My Cure for Aimless Wardrobe Syndrome: Manage Your Clothes the Same Way You Manage Your Money

My Cure for Aimless Wardrobe Syndrome: Manage Your Clothes the Same Way You Manage Your Money

Until very recently, I suffered from a pretty bad case of Aimless Wardrobe Syndrome.

I felt lost when it came to clothing. I assembled outfits at random. If I ever looked good, it was at the cost of 35 minutes of standing in my closet, hemming and hawing like an asthmatic donkey.

It seemed like a pretty insignificant problem. But eventually, I realized it was quietly harming me every dang day. I was wasting way too much time, money, and spoons deciding what to wear. And it somehow left me feeling worse about myself, not better!

This led me to develop a cure for my Aimless Wardrobe Syndrome. And in retrospect, it was so obvious that I’m sorta kicking myself for not figuring it out sooner.

It requires a bit of time to set up. But it transformed my daily life for the better. Since I developed this system, I’ve been shopping less, buying less, and spending way less time considering my options. And y’all know how I value my money and my time! Yet I also love everything I wear, and wear everything I love. It kicks ass.

Here’s my system. Steal it!

Diagnosing Aimless Wardrobe Syndrome

Aimless Wardrobe Syndrome is the most common form of clothing dysfunction in our cursed modern society. It affects people of all genders, ages, professions, lifestyles, and fashion proclivities.

The symptoms are easy to miss because they present differently in everybody. People with aimless wardrobe syndrome might…

  • Shop frequently and enthusiastically OR hate shopping with a burning passion.
  • Have an unmanageably overflowing closet OR far too little to wear.
  • Own a very eclectic, scattershot wardrobe or basically wear a uniform.
  • Value clothing, fashion, and style as a form of self-expression OR wish the entire enterprise was lost in the flames that burned the Great Library of Alexandria and we’d all been going around naked since 275 AD.

That’s right: super fashionable people suffer from it too! Their inherent coolness and put-togetherness is a façade. They’re white-knuckling their way through the same struggles as everyone else.

When I was younger—and way more pedestrian—I scornfully proclaimed my disinterest in clothing and shopping as part of my “Not Like Other Girls” phase. Spoiler alert: It was all cover for my Aimless Wardrobe Syndrome. I wasn’t confident in my ability to do fashion, so I devalued it. Thank god for personal growth!

(If that’s where you’re at, no judgements. It takes time to un-learn reflexive, performative hatred for anything coded as feminine. Your aunties are here, beckoning you to the other side! The journey is long, but worthwhile!)

Aimless Wardrobe Syndrome and the actual harm it causes

The weirdest part of my presentation of Aimless Wardrobe Syndrome?

I owned clothing that I loved. And I never wore it.

Every morning I reached for the same four ratty, pilling pajama pants I’d gotten as hand-me-downs over a decade ago. I’m one of those assholes who got Pandemic Swole™️, so it was extra baffling to me that I felt so bad about my appearance despite being happier than ever with my body.

One day, I reached for my slobbish defaults and truly noticed the whisper of revulsion that ghosted through me.

Oh.

It’s the damn clothes!

Now I could see that climbing into this slovenly uniform was a daily act of self-sabotage. How could I get Dem Good-Good Positive Vibes flowing if the first thing I did each morning was cover myself in sad, worn-out clothing I had never chosen, much less loved? It wasn’t respectful to my body or my mindset. My cheap ass needed to change my ways.

Track your clothing like you track your spending

We’re on the record as being kinda anti-budgeting. (Sex is great and all, but guys, have you tried stoking minor controversy in your niche personal finance subgroup by suggesting that young people can skip the “create a budget” step and still be successful?)

Basically, we find budgeting to be too proscriptive. We value the neutrality of tracking. It allows you to actually see what your problems are before you leap to solutions suggested by internet randos who don’t share your circumstances or values.

And the same foundational technique of controlling your finances also works on your clothes!

It’s really easy to find proscriptive guides that say “Here are the timeless wardrobe staples everyone needs!” But it’s very unlikely that these tedious lists of wRaP dReSsEs and cLaSsIc TrEnChEs are actually representational of what you need.

Instead, I found it tremendously helpful to ignore the “buy stuff” noise, and start by making a list of what I already owned. Once I did that… magical shit started happening.

Step one: Get all of your clothing in one place

Because I’ve lived in so many tiny dorms and closetless shared apartments, I’d grown used to storing anything I wasn’t immediately using in boxes or suitcases. Even though I’m now a big girl living in her very own house, the habit remained.

So I hauled it all out.

I am hella embarrassed to admit that by spreading my clothing all over the house, I had clearly forgotten about some of it. I found a small suitcase filled with winter clothing that had vanished from rotation for two years. Oops.

Next, I did my laundry. All of it. Son, that washer was running for days.

But it was important to leave my clothing with nowhere to hide.

Step two: Build a virtual closet of all the clothing you own

Using Pinterest, I started a new board called “My Wardrobe.”

I added subcategories for every type of clothing: pants, sweaters, short sleeve shirts, swimwear, shoes, etc.

Then, I began the admittedly tedious process of finding a photo to represent every piece of clothing I owned. Pro tip: it’s a lot less tedious if you crack open a beer and put on a Girl Talk album!

For a surprising amount of stuff, it was easy to find photos of the exact product. If I searched for the brand name plus a short description (“Madewell plaid shirt”), Pinterest usually turned up the real thing. If not, I could find a similar stand-in.

Here’s what it looked like when I finished:

Kitty's cure for Aimless Wardrobe Syndrome

Step three: Free yourself from the stuff you don’t wear and don’t like

Warning: putting all the clothing you own together in one place is probably going to give you some feelings of guilt and shame.

  • Throwing away something I loved until it was too threadbare to wear made me feel like a traitor.
  • Donating gifts that just aren’t my style made me feel like an ingrate.
  • Realizing I’d procrastinated on fixing a button for three fucking years made me feel unspeakably lazy.
  • I felt personally responsible for both climate change and global poverty when I confronted a shirt I’d had shipped to me from overseas, yet had never actually worn.
  • Acknowledging that things don’t fit like they used to is nobody’s idea of a great time.

Push through it. Do what you have to do.

If you let those items stay in your wardrobe, the feelings of guilt and shame will stay with them. You’ll have to confront them every day when you look in your closet. Better to just remove them permanently. Release yourself from the curse of starting every day feeling bad about yourself.

Step four: Eliminate wardrobe redundancies

My inventory revealed I owned three swimsuits. One of them makes me look like a slutty Star Trek villain. The other two are… fine… but fail to make me look like a slutty Star Trek villain.

“Self,” I asked myself, “will there ever be an occasion in our life where we don’t want to visit a large body of water looking like a slutty Star Trek villain?”

The answer was no.

I honorably discharged the other suits. And did the same for some jeans, dresses, and underwear that failed the same redundancy test. If you only reach for it when everything else is in the laundry—news flash, you don’t really like it! Get rid of it and do the laundry instead.

This will also help you add to your wardrobe more constructively. If I find a dress that’s rad as hell, I pull up my “dresses” board and look at what I already have. Is this dress bringing a brand new dimension to my wardrobe? Or am I making something I already own obsolete by wasting money purchasing its replacement prematurely? Answering questions like that will help you avoid wasteful shopping

Step five: Fix holes and dead-ends in your outfits

If your closet is anything like mine, you have some stuff in there that you love but almost never wear. Now is the time to ask yourself: “Why?” What’s holding me back?

For me, I usually found I had nothing to wear with it.

Example: I LOVED a lacy backless blouse, but I never reached for it because I lacked the right kind of undershirt to wear with it. So I started a new Pinterest board of items I needed to find in order to fully enjoy my wardrobe, and stuck a photo of a low-back camisole on it. A few weeks later, I saw the perfect one hanging on a sale rack. My beloved blouse became the frequent flyer it deserved to be.

Finding holes in your wardrobe is wicked easy once you have it all collected together visually.

Pull up the boards for shirts and pants and start mentally matching them. Ideally, everything you own should have a few potential partners. If you hit a dead-end, note it. You may realize you’re only one black skirt away from functionally having ten new outfits.

Step six: Keep your choices positive by focusing on the life (and body) you have right now

I can’t believe I wasn’t doing it this way before. This is what it looks like to shop strategically!

I now have a list of things I would truly benefit from owning—stuff that would help me be happier and less wasteful. If I’m going to a mall or clothing swap, I take a glance at it to remind myself. And if I don’t find anything, I walk away no worse off.

This system made it really easy to see how much space I was saving for my life to change in ways I didn’t want it to. Physical space in my closet, and emotional space in my head.

Here are some examples of thoughts I had…

Don’t keep stuff for weird “just in case” reasons

“I hate this fancy sweater-dress because it’s soooooo itchy and uncomfortable. But I can’t get rid of it! What else could I wear to a winter wedding!?”

If there’s an emotion controlling this choice, I’d say it’s confusion. If I can think of one very specific situation where I might want this clothing item, it means I have to keep it, right?

Wrong! That’s how you end up hoarding clothes, losing track of what you already have, and wasting finite resources on stuff you don’t like.

Listen… If I’m invited to future hypothetical fun events, do I really want to do so while strapped into a dress that itches like mange? Fuck no. Donate it so it can be worn and appreciated by someone who hates comfort.

Don’t keep stuff in the hope your body will change its size and shape in a way it never has before

“I bought this when I was in denial about the size of my shoulders, which are AS BROAD AND LIMITLESS AS THE PRAIRIES I HAIL FROM. I can’t rotate my arms too much when I wear it or I will Hulk right out of it. But maybe I should keep it? In case my shoulders suddenly shrink??”

Yeah, don’t let self-loathing control what you wear, either.

It’s one thing to keep clothing that does fit you in some circumstances. In cases like that, fine—box those clothes up and stick ‘em in the basement. They’ll be there if and when your body needs them.

But if I’m being honest with myself, I kept a lot of clothing because I didn’t want to admit that some fixed feature of my body was going to change. (“This dress is too short for me. Better stick it in the closet so I can wear it later, when I’m younger.”)

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown out of most of my bodily insecurities, because they were never my authentic self-evaluations! Just misogynist bullshit I picked up and eventually realized I could put down. But some clothing was too tightly tied to those old emotions. They’re not welcome to join me on my journey to becoming a smoking-hot old lady.

Don’t keep clothes that represent a part of your identity you’re ready to move past 

“I really don’t like wearing these stuffy button-ups and dress pants anymore. They just aren’t me. But what if I need to get a new job at a company with a more formal dress code? I should play it safe and keep all my nice work cosplay!”

This one is fear! Don’t let fear pick your clothing, either. Fear is bad at pretty much everything except running very fast.

I am at a bit of a career crossroads. After a long, long journey from poverty and debt to financial stability, I really don’t know what the next book in my career should look like. Do I make BGR my full-time focus? Do I stick out my corporate day job until I have enough to truly retire? Should I throw caution to the wind and do something completely different? I don’t know! And I’m taking my sweet time figuring it out.

But there’s one thing I know for sure: I am never, ever going to go back to being the young woman who wore pencil skirts and blazers every day in a desperate bid to be taken seriously by her shitty leaders and peers. Those garments served me well. The ones that aren’t too worn will do a lot of good at the interview-wear charity I donated them to, I’m sure. They’ve always felt like they belonged to someone else anyway, so I think it’s a fitting end.

But the only thing I know for sure is that I am not moving toward a future where I need props to be given the respect I deserve. It will be the kind of life where I love what I wear and wear what I love. Eliminating everything that doesn’t “feel like me” makes it easier to be seen and known for who I truly am.

Have you self-diagnosed yourself with Aimless Wardrobe Syndrome?

Bitch Nation, does my struggle resonate with you?

Are you already living that “love what you wear, wear what you love” lifestyle?

Or are you like me a few months ago—stuck in a uniform you’ve grown to hate? Do you also stand before your closet in total befuddlement when it’s time to get dressed? Do you feel like a shithead when you realize how much clothing you own, but don’t wear?

How about my solution? Are any of you using a similar method? I know there’s a whole section of the internet that’s super into “closet management” and I was too scared to read deeply into it. But I’m very curious to hear about what’s worked—or not worked—for y’all.

So please tell us about it in the comments below!

Note: Piggy and I will be off for a few weeks on our annual summer break, starting… nnnnnnow! We’ll be back soon, rested and refreshed, with more financial wisdom (and freckles) in a few weeks.

Pin this article

Pardon us while we continue to inject Pinterest with our gentle “hey, uh, maybe buy less stuff” counter-programming…

And if you want to hear more about what we’ve said about clothing, here ya fuckin’ go!

32 thoughts to “My Cure for Aimless Wardrobe Syndrome: Manage Your Clothes the Same Way You Manage Your Money”

  1. I am firmly team uniform, once I find a piece I love I get 3. My closet looks full, but in reality it’s got shirts, 3 jeans, 3 skirts, and 8 cardigan/dusters for **personality**. I could get dressed blindfolded and nobody would know. I just reach in and grab a top, bottom, and accessory.

    However, I am also team don’t feel like working today, so thank you for my new task for the rest of the morning

    1. Were we separated at birth?

      If so, my daughter (ie. your niece) is keeping up the family tradition.

  2. As a guy, I wasn’t sure this article was going to be applicable to me. You see, I have my “adult garanimals” wardrobe in place. 3 dozen of the same shirt in a multitude of colors, pairs well with any pants/shorts whether blue, black, khaki, jeans, etc.
    But I’m SOOOO QUILTY (extra-soft guilty) of keeping things that no longer fit me! Recently joined Poshmark and sold 17 of said matching shirts that were all 1-2 sizes too small, and I still have a closet full of clothes I don’t/can’t wear. Even after packing up 4 suitcases for my gap year on the road, the closet was half-full of stuff I haven’t worn in 5-8 years. Josh, wth are you doing?!

    1. Adult garanimals are the only way to go!
      This became my uniform 10 years ago when I left the real world to make MYSELF money rather than making it for other people. Now, I just have to let go of the “fundraiser” clothing that I will NEVER WEAR because I’ll NEVER HAVE TO ATTEND those things AGAIN. Writing a check to the organization and skipping the air kissing is so much more comfy.

  3. {excellent article hit home, now curled into fetal position knowing I must face the closet and confront my past}
    When you return from that well-deserved vacay, could you share your thoughts on two issues:
    (1) I hold onto too much that’s gorgeous but also too small – I need for health reasons to lose weight and if/when I do, those clothes will fit. Having them saved me pre-pandemic when I’d successfully lost 30 pounds, which sadly has come back thanks to Covid. Any advice on how to balance the health need to lose weight and fit into those clothes vs. whether to let it go and join the circus as the new fat lady?
    (2) I have some pieces I’d gladly deep-six but Hubby gave them to me and gets very put out if I don’t wear/use them. I cannot get him to understand that 100% cheap-ass polyester is Satan’s cloth. Short of “accidentally” dumping permanent ink on them, I can’t think of a good out. While the obvious solution is to be assertive, it’s not that straightforward if I want to preserve a 30+ year marriage with children (and I do).
    TY!

    1. not sure if this is a good solution. but you could buy him a 100% polyester shirt and see how that goes for him.

    2. For #1: Been there, my suggestion is to bag or box up all the too-small clothes, preferably broken up and labeled by *size*, not season or type. That way if and when you are that size again, you will reopen that specific bag and voila! They will be ready and waiting for you. During my pregnancy, I bagged up all my prepregnancy pants in reverse size order, so the largest ones were on top. When the time came it turned out the top 1-2 sizes were completely unneeded postpartum, and I happily donated them away!

      1. Every season, I find myself trying to remember which things fit me and which were too small and having to try everything on. That tip to organize by size is golden!!

  4. Interesting! I don’t think I’ll be taking a page out of your book on this – I’m pretty happy with my wardrobe as it is. I am effectively “wearing a uniform”, but that’s how I like things.

    That said – I am less merciless with redundancies, because comfort matters and some staples are a must. Example: I had a beloved and most comfy pair of shoes. I loved it so much I bought it twice, in slightly different colors, but wore pair no 1 almost exclusively. When it inevitably fell apart, I had a pair of shoes I liked, and moved on to wearing those day to day. So now I know I have to buy another spare eventually, because I’m wearing the spare now, but there is no pressure of doing it immediately. I can buy them when I have time, or preferably when they’re on sale!

    I wouldn’t do this for clothes that last for years (like a winter coat) or clothes that can be easily affected by weight fluctuations, but for some absolute staples (day-to-day shoes, fave jeans) I highly recommend building some redundancy in and staying One Pair Ahead. But exactly one, no more, as to not give yourself an excuse to hoard shit you don’t need.

    1. YES! For my absolute staples that are either worn very regularly or are the immediate go-to for specific situations (interview/conference suit comes to mind here) I set up starter/backup pairings.

      The one exception to “exactly one pair ahead, no more” that I had pre-pandemic was a three-pair system for running shoes: newest pair is the indoor-only gym pair, then it moves back to being the outdoor pair, then when it’s too worn for that but not completely trashed yet it becomes “what goes on feet while doing Messy Chores”.

      1. I have the EXACT same approach with my running shoes! It works so well for extending the life of those shoes.

  5. I have Thoughts. Ive been shopping at second hand stores ever since the more affordable Mervins and Khols closed way back in middle school. The prices were better and it was fun! I was an eclectic kid and its taken years to weed out the weird choices Ive bought (and worn, and even loved for a period of time!).

    Big lessons I’ve learned:

    fancy clothes are an exception to every rule I have, and i keep juuust the right amount for my lifestyle: weddings, funerals and interviews. Everything else I own is fair game for that donation bin.

    I keep a paper grocery bag with prospective donation items for a little while. If i dont think about them or wonder where they are after I put them in, then I’m not going to miss them when they’re gone.

    I dont feel as bad about giving away clothes I’ve bought second hand. I imagine I’m giving someone else a turn to love those pants! Plus no fast fashion guilt.

    Its less painful when pants enevitably rip (I’ve ALWAYS and always will deal with thigh rub that wears out my jeans). Buying them for $40 or more new doesn’t mean they will last longer. I look for newish jeans at the thrift store for less than $20 and dont feel bad if they wear out in 2 years.

    I enjoy going through my closet, I probably do it every year or so. If there are things that i havent worn at all that year-theyre out. I make excuses for stuff and enevitably will come accross them the next year. I know my tastes in clothing has changed and will continue to change over time. Im not a person who wants to wear the same wardrobe for the rest of my life! Which is fine bc I see myself “renting” clothes from the thrift store rather than buying them forever.

    Sometimes you find the perfect thing thrifting and spend hours online trying to find a duplicate. I still havent found a match for my favorite pair of jeans and i will MOURN the day when theyre busted.

    As an aside: i like to sew and my biggest problem while thifting is picking up clothes that need a “little tweaking” before I can wear them. I’ve gotten a lot better at being choosy about my project hord, but it is still a hord. ‍♀️

    1. It may not be your style at all, but try checking out: visible mending and sashiko. I’m big time extending the lifetime of pants/jeans by mending them. It takes time, but can be almost meditative or done in front of the tv.
      And it aligns with my pursuit toward a zero waste life style. And yes, I proudly wear my mended clothes at work.
      Perhaps you would enjoy it as well.

  6. I found this so helpful! And I love the way you put into words aspects of feminism I was never able to articulate before, like putting to bed old insecurities because they weren’t part of my true self-evaluation. You rock <3

  7. I am guilty of allllllll of this, but will continue to use my fiery hatred of Pintrest to avoid doing as you suggest to deal with it. 😉

    I put on a lot of weight over the past few years and haven’t been shopping much due to Covid (buying clothes at the thrift store is a no-go when you can’t try anything on since the dressing rooms are closed!). So I have a ton of clothes that no longer fit but wish they did, and very little that actually fits my current body that isn’t ratty and gross.

    1. Our area thrift stores nixed the fitting rooms pre-pandemic owing to theft. This complicated my own shopping (if it’s not underwear or socks, it’s thrifted) until I spied another woman going through the racks with a tape measure. Her brilliance was stunning in its simplicity, and I’ve shamelessly adopted that stranger’s methods. The last time I needed jeans, I went to Goodwill armed with a tape measure and the measurements for my waist, inseam, rise preference, and thigh circumference (I’m petite, but baby got back). I have never had pants fit as well as the three pairs I found via measuring—and all were different brands with different official sizes!

      1. That. Is. Genius. As a small-waisted, big-butted, disproportionately busty short woman, this measuring tape trick is the life hack I didn’t know I needed!

  8. Like many, my body has gone through some pandy changes, and I’ve found myself having to buy new clothes because staples I’ve had for years don’t fit anymore. While that is a somewhat bummer, it’s given me the chance to evolve my style and assess what and who I am now rather than who I was then.

    My apartment is a converted studio, and the clothes closest is not in the bedroom. So I have most of my hanging clothes there, and I rotate in a seasonal capsule collection to my small hanging bar in the bedroom based on weather.

    Also in the big closet is my Island (box) of Lost Clothes, which contains things I don’t like anymore or don’t fit. Soon I’ll go through and offer some to friends, put some on Poshmark or Depop, and donate the rest to a company that handles sorting and reselling AND textile recycling for items that are too worn to wear. Plus I’ve gotten really into visible mending! I care about my clothes more, they last longer, and I like the moment of contemplation while I make them useful again. I now find myself looking for clothes that are more appropriate to repair, too.

  9. I need to look at what I’m wearing more, I’m not much of a clothes person. I work at home so though I don’t usually go the pajama route as i have to go out and feed farm animals first thing in the morning ( and hay stuck in fuzzy pajamas is no bueno). I do end up in some pretty threadbare clothes while my closet is full of clothes from my old work-life.
    Being frugal does make it hard to send half the stuff away and actually buy stuff I’ll wear. I don’t think for me pinning is the answer, the time THAT would take. I’m at a bit of a loss how to cut back to just a few pieces that will be worn.

  10. I genuinely don’t care about clothes and am genuinely not a fan of shopping.

    But I somehow invented a capsule wardrobe before Youtube was invented and if I’d known that was going to be a thing I probably could have made money selling it. All my clothing is mix and match by occasion (teaching days aka business /work days aka business casual /home days aka ancient tshirts and pajama bottoms) and it all gets equal wear because I wear what’s in front/on top and put clean stuff in back/on bottom. Spring palette to match my coloring.

  11. I definitely have Aimless Wardrobe Syndrome. Due to being disabled though, I have really specific needs about how clothing feels and fabric composition, so I usually fall back on leggings and tee shirts because I know that’s an outfit I can reliably tolerate. I have a bunch of clothes in my wardrobe that I like, but none of them are 100% what I need and I can’t spend the spoons to wear them on a daily basis.

  12. I liked this article until you said “just do more laundry”…. As if, lol. But I’ll at least consider it once i can try new clothes on at stores again (mostly thrift stores because i can never find clothes that fit me).

  13. This guide is great. However, the most important takeaway is that all of my life goals have now converged on finding a swimsuit that makes me look like a Star Trek villain.

  14. Not gonna lie, my wardrobe is all about minimalism. I basically have a solid rotation for business casual, one or two things for formal wear, and a few tshirts thrown in. I do splurge a bit on shoes though.

    Laundry once or twice a week and I’m good 😉

  15. Lmao I just found this site and I was cracking up reading this article. It’s so real and hilarious but helpful. Thank you. I definitely feel like that “shithead” you mentioned at the end standing in front of my closet. I even donated half my wardrobe and STILL feel like a shithead in front of it because I don’t wear half of it for various reasons. It’s definitely time for some reevaluating… lol

  16. I use the StyleBook app for tracking my clothes. It was a pain to set it up, but also “not willing to do the work to find a photo and add it” was a pretty darn good litmus test of “do I actually like this enough to keep?” The app has places to add brand/size/color/fabric/price and free-form notes. You can easily track what you wear on any given day, and then it automatically breaks down the usage and cost-per-wear for each item. This has been super helpful for figuring out what my spending caps are for different things based on how many wears I get out of them, which brands/items wear like freaking iron, and which ones die after a hot second and are not worth buying at any price. Also, it is SUPER handy to reference when trying to decide whether a new thing would actually add to my wardrobe, or just be stuck in the corner with no one to play with.

    As a rule, I try only to buy clothes I’ll wear at least 30 times, or cover rare-but-actual use cases (my very warmest winter clothes fall here). Thus, the vast majority of my clothes are based around what I need for my day-to-day life. I keep my minimum-viable number of office/interview clothes on hand (2 blazers/2 pants/1 skirt/1 pair achingly-appropriate black wedges, tops are pulled from the general rotation), but I don’t bother to keep anything for fancy occasions that aren’t guaranteed multiple-use.

    Let’s be real: If you are of the feminine-dressing persuasion, every damn time a fancy dress occasion comes up, the weather/theme/level-of-fanciness is different enough that the thing you held onto is not what you need anyway. I solve this by using Rent the Runway, set a limit for what I want to spend, and order something appropriate to the occasion (and you can sort reviews/customer photos by “like me” to get a pretty good idea of how it will fit). If I need fancy shoes to go with my rental dress, I use The RealReal, set the amount I am willing to spend, and find something that works and might (pray) be used again (pro tip: google “[brand of shoe] fit” before committing). The advantages of this approach vs. buying something cheap-but-appropriate are 1) you aren’t buying a single-use garment, 2) the quality is much higher (and generally more comfortable), 3) you don’t have to decide what the hell to do with this thing you spent a fortune on and will never wear again, and 4) it may even be cheaper than buying something. The first time I used this approach, it actually cost me less to dress appropriately for a black-tie event than it did my husband. That is a big freaking win against the pink-tax in my book.

  17. This is great! I hate trying to match tops and bottoms. I have an unusual body (very short and fat). My solution was to buy a ton of dresses from eShakti (made to my measurements, and they have pockets!). I look super cute, I’m COMFORTABLE, and I don’t have to match anything! Some of them I like so much I have them in multiple colors. Like 5. 🙂 I never have to shop again!

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