Power to the shopper

Image via shopbop.com

Image via shopbop.com

With fall approaching  (even as most of us sit here sweating) it’s time to review your fall stuff.  I usually take an afternoon, try everything on, create my piles for:

donate – If it’s past it’s prime, Goodwill can still create rags from your riches which still keeps it out of the landfill for a bit longer

alter/repair – sew buttons, fix a moth hole, shorten/lengthen a skirt, repair a boot sole

consign – if you have something in your closet that just sat there last fall/winter/spring- maybe it doesn’t fit right, the color is wrong, you don’t feel good in it.  Consign it.

So, now you are ready to plan your shopping using the snazzy tips listed below that I just read on another blog created by a “seasoned professional”….in the realm of shopping and style that is.  I think it’s pretty solid advice, in fact I plan to follow it myself this fall – HAPPY FRIDAY


Before you leave, prepare a budget and a list divided into 3 sections:

  1. 800 arrows note:  Make a list of your local resale, consignment, thrift and vintage stores.  You may not be able to fill all your needs at these little gems but it’s a smart place to start.
  2. The Replacements – items currently in your wardrobe that need to be replaced (worn out, damaged, wrong size, etc.)
  3. The Completers – pieces you need to make a complete outfit (you have a fabulous skirt you never wear because you don’t have an equally fabulous top to wear with it)
  4. The Trends – trendy clothes, shoes, and/or accessories to update your look for the season

Ask someone to join you:

  • The person you ask should be someone who will give you honest feedback. This person has to be comfortable with your budget, your figure, and the stores you choose.
  • Shopping with someone who can view you in person and from every angle is an advantage you can’t get even with a 3-way mirror.
  • Shopping with someone allows you to keep ‘the power,’ so you’re less likely to be the victim of a sales associate who’s chief concern is her commission check and not your long-term happiness.

Choose stores wisely:

  • Go to stores that carry lines you know fit your body type and fit within you budget.
  • Make sure you understand, and are comfortable with, the store’s return policy.
  • When you find a store you like, stick with it. Not only will it save you time, it also will give you an opportunity to develop a relationship with a salesperson who will have a vested interest in your long-term happiness; be more likely to call you just before the out-of-budget piece you’ve been lusting after goes on sale; and be motivated to quickly resolve a problem, should one arise.

As you shop, keep these thoughts in mind:

  • Buy whole outfits (unless your buying a piece from your 3-part list)
  • If you find something you love, but it’s not on your list, make sure you have at least 3 other pieces in your closet you can pair with it to make a complete outfit.
  • Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale. Ask yourself if you’d buy it even if it wasn’t on sale.
  • Consider cost-per-wear. Even though something may have a seemingly steep price tag, think about how much wear you will get out of it over the course of the season. On a cost-per-wear basis, it may be less expensive than your daily Starbucks habit!
  • My personal motto: When in doubt, leave it out!

After you get home:

  • Keep the tags attached to your new purchases and keep the receipt handy, in case you decide to return it. Some stores will issue a credit for items that go on sale within a specific period of time after the initial purchase – another good reason to keep your receipt handy.
  • If you experience buyer’s remorse, learn from it, so you don’t make the same mistake again.
  • Most important, have fun.

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