Like most fashionistas I love to shop! Most of us would consider ourselves good at it as well, but just because we love and are good at something doesn’t necessarily mean we’re smart about it. Take my good friend for instance, she loves to shop and spends any free time she gets at the mall but she has bad shopping habits that can get her into trouble and it’s these habits that are making her a less than savvy shopper.
Shopping is a lot of fun and has been proven to make us feel good; it can release dopamine giving us that happy, euphoric feeling. Its fun to visit the stores and see and buy all the pretty clothes but if you’re just grabbing and buying everything you like and want you’re going to run into some problems, there are tips that will make sure every shopping trip is both fun and productive.
Have a Budget – and Stick to it!
Whether you’re shopping for a particular item or just for fun before you enter any store you should know how much you are going to spend and do not deviate from that amount. Doing this will ensure you only buy what you really need and afford; it will also save you from having a heart attack when you get your credit card bill! HA! Your wardrobe budget should be approximately 8% of your monthly income and should include tailoring, dry cleaning etc.
Though heels are super cute they aren’t the best shopping shoe, my shopping trip in 4 inch heels taught me that the hard way. I looked good sure but my feet were in so much pain I couldn’t enjoy the experience. Opt for shoe that are more comfortable and have more support, the last thing you want is to be in pain while shopping especially if you can avoid it. Wear easily removable clothes, this sounds dirtier than it is; this will make trying things on a lot easier. I think most people avoid trying clothes on because of the “hassle” that goes along with it but it doesn’t have to be that way. Keep your outfit simple and you won’t have as much to fuss over.
Keep a Wardrobe Inventory in Mind
Even though you’re shopping for new items it’s always good to keep in mind the items you already have. This will help ensure you don’t buy something you don’t really need, if you know you already have a whole bunch of tank tops at home you know you really don’t need another (if you’re being honest with yourself) and won’t buy it. This saves you money that you can than spend on items that are lacking from and can improve your wardrobe. Remembering what you already own will help in other aspects that I’ll touch back on a little later.
Always Try Things On
I cannot stress how important this is! How something hangs on a hanger is not a true indication of how it will look on you. The only way to truly determine how something will look on you is by trying it on, we all have different body types and this will affect how a garment will fall. Just because a garment looks good on the mannequin or your friend doesn’t mean it will look the same on you and the same is true for the reverse, never pass on something just because it doesn’t hang right on the hanger, most clothes will look better once there on. You also want to do this to make sure it actually fit! This seems like a big fat duh but a lot of people don’t, this is one of the bad habits the friend I mentioned has, they just assume that because it’s their “size” it will fit. Not every designer or store sizes the same, just because you are a Medium in one store doesn’t necessarily mean you will be in another so for that reason it’s incredibly important to try on clothes. Returns are easily avoidable by taking the couple seconds it takes to try something on.
Never Shop Last Minute
This is really a tip for buying necessities or expensive garments more than anything. Some garments, like suits or prom dress, require planning and price comparing. Allow yourself time to look at your options, compare prices and look up any information you might need, this is important so don’t over spend or end up having to compromise.
When you ask yourself if you can afford an item it goes further than the sticker price. The sticker price is important, remember your budget, but there are other cost that can come along with buying certain clothing that you have to consider. Some clothes have special cleaning requirement like dry cleaning or hand washing, it’s important to ask yourself you if can afford that i.e. the time to hand wash or money to dry clean. Don’t forget about tailoring and alterations these are all additional cost that you have to consider when buying. Sometimes it is inevitable, I’m short all my pants will need hemming, if that’s the case make sure you are buying something you know you will a lot of use out of, this helps to even things out.
Trust you’re Instincts
I recently went shopping and found a lace skirt that I loved and even though it fit perfectly I just wasn’t 100% sure. I asked myself these two questions “Where will I wear it?” and “What would I wear it with?” (This is where knowing your wardrobe inventory will be helpful) For me I knew several places I could wear the skirt but couldn’t think of anything I already owned that could go with it and for that reason I knew I shouldn’t get it. If you can’t answer these two questions that’s an indication you probably shouldn’t buy it. If on the other hand you can answer them but for some reason are still having doubts listen to your instincts and put it back, clothes you aren’t sure about in the store probably won’t get worn at home.
Buy Quality not Quantity
Look to see how something is crafted; inspect the item paying special attention to details like zippers, buttons and seams. If it looks poorly made and is already falling apart from just being tried on in the store it’s not something worth spending money on. Look for pieces that are versatile, clothes that can be paired with different pieces and create many outfits. It is better to leave the store with one well made item that can be styled in many different ways than to leave with several poorly made items that can only be worn one way.
Well there you have, tips to turn every fashionista from a good shopper to a savvy shopper! Now if you’ll excuse me I have some shopping to do 😛 .