For as many years as I can remember, I have always tried to buy less and last year, while still a work in progress, was definitely my most successful year thus far. I kept my purchases to a minimum (relative to other years =P) and every purchase became a wardrobe staple.
It really helped to take inventory of what I owned and this year, while I usually make 'want and buy' lists, I instead made a list of things I didn't need to buy. That has really helped me to think twice before I make a purchase and since I'm also trying to own less, I decided on the amount of each item I would like to own. For example, I would like to own 10 coats and jackets, 5 pairs of jeans, 20 pairs of shoes, etc.
This is my list of "I don't need to buy" (and the ideal amount I'd like to own):
- nail polish (5)
- coats/jackets (10)
- shoes (20) (this one is a hard one to get control of)
- perfume (2)
- rain boots
- hoodies (2)
- sneakers (3)
- lip balm
- eye shadow
- dress pants
- jeans (5)
I keep myself in check by looking at my list frequently and it's really satisfying to see the gaps get smaller between what I have and what I would like to own.