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Marie Kondo's Shopping Advice: Touch Everything, Buy Only What Brings Joy

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Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

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The New Yorker's managing editor, Silvia Killingsworth, recently tagged along with Marie Kondo for a classic New York City shopping trip to Anthropologie to find out how the woman who reformed America's closets buys her clothes.

A key tenant of Kondo's tidy philosophy is getting rid of excess, so it was a shock even to her when she picked out ten dresses while browsing the store. Killingsworth noted that she was still a very shrewd shopper: Kondo visualized her purchases before entering the store and categorized every item of clothing that she picked up. In her work life, she only wears white (to match her brand as a professional tidy person), and follows a strict set of rules about only purchasing joyful clothing.

"Passing a display of denim jeans and dark-blue chambray shirts, Kondo touched almost nothing," Killingsworth observed. "She said that she rarely wears pants because several years ago they stopped bringing her joy."

Kondo was adamant about touching everything that she was interested in at the store, because, as she puts it, we should all feel a thrill of joy when we touch a piece of clothing we want to buy. She also guides her purchases by only buying for how she feels right in the moment. "I will only purchase what fits me," Kondo told Killingsworth. "If I want to lose weight, I do that first, and then go shopping."

By the time Kondo was ready to make a purchase, she had narrowed her selections down to just two items: a Holding Horses tunic dress and a Tracy Reese yellow sheath dress. Kondo contemplated a third dress but ended up dismissing it because, even though it was cute, "I do not really have to have it."