Dear Helen, I hate shopping! 3 solutions for solving a very common problem.

I love playing Agony Aunt. Here’s my answer to this conundrum….

Lots of my clients say they hate shopping.

As something of an ‘addict’, I find this hard to imagine, but easy to understand. If you don’t like shopping and you are a busy person, you may tend to fit buying clothes in around other things.

You might be meeting a client or friend for coffee and you happen to pass a shop window you like the look of. You pop inside to investigate. Because you are in the mood to be distracted, the things that are most likely to catch your eye are probably what I think of as the ‘Wow!’ pieces. Those which are colourful, patterned or have something else unusual about them such as the cut or detailed embroidery, sequins etc. They have caught your eye for a reason – they stand out.

If time permits, you might decide to try one of these ‘Wow!’ pieces on. But, you know how tricksy those changing room mirrors and lighting can be. We tend to look either FAR, FAR worse than usual -due to 360° mirrors and 480 watt bulb (thank you M&S) or thinner than we expect because of clever side-lighting and a mirror which wouldn’t be out of place in a fairground (I’m looking at you, Zara).

Plus, if you haven’t got the right underwear, trousers or shoes with you, it is really hard to tell if the item suits you properly. As you rarely go shopping, and this is a good chance to get a job done, you buy it anyway, even though you aren’t sure.

You bring this special (cue music) piece home, try it on again. You think: “Yes, it is nice, it’ll be perfect when I’ve got the right shoes/pants/bra/hairstyle*.” (*delete as appropriate.)

This item may then hang proudly in your wardrobe – with the label still attached – for a number of months (or years). The reason? You never go shopping properly! So, you NEVER get around to buying the plain, basic pieces that you need to make the ‘Wow!’ piece into an outfit. (I’ve written about this before, I call them the ‘Andrew Ridgeleys’ click here to find out why!)

Is any of this ringing a bell? If yes, I’ve got three solutions for you.

Solution #1

5 simple steps to stopping this habit and building a collection of clothes that ALL work for you and will be worn many times over.

  1. Conduct a mini-assessment of your wardrobe to identify which pieces are ‘wardrobe orphans’.
  2. Decide which other items you might need to buy in order to adopt the ‘orphans’ into the functioning part of your clothes collection. (Note: you must truly love them, otherwise there is little point spending further time and money trying to make them useful. Sometimes it’s kinder just to let them go.)
  3. Make a shopping list – on your phone so you always have it.
  4. The next time you are ‘passing through’ the shops, open up your list. Ignore any frantic waving, shouting and showing off from the ‘Wow!’ pieces trying to get your attention. Buy the basic items you need.
  5. Introduce your basic items to your ‘wow’ pieces and feel very smug about having a ‘capsule’ wardrobe.

Solution #2

You may feel ready for a ‘proper’ sort out of your wardrobe.

If you are, I’ve got a brilliant free gift for you – it’s called ‘The Ultimate Wardrobe Cheat Sheet’ and you can download it below…


This is what I use myself to work out exactly what I’ve got in my wardrobe at any one time, and what I need to get. It lays out exactly what a hard working wardrobe should contain so that you can put together outfits which make you look and feel great. Having this sort of range of items available to wear means that you can get up, dressed and out of the house as quickly and easily as possible, every, single, day. I highly recommend you download this document, print it off and use it organise what you’ve got and what you need. It’s a godsend!

Solution #3

I take on a small number of private clients each year. If you’d like to know more about my one to one service, contact me here and we can arrange to have a chat.

Alternatively, if you have a quick question you’d like to ask me, leave a comment and I will do my best to answer.

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