I love shopping for clothes, they’re my weakness. In more ways than one. Because I’m not always a savvy shopper – sometimes I’m a “I Love it I Want It I Must Have it,” kind of shopper, and generally that kind of shopping ends up either in a return of the garment, or in tears.
I think the first trick about how to be a savvy shopper is to be aware of your own style and lifestyle. Then the shopping world opens up to you much more favourably and economically.
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Tip #1: Know thy style and lifestyle and be guided by that
Country casual, city chic, boho or sporty? What type of clothes do you normally wear? How do they fit in with your lifestyle?
These days although I hanker after smart tailored clothes, I know that my country lifestyle and work at home days do not require anything that’s city chic.
If I turned up to coffee with the girls in anything outre, they’d all laugh. Although outrageous used always to be my thing once upon a time! These days it’s a nice pair of jeans or ponte pants with a casual top and jacket. That’s about as fancy as daytime gets around here in winter.
So I can attest to the fact that it’s all very well going past that beautiful sequinned ball gown and thinking how much you’d like to buy it, when in reality the last ball you attended was about 10 years ago and there are no more razzle dazzle dates on the horizon.
Tip #2 : It doesn’t have to be new
To be a savvy shopper you might first want to take a visit to your local charity stores – check the rails and look for top labels or labels that you love and wear already.
I’ve found a top brand woollen winter coat, and some really lovely blouses with designer labels, and apart from anything else I love the idea of re-cycling pre-loved clothes.
Tip #3 : Don’t forget the sales
Know when your favourite stores hold sales and stick to those times to do your clothes shopping.
Tip #4 : Shop at the end of a season
Try not to buy clothes at the beginning of a season when stores have fresh merchandise coming in. Wait until the end of the season when clothes may be discounted.
Tip #5 : Be Savvy about your purchases
Simple tips for better buying decisions include:
Buy skirts with lining as they will hang much better. Even with longer line midi or maxi gypsy style skirts it’s nice to have a lining that reaches down to thigh level at least.
If you’re buying a dress or a skirt, start by asking yourself where you’re going to wear it – then you can decide if you need to wear it with high shoes, or flat shoes, and decide if you will need to go out and buy new shoes. The shoes concern will always decide whether the dress gets worn a lot or not.
Buying jeans? Know your body shape, and once you’ve found jeans that you love and fit you well, then immediately buy them in a few colours. Believe me it will save you much fretting in the future.
Timeless prints – like florals, stripes and geometrics are your friends. But anything that is a bit over the top will probably only get worn once and then you’ll think, “Hmm I wonder if this is suitable?” each time you think about wearing it after that! Hands up anyone who has had cabbage patch type dresses or blotchy patterns or electric neon brights which have dated really quickly and only been worn a couple of times?
A Mac or trench coat is a great mid-season coat. I like ones just above the knee as they highlight my legs, and I also go for a mac in a slightly bigger size (with a tie belt) so that it doesn’t looked skimped, then I gather it at the waist.
Don’t buy your daughter’s style jeans. Muffin tops on hip hugging jeans are not attractive. Higher waisted jeans cover a multitude of sins.
To create a working capsule wardrobe buy basics in neutral colours, then accessorise with bright scarves or show pony pieces.
Don’t do as I do which is a tendency to buy bright colours on impulse and then later I endeavour to find more bright colours in a similar match – firstly I can rarely get a good match and secondly I nearly always ending up looking like a tropical parrot. (But that doesn’t stop me loving bright colours!)
Do invest in a timeless white shirt – with collar and long sleeves.
Casual slim leg trousers, with a waistband, in a neutral tone will always look classy dressed up with a crisp shirt or blouse or dressed down with a sloppy Joe jumper.
A leather belt (never plastic) should always feature in your wardrobe.
Always have in your wardrobe, a worn in, comfy pair of flat shoes in a neutral colour that you can wear with anything.
A large handbag that makes a statement, or a big Tote Bag will always add style and practicality.
Leather boots and large statement sunnies never go out of style.
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I hope you’ve enjoyed this post about how to be a savvy shopper and really look forward to your tips and suggestions too.
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