This Little Miggy Stayed Home: Fridays Question

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fridays Question

So even though it was sort of a whim I really like the idea of reserving my Friday posts for questions to my dear readers to help me solve all of my life's problems.  And this first one is a doozy...  

Do you shop in outfits or individual pieces?  

See, here's my dilemma...I don't shop in outfits, I usually just individual pieces because for some reason buying an outfit seems so limiting, like I can only wear those pieces together.  And it seems so much more expensive since you have to buy the whole outfit.  However, sometimes I buy something I really like but can't seem to make it work with anything else in my it seems like a waste after all.  Additionally sometimes I see a cute outfit I'd like to reproduce and I can't seem to bring myself to buy the outfit.  So I try to get the same "look" in a very abstract sense and it doesn't seem to work.  

For example:  I saw this on Zara the other day and I love everything about this outfit:

  But instead of just buying the outfit, or similar pieces I'll just think "yeah just do more layer-y looks... sweaters over dresses... slouchy but polished lady lumberjack-ish stuff..." but it doesn't quite come together.  So then I just wonder Oh, do I actually need to buy this exact outfit to get this look?  And would I wear that dress with anything else or just this outfit?

Obviously you can see what a huge dilemma this is.  So please, stop writing that petition to Darfur and don't worry about volunteering at the soup kitchen...I need your help.  So, again do you buy in outfits?  And if so, what do you feel is the benefit of that type of shopping?  What about for your kids?  I seem to have the same problem with Sassy Pants wardrobe.  

Thanks internet friends...I'm counting on you.  
(BTW, can you buy Zara online??)


  1. Miggy, (I still adore your blog...It never gets old!)

    Here are my 2 cents:
    I shop in whatever way my heart speaks to me. Whether it's one singlar piece, or the whole schebang. (Is that even a word?) If you LOVE it, you MUST get it--even if it's a full outfit--otherwise the "one that got away" (single item or outfit) will haunt you forever! I'm serious.

    Also, if you don't absolutely LOVE something, just don't buy it. Reserve your dollars for LOVE, not sort-of like ;o)

  2. I find if I buy the whole "outfit", so many of the pieces DO end up going with other things in my closet. Just as you hope individual things that you love its kind of a win win. But buy entire "outfit" I usually go piece meal (different stores) going for just one look to create the outfit.

    Make sense?

    And will just have that "one outfit" that you can only wear on its own, but that is a treat too.

  3. I love this because my sister's moto is 'buy the outfit' and that's her only moto. she not only does this for her but for her two kids. I on the other hand used to buy mismatched pieces until I became so frustrated with not having pants to go with this top, etc, etc. So I now (for the most part) buy the whole outfit. You're only as limited as you want to be.

  4. I'm an outfit shopper. But that doesn't mean that I necessarily buy the entire outfit from one source, or that I never buy individual pieces-- I just never buy something unless it already can fit into a complete outfit {shoes and all!}. And if I DO want something that doesn't have an existing outfit to complete it in my closet, I have to then buy the rest IMMEDIATELY. Otherwise, it ends up hanging, homeless and neglected, in my closet forever. :(

  5. Anonymous11:24 AM

    The last time I bought an "outfit" was probably 16 years ago. It was on a mannequin and I thought it looked great so I bought the whole thing. Alas, as soon as I put it on my college roommates said, "No, no, no--that shirt doesn't work with that at all." They switched it for a shirt I already had in my closet and they were right--it looked much better. So from that moment on I vowed not to buy "outfits" and follow my own instincts.

  6. Kristy12:10 PM

    Well, it's funny in fact now that I think about it, I am a piece by piece shopper for myself. I think because I know I can get a better deal if I look for similar things on clearance racks. But I only buy things that I know will go with either something I have or if I have something in mind for it. I never just buy a top or dress without a plan.

    But for my daughter I only buy outfits. If an adorable top doesn't have bottoms to go with it I know me and I will never put her in it. And I have learned to not count on something else in her wardrobe working with it because her clothes, tops and bottoms, only get worn once before washing so it's not like she can wear the pants with 2 different tops. She is way too messy to wear anything twice! So, I have learned to just buy complete outfits and then she ends up wearing everything in her closet.

  7. you guys! I don't think I have ever bought an outfit! I think my mom did for me in 6th grade. wait. I have bought maternity outfits. but I don't like them. hmmm....

    I need help with my wardrobe. you always have good advice. i remember that other post you did once about your clothes rules...

  8. I very rarely buy outfits; I mostly buys individual pieces because, let's face it, my wardrobe consists of jeans and tops. What doesn't go with jeans, right?

    And I guess the same can be said for my kids, though number 3 did just complain to me that he had "only jeans." I asked him what he thought he should have, and he had no ideas.

    I also could use some style tips. . . :)

  9. I have been known to buy the outfit, but it was usually when I was making more money and had that kind of disposable cash. My usual MO is to buy individual pieces, but ONLY if I can immediately tell you what I will wear it with in my existing wardrobe. Must be able to pair it right away.

    I agree that I'll go for the feeling if I like it (slouchy sweater over tailored pant, got it.) But sometimes the need overtakes me and I try to get at least one of the pieces in the outfit. Since I'm a cheapskate, I'll wait until it's on sale.

    However, I buy kid outfits all the time. It's easy to buy a suite of clothes for them that will dress them interchangeably until they outgrow it. Being so matchy-matchy is also, I think, more appropriate for kids.

    I'm notorious for doing this with the boys' Sunday clothes. It's SO HARD to find good Sunday clothes for boys, so when I see a combo or outfit that works, I buy the whole thing and they can get a good year or two out of it.

    (Plus they look adorable.)

  10. Miggy, I shop outfits. I even hang the outfit on hangers together in my closet and I only wear the outfit items as the outfit. This drives me husband crazy and as for me, I have way to many clothes.

    My goal for 2011 is to not shop for outfits. How many pair of 7 for All Mankind jeans does one woman need? I have 20 because each pair goes with a different top and sweater. It had to stop. I cleaned out my closet and tossed a lot of clothes into a box to give to a friend. I'm no longer doing outfits and it feels great!


  11. I wouldn't even know how to shop in outfits if I tried! Then again I am mostly jeans and t shirts kinda it's easy to buy whatever. For my daughter I buy outfits sometimes but because we cloth diaper I use wool pants a lot and so finding cute single tops are always a good find. Try to shop
    Similar colors and get creative!

  12. Basically ditto everything Kristy said. I'm not much of a shopper, but in the past I've always shopped in pieces and then had certain things I never wear and certain things I wear too much. I want to try buying more in outfits that can mix and match with other things I already own.

    As for the kids, I'm currently dealing with the other extreme: being the grateful recipient of TONS of hand-me-downs. I'm glad I haven't had to buy much, but so much has gone un-worn because it didn't go with anything else. So, I'll definitely outfit-shop for the kids when I can.

  13. i'm a piece by piece kind of gal. and it helps that i don't believe in matching. it's just not important to me and it feels too restrictive. plus, i like to feel like myself and i've never seen myself on a mannequin. well, maybe once. and then i bought the outfit and never wore the pieces together again.
    ps- that outfit in the picture, i found a great dress like that at a thrift store and i've enjoyed mixing it up thoroughly! here's a picture:

  14. too funny :)
    i buy separate pieces most of the time at stores less expensive than where i first get my inspiration (online and in mags)so it takes care of the temptation to buy the whole outfit off the rack ( which is sort of, i think, like buying the whole matchy matchy room -- not terribly original and likely to make u twinsies with lots of other whole room/outfit buyers) but that's just me :)