Last weekend, I made yet another trip to Avalon to sell clothes and accessories I no longer wear. It can be depressing to realize that these things represent hundreds of dollars of purchases that I no longer have use for. I wanted to analyze why I didn't need those things to continue to refine my shopping and decluttering habits. 

 Guess what - after writing this post, I decided I didn't need any of these shirts! (Yes, that's a baby crawling around on the dressing room floor...)

Guess what - after writing this post, I decided I didn't need any of these shirts! (Yes, that's a baby crawling around on the dressing room floor...)

After years of thinking about why I make shopping mistakes, I'm super picky and pretty good at avoiding some of the big ones, like these:

Buying something because it's on sale.
When you're tempted to buy something that's on sale, ask yourself why you're excited about it. If the first thing that comes to mind is "because it's such a deal!", walk away. 

Buying something that isn't just right.
Betty Halbreich, the legendary personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman's, says that if you don't love something immediately when you put it on, don't get it. Whatever doubts you have are only going to grow, and the flaws will only get worse the longer you look. These items hang in your closet unworn.

Buying something because of peer pressure.
I generally shop alone. Having someone else talk you into something is never a good idea. As an aside, this includes personal shoppers who work for a store (i.e. Nordstrom, J. Crew). Don't forget, they are getting a commission if they get you to buy. I charge for personal shopping by the hour instead of by a percentage of purchases - you can talk to most of my clients (and my friends, for that matter!) and they'll tell you that I discourage a lot of purchases ;)

Buying something that's not your style.
See: how to define your personal style.

But I'm not perfect. Here are a few of the mistakes I still make:

Trying to stretch myself.
Even though I'm very comfortable and confident in having determined what's "me" at this point, sometimes I still buy something because I think I should switch it up. Several of the pieces I sold this weekend were brightly colored pieces that I kept thinking I "should" wear, but never did.

Emotional buying.
There were several things that I bought right after giving birth to my son, which just were not practical or flattering, but I was starved for new things after having been pregnant. I"m going to blame this one on hormones.

Keeping clothes for a different lifestyle.
I no longer have a need for office appropriate clothing. One or two outfits is enough and I had many more than that. The clothes were useful to me at one time and now that they're not, I'm letting them go.

Keeping items as a "collection".
I've documented the number of clutches I own, and let's face it, I use one a few times a year. I let go of half of my collection.

What shopping mistakes do you still make? Want some help?