Before going shopping…
When was the last time you actually thought about why you were going shopping and what the outcome of a successful shopping event would look like? Maybe once or twice for a special event such as a wedding, graduation, or anniversary?
Before going shopping, it’s time to ask the question – what will make this a successful shopping trip? In other words, what’s the end game, when will I know I’m done?
Where do you start? You start by making a list. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, how will you know if you found it? Also, how will you know you’re done shopping or had a successful day of shopping if you don’t know what you want to buy?
Shopping should be the last step in the styling process not the first.
What should you do before going shopping?
- Get inspired. Before going out and shopping, be sure to have an idea of the overall effect you’re going for. Create a style board (collage) – paper/magazine cutouts or from Pinterest. This will help you narrow down your options at the store (trust me this is a good thing). Instead of “I need a dress,” it becomes: “I need a dress for a work meeting and it helps if it’s makes me look confident and trustworthy.” What does that look like? Get inspired to find what your definition is and then go out and find it.
- Shop your closet. Make sure you don’t already have what you’re looking for. If you really do step 1 you will be amazed at how differently your closet looks after you’re inspired. Spend time in the closet making sure you don’t already have what you think you need to buy buried in the back. Read – how to update your wardrobe without shopping and how to restyle your clothes.
- Make a list. This is BIG. Be sure to write down what you want to buy. Make sure you can wear it with at least three other things in your closet. Ask yourself if you will wear the new item at least 30 times, if not, it doesn’t deserve a home with you. Again, make sure the list accounts for the goal of the item established in Step 1. Be very specific – don’t just write “shirts” on your list. You could write (for example): 2 button down shirts to go with a navy pair of pants, or a shirt that I can wear with jeans that is red or pink, a sleeveless shirt with a geometric pattern that is for work and has a collar, etc.
Time to shop! Set a certain amount of time and stores. Have your list – preferably with no more than 3-5 items on it. With goals, a list and inspiration, you will have a much more productive use of your time and feel better about what comes home with you.