keys to an intentional wardrobe, part three

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Today I’d like to continue the Keys to Intentional Wardrobe series by discussing two new topics: exfoliation habits and shopping sales. These two keys are geared toward the third step of the makeunder process: identify items you’d like to include. Over time, these two principles have helped me to create wiser purchases for my wardrobe that have led to a more intentional wardrobe.


Monitor exfoliation habits to make wiser purchases.


For the past seven years, I have regularly exfoliated items that I do not need, use, or love. And over time, this has led to a much higher quality wardrobe and home. When I was younger, the inability to afford most nice things meant that I couldn’t buy excess. But as my finances have grown through the years, I have been able to maintain a closet and apartment without a lot of clutter based on this key.

Monitor exfoliation trends to make wiser future purchases.

In the several Throw Out 100 Things Challenges (aka: donated, recycled, passed on, or thrown out) I have done over the years, I pay close attention to the quality, styles, and brands that get donated.

By being aware of the brands and general wear and tear that I dislike, I am able to avoid making future purchases that will likely have the same fate. Sure, everything will be eventually exfoliated. But that doesn’t mean that I should continue to buy things that are likely to meet that fate quickly. I’d rather buy higher quality items that stand the test of the Throw Out 100 Things Challenges.

In doing this, I rarely (but still sometimes do) purchase things at fast fashion retailers that I have found to be frequent exfoliation fodder. Instead, I prefer to wait for discounts at stores that I love. I would rather have a smaller closet of high-quality items.

Which leads me to my second key…


Shop sales intentionally.


Rather than beeline to the sales rack, I prefer to wait for store-wide sales. The beauty of the store-wide sale is that I can get exactly what I want (like my favorite skinny jeans at J.Crew) that never go on sale, at a discount.

By shopping store-wide sales, I don’t have to feel stuck with the discounted items that are tempting cheap, but have no importance for my wardrobe.

On the other hand, I recently scored a white denim skirt on sale at the J.Crew online outlet for $14.00 that was a no-brainer. Knowing how often I would wear it, I would have paid four times as much for the skirt. The fact that it was so inexpensive just made it all that much sweeter.

One way I avoid paying full-price and getting sucked into the sales rack is by getting emails from my favorite retailers. Rather than browse stores constantly, I wait until there is a really awesome store-wide sale email. Then, I hop on the site – or go to the store – and see if there are any items that fit my seasonal calendar or vision for my wardrobe.

Bonus tip: Consider the tax you pay dependent on where you buy another way to save some cash, when possible. For example, I do seasonal shopping when I visit my parents in Pennsylvania. They have an amazing J.Crew outlet near their home and there is no sales tax! This saves me the 10% sales tax I pay here in Chicago.


The next key I’ll be sharing is: splurging intentionally.


Part One: Creating a clear vision is essential.

Part Two: Anticipate and respond actively to life transitions.

Part Three: Monitor Exfoliation Habits to Make Wiser Purchases & Shop Sales Intentionally.

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  1. Kristin

    I purchased the SAME white denim skirt so the exact same reason – it was a total no brainer!

  2. Sweeter CPA

    Haha, you know I’m going to pop in and say that you are supposed to pay the difference in sales tax for items purchased out of state to your home state. It’s called “use tax” and goes on your state tax return for the year. 🙂

  3. Nora

    i loved this part of the series. thanks for sharing. i am going to start following some of your tips. these are great ideas that i know will help me. i have been buying cheaper purses now that i am supporting myself but i just wasn’t happy with them at all. so this weekend i invested in a kate spade that will last me forever! i even got a free pair of kate spade earrings with my purchase.

    1. Nice! I have to say, I started my first investment pieces in handbags as well. I am now working on investing in my shoes, too. It means less shoes overall, but they last longer and are so much nicer quality.

  4. Ashley

    Thank you for this great series! I feel like my wardrobe is still very college, even though I graduated 5 years ago. Ugh! I work at preschool, so I don’t really want to spend lots of money on something that could easily get a stain on it at work. But I will be using your tips to upgrade my weekend wear.

    1. That’s totally understandable! If I were in a career that put me in the line of paint and glitter all day, I too, would keep my college wardrobe. : ) I am happy to hear that this series is helping you on the weekend front though!

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