I don’t think there is any doubt that I am a fashion lover with a shopping problem, since I was a little girl I have absolutely adored clothing and I have been expressing myself through my outfits ever since. As much as I enjoy fashion the actual shopping process can be a bit overwhelming. I have gone through a series of shopping phases from absolutely hating the mall and refusing to try anything on to finding peace in between the racks. I understand that shopping is more than what it seems, there are a million emotions and memories associated with it and for some people it is simply a negative experience. So I wanted to share my top ten tips that have helped me get over my issues and embrace shopping for what it should be – fun!
1. Write a list – Preparation is key, before you even step foot into the mall know what you are looking for. Don’t go on a whim without a game plan in mind, you will be much more relaxed and prepared for those impulse purchases if you have a clear list in hand.
2. Set a budget – Along with my first tip, it is so important to have a budget in mind. Do your research before hand, look up what the items on your list might cost and set a clear cap that you will not exceed. This will save you from buying things that you don’t need or blowing the bank on that pair of shoes that you weren’t expecting. You can always come back for them on another day.
3. Pay with cash – You need to be accountable for the money you spend, once you set your budget go to the bank and take it out in cash. That way you will be much less tempted to go outside your budget because you can physically see the money leaving your wallet. You will be amazed how much money you save by carrying cash because you will be conscious of what you are spending. Just leave your cards at home!
4. Try everything on & in more than one size – I spent years refusing to try anything on and the amount of unworn clothes left hanging in my closet because they didn’t fit was ridiculous. I am well aware that trying on clothing sucks, it’s awful, the bad lighting and unflattering mirrors all make for an unhappy shopper but you will save yourself a lot of hassle if you just try things on. The key to leaving the change room happy is to bring each item in more than one size so that you have more chances of success.
5. Shop at slow times – No one likes to shop in a cramped store with plenty of strangers, it makes you anxious, stressed and frankly unhappy. Do yourself a favour and shop at slow times like early morning or late evening when the traffic is drastically reduced and you can take your time perusing the aisles.
6. Shop alone – On the same lines as the last tip, a shopping trip is most successful when you are stress free. While friends are amazing and they will – hopefully – tell you if you look terrible they can also be a hazard. You are so much more likely to buy something you don’t need because your best girl friend says you need it. When you shop alone, you have the space and time to think things through on your own and realize what really matters.
7. Shop when you are in a good mood – A good mood goes a long way when you are shopping. Why enter a possibly stressful situation when maybe you’re not having the best day to begin with. It’s inevitable that you will go home with empty hands. If you’ve planned to go to the mall but you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, change your plans! Wait for another day and give yourself the most chances to succeed.
8. Be realistic – This is key. We have all been shopping with that one outfit in mind when we get thrown off track by a beautiful fancy dress that you are just dying to buy. Take a minute, a deep breath or two and think about it realistically. Do you really need that fancy dress? Do you have a ball coming up in the near future? Is it really worth the money and maybe not getting something else on your list? Asking yourself these questions will save your a whole lot of buyers remorse.
9. Buy in bulk – Only in certain circumstances! Let’s say you go to Forever 21 for a plain black camisole that you wear underneath your top every single day. If they have a stack of your size and it fits like a dream then pick up 2 or 3. Basics will never go out of style and you will always need a new one so buy them while you can. This does not apply to that sequined maxi skirt that comes in three colours, you only need one.
10. Don’t focus on the number on the tag, but fit – Probably the most important tip in my opinion. I spent years being terrified of the number on the tag and not purchasing something because there was no way I was that size. We all feel this way once in a while, numbers suck but we can’t avoid them. The best thing to do is to try on more than one size and focus on FIT. The number means nothing if it fits you like a glove and you feel beautiful. Keep in mind that everything can be tailored, if you need to go up a size to fit your chest but the waist is too big, that can be fixed.
Those are my top ten tips for a successful shopping trip and I hope they help you even just a little bit.
What are you shopping tips? Do you have a secret that helps you while shopping?