Shopping Like a Pro
One of the first tips is to hang as much as you can. If you don't see it, you don't wear it. The hanging space in your closet is prime real estate. I hang everything except heavy sweaters, layering t-shirts, and tanks.
If you don't have a ton of hanging space, then I would fold and store the very basics that aren't as easy to forget such as jeans and city shorts, (no capris, right? :). And remember, this doesn't mean just clothes. You should also be able to see and have easy access to your purses, jewelry and shoes. For shoes, I like to keep mine in boxes, since I gave up room for a shoe rack for more hanging space, however, I have labeled my shoe boxes, (with words and pictures), and have grouped them by pumps, sandals, boots and flats.
Identify your Shopping Pattern
When you go shopping, it's, of course, crucial to know what is in your wardrobe already, however, be aware that we all have certain buying "patterns". By this, I mean, the same type of thing(s) that you seem to want to buy. For some people, it might be black cardigans or jeans. For my mom ,it's white blouses. For me, it's coats. Don't ask me why, but, I am attracted to them like a moth to a flame, (ie I own 4 winter white coats...), but the good thing, is that I know this - it is my shopping pattern and I don't need any more coats - so I stay strong and avoid them and focus on what I really need.
Shop with a List
And how do I know what I really need? Well, just as I give my clients a list, I, too, shop with a list, but in my head. I am constantly trying to figure out what I need - a new white tank, a fun pair of yellow sandals, et cetera. Sure, I can shop without a list, but that's because stores are not overwhelming to me, but if that's not you, then don't shop without an objective. Just as they tell you to not go grocery shopping when you are hungry, don't go clothes shopping without a purpose if you know you can't resist that "chocolate chip cookie that was $100, but is now $20"! Oh my! So shop with a list, written if you need to do so.
Shop by Body Type
However, since I like to shop, there are times when I do shop without a list. How do I do this and not end up with that "chocolate chip cookie"? Well, I of course, know and stick to the items that work for my body type. Since I am an hourglass, I always opt for pencil skirts and any top or jacket that is nipped in at the waist. If it doesn't accentuate the waist, then I experiment and see if I can belt it. If not, then it's not for me. I stick with the shapes that work, but I express my sense of style by the way I put the outfit together - a silver belt, a snakeskin bag et cetera.
If you want to figure out your body type, or what works best for your shape, click here: www.mybest-footforward.com/dressyourbodytype.html
Once you have determined your body type, click on your shape to view the 7 piece capsule -- wardrobe items that are a must for your body type.
Don't be Afraid to Return
However, if you had a weak moment and bought that "chocolate chip cookie", don't worry. Don't be afraid to return something. Always save the receipt, the tags, and know the store's return policy. Banana Republic has just changed theirs to 30 days, but most other stores are 90 days. Boutiques, BCBG, and stores like Lori's shoes, are some of the few places that will only issue store credit.
I actually return a lot of things; I would rather make a trip to the store to return it, than running back frantically to the store because I've now decided that I want that item. I like to take things home, look at in my own mirror, (with normal lights), see how many things I can wear with it, (if I don't have anything, I put it on my shopping list!), and then make a decision.
Note: There are some stores where you should not wait to buy something. Target does not replenish their stock, so if you see it, buy it. T.J.Maxx is another one as the really good things, (like great leather designer purses), will always disappear quickly and there is no way to check another store for availability. The same is true for Nordstrom's Rack and Off Fifth.
I hope that this newsletter has given you some insight and ideas as to how to be a smarter shopper. Shopping should be a conscious thought; otherwise you end up with too many things in your closet that you may never wear! And, if you need help creating a list, from scratch or updating an old shopping list, then it's time to give me a call.
Closet Organization and Clothing Analysis - $250 for 3 hours or less; includes wardrobe guidelines and shopping list
Personal Shopping - $60/hour to go shopping together, $75/hour if I go shopping for you
Look Book - $75
*Please note: I am also available for 'What Not to Wear' Parties, corporate presentations, seminars and classes.