There is a big, big difference between these two! Filling a need means you have identified an item which is missing from your wardrobe and reducing your ability to wear items you already own. For example, you might have some gorgeous strapless tops of singlets but no strapless bra to make them work. You might have some great leggings but no longer cut tops to style over the top. Working out what these key missing items are will help you shop for a need rather than shopping to fill a void. Often we try to fill voids in our lives with distractions and stuff which we don’t need and will never use.
How Often Will You Wear It
Cost per wear (CPW) is an important factor to determine when it comes to every item you purchase. Consider the difference between something cheap which might only be worn a couple of times, e.g. a $20 worn 3 times equals a cost per wear of $6.60 in contrast with something more expensive which will be worn again and again, e.g. $150 jeans worn 100 times equals a cost per wear of $1.50. Before adding anything to your wardrobe, do a CPW calculation and you will start to think about clothing in a whole new way.
How Versatile Is It?
Do a mental scroll of the items your already own when considering adding a new item to the mix. How many pieces in your existing wardrobe will style well with this new item? Is it constricted due to a difficult print, unusual shape or simply completely different to anything you already own? There isn’t much point purchasing something which only goes with one item in your wardrobe but if the item is versatile and can be paired back with a handful of things then you should consider it an investment. Now and then you might fall in love with something completely out there which might not necessarily go with anything you own but you simply need to have. This is absolutely ok on the odd occasion and can help you to branch out and explore your style but for 90% of your purchases, versatility is key!