During my recent shopping spree, ideas kept popping into my head about how I could do things differently the next time around to make the process easier, less stressful and more enjoyable.
Here’s what I came up with. In no particular order:
1. Go by yourself. It will be easier to go into stores you want to go into and take your time trying things on if you don’t have a bored friend/husband/child with you.
2. Try on everything. Make sure that the item not only fits but also suits your body type and is age appropriate.
3. Check the store’s return policy. Make sure it is something you are comfortable with. Buyers remorse happens so ensure the store can accommodate that you changed your mind.
4. Don’t go hungry. For me, low blood sugar levels equal high probability of agitation. Eat beforehand and bring a light snack with you (also saving you money because you won’t need to buy something onsite).
5. Make it easy to try things on. Avoid lots of layers or difficult clothes with elaborate finishings such as multiple buttons, zippers, and dangly things.
6. Wear comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking and standing so make sure your feet will be comfortable. Tying in to the point above about making it easy to try things on, slip on shoes best facilitate this process.
7. Bring a list. Know what you want to buy and don’t get caught up buying things you don’t need.
8. Set a budget. Know how much you want to spend and identify beforehand how much you would be willing to spend for any particular item. For example, if you need new jeans, determine how much you would be willing to spend on them. If $60 is your limit, don’t bother trying on anything more expensive than that.
9. Don’t set a time limit. The shopping experience will be much more pleasurable and relaxing if you don’t need to keep checking your watch or rushing from store to store.
10. Go into stores you wouldn’t normally visit. You never know where you’ll find that perfect item. Still keep your budget in mind thought. Don’t go into a store you can’t afford.
11. Take time to think about an item. Do another lap around the mall and then decide if you still want the item. This will give you some time to think it through and also provide you with the opportunity to find something better in another store!
12. Make sure the new item works with your existing wardrobe. When buying individual pieces, ensure you have items in your closet you can wear it with.
13. Check the quality. There is nothing worse than buying a new piece and having a hem come out after the first wash. Check over the garment to ensure there are no loose threads or buttons and give it a few light tugs to see how the seams hold up.
14. Don’t get hung up on the size on the label. Sizing is different across different stores, lines and items. Just because you are a size 8 in one brand doesn’t mean all your tags need to say size 8. Buy what fits regardless of the number on the tag.
15. Buy what fits now. Don’t buy a smaller size because you want to lose weight. It is possible that you won’t lose the weight (or you may lose more than you anticipated!) and they new item that still has the tags on will have been a waste of money.
16. Check out the multiple view mirrors. Look at yourself in the new item from all possible angles and make sure it is flattering!
17. Watch for pressure from store employees. Some employees work on commission and won’t hesitate to tell you an item looks great, even if it doesn’t. Oh, and don’t forget this when they try to convince you your new pants needs a new shirt, and a new scarf, and a new purse.
18. Bring appropriate shoes. If you are shopping for an item to be worn with specific shoes (a dress with heels or jeans with boots), make sure you bring the necessary shoes with you.
19. Go when stores aren’t busy. If possible, don’t go shopping at peak times (like a Saturday afternoon). The crowds will be bigger, the stores will be packed, and sales people will be busy with other customers.
20. Check out online shopping. Many stores now offer the ability to buy items through their websites. Be sure to check their return policy though because you will be buying an item without trying it on and the colouring may be different on your computer screen than in person.
Here are some more shopping tips from a post I wrote back in January.