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The Purchase Justification Process

The irony of this photo is that these shoes were $15, the jeans were my mom's from over ten years ago, and I got the sweater for $10 on sale at H&M. Trust me, though, most other things in my wardrobe went through this justification process.

I don't mean to pat myself on the back but I've had people tell me that I'm the only person they'll shop with. Now, we know it's not because I'm silent and not annoying because that is just not the truth. I am the master of telling friends that something just isn't them without crushing their spirits. But I have also mastered another skill that gets me into trouble more often than not. I can justify most, if not all purchases. There's a tier of questions to ask yourself as you're shopping and you pick up a black and white gingham ruffle one-shoulder top in the sale section.

Do I REALLY want or need it? 

This is probably the first question that crosses your mind. How useful is a black and white gingham ruffle one-shoulder top that's final sale? Do I really need to buy it? Well, no, of course not. We don't need to buy anything. This is all weighing on do I want it. Take it off the rack and carry it around the store. It's cute, it's trendy, and the price is right. Of course, I want it!

Do I have anything similar in my closet? 

For certain pieces, the answer to this is yes. Everyone has a plain black sweater, but is my black sweater in good condition? Is it pilling? Does it have a mock turtleneck? A regular turtleneck? Is one cable knit and the other cashmere? Little changes like that set it apart enough (in the mind of a shopaholic) where the only answer to "Should I buy this black sweater?" is "The register is to your left." Back to the original example, if you already have a black and white gingham one-shoulder top in your closet, what in the world are you doing trying to get a second? Isn't one enough for you?! Now,  an off the shoulder gingham top with fluted sleeves would not be out of the question though...

What can I wear it with? 

I do have a theory that if you can't think of at least three outfits off the top of your head that you could make with said item then it's not worth purchasing. It's hard to keep an inventory of your entire closet, sure, but this is a surefire way to make sure that your new piece doesn't just sit with the tags on it until you buy something new to go with it. Take a few minutes to imagine it paired with other pieces in your wardrobe, not other pieces that you don't have in your closet yet that you have to buy as well. Then it just becomes a whole domino effect of spending money and buying more clothes and hiding your receipts and bank statements from your loved ones so they don't know how deep your shopping problem runs.

Could I get this some place for cheaper?

In a world of SheIn and fast fashion, like, probably? But who has time to seek out the dupes? Also, if you're already looking on SheIn or Zara or H&M, that's probably as low as it's going to go unless you want to rumage through thrift and consignment stores, which will defeat the purpose and exhilarating feeling of instant gratification from purchasing something new. Who doesn't love that rush that shopping gives you?

Can I wash this? 

I never do laundry. Pass. 

No seriously, is it machine washable?

Ugh, fine, no it's not. This doesn't necessarily mean a definite no, but it certainly changes a few things. If something is machine washable, jump at that opportunity because that is something that more of my clothes now don't offer which is why I live in Adidas running shorts and my Jonas Brothers Burnin' Up Tour t-shirt from 2008.

Why do I want this? 

Because new things are fun. It would look cute with this, this, this, and this. I could wear it to this place, and this place, and this place. It would look good with these lipsticks from my collection. I don't have anything like this (regardless of whether you do or do not have anything like it). 

And, the most important reasoning that when all else fails, works like a charm: I deserve this. Hashtag treat yo'self, am I right?

Do I REALLY need this? 

It's full cycle right before you approach the cash register. The answer is still no, but it's not going to stop you now.

And that is how you can justify most if not all clothing purchases. Tweak these steps for things like makeup, skincare, haircare, fancy plates, new stationery, whatever it may be.


  1. You must be a mind reader because I was JUST having this conversation with my mom (and about half a dozen other people this past week). I'm trying to talk myself out of buying $800 Jimmy Choo shoes for my wedding (and also literally all of the other 12 events I have in the next year).


    1. Omg, I completely forgot to add taking the cost per wear into account! Girl, I think I saw those on your Twitter or Instagram Story the other day and they were so freaking cute. I mean...they are a special shoe...for a special occasion... :D

  2. This is FABULOUS. I might print this out and tape it to my desk so I can stop myself from over-shopping on Shein! I know everything is $10 but dang if it isn't easy to fill a cart with $200 worth of clothes that I can't afford!

    I really like the tip that if you can't think of 3 outfits you could make with that item, you shouldn't get it! I am trying to buy more versatile clothing anyway. I will start using that to make sure I don't just buy crap.

    xoxo, Paige

    1. Oh I totally understand! I always tell myself that if something is cheaper, I can buy more but that's not always the case hahaha. I'm very adamant about the three outfit thing though. I mean, what's the point if you can't wear it more than once, you know?

      Glad these tips helped, Paige!


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