The Most Common Shopping Mistakes That Prevent You From Building A Functional Wardrobe

In the pursuit of a streamlined, functional wardrobe, we all make mistakes when shopping. We often make unconscious or impulsive decisions resulting in mismatched outfits, abandoned clothing that remains in the closet or a pile of t-shirts that we never wear. Clothing, fashion and style is fun but not when it just creates clutter.

“The perfect wardrobe is not magic, not a gift, and not a bottomless swallower of money. It’s just self-love, self-understanding, and the ability to see new things in everyday life. ” Natalia Naydenskaya, Inessa Trubetskova.

“Happiness is not in money, but in shopping!” – one of the brightest women of the 20th century, Marilyn Monroe once said. Shopping is also an art. You cannot go shopping in Milan and randomly select outfits, but that is what most us do!. You have to think about several things. Having a style or theme is one thing, but more often than not, we buy outfits and items of the same type. This is because we make some mistakes while shopping. What are these mistakes? Here are a few:

Mistake # 1. Lack of attention to shoes

Despite the popular saying “the head and legs make the image,” when shopping, the overwhelming majority of women first visit clothing stores and only if there is time and money, go to shoe boutiques.

In part, there is a completely logical explanation: if a woman works, for example, in an office and spends most of her time sitting at her desk, she really needs to have a varied wardrobe of blouses, shirts, and other top elements, rather than skirts, trousers, and shoes. Especially today, when we spend so much time on Zoom.

However, often neglecting the shoe wardrobe leads to the fact that literally several pairs of the same type of shoes or boots are constantly combined with ensembles of clothes of different colors, silhouettes and textures, simplifying them with their imaginary versatility. Actual shoes can stretch even the simplest set of clothes, and conversely, nondescript, outdated shoes can kill a well-thought-out outfit.

When planning a shopping trip, try to look at your wardrobe differently and figure out which shoes can refresh the things and sets that you already have.

Mistake # 2. Buying things of the same type and texture

Another mistake is buying things that are similar to those that are already in the wardrobe. Several jeans of the same style and color, several fitted jackets made of smooth fabric with a stand-up collar, dozens of black dresses – a case almost indistinguishable from each other.

If you’ve just read a brief description of your own wardrobe, it’s best to rethink your shopping habits! Finding your perfect silhouettes, colors, and fabrics is priceless, but that doesn’t mean that your entire wardrobe should be made up of just these things!

There are many interesting textures: leather, suede, bouclé fabrics, materials with a glossy sheen or matte, tapestry, denim, as well as an abundance of colors and styles, so why limit yourself to a few silhouettes and colors? Try to ignore the usual things in stores altogether and look at outfits that are new to yourself.

At first, it is challenging, but you can discover a rich palette of expressive means of truly new clothes over time.

Mistake # 3. Buying things of the same color

Many women are addicted to certain colors, without noticing it, and buy clothes in the same range.  Unconsciously, we often choose an item in the same shade of what we are already wearing! Look at your wardrobe, is there one single color dominates in the closet? Usually, it’s black, brown, or gray, but then again, you may find you have too many stripes or floral patterns.  It is extremely difficult to achieve diversity from such a wardrobe. The fact is that color is one of the most direct and powerful expressive means of any image.

woman looking at clothes on clothing rack
Unconsciously, we often choose an item in the same shade of what we are already wearing! /Photo by RODNAE Productions on

Therefore, if you have a lot of items of the same color in your wardrobe, it makes sense to focus on other shades and add new colors to your wardrobe.

Mistake # 4. Buying individual items

If you walk into a store and see the dress or skirt of your dreams, go outside, take a deep breath and ask yourself: what will I wear with this? Many new things remain with the tags on and sit in the closet because the choice was impulsive rather than thought out. Which shoes or bag will wear it with? Can you dress it up AND dress it down?

This problem can be solved simply: it should be clear that a tracksuit is needed exclusively for sports, linen jersey – T-shirts and T-shirts are underwear and not an alternative to blouses and tops, evening dresses cannot make up most of the wardrobe, and the issue will be resolved by itself.

However, there are a few exceptions – events that require an special outfit, for example, a wedding, or a theme party. Otherwise, it is better if new things are consistent with the clothes already in the wardrobe.

Mistake # 5. Buying things that are unsuitable for everyday wardrobe

Unless you’re a yoga instructor, getting a new pair of leggings is not considered updating your wardrobe! Although we have gotten used to comfy home wear, it’s hard to be stylish in a tracksuit. However, there are some exceptions – read our Ultimate Guide to Shopping for Made in Italy Activewear.

 The same applies to lovers of overly elegant dresses and suits decorated with sequins, rhinestones, embroidery, and other details that are more typical for evening dresses than for everyday urban wear.

Mistake # 6. Love for sales

Sales are a great time to shop, but for many women, sales are not a low-cost wardrobe update but a goal. The reduced price motivates to buy clothes and shoes that may not fit perfectly, may have small defects, or trendy items that will soon be out of style.

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

When a shopaholic sees a sale, rational thinking goes out the window!  If visiting sales creates nothing but wardrobes overflowing with clothes that can’t even be worn at home, you may need to rethink your approach. Ask yourself, “Is there any real value in going to this sale?”

Better yet, sit down and count the amount of money thrown away on “bargain purchases” and how much you could have purchase things that you actually need.

Outlet shopping is a happy medium. You can find designer brands at discounted prices and always find classic wardrobe pieces or fun accessories to brighten up an outfit.

Mistake # 7. Lack of attention to detail, jewelry and accessories

You cannot build an image on accessories alone, but the complete disregard for jewelry, scarves, belts, and other small details greatly impacts even the most thoughtful wardrobe. Often overlooked, a simple detail like a colored belt can pull an outfit together or a statement necklace can dress up a simple white shirt.

A statement necklace can dress up a simple white shirt
Copper Rose / MilanoStyle on Etsy

In conclusion, these are the 7 mistakes we have thought of but for sure there are many others. Try to keep them in mind on your next shopping spree- you may be able to create that ideal wardrobe after all!

travel advisor in italyCiao, I’m Celia, your travel advisor in Italy! Need help planning your trip to Italy? Learn about what to do and see, and where to eat and sleep. Ask me a question or request a custom travel plan. Book a consultation.