Shopping Tips for the Shopaholics

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I love to shop.  There's something about buying clothes or shoes that makes me feel like I'm on Cloud 9.  As you can imagine, that has led me to a little problem ....

Now let me just say that my room does not look like that on a regular basis.  However whenever I dare to clean my closet out, clothing and accessories take up pretty much every square inch of my room.  As you can imagine, I have had to learn to shop wisely to save money and space.  I now pass my tips on to you, with the hopes that you can avoid getting yourself into my situation.  Without further ado, here are my top seven tips for shopping smart, to prevent closet overload, and give you the most bang for your buck! :)

1. Purge Often
If you're addicted to shopping, and can afford to spend the money, then my best tip for you is to clean out your closet often.  This makes room for new clothing, frees your closet from the fashions of yester-year, and allows other people to enjoy the clothing you no longer wear.  Tips for purging?  
  1. If you haven't worn it for the past 1-2 seasons, get rid of it.  
  2. If you're holding onto it for sentimental reasons, remove it from your closet and store it somewhere else.  
  3. If you're unsure about whether or not to keep it, put it somewhere that's out of sight until your next purge.  If you still decide you want it when you clean next, you can put it back in your closet.
  4. Give items to people who will appreciate them.  I know someone younger than me who likes my sense of style, and wears about the same size as I do.  Whenever I have items that are in good condition, I pass them on to her for her to enjoy.  I also give items to friends and family who sent clothing back home, as is the tradition with immigrant families.  And of course, the thrift store regularly receives donations from yours truly.

2. Shop at the End of the Season, Avoid 'Trends'
I'm not too particular about being "in style", as I'd like to think I have my own sense of fashion.  While I do enjoy wearing the odd trendy item, I enjoy purchasing quality pieces of clothing when they're on sale.  Staple pieces such as weather appropriate pants, t-shirts, sweaters, jackets, boots, undershirts, and even sleeping clothes can all be purchased at the end of seasons, when stores are clearing out old stock to make way for new inventory.  Not only will you get clothing at a great price, but you'll find items to replace the clothing you've purged.

3. Know What You Have
When you have a lot of clothes, it's hard to really know what you have.  I make a point of cleaning my closet as often as possible, not just to get rid of the items I don't need, but also to remind myself of the items I have that I haven't been wearing.  Since I like to shop at the end of season, it's easy for me to forget that I've purchased cute pairs of pants or sandals for summer, especially when they're shoved in a bag at the bottom of a drawer.  Knowing what you have can also help to prevent you from purchasing doubles of items, which I have definitely done before.  Plus, knowing what you have can help you remember why you bought 

4. Avoid Impulse Buys
This is probably my number one tip.  I can't tell you how many times I have purchased items on impulse, only to get home and look at it with disgust.  Impulse buys aren't based on needs, they're based on your desires of the moment.  As soon as the moment passes, you're left with that pair of heels you'd only use to turn dirt in your garden, or that hideous blouse that is best suited for scraps.  I avoid impulse buys by shopping regularly at stores that I know carry good quality items.  How does this help?  I'm glad you asked, as that brings me to my next tip.

5. Carefully Consider Your Purchases
Certain stores like Dynamite, Aldo, and Spring carry shoes, clothing, and accessories that perfect fit my style and budget, and offer me the best quality for my money.  I naturally spend a lot of time in these stores or online browsing their websites because I trust these stores!  If I see something I like, I'll check it out online and in store, and give myself time to think about whether or not I want it.  I usually set a period of a week or two at minimum, so that I have time to think about whether or not I really need the item, and if it will match items I currently have.  Sometimes it's hard to stick to my waiting period, but my next tip makes waiting worthwhile ...

6. Only Shop the Sale Section!
This tip has saved me SO much money.  At Dynamite, Aldo, and Spring in particular, my "waiting period" is until the item goes on sale.  I've found that while many items are worth full price, many others are not.  Why pay $50.00 for a jumper you like at first sight, when you can hold off until the item goes on sale, and pay $30.00 for it when you're sure you love it?  I also find that the waiting period can last a month or more depending on when I first spot the item, and so I get to calm down and make a rational decision.  This tip prevents me from going back to the store to make an exchange or return.  However when I must, the next tip is a lifesaver!

7. Shop at Stores with Good Return Policies!
I try to avoid stores that do not allow for returns such as Ardene, because I am most likely to make impulse purchases there, and so I end up wasting money.  Stores like Winners, Dynamite, Aldo, and Spring have great return policies for unworn items, allowing me to take clothing and accessories home and try them on with items I already have.  If they don't work, they head right back to the store.  Now use this tip with caution!  Remember that you wouldn't want an item that has been tossed around someone's bedroom floor or tried on several times.  Also put yourself in the salesperson's shoes!  Your return is probably a lot of work to process, and might even mess up their sales quota!  I usually reserve this rule for items I purchase online, and I try to be careful and considerate with my in-store purchases.

I hope these tips have been helpful for you!  Happy shopping (or not ;])

xoxo, Jayy

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