Here I will share a few tips of things that I find interesting to consider when shopping, specially when it’s sales time!
- Organize your closet
The first step to shop smart is (re)organizing your wardrobe, to check what you already have, what you actually need, and what calls for a replacement. Take notes of everything that you need, and take it with you.
- Understand the diferences between fashion, trend and style
A little bit of information when shopping goes a long way. Of course, the professional help of a personal stylist is most valuable, but, if you’re interested on what you’re wearing, you can look up and learn the differences between fashion and style – and style lasts forever. Of course, things change, and sometimes trends become styles.
- Always have a budget, and stick to it
Never ever go shopping without a budget in mind. You should never break the bank because of shopping. Whenever you’re going shopping, think of a maximum budged, and stick to it. An organized budget means smart shopping, priorizing what you really need and even allowing yourself to indulge.
- Take your time when shopping
There’s nothing worse than shopping in a hurry. Whenever you’re shopping, give yourself time to consider if that new piece will actually make a difference in your closet, if you’re really going to wear it, if it fits your lifestyle. And always try it on in store! When in doubt, you can ask the sales associate to put it aside for you for a few minutes (try to ask for 30min or 1 hour) so you can exit the shop and think about it; go get some coffee and, if you can’t stop thinking about it, go back, try it on again, and then make your final decision.
- Always check the exchange/refund policies
Before purchasing, it’s always good to check the stores policies regarding exchanges and refunds – specially when it’s sales time, when some stores might change these policies temporarily. This is evermore important when you’re buying someone else a gift! These policies change from country to country, and sometimes even from store to store. So do yourself a favour and check it before you pay for it.
- Read the inside label of every single piece with full attention
The inside label of every piece is like an user’s manual: it tells you what the fabrics are made of and how you should take care of it. A piece that must always be dry cleaned, for example, has its value instantly increased because of this maintenance cost.
- Try to choose natural fibers
When I’m shopping, I always look for natural fibers, like cotton, linen, silk, lyocell. Of course, when it’s winter and you’re freezing, it will be almost impossible to run from some polyester and acrilic, specially when choosing outerwear. But always try to keep the natural fibers as close to your body as possible: not only natural fiber fabrics tends to fit better, they also tend to last longer if treated correctly, and they’re not easy to shrink.
- If you really love it, buy it
I’m not advising anyone to break the bank here, but if your heart sings everytime you see that beautiful jacket, or that wonderful dress, or that one of a kind shoe, or that one purse you’ve been dreaming for months (or years), you should really buy it. This won’t be a simple purchase: this will be an investment. You’ll feel different when going to the store, asking for it to the salesperson, trying it on, and actually purchasing: it’ll be an event you’re most likely to remember your entire life. If you buy something that you really love, you’ll be using for years to come (and, who know, maybe even passing it forward to your daughter/son), and you’ll be really glad that you took your chance and invested on something so special. This item will be your hero piece, and I’m sure you’ll feel special every single time you wear it.
- Consider buying from stores you don’t usually go to
When we shop from the same stores again and again, we always tend to buy the same pieces, only in different colours/prints or so. Trust me, I’ve been there. It is more than okay to have your favourite shops (I still have my personal favourites, obviously), but it is also really cool to buy from different places: it might give your closet a different edge, and even help you find your own style. Consider it research, have fun with it. Sales are a good time to experiment: even though the stores might be low in stock, you might just find one incredible piece for an unbelievable price.