This is the third and final article in a series. In an upcoming article for a large fashion and style blog, I was asked what the common mistakes are that women make when shopping (for that first article click here), what common items women purchase that they just don’t wear (and for the second article click here), and finally how we can become better shoppers. My responses were shortened for that article so here is my longer response.
How We Can Become Better Shoppers
Know what you need before you go shopping. Don’t make shopping a random event – make a plan before you go shopping, and stick to that plan. What legitimate wardrobe gaps do you have? What ‘connection’ pieces do you need that will expand your outfit choices, if you were to locate and add that piece to your wardrobe? What else do you truly need to add to a truly working wardrobe? When you shop this way, you’ll never bring home an ‘orphan’ that doesn’t work in your wardrobe, with other items you have, or with your lifestyle and personality again!
Never buy an item just because it’s only sale. If you wouldn’t consider buying it at full price, seriously consider leaving it behind or at least putting it back on the shelf for a few hours until your head cools and you can consider if you truly have use and need for it. The word “sale” truly can be a 4-letter word and it attracts our attention (and raises our heart rates) like few other words in the retail environment (perhaps only when added to the word “shoe” does it have greater appeal!). It doesn’t matter if it’s 80% off – if you won’t wear it, it doesn’t fit you properly (and can’t be altered relatively easily and inexpensively to fit you), and it doesn’t suit your lifestyle and personality, it is a waste of money. Leave it behind – you deserve better.
Put shopping in its rightful place in your life. Of course it’s okay to enjoy the occasional shopping trip, just don’t make it your favourite or only hobby, or the only activity you do with your friends. Develop other interests, have at least two “shopping free” weekends a month, and start a list of “love to do” activities apart from shopping. You’ll be amazed at how rich and interesting life can be – outside of the mall!
Consider shopping only when you can shop alone. Many of us have ‘partners in crime’ with girlfriends, sisters, mothers, daughters – women who, often with the best of intentions, encourage us to buy more than we want, need or can possibly use, and we can end up feeling a lot of social pressure to buy when we are shopping with these wonderful women.
I hope you enjoyed this short series. And if you want to get control of your shopping, or simply shine the gentle light of awareness on a habit you may not ever have consciously thought about before, join our 6 Week Conscious Clothes Shopping Mini Course, or our longer My Year Without Clothes Shopping program today!