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Smart Clothes Shopping Tips

Do you...

  • Buy clothes you don't wear -- some even have the price tags on still?
  • Buy clothes that don't go with anything in your wardrobe, so you have to spend yet more money to wear them?
  • Keep buying the same or very similar items?
  • Find you often have nothing suitable to wear?
  • Hate shopping -- you can never find anything you like?

Before I became an image consultant the last 3 items above definitely applied to me. It was what got me interested in style: I didn't like the lack of confidence I felt in how I presented myself. So I decided to learn how to create a wardrobe that worked for me and my lifestyle. It's been, and still is, quite a journey. And a very enjoyable one!

You don't have to go as far as I have with my style education (I'm now doing it for a living after all). However, it really does help to understand a few key concepts. As you slowly build a wardrobe that works for you and your lifestyle you may find you enjoy developing your personal style!

A successful accessories and clothes shopping trip will...

  • Be part of a plan to create or maintain a stylish wardrobe
  • Extend your wardrobe allowing you to mix and match each item you bought with at least 3 other items already in your wardrobe
  • Keep you looking stylish and contemporary
  • Make you feel great!

The key things to understand are...

Discover What Suits You


The aim of clothes shopping is to build a stylish wardrobe that suits your coloring, your body shape, your personality, your lifestyle and your budget. Your clothes should reflect who you are and take you where you want to go.

Here's how you can find out more...

Wardrobe Planning

A key to a successful clothes shopping trip really is in the planning, as boring as that may sound! 

  • Clean out your wardrobe regularly -- twice a year around the start of Spring and Fall (Autumn) are good times to do this

  • Audit your wardrobe -- think about your lifestyle and the events and activities you have coming up over the next 6 months then try and create outfits for them. Make a list of the items you need to create the outfits you want, then prioritize your list. Get ideas for new outfits and looks you want to create by looking at fashion magazines and websites.

Plan Your Clothes Shopping

Take control of your shopping!

If you're like many of my clients, you're not good at shopping! Some signs of a poor shopper include...

  • Ending up with "orphans" -- items that don't go with anything else in your wardrobe
  • Finding something that will sort of do, then buying it in every color available!
  • Buying something, but never wearing it (the price tag is still on). What a waste of money!

These types of problems occur when you don't have a wardrobe or shopping plan. 

Jill Chivers, of Shop Your Wardrobe, shows you how to take control of your shopping. Sign up to her blog and receive her free ebooks: "Are you Addicted to Shopping?" and "12 Keys to Conscious Shopping".

>See my review of Jill's Conscious Shopping Mini-Course

Make sure you keep the shopping list you created during your wardrobe audit in your purse or handbag. That way, if you do find yourself with time to shop you will be less tempted to buy on impulse!

Before you go shopping it's best to work out a budget for your annual wardrobe spend. Typically this should be 3-10% of gross income for your household, divided among each family member.

Plan to spend the most money on the items you will wear most and least on special occasion and trendy items. Think about cost per wear rather than just the price. A sale item you buy for $50 but wear once is not a bargain, but an item you pay for $100 for and wear 100 times is only $1 per wear.

When you're planning a clothes shopping trip look at the highest priority items on your list and think about which stores you will be most likely to find what you're looking for.

Clothes labels and shops tend to cater for certain types of style personality and lifestyle designations. However, be aware that these can vary each season. 

At the beginning of each season I do a survey of my local shopping centers to check which stores are still there and to assess the stock they're carrying. I make a note of which style personalities, lifestyle designations, sizes, price ranges each store carries. It helps make me more efficient as a personal shopper

I don't expect you to go to that much trouble. However, keep an open mind and don't rule out any store entirely. You may find a gem of a top or bracelet even in a store you ruled out as being too young for you!

When you have a plan and understand the elements that suit you it's very fast to check out a store to see if it has what you're looking for. You can ignore the colors, shapes and designs that don't suit you and focus on what does.

I recommend the 'Style Wise and Shop Smart' ebook to learn more about creating a stylish wardrobe and planning your shopping trips. Read my 'Style Wise and Shop Smart' review here.

Being focussed in this way really does make a difference. Try it and see!


Style Basics
Style Wise & Shop Smart
Conscious Shopping Course

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