While I’m no expert shopper, I’ve learned a few things and made a few guidelines. These tips help me not spend my entire paycheck on shopping, and also help keep my closet somewhat streamlined. (The closet is most definitely still a work in progress… See Poshmark for proof.) Read on for some tips and tricks for shopping practically.
Whether it’s for the home or for your closet, be realistic on how much use something will get with your particular lifestyle. I love heels. I think they’re wearable works of art, but I never use them. I’m usually taking public transportation to work, and sometimes that means running across the street (and occasionally dodging traffic) to make it to the stop in time. No matter what superhero movie costuming departments may think, running in heels is all but impossible, so I live my life in flats. For this reason, I’ve pretty much stopped buying all but the most necessary pairs. If it’s something that doesn’t make sense for you, I’m sorry, but no matter how gorgeous it is, it’s going to collect dust.
Prioritize Your Spending
Decide what items are more important to you, and be more willing to splurge there. For me that tends to be bags and denim. I live in jeans, and a pair that will look good for a long time keeps me from looking schleppy. In a similar fashion, a high quality purse in a neutral color and a classic shape will be with me for the long run. Shoes on the other hand aren’t a top priority. I wear through my flats in a season or two, so I don’t spend more than I have to on them.
Keep An Eye on Sales
This one is a no brainer, but it’s good to remind yourself. For example, when I’m in the market for something for my apartment, I hold out until Crate & Barrel, or West Elm have a sale in that category. They rotate through what department is 20% off at any given time, so if what you’re looking for is full price now, just give it a month or two and it’ll most likely drop.
Don’t Be Afraid of Discount Stores
Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack… These are my go-to spots. You might have to do a little digging, and you might not find an item if you’re looking for something specific, but you’ll find great deals here. I bought an amazing pair of sparkly Kate Spade heels for $45 once. Other great finds include a pair of J Brands for $50, a ton of cute French Connection day dresses for about $20, and some amazing handbags for under $200.
Keep An Open Mind
This one goes hand in hand with the last tip. I apply this no matter where I’m shopping, but it’s especially true when I’m shopping at places like the above… Browse when you can, and (as counterintuitive as this sounds) if you spot something you absolutely LOVE, buy it. Sometimes you might not have any use for something that’s a great deal, but it’ll come in handy later on. A good example are the Kate Spade shoes I mentioned earlier. In that exact moment, I had zero use for glittery heels, but I loved them and the price was amazing, so I decided to scoop them up regardless. I ended up wearing them a couple of months later to a gala. A caveat to this is that you’ve got to know yourself, your style, and what you’ll actually wear. I was totally lusting after a gorgeous, red leather Marc Jacobs satchel the other day, but I knew that it wasn’t going to be in heavy rotation, so I left it for another lucky lady to take home.
I’m always looking to improve on my shopping habits, so if you guys have any shopping tips be sure to share in the comments!