We’ve all done it: the full-body swerve into a store you had no intention of visiting. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone without a section of their wardrobe dedicated to rarely-worn impulse purchases. But it’s no surprise that we succumb to the fleeting joy of it anyway. In fact, when you’re considering a purchase, two opposing forces are waging a neural war inside your head:
Relying too much on the approach system will result in increased shopping, which might be great for your wardrobe, but not so much for your wallet. While we all deserve a truly fabulous ‘treat yourself’ moment every now and then, how can we implement a more mindful approach to purchasing?
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to know whether you truly love it enough to buy it:
#1 Is this an impulse buy?
So you had a bad day at work and that $1,000 designer bag you’ve been eyeing is looking pretty nice right now. It’s common that we all fall into the trap of emotional shopping.
Ask yourself before checking out, “am I making an impulse purchase or this is a well-planned decision?” If you walked into a store or stumbled upon the website without any prior research or a list of what you needed, you’re most likely making an impulse purchase that you might regret.
#2 Can I afford this?
First of all, you need to make sure that the purchase isn’t going to land you in debt. Here are some guiding questions that will ascertain if you can afford something.
- Do I have any credit card debt that I don’t fully pay off each month?”
- Will the purchase cause extra stress to my monthly budget?
- Is spending this money going to leave me short for other essential purchases?
If the answer to most of the questions above is yes, leave the cart and quit the app — some things just look better when they stay in the wishlist. On the contrary, if it’s well within your means, great news! Move on to the next question, please.
#3 Would I pay the full price if it wasn’t on sale?
If you wouldn’t pay full price for an item, try exploring cheaper alternatives. Here’s a particularly good trick for clothes — mentally set a price that you’d be willing to pay. If you’re shopping online, try narrowing down on a price range you’re comfortable with, and then browse accordingly.
#4 Do I really love it?
If the item in question is just to replace something that’s worn out or damaged, consider renting it in the meantime, or buying preloved items for less. Read more: 5 reasons why buying secondhand won’t let you down.
But if it’s a special something that you just can’t live without, ask yourself the next question.
#5 Will I use/wear this often?
Quality over quantity, as they say. Before buying an item, one of the most important things to consider is the quality of the item. It plays a big part in gauging how often you’ll use them. If it’s a great quality item that you know you’ll get great mileage out with repeated wears, go ahead!
On the other hand, if you’re thinking of buying a dress to wear to a friend’s wedding, or a trendy designer bag that’ll probably be out of style next season, we recommend you rent instead!
Struggling to decide if an item is really worth its price tag? Try out our magical Cost-Per-Wear Formula to help you out with the math.
While our lives aren’t 100% buyer’s remorse-proof, as long as you do the legwork and practise making intentional and sustainable decisions, go ahead and enjoy your new buys without the guilt. Download our guilt-proof purchase guide for when you need a little reminder:
As Southeast Asia’s largest circular fashion platform, we want to invite you to step into our Infinite Wardrobe, redefined. Now, whether you choose to rent, consign, sell, or buy a designer item with Style Theory, you’ll know that you’re doing your part to champion a new era of smart and sustainable fashion. Find out why circular fashion matters to us: read more.
Here’s your chance to buy designer bags from our collection of brands like Balenciaga, Celine, Dior, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent, at prices starting from just $330. Shop Style Theory now!