Hate to Love to Shop

I used to kinda hate shopping. Well, let’s be real- I still do. BUT. It’s for a totally different reason. The other day I walked into Nordstrom Rack for the first time in, what, like a year? Big mistake. I immediately found one pair of earrings, one ring, four necklaces, one pair of striped pants, two sweaters, and a blouse that all fit me and my style perfectly; but, alas, I could not buy them do to, ah, monetary concerns (ok, so not all of my problems have changed). I am still dying over how awesome some of those things were. Not so long ago, I would have loved to have this problem. I used to go to the store hoping to find something, anything, that would fit right, feel like “me”, and actually work with some stuff in my closet.

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Does it make any sense to walk into a maze like this unprepared??

I’d go shopping on an after Christmas sale and maybe end up with a random sweater from the sale rack at GAP, some socks, and that was it. So…how did I turn my life around? How did shopping go from the biggest drag to the biggest thrill?

Well. It didn’t happen overnight.It’s taken months for me to feel like my closet is finally getting to the place I want it to be. But you definitely begin doing things right now that will have an immediate impact on your shopping success.

First and foremost, I decided to become proactive in my fashion life. Instead wandering into a store now and then, hoping the right thing would jump out at me like the proverbial bear, I went on the hunt. Whenever I thought of something I wish I had, or saw something I liked on someone else,I would write it down, and then later scour the internet for an affordable version. Make a list of all the items you find yourself wanting on a regular basis, and take this list shopping. Knowing what you need is half the battle.

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To Buy List: Pencil Skirt, Chunky Sweater, etc., etc.

Next, I informed myself about what worked for my body. Before it was all guess-and-test, which, let me tell you, is the quickest way to hate shopping. With so much junk around, picking styles without knowing what generally works for you and what doesn’t will wind you up with a big whopping pile of “no”s. But there are tons of resources out there to help you determine your body shape, and to explain which styles will look superior on you and why. One of my favorite stylists is Lauren Messiah, who makes little style tip videos all the time, including ones about dressing right for your body type. Once I knew, for instance, that I preferred the fit of high-rise jeans, I always read the description of the rise of the pants before I order (or give it the ol’ once over if I’m in a store) to determine if the rise is high enough for me. Once you have your general guidelines set, then go and try stuff on! You will have a MUCH higher rate of success if you do this, and you will be able to pick and choose based on which details of items you prefer, rather than getting the one thing that you could actually get on your body.

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Now you are free to focus on the questions like “Which color do I prefer?”

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I began to define my personal style. I used to look at something and think “that’s nice” and want to buy it, only to find out it goes with nothing in my closet and actually doesn’t feel so great on (even though it looked so cute on the model!) I realized that I often liked things with a slight “edge” but didn’t know if they would work on me. So, I went to Pinterest (magazines will do if you’re not so high-tech, although if you’re able to read this, that shouldn’t be a problem 😉 and began a personal style board. On it, I pinned all the things that completely spoke to me. Things I instantly liked and wanted to wear.  Things I knew I felt comfortable in, and things that I’d never tried, but just loved the look of. After pinning many, many outfits, I went back through them and looked for trends. I discovered I heavily favored neutrals: navy, camel, black, gold, grey, and cream made up the majority of my outfits, with dashes of burgundy, mustard, rust, and emerald green here and there. I liked skinny jeans with oversized shirts and sweaters, leather jackets, and loafers. I liked huge, chunky knit scarves and sneakers. I preferred pencil skirts and skater dresses to most other styles. I LOVED stripes and leopard print. With this knowledge in tow, these thing now actually DO leap out at me when I go into stores. When you know what you’re looking for, it’s so much easier to find. And your closet tends to naturally become more cohesive, because you have an idea of how the elements work together! If you do anything to improve your style, let it be Pinterest!

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Press it. Press the little red button!

Ok, so that’s it for now! I hope you got an idea or two, or at least some excitement about your next shopping trip! Cheers!

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