When it comes to building a functioning wardrobe that works for you most mistakes are made at the point of shopping.
When it comes to building a functioning wardrobe that works for you most mistakes are made at the point of shopping. It is very easy to fall into the trap of buying things because they are on sale or because your friends think that they look good on you or just because that is what everyone seems to be wearing at that time. To avoid having a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear follow a few simple shopping tips set out below:
1. Be prepared
Making a shopping list when you go out grocery shopping ensures that you have all the ingredients to make your dinners for the rest of the week. Bringing a shopping list when you are clothes shopping ensures that you have all the pieces needed to put together complete outfits each and every day. Having lots of mismatched items in the wardrobe is very common and can lead to a lot of frustration and money wasting. Before your next shopping trip look at your wardrobe and see what are you missing so you could use the clothes you already have. More often than not we invest in beautiful statement pieces but cannot wear them because we don’t have basics to put them with e.g If you have bought a beautiful print or detailed blouse, maybe all you need is a pair of black jeans or a simple pencil skirt. Maybe you already have a great pair of jeans and stylish blazers but you are missing a basic t-shirt to bring it all together. Or maybe you are the opposite, you have a great selection of basics but you are looking for something special to make your outfits more ‘put together’. Take a moment to think what ‘ingredients’ your wardrobe is missing in order to make it functional and complete- make a shopping list
If you are trying to find something to match a piece you already own- always bring it with you. Scientists have proven that we are unable to accurately remember colours. In order for us to remember something our brain needs to call a word that we are familiar with and compartmentalize it under that description. If you have a blue and pink floral dress, that is how you will remember it. You will not be able to remember the shade of blue or shade of pink in each individual flower. Some pinks can have more orange undertones others have more purple, but it is impossible for your brain to accurately store that as it is not something that can be given a specific name. If you are looking to match a throw or shoes or a jacket to go with your dress, always bring it with you to avoid disappointment. Another reason to always bring the piece you are trying to match is the sometimes then things that shouldn’t work in theory somehow do and the things we think we needed don’t look as good as we expected. That is why it is always best to try the pieces you are trying to match together before you spend your hard earned money. It will also save you a lot of time not having to go back to return things that should have worked but didn’t and then having to start the search from scratch again.
Last but not least preparation point- put a little bit of effort in you. If you are the kind of girl who usually wears make up and has her hair done, make sure you do that before you go out shopping. The lighting in fitting rooms can be quite poor, unforgiving and unflattering, and trying new things on can been testing enough on our confidence and self-esteem make sure to put a little bit of effort in looking your best. Same advice can be extended to undies. Your comfortable pyjama day panties should be used just for pyjama days. Nothing will ruin a little black dress like VPL, lack of support or bunching. You have been warned! J
2. Pick your shopping companion carefully
When out on a mission to buy something specific or to find something for an occasion next weekend there is a lot to be said about the benefits of shopping alone. You will not need to wait around and waste your precious time waiting for your companion to try things on. Also you will avoid feeling guilty about making them wait or dragging them through 20 shops or having to come back to the same shop three times. When you are under pressure to find something, time is precious and you do not need the added stress of other people’s needs, wants and happiness levels.
However if you do prefer shopping with company, be sure you pick your companion carefully. If you have a strong minded friend or sister who is convinced she know better and you find it difficult to stand up to her such friends a probably better for coffee mornings or trips to the cinema. If you are a soft soul who likes making people happy you are more likely to buy things that your companion recommends or likes on you rather than the pieces you actually prefer yourself and that is bad both for you purse and for your self-esteem. That is how you end up with lots of clothes in your wardrobe, you clothes budget spent but still nothing to wear. If you didn’t absolutely love something in the fitting room, you will not love it when you get home and you will not pick it out of your wardrobe in the morning. It will probably stay in your wardrobe for years with the label still on because it is too good to throw away but can’t wear it because it’s just not you. Does that sound familiar?
Nonetheless if you are lucky enough to have a retail soul mate who is supportive and not over powering you should still follow one little tip- ask for impressions, not for approval!
When you are trying something on ask you companion what impression do they get when they see you wearing it. If you are aiming for a sophisticated, classic elegance look and your companion says you look like sexy mamma, you should probably keep looking. But if you companion says that you look beautiful and classy then you are onto a winner. Never ask your companion if they like it. Liking something is very subjective, your companion will only be able to answer based on their personal preferences, their life style, their emotion state at that particular moment and based on how much caffeine they had that day or how many glasses of wine they had the night before. Whether other people like or not is not important, what is important is whether you like it, feel good in it and send the right message wearing it.
3. Bring two sizes
If you find something you like always bring couple sizes into the fitting room. Pick the size you think you are and one size bigger. It’s no secret that sizes vary from brand to brand, but they also vary due to fabrics and cuts. First try on the size you think you are, if it fits you then that’s great, if not you already have the bigger size there. Let’s be real, we are all quite pleased to ask the shop assistant to bring us smaller size however when it comes to asking for a bigger size, most of us would rather get dressed and just leave to nurse our injured self confidence in Starbucks. In addition not all larger stores have the staff to attend fittings rooms all the time so having to put your clothes back on, go out, get different size and get undressed again might seem like a mammoth task.
4. Wear clothes and shoes that are easy to take off and put on.
While your crisp button down shirt might look great with you skinny black jeans, trust me, by the time you get to your fifth shop no little black dress will look appealing enough to justify opening and closing all those buttons again. Go for comfortably fitting t-shirt and slide on shoes instead. You will thank us later ;)