Wednesday, April 28, 2010

{how to} shop like you mean it

Do you ever head out to your favorite shopping neighborhood or mall, fully jazzed to find some great new clothes, only to come home empty handed (and sort of depressed about it?) I do. It happens to all of us. I've realized though, that it's often because of the same few key, pre-shop missteps. I believe there are a few things one should always do before venturing out on a real shopping trip to maximize time, effort and success!

So, now that I sound like a motivational speaker, I might as well keep rolling with it.

1. Get Yourself Ready. I'm not saying you need to take a full shower and do your hair and all that, but, put a little effort in. Wash your face, throw on some mascara, and get dressed. Stores are not gyms (despite what a workout shopping can be, sometimes), and I think it's really important to feel good when you walk out the door. Plus the more accurate portrait of yourself you see in the dressing room mirror, the better you will be able to judge how much you like what you're trying on.

2. Be Prepared. When I go shopping for real, I make sure that I'll be able to really tell if something looks good one me, or will work with things I wear all the time. This means, I wear a bra and undies that will work with almost anything (Hanky Panky's & GapBody t-shirt bra), as well as my favorite pair of jeans. This simple step takes so much guess-work out of deciding how things fit or if I will ever even wear them. Also, wear shoes that you can slip in and out of easily, like ballet flats or sandals without complicated buckles, etc.

3. Be Prepared (specifically). If you're shopping for an occasion, event, or vacation, bring along the pieces you already have. For example, if you're shopping for a dress to wear to a wedding, bring the shoes you'll likely pair it with, and even the jewelry. Getting the whole picture before you purchase will give you a lot more satisfaction than arriving home only to find that your saucy new mini-dress looks only just this side of hookerville with the 4-inch platforms you planned to wear it with.

4. Go It Alone. That's right, I said it. Leave your opinionated girlfriends, clueless boyfriends and judgemental mothers at home. This tip might really be a personal thing for me, but I trust myself. I know what I like, what works on my body, and what I will actually wear. I like to move at my own pace, without the pressures of another person who might a) want to try on way more/less than me b) be itching to go to another store c) not give a hoot whether or not a pair of jeans makes my calves look fat. Sure, I love shopping casually with my girlfriends or my mom, but I really do my best work when I'm by myself. I never hesitate to chat up the salesgirls when I need a little reassurance - that's what they're for (I should know, right?).

5. Do Your Homework. I always have my best and most successful shopping adventures when I have at least some idea what I am looking for. Going out with an empty head and a full wallet is a recipe for buyer's remorse. Browse the websites of stores you like, flip through a few fashion magazines, and examine your closet. See what's missing or what you're craving, and keep it in mind as you roam around.

Now go forth and shop with confidence, purpose & the right undies.

And if you have any tips to add, please share them in the comments!


  1. Totally with you on the shop alone! I've worked commision retail for the last seven years & I never let a customer leave without being completely honest. And because I want her to feel good about her purchase I never let her leave if she doesn't love it! Trust yourself ladies!

  2. I totally agree about shopping by yourself. Every time I go with someone else, its ends up being such a chore and people definitely don't see items and their potential in their own wardrobe the same way. Not to mention the fact that with a couple of people, I point out something I D-I-E over and walk away because it si too expensive and 2 weeks later see them sporting it. Now if that doesn't make you see red, I don't know what would!