For those pretending you've never done it, here's what I mean: you've just heard yet another "It's not you, it's just that I'm cheating on you" speech. You refuse to change out of your favorite Rag & Bone sweater. You refuse to stop watching episodes of Dance Academy on Netflix. You think of slipping on some UGG boots and heading out for a pint of Haagen Daz and then you realize—you'll feel way better buying a new outfit instead.
The Breakup Buy isn't as crucial to recovery as The Breakup Dance Party (where you go crazy to '90s remixes with your friends—People of the World, Spice Up Your Life!) or The Breakup 5k run (where you imagine beating him to a pulp while sprinting up a hill). Still, it's a pretty good release, and a nice segue into the whole Brand New You mindset that often comes when you're newly single. (If you do it right, it's also a handy tool of revenge, because looking better than ever is often way more fulfilling than a boyfriend.)
The trick is to do it right. That means—as always—shop for the style you have, not the one you think your loser ex-boyfriend wants. (Although if you really want a new Calvin Klein push-up bra, then by all means…)
You might also want to study some badass heroines, which could lend you both inner strength and fall 2013 trend appeal. For example, I like to channel Margot Tennenbaum when I know I'll run into a certain guy. (Or as I like to call him, The Disappointment.) Thick black eyeliner, a simple sheath dress, and a faux leopard coat (like this one from Alice + Olivia), and boom—suddenly I am mysterious, unapproachable, and already the ruler of Luke Wilson's heart. (Also, I get to keep my finger, which is good news, because I have a serious crush on this Made Her Think ring.)
Of course, owning more clothes won't put your heart back together—but until that happens, you can hide behind this one if you want.