Buying Consciously Online vs In Person

I’m not the biggest fan of online shopping so not buying clothes online for a few months has been quite easy. I can think of 2 items in my wardrobe that were bought online. One of them had been seen in store a couple of years ago and the other should have been returned but in many cases this isn’t good for the environment and luckily has had plenty of wear. In terms of physical stores I have also gone from buying a new item every couple of weeks when out and about to not even one every couple of months. As you can imagine this has greatly decreased the amount I was bringing into the home which, now looking back, is exactly what was needed.

What I have realised over time that the pieces that stood the test of time and survived the numerous declutters are the quality items with timeless styles. Not necessarily expensive, mid range high street prices, so it has shown that cost and quality can go hand in hand.

Impulse Purchasing In Store

When we had no plans at the weekend we used to just go shopping. Whether it was to the local high street or further afield to a large shopping centre it just became something to do. And quite often we would come home with a new item or two (not including any money spent on food and travel) for no occasion or event to speak of and let’s be honest, I would have probably gone out shopping again if I did have a specific occasion to buy for. It became a money and time drainer and many items bought over the years doing exactly this have ended up going to the charity shop. Going forward there are definitely other things to do than going shopping, it’s about not falling back into old habits.

Online Purchases

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a surf on a secondhand marketplace app and often end up saving items I like but for 99.9% of items that catch my eye I am able to somehow scroll on past coming up with a reason or two why not to buy it, “not the right size/won’t fit properly”, “looks more worn than I’d like”, “wouldn’t pay that amount”. Whatever it is I talk myself out of most items and they get forgotten about the next day so there is another question to consider ‘Will I still love it in a year?’

For some reason this process can be harder to do in a store. Scrolling quickly and forgetting about something is easier to do than walking past an item but with the same principles and questions about the quality and need for the item it can be done.

The question “Will I still love it in a year?” is a great one because personal taste is ever evolving and I can certainly say my style isn’t the same as it was a few years ago. If anything I was more sure of my personal style at the age of 18, which is what I am reverting back to and re-loving certain things, than I was throughout my 20’s where I became more influenced of what others were wearing. Seeing this now I can also ask myself, ‘Will a certain trend come around again next year? Would I wear this piece even if it did or would I want a new one? If this item wasn’t a trend led one would I still like it?’

When we’re able to return to the shops again I will likely want a little Spring update but what I am going to be going forward is prepared. By asking the following questions I can make sure that I’m only bringing clothes, homewares and accessories that I will still be using for years to come.

Do I need it? Or do I just want it because it’s on sale? Or because it looks good in the store?

Will I wear it repeatedly? 

Will it go with anything else in my wardrobe? Is there a space in the home for this?

Is it a quality item? Will it last? Could it be repaired?

Will I part with my money for it? Would I prefer to save that money for something else?

If the answer is no (or yes for the last question) I feel confident that I won’t buy anything that doesn’t bring 100% value and will get years of use from.

More recently I have seen that I really don’t need as much and I don’t like the amount of stuff that I was accumulating. Too much stuff requires more decluttering and it just ends up being a cycle where money may have just been wasted. I’m not adverse to buying and never will be, I still love shopping, but now it’s more about the thought behind it and as always thinking of the phrase ‘Buy Consciously Not Constantly’.

I definitely feel like the last year or so has shown me that there are plenty of clothes and outfits that I still love and have plenty of wear left in them. A couple of edits have been made and my style going forward has evolved to be more ‘me’ which is simple, classic designs, quality pieces and a minimal colour palette. I have spent a lot of time thinking about what colours and shapes suit me and what I feel comfortable in so I am ready to hit the shops without compromising my journey when it comes to minimising my wardrobe and creating a capsule wardrobe. If I’m out and don’t see anything that matches my style and fits in easily I am confident that I won’t buy something for the sake of it.

There are more blog posts on Buying Consciously and Creating Sustainable Shopping Habits if you liked this one.

I’d love to know if you prefer shopping in person or online and if there is any difference when it comes to impulse purchases.

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