Shopping can be a bewildering experience, there are tons of different decisions to make in a very short time: which style, what goes with what, where can I wear this, can I afford this?..... these questions bombard our heads all at once while we try to pick up something, no wonder some people  leave the store with a big headache and end up hating the whole idea of going shopping.  I know because I was one of them: I dreaded shopping.  But after i learned a few techniques passed down from my Image Consultant mom, I have grown to enjoy shopping and I have grown to be a .great shopper and a savvy shopper as well! My motto has become “Look like a million without spending one!
Below are a few tips that will help making  your shopping spree fun, help you build a  wardrobe that conveys an image consistent with the message you want to send to the world (read more in the Personality Posting),  and will make you save lots of time and money also.
 
1. Window Shop. Before you actually go out to spend your money; spend a little time window shopping and looking through fashion magazines.  Look for specific details: Color, Hemline, Shoes, Belts, Accessories. Asking yourself these questions: what is the color of the season? what is the most trendy shoe, belt? Are necklaces in, if yes what style: choker or long?
After you note each of these details, write it down, or  make a little collage with some outfits you really like to purchase or to emulate. This will give you an idea of what's new  and how to incorporate some of the new styles and colors into what you currently own.

2. Inventory.  You must start with your closet. Take stock of the items you already own  in your closet.
Make three piles:
1. Clothes  you plan to keep.
2. Discard what you do not need and give it away for donations.
3.  Add . Make a list of any  "orphan" piece: these are clothes that are in need of something new to be added to them in order to be put to good use again.
Bring this list with you . Focus on purchasing the Add items first for your "orphan" pieces.    Also bring the kind of shoes you'll be wearing with the item you are shopping for. It's hard to judge a prom dress while wearing your favorite sneakers.

3. Make a list.  This is the list that you will build while going through your closet.
Make sure you put a little note next to the  "orphan" piece in order for you to remember exactly what you need to buy . Example: NEED white button shirt to go with  purple pants and orange skirt. Or NEED a brown belt to get more “mileage" from that white shirt. The more detailed is your list, the faster you will be able to accomplish your task. 
.After you have crossed ALL of the "NEED" items from your list, then, you can have fun relaxing and looking for a "deal" for something new. to introduce in your wardrobe.
If you leave your house with a plan you will learn to buy only what you need, spend less and come home happy instead of guilty. 

4. Quality, When you buy basic wardrobe items such as coats, jackets, suits and raincoats, invest in quality merchandise. Finer fabrics and good styling last longer and look better. Also, think about "cost per wear" If you spend $200. on a coat that you will wear the whole season the cost per wear comes less than a few dollar per each wear. Instead if you spend $200 on a blouse or a dress or a pair of shoes that you only wear a couple of times, the cost per each wear is in the "hundreds" and that is not good common sense.
Also, spend less on a trendy items to update your look such as tights, hats, and costume jewelry, because these may go out of fashion next season, ...and if it does it won't be a great loss.

5. Don't match color. It can be frustrating trying to match a color exactly. Dyes differ from the same manufacturer Combine your colors tonally; that is, go a shade or two lighter or darker or choose a contrasting color.

6. Sizes. It can be very disappointing if you do not try something on while at the store, yet,    making up the decision to buy it anyway,  just because you think you know your size. Once  home if it would end up not fitting you - because each manufacture has a different sizing - returning this item now will cost you money in gas and in time going back and waiting on long lines all over again, so it is best to spend a bit more time while there than going up again.

7. Avoid alterations. If possible, avoid purchases that need extensive alterations. Such alterations are expensive and they usually affect the basic style of the garment. Slight alterations such as hems, shortening of sleeves and nipping in of waistbands; usually pose no problem. It's generally better to take a seam in than to let it out. There may not be enough fabric in the seam to let out, and the stitches may show as well.

8. Fabric Care. Most garments have a label and hang tag that tell what the fabric is made of and how to care for it. Read them carefully. It's a good idea to know the symbols of the international cleaning code. Remember that if a garment must be dry-cleaned, it can become a significant added expense, especially if you expect to wear it frequently. So, a $20 deal on a shirt that requires dry cleaning may not end up being a good deal after all if you factor in the cost of dry cleaning it at $8.50 - $12 per each cleaning.

9. Check Quality. Unless marked "as-is," you're entitled to a perfect garment. Before you pay for your selection, make sure it has all its buttons (sewn securely), belts, or other accessories. Check that the zipper slides smoothly, and that hooks and eyes are all intact. Seams and hems should be in perfect condition.

10. Ask about the store's return or exchange policy. If you can't get a cash refund, or worse, if the sale is final, be especially sure you're making the right choice. Always keep your receipt in case you have a complaint.

11. Choose a store. We all know the feel of stumbling around a huge department store. Our eyes get pulled into dozen directions by exciting floor displays. Soon we forget what we really need to buy. Instead, if we go directly to the store that offers the item we are shopping for, we will save time and money and we will feel victorious for our “conquest”.!!

12. Consider YOU. When buying a new garment, consider how it will suit YOU: will it flatter your Body Type?..., Will it enhance your Skin Coloring? …Will it exude your true Personality Type???. …
Remember, even if an item is a great buy because is on sale, if it will not suit YOU, it will not be a great buy after all!!!

13 Be Sure. Finally buy an item, only if it passes the test of this checklist; if you have really fallen in love with it, if you really need it, and if it really suits you. If you are not sure you probably do not really need it or you don’t really like it.
It is easier to put something on hold than buying and then returning it . It will save you time and money in gas.
Hoe you enjoyed reading this posting.

Happy shopping.
-Donatella-

 


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