Tuesday Update: Wishlist Shopping.

One of my goals is to work on a wishlist, and stick to it when shopping.

I’ve discovered that one of the best parts of this non-impulse shopping is that I’m taking the time to choose the right pieces to add to my wardrobe. I’m keeping track of styles and trends, and making a mental note of things I might want to try. I’m narrowing it down to just a few key pieces, which allows me to focus more on quality. I’m a bit tired of wearing shirts that feel like they’ve been sewn together with fishing wire. (Seriously, what is that clear, plastic, stretchy thread? It’s so itchy and poke-y that I scratch myself raw.)

I recently came across the concept of The 5-Piece French Wardrobe. The idea is that you have a constant wardrobe of basics, and only add 5 new on-trend pieces twice a year, in the Spring and Fall. It doesn’t “count” if you need to replace the basics, which are things like black pants, dark denim jeans, and undergarments. (Yes, I say undergarments!) I don’t have all the basics, so I’m starting my list with those.

Black pants.

I went to a few stores last week to figure out if any black pants could look remotely flattering on me. I’m plus-sized, and between sizes at that. Double whammy! The store I had the highest hopes for was a total disaster. While the waist fit perfectly, I could’ve stuffed my children into the extra fabric on each thigh. Basically, it looked like the most unflattering pair of jodhpurs in existence.

I almost threw in the towel, but tried one more store with a different sizing scheme. Ahhh, the pants fit like a glove! Several pairs fit perfectly, but I knew I had to stick to my list: black pants. I made a mental note about the other pairs, in case I want them to be one of my 5 pieces later on when my husband and I decide on a budget for me.

The perfect black denim pants came home with me. Denim was not really on my list, but I don’t need to dress up for anything. Denim will work!

Another basic that I need: a long, black cardigan. This one will be tough, because I’m picky about fabrics. No wool, no exceptions. I avoid acrylic, but cotton blends are OK. I haven’t seen the one in-store or online yet, but it’s still summer. I have time.

After that, I get to spice things up with color, prints, and flowy fabrics. I really like not being restrained by the price. Granted, I won’t spend a ridiculous amount on a blouse, but I won’t cap it at my usual $30. I’ll look at and try on everything. It’s quality over quantity for my clothing; I’ve been doing that for years for my kids but never for me. It’s actually refreshing to wait and not buy whatever I think I want at the moment. I’m putting more thought into my closet, which will end up in a much smaller closet of things I will wear a lot.

Now, the struggle. It’s been very hard to not grab all the clearance items that look pretty. In one instance, I did give in, but ended up returning the rule-breakers the next day. Also, now that I know I can go shopping, it’s really hard to not go every day, particularly to my old haunts (TJ Maxx, in particular). I might visit the discount stores after I’ve tried full-retail stores, but for now I still need to stay away. Far, far away!

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