IFB PROJECT #23: SHOPPING SURVIVAL TIPS
I am someone who always seems to shop unexpectedly and these tips may seem irrelevant to anyone who happens to do the same. However, there are times when a planned shopping trip is necessary – to pick out something new for an event, to spruce up an existing wardrobe or (to be more relevant) to hit the upcoming Christmas sales – here are a few tips to ensure that the day goes smoothly.
WHAT TO WEAR
1. Be comfortable: I should expect a shopping excursion to take anywhere between 2 to 6 hours with snack breaks in between and this would be a highly unpleasant time if you are wearing 6″ heels, a mini skirt and a truck load of jewellery. Keep it simple.
- Comfortable, easy-on-and-off clothing
- Flat, slip-on, comfortable shoes
- Limited jewellery or at least ones that won’t snag
- Simple hair
2. Avoid wearing dresses: As comfortable as dresses are, they are not the best thing to be shopping in, especially if you are trying on lots of tops and no bottoms or vice versa. Trying on jeans and holding the dress up to look at how it sits is cumbersome and trying on a top with no bottom doesn’t allow you to exit the change rooms to have a fuller look at yourself.
3. Wear little make up and definitely no fake-tan: You don’t want to be staining all the clothes that you are trying on. It is especially rude when you decide not to buy it.
1. Try everything!: If you are unsure about whether a new trend will suit you, try it on, you don’t have to buy it.
2. Only buy what you know you will wear: It’s happened to all of us, we find a piece of clothing we want to like because it’s in season but it is ‘not you’ and you convince yourself into buying it and it then sits in your closet until the end of time. If you buy it, wear it.
3. Browse: Don’t be afraid to leave a shop because the price is too high. If you can’t find anything else like that awesome-top-that-is-so-unique-you-must-have-it-for-that-ridiculous-price, you will come back to it eventually. But make sure the items you buy are really worth the money you are about to pay for them. Quality is still very important.
1. Set a budget for the day: Set it. Keep to it. Don’t break it.
2. Buy two free one!: This is only acceptable if you need three of something and not one. If you only need one and three is excessive… then three is excessive.
3. Splurge or thrift?: Decide early on whether you want to spend all of your money on one or two items to treat yourself or whether you are in real need for a whole new wardrobe. Nothing is wrong with splurging, but if you need more clothing, best to look for sale items first.
1. Clothes: You’ll never know what you are going to buy sometimes and it’s best to be prepared.
- Wear nude, seamless undergarments
- Bring a pair of socks
- Bring the essentials (you don’t want to be lugging too much around)
2. Timing: If you have a choice, hit the shops in the morning or on a week day. Beat the crowds for the best shopping atmosphere.
3. Research: It is a good idea to look up upcoming sales or sign up to sites such as, Stylezille (Australian), Missy Confidential (Australian) or any other sites that send you updates on sales around your area so you know the best time to hit the shops.
IF SHOPPING VINTAGE
1. Is it really vintage?: A common misconception is that if you go to an op-shop, everything sold is vintage. Wrong. Everything in an op-shop is second hand and does not necessarily have any vintage value at all. However, a shop that specialises in vintage clothing is more likely to stock real vintage items (from the 1920′s to 1990′s).
2. Quality: Just because a piece of clothing is decades old, does not mean it’s vintage value is more important than its actual value. It may come from the right time era, but if it has holes, stains and pills all over it, it’s probably not worth it. Make sure the condition of each piece is still good.
3. Price: There are two issues with price, actual over-charging and misconceived over-charging.
- Actual overcharging - This may happen occasionally when the shop keeper believes something to be worth more than it is. If this is the case, it is likely the owner either does not know how to price items or he/she is trying to rip you off.
- Misconceived over-charging -Many people believe that just because something is vintage and old, they shouldn’t have to pay over $20 for any item. It is good to set a budget for yourself, but you should also take into account how rare the item is and in what condition it is in. In some cases, $20 is an insult for certain vintage items.For example, If you find a vintage Dior dress (that you like of course), originally priced at $1000 from 1982 in perfect condition and you know you can never find it again and it is being sold at $100 – BUY IT. If the piece is exquisite and rare as hell, it’s well worth the price. Each purchase should be judged individually and based off their own qualities.
I hope these tips have been helpful