Saturday, January 15, 2011

2011 Wardrobe Musings

McQueen LA
This year my plan is to buy LESS, not get sidetracked, and stick to the items I REALLY want, especially the ones I have less of a chance to find again. I would kick myself for missing out on something AMAZING because I wasted it on extraneous tops or shipping fees. Going by the “4-5 piece a season*” I made a tentative list of 20 items for the year. Though some are vague (ex: The All Saints piece) but would become more specific when I find “it.” I don't know if I can be so regimented with myself, but I must since I'd like to take a vacation and need to replace my computer (huge crack in the screen oops!)

I’m mainly shooting for statement pieces, since I really struck gold with work basics last year. When it comes to “designer,” I try to look for interesting pieces. If I’m being really ambitious: a piece that is more representative of the designer’s vision. I don’t want to settle for a “ho-hum” basic that I could get anywhere, that’s what I go to Brooks Bros, Gap, F21, and Target for. Before you think I’ve completely lost my mind, there are sensible items on the list too. I don’t expect to find it all this year. There are items that I’ve been searching for for ages: (The White Blazer, The Dark Wash Slim Jean…).

As mentioned before, I’m top secret about certain items, especially ebay searches, that I’m serious about. I guess I can reveal them as I acquire them. In no particular order, the list:

2011 List:
1. BCBG jacquard trousers (I already have the matching blazer)
2. Olivier Theyskens/Theory piece
5. dramatic black scarf (if I don’t get my ideal one, I’ll consider some secondary options towards the end of the year)
6. work piece: Brooks Bros navy/white “breton” top
work piece: Brooks Bros grey bf cardigan
work piece: Brooks Bros black bf cardigan
9. work piece:
10. thigh high black leather flat boots
11. All Saints piece
12. black wax denim jacket
13. Baccarat jewelry (if I go on vacation)
14. black patent trench
15. dark wash slim jean
16. white blazer

4 blank spaces, it is only January after all!

*I think 4-5 pieces a season works best when you already have a solid foundation of basics. That way you really only "need" a few pieces per season to update your wardrobe. This is definitely not something I could have implemented when I was a college student trying to build a cohesive wardrobe.

What is your shopping method for 2011?

image via yatzer


  1. I am trying to resist the sale fever and buy only my list essentials.
    This year I became the proud owner of the coat by Isabel Marant. score!

  2. i have a's more of a wish list, not for any particular time of year, just for when i run across that perfect piece in the right size.
    because i've discovered consignment shopping (a perk of moving to the US), i go about my searches with an open mind- unless i'm in a retail store and then i focus directly on a particular item in a particular brand. i rarely stray from The List these days. (The List is quite extensive.)

    excellent post! your list is definitely doable- for you, anyway! that's because you don't stray from The List! i admire your well-edited approach. can't wait to see what you find this year.


  3. I wish it was stop buying cheap clothes. But I can't. I just came back from zara and bought a couple of sale items. And my husband was like, "the last thing you need is more clothes." I guess it was because he couldn't find his boots in our closet. They were buried under a huge pile of clothes! lol! I keep telling him what I need is a bigger closet... lol! No, what I need to do is organize it! But it's so hard :(

  4. Thanks everyone for your positive responses so far. I wondered if anybody would be interested in “my method to the madness.”

    Onlycoolcats: congratulations!

    Style odyssey: I’m not very trendy, my wants roll-over through the years, like you said: “when I run across that perfect piece.” There are things I keep in the back of my mind, like a velvet “le smoking” preferably from YSL (since it’s an iconic YSL piece). I was lucky to come across one last year, and being Tom Ford era was icing on the cake! For items that are “always going to be around” I wait until I feel compelled. I’m giving priority to the harder to find pieces this year.

    Emmy: Roll up your sleeves and organize your closet! You’re more likely to re-buy things if you don’t know what’s already in there. I refer back to this article whenever I get in a closet organization mood. I’ve read a good tip to think twice about spending is to pay in cash. Cash “hurts” more than swiping a card. To cut down impulse buys, sleep on it. Often you’ll have forgotten about it by the time you get home. If you’re still thinking about it 24-48 hrs later, then it deserves a second look. If it’s not there when you get back, it’s not meant to be. Or your patience could be rewarded by it being marked down (further).

  5. *thumbs up* I love your methodical way of going about it. I haven't even begun to think about what I want for 2011 but like you I have these mythical pieces that haven't formed yet that I just have the slightest Abstract Idea of what it is.

  6. I follow the 2+2+2+5 method. Two jackets, two skirts, two pants five tops. I'm trying to add more color to my wardrobe. I really went out on a limb and bought grey trousers today.
    I'm also going to try to stop buying stuff at second hand stores just because I like the piece. I don't even use a purse and I have about twenty. Same goes for silk scarves.

  7. This year I've decided to buy fewer items aswell. As a student I have a limited budget but I am trying to buy clothes that gives a special look instead of buying a lot of things on sale. The things that I spend most on are shoes, bags and jackets. So far I have only a few things on my wishlist, such as a new clutch, a jacket for the spring and a new watch.

  8. That's a nice list you have there.
    Add you've crossed out quite a number of them already--great job! :-)

  9. This is such an inspiring post! As a recovering impulse shopper, my goals for 2011 is to shop less and really put some time and effort into start building a good basic wardrobe. I don't have the lifestyle nor the budget for designer items, but will at least go for items in the best quality that I can find and afford. Some of the items on my list are two pairs of well-fitting jeans (which is a challenge to find due to my curvy hourglass shape)a classy leather jacket and a white shirt/blouse. I already found a nice, dark brown classic shoulder bag that was on my list, and that's a good start.

  10. All Saints piece :) I totally understand you! It's not like I have a full closet with All Saint. But it's funny how I talk myself out from buying anything from the site.
    My resolution is to buy less too. Will see how it goes ;) I need to save for my spring-summer trips! So I have a good motivation I guess. :) On the positive side - I already bought my top priority buy of the year - duffle coat.

  11. excellent picks. list-making is so key for exercising discipline and focus. it's all about cultivating one's own style and taste through informed purchases that will beat the trend game in the end! looking forward to your ebay finds when you get them :)

  12. Actually, one thing on my list should be "stop buying leather pants," lol. But they are so comfortable, especially all my Les Chiffoniers ones - perfect for my frequent train travels. Plus they're pretty warm too.

    I will try to do the 4-5 piece per season thing too, and this year I want to work on my handbag and jewelry collections. I also want to buy a couple of pairs of shoes, but my favorite discount designer source in NYC closed down and I have not found a replacement.

    I need to think more about this shopping resolution thing...

  13. I;m impressed you've managed to accomplish so much already. And love that you're sharing your "method to the madness" - I'm always on the lookout for good advice; it's often better to plough through blogs than read the magazines, which really need to do a better job of this...

    Out of curiosity, why Baccarat only if you go on vacation? :)

  14. lin: It can be a souvenir of the trip. :)

  15. I have much to learn from you, H! I am such a bad shopper, in that I just buy to add to my 'collection' (like one would collect stamps because they like them), which is a terrible way to shop and build a wardrobe. Even though it is overflowing, I mostly have 'nothing to wear' days.

    I always PLAN to edit my wardrobe and buy less, sticking to items I NEED, but alas...the follow-through does not match my intention.

    I like your list, hope you find all you're looking for ;)

  16. I don't have a plan, however I love yours, which has spurred me on to organize "outfits".

    That is to add a new sweater coat, a scarf, a colorful T, & accessories. A great bag, boots, earrings can make it all seem new!

    Be sure to come and enter my Giveaway from Blydesign......


    Art by Karena

  17. Oh, I most definitely dont have a shopping method, but am in DesperatE need of one. I might actually be able to afford the things I actually want.


    -La Copine

  18. that sounds actually exactly like my plan. the problem is that i've actually bought already more than i ever did before i made this plan. :( i definitely wanna stop buying the basics from designers (like i have a dozen alexander wang Ts, which look like shit now after i've washed them in the machine and used them for my workouts - idiot!!! will buy future basics only from topshop & co. - note to myself).

    i don't have a list though. but i think - after i've read this post now - i should better have one to stay focused.

    lovely post!

  19. Saw these and thought of you - recalled you had these on your list somewhere - maybe they'll be reduced further!

  20. my shoppign method is:

    a) do i have the money after my fixed expenses each month and my savings plan has kicked in?
    b) do i really really really want it?
    c) seriously? i really LOVE it?
    d) mull over it for 3 weeks and count my money
    e) it's still there and in my size
    f) an email with a link in it to my boyfriend resulted in no present :( (good boy buys me lots though but not everything)
    f) buy it!

  21. I totally agree. I'm happy with my basics so I'm only on the lookout for amazing accessories that are classic, rather than on trend. I like to browse no matter what, too!

  22. I'm in admiration over your 2011 wish list and the shopping method you set your mind on!
    As for me, I feel a bit blank about what I want style and shopping wise... Though I already bought a leather jacket from h&m Spring collection.... Hem, hem ... That said, I'm following the same direction to shop and spend less.


Thank you for stopping by!