When you finally enter the “real world” and are able to begin spending your money as you wish, creating a budget for your wardrobe may be at the top of your list. With that being said, there are many shopping related mistakes we make in our early years of financial independence. Below are 15 things I wish I knew about shopping when I was younger.
Labels Aren’t Everything
You would have been hard-pressed to get me to understand this when I was young, but just because something has a desirable label—it does not mean it is a desirable article clothing.
The Difference Between Fashion And Style
While there is certainly something to be said for following the latest trends, defining an individual style is more important. In the wise words of Yves Saint Laurent, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.”
How To Find Makeup That Works For You
Just as with trends in clothing, not every makeup trend works for you. While it is certainly fun to try out new colors and new formulas, focusing on what highlights your features is most important.
Sales Professionals Only Want To Make A Sale
Don’t get me wrong, there are some sales professionals out there who sincerely want you to look your very best. That being said, most sales professionals work on commission, or have sales quotas they are required to meet—meaning that making a sale may be more important than how clothing makes you look.
Shopping For My Body Type
When flipping through fashion magazines in my younger years, I would sometimes get so focused on how much I loved a design—that how it worked for my body types was not always as high of a priority as it should have been.
To Buy What You Will Wear
One thing I have become really good about, but I wish I would have been better about when I was younger—was buying clothing that I would realistically wear. That is not to say that there are some items that I only wear a handful of times, just that I am aware that an item will be reserved for special occasions or minimal wear when I initially make the purchase.
There Are Fabulous Finds In Thrift Stores
Just as mentioned above, sometimes we buy things and never take the tags off, or only wear them a handful of times. These items typically end up in a thrift store, where you can find them at rock-bottom prices. If there aren’t any fabulous stores in your area, find a thrift store that sells items online—stores in major cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York have some great online thrift stores to choose from.
Credit Cards Should Not Be Used For The Latest Trends
A common mistake far too many ladies make in their youth is to turn to their credit cards to invest in the latest trends. Whether speaking of store credit card, or a general credit card, unless you plan on paying the balance off quickly—it’s not worth the interest paid.
How To Identify Wardrobe Staples
Shopping for each season was something I loved to do in my youth. While I still shop for each season, I am now better at finding pieces that can roll over from one season to the next, and even from one year to the next too.
The Size On The Tag Is Not Your Enemy
Fretting over the size on the tag is simply a waste of time. Each and every designer has their own sizing chart, meaning that you could wear a small in one designer—and a large with another. The tag is simply not worth the added stress.
The Importance Of Trying Things On
When it comes to basic tank tops and T-shirts, trying on may not always be necessary, but when it comes to anything else, then trying things on is a must. Otherwise, you may be stuck with something you never wear, or will have to head back to the store for a return or exchange.
Not To Overdo It
Just because you find a dress you love, it does not mean you have to buy one in every color. Just because you have a new favorite color, it does not mean it needs to monopolize your wardrobe. Just because you have beautiful accessories to choose from, it does not mean that you need to wear them all at once.
Emotional Shopping Is Not Ok
To be honest, shopping is still an activity that makes me feel good. However, when I was younger, my shopping was sometimes far more related to making me feel good, rather than an actual want or need for clothing and accessories.
Just Because It Is “On Sale” Does Not Mean You Need It
I can’t tell you how many times I fell for the reduced price tag on an article clothing that I didn’t really want. While I am still an avid sale shopper, I’m much better now about buying only what I want or need.
We All Have Bad Shopping Days
Even if you are not shopping for emotional reasons, every once in a while we are all going to have a bad shopping day. A day where you can’t find exactly what you are looking for, and where nothing seems to fit right. Nowadays, bad shopping days bother me far less than when I was younger.
If I had known these 15 things above when I was younger, not only would I have been a better shopper—but I would have save much time, stress, energy—and money!