When a “Bargain” isn’t a Bargain.

wardrobe planningThe clothes you put on your body each day have potential to make you feel good — even to infuse your day with an extra bit of energy.  Maybe a garment’s psychological color value speaks to you.  Perhaps the fit of an item allows you to appreciate your body as it is today, without reminder of the weight you intend to lose or the workout commitments you haven’t kept.  Maybe you appreciate the feel of a soft or lofty fabric, or the quality element of a well-constructed garment.  Whichever character quality you tune into, leverage the power of your clothing’s attributes and their ability to contribute to your daily life.

As an image consultant, I often have the honor of helping clients to reinvent their wardrobes.  Regularly, I encounter overstuffed closets who’s owners have acquired volumes of garments thanks, in part, to an inability to resist a “good bargain.”  Despite enormous wardrobes, they open their closet doors with dread, feeling they have nothing to wear.

I’ve come to name this, “Bargain Wardrobe Syndrome” (BWS, for short).  It seems, perhaps due to living through The Great Recession, more and more intelligent and well-meaning consumers have attached to the pride of getting “more for their money.”   In an age of  coupon codes, bargain fashion sites, and daily deals, consumers have been conditioned to getting more for their money.  Granted, there is a genuine sense of satisfaction that comes from obtaining an $890 designer jacket for $175 at the local discount outlet.  Lost in the equation, however, is the lack of value resulting from an inappropriately-chosen item that’s left hanging in the closet, unworn.

In the exhilaration of your own bargain “find,” make sure the personal flattery factor is not tossed out the window.  Does the garment fit your body well, or have potential to do so once expertly altered?  Does the color flatter your personal features?

When a garment is left unworn (or worse still, it is worn despite the wearer’s knowledge of not looking their best in it), a bargain becomes a deficit — to both budget and spirit.  The bargain-finder feels unattractive in something they must wear (after all, they spent good money on it!), or they feel guilty not wearing it.  Either way, their psyche is punished.  The $175 is wasted where it might have instead been saved to invest in a $450 confidence-bolstering, winning garment.

Do the symptoms of BWS sound familiar to you?  Avoid the trap by introducing only personally-becoming garments into your closet.  It needn’t be full. A quality wardrobe that suits its owner beats a full closet hands down, any day of the week.

Avoiding Bargain Wardrobe Syndrome

Ask yourself:

  • Does the garment’s silhouette and fabric make me feel good about my body?
  • Does the piece have companions waiting at home in my closet? (or will a whole new shopping list result from the addition?)
  • Does a garment’s color flatter my personal features? (A personal color assessment helps train your eye and identify your own best hues)

When adding new items to your wardrobe, choose quality over quantity.  Look for both the garment’s fabric and construction quality, as well as the quality it lends with personal value to your appearance.


Patty Buccellato http://refinedimages.net/

Patty Buccellato, is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups. Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls!   To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

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