Clothing is one of those versatile necessities of life that serves a practical purpose while making you feel great about yourself. Whether you love fashion and clothes shopping or feel indifferent about it, you can clothes shop successfully, stop buying things you won’t ever wear and dress well for your body shape – if you keep a few basic tips in mind.
1. Save versus spend
Knowing what items to save on and what to spend more on helps you save a lot of money over the long run.
Save – Save money on items such as T-shirts and hosiery because you’ll wash them often so they won’t last long, or they’ll run and need replacing often. Evening shoes are another item to save on because you probably won’t wear them too often. The same goes for trendy, one-season items that you probably won’t wear next year.
Spend – Spend more on quality for everyday essentials such as work suits, work shoes, jeans, bras, jackets, dresses and winter coats. Buy quality for other items such as gym gear because you can purchase high-quality gym pieces at reasonable prices.
2. Always match quality to price
Always check that the price matches the quality of the item before you buy it. That means checking the label for the types of materials used (natural fibres are of higher quality and should cost more than artificial materials). You should also check the stitching, any buttons and zippers, and any other detailing. At the same time, ensure that you’re not buying something very similar to what you already have in your wardrobe.
To get the most bang for your buck, check that the piece is versatile enough so that you can create at least three different outfits from it. If you can’t match the new pair of pants with three pieces you already have in your wardrobe, it might not be an allrounder piece worth adding to your wardrobe.
4. Stick to a neutral colour palette
If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like to spend a lot of time planning what they’re wearing, opt for neutral colours for your wardrobe so everything goes together and you can throw together an outfit at a moment’s notice. However, do make sure you have one or two signature colours so you can change up your wardrobe if you want to.
5. Be conscious of the fashion-emotion connection
When shopping, stay aware of the fashion-emotion connection. Experts suggest that it’s common for people to associate clothing with certain experiences. Keep in mind clothes can boost your mood. If you have favourite items, consider why they enhance your confidence and try to shop for items that have a similar impact. If you have any items in your wardrobe that you never wear because they’re associated with bad memories, donate them rather than hang on to them, since you’ll probably never wear them anyway.
6. Shop for you
Always shop for you and not someone else in mind. That means considering your colouring, body shape, personality, lifestyle, and budget. Most of all, it means picking items that you’ll feel confident and comfortable wearing. This can take a little bit of thought, but it’s well worth it because you’ll end up with pieces that you’ll always feel great in, whether they’re for work or leisure.
7. Create go-to looks for work and play
Shop for your own go-to looks for both work and play so if you’re pressed for time, you can have an outfit always ready to slip into. If you don’t already have go-to work and weekend “uniforms,” think about what you feel confident and comfortable in and list the pieces you’ll need to shop for. With your go-to looks defined, you know what always works for you and which pieces you need to regularly top up when you go shopping.
8. Plan your wardrobe and shopping
Experts suggest you should clean out your wardrobe regularly and review it by thinking about your budget and what your schedule will be like in the coming six months. From this initial wardrobe planning you can then identify items you’ll actually end up wearing, and then go shop for them, in order of priority. When you plan your wardrobe and shop accordingly, you’re less likely to end up with pieces that don’t go with anything or buy items that you never wear.
9. Ecological and social impact
Keep the ecological and social impact of your wardrobe in mind as you shop. Buying local, buying from independent brands, and buying better quality are all great ways to reduce the impact on the environment and avoid fast fashion. Washing with cold water, hanging to dry, and using natural laundry detergents are also good steps to take for the environment, with the added bonus your clothes will probably last longer as well.
Clothes shopping doesn’t have to be complicated or break the bank if you keep these few simple steps in mind. Looking stylish is about knowing what works for you and wearing pieces that make you feel confident and reflect your personality.