Each year, I start my spring cleaning off by clearing out my closet and donating old clothes. This is partly a leftover habit from when I would come home from college and not want to pack everything, and partly because I have the world's tiniest closet and need to make room for my summer dresses to come back. Unfortunately, it gets harder and harder each year to fill multiple bags with unwanted clothing.
When I was only able to fill one large shopping bag this year, I realized why: the closer I get to 30, the better I get at personal style. If you're looking to improve the quality and/or quantity of your wardrobe, here are some tips for making sure you'll still like your purchases next year.
It's worth investing in classic staples. Trends come and go, but there are key items that you can find in stores year after year, and for good reason. A black blazer is always going to look good with everything, simple flats will always match every outfit, and a super soft sweater will always feel luxurious. Sure, you can buy all these items at Target for less than $40, but they're not going to last you more than a few seasons. A J. Crew blazer or Cole Haan shoes may seem a splurge, but you'll actually spend less over time when you don't have to replace something every year. And this is coming from the girl who rarely, if ever, pays full price for things.
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Don't splurge on hot trends. A black cashmere sweater is totally worth paying good money for, but those neon Pink pants you've been eying will probably look ridiculous in a year or two. Buy the obviously trendy items you've been admiring at discount stores.
Choose quality over quantity. 'Tis far better to have a drawer-ful of well-made clothes than a walk-in closet full of crap, as Shakespeare once said (I may be paraphrasing). Well-made clothes will always feel better, fit better, and last longer. But don't feel like you have to go into debt, plan your spending wisely and hit an outlet mall, discount designer store, or department store sale.
Black never goes out of style. Despite loving many patterns of fresh floral pants this spring, I only purchased one pair, because who knows if they'll be trendy again next year? Meanwhile, I own five pairs of black pants, one black cardigan for every colored one I own, and two pairs of black shoes for every non-black pair sitting in my closet. Why? Because black matches everything and will never go out of style. If you're going to splurge on something expensive, black is a sure bet with its fashion staying and stain-hiding powers.