Shopping in a retail store can sometimes be frustrating, especially when you feel that nothing is working or you are not finding what you are looking for. I wanted to give a few of my shopping tips that I do to maximize my success with finding just the right items.
I typically shop in a small shop vs. department stores just because I like the environment. Being an interior designer, aesthetics of the physical store front and showroom floor play a big part of my shopping experience. While I have nothing against department stores, I just prefer the specialty shop. Let me also tell you that my strategy is totally different shopping retail than it is thrifting which is a totally different post. For now, here are my tips:
1. Do your research
Since I have a shopping addiction, I want to prevent impulse purchases at all costs. By previewing shops online I can scout out what my favorite pieces are and have an idea of how much they are. I sometimes will even take a phone screen shot of the item(s) and show them to a sales associate so they can direct me.
2. Have a plan
Your plan can be specific or general, but you should have a plan. Are you looking specifically for skinny jeans with certain criteria aka wash, zipper ankle, distressing, rise? Are you looking for a dress to wear to your cousins wedding next month? Do you need a pencil skirt to fill in a gap for your work attire? This plan can keep you from getting off track and can also be helpful information when talking to a sales associate.
3. Wear appropriate shoes
And I am not talking about sport walking shoes, unless that is what you are shopping to match. Believe you me, I have done it: trying on a fancy dress with a pair of sneakers. And being bare foot or in socks when viewing your prospects is almost just as bad. You just cannot get a clear image of what the end result will be. I am not saying this as a way to put anyone down, I am saying this because a shoe can make or break an outfit. Wear an appropriate shoe according to what you are shopping for. If you are not wanting to walk around shopping in heels, bring a big bag and put them inside to try them on with the dress. It is also helpful if they are a neutral color like nude, black, navy, or tan. I personally also like to wear neutral jewelry as well such as a simple gold necklace or a bone colored bangle. Because I wear jewelry on a daily basis, it gives me an idea of what clothing will look like accessorized.
4. Fix your hair and makeup
I always seem to find someone to chat with when I am shopping, whether it is lusting after a certain piece, or just standing in line at the checkout. So many times, ladies comment about how nothing looked right on them and how in the world did I find so many things. I have mentioned before that I do not like a single one of my outfits I show here before I fix my hair and makeup. It makes a huge difference. To some women, shopping is like a workout or a sport and they wear their hair up in a bun or pony tail and go totally fresh faced. And I get it! When it is your time off, who wants to get all gussied up? By having your hair fixed, again appropriate to what you are shopping for, it makes the look complete, rather than you standing there trying to imagine what it is going to look like with your hair done, say, the way you do for work.
Case in point, I did a shopping trip at Lane Bryant where I intentionally fixed my hair and wore cream wedges to find some spring looks where I was super pleased with everything I tried on. Then I did an impromptu shopping trip at Target to try their Ava + Viv collection where I had rushed out the door that morning with minimal makeup and my hair in a pony tail. I ended up not really liking a whole lot at Target and it makes me wonder if the outcome would have been different had I been a little more prepared.
5. Try it on
When I shop in store, I try on A LOT. Does that mean that I purchase a lot, or even purchase anything at all? NO! There are so many variables when it comes to clothing and there are many items that simply do not work. If I even semi-like something on the hanger, I try it. Most items take on a whole new life when put on the body. I would have totally passed it by if I had not tried it on. And also, get in a state of mind prior to shopping that if something does not fit properly or does not look right on you, it does not mean that something is wrong with you. It simply means that piece of clothing is not meant for you and move on to the next. I have to admit, I have been in a many a fitting room with 10+ articles of clothing only to have none of them work. I also get hot very easily, so changing clothes is not only frustrating, it is downright miserable. It is not difficult to feel defeated when something like that happens, but I refuse to let that get me down or talk negatively about my body to myself.
So there you have it, my tips for shopping. I hope that they can be of some benefit to you on your next shopping adventure!
What kind of tips do you have that help when clothes shopping? Do you get frustrated when shopping? What is your biggest frustration?
Today’s Postivity Note
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