Shopping with success

Last week I hit an upscale mall a few hours away. It was a dreary, rainy week in New England and let me tell you getting away felt good. Unfortunately, with a solid 2 hours going both ways and little ones to get home to and greet off the bus, it had to be a quick trip.

Nevertheless, I hit most every store I wanted to and was satisfied in the end that I made the most of my short visit. It’s really no surprise that I’m a shopper. I just really, really love to shop. For myself, for friends, for my kids. It’s just something I can never get enough of and, I think I’m kind of good at. And so I thought I’d share a few tips that might be helpful the next time you have some shopping to do.

  • If you are buying for yourself, head into the day feeling good about you. I know for me personally, if I’m running around with no makeup on and workout clothes, it’s hard to try on dressy clothes and really see myself in them. But if you have a little makeup on and are already dressed for the day, it’s a much smaller leap to envisioning yourself in that pretty dress at your next social function.
  • And speaking of being dressed for the day, be thoughtful about what you are wearing to shop. You don’t want to have anything on that makes you not want to have to try something on. In other words, wear clothes that are easy on, easy off. I wore a button down so that I wouldn’t have to keep pulling something over my head, messing with my hair and makeup and give me crazy static hair (it happens!) I had on my comfiest jeans, the ones that I wear the most and would possibly be looking for tops to pair with. And I wore slip on flats for both comfort walking the mall and ease in the dressing room. And finally, be sure to wear neutral undergarments! It’s really hard to try on, say, a beautiful cream lace dress with your hot pink bra peeking out!
  • Make a list. This one is so important, especially if shopping is overwhelming for you or you are on a tight budget. Take inventory of your closet and see if there are specific items that you want or need. Think about what is coming up on the calendar and decide if you need to be shopping specifically for an event. And then do a little pre-shopping online! This part is so much fun to me. Think about the stores you are going to visit and then take a look at their online site to see if anything excites you. That way, you have an idea of what you might be looking for as you head into the store. And sometimes, if you don’t see it on the floor a salesperson can find it in the back (this happened to me last week!)
  • Don’t be afraid to size up (or down!) Sizing is so crazy these days. It’s frustrating actually. If you shop enough, you might have an idea of what size you wear depending on where you are shopping, but otherwise it can actually be upsetting to bring a size in only to find it too be so ill-fitting. Try not to let this bother you! You are the only person who knows your size and if it REALLY bugs you, just cut the tag out of the clothes. Bring back several sizes into the dressing room and buy the one that fits best! You never want to buy something too small, hoping you will lose weight. Buy for now!
  • Take a friend (a good, honest one!) This is a fun tip. Shop with a buddy, if you can. Not only is it great to get a little girl time in, it can be helpful to get an honest opinion if you are on the fence about something. I have had friends talk me into and out of purchases and it’s always been so much more helpful than if I had to decide on my own.
  • Having made a plug for the friend, always remember at the end of the day you are are shopping for yourself. So, it’s great to keep an open mind when asking for opinions but also remember to go with your gut. And in almost every case, if you get home and change your mind, you can bring it back. Just keep those tags on until you know for sure it’s staying!

Most of us are fairly busy and need to be efficient with our time. Or maybe you just don’t like to shop and want to get it done as quickly as possible. Whatever the reason, I hope you keep these tips in mind to set yourself up for a day of success the next time you hit the shops!

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