Shopping can be daunting considering the difficult balancing act of staying stylish whilst being true to self without drastically denting the pocket book. A constant toss up between cost and quality, usefulness and convenience, it's no skin of your back in developing or fine-tuning a sure firesystem to shopping. Despite shopping needs and wants being subjective, the following tips have a general appeal.
1. KNOW thy wardrobe.
Basic demand & supply principles apply here. Knowing thy wardrobe inventory of haves and have-nots not only minimize double or impulse purchasing, but also helps to strengthen and streamline it. Therefore before embarking on a shopping spree, it's always good to de-clutter thy wardrobe by having a closet sale or a clothes swapping session with friends or make a charity donation for unused, unnecessary or less than stellar items.
Expert tip: Tape a paper on the inside of your closet door, and while dressing if you find an item lacking, jot it down. Use this list as a guide on the next spree.
Although shopping is considered fun and leisurely, a focused approached should be adopted considering not only the money and time spent, but that its ramifications directly affect ones appearance. This is why a productive shopping spree is best done alone and unhurriedly. Enough said.
3. TRY, try again.
Ironically, while trying on clothing is considered a shopping fundamental, this is what I detest the most about shopping, simply because I lack patience. Saving tags, receipts and constantly invoking store return policies is second nature. Also, knowing your exact measurements off-head (as sizing varies per store) and checking the store's sizing details online, cuts dressing room time immensely. Nevertheless, trying on is a hands-on fail-safe method of experimenting with new shapes, styles and sizes. Plus, it's a no cost fun way of dressing up, what's not to like, hmm?
4. Think VERSATILITY Always ensure a purchase is conducive to your lifestyle. When shopping avoid random buys by thinking on how a clothing item would compliment and enhance the wardrobe, by upping its outfits' factor.
5. SPURGE Smart
Setting a shopping spree budget beforehand can curb overspending by making one less frivolous. Also depending on wardrobe needs, it helps to decide which items to splurge on. Classic items for example coats, totes and such are worth their weight in gold, thus a bit more spending on because they will ever last, no matter the frequency they are used.
6. Think QUALITY over QUANTITY
This ties in with #5. The lower quality the item, the shorter the durability, the higher the purchase frequency need for the same item. Save money in the long run if you buy quality over quantity.
7. GRADUAL style evolution
'If it ain't broke don't try to fix it' comes to mind. While it's perfectly fine to shake up personal style in order to avoid a style rut, an extreme shake up is jarring and detrimental. Not only is it a waste of money, but also closet space filled with items that might never be worn again. Work a style evolution gradually.
8. LIVE by the 3-7-14 rule.
According to Jon Rogien ( costume designer for OITNB and Girls) to Glamour;
"i. If an item hasn't been worn within three days of purchase, it's UNLIKELY to be worn. Rogien reasoned that if the next day excitement to wear it lacked, it wasn't there to begin with.
ii. If it hasn't been worn in seven days, it's DEFINITELY not going to be worn, so make sure to return it in fourteen.
iii. Get it out of your life within 14 days or it's NEVER going to be returned."