I recently did a major closet purged which made me realize that once upon a time, I was not a very smart shopper at all. Through the years I have acquired tons and tons of stuff but sadly, a huge portion of it remains untouched with the tags fully intact.
Some items don’t fit right, others just don’t fit me and my personal style. Other items fit right and speak to me, but just don’t look good with anything (not anything that I would actually wear anyway).
Being a smart shopper is such an essential tool and no matter what your budget, it will provide you with limitless wardrobe options.
Here are some of my top tricks of the trade:
Does it fit?
I can not emphasize this one enough, fit is key! This rule is the one that everyone knows, but very few follow. I implore all of you to please, please, stop worrying about how high of a number your size is. If it bothers you enough, just rip off the tag and eventually you won’t even remember what size the item was! I can’t tell you how painful it is for me to look at the items in my closet that are absolutely stunning but can’t be worn because I was too stubborn and opted for the smaller size even though it didn’t look as good.
If you’re boobs are being squished, if you can’t bend over for fear that your entire bum will be put on display, if you can’t move comfortably, if you’re circulation is being cut off, then it just doesn’t fit! It took me a long time to drum this into my head but having clothes that actually fit me comfortably is a way better feeling that the fleeting sense of pride that comes with fitting into a small size.
What will I wear this with?
Before I make a purchase, I like to consider what I would wear that item with and how it would add to my wardrobe. If it’s a top, I ask what pants, skirts, shorts, and so on it would look good with. If it’s a dress I consider which shoes, bags, and jewelry would work and I also consider how versatile it is. Will it go from day to night? Summer through fall? Can I wear it with sandals now and booties and tights later?
Don’t feel rushed in the fitting room, no matter how long of a line there is behind you. These are important things to consider!
Is this ME?
One area where I would get stuck is that I would see something I liked, I would buy it and then I would never wear it. Why? Because it just didn’t fit my personal style and never would. I personally just don’t look right when I wear ultra-femme pieces, I don’t know why but it just looks off when I do. However, I’ve slipped up a few times and have purchased from cute feminine dresses and tops. I never ever wear them though because when I try to, I just feel silly!
Even if you don’t know what your personal style is, you know what you’re personal style is. It’s called your gut instinct. If you’re feeling iffy, if you’re spouting off the maybes (maybe it could work if I wore it like this, or if I changed my hair, etc), of you just don’t feel- for lack of a better word- a connection to the item, then take a pass.
Is it worth the money?
This is another pitfall I used to fall into. For some reason, I would spend a significant sum on basic pieces that could be bought for under $10 at other places, like basic tanks, tees, and plain cardigans. While I do wear all of these items, I always feel a sense of regret when I see them, thinking about the more worthy items I could have spent my cash on. I would say that items that can be worn over and over (blazers, coats, bags, jewelry, shoes) are usually worth the splurge. I paid a pretty penny for my quilted Chanel bag but it was well worth it- I can wear it anywhere, with anything, and no matter what, it makes my entire outfit, even the ones from Forever 21, look high-end.
When you’re shopping, it’s important to really think about your alternatives. Could you find a similar item at H&M or Topshop at a fraction of the price? If so, then save your money and put it toward something that you can’t find anywhere else!
What are your smart-shopping tips? Tell us in comments!
– SABRINA ALEXIS