In my experience, there are two main philosophies of shopping for basics:
- Buy new basics gradually as the old ones wear out.
- Buy new basics in a big batch, typically every 2-3 years.
Just as every woman has a different set of personal wardrobe “basics,” every woman will have a different set of needs when it comes to procuring those basics. But in my experience, neither of these two commonly-implemented basics-buying methods is ideal. Both prompt the occasional conniption fit, complete with hair-tearing and eye-rolling. Why? Because quality, affordable, well-made, perfectly-fitting basics are a lot like fairies: We’re told they exist, we catch occasional glimpses, but they are nearly impossible to FIND. Especially when we’re actively looking for them.
If you wait until your best black slacks are threadbare and saggy, the chances of finding an equally perfect pair begin to approach zero. If you keep a running list of basics that need replacing and schedule a marathon run on the outlet mall, you can bet your sweet bippy that all you’ll find will be froof and frills. And then, ya know, the hair-tearing and eye-rolling. And the subsequent joining of a nudist colony.
It won’t work for everyone, I realize, but I’m still gonna propose a third philosophy of shopping for basics:
Keep your eyes peeled for amazing basics AT ALL TIMES and when they appear, buy ’em.
Simple. Elegant. Effective. Works best if you actually enjoy shopping, but works moderately well if you are an infrequent but vigilant shopper. Remain open to new, better basics whenever you look at clothing, shoes, or accessories for yourself or for others. Much like fairies, they will appear in your path when you’re just casually considering them and not hunting them intently, elephant gun in hand. Yes, this may result in temporary doubles, but how marvelous to have a backup pair of perfectly-fitting jeans? And so long as you restrict this type of shopping to quality, personally-tested wardrobe basics, you won’t shop yourself out of house and home.
Image courtesy J.Crew.