Better Shopping, Better Wardrobe!

Shopping can be very tricky. How can someone who loves fashion keep taking risks while simultaneously minimizing purchase mistakes? Here are a few tips and guidelines to help create a better wardrobe that satisfies your wants and needs.

DO MAKE PRIORITIES

Think about trends you want to incorporate into your wardrobe and don’t be afraid to wait. Think about things like comfort, style and longevity. Is style greater than comfort? What event could I wear this to? Do I choose trending over easy dressing? Is it the brand I’m into or the actual fit? How often will I wear this? You can just as easily ignore a fad as you can be interested in it.

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DON’T GO SHOPPING WITHOUT A BUDGET

Multiple items add up quickly and you never know what could catch your eye in a store. Make priorities. Don’t just shop because you want anything, go with an intention. Remember to try and improve your wardrobe. Try not to be brand excited and remember that layering pieces in standard colors are always good investments. Knowing what your wardrobe needs, rather than the things that look cute but will end up collecting dust, will help you build an amazing collection that works for you.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING NEW!

Fashion changes, so can you! Allow room for new styles or interpretations. Try not to limit yourself, because you previously disliked a style. At worst, you might still dislike it, at best, you have a new way to wear something. Also remember brands you love AND the ones that fit well!

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DO SHOP ALONE

It’s so fun to plan a day with friends getting lunch at a nearby restaurant then hitting all the clothing stores. However, peer pressure can persuade or discourage you from something you actually want or don’t want. You know what you like best, and when you shop alone, you can’t be coerced into wasting money on something you don’t love because a friend swore up and down it looked good.

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DO SHOP EARLY

Another good idea is to shop earlier. You are more alert in mid morning. By afternoon or evening, you used up mental resources and been stressed out by the days work, and can be grumpy or just plain tired and make purchase mistakes. If you really want to check something out, then window shop. If its something you are convinced you love, put it on hold. Most stores will give you a 24-hour hold period, which is also good for impulses. Also keep in mind that shopping while hungry can lead to a negative experience. I know I am so cranky and irritable and get frustrated if I’m hungry. Have a snack or small meal before you start perusing and trying things on. I know personally I have a more positive experience following this idea!

DON’T BUY THE SAME PIECES 

I am so guilty of this. I like a certain color, and next thing you know, I have 8 shirts in the exact color and fit. If you are dead set on a color, opt to play with texture or pattern to add depth and avoid the clutter.

DO UPGRADE BASICS

Occasionally, worn clothes need to be replaced. A good rule to follow is visualize 2 or 3 ways to style pieces. Try to keep in mind multi-seasonal items for more usage and wear that will also save money. And don’t forget  simple customization. Got a hole in the elbow of your sweater? Learn how to sew a patch over it. Jeans too long? Cut the hem to fit your inseam. Lost a button? A quick stitch with a cute button can be a stylish upgrade. Customization’s give old clothing items that have seen better days a breath of life that can transform them to like new.

DON’T SHOP WITHOUT A GOOD BRA

The right undergarments can vastly improve how clothes fall and shape your figure. This can help you avoid that negative feeling of seeing the reflection in the mirror under terrible lighting (what’s with that anyway?) not matching how you thought it might look in your head.

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photo courtesy of fabcocktail

DON’T BUY EVERYTHING ONLINE

It’s convenient and fun, but when it looks different or the fit is off, its you on the hook schlepping back to the store, waiting in a long line only to have to return it for in-store credit. The safe bet is to make online purchases for accessories and what you know will fit.

DO PUT ON HOLD

Sales, busy shops and pricing can influence how you feel. Most stores offer a 24 hour hold, don’t be afraid to use it, especially on a splurge. That way you can be picky and see if you still really want it after a short breather. Also keep in mind that if something, like a t-shirt, looks really great, buy it in a few different colors. It would be a smart investment, knowing you not only like the piece, but that it looks good so you would likely wear it often. Plus, when the shirt for example, get worn or faded, you have that same style and fit because you bought a few.

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DON’T OVERSPEND ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS

Yes, its perfect for that night, but when you’re out shopping for that piece, think about if you’ll ever wear it again. Obviously a splurge every now and again is fine, but remembering cost per wear, (total cost to how many times it will be worn) can lead to better investments to your wardrobe. Also keep in mind there are rental fashion services that might be a good idea for events like holidays or weddings where you want something nice but will only wear it once.

DO TAKE CARE OF YOUR CLOTHES!

Doing so can increase the life and wear of them. A tailor can transform a piece with a few alterations to become the perfect fit. Keep in mind this will be an extra cost. Hand washing or dry cleaning delicate items will allow for a deeper clean, preserve material and have a crisp finished look. Using a laundry bag for underwear will also preserve materials and shape.

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DO BELIEVE IN YOU!

Though important and trendy, the biggest part of style is not in the clothes you wear, but how you wear them. When they fit to your preference and lifestyle, you won’t just feel happier with your clothes, you’ll look confident! To quote Coco Chanel, “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”

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