2021 has been a whirlwind of a year for Curobe, with three new starters to the team, our soft launch and partnering with a number of wonderful UK sustainable brands to bring our curation platform to life. There are so many plans that we have in-store for the new year, as we continue working towards our vision of empowering women to buy better.
For us at Curobe, buying better is about having a better understanding of ourselves, what we are buying and why we are buying. It’s about helping women find things to better complement their individual body shapes, choosing better brands that are socially and environmentally responsible and making better and more informed purchasing decisions.
As we head into 2022 and as customary for this time of year, we’ve also made a couple of resolutions for ourselves, to challenge ourselves to be better consumers and to live our motto of buying better. Though as with all resolutions, it will take effort, a change in mindset and a certain resistance to temptations. That’s why we’re sharing our top five tips that will hopefully also help you buy better in the coming year, whether your resolution is to only buy sustainable; to be a more conscious consumer; or you’re trying to limit your purchases to only those that spark joy, Marie Kondo style!
Tip 1: Pause before you buy
By far, this is my favourite and most effective tip to avoid buyers remorse. It’s also the simplest one. A small pause before entering the card details or hitting the confirm button. Sometimes it just takes that little break, for your mind to be distracted and to stop craving that dopamine hit of buying something. It gives you a chance to think through the pros and cons and whether something is actually suited to your body and style. We’ve all been there, the clock is ticking down on the sale, it’s the last item available in your size or there’s that little pop-up discount code that refuses to close. They are all incentives to get you to buy now and think later, which is exactly the problem, as buying better inevitably means being more thoughtful and mindful of our purchasing decisions, before making the purchase.
Tip 2: Check the labels and read the fine print
This definitely comes in at a close second and once you’re in the habit of doing this, I promise you, you won’t be able to go back. Every time you buy something, you’ll want to know the composition and where it’s made. Sometimes I even make it a bit of a guessing game in store, to see if I can guess the make, without looking at the labels; whether the ‘woollen’ knit that’s advertised at a particular price point, with a sheen about it or particular hand-feel, is really wool or a nicely crafted acrylic or polyester blend. This is a very simple tip that has saved me from paying way too much for items that end up just being plastic and helped me avoid buying seemingly artisanal products that are mass produced in the far east.
Tip 3: Ask, do I have something similar?
Most people have styles or designs that they gravitate towards, which is completely normal, but that also means we sometimes fall into the trap of buying the same or similar things, over and over again. While this helps reduce the risk of having to return something i.e. we know the item will likely work for our existing wardrobe, it doesn’t help us build a more versatile wardrobe. This means we end up increasing the size of our wardrobes but not its usability, which can add to the feeling of having lots of clothes, but nothing to wear! Personally it’s taken me some time to break this pattern of buying the same or similar things, as it’s always easiest to spot what we are familiar with, being creatures of habit. Now every time I buy something, I will mentally run through whether I’m buying something just because it’s familiar and I know I like it, or if it is something I need, that will help build upon my wardrobe, not just to build up and accumulate more.
Tip 4: Ask, how versatile is this?
This tip comes in handy, particularly when I’m deciding between alternative pieces, as it helps me find the best addition that will be most wearable, considering the rest of my wardrobe. We have all heard about the 30 wears movement and how the most sustainable clothing choice is what we already have in our wardrobes. Well, in order to ensure that something will last the test of time, I always measure purchases not just by fit, quality of make and price but also its versatility. For most pieces, I will always try to picture wearing the item in at least three settings, casual, smart casual and the potential to dress up. While it might not always be a three out of three, each item needs to be at least a two out of three to pass the mark. Of course there are exceptions to specific occasion wear and certain items like lingerie and swimwear … though I am still hopeful of turning my wedding gown into a cocktail dress one day!
Tip 5: Take down your body measurements
Having a good knowledge of your key body measurements can really help you focus on buying what you need and things that suit your requirements. It is also one of the easiest ways to avoid unwanted surprises around fit and sizing problems when making online purchases. It might take a little bit of work to get the tape measure out (or you might even need to purchase one first - trust me, it will be the best investment for your 2022 wardrobe!), but it is definitely worth the time saved, when you can quickly check on the sizing chart to know when certain brands or items are just not made to your size, or to avoid the long lines at the post office to make a return. See our earlier blog providing key tips on how to easily take your own body measurements.
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