In my 10 years of shopping with women (and many more shopping for myself and with friends), I’ve noticed that very often, women fall into one of two camps.
Camp 1 – The ‘Under’ Shoppers
They HATE shopping and will do anything they can to avoid it.
None of the current fashions suit them. (Spoiler alert: they are looking in all the wrong places, which is why they are so amazed and delighted when I disprove their theories).
When they do buy something new, they chose virtual replicas of what they already own. They dread receiving invitations to events where they might have to wear something other than jeans and a t-shirt. They feel inadequately dressed a lot of the time which starts to affect their confidence.
This camp are most definitely stuck in a style rut.
Camp 2 – The ‘Over’ Shoppers
They love to shop and buy waaaaay too much.
They are seduced by beautiful fabrics and fabulous shoes.
Their wardrobes are rammed with amazing pieces which never get worn. They haven’t got the ‘right’ thing to go with these glorious pieces to create an outfit. They have all colours, shapes and sizes covered but still buy more because they have no actual outfits.
They feel guilty about how much they spend and feel overwhelmed by how much they have. But they keep buying more.
This camp are in style confusion.
Of course, there are several other camps in between these two extremes but maybe you identify with one more than the other?
Over the years I’ve learnt a thing or two about how to increase your chances of having a successful shopping trip. I’ve found ways to avoid repeat buying the same thing and to think more carefully before snapping up another fabulous piece that you won’t-ever-wear.
Whether you are planning a shopping trip to update your wardrobe for the new season, looking for an outfit for a special occasion or replacing some well-loved pieces, try out these tips to give yourself the best chance of coming home with some fabulous pieces.
1. Prepare your list
Know what you are looking for.
Going shopping without purpose can be dangerous. This is when you can more easily be seduced by beautiful pieces that you decide you can’t live without and then feel guilty when you never wear them.
Always, always decide where, when and how you will wear a new piece of clothing before you snap it up. Your fancy-pants pieces often need something very plain to make an outfit. Maybe pick up the component parts at the same time to maximise the chances of you being able to create an outfit you love.
Make an actual list. It can be a general as ‘summer daytime outfits’ or as specific as ‘a denim jacket’. The important thing is that you have some direction. This reduces your chance of coming home with yet another Breton top.
Snap a photo of your wardrobe. This is a useful reminder of what you already have.
2. Prepare your route
Decide where you are most likely to find what’s on your list.
Have a browse online to see what’s out there. Heck, even read the reviews to see how they fit.
Remind yourself of brands you’ve had success with before. Unless they’ve changed their ‘fit model’, their new season pieces are likely to still be in the shapes and cuts that work for you.
Avoid wasting time and wearing yourself out traipsing around each and every shop on the high street, decide where you’d like to go and plan the most effective route.
3. Know your budget
Deciding on a budget in advance (even a loose one) will stop you from going crazy but also gives you ‘permission’ to spend the money when you find something you love.
4. Prepare yourself for ‘mirror time’
Changing room mirrors can be cruel.
Give yourself a chance of feeling good under the harsh lights by popping on a little make-up (if that’s your thing), do your hair, wear good, supportive underwear (nude tones are a good idea if you are trying lighter coloured spring summer pieces) and think about bringing along any pieces you are wanting to match up.
This reduces the guesswork of, ‘in a better bra I might like this’, ‘if my hair was done this could look nice’, this might go with my red wedges..’ etc.
5. Wear something you love
Go shopping in something you love to wear. That outfit can be your benchmark. If you don’t love what you are trying on as much as that, it’s a no. Save your money.
is it time to Educate Yourself?
If you are stuck in a style rut, or in style confusion, the most effective solution is to educate yourself on your true style.
If reading this has made you realise its time to get your style sorted once and for all, you might just find that investing £249 in The Style Plan is more effective than continuing with your guesswork. Say no to many more years of feeling disillusioned and inadequately dressed.
Tot up what you’ve spent on clothes that you don’t love in the last 12 months to decide if it’s worth it for you.
You can check out The Style Plan here and use code ‘easter’ (no CAPS) by Sunday 28th April to get £50 off. Then, when you’ve identified your style, spend that £50 consciously on something you really love and know how to wear!
I hope that helps. Do you have any shopping success tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment and share the advice.
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That was useful and funny. I went shopping the other day and came back with another Breton top. Although I bought 2 Plain tee shirts as well .
What is it about Breton tops?!!
Love this one …. really useful, especially the idea of wardrobe photos which hopefully will stop my memory going completely blank mid-shop!!
Thanks Pam, I’m so pleased you found the blog useful!
I don’t own a Breton top.
Does that mean I’m good at shopping?
Or do I need to go?