Before learning how to shop for clothes, shopping was often a very frustrating and overwhelming experience for me. In fact, I generally avoided shopping all together because we usually just didn’t have the money for it. When we did, it was very little. With only enough money for one or two items, I would stress over finding the perfect thing. The problem was that I usually didn’t know what exactly I was looking for other than it had to fall within me budget. With an infinite variety of clothes, styles, colors, and patterns to choose from I would become easily overwhelmed, lost, and confused. I’d spend hours shopping just to come out empty handed. In cases where I did find something it often was a random article of clothing that did not bring a lot of versatility into my existing wardrobe.
While I still have a very minimal budget for clothes shopping I am learning how to utilize the money I do have by shopping for quality pieces that will expand the versatility of my wardrobe. However, the key to a successful shopping trip is to first know your style and what exactly it is you will be looking for. If you need help or a little refresher on how to find your style and make a shopping list, make sure to read parts 1 and 2 of Step 2 in the Wardrobe Basics series. If you feel confident in your style and have your list ready, it is time to start shopping!
In order to help you have a more successful shopping trip I have come up with a few rules/guidelines for you to use:
1. Stick to your list
If you’re like me and get easily overwhelmed when shopping, sticking to your list will give you a clear focus/direction as to what it is you are looking for. No more wandering around stores lost and confused– Hallelujah! Sticking to your list will also help you stick to your budget (if you have one). It is often easy for me to get sidetrack by something I want (but don’t necessarily need); however, being on a strict budget I try to only buy the things on my list.
2. Don’t settle on the fit
In order to build a wardrobe you will love, fit is important. I’m not just talking about the size of your clothes, but also about buying clothes that flatter your body. If you’re not quite sure what styles and shapes work best for your body, chances are you’re going to have to do some experimenting. Try on multiple styles and shapes to discover what is going to be the most flattering on you and work to your advantage. Finding clothes that both fit and flatter your body may also require you to sometimes try on different sizes than you would normally wear. All clothes are made and fit differently, so don’t necessarily rule something out because the size you normally wear doesn’t fit.
3. Versatility is key
Buying versatile pieces is going to end up saving you money and giving you a more workable wardrobe– it’s a win win! Buying versatile pieces doesn’t necessarily mean having to buy all neutrals just because neutrals go with anything. Like we talked about in Step 2, it is good to have a few basic neutral pieces but colors and prints can be very versatile as well. When trying on clothes, the questions you should ask yourself to determine if something is going to be a versatile piece in your wardrobe are: Does it go with a least four other pieces in my current wardrobe? And, can it be layered, tucked-in, or belted to create more looks?
4. Be yourself
Buy clothes that represent you and your personality. They should be clothes that you feel comfortable in and are functional to your lifestyle. Being a mom, I buy things that I can move freely and comfortably in. I don’t buy anything that can’t be thrown in the washer or is high maintenance.
5. Keep a positive attitude
While shopping use to be a very frustrating and negative experience for me, I’ve since willed that sort of thinking out of my head. It may take you some time, along with some trial and error, to figure out what works best on your body, but don’t get discouraged. If something doesn’t fit, the problem is in the clothing not your body. Take this experience of shopping and building a new wardrobe to embrace your body just the way it is. Have fun and good luck!
** I apologize for the wait on this post…I’ve been without a computer. This entire post was typed on my Kindle if you can believe it.