5 Steps to a Successful Shopping Trip
posted on October 15, 2013 | by Amanda Holstein
I told you guys last week about the post I’d be writing this month in celebration of the Ford Fiesta Movement. Since this month’s theme is style (as seen here), I decided to visit one of my local stores and walk you through my shopping process. So let’s get started!
What to wear:
First let’s talk about what to wear when shopping. I recommend wearing a classic pair of jeans, so if you’re trying on a top, you can see what it will look like with the most basic item in your wardrobe. As for your top, definitely wear a nude bra and a neutral top, preferably one that pulls over as opposed to a button down (it’s easier to take on and off!). And for your shoes, wear what you would consider your go-to shoes. Whatever you tend to throw on last minute because you love them and they match everything. This could be flats, sandals, or boots – mine are of course these Madewell booties. You’ll see later why this comes in handy!
Step 1: Evaluate your closet
Before you venture out to do any shopping, it’s super important to take a look at your closet. What’s missing? What do you need more of? What aren’t you happy with? I find that I tend to get bored of my skinny jeans and want to fill my wardrobe with more pants other than denim. Skirts are another item I could use more of. I also feel like I have so many knits and not enough tops in other textures. So these were the three holes I was trying to fill on my shopping adventure. Besides evaluating your closet so you know what to look for, knowing what’s in your closet will help you when you’re trying on pieces and wondering how they’ll fit into your current wardrobe.
Step 2: Choose your store
Since a lot of the items I was looking for were not basics like jeans or t-shirts, I wanted to go somewhere known for fun prints and unique pieces. Urban Outfitters is my go-to for spicing up a dull wardrobe. Since I wasn’t looking for refined work clothes, this seemed like the right option. If you’re looking to polish up your wardrobe a bit without spending a ton, I would suggest Zara. If you want some unique yet classic staples that will last you a long time, I would recommend Madewell. It all depends on what you’re looking for and what your closet needs.
Step 3: Navigating the store
My rule is to hit every nook and cranny of the store. Start from the very beginning and hit every rack, shelf, and corner of the place so that you don’t miss anything. At each section, pull anything that catches your eye. You don’t have to know yet if you want to buy it. You just want to choose things you’re curious about. As I always say, if you’re not sure about a piece, try it on! You never know what it’s going to look like and it’s better to try on a ton of stuff even if you only get 1 thing.
(I loved this look but when I searched for a skirt, I didn’t love any of the prints.
Remember – only buy what you love!)
Step 4: Try it on
Once you’ve decided what to try on (my usual number ends about being around 10 items), don’t be embarrassed when you hand a huge pile to the sales associate. You gotta do what you gotta do. Separate them into piles: tops, bottoms, dresses, etc. This way you can try on one thing at a time and pair it with what you’re wearing so you don’t get too overwhelmed. Definitely try some of the items on together if you think they could work together, but don’t feel pressured to create outfits in store. Visualize what you have at home that could match (this is why you evaluated your closet before you left the house!). After trying each piece on, start creating “yes”, “no”, and “maybe” piles. It’s also important to listen to your gut and not let others around you sway your decision. Only you know what you’ll actually wear!
Here are some pieces I tried on:
Step 5: Deciding what to buy
As I always say, you should be truly excited to wear every single piece in your closet, even the simplest of t-shirts. So don’t buy anything you aren’t super excited about. If you have any doubts, you probably won’t wear it. If you leave with 1 item or even none, it wasn’t a fail. It would be a bigger fail to buy items and never wear them. Now when you’re tackling that “maybe” pile, try to come up with outfits in your head using items you already own to see if this piece would work with your current wardrobe. If you just have no idea how you would wear it, this usually means it’s just too far out of your comfort zone. But if the piece just excites the heck out of you and you need it, imagine wearing it with your wardrobe basics (jeans, white blouse, etc.). If you can picture that working, than it’s worth buying!
After trying on 11 pieces, I ended up purchasing 3. Check out which items I ended up buying and how I plan on working them into my current wardrobe!
Did this answer your shopping questions? Let me know if you have anymore in your comments below!
// This post is sponsored by Ford Fiesta. All opinions are my own.
Do you have a link to that white lace top? It’s gorgeous!
This is a great post! I always forget to dress for trying things on. It’s definitely helpful to have a gameplan :)
i totally have that striped tee but i need to exchange it for a bigger size. GREAT tips!
Where are the boots from in #1 and the sweater in #3? So cute!
Amanda SaysPost author
The boots are from Piperlime here and the sweater is Nasty Gal but it looks like it’s no longer available. They have other great sweaters though!
Found the white lace tank: http://bit.ly/UOWhiteLaceTank and silk pant: http://bit.ly/UOSilkPant
Sara Strauss Says
Great tips!! I’m definitely going to remember these before my next shopping trip! Thanks a bunch!
I LOVE that lace top!! Great finds!
This is such a great post. Love how you paired all your finds with what you already have.
Looks great! I love it all. Do you have the link to the pants/jeggings in the last picture? Are they pull on jeggings? Thanks!
Thanks for the shopping tips!
Hi good shopping tips thanks.
Thank you really helpful
This is nice blog and have a good products here to get .
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Jessica alba Says
Great tips! i have never read these tips before any blog it’s really informative for me thanks for sharing.
Sophia Slate Says
Thank you for stating that you shouldn’t buy anything that you don’t love. I recently lost some weight, and my clothes don’t really fit me anymore so I need to buy some more. I will definitely keep all of your great tips and information in mind when trying to successfully clothes shop.
Vivian Black Says
You made a great point about choosing your store to make sure that you can find clothes that fit you and the closet you have already. My husband and I are looking for a clothing shop to start buying most of our clothing for us and our children from. We will keep these tips in mind as we start to search for a professional shop that can fit our needs.
Rebecca Gardner Says
It was helpful when you explained that we should look at our closet and evaluate what we need more of before heading out to shop for new clothes. I was thinking of going to a shopping mall after work today since I want to start dressing professionally and applying for promotions at my job. I haven’t been shopping in a while, so thanks for teaching me this advice I can use to make the experience more manageable!