so, you’ve approached your shopping a little differently this time around:
- you hit the mall early, armed with your list and ready to do battle – well, to at least try things on and not give up too easily, and
- you’ve succeeded in getting some key pieces to add to your current wardrobe.
start working what you bought right away. why keep things sitting in the bags on your bedroom floor for weeks?! you’ve worked hard to build your wardrobe, braving the dreaded mall and everything!
rock you’re new outfits with confidence. think about how you felt before the shopping; then how you feel once you’re strutting through your office with your stylish self. you’ll not only look good, you’ll feel good. trust me.
hate the malls? hate paying full-price for clothes? or do you feel that waiting for items to go on sales is a waste of time?
outlet malls might be the solution for you. outlets have upped their game in terms of merch; there can be great buys to be had all year round.
consider shopping at outlet malls if you’re wardrobe budget is tight or even if you’re not on a tight budget. who doesn’t love a good deal?!
If you haven’t guessed yet, i like to shop when the mall opens to avoid crowds. i’d do the same for outlet shopping as well; also if you’re driving, you can get a prime parking spot early in the a.m.
beauty of boutiques - boutique shopping is great for the unique pieces to add some interest to your work-wear or support local designers. Boutiques are small so you can get to know the owner/staff and get the scoop on when the have sales.
you might have to let go of the idea that you can rock leopard-print leggings. i get it, leopard is hot right now.
just because something is trending now doesn’t mean that it’s the trend for you.
if you really love a trend, like an animal print, try to find a creative way to add the trend to your wardrobe, like rock it in an accessory instead.
not all of us can get a perfect fit right off-the-rack. and honestly, who has the figure of a mannequin? so, why should we expect that the clothes should look exactly like that when we put them on? don’t get me started on “size 0” or “00”. *eye roll*
focus on you and how the clothes look on you and not what the blouse looked like on the mannequin or on the woman that just stepped out of the fitting room beside you in the same blouse – i know you’re checking her out and doing a comparison – stop it.
if at first you don’t succeed… don’t be discouraged if the first few things you try don’t work for you. keep going. enlist the help of the sales staff or take advantage of in-store stylists where available – lots of stores are offering this service now.
be patient and keep an open-mind: to achieve a good fit, you might need tailoring - you’ll be amazed at the difference this can make.
“i don’t know what looks good on me?”
“I don’t know how to make an outfit?”,
“can I wear this with that?”
if this is you, then you might not want to tackle the shopping mission alone. Phone a friend.
Bring a friend along whose style sense you trust (don’t bring a friend who hates shopping as much as you do - not kidding).
maybe limit the amount of friends. why? you ask. you step out of a fitting room in an outfit:
- suzy sunshine gives you a thumbs up and squeals, “oooh, i love that on you!”
- debbie downer, scrunches her face like she ate some sourkids, gives you a thumbs down and says, “that’s soooo not working for you!”
- you look from one to the other because you’re unsure who to believe *awkwardness*
can’t find a friend or at least one whose opinion you value? you can also check if the store has an in-store stylist that you can book a consult with (ask if there are fees for the service); some malls have stylist services as well.
one last thing, make sure you bring the friend who has enough patience to deal with your cranky ass after the first hour of shopping.
i know, you hate trying things on. mee too but you gotta do it.
it’s not only good for determining ‘fit’ but it’s also a good way for you to see how an entire outfit can look – as opposed to individual pieces while you’re in the store.
go ahead, get a visual – try the item on.
if you’re the type that doesn’t have a clue of how to make an outfit, trying things on in the store is even more important. You’ll have access to items to create an outfit at your fingertips.
ask for help
- ask a sales associate what you can pair with a particular item to make an outfit; get them to grab a few things for you to try on; or
- look at the mannequin if you like - jtry to get a good visual of the ‘outfit’.
before you buy
- think about what other pieces you have in your closet that will work with the item - (try to come up with at least 3 pieces)
Another bonus of trying things on while in the store is that you’ll avoid having to make another trip back to the mall for returns later if it turns out it doesn’t fit.
when i went shopping with my friend chilly the stores were stocking their new f/w lines – translation: all the sales had ended.
i don’t like paying full price for clothing, especially things that i don’t plan on having for more than a season. i’ll wait for the sale (there’ll be a sale on almost everything soon enough).
be informed – sign-up for mailing lists of your fav stores so you can be alerted to special deals and begin to built a strong work wardrobe on a budget.
i know, i know, you hate the constant emails in your inbox. but it can save you a lot of money if you shop during sales or promotions.
set up a separate email account specifically for store alerts. that way you can keep these alerts in one place and out of your regular email inbox.
start your shopping trip without considering how much you’re comfortable spending - unless you last name is Trump, in which case this might not be an issue.
have a budget (a realistic one) – you should have an idea of what you are prepared to spend on your day of shopping.
this can reduce the risk of spending reflux (kinda like acid reflux – just as unpleasant) – the feeling of tightness or burning in your chest and nausea you get when you tally the bill.
so you’ve decided to buy some new gear for work, you’ve got your list, and your budget (and hopefully, you’ve received your emails about deals to be had).
Here are a few other things to consider before embarking on your shopping mission:
- start on a full stomach – eat a good breakfast beforehand
- start early to avoid the afternoon crowds (except for shoe shopping, which is best done later in the day or if you don’t mind crowds)
- stay hydrated – bring a bottle of water
- wear comfy footwear – (no, not running shoes – opt for ballet flats)
- light easy-to-pull-on-off clothing (you want to be able to try things without hassle. plus all that shopping will make you sweaty)
- be patient – Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your wardrobe be. so relax, take your time, and when in doubt or frustrated, ask for help.
think you need to buy an entire new wardrobe all in one go? thnink again.
make a list – even if you aren’t entirely sure of what you need, a list is a good place start.
this will help you focus on the key items (the must haves) and hopefully keep you on track and on budget while you shop.
you can modify, add to, or remove items from the list as you go along; use your smart phone to keep track and check it before you go shopping.
my winter wish list looks like this at the moment:
· Tall leather boots for work
· New winter coat
· Cashmere cardigan
· White turtleneck
· Chunky knit sweater
· Black wool trousers