Warning, this post is going to take some concentration. It’s long and is full of knowledge I use with my clients. Stay with me on this and you can have an amazing wardrobe!
This week you are going on a shopping expedition and like any other expedition you need to be prepared. You will encounter unexpected bargains and the occasional temptation of pieces that cry out to you but don’t fit your needs or your budget. Be strong! Your quarry is a complete, cohesive wardrobe that will delight you, work for you day in and day out and take away wardrobe anxiety for a whole year.
Preparation: Plan your shopping to be successful: Shopping like a pro means sufficient preparation for much faster and easier shopping.
First a little fun: Ladies, f you haven’t rethought your makeup routine in the past few years, now is time to do this. Dated makeup makes you look older and will detract from the new, more current clothes you will be buying. Go to your favorite cosmetics counter for a makeover and to purchase the needed products. Take some magazine photos of the makeup looks you want for day and evening and the stylist will be glad to help you learn how to create those looks. Or you can call me for a consultation!
Set your budget and decide how you will pay for the items you are going to buy. This is particularly important if you know you need some big ticket items like a new handbag, suit, or a complete evening ensemble.
NOTE: I use the word suit to mean any two-piece ensemble that was made to be worn together. It could be a traditional jacket or duster and pants or skirt, or a coordinating top and pants or skirt. Often you can break up a suit and make many more outfits so think about cost per wearing and buy the best you can afford for what you will wear most often. You will get the pleasure of wearing beautifully made clothes, they will last longer than cheaper merchandise and most important, give you the confidence you need to help you achieve your goals.
Sometimes you find a deal on an expensive piece and it frees up money to spend on other items. Sometimes you have to spend more than you had planned and then need to become more creative to complete your shopping list. Having a budget will also help when you are in a dressing room and suffering sticker shock on the perfect dress/suit/coat that will complete five or more outfits and know that you can scrimp elsewhere. Budget and shop for your completion items first as they will make your whole wardrobe more useful. The biggest waste of money is items you already own and don’t wear!
- Take a last look at your poster board to make sure you have the concept of the wardrobe you intend to create.
- Tuck your list of events and goals for the coming year into your purse along with the shopping lists you made in Week Two.
- Put the pieces of your incomplete outfits into the car now so that you can match them in the stores without having to guess at whether the color and styles will work together. If you are a boutique and/or consignment shopper, remember that their merchandise is generally not returnable, or only for store credit.
- Pack a tote or knapsack with the various undergarments, shoes, etc for the types of clothing you will be trying on. Keep this in your car too. Ex: Ladies, if you know you will be shopping for an evening dress, bring your strapless bra or make sure to buy one when you buy the dress. Gentlemen, if you plan to wear a shirt under a sweater, bring the shirt. Same goes for undershirts.
- Remember your goal is to complete every outfit.
Plan on two or more outings, depending on the size of your lists. Schedule the time so you won’t be rushed. Usually 3-4 hours is the maximum time one person can tolerate without having the assistance and support of a professional shopper. Make sure you bring some high protein snacks so you don’t resort to the chocolate bar at the checkout counter for sustenance. Take breaks and bring a bottle of water. If you just aren’t finding what you want or just aren’t feeling the shopping vibe, don’t put yourself down, go to another store or come back another day. Shopping takes endurance and has an element of luck to it. Happy hunting!
The final week in this series will be tips on integrating your new purchases into your existing wardrobe. This part is truly magic…you are going to feel so smart and look so awesome! Stay tuned…