Trial and Error in Pursuit of a Perfect Wardrobe

It’s not easy to create a wardrobe that looks and feels finished. Unfortunately, you can’t just go shopping and then enjoy everything you acquire.

More often, building a great wardrobe involves a lot of trial-and-error to find the right fits and the right pieces.

This may take years. Meanwhile, your tastes are changing and maybe your size is changing too.

For the purpose of discussion, let’s say the “trial” is the 6-month period after you acquire a new piece of clothing.

If the new piece hasn’t become a part of your rotation during this time, it’s probably an error. You can try your best to make it fit (aesthetically or physically) and it just. does. not.

Here are some realistic hypothetical examples…..

Case 1: footwear infatuation

You love the sleek shape of Italian shoes. It brings you joy just to see them sitting on your shelf.

After careful consideration, you splurge for a new pair and they are shipped from overseas.

When they finally arrive, you’ve got some money and time invested in the purchase. These investments, combined with your shoe infatuation, make you willing to jump through a few “mental hoops” as you try them on.

Being optimistic, you believe they fit well enough.

The blisters on your heel say otherwise. But maybe they’ll break in and fit better after a few weeks.

And….they don’t.

And they never will, because the last of the shoe is just too narrow for you.

Case 2: the house jacket

You’re stocking up on sport coats and decide to buy a dressed down, checked blazer from a coveted high fashion brand (maybe due to some encouraging words from your wife or partner).

It’s an expensive purchase for sure, but at the moment you love it and feel slightly high from a shopping indulgence.

When it’s time to wear the jacket, nothing seems to pair with it. An outfit just doesn’t seem to come together properly. Try again next time….

Next time, same issue.

And again.

This jacket never leaves the house, and the return policy expired 6 weeks ago.

Case 3: You’ll have it tailored

During an acute case of insomnia, you stayed up late online shopping, and you ordered a suit from a discount retailer – because the price was just too good to pass up.

The suit arrives one week later and doesn’t exactly match your expectations. The cut is not what you’re accustomed to wearing, and the striped pattern is more prominent than expected.

But it’s a nice suit regardless.

Let’s see what the tailor can do!

After the suit is nipped here and tucked there, you’ve got it back (after spending $250 on tailoring).

It’s still a nice suit, and it looks much better, but the style is still not to your liking.

Will you ever wear it?

Probably not.

Shopping Mistakes – the Reason Resale Shops Exist

Call these expensive mistakes, but they’re just part of the process.

Shopping is often a case of win some / lose some. 

If you like buying high end clothes, you’ll end up buying things that don’t work out.

And that’s when a resale shop is your best friend.

Many other people have been in your shoes.

They’ve had the same trial and error experience, and that’s when they visit a trusted consignment or resale shop.

That’s what we do for our clients.

The beauty of it all is that we can find a new owner who will truly love your narrow Italian shoes or eccentric Prada blazer. Maybe he lives in Monaco, or Dallas, or Australia.

You can recoup some of the purchase price and go on striving for perfection in your wardrobe.

Just remember that shopping mistakes are simple errors, and a necessary step in learning how to shop smarter.

Eventually, you’ll be enjoying a closet of beautiful shoes and jackets and shirts that not only reflect your ideal style, but fit like a second skin.