I hate shopping! How can I make it easier? I hear this a lot from clients, so you're not alone.
If I was to wander round the shops for a whole day, aimlessly looking at “stuff” it would have a serious negative effect on me physically and mentally.
My feet would hurt. I’d feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of choice in the shops. I’d take armfuls of stuff into too small, badly lit, dust and fluff ridden changing rooms and I’d think I looked ridiculous in everything. I’d be tired and tearful. I’d feel depressed. I’d be too hot. I’d either come home with absolutely nothing or I’d have made a poor, impulse driven, dopamine enhancing purchase of the least offensive items, just so I got that purchasing high. But did I actually get any enjoyment from any of it? No, not really. Quite the opposite.
What a waste of 3 precious commodities: Time, Money, Sanity.
Does this sound familiar? Here are some tips for making shopping for clothes that little bit easier.
1. Write a list. Just like when you go to the supermarket, have a list of what you need. Have it on your phone and refer to it often. I always have one which has “top priorities” and then “other things I’d like”.
I don’t have lots of money to spend on myself. Whatever I buy has to work hard for my wardrobe. Before I even go into a shop, and at any time when I’m shopping, I look at my list and then I know what I’m really looking for. This immediately removes the overwhelm of the amount of stuff in the shops. I’m more focused. And it saves me spending money on things I really don’t need. I can still be attracted to other things if they catch my eye, but I’m focused! And if I’m tempted to buy, I refer back to my list to make sure its on there.
2. Narrow down your choices. Even if you just feel like going shopping to treat yourself to “something nice”, it helps to have a bit of an idea what that it. Again, its about reducing the overwhelm. Have a think about whether its shoes, a coat, tops, bottoms, accessories, make up. You can be more focused and bypass any trousers if what you really want is a new jumper.
3. Know your style and learn which shapes and colours work for you and which don’t. It makes things so much easier if you know what you want your clothes to say about you. When you look at things, pick things up, try them on, and especially when take them to the check out, ask yourself “Is this really me? Is this saying what I want it to?"
You learn through experience what shapes and colours of clothes work for you. I never even look at polo-necks or tight crew necks – not flattering for me. So that rules out a few rails of clothes. If I want to buy a skirt that I can wear flat shoes with, it needs to be no longer than my knee. So that's some more items that are not worth me looking at. Button-through tops are always going to gape at the bust for me. Ciao fitted shirts. Any plain black tops – likely to wash me out and give me no joy whatsoever so I can walk on by.
Retailers are never going to reduce the amount of stock they have on the shop floor. They know that its human nature to pay attention to new things and that we have an insatiable thirst for novelty. So its up to you to take control. Learn what to rule out when you go into a shop.
4. Plan your shopping trip. Wear clothes which are easy to take off and on. Otherwise it’s a real pain to try anything on. So you won’t. And you’ll buy the wrong things! And pick your moment. Don’t shop when you’re feeling low, tired or are in a rush. It will only end in tears.
And I always set a time limit for personal shopping sessions. More than 4 hours is a no-no. More than 2 and your concentration and will to live will drop and you feel overwhelmed. Break it into manageable chunks. Coffees. Snacks. Sit downs. All part of a positive shopping experience!
And then of course, the very best way is to have a Personal Shopper like me take you shopping! After an initial phone consultation with a client, I will go out and do a recce in the shops so that when we do go shopping we make the very most of our session. I know where to take the client, what garments to try. I coach clients on shape, style and colour as we shop. And we are both rewarded by that huge smile on a clients’ face when she steps out of the changing room and we both know – that’s it – that’s the one that sparks joy!
Message me if you have any questions or want to book in a very special personal shopping session.