IT ON OR BE READY TO RETURN IT
When I first entered college, I had about 30 pounds worth of jeans that I had to carry up 3 flights of stairs to my dorm room. I ended up selling/donating about 25 pounds of that because I had never worn them. They were all purchased online or from a fantastic sale, and ONLY purchased because they were a good price. Again, quality over quantity. If you try them on and you find they don’t fit exactly right, do you really think you will wear it again? Think about it this way: would you rather have that $10 to put towards a better fitting pair of jeans, or buy the unflattering pair? If you are shopping online, buy from a retailer that you are familiar with in re to sizing, or at least from somewhere with a good return policy. Don’t feel guilty about taking your time in the dressing room when there is a long line at H&M; make sure you look at yourself from all angles.
ASK YOURSELF IF YOU WILL WASH IT
I cannot stress this one enough. How many times have you washed a sweater and it had those little fuzz balls after you took it out of the dryer? (or is that just me?) I don’t have time (or the discipline) to sort clothes by color and wash things on the delicate cycle. This is why I buy clothes made of quality materials that will last through the wash. If you already take the time to give attention to your silk camisoles, why not buy that merino wool boyfriend sweater that is on sale at J. Crew?
CARRY IT AROUND THE STORE
This drives my hubby crazy. I will pick up something after going through all the above tips and just carry it around the store with me while I think about it. I usually end up putting back 90% of what I have picked up just by doing this. Just because you pick something up and carry it, doesn’t mean you are going to buy it!