There are about half a million magazine articles and blog posts out there on how to curate your closet and buy things that work for you. After reading almost all of those articles and posts, these are the rules I've naturally settled on which have stuck in my mind as I am shopping for new pieces. For a new outfit to make it into my closet, it has to meet the following criteria:
1. It's made of natural fibers. The very first thing I do when shopping, either online or in store, is look at the fiber content when I spot something I like. If it's not made of mostly cotton or silk, I don't bother trying it on. Polyester is synthetic, doesn't breathe, and therefore makes me sweat buckets. Wool makes me itch to high heavens, so I usually buy my winter sweaters in the spring when pieces still look cozy but are made with cotton instead. Sometimes I will buy synthetic rayon knowing that it will wind up pilling.
2. Ethically made if possible. Recently I've made a transition to searching out and purchasing ethically, responsibly made clothing when possible. This means that the companies selling the clothing have close relations with the factories and workers who make the clothing. No unsafe working conditions, no children laboring to make t-shirts. Sometimes made in the USA. It's something I am trying not to be "all or nothing" about because it's a really difficult task to find affordable AND ethically made pieces, but when I can, I'm looking and taking note for future purchases. So far I've had great experiences with Everlane and Pact.
3. I must love it the moment I get it. Sometimes there are aspects of a potential purchase that I think are flattering on me, but still something's just not quite right. If I am "undecided" about a piece of clothing I've tried on, most likely I'm not thrilled with it. If I take it home to decide later, I either most likely return it or regret having kept it, so I've learned to simply leave it in the store. If I'm not really excited to wear something, even when it comes to tanks and t-shirts, I keep looking.
4. It's black, white, cream, grey, brown, or blue. Over the years I've noticed that if I add something to my closet that isn't one of these colors, it just doesn't get loved and worn the same way as my other more neutral pieces.
5. Nothing fussy. Especially as a mother, this rule has been crucial. I'm always bending over, slinging a diaper bag on my shoulder, or juggling Charlie and a pile of grocery bags. Sounds glamorous, I know. And for evenings sans-bebe, there is nothing that ruins an otherwise fun night out like a high-maintenance dress that you can't keep in the proper place. So I try to stick to no-fuss clothing that doesn't require tape and special bras and just the right this-or-that. Comfort = Confidence. Oh, and shoes? I don't get them if they don't feel like butter on my feet. Actually, I'm not sure that's a good simile to use because butter on feet sounds a bit yuck but you know what I mean.
What about you? What is it about your favorite pieces that makes you reach for them over and over?