4 Questions to Ask While Shopping For New Clothing


I love buying new clothing! Are you an eager shopper like me? I used to enjoy / struggle with impulse buying when I was in middle and high school…I’d go shopping for clothes with friends, and the whole atmosphere of the mall and the flashy signs with deals would entice me to buy.

Unfortunately, the clothing I purchased throughout most of my teen years tended to be low-quality and something my attention span wouldn’t hold for long. If my mom was shopping with me, though, I tended to make wiser purchases! She brought up practical questions and useful thought patterns when it came to shopping and clothing decisions.

Fast forward to now. I still get excited about low price tags and cute “repeat” clothing (i.e. even if I already have 3 similar shirts!)…but my mother’s advice early on along with my practical husband’s financial skills have thankfully brought about a shift in my perspective on clothes shopping.


In my husband’s words, spoken lovingly with his grin, “You’re way better than you used to be when it comes to spending money, love!” 😉 He sure knows – he’s been with me through much of my learning process, starting with my saving-for-Cambodia situation!

Over time, I’ve learned that there are good ways and there are not-so-good ways to approach shopping for new clothing. Here are the main questions I’ve learned to ask myself when I’m standing in the dressing room!

4 Questions To Ask Yourself While Shopping For New Clothes:

1 // Is this timeless, or at least can be a “workhorse”? Growing up, we’d often refer to favorite, worn time-and-time-again pieces as “workhorses.” So it makes sense to think about the future of that clothing item before you ever take it out of the store. If you know you’ll reach for it over and over, and you’ll really wring your money’s worth out of it, then it may be wise to buy!

2 // Is this piece quality? Because no one wants a thin cardigan that’ll develop a hole in the arm after only a couple washes. The first company that springs to mind when I consider quality (and ethically made) pieces is Brass Clothing. I have several shirts and several dresses (with pockets!!) from them and I know these pieces will be in my closet forever!

3 // Is this piece easily mixed and matched with what I already have? This question can easily transition into the capsule wardrobe conversation. I don’t yet have a true capsule wardrobe but I can already see my clothing purchases and choices leaning in that direction. Life is just so much simpler and easier when you know the majority of your clothing can just be worn together in different combinations! It’s not always a great sign of a worthwhile purchase if you find yourself wanting to buy an item but also needing to buy multiple other clothing items so you’ll have something to go with it! 🙂

4 // Is this piece flattering? I honestly believe in choosing FLATTERING OVER TRENDY. Yes, I love seeing cute outfit ideas in magazines or on Pinterest (and I have an extensive What to Wear board there), but at the end of the day, what looks cute on that model may look downright dowdy or strange on me. That’s just the way it goes. We’re all built differently and with different features gifted by our Creator that make us stand out from each other. So I really try to choose flattering cuts over the newest, trendiest items. That’s what’s worked most effectively for me over the years as I’ve learned to shop more wisely!

How do you counsel yourself when you’re purchasing clothing? Have you heard of Brass Clothing before? 

** I mentioned Brass earlier because I’ve been enjoying their clothing more and more! They’re dedicated to ethically made, flattering, high quality clothing and women who love capsule wardrobes love this company! I’m obsessed with my 2 Tank Maxi dresses from them, plus they’ve got beautifully flattering Essential Tees to incorporate into your wardrobe. Click HERE for their Body Guide to help you as you shop for clothing!



    1. Aww! Thanks so much for sharing it with your email list, Daisy!! That means a lot 🙂 It’s so great being more intentional about shopping for clothing!

    1. Thanks, Rachel!! I agree – I’m really trying to focus on higher quality clothing (that I can see myself wearing as a mom, etc.) instead of cheap, high quantity. Thanks for reading along!

  1. These are great questions to ask! I simplify my questions by how often will I wear it realistically(does it go with anything in my wardrobe/can it serve more than one purpose like work and evening or work and weekend). I’m much more into quality clothing as well now that I’m older and out of college and can afford to buy them!

    1. Thank you, Elyse! I’m glad you enjoyed the post! I love how you talked about an item serving more than one purpose! It’s important to have that overlap, I think. 🙂 And it helps being out of college and being more able to afford the high quality items! 🙂

    1. Yay! Thanks, Susannah! I’m glad you liked this post! I’m learning right alongside you – it’s exciting to grab new clothing, but these questions have really helped me. 🙂

  2. Yes! Numbers 3 and 4 are crucial to me. If a new piece doesn’t fit those two criteria, it ends up sitting in my closet unworn until my next purge.

    1. Thank you, Brittany! That’s so true. It’s interesting how if an item doesn’t answer these questions, it ends up just sitting unappreciated!

  3. I am learning all of these things the older I get. The biggest one for me is #1! If a piece isn’t something I can wear frequently and for lots of different things (with the exception of random fun occasion pieces), it might not be a good investment. I’m having to do some shopping to find clothes that fit my new mama body (gotta love it) and new mom lifestyle and I am definitely going to keep these things in mind!

    1. That’s a great point, Lauren! Even in this pre-kids season for me, I’m trying to think ahead and make sure most of my higher quality pieces are versatile and something I could see myself wearing as a mom. Thanks for reading along! 🙂

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