May 10th, 2013

Want vs. Need

Isabel Marant, Givenchy

One of the reasons I have not posted many spring picks is because I am thinking hard about what I need before I buy. Years past I would have made all of my purchases for the season by March. And invariably, I would have a few ‘misses’– items I loved, but would end up not wearing often.

Today, heavy rotation is the name of the game. I no longer want clothes that are singular in purpose (save evening wear, swim, etc.) and I am much more realistic about my lifestyle. No office, many meetings, but rarely with the same people more than once, lots of run-around, black tie events are a rarity, etc. This scrutiny is helping me craft a tighter and more wearable wardrobe with hopefully fewer mistakes.

I really want everything above, but will only buy the Isabel Marant top and possibly the Belstaff skirt. But when the sales start, all bets are off!

All items in the KiC shop.


what's new


Joaquin double-breasted pleated cashmere coat


Cat-eye square-frame sunglasses


Belted wool-twill coat


Leather Charlotte kitten heel knee high boots


Tweed wool-blend single-breasted coat


Mora embroidered cotton shirt


Avery oversized belted two-tone cotton twill trench coat


Knotted sleeve-waist wool sweater


medium Trunk shoulder bag


Gold vermeil hoop earrings


Wool-blend overcoat


Chain choker - yellow gold

view all

  • so true! A couple of years ago, I would have just bought anything I liked, but now i really think about what i’ll really wear – & what with

    PopcornMay 10th, 2013  9:57 AM

  • I agree with your picks – both pieces are so wearable. On sale, the jacket is fabulous and if you can walk in those great shoes, you deserve them too! Those I would have to admire from afar!

    AprilMay 10th, 2013  10:03 AM

  • Love this post. You made me think hard about my purchases as well.

    ElenaMay 10th, 2013  10:31 AM

  • Could not agree more, shopping for the lifestyle that I have now…….just did a major closet purge, feel totally free, like a juice cleanse I suppose (which I don’t do)!!


    CindalaMay 10th, 2013  2:26 PM

  • It would be wonderful if sometime you would share more about “rotation”. I read about this strategy in various fashion blogs, and would love to learn your specific take on it.


    KellyMay 10th, 2013  2:49 PM

  • I love your choices and could not agree with you more about your stratgey. It took me 2 years to edit/rebuild my wardrobe and I simply can’t slip back into old bad habits such as buying everything I different colours. The main thing I learnt is that the older I get, the less inclined I am to buy clothes at all but instead spend my money on accessories, is that weird? I would love to see a post about where accessories figure in a ‘wearable wardrobe’.

    SilkPathDiary.comMay 10th, 2013  3:26 PM

  • I’m with Silk Path Diary above, accessories are where it’s at for me! That being said I do love that top you featured. And the shoes are quite nice as well. Happy Mother’s Day to you, Preston! Thanks for being a great source of inspiration.

    JillMay 10th, 2013  4:30 PM

  • I agree with all these comments. I used to see things I thought of as so”me” that I purchased without a thought as to how they fit into my lifestyle. I ,too, am doing a closet purge and am bringing some very expensive, hardly worn, and yes, NEVER worn, items that have no business being in my closet and even less on my back to a resale store. These days I have a policy to walk away and reflect on an item, only buying it after the initial impulse passes. I miss a few “wants” that get snatched up, but I know they will be replaced by other items in short order. I am committed to the idea of loving everything I wear and knowing it enhances me, not just being “in style”. Happy Mom’s Day to all.

    AprilMay 10th, 2013  5:01 PM

  • I call it “my imaginary life trap” and I fell into it over and over. Now I give more thought to need than want and am happier for it. Would also love to see a post on “rotation” as that leads to low cost per wear which is just so satisfying.

    miaMay 10th, 2013  6:21 PM

  • so thought provoking ,firstly the post and then the other comments. i am in the process of de cluttering and trying to define my uniform and thus rotation. i too have many items in my wardrobe which i had forgotten i had bought and thus still have tickets on and hang unworn.
    i now ” shop” for wants on the internet buy getting them into my cart and never actually pay for!!

    i look for needs in shops in Melbourne and then walk away i if i still think i need them a week later i return to purchase.
    items i really like and need that i see on-line i view first in bricks and mortar and then proceed as above..

    Preston i too would love an article on your ideal wardrobe and how you rotate.

    GillianMay 10th, 2013  10:09 PM

  • Clearly this post was a hit and resonated with so many of your loyal readers!! Please do more of these……we wait and LEARN!

    CariMay 10th, 2013  10:55 PM

  • Love these types of post! I have found that using a fashion app helps me to keep a well edited and rotated closet. I can see what I have and create outfits to see what I need. So satisfying.

    TanishaMay 11th, 2013  3:39 AM

  • Couldn’t agree more! I am bombarded with emails on what to buy and sales. It takes real discipline to shop for your lifestyle. I have to remind myself that if I am in true need for something there are a myriad of stores within a stones throw of my home.

    SheilaMay 11th, 2013  9:11 AM

  • This really resonated with me recently. I fell in love with a dressy maxi dress that I purchased and upon receiving it realized my delusion. I thought to myself, “how often am I really and truly going to wear this?” The price tag did not justify the end. I often get caught up in the fantasy versus my reality. I am gearing towards more practical but still outstanding pieces that fit into my current lifestyle.

    Valena BerkeMay 11th, 2013  12:37 PM

  • Very thoughtful post. It’s nice to be reminded of what makes sense in the larger scheme of things.

    MargoMay 11th, 2013  7:28 PM

  • With children to be dressed as well as myself, I have to think carefully about my choices as well. A rule for me is that a new item must go with TWO things I already own. It isn’t as hard as it sounds and it keeps me realistic about what I will truly wear. Dresses are my fave, and I love running around in them and looking put together without trying too hard!

    MelissaMay 13th, 2013  10:30 AM

  • Great post! Most women have so much in their closets and 1percent gets worn, I have always said to clients put it on hold and walk away and think about it before you shop shop shop. Love your comment on rotation , I believe things that are multi purpose are way more fun, thanks for you great thoughts and ideas. Kim, the closetfairy

    ClosetfairyFebruary 2nd, 2014  7:14 PM

  • This just popped up on my screen– really curious about who makes the tortoise bee cuff- perfect gift for my daughter who is a bee keeper! thanks….

    prt23February 15th, 2014  10:58 PM


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