With today's economy, a lot has changed with the way we shop and how we think about what we shop for. I know that I personally was making more money 10 years ago and never thought twice about anything I ever wanted to buy but this is not the case anymore.
Smart Shopper Tip 1-I WILL KNOW WHAT I OWN (including my socks!) There's nothing as liberating as weeding out your closet and here's how to do it: Group everything you own by type-dress, sweaters, pants, shoes, etc. Get rid of all the too big, too small, too outdated. Next look at the things you ARE keeping and evaluate which items give you confidence, fit perfect, make you feel good and take into account which labels fit the best. The labels that fit your body best may not be your 'favorite label' but the visual outcome is what's important. Take a mental note on things you may have duplicates of in category, like 10 simple black tank tops...chances are you don't need another one. You can donate your clothes to Goodwill, have a garage sale or list items on freecycle.org, an online giveaway site. Don't forget to sort out your makeup too. Dump it all on a flat surface then ditch any you've had for too long or any you haven't worn in awhile and chances are you wont. You may also find that you have 47 shades of pink lipstick and none are the right shade....in this case, you may need to finally seek guidance from that beauty consultant.
Smart Shopper Tip 2-I'LL SPEND WITHIN MY MEANS (See ya, credit card debt!) Yes, you can shop again. You just have to know what your budge is before you start. When the economy tanked, many women, whatever their money situation, simply stopped shopping. We are talking screeching halt! But now is the moment to examine your shop-phobia and see whether it's justified. If you have disposable income, it's OK to buy things you want and need. The average woman should spend no more than 5% of her posttax income on fashion and beauty items and services. I have recently this year started steering away from trendy labels and have found a love for thrift stores. It's the thrill of the hunt. Endless racks and then you find this vintage dress from the 50's no one else will ever have, pair it up with a pair of heeled Mary Janes or funky boots and you are a one of a kind look that you don't have to worry about being duplicated at any event you're going to. Write yourself a list. At the top of the list is the always wear that are missing in your closet now that you've so brilliantly organized your closet and makeup zones. Things like sharp black pants, a trim pencil skirt, a perfect white shirt, an interview ready suit, versatile pumps, a quality brush, hair straightener that doesn't fry your hair, etc. Essential things that never go out of style. Next on your list are those that will more signature who you are. Things that you'll never regret buying, insanely sexy jeans, sophisticated work dresses, highlights from a guru, a fancy face cream that really works. Have a 'lust' fund where you save up for items like these. You can even load money weekly on a prepaid debit card that way when you find that pair of jeans that transforms your body you have your 'lust' fund money with you. Remember, the goal is no more credit card debt. Don't forget to treat yourself once in awhile to those non practical but fun items too like a vintage cuffs, sparkly mini, whatever your urge happens to be
Smart Shopper Tip 3-I WILL BUY WHAT'S WORTH IT TO ME. Every woman is different with what we feel is an essential and what is worth the extra money. Long Black dress and short black cocktail dress always rate high on the list. Some women have to dress super conservative for work so they may find a super expensive gorgeous pair of heels is at the top of their want list. It could also be something simple like a gorgeous black eyeliner that wear right and stays put or a perfect lipstick. Point being what may seem silly to me may be the perfect thing for you to spend your lust fund on. It's your fund....you'll figure it out.
Smart Shopper Tip 4-BEFORE I BUY I'LL ASK MYSELF THESE QUESTIONS. Does this truly fit my body, not just the body I wish I had? If it doesn't fit just perfect now, chances are it never will and it will be a waste of money. Am I itching to put it on now? You want to feel that excitement of dying to rip off the tags and wear it now. If you're just lukewarm about the item, another good chance it wont get worn. Would someone who sees me on the street think, She looks great? When you spot someone in a great outfit, you can't help but take a second look. It's good to get noticed, because it builds confidence. Will I want to wear this next month, next season, next year? As I age a bit I'm leaning more toward pieces that flatter and will continue to flatter in the future. Think of clothes like you would your 401K, a long term investment.
Smart Shopper Tip 5-I'LL RE-WEAR AND REUSE MY STUFF WITH PRIDE! Whether you pay a little or a lot, true value is in how often you use what you buy. If you spend a large amount on a spectacular item that gets worn over and over again over the years, the price per wear goes lower and lower.
Smart Shopper Tip 6-SURE I'LL GET THE TRENDS FOR LESS! Look for the instyle trends at great prices and you can feel good about your spending. Don't be afraid to look on sale racks. I mean really, does anyone know if it was last month or last year's item for that matter? It's not like the trends years ago of rolled up jeans, or black jelly bracelets, MC hammer pants, etc. Time sensitive trends really aren't the thing anymore since it's basically an anything goes world now so so if you pay half price for that Abercrombie tee that looks just like the rest of their tees....will anyone really know?
Smart Shopper Tip 7-I'LL NEVER HAVE BUYER'S REMORSE AGAIN! Yes, it is possible. Just figure out why you make bad buys so you can learn to shop smarter. Everybody has one or two or four or six shopping weaknesses, they're part of our human wiring. Emotional processes in the brain are faster than cognitive processes. Therefore, your mind gets the 'love that' message long before it gets the 'don't need that' message. Some of us are suckers for a 40% off sign. Shoppers spend nearly 80% more at outlets than at regular malls. There's an easy fix for this, ask yourself if you would pay full price for this item. If you would, then go for it! Another shopping goof is you overbuy online. Web shopping is a siren call. Seems you couldn't live without it but who hasn't opened a UPS box and buried their head in their hands and wondered what you were thinking. What's worse is the chore of returning something often means you keep stuff you don't really love. The biggest shopping goof for women is we spend when we're blue. Just like emotional eating, there's emotional shopping. Research reveals that when people are sad, they'll actually pay more to obtain something than they would in a neutral state. Easy fix...do not enter the store when you're in a depressed state. Go take your dog to the park instead! I'm serious! You will end up with something you think you love and you'll wear once. Now go start cleaning out your closet and start your list!