The Difference Between Want and Need

The problem with seeing a lot of beautiful things and reading about them almost every day is that it provides a better overview and makes you want more. Because obviously, when you don’t know that thing exists, you don’t want it, right?

I was wondering why do I buy every week something to put on myself – be it cosmetics or clothes – despite the fact that the only thing I really need is to save money. I know that I should buy a quality t-shirt for example, if anything at all, but I end up buying a 100th dress in the same cut as the rest in my wardrobe and promise to be better next time. (I always break it, feel guilty, and the circle goes on and on.)

Then I realised it could be because I confuse want with need. Oh my god, that skirt is only a few bucks and it fits my silhouette! That dress – the colour suits my complexion and I have nothing similar – I have to buy it! No, I don’t. It could be well made, it could be affordable, it could be beautiful – but it can be totally unnecessary if you have, let’s say, five more similar pieces in your closet or you can think of just a few highly specific situations where you’ll sport it (that are not even sure to happen). There’s a big difference between want and need. And confusing these two made me purchase a lot of stuff that made me poorer, not richer.

So, knowing how impulsive I can be, I decided to jump on the bandwagon of bloggers making lists and made one myself – a list of things I know I really need in my wardrobe. I’ll return to it to update it from time to time:

acne studios white t shirt
Acne Studios white t-shirt from

(Bought) 1.The perfect white t-shirt. And a black one and one in another colour, too. Well this is quite bad that I don’t have any. I really feel I need some. They should meet the following conditions:

  • 100% cotton
  • Opaque fabric. I have one semi-transparent white t-shirt that makes me feel really uncomfortable showing my underwear. But I wear it because I have no other.
  • Ethically made, if possible.
  • Slightly relaxed fit. Hate those tight pieces.
  • Preferably with a round neckline that is not deep.
  • The seams shouldn’t move after washing it.

(Yes, I know it’s almost impossible to find something that meets everything above.)

celine bag
A Céline bag

(Bought) 2. Small black crossbody bag. It shouldn’t be too tiny so I can fit my purse, phone, keys, etc. all in. Something versatile that will easily transfer from day to night.

(Bought) 3. Summer sandals. With t-shirts, this is urgent as summer approaches very fast. I’m not sure whether I’d like them black or brown but since I love to wear light colours (white, cream, beige) in summer, brown ones would go with them better. They should have comfortable soles as I’m supposed to bring them to work (which means standing for 11 hours) and also because I’d like to use them on trips, etc. on surface that is not neccesarily asphalt. I would hate buying princessy shoes that got damaged the moment I walked out of the door.

straw hat
This outfit is just perfect.

(Found old) 4. A summer hat. I have big forehead that is naturally shiny so it catches more light, therefore tans very easily. Although I’m otherwise content with what Mother Nature gave me, this thing sometimes drives me crazy. Another problem is that I have a big head circumference. (Not sure if it makes me smarter; probably not.)

striped shirt
Striped t-shirt from

(Bought) 5. A striped shirt. Found perfect ones in an army shop that are well made and last many years (my boyfriend is the evidence) but their cut unfortunately doesn’t fit me. *crying*

(Bought) 6. A jacket – in light colour and a bit casual style. I’d like to throw it on during the day without looking overdressed.

7. A perfect beige trench coat. I already have one but it’s made from shitty fabric so after one year of wearing it already pills a lot, aaaargh! The new one shouldn’t be too long (because I’m short and it looks ridiculous), shouldn’t have shoulder pads and it should involve a belt (I need to make my figure more feminine, not the opposite).

cashmere sweater
Inspiration from

(Bought) 8. Another cashmere sweater, in dark colour. The one I own is second hand and I bought it incredibly cheap (for two bucks, would you believe it??). It’s so soft and pleasant on skin that I immediately fell in love with the fabric.

9. Some tank tops to get me through summer. I’d like them to be made from a flowy, light fabric, rayon or cotton maybe.

(Bought) 10. A-line skirt, because I have only one wearable.

11. More dresses. The other day I was eyeing a shirt dress in beige that looks elegant yet relaxed at once.

More (perhaps) to come. Do you also experience the difficulty between want and need? What do you do to control it?


4 thoughts on “The Difference Between Want and Need

  1. Zia,

    I enjoy reading your blog so much.

    The perfect thsirt has been on my list for years and I finally gave up. I did find the fit once but during an India trip, it got washed wrongly and shrank too much. I finally gave up on it. I dont think it exists and chasing it has been very time consuming. The humble tshirt is the hardest to find. Everytime else, I am so good at finding !

    Happy hunting !


  2. Thank you, Archana!
    Yes, I’m well aware of the difficulties of finding a decent white t-shirt. I’m afraid that particularly the ethical condition won’t be met due to the necessity of seeing and trying the fabric on which means not buying the shirt online. And I know how poor is the fast fashion chains’ offer so it seems the hunt won’t be the quickest and easiest one.
    There’s one condition I haven’t mentioned (but added it) – the seams shouldn’t move. Unfortunately you can find out only after washing the shirt.


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