Hey friends! Do you like to shop? I know most people think that all women like to shop but I know lots of woman that don’t. It is a frustrating process for them and they have trouble deciding. I get it! This actually is what provides me a job. There is really an “art” to it. I have become a professional shopper over the past 20 years of my life. My retail background has just made me really good at it. I shop for lots of people in my family and friends. I also professionally shop for clients and my goal with my blog is to be able to help more people.
It is amazing the amount of choices there are for women these days! This makes choosing the right thing that much more difficult. I want to share with you what I do when I shop and what goes through my mind when I purchase something. I will say that it usually is not a quick decision for me. I think long and hard before I purchase. I can agonize over it really. When I’m shopping for myself I usually do it when I’m by myself because I know I would drive the other person crazy!
There are a few things I want to touch on today and this is going to start a series of posts on quality, construction, fabrics and fits. These are all aspects of the women’s clothing industry that I have always wanted to write about. I have lots of thoughts that are different from other people especially when it comes to quality and fabrics. Not everyone agrees with me but it has been a benefit to me and to my clients. You may not care at all about these things and just buy things because you like them. That’s OK! For those that do care, I promise it will be interesting and you will think more about what you purchase after this series. I honestly think this is what sets me apart from other shoppers, bloggers and influencers.
Pick Your Favorite Shops
You probably have specific places that you like to shop more than others. Most people do. If you do not I would recommend that you start here. Pick three or four places that you think you would like the clothing and try them out. I am very casual in my lifestyle so cute tops, tees, jackets and jeans are my staples. I choose to shop at Loft, Banana Republic, J Crew and TJ Maxx. These are my places I frequent and purchase lots from. Others that are interspersed are Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, DSW and Madewell.
This can change depending on how the merchandise changes year after year. I stopped shopping at Loft the year before last because the product was sub par to me. Same with Banana Republic. They have come back with some good things this past year so I have started back. I really pay attention to lots of different places but these are where I choose to spend my money for now. Most retailers are geared toward a specific customer so you should be able to pick a good retailer based on lifestyle, age, size, budget and preference. Narrowing down where you shop is going to be a huge benefit to help eliminate your choices. You do not have the time to just shop everywhere! Who does.
Make A List
Do you make a list before you go to the grocery store? If I had to bet I would say you do. Most of us are aware of what food items we need for the next week to feed our families. So we should apply this same routine to our wardrobes before we shop. Do an evaluation of your wardrobe for the upcoming season and make a list of things you need. You can also add things to this list that you want to try that are trendy and new for the season.
This list will be your guide but it is okay if you deviate from it. I always do. I may see something that I just love and can’t live without. There is a saying that says “Nothing haunts you worse than that thing that you didn’t buy”. That is so true for me! My sister-in-law could name the things I feel that way about because they come up all the time when we shop! So use it as a guide to shop and get what you need but don’t make it a strict policy that you have to follow to the “T”.
Find Quality Staples
Concentrate on your staples first because they are items that you can wear year round. Your lifestyle will dictate what these things will be. These are items that will need to have longevity and be higher quality. Examples of these might be jeans, jackets, and shoes. If you work in a corporate setting it might even be suits. I feel like these pieces will require a little more thought and maybe even more money. When it comes to quality do not believe that because it costs more it is higher quality! That is not always true. Stay tuned for a post on this subject and I have lots of thoughts on it!
I am going to use jeans as an example because it is my absolute favorite clothing item (a close tie with jackets). I wear them just about every day and all year. I have three or four favorites I wear (not own haha). I do think there is a quality difference between inexpensive vs expensive jeans. The designer jeans are designed to fit better, they are more flattering and last a long time! I also do not purchase a new pair every year. I keep mine for a few years and some even more. So that is where it becomes an investment. If you can find them at discount places like TJ Maxx than even better!
Take a Friend or Find Help
Girls like other girls opinions. We dress for each other not our significant other. Take a friend with you shopping or build a relationship with a sales associate at the store. Don’t take just any friend though. Make sure it is an honest friend that will tell you when something doesn’t look good! This can be very helpful and make the shopping experience much better and can help prevent unwanted returns.
If you build a relationship with a sales associate they will know the merchandise better than you do. They can help find things that fit well and look good on. As you build that relationship they will learn your taste and become even more helpful. I use to do this for women and had many women I would pick stuff for and ship it to them. I knew what they liked and what would work on them almost better than they did. If you can find this kind of help somewhere it can make the world of difference in your shopping experience.
These are my first tips for you to start. I will be posting about things for you to look for when shopping that you may not have thought about. I have to break these up into multiple posts so this wont be so long and bore you to death. I really want to help woman get better at shopping for themselves and become happy with their wardrobes. These posts are years of my experience all bottled up in about 1000+ words each. I can help you save a lot of money and make great choices for yourself. I hope you will continue to read this series. If you want to keep up please go to the side bar and subscribe and it will go straight to your in box!
Thanks so much for reading! Please leave me a comment on what you liked best about my advice in this post and if there is anything you do that would be helpful to me! Also, do you want to know about stuff like this?
L.O.L – Jamie