1. You're really not sure how you feel about it.
If you try it on and don't instantly say to yourself, "Yes. This is totally me. I love this," then don't get it. You probably have enough clothes in your closet that you feel lukewarm about already. Save your money for something that really excites you.
2. It doesn't go with anything you own.
Don't let yourself be hypnotized by a pretty display or a well-styled outfit. There's a reason you don't own anything lime green and ruffly yet.
3. You can't think of at least two ways to wear it.
Two ways to wear it using clothes you already own, that is. The last thing you want is to buy a top believing that it will only look good with a certain kind of bottom that you don't own and end up never finding.
4. It requires special underwear you either don't own or hate wearing.
Are you really going to step into a G-string and tape your boobs up just so you can wear some dress? Really? Really!?
5. It's a piece of crap.
You know when something isn't well made: the fabric is flimsy, the seams are uneven, the prints don't line up, it's covered with a bunch of cheesy, cheap-ass embellishments etc. etc. etc. If you love something, you can probably find a better-made version that will last a lot longer just by doing a little research online and if you don't love it, well, you really shouldn't be buying it anyway.
6. You feel the need to change your body in some way to make it work.
"This will be perfect once I loose these last 5 lbs." Don't do that to yourself. You're perfectly fine just the way you are. Besides, when has that sort of thing ever really worked anyway?
7. It's uncomfortable.
Very few people have the fashion dedication to wear something they don't like the feel of. Don't waste your time convincing yourself that this time, this piece of clothing, will change all that for you. It won't. Just to be honest with yourself and don't waste your money.
8. It doesn't really fit and it's going to be a bitch to tailor.
A good fit is everything. And the more straight-forward the design, the easier (and cheaper) it is to adjust. But if an adjustment can't be made along an existing seam (like raising or lowering a hem or tapering a leg) or by simply adding a new seam (like when you are taking in a waist band) then the whole production can start to get really pricey, especially if the garment in question is flowy or has some sort of complex embellishment or closure that has to be moved or worked around.
9. You have something specific in mind and it's not exactly what you wanted, but it's close.
The thing you really want is out there. Don't sell yourself short.
10. You can't imagine yourself wearing it more than once or twice.
Such a waste, whatever the reason. Even if it is on sale. Even if it is just P300.
11. You've been shopping all day and you just don't want to feel unproductive.
You're tired. No one makes good decisions when they're tired. Stop trying to force it.
12. You feel like you owe it to the sales person for spending so much time with you.
If you don't find something you like, then you are under no obligation to buy. Ever. As long as you treat the sales person with courtesy and respect, they should really be understanding and if they're not then they don't deserve your commission anyway.
13. It's the kind of thing you wish you could wear, but never actually would.
This is not to say that you shouldn't push yourself to venture outside your comfort zone from time to time, but be realistic. If you really feel like a certain piece of clothing is just too cool or sexy for you, then you probably aren't going to wear it. Instead, it will just sit in your closet.
14. You really can't afford it. Really really.
If you can't afford to go shopping, don't go shopping. Walking into a store full of stuff you know you can't afford and want desperately to buy is like being an alcoholic and hanging out in a bar. Why would you do that? Are you a masochist? Do you like torturing yourself? A new jacket or bag is not worth missing a rent payment. Well, maybe once in a blue moon. For Chanel. On sale.* But otherwise, no.
(*Chanel never goes on sale.)
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.