Do you ever have one of those shopping days when things just click? You come back feeling accomplished, trying your things on like you’ve discovered a whole new you?
Well as it so happens, I had one of those days yesterday in Manchester. Prancing around my room in a new trench coat, I was Audrey Hepburn in the rain scene at Breakfast at Tiffany’s; in my new earrings, I was a Frow-er at Paris Fashion Week… It’s astounding what feelings new additions to your wardrobe can evoke. But only with savvy shopping can you achieve the results!
Thanks to my mum, the key rules of smart-shopping have been drummed into me from being little. That being said, we must make our own mistakes in order to learn from them. Starting the blog a few months back, I was in sartorial limbo. I wasn’t really sure which direction I was taking my blog in or what style-route I was going down. Fast-fashion hasn’t really been my thing but I felt like I needed to keep up with the latest items in order to progress. But I’ve since learnt that that simply isn’t true! I’ve had an epiphany moment in realising that I need to stick to what I really love in order to feel my best and most confident. I believe that an outfit has transformative powers to make you become the absolute best version of yourself. But I’ve learnt the hard way, often investing in pieces that I’ve worn once and regretted laying down £30 for. So I’ve now developed some steadfast rules to get the best shopping results for anyone!
A trip to the big city can often result in meandering in and out of shops that we know we simply won’t buy from, but fancy a look anyway. Which is fine when you’ve got a leisurely day ahead, but when you want to buy then it’s worth going to the places that you know, a) you can afford and b) reflect your style.
When I’m shopping for affordable high-street pieces my go-to has always been Zara. Not because everyone goes there, but because I could fit every piece into my wardrobe: their clothes excite me every time I go in. Mango is also a fave, representing a European style-aesthetic that I love. If I have extra hours, I’ll head to Topshop for a quick look but their style isn’t very similar to mine, so I’ll avoid it if I’m pressed for time. Then it’s to Primark and H&M for more budget buys. I find that if you look carefully, these places can produce the most expensive looking items!
Okay, so you go into the changing room and there are four pieces that you love, but know you just can’t afford them all. This is time to reflect…
- What is your wardrobe like?
- Do you have a plethora of florals or are you minimalist mad?
- Do you wear trousers more, or skirts?
- What do you feel best in?
- What are you lacking that you always think you need but never get round to buying?
- Do these items you’re trying reflect your style?
- Do these things fit well?
- Will you wear these pieces enough?
Answer all of these questions and you’ll be able to find the best pieces that will work for you! (P.S. Don’t forget to try before you buy either, it’s another way to guarantee satisfaction when you get home!).
DO NOT BUY ANYTHING THAT ISN’T COMFY. It’s that simple, because you’ll never wear it again! I’ve made this mistake in the past, especially with shoes. Now, I hardly buy any daytime footwear because most of it is pretty uncomfortable! So search around until you find things that you feel free and easy in, because it will show through in your confidence and mood.
Some people wither away in horror at the idea of a sale. I, on the other hand, can hear the bells ringing and the party-poppers popping every time I see those big red and white signs of a sale!
Sale shopping is slightly different to any other kind. It’s a time when you can invest in something a bit more pricey but still get the quality you want! During sale times, I steer away from the likes of Primark, New Look, Forever 21 etc., instead favouring the better high-street shops for more quality pieces at a lower price. This is your time to buy that pair of leather loafers you’ve been eyeing for months, or the coat that you couldn’t justify at full price! Make sure your sales pieces don’t just involve a bundle of cheap summer tops, but find those things that you’ve been longing for but couldn’t afford until now!
Don’t be afraid to rummage either. So many people miss out on great bargains and waste their money on full price items just because they’re averse to foraging! It’s always best to get there as soon as the shops open; everything is set out in the right sizes and there are hopefully fewer people!
I’ve never been someone who does all their shopping online, as I prefer to try things on and get a feel for them in person. But there’s something so exciting about waiting for your order to arrive; the anticipation of a new addition to your wardrobe becomes almost unbearable! I try and avoid things that I know might not fit me, i.e. shoes, skirts and trousers, to avoid the hassle of returning anything! Tops and dresses are a bit easier as they often don’t need to fit quite as well. Other than that, online shopping can be pot luck! But sometimes it’s exciting to receive something that you may not have bought in person, but actually fits into your wardrobe really well. ASOS is my go-to, but sometimes Boohoo.com and Missguided offer some really great and affordable pieces. For a slightly bigger budget, I’ve discovered Solace London for evening pieces (which is where I got my 21st birthday dress from!) – their clothes are so unique and modern, definitely worth a look if you’ve got an occasion coming up!