We received a great question from a reader this past week that we are sure is a common conundrum for many of you fashionistas:
“Love your blog, especially for someone such as me who spends most of my time in a kitchen working. This leaves me very little time to shop…. so I try to find the most bang for my buck and maximize my shopping time. Do you have any tips on where and when is the best time to shop?”
With all the busy schedules, long days, and other things you could spend your money on, time to shop (and the desire for that matter) is sometimes hard to come by. That’s why when you are able to make it happen, you want to make it worth it. The key to successful shopping is only purchasing pieces that will be worn, make you feel great, and add to your wardrobe in a positive and productive way. You want to be able to be proud to call it a good investment. How do we do that you ask? I have broken down four tips to ensure successful shopping adventures.
1. Get in the Mood: Never shop to buy when you are overly tired, having a “fat day”, or just not in the mood. If you are feeling uninspired or not into it, it can wait. Feelings like these lead you down a road of bad choices and “what was I thinking” moments. You want to be open minded to try new things, try things on, and think reasonably. Try to do some homework beforehand, consider what you are looking for, pre-shop online for where you should look, and also check prices. If you are worried about missing a great sale, check if the stores post upcoming sales and also their price adjustment policy. The best time time to shop is the time that you can focus on you and enjoy the experience stress free. If you are having an off day and feel like nothing is working…. sometimes its best to just call it window shopping and go home empty handed.
2. Stay focused: What are you shopping for? Why did you come here? Ensure you are staying focused on your shopping goals. Sometimes going to the mall overwhelms your senses with beautiful, luxurious, endless glamor. The shoes, the bags, the sweaters, the…… I’m getting carried away (#confessions of a shopaholic.) You want to keep in mind what you really need, and what you intended to add to your wardrobe. This is not to say that you may not find the PERFECT shirt when you are looking for pants or a KILLER bracelet when you really wanted shoes, but these “precautions” help you to stay focused and prevents you from being overwhelmed.
3. Ask for Help: The sales associates are there for a reason, and its not just to refold the same shirt a thousand times 🙂 They want to help and be treated like your personal stylist. Ask them for advice on the newest styles, sizing, and ideas. Each store’s sizing varies dramatically and the associates are your key to finding your fit. They know whats available, the difference in cuts, lengths, and body types, and which pieces work together and which ones don’t. They are knowledgeable on the latest trends and can help if you are looking to step outside the box. Another thing, they are very helpful in where else you can find exactly what you are looking for. Think about it, they work in a mall everyday, pass by other stores, and keep up with competitors. Why wouldn’t they know? And most are very happy to share the “secrets.” 🙂
4. Consider the Investment:When you purchase a piece…or 10 for your wardrobe, the excitement, creative possibilities, and sometimes overwhelming stress of shopping can leave you thinking frantically. Before you do anything rash, you just need to pause and have a thought about what your money is going towards. If you are considering purchasing something only because it is “on sale” or a “great buy”….. you don’t need it. Save your dough to go towards something you really want, like that extra special designer bag you plan to treat yourself to one day. If you think you would really wear the sale item, ask yourself “would I still buy this if it were full price?” If the answer is no, move on. When considering how much to spend on an item, consider how much you would wear it, how it fits, and how it makes you feel. If you are contemplating a piece that seems pricey, or is more expensive than the one that was “just a little off,” will you be happier with the one that makes you feel awesome and you will wear? or the “great deal” that you will most likely wear once, but then leave in your closet only to buy another to take its place? You see, sometimes you will spend more on three less expensive pieces trying to fill the purpose of one. Invest in basic pieces (read Back to Basics) and don’t be afraid to splurge, these things are “go tos” and will get worn a lot. The trendy things are easier to spend less on because they come and go, and you don’t need them to last a long time. I like to shop trends at Forever 21 and H&M. They carry loads of new styles at affordable prices. They wont last a lifetime, but they will get you through a few seasons. 🙂
Remember your personal style will be ever-changing and you should reasonably build your wardrobe over time. Don’t put too much into one trend cluttering your closet with misfits and “one time uses.” Spread the love and invest wisely. The key to success is being thoughtful in your choices, and confident on your shopping day 🙂 Checkout J’s Everyday Fashion for a shopping guide and great tips on getting the “look for less.”
Do you have any shopping tips and strategies? What are your questions and/or concerns for when you hit the mall? Ask and tell us below, or post to our Facebook page. 🙂
Have a Magical Day!
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