My Shopping Strategy

IMG_5830lo*Me & Erica

Shopping, a skill? You don't say.

While some may argue shopping and skill should not be anywhere remotely near each other or in the same sentence, I'm certain there is a skill in strategy of any sort, and shopping strategy, well - enough said. (I took a whole semester's worth of Consumer Behavior in college, all while dissecting why and how people make purchasing decisions and all factors involved. My professor wrote the textbook, it was pretty legit.) Which is why I spent my Saturday helping my good friend Erica add some new pieces to her wardrobe, as per her request. Turns out, Erica and I have opposite problems, she's overwhelmed by shopping and avoids the mall at all costs and I, well, thrive on it.

As we arrived at the mall she warned me that she didn't do well spending hours shopping and she wanted to be in and out. I told her it was all going to be okay and to simply trust me! (Here's where the fun began.) We browsed pieces together and I gave my input on what she was picking and suggested pushing the envelope and adding pieces that looked like nothing in her closet while also bluntly saying "NO" to options I felt were not a good fit. We spent about four hours at this, went to numerous stores and she purchased five pieces all under my watch. I'm very happy to report her closing statement on our day, "Wow, you made this really easy. I can't believe I spent this much time at the mall and wasn't stressing out." I'm no personal shopper or working stylist but I can't help but to be thrilled to have helped a friend while doing something I love.

If you feel like Erica at times, here's a glimpse at my shopping strategy & what works for me:
- I always scan the entire store items once, while browsing and only touching the things that stand out to me. I personally think actively touching everything is a waste of time. Why invest time in feeling an item you're not really feeling (see what I did there?)
- As I'm browsing, I select pieces that stand out and create a "to try on" pile.
- One of the most helpful things for me is to gage sizing by looking at pieces. I've actually become so good at knowing what will and won't work just by looking at the item on the hanger. If it's something you're iffy on don't bother trying it on in the size that you think won't work. Don't be afraid to go up or down a size as size varies with different brands/stores and the new size may be your a-ha moment.
- While at the fitting room I make a decision on whether or not I love or need the piece, if I'm feeling meh about it, I say NO and move onto something else.
- After my first fitting room run, I do one more scan and look for anything I might have missed. I then make my second edit and try those pieces on. And then, it's purchase time.
- As luck and probability will prove, you'll always find what you're looking for when you're not looking, so buy it at that time because chances are you won't find it when you're searching.

Like I mentioned before, this is what works for me but I have noticed that it has made me a more focused and practical consumer, as I'm only buying things I love and I'm certain I'll be wearing over and over.

What's your shopping strategy? Do share!