Will it work for more than one season?
Some garments are for mid-summer or deep winter only, they may need to be in your wardrobe, but you don’t want a wardrobe full of them as they are limited if you live in an environment that has four seasons, but is generally more temperate than extreme, you want the majority of your wardrobe to be fairly trans-seasonal. This allows you to wear garments more, getting a better cost-per-wear per garment, so then it’s worthwhile investing more in a piece if you know you can wear it in spring and autumn as well as some of winter and summer.
Will it work for a variety of occasions?
Now the question to ask yourself is can you dress it up and dress it down? Can you wear it to work and out to dinner and out to a movie, lunch or shopping. The more versatile a garment is the more it becomes a great wardrobe workhorse and is worth spending your money on.
How many other pieces in my existing wardrobe can I wear it with?
So now, it may be a versatile piece but does it work with your existing wardrobe? If you need to go and buy a whole bunch of other garments to wear with it, then it’s not good value. Ideally you want any new piece to go with at least 3 to 5 other items you already own so it works as part of a capsule or you can get lots of wear from it.
Do I already own one just like it, wear it all the time and this one is similar but still different?
Now you have a favourite jacket and you wear it all the time and now you’ve found another jacket that has similar qualities to that favourite. Maybe it’s got a similar cut, comfortable fabric, makes you look slimmer and you love the colour and when you wear it you feel smart and feminine and that’s how you love to feel in your clothing. But it’s a different colour and pattern from the one that’s already in your wardrobe, and there a few different details so it doesn’t look like a copy just in a different colour. Well buy it if it also makes you feel smart and feminine too. If it’s another expression of your signature style then go for it.
Now remember not everything has to be like something you already own, but it can be a useful question to ask yourself, if you have pieces that you love and wear and wear and they make you feel great, then that can give you some understanding of what works for you and repeating some of those elements will bring another great item into your wardrobe that you will wear and wear, therefore worth the investment.
Do I already own one just like it that I wear all the time and this is very very similar?
Ok, so you may have found a fabulous new piece that is really similar to one you wear all the time, but we don’t need repeats in our wardrobe, particularly when they are just too much the same. Buying the ‘same garment’ in every colour it comes in won’t make you happy, you will wear the one in your favourite colour and the others will sit around being ignored in your wardrobe as you will find that you are bored if there is too much similarity between pieces, and nobody needs 2,3 5 or 20 replicas of essentially the same garment.
There is never any point in bringing another piece that is the ‘same’ into your wardrobe (unless you have to replace a favourite that is worn out and leaving your wardrobe). Having two pieces that same, and one that is 2nd best isn’t the best way to build a wardrobe.