Put an End to Buyer’s Remorse With This Mindful Shopping Tip

Photo: Karly Santiago

Mindfulness and fashion aren’t the most obvious twosome. One commits to being aware of the present moment; the other commits to a pair of Charlotte Olympia calf hair wedges before the rent is due but their paradoxical pairing is key to creating a happy closet. Why?

By becoming more conscious of what you expect from your clothing, you’re better positioned to make informed shopping decisions and managing the lingering spectre of regret. Let’s face it, many of our decisions in life are really about determining what we prioritise most. Why should our closets be any different?

For example: If you value comfort but have a closet filled of tight, body-conscious dresses, will you feel satisfied? Equally, if you value ornate and visually-stimulating pieces, will a rack of minimalist separates really do it for you?

We are at our happiest when our personal value system is in alignment with our actions. We may get giddy with excitement at having broken the back of our new credit card on a slinky dress but the high garnered from material goods plateaus after a period of time. If you’re looking for a long-term connection with what you wear, it needs to come from a deeper tether; not just surface value.


“Knowing your values is key to making good decisions.”

Annmarie O’Connor

Want to figure out what gives you equal parts pleasure and purpose? Then it’s time to determine your Core Closet Values:


  • Make a list of those items that give you the most bang for your buck on an emotional AND practical level.
  • Next, describe the feeling you associate with each one. A leather jacket may make you feel invincible, put together or bad ass. Your skinny jeans could do the same. It’s okay if there’s overlap. In fact, it’s more than okay – it’s great. What we’re looking here for are word patterns. Once you’ve filled in the blanks, highlight the feelings that repeat themselves.
  • When you go shopping or clear your closet, ensure that each item ticks at least THREE of these words. My words are FEMININE, EASY-TO-WEAR & VERSATILE. Having this tool in your back pocket also proves its worth when cross-checking the integrity behind our choices. In other words, knocking any shady excuses or rational lies squarely on the head.

Those strappy stilettoes I love may be feminine but if I can only wear them with the help of three assistants and an act of God, a more suitable alternative might be in order. That goes double for decluttering. Sometimes the prospect of starting everything all over again is too much to think about. Throwing things out is tantamount to rescinding parts of one’s identity.  By using this tool, the process of clearing and curating will become a habit worth forming.

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