Do you ever step into your favorite store, only to be blindsided by all the beautiful clothes and trinkets? I’m so guilty of it. While shopping is one of my favorite pastimes (too many, no doubt), I’ve experienced a lot of buyer’s remorse. Over the past year, I’ve transformed my shopping habits and really think about each and every item that I buy.
Here are the seven things I always have to remind myself when I’m shopping:
Make a list, carry it with you at all times.
I have a little Kate Spade notebook that I carry around at all times. On different pages, I have wishlists categorized by seasonal clothes (Summer 2016 wants), beauty, books, home decor and kitchen. It seems like a lot, but every time I see something I love or realize I need something to add to my closet, I add it to the list.
Sometimes, items will stay on the wishlist for six months. But when I’m shopping, I always refer to my handy-dandy notebook before impulse-buying on something I don’t even want.
Choose quality over quantity.
There’s definitely a solid debate over whether a lot of cheaper clothes is better than a few good quality pieces that will last you for years to come. In college, I remember I would go crazy and buy five or six items at a time…only to realize later that I only wore them a few times. They weren’t my favorites, and I bought some of them JUST because they were on trend or on sale. Now, I have a different philosophy. Check out my post on why I splurged on a high-quality purse for spring!
I am constantly cleaning out my closet and making room for better quality pieces that I love. It’s a challenge, but it will really make me think twice the next time I want to buy a top for $30 that I’ll only wear once or twice. I have a few stores that I shop from now on because the clothes are in the mid-price range, and the quality is impeccable.
But there are exceptions…sometimes you just find a REALLY good deal on something that’s on your list! If that case, check every inch of the garment, are the seams inside it sewn to perfection? What about the fabric? Is it a mixed fabric or 100 percent cotton or silk? Be inquisitive about your purchases and know that you’ve spent your money well!
Tell someone to hold you accountable.
Do you prefer to shop alone or with a friend? For me, I shop alone most of the time or with my mom or best friend. They give good advice and don’t pressure me into buying something I shouldn’t. Whether you shop alone or with a friend, go with someone who will hold you accountable and ask you that daunting question, “Do you really need that?”
Don’t worry about the size.
This is a hard reminder to swallow. Don’t get bogged down by a tiny piece of fabric inside a garment with a number etched on it…it’s so so not worth it. It’s been proven that the U.S. doesn’t really monitor women’s sizes. I could go into one store and be a solid size 6 and then pop into another and miraculously be a 10. Don’t even get me started on European sizes…I feel like I’m shopping in the junior’s section.
Your size isn’t defined by those silly labels. Wear what fits your body well. If you’re healthy and happy with yourself, then sizes will become just a number on a tag.
Shop when you’re in good spirits.
Impulse buys are bad news, ya’ll. And it usually happens when I’m are tired, stressed out or just flat-out annoyed with something. Sometimes I just want that instant gratification of something new. This is the kind of retail therapy that is fleeting and burns a hole in my wallet. My advice? Don’t do it. Instead, take a hot bubble bath, read a good book or do some yoga.
Need or want? That is the ultimate question.
This reminder goes along with impulse buys…do you need it or do you just want it? Now when most people think of needs, they think of food, water, shelter and clothing. This is correct, but when you set aside money for shopping, you can treat yourself, within reason. If you need a new white blouse to wear every week, buy one. If you want to spruce up your room you haven’t redecorated in five years, go for it. Just don’t go overboard and buy too many things at once. Ask yourself some hard questions before you make a purchase: Can I afford it? Do I absolutely love it? Does it go with my other clothing/home decor/etc? Is it made well/will it last me for many years?
Leave the credit cards at home.
I haven’t tried this strategy myself…but I’ve heard it works well. I carried cash just for eating out and it worked amazingly! I don’t know if it’s a mental thing, but when I carry cash and no credit or debit cards, I’m less likely to spend my money. Set an amount you want to spend each month on shopping and cash out!
I hope these tips will help you out on your next shopping rendezvous! What are some tips that you have to resist those impulse buys?