How to not get sucked in by catalog images? I have a fairly tailored style but I get lured by relaxed clothing – Eileen Fisher, J Jill – because those models look great and relaxed and clean and really elegant. But when I get those items home and put them on, I look like I’m wearing my pajamas. Most models are my height (5’11”) but not my shape (curvy, bottom heavy) so I can’t usually imagine how these things will look on me. I’m sure others struggle with that.
Well. Even if none of you lovelies struggle with this, I know I do. I adore catalogs and pore over them on a weekly basis, but I often find myself lusting after clothing, shoes, and accessories that would have little ongoing application in my life. So before I fork over any dough, I try to ask myself these questions:
Why do I love this?
Is it the color, cut, or fabric? Is it the unique, undeniably beautiful design or fantastic practicality? Or is it how it’s been styled in the catalog? Can I recreate that styling with what’s in my closet right now?
How will I wear it?
Can I think of at least three, preferably five, outfits that I can design around this item, using what I already own? If not, will I have to purchase other items to make it work? Is it worth the investment?
Does it fit with my personal style?
Like rb, I am prone to drooling over items that have no relationship to my own style. All those ruffled shirts and preppy slacks in the J.Crew catalog? They’re lovely, but they’re not exactly “me.” When I peruse, I make sure to evaluate each item for its ability to adapt to my established style. There are plenty of items that I love, but can love from afar.
Does it align with my figure flattery priorities?
Sure, it looks great on the model. She’s a model. And, in all likelihood, many safety pins were utilized to make it fit her perfectly. I make myself think about what a potential new item will do when I wear it myself. Will it pull anywhere, or add unexpected volume? Does it create my preferred silhouette? If not, do I know how I’ll wear it so that it will look how I’d like?
Can I put it aside for a week or two?
I have a folder of torn-out catalog pages on my desk at home. Every couple of months, I haul it out and decide which items I truly love and which items I loved in the moment. I never know what might be influencing my urge to buy – a recent magazine spread, an article on hot trends, something I saw on a woman passing on the street – and getting some distance is always beneficial.