Yes, it's possible to SAVE money while spending on clothes! Photo credit: Ollyy / Shutterstock
Many women come to me for a complete wardrobe change or style consultation. Nine out of ten tell me that they have many clothes but don’t seem to have many options when they have to dress for any occasion.
There are many reasons why we stash too many clothes in our closets but end up wearing very few. Most of these are impulse buys: we buy just because it’s on sale; or because we believe we have nothing to wear for a party; or the worst reason of them all, because a friend is shopping so we shop as well.
All these reasons trigger ‘Cognitive Dissonance’, a behavioural pattern often noticed in retail customers where they doubt their own purchases within a short span of time. That is why so many of us feel that the shirt we purchased looked much better when we tried it at the store but doesn’t look good at all at home. So let’s put an end to your misery.
Here are 5 simple but highly effective techniques to become a smart shopper:
Shop from your own closet first: Never underestimate the power of the clothes in your own closet. We mostly tend to forget about many clothes we have stocked up at different times of the year. So choose a free day, empty your cupboard and have a good look at all the clothes you have. You’ll find a lot of unused or less used clothes that you can reinvent with trendy styling.
Classify clothes: There are 3 major categories of clothes: The ‘Thumbs Up’, the ‘Confused Lot’ and ‘the Discards’. ‘Thumbs up’ clothes are the ones you love to wear and use. ‘The Confused Lot’ is the trickiest set. These are the ones you like but don’t wear or you don’t have anything to match them with or you simply haven’t gotten them altered or repaired because of which you can’t wear them. Finally are the ‘Discards’. As the name suggests, you must give away these clothes!
Prepare a shopping list: Now after the classification, whatever you are left with are your actual usable clothes. Put these together and make a list of all that is missing. For example, you have an amazing blue top for which you don’t have nice dressy pants, so this goes into your shopping list. Complete the list with all that is missing right from the clothes to shoes, bags and other accessories. You could also mention the brands from which you wish to purchase all these missing items in your wardrobe, along with your preferred colours.
Make a list so that you don't indulge in impulse shopping. Photo credit: India Picture / Shutterstock
Budget: Make a budget column in your shopping list, writing an approximate amount you would like to spend on each missing item in the list. This will actually save you lots of money that you waste on impulse shopping. Try your best not to exceed the budget.
The shopping day: Start early in the morning. Eat a good breakfast (it helps you make better decisions) and wear very comfortable clothes since you’ll be walking a lot and trying many clothes. Wear flat shoes. Pack a big tote bag to carry the clothes you need to match at shops. This ensures that you end up buying just the right things. Tie your hair neatly, wear light makeup (it’s useful when you try new clothes so that you can easily imagine yourself in the complete look). If you can’t shop alone, then call a friend or a family member to accompany you. Carry a bottle of water, some dry snacks and of course, the shopping list!
Shreya Dhingra is a certified image coach, wardrobe consultant, communication trainer and a behaviour researcher. Visit www.yourimageandi.com for a consultation. Read more posts from her on her Fashion101 Blog.