camel dress and cheetah coat outfit

How to Put Together a Clothing Shopping List (And What’s On Mine)

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Previously, I’ve talked about resisting the urge to splurge unnecessarily and clothing pieces you won’t regret buying. I’m obviously not against shopping, but how do you do it right? When you know it’s time to shop, how do you put together a clothing shopping list and make sure you get the things you need…and maybe a couple that you want? 😉

Moving forward, I want to shop more sustainably. I say more, not totally! If you’ve followed me from my budget-friendly days, don’t worry, I won’t give up fast fashion completely or my chic while keeping it cheap looks. I heart H&M and TjMaxx, but I do want to try out brands such as Madewell, Sezane, and Everlane. These brands have been on my radar for a while and I’m looking forward to trying them out.

But before you start picking up new pieces, you need to start with a clothing shopping list. And that’s why you’re here! So let’s dive in.

How to Put Together a Clothing Shopping List

coat (similar) | dress | beret (similar) | boots (similar)

1. Start with the key pieces
I know, I know. Starting with the basics. Nothing new. But we have to start at the very beginning! Imagine I sang that like Julie Andrews in Sound of Music.

I don’t want to repeat myself, so check out this post to see if your wardrobe has the basic, key pieces first!

2. Write down the difference
Okay, now that you know what every well-rounded wardrobe needs, write down what your wardrobe is lacking! Not just lacking though, make sure it’s something you’d actually see yourself wearing!

For example, you may not want a thick wool coat if you live in California and if you’re over 50 you may not want to buy a moto jacket (though I think you could totally rock it). BTW, have you seen my fashion over 50 category?

3. Think of your extras
Some things are a staple to some and not to others. The list doesn’t have a faux fur cheetah coat as a staple, but if you saw this post, then you know it is to me! So what are things that you know you’d wear all the time? Write those down!

4. What has seen better days in your wardrobe?
Let’s say you have black flats but they’re all scuffed and old-looking. You can’t keep wearing those! Because we know that looking put together and expensive is about the grooming and taking care of your items. Even if they were cheap!

5. What are some things that you want?
This is different than the extras you know you’d wear all the time. These are pieces that may not get worn every day or every week, but you’ve had your eye on them for a long time. Fashion should be fun, after all! You don’t need it, but I’m giving you permission to add a couple of those trendy & exciting pieces to your wardrobe!

But if you still want to be sensible about it…what things have you wanted for at least 6 months- year? I say a year because it’s easy to get caught up in the latest trends of the season, but if the season and trend passes and next year you find yourself still wanting it? Well, then that’s a good sign!

Okay, so you know what you need to start with for a timeless, well-rounded out wardrobe.

You know the items you need to achieve that.

You also thought about the pieces that are staples to you, even if they aren’t to other people.

You’ve also done a wardrobe edit and you’ve looked long and hard at your closet to make sure you’re not holding onto cheap or tacky things.

Related: 7 Ways to Elevate Your Style (And What You May Be Doing Wrong)

All your jewelry is still its original color and your jeans though worn, still look good. You’ve tossed shoes that are too scuffed up and tops with holes and stains.

Well, guess what you did? You put together your shopping list!

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get it all perfect right away. A lot of things are trial and error. Black flats are a great staple, but guess what? I don’t actually wear mine all that much. I’m not trying to promote buying something just to throw it away, but sometimes buying something cheap is a good way to start. Then you’ll know if you’ll even wear it or not to see if it’s worth investing in. Certainly don’t go off the list I linked and buy the best of the best right away! Only do that on the things you’ll wear day in and day out!

Related: What to Do When You’re Bored With Your Wardrobe

Now I’ll show you what’s on my shopping list!

What’s on my clothing shopping list

1. White sneakers$145
I had a pair, loved them, and then they got ruined when I tried to wash them. They were maybe $12 from Target, so I wasn’t upset, but it was a good test to know that I actually do love and wear white sneakers and now my next pair is worth spending more on!

white sneakers

Yes, this particular pair is pretty pricey and I wonder if I’ll actually get these or not. But they’re on my list! Or something like it at least. This pair also isn’t canvas which is nice, because they’d be easier to clean. My Target pair was canvas and a water stain was what ended up with them getting in the washer and that eventually led to their ruin 😉

2. Leopard print flats$79 on sale
Almost the same story as the sneakers! Cheap and from Target and though I loved them, they just looked too scuffed and worn down for me to keep wearing. They did last for about 7 years though, which is really good for Target. If you’re gonna do fast fashion, just try to make it last!

I have a pair of Sam Edelman flats already and think they’re comfy, so I want to order from them again! And for the toe, it’s always pointy for me!

leopard print flat

3. Thigh-high flat boots$89 on sale
I’ve gone through a couple of rounds of these types of boots. I’ve read that you know it’s time to splurge when you keep buying the dupe over and over again. Well, I love, love the look of flat thigh-high boots and I wear the heeled version a lot for my blog, but I can’t justify getting the “real” version of the shoe, which is Stuart Weitzman for $800.

black thigh high boots

I had a flat heel one from Forever 21 and at first, they worked, but they never stayed up and I eventually gave them away. Surely there has to be an in-between from $40 to $800, right? After much research, this pair seems to be the most promising!

Believe it or not, that’s all that’s on my shopping list for this year! (so far). But now just for kicks, here’s my wish list. Much different than a shopping list… 🙂

1. Chanel handbag$4,000
I don’t really get swayed by trends and designers all that much, but Chanel has always had my heart. I’ve been dreaming and wishing after one of her handbags (or really anything) for well, my whole life…or once I discovered her at least haha.

I have a hard time spending money…especially several mortgages on a material item. No shame to those that do, it’s just the way I’ve always been. I doubt I’ll ever get a Chanel handbag, but if I do, it has to be the real thing. No knockoffs and it has to be the classic black and gold. Even if I saved up enough money for this particular item I’d still have trouble dropping that much, but if I could find it used and for the “right” price, well that’s a different story!

chanel handbag

2. Levi’s jeans$88 on sale
Okay, I said I’m not influenced by trends all that much but there is something I’m influenced by- Parisian women! Ironically enough, this American brand is popular with French women- especially the vintage pairs. I have a couple of Levi’s jeans already and love them, and would love to add more vintage-looking pairs to my wardrobe. These aren’t that expensive, certainly not Chanel expensive, but they’re on the wish list because I really don’t need any more jeans! They’re just a want.

levis jeans

I’m curious to know…What’s on your shopping/ wish list this year?

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clothing shopping list


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.