I remember a 2 year period where I looked for clothes but never ended up buying anything. I put it down to not only being fickle but wanting whatever I looked at to be perfect. I ended up dismissing so many things because I felt they didn’t look right aesthetically but were probably what my wardrobe needed.
This might sound strange, but I’m not alone. When I think about all the different ways people approach shopping, there’s a similar approach I’ve seen that causes the most frustration…
Hunting for unicorns.
So what the hell do I mean by this?
Well, looking for pieces of clothing that don’t exist.
You dismiss a load of clothes because you don’t like certain elements, but can’t put your finger on exactly what it is you do want.
Or maybe you’ve dreamt up a dress or shirt with a specific detail or in a certain colour. And you won’t stop until you find it.
Perhaps, you’ve pinned the perfect outfit to your ‘my dream style’ board, only for countless hours to be wasted searching online and in the shops trying to replicate it.
Or how about you’re trying on a new skirt in your favourite store. It fits perfectly, it has oodles of hanger appeal, your friends say it looks amazing on you. But you pass on it when the shop assistant tells you it doesn’t come in your favourite shade of red.
Being a fickle shopper can be a real pain in the ass!
On one hand, you want to make sure you’re buying something you’ll be 100% satisfied with, something that ticks absolutely every box.
But on the other hand, you can end up trapping yourself in a continuous cycle of not being able to find what you’re looking for because what that thing is… doesn’t exist!
So how do you get out this trap?
01 | Awareness – A lot of the time these unicorns are conjured up in people’s heads. So being aware of what’s physically available to buy is a great way of keeping in touch with reality. Actually spend time browsing, either online or in store. This way you can see what takes your fancy that you can actually spend your hard earned cash on.
02 | Budgeting – How much you can afford to spend on an item can sometimes result in ‘unicorning’. You may be lusting after something you simply can’t find within the budget you can afford. The only way you can meet this need is by spending more money on the item in question. So consider saving up for it, buying fewer, better quality items is a more sustainable approach to your wardrobe anyway.
03 | Compromise – Knowing exactly how you’re planning on using an item can help you potentially come to a compromise on it. You may have figured out that if you have this unicorn in your wardrobe it’ll enable you to make ‘x, y, and z’ outfits. So if you stumble upon something similar while shopping, you should be able to visualise whether it will work for the outfits you’ve planned. Learning about how colours work together so you know, on a whim, whether a different colour will work can really help.
I touched on Pinterest earlier. Don’t get me wrong, I love it as a source of inspiration but because you don’t know where or when most of the pictures were taken, it can be extremely difficult to hunt down the exact items. So you’re going to have to find pieces that are a compromise.
I think ultimately, a lot of people don’t realise this is even a ‘thing’ or that they do this. So recognising it is a massive step in itself.
Once you’ve recognised you’re thinking this way you can then start to question yourself, are you looking for a unicorn?
If the answer is ‘yes’ start to think about whether adjusting your budget or coming to a compromise will allow you to move forward.
Have you ever found yourself looking for a unicorn?