10 Tips On How To Buy Less And Buy Better

Guest blog by Carol Hanson, Image Consultant

Buy less and buy better is definitely becoming a mantra that is growing in popularity. Over the last 18 months there’s a real trend for many realising they do not need so much ‘stuff’. This particularly applies with clothes.

As an image consultant I know that the often quoted “we wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time”, is correct. There is a growing desire to buy less and buy better as we start to value our clothes and appreciate the impact of consumption on the planet.

But what is the best approach when it comes to buying less and buying better? In this blog I’m going to give you my 10 top tips on exactly how to do that:

1) Buy Quality Not Quantity

Despite the pressure of fast fashion to buy more for less, I’ve always valued quantity over quality. I prefer fabrics that feel good on my body. I want clothes that are cut and made well that hang nicely and flatter my figure. I always suggest to clients that they should consider the cost per wear, not the initial investment. This puts the price into perspective.

2) Don’t Buy On Impulse

The majority of ‘mistakes’ in people’s wardrobes come from impulse purchases. You can usually guarantee they are the items that still have the price tags attached!

Many impulse purchases are made on the basis of price. It was a bargain! It’s easy to get seduced by the money we’re ‘saving’. 

It may have been a great price, but if it doesn’t tick the boxes in terms of my ‘buying rules’ it’s not a bargain!

3) Buying Rules

To buy less and buy better means really thinking about your intended purchases. 

Stop and consider if an item is in your colours and a style that really flatters your shape. 

Do you really love it and does it help to express who you are?

Think about how you are going to wear it. Can you see how you may be able to make it work three different ways in your wardrobe. 

4) Slow The Buying Process

If you are shopping online, see something you love, don’t immediately hit buy now. 

Put the item in your cart or on a wish list and leave it there. Come back the following day or two days later. Is it still something you are passionate about?

If you shopping on the High Street ask if the store will put it on one side for you, while you think about it. Agree a time to come back. If you don’t return the shop can put it back on sale. 

5) Return If It’s Not Right

This applies particularly to online purchases. 

It’s so easy to purchase online. It arrives on our doorstep. Excited we open it, try it on and find it’s not right. 

But it’s an effort to find out the returns process and then to go to the post office to drop it off. So we keep it. This is rarely going to happen with more expensive clothing, but it’s not unusual with cheap clothing. 

6) Consider Bespoke Clothing

Many women dismiss the idea of bespoke clothing as they think it will be too expensive. 

Bespoke clothing made by hand

But having clothing made that fits you perfectly, made to extremely high standard and from great quality fabric means you will get so much wear from it. It’s the ultimate way to buy less and buy better. 

You will be involved in the design process, so really invested in the item. If you find that your shape changes, a properly designed garment can be altered. 

7) Other Options For Clothes

If you are looking for an outfit for a special occasion, consider renting. Outfit rental for means you are not investing a lot of money in pieces you won’t wear. This is great for women who want a lot of variety and don’t want to be seen in the same outfit. 

Carrie Johnson (The Prime Minister’s Wife) regularly rents outfits for her public appearances to give her multiple looks, which means she’s not investing in items she won’t wear. 

8) Unsubscribe

How often do we end up subscribing to email lists when we’re browsing online? Many clothing sites offer a discount for your first order. All you need to do is give them your email address. 

You navigate away from the site, not seeing anything you like, maybe forgetting you’d visited. That is until you receive plenty of emails, tempting you back! 

Email marketing is an effective way to get you to keep checking what is on offer. 

9) Declutter Your Wardrobe

Too much choice not only makes it difficult to make a decision about what to wear, but it means we don’t know what we have. 

Reducing the amount of clothes we own, not only makes it easier to choose outfits, but will also help you identify any wardrobe gaps. 

It also makes it easier to visualise when you are planning to buy something, if works with your existing wardrobe. 

10) Do Your Research

If you want to buy less buy better, consider what that means for you. Is it simply about the clothes or is it also about the brand you are buying from? 

With the growing awareness of the impact our behaviour is having on the Planet, many of us want to factor in sustainability to our buying decisions. 

Doing research on your intended purchases takes time. I would always recommend an independent approach. Good On You and Ethical Consumer are helpful resources.




Carol Hanson Image Consultant Hertfordshire


Carol Hanson is an Image Consultant, based in Hertfordshire. 

Carol’s mission is to inspire women who have a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear. She helps her clients to look and feel fabulous every time they get dressed. 

Wanting her clients to share her passion for buying less and buying better she regularly hosts talks and speaks on podcasts.

You can also find Carol on Instagram and Facebook.