Here’s a rundown of shopping strategies that I’ve found helpful when I shop for myself and with clients. 

  1. Shop with four essential shopping tools at all times: Your style goals, a shopping list, a realistic budget and a good attitude are all very important.
  2. Wear great underwear when you try on clothes: It’s the best way to assess good fit.
  3. Take companion items with you to the store: If you need to find a jacket that goes with a particular dress, bring the dress. If you need to match a skirt with a top, bring the skirt. If you’re shopping for event wear, bring heels. 
  4. Focus on the FIT and not the size: Your goal is to shop for the body you have right now
  5. Move across departments to find that perfect fitPetite, regular, tall and plus size departments are not as straightforward as you might expect. 
  6. Don’t forget about the power of alterations: Sometimes a perfect fit can be achieved by a quick and easy alteration. 
  7. Make use of the Triple “P” Purchasing Principle: Be patient, picky and practical. Great wardrobe items come to those who wait, and shopping for an imaginary lifestyle leaves you with a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. 
  8. Use the Item-Outfit-Capsule test for new purchases: This helps to eliminate closet orphans.
  9. Shop seasonally: It keeps your style refreshed and those fashion feet moving. 
  10. Shop frequently: The more you shop, the more you hone your style and the more familiar you are with available merchandise. Note that I don’t mean that you should buy more. Quite the contrary. Shopping more frequently should lead to less overall shopping time and fewer overall purchases. If it doesn’t then you’re doing it wrong.
  11. Shop at the best time of the season: Shopping in the first three to four months of the new shopping season often yields the best results
  12. Do not be swayed by low prices: Bargains can be shopping mistakes. Assess a sale item in the same way you would assess a full priced item. 
  13. Buy occasion wear when you see it: We often make compromises when we leave our occasion wear shopping till the last minute. Having a fast fallback outfit option for fancy occasions is ideal
  14. You are always worth full price: If you love it and can afford it, buy it. Especially if your size sells out fast. 
  15. Spend money on shoes, bras, jackets, coats, eyewear and handbags: Often, these items are wardrobe workhorses and not a one season thing. 
  16. Replenish basics at least once a year: Don’t neglect items like underwear, sleepwear, loungewear and socks that deserve your attention too. 
  17. Make your final decisions at home: The most important dressing room is the one you have at home, so make sure you still love the item when you reassess it in front of your mirror.  
  18. Leave no retail stone unturned: You never know when or where you’ll find that hidden gem
  19. Never shop when you are hungry or tired: This can lead to unclear thinking and bad purchases. 
  20. Learn from your shopping mistakes: Despite our best intentions, we all make shopping mistakes. Learn from the mistakes and try not to make them again. 

I’m sure you’ve got a few more shopping tips up your sleeve. I’d love to hear them!