Happy spring weekend, my friends. I wasn’t ready for the warm temperatures when they finally came. Let alone the hot ones we’ve had. I had to unpack some of my spring wardrobe in a hurry this week. No planned and carefully executed closet turnover for me this year. My closet is a mess.

But, like the universe, my shopping process for spring 2023 is unfolding as it should. I’ve done my research, and planned my approach to spring shopping 2023. I am ready to hit the streets. So to speak.

Images from my Spring 2023 Pinterest board

This year I added a couple of new steps to my process. Steps that make my process for spring shopping 2023 align better with my slow fashion sensibilities.

That’s the subject of my April YouTube video. Spring shopping. How I went about planning what I want and need to buy. And what I learned in the process. Aside from the fact that I badly, badly need a haircut. Ha.

I had fun making it. So I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

P.S. You can find my “Thoughts on Spring 2023” Pinterest board here. And my “Wish List” board here.

P.P.S. Everything I’m wearing in the video is old, except for this funnel-neck tank top from Everlane. But below are some of the new pieces I’m considering adding to my closet.

P.P.P.S. The clothing links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will earn a commission which helps to pay for the blog.

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49 thoughts on “My Spring Shopping Process”

  1. I really enjoyed that & was sorry when it finished . Yes to ballet flats but my feet say no , I need more support these days . I agree with your decisions on the outfits & could instantly tell which you liked by your attitude . You just looked happier & more confident in the right outfits . I’m not drawn to the oversize jacket look , I’m not sure where I would wear one but I have seen one or two light jackets that sort of flare at the back which I liked . It’s all about how they look on though , as ever . We’ve got lovely soft spring sunshine here too & following my weight loss , I’m busy trying to deliberately shrink various pairs of summer trousers – sometimes it works well – sometimes it doesn’t !

    1. Thanks so much, Wendy. Ballet flats always rub on my feet as I was reminded when I tried my old Stuart Weitzman ones again. And you’re right, that are sooo very flat. I’ll probably stick with my sneakers for now. Good luck with the targeted shrinking. 🙂

  2. As always, I enjoy your style posts and musings. I loved the video and especially enjoyed the bit at the end. I do that on my runs – jump and leap and sometimes click my heels together. People probably think I’m nuts! I used to dislike our transition to spring, but over the last few years I’ve grown to appreciate it more and more. It’s slow and quick all at once, but I think particularly because we have a mix of snow and sun as winter finally chugs through its death throes, all of the tiny adaptations of nature become evident. This brings me more joy than it used to, if that makes sense. Maybe the slow motion aspect of the process deepens our appreciation of it. A cardinal male was calling from the tree in front of my front window the other morning. I was very close to him, but I tried too stay quiet so as to not alarm him. It was lovely.

    Anyway, back to fashion! You always look very nice (and polished) in the outfits you select. I particularly liked the third outfit. I think your process in thinking about shopping is very similar to mine, although I think I’m much more of a tomboy. I’m especially attracted to masculine looks when I’m in Italy (love all men’s suiting and shoes) and I’ve never been attracted to white jeans (bought a pair a few years back, but gave them away). What I wanted to write though is that I have a million pairs of ballet flats and never stopped wearing them. They’re perennial in shops in Florence, which is partly why – including the Chanel-style ones with a one-inch heel). I wore them continuously at work until the pandemic hit. Since then, however, I can’t bring myself to wear them. I’m not sure why. I put on a pair the other day and then took them off and put on a short boot. I’m also eyeing lots of slim and/or 1970s-style loafers with and without hardware. If I buy any shoes in Italy this spring it will likely be a pair of those.

    Anyway….always fun to hear your thinking process about what you’re going to style or buy. I also find that I think I can “use” things in the closet, but realize that I should also give myself permission to occasionally update to looks I truly like and feel good in.

    1. I really love anything menswear inspired too. Sometimes when I get emails from my favourite brands I admire the men’s wear over the women’s. I was imagining a great pair of tailored trousers with Oxfords when I read your comment. I have a pair of Todd’s driving shoes that I bought when I retired as a treat. They look like very soft loafers and I still love them. I must dig them out when I turn my closet and show them some love. Or at least wear them more often. My friend Liz who is Italian said that they are much loved in Italy. Your last thought is really resonating with me because it was exactly what I was thinking when I finished making the video. Sometimes I get tired of trying to make my old pieces into something current. Even if I still love them, and even if they still look fine, I just really want something new. This may be an “investment spring.” Ha.

      1. After I wrote this comment I was thinking that you wear jackets so well and my comment was silly. There’s definitely something menswear-inspired about your look. I used to wear ballet flats with printed jacquard cigarette pants. That’s a feminine look. My fashion analysis is rather poor! I think what I mean is that my style is not very polished. It’s all over the place. I don’t even use my nice purses anymore.

        You are absolutely correct. Tod’s loafers are very popular in Italy. My partner is classic Italian. He buys investment pieces and wears them for decades. He knows all of the brands. Tod’s loafers were one of the key pieces that he tells me he wore when he was in his twenties and thirties. Each time we walk by the shop now he says that the price of the loafers is now too inflated for him to buy (even though he could afford them). It’s one of those things where he compares prices to what they were in lire “back in the day.” We often see the owner of Tod’s around Florence and G always picks him out of the crowd and makes a comment about how the shoes are too expensive now!

        I’m a rebel in that I often buy artisan goods (to the extent possible), not known brands per se, but this is not a criticism of people who buy label goods or invest in quality pieces. One of my style words might actually be “quirky,” which could explain my odd shopping choices. Also the last part of my comment, about trying to use what I have and not splurging ever anymore. I think there’s some feeling of guilt for having bought a lot of clothes in my life behind that. I have to unpack it! An “investment” spring sounds like a great idea!

        1. My Todd’s were purchased back in 2013 with a gift certificate for Holts that my friends gave me for my retirement. Even then they were pretty expensive. I keep them in the box they came in… like some people store Hermes bags. Which by the way I could NEVER afford. We all have our spending ceiling. Ha.

          1. What a lovely gift! You shouldn’t feel badly for having nice shoes. I hope you didn’t take my comment that way. We all have our things we like to spend on. My partner likes nice clothes and has many. The interesting point for me is that many classic Italian brands used to be more affordable, back in the 1990s, say, and so there was different take-up. My partner and I are both a bit quirky and rather similar. We both like to go to the off-label, old-school shops that probably only old people shop at these days. We both like classic fabrics. I buy pants from a little sports shop, for example, that are sewn in the same facility where some Gucci things are sewn (I think that’s what the owner told me a few years back). They’re very well made but have a local label that no one would ever have heard of. I had lovely boots made by a shoemaker from a country town in Le Marche a couple of years ago, suits by a local tailor in the Tuscan countryside who used to work for a menswear tailor in Florence, but with nice quality fabric. I buy my purses and wallets from small workshops outside of the city. Nothing I buys is super expensive or high end, or name brand, but the items are at the quality-price point that suits my lifestyle and interests. I like to admire gorgeous things like Hermès bags, but I have a modest ceiling for what I would spend on clothes and shoes (even though in many cases I could spend more…not at Hermès level though!). De gustibus non est diputandum as they say!

  3. Planning clothes for a new season is one of your happy places and it makes for good reading and viewing. Colder weather has arrived here and I’m slowly adjusting to the need to wear socks and closed shoes. The purchase of new and extremely comfortable sneakers is helping. Returning to jeans after summer also makes me happy but I’m avoiding “turning my closet” for the new season. I have more wardrobe space than you and can get away with being less well organised. I have, however, identified a few things to donate and a couple of new items to think about purchasing, if I can find appropriate new pieces. Cuddling up with a good book is a pleasant autumn past time. I have two books on the go, both memoirs by Australian women who are both ex-teachers. One is a book group choice and the other selected because the author is a prominent and highly respected feminist. I’m loving both books.

    1. Planning my wardrobe is indeed my happy place. As I shift pieces around and try things on I sometimes think I never really left playing with my Barbies and my Barbie clothes behind with my childhood. Only now the clothes are for me and not Barbie… and I’m hardly a Barbie. Ha.
      P.S. Please do share your autumn reading titles with us.

  4. Great update on Spring. Thought all your outfits looked good/current. I think what makes a statement of being current is how you mix the old with the new.
    The thing is when you enjoy fashion it does seem to be a bottomless pit (for me) of eyeing something new or different and wanting it.
    Anyway I thought I would share a shoe brand with you and your readers that I discovered this year. I have old and very tired feet but I do like shoes, and we know that shoes can make or break an outfit. I took the leap and ordered a pair of “Birdies” shoes. Couldn’t believe how comfortable right out of the box as well as true to size. They have many styles and colors, so if you haven’t heard of this brand take a look at their web site.

  5. Great video, good luck with the search for new white jeans.
    I have never got on with ballet flats thought I do like flatish shoes.I find ballet flats “too flat” and they always fall off my feet at the back or I walk out of them. The heel seems too heavy and it pulls the shoe off every step…..maybe because I have big feet! Ballet flats seem to look huge and make my feet look huge in my size too so not a fan – as my mother used to say “you could sail up the river in one of those shoes!”

    1. I have trouble keeping slip-on shoes on my feet as well. And they are usually too wide for me. Loafers are the exception. Maybe it’s just the construction of ballet flats, too low-cut around the foot… I don’t know. But I agree with you. I remember leaving one shoe behind as I rushed down a crowded school hallway back in the day. Ha.

      1. Yes, exactly. Some ballet flats are so low at the front that I can see the start of my toes ….I hate that. Loafers are much better and much easier to walk in. I stepped onto a train once and ballet flat fell off between the train and the platform – had to miss the train and ask station guard to retrieve the shoe!

  6. Thanks for todays post. Due to the recent heatwave, I’m converting my closet to warm weather cloths, although it will cool down tomorrow. I too use Pinterest to help me define my favourite looks, and have a Wish List as well. It works to keep me from making impulse purchases. I do love a pair of ballet flats, but see none in the local stores. Wider leg trousers have caught my eye and I would like to try a pair, but as I’m rather short I’m not too confident about carrying off the look.

    I look forward to your post every Sunday morning, and the videos are great.

    1. Thanks, Maria. I am about to do a real closet turn today. Something I’ve been planning and looking forward to doing. I do love to organize my closet. Then Hubby told me we might get snow flurries on Wednesday. So I guess I’ll leave some winter things out to be safe… and warm. 🙁

  7. Some good ideas here. I’ve never used Pinterest very much though. I’ll do more investigating there.
    I really love the green top your wearing I’m sure it’s old as you said though. But maybe you could give me some suggestions
    We are in for another snow storm so thinking spring is extremely hard.

    1. Thanks, Paula. That green sweater is two years old and is from Club Monaco. I just checked and they are only offering a much looser style in oatmeal. But you can check out their site. I also would check out the Uniqlo website. They have good cashmere, at a good price, but no hoodies, in a ton of colours. It will be hit or miss if they have sizes in stock. I found a gorgeous soft green crew-neck one but they were sold out. Sorry.

  8. Another inspiring video! Thank you!
    I agree that outfit #1 doesn’t quite work, and think that’s because the shorter, somewhat boxy sweater doesn’t go with the slim white jeans. I would like the jeans with a longer top. I like the other two outfits well enough.
    I will not be buying an oversized blazer. I decided a couple of years ago that they will never suit me. I’m simply too short. Ballet flats are interesting. I predicted years ago that, once a woman became accustomed to the comfort of sneakers, she would not willingly go back to regular shoes.
    Ballet flats should be much more comfortable than high heels, but they don’t offer much support. I will not be buying any this year, and probably never.
    So what am I shopping for? A pair of perfect straight white jeans that are relatively slim, but not too slim. Also, a short cardigan to wear with the white jeans and the black Eileen Fisher slim straight crepe ankle pants I recently purchased and had altered. And then some additional tees or shirts to wear with the two pairs of pants when it’s too hot for a jacket or other 3rd piece. And that’s probably it. Once I find all those items, if I ever do, it will be time to shop for Fall.

    1. Trying to make old things into new outfits is always hit and miss. I’ve been wearing those white jeans with longer tops for a while and wanted to try them with something more updated… like the flats and a shorter boxy piece on top. You are right, it doesn’t work. But I think that slightly boxy sweater would work with a pair of long, loose dress pants. That’s the next thing I will try. None of the outfits were a love, love for me. And I could have kept trying on options all afternoon, but to be honest I ran out of steam. Ha.

  9. Great vlog, thankyou! I need some of your discipline when it comes to buying new clothes. I tend to make impulse purchases and don’t plan my wardrobe like you do. So I have things in my closet I never wear.
    I do not like ballet flats as they just seem too flat and I feel sloppy wearing them. Something with a small heel or wedges suit me. I look forward to seeing your new purchases.

    1. I agree about ballet flats. I see them and love them and then realize that they can be uncomfortable, or too wide for my narrow foot. Good thing that almost everything is available out there. I’ll stick with my sneakers for a bit, I think, if I want flat shoes.

  10. Thanks for this video and for including outfits that you think are not as successful as well as the “winners” – this may be even more helpful, and not many bloggers do that.
    I’m feeling the need (or the itch?) for some more substantial summer footwear as an update. Maybe some platform or lug sole sandals or platform sneakers. Now that you’ve gone off ballet flats, so you have any shoes on your wish list?

    1. Thanks, Louise. I show the “rejects” not because I can’t think of any other way to wear the pieces in question, but to show that sometimes things work in my mind but not in reality. I don’t have any other shoes on my wish list at the moment. My Birkenstocks are still in great shape as are my sneakers, and I have a few pairs of older sandals (one pair with a block heel and one with a kitten heel) plus a pair of sling-backs that I want to wear this summer.

  11. Damn! I was looking forward to this post…then I got to the $296USD + importing tax ballet flats…etc
    I won’t write anymore. If I can’t say anything nice I won’t.
    $$$$ Link dumps just don’t work for me.
    Best of luck.
    …and another blogger bites the dust…

    1. I won’t pay that much for ballet flats either but I still can appreciate the post. We all have different budgets and wants/needs. I don’t believe it is a reason to stop following someone who you enjoy.

    2. Sorry, “Anonymous”, but I can’t let that phrase “link dumps” go by without comment. I do NOT link dump. I choose the pieces I link to carefully. And I chose those two pairs of ballet flats because they closely resemble Chanel flats (which I said in the video I admire) at a fraction of the cost. No one is obliged to click on a link. I think your anger, whether feigned in the spirit of trolling or not, is misplaced.

  12. I liked the blazer in the 2nd outfit wondering how it would look with white jeans. Had a chuckle over your notebook, I have one similar but it contains what plants I bought over the years and ones I’m interested in shopping for this year, lol
    I really need a pair of white trainers but finding ones that don’t slop up and down on my heels is a challenge

    1. That tan blazer looks good with white jeans. I wore it with my white jeans, heeled sandals and a striped tee a couple of years ago. My sister has the same problem as you Brenda. She has a really narrow foot, especially at the heel, and shoes and sneakers slip off her foot. Good luck. Keep trying.

  13. Always enjoy the “conversation” of your YouTube videos! Thanks for sharing.
    I’m also in the market for white jeans this year. Though I’m built quite differently than you (5’ with the short legs to go with it!), I love watching your style choices and trying to find what will work for my much-shorter frame.
    I will be watching with great interest…Charlene H

  14. I enjoyed the video and liked all of your outfits. I I I am on the hunt for white jeans. I can’t get a fix on the style of denim that is current. The straight style seems big-ish on me even in the right size and then with the leg hole being more wide, you really must have the right shoe. I have never been lucky finding boyfriend jeans. I like the Madewell Demi fit, but they are cropped. The search continues and the options are not clear to me. I am NOT getting rid of my skinny jeans. Your thoughts on that?

    1. Thanks, Jeanne. You are so right… each width and length of jeans seems to requite a different shoe. That’s why I roll mine of they’re slightly too short. I still wear my skinny jeans sometimes. Especially with boots and heavy sweaters in winter. And I may wear my skinny cropped with sandals when the season for that rolls around. But I find that looser fit straight leg, not wide leg are hard to find. Even though I see them everywhere on YouTube. I think that I follow too. many YouTubers from the UK. Some of the brands they wear that appeal to me are not available over here.

    1. And – I should have mentioned – I loved this post. It is very useful to understand your process in narrowing down your wardrobe purchases. I think the Pinterest boards are a great idea. I have a tendency to enjoy “the hunt” for good quality clothing in petite sizes and less mindful of what I really need.

  15. Hi Sue. I really enjoyed your video. You are an inspiration in your careful and thoughtful approach to planning a wardrobe. I learn a good deal from your explanations.
    I liked outfit numbers 2 and 3 very much. The black blazer with the black tank top is a nice look and the jeans looked very good with them.
    The Paige ecru jeans seem very nice. I really like ecru or cream. I also like your denim on the left.
    I always like it when I find a way to reuse something old from my closet. I was very excited when I saw a catalog with models wearing Madras blazers and starting thinking that I could pull out my two old versions. However, I don’t see a lot of them out there. Maybe this won’t be the year for them.
    I have several older ballet flats and can only wear them for short periods of time. My feet need more support. For that reason, I won’t purchase any new ones. I asked for a pair of black patent Birkenstocks last year for my birthday (after coveting your’s for two years). I’m looking forward to wearing them this year.
    Enjoy spring!

    1. I’m thinking I will save my ballet flats for evenings when we dine at friends’ house, or maybe for book club. You know, those occasions when you want to look nice but know you won’t be walking around in your shoes. 🙂

  16. Sue, as usual a great blog with video. Thank you for sharing. My chosen outfit for you is the 3rd, you looked fab in the black top and jacket. I’m a lover of those Pretty Ballerina pumps…but unfortunately they don’t love me. I had to pass on my white and navy shoes to my Grandaughter. This morning I tackled my wardrobe, I have a large suitcase with my Summer clothes stored on top of our one and only wardrobe! So, my most hated job today was to get the suitcase down and empty it, then fill it up with my Winter clothes! That job took me 3 hours…summer clothes had to be hung up or left to be ironed while my Winter clothes had to be folded up nicely and stored until November! Oh how I wish we had more wardrobe space. We have a one bedroomed apartment, the main living space is large and along with the beautiful sea/beach view it is quite adequate for 2 people but…how I long for another wardrobe to store my clothes…don’t let me get started on ‘my collection of shoes’ and where to put them! I have added a few new Summer clothes to my wardrobe…white straight cut jeans..Linen wide leg cropped trousers and matching to in poppy red and blue flowers, Marc Cain pink dress and a beautiful white dress with tie belt from LaDress. I’ve had to hide them from my Partner as he keep reminding me I’ve now taken part of his side of the wardrobe!

    1. I love a good closet turnover. But like you I always bemoan the lack of space. Plus now I have most of my spring/summer clothes and some of my winter ones all squished together. Tis the season of unpredictable temperatures. Your new acquisitions sound lovely.

  17. Hi Sue, I had to wait until I was home to find a quiet corner to listen to your vlog.
    I’m now feeling as though I’ve met you for coffee and had a good chat about clothes. How lovely would that be! ?
    I can see why you like certain outfits and not others. I also think you’re right about ballet flats … fine for car to restaurant etc but not a longer walk. I tried wearing a really comfortable pair in Venice, years ago … all the cobbles, bridges etc had me searching for a pharmacy and blister plasters!
    I’m on the look out for white jeans also … and a couple of easy wear and preferably non- iron dresses with elbow length sleeves.
    The lists I mention below have taught me that when travelling, any item that needs ironing tends to stay in my case! No time to iron lol
    Your lists and notes have encouraged me to do something similar when I’m travelling. Taking a note of where I was and what I actually wore each day. As well as what I didn’t wear or what, in hindsight, I wished I’d packed.
    These lists are so useful when packing for a similar trip and having them to refer to definitely makes packing less of a hassle lol.
    So thanks, once again for all your useful advice over the years.
    Rosie xx

    1. I am longing to plan what to wear on a trip. But, sadly, we are not travelling anytime soon. Maybe this fall. Fingers crossed. One thing I found this past winter when we drove down to South Carolina, packing when one is staying with friends is a whole different ballgame. I had planned outfits for wearing to a restaurant and sadly missed the mark. The restaurants we visited were super, super casual, and not at all like the places we went to when we were in Charleston in 2016. And the other occasions were dinner parties. I always, always struggle for what to wear for dinner at someone’s home. So most of the time I felt uncomfortable in my clothes. I hate that. Don’t mind me, Rosie. It’s blowing a gale today and cold and I am cranky. 🙂

  18. Enjoyed watching your process! My big hunt this Spring was for a denim jacket. A lot of the ones that are for sale here skew “fashion-y” when I just want a straight-forward jacket to replace the one I left behind (big mistake). Wound up ordering one from the Gap in the US and having it shipped to a friend who was coming here. Perfect price point, and a lovely light wash. Happy with the two pairs of white jeans I current have (one straight-leg, the other a slight boot-cut) and have been wearing them since we zoomed from winter straight to summer (although today we’re back to rain). I got to England next week, and am fussing about what to bring as the weather will be chilly, and rainy for a couple of the days. Your sweatshirt/jacket combo reminded me that I can do something similar. Thanks for that!

    1. Thanks, Carol. I always struggle in rainy weather. I’m glad I have full-length jeans now. Last night when I met a friend for dinner I wore wool socks! Ha.

  19. I’ve enjoyed the post and video as well,Sue! I always plan for the next season,too.
    Ballet flats were my favourite shoes,but not any more,they are not comfortable enough for me
    I’ve loved Repetto and Tod’s very much
    White jeans are my go to jeans during warmer months for decades now- they are due to replacement this year
    I’ve bought 2 oversized,but not too much oversized, blazers,black and cornflower blue, two years  (or so ) ago and a linen sand one this year.I wear them a lot,with jeans,trousers or dresses
    Dottoressa

    1. My white jeans search continues. I had a brief foray into the stores last week and found lots of white skinny jeans but none that had a looser fit. The hunt continues. 🙂

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