Have you ever spent a whole afternoon shopping only to come away empty handed? Do you sometimes have that guilty morning-after feeling as you try to figure out why your latest impulse purchase looked so much better in the shop? Do you get hot and flustered in the fitting rooms?
For some people, shopping is more a chore than a delight. There are, however, some simple things you can do to make your shopping trips a much more pleasurable experience. It all starts before you even step out the door.
1. Make a list
Take stock of your wardrobe and see what things you need to invest in to work with what you already have, and fill in the gaps in your wardrobe. Keep in mind upcoming events that you will be attending, and what you will need to wear to those. (What do you have that you can use for the events? You may not need to buy a whole new outfit, rather just accessories or a new top.)
2. Have a budget in mind
Try to stick to your budget as much as possible. I know that sales can be enticing, and "Oh my goodness, what a bargain! It would be a sin not to get it!" can flash through your mind many times over, but keep the list in mind, and keep the budget in mind too. This will save you from your guilty morning-after feelings.
3. Dress well
You will always be treated better by shop assistants if you are dressed well while shopping. Call it shallow, but it's a fact of life - people respond differently to you depending on how you present yourself. You are much more likely to get the help and attention you need if you are dressed well.
4. Wear clothes that are easy to take on & off
One of the excuses I hear from ladies who don't enjoy shopping is that they hate feeling all flustered and hot from getting undressed & dressed again so many times. Make it easier on yourself. Avoid wearing stockings if you are going shopping for a pair of trousers. Wear clothing that isn't hard to take on or off, you'll thank yourself for it.
5. Wear shoes that are easy to take on & off
Same as the above rule - avoid lace up shoes or boots if possible. Wear slip on shoes if you can. It will make your dressing room time a lot shorter.
6. Wear neutral coloured underwear
Have you ever gone shopping for a pair of lighter coloured trousers, shorts or skirt and checked out your rear view only to see a black knicker line staring back at you? The same goes for dark bras while you are trying to buy a lighter coloured top. It's just so distracting! This is something that many people don't think about. However it is a huge help, as it means no matter what you are trying on, your underwear won't interfere with your decision. Ladies, make sure that you are wearing a properly supportive bra. This will instantly improve your silhouette making you look slimmer.
7. If you are trying to match something, take it with you
This may sound completely obvious, but I think it's worth stating anyway. If you want to buy a pair of jeans to wear with heels, take your heels with you so that you know the jeans will be long enough. Or if you want to find a top to match a skirt (which you shouldn't have got, because you had nothing to wear it with!), take the skirt with you to match colours against. Don't just rely on your memory.
8. Beware of sale racks
To many of you this may sound like blasphemy! I'm not saying don’t ever buy anything on sale, I'm just saying beware. Often things are put on sale by retailers either because they don't fit very well, haven't sold well, or were just a big mistake to begin with. Don't just buy it because it's a "bargain". Think it over properly.
9. Ask yourself the 6 key questions
10. If you are unsure, put the item on hold
If you are in doubt about whether to buy the item or not, give yourself some time to think it over. Put it on hold, go and have a coffee or carry on with other shopping. If you can't stop thinking about it an hour or even a day later, then it's probably a good thing to buy. If however, you are still unsure, then just leave it. There's nothing worse that wasting money on something that you won't wear because "There's something just not right about it." (I call these Closet Orphans.)
11. If you find something you absolutely love, buy 2!
I have often heard clients say that they wished they had another of their favourite clothing item. If you find something that is the perfect fit, good price, and it's a great key clothing item, then often it can be a good idea to get another one in a different colour, or even in the same colour if you think you'll wear it often (like the perfect fitting pair of black trousers).
12. Get an impartial opinion
Forget asking a stranger, friend or shop assistant if something suits you. Ask a professional! A Personal Shopper will help you choose clothing to best suit your colouring, body-shape, personality, lifestyle and budget. It is a great investment that will save you buying unflattering clothes or accessories you’ll never actually wear and adds to the retail therapy buzz because you know you’re buying intelligently.
If you'd like some help shopping, see our services for details.
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