cabanalifewhitetunicdress.jpgShopping for clothing is fun and impulse shopping even more fun – but is your closet full of items you bought in the spur of the moment and you never wear?

Read these shopping tips, and you will have your dream wardrobe. And as an added bonus,– you will help to save the environment too.

When shopping for yourself, it makes more sense to buy clothing that you can wear for years ahead,– like your favorite pair of jeans or a sweater that you’ve had since college. When you purchase better quality, the clothes will last longer. And when you pick pieces that reflect your own style rather than just the latest fashion, you will be able to use same pieces longer.

And let’s just say, skinny jeans or micro-shorts are not for all of us anyway. And others always look good with skinny jeans, whatever the current fashion.

A closet full of pieces that reflect your own style and are easily mixed and matched is more functional, rather than trying to make all those impulse purchases match together. It makes sense to buy with a shop sense, and you can make a big different in your wardrobe, as well as in the environment by buying right clothes the first time.

Ask questions.

Have a plan on how you are going to use the clothing and what you really need, and ask questions of yourself.

· Do I have coordinating pieces that go with it?

· Is the color right?

· Can I think of where or when I could use this clothing?

· What is it made of?

· How do I have to wash it?

If you have a closet full of dirty clothing that needs to be dry-cleaned, and you always forget to take them to get professionally cleaned, –it might be wise to check the label before you buy. Leave the garments that need dry-cleaning at the store, not to clutter your closets. Dry-cleaning can be harmful for the environment too, so avoiding dry-cleaned garments altogether makes sense.

Choose clothing by the quality rather than the price tag –- high quality clothing lasts longer and besides, it is less expensive to buy high quality clothing in a long run.

Choose wisely

Choose natural fibers like cotton, wool, linen that washe easier, last longer and feel nicer to wear. Read the labels and ask questions;– your opinion and action counts. Too many clothing companies use child labor or manufacture their clothing in illegal sweatshops, so know what you buy and ask the questions. You as a consumer can help to stop the exploiting of people.

Reuse, restore, recycle

Give clothing a second chance. Consider buying second-hand clothing, or at least give your old clothes a new home. Many second-hand stores also donate part of their profits to charitable causes, so you wouldn’t just diminish the trash-piles in the landfills, you could be helping too.

Don’t throw away clothing! Recycle it, sell it on online auctions, garage sales, donate it to charity, or second-hand stores. Help somebody find a treasure out of your trash and save the environment!

Taking care of clothing

To get the longest life out of pieces of clothing you should take good care of them
. Wash your clothing according the wash instructions in the label.

Wash clothing only when it needs a wash, and always wash a full load to conserve energy and water. Turn the clothing inside out, and use the coldest water possible. Use phosphate-free and biodegradable detergents and choose non-toxic stain removers.

Some clothing that you think need dry cleaning, might be able to be hand washed in cold water,– like silk, wool and linen clothing. Dryers are the worst enemy of a lot of clothing and they use a lot of energy too . Line-dry your clothing if you can. When buying a new wash machine, choose a front load one; they use much less energy and water and are gentler for clothing than the old top load machines. Always buy appliances with the Energy Star rating.

Learn how to sew a loose button or find a good seamstress for repairs. Use aprons or other protective clothing when needed, and have separate outdoor clothing. Taking care of your clothing will make your wardrobe last longer, and using shop sense will help you to plan your wardrobe and eventually get the wardrobe you will treasure for years.

Reporting from the Rocky Mountains, Katja owns the fabulous upscale online clothing boutique Skimbaco (, and blogs about the Skimbaco Lifestyle at