Now that Christmas is over, let the real shopping begin! Now is the time to find that glamorous New Year’s Eve dress or the perfect statement necklace.
First, be fiscally responsible. Know your budget and stay on it. There are these great phone apps like Moven and Spendee that help you shop smarter with simple breakdowns and colorful graphs that show your spending habits. Moven provides users with money management tools and real-time updates on their purchases to ensure controlled spending. They even ping you as you move closer to or further away from your financial goals. Spendee gives you the power of unique data analysis in an adaptable environment that automatically and thoroughly analyzes your income and expenses, giving you intelligent advice on how to spend more responsibly. Being able to access this kind of info on the go makes it easier to make an informed decision before you buy.
Second, know what you need. Go through your closet and find the gaps in your wardrobe. And when making your list make sure to shop for clothes that fit your real life and not your fantasy version. I have a Fashion Inspiration Page and a My Style Page on Pinterest that I update constantly. As beautiful as the pieces are in my Inspiration page, they don’t really fit my lifestyle. My lists are always composed of pieces that are found on my Style page.
Now comes the fun part, the actual shopping! But there are steps for this, also.
If you are going to do your shopping physically, make sure you look nice. Go out looking the way you want to see yourself in the mirror. Feeling put together helps you evaluate more effectively. Also, make sure you have all the appropriate underwear or shapewear. Having clean lines will help you see the true potential of the pieces you try on. And don’t forget to bring a snack. Studies have found that low blood sugar levels prevent shoppers from making wise decisions.
When you are at the store, consider the following tips.
1. Be open-minded. If you see something that inspires you but is not on your list, don’t discount it outright. See if it applies to the next tip.
2. If a piece you find is not on your list, see if it fits the following buying criteria: Will you get more than a handful of wears out of it? Will it work for more than one season? Will it work with at least three of your favorite closet staples? Is it substantially better than or different enough from pieces you already own? Will it fit if you gain 5 lbs.? If you answered yes to most of these, make the purchase.
3. Beware of the dazzling discounts. If the item is not a list item, and it doesn’t meet the buying criteria, ask yourself if you would purchase it at full price? If the answer is no, chances are you won’t be utilizing it at as often as you would think.
4. Try it on. It is the most sure-fire way to make sure something works. Make sure you can reach up and bend down carefully. Is it worth altering?
5. Retry it at home. Before cutting off the tags, make sure it looks good In your own home mirror. And make sure it works with whatever you closet pieces you bought it for.
If you are shopping online, please check out The Top 5 Fashion Sites to Shop page. These are my absolute favorite sites for bargain finds. Also, there are now sites that take the guesswork out of tracking sales, markdowns and discounts. RackItUpOnline.com allows users to browse nearly 50 retailers like Nordstroms, Saks and ShopBop and lets them put items into a virtual closet. Next you input size and percentage off or price and site will notify you when the item’s price drops. ShopItToMe.com let’s users fill out a style profile with their favorite brands and sizes. They can either browse a feed of marked-down items or wait for emails notifying them of new sales, promo codes or VIP discounts. Also check out the Swirl app for a rundown of special offers and in-store sales at 200+ shops such as J Crew, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Old Navy.
Now that you’re prepared, happy shopping!