Ask Erin: Shop Like a Pro
by Erin Sharplin Love
Dressing well doesn’t mean that you have to suffer through long hours of shopping only to return home with nothing to wear. Nor does it mean that you have to spend loads and loads of money. If the thought of shopping overwhelms you, relax, and let me give you a few of my secrets to shopping like a pro.
First things first – Make a plan! Always know what you need to purchase before going shopping. Keep an ongoing list in or near your closet so when you come across something that you need but don’t have, you’ll be able to jot it down. Clothing shopping without a list is like going grocery shopping when you are hungry. You will always end up with something you don’t need!
Think about what you should wear to go shopping – It’s best to wear something that is comfortable and easy to get in and out of, because it is never a good idea to buy a piece of clothing without trying it on first. You never know if it looks best on the hanger or on you. And, when choosing the outfit you will wear to go shopping, don’t forget about shoes! After all, you will be doing a lot of walking. It is also a good idea to steer clear of a lot of distracting jewelry.
Now that we have discussed the two most important tips that will prepare you for shopping, let’s move on to the shopping experience itself. Below you will find tips ranging from the best times of the day to shop to what to splurge on and what to save on.
1. The best times of the day to go shopping are when the mall or boutique are at their slowest – such as weekday mornings. If you must go on a weekend, try to get to the store when it opens.
2. Get to know the salespeople at your favorite boutiques. They will call you when your size or style of clothing comes in. You may get first “dibs” on the most popular items.
3. Invest in classic pieces. Don’t feel guilty for investing in a timeless purse, shoes, LBD (little black dress) or a versatile suit.
4. Steer clear of sales racks, if you are a sucker! You will more than likely be swayed by the discounted price and end up buying something you don’t need and possibly will never wear. Many stores have a “No Return” policy on reduced items. So, play it safe.
5. Believe in fate…if you spot something that you absolutely love and can’t stop thinking about it for days afterwards, it may be a sign that you need to go back to the store and try it on!
6. Don’t be afraid to try new things! This is one rule I stress to all of my clients. Try something on before you rule it out completely.
7. Look for well-made clothing. In many instances, you can buy clothes that are both well made and reasonably priced. But be careful – look for unfinished hems, loose threads and mismatched patterns. If you spot any of these things…move along.
8. Look for the latest trends in accessories such as purses, necklaces and shoes. You will be able to incorporate the lastest trend into your existing wardrobe without looking like a fashion victim.
Shopping like a pro doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming. It’s fun and rewarding! Just think of all of the great purchases you will make if you incorporate good shopping practices into every trip to the mall or your favorite boutique.