I don’t know about you, but whenever I first began shopping for my own clothes and shoes, I spent a lot of money on stuff that I didn’t need or ever even wear. If I had listened to my mom from day one, then I would have saved myself a lot of wasted time and cash. But that’s not how teenagers work – a lot of the time we’ve just had to learn for ourselves.
Nevertheless, I DID learn a few things, and here they are.
Only buy high-dollar items for very special occasions.
The trick here is that you need to define what a special occasion is for yourself and stick to it. For some that is a wedding anniversary or a monumental birthday, and for me one was my husband’s first birthday that we spent together.
It means something different to everyone, but the point of this is to not spend copious amounts of money on an outfit that you intend to wear once every three weeks at work. This is where you become a very thrifty shopper. I tend to buy most of my clothing as gently-used second-hand. This way, I have almost-new items for a fraction of the price. I’ve even found some of those “special occasion” items this way. Some people prefer their clothes to be brand new, and that’s fine too. Utilize Amazon or other online markets to find your wardrobe. Subscribe to mailing lists for your favorite shops and only visit whenever there is a legitimate “blow-out” sale. Retail stores should be and ARE competitive. Make them work for your business.
Never buy something that you can live without.
This can be the hardest part. This also applies to those good deals that you find, by the way. Even if you find a cute top for $8, if you only see yourself wearing it sometime in the future, maybe while running errands, leave it. Spending a repetitive $8 adds up to an amount that is nearly impossible to get back – even at the secondhand store.
The reason that this practice is so difficult is because we often feel like we are making smart choices by taking advantage of a great sale. I’m definitely not discounting the value of a really good bargain, but don’t let that red clearance tag put rose-colored glasses on you. A week later, you aren’t going to remember the price you paid, but you’ll see the top you postpone wearing because it really isn’t your style or essential to your closet.
You only need three pairs of shoes.
One brown pair, one black pair, and one light-colored pair of shoes. This is not to say that a pair of winter boots or a pair of sandals is off-limits! You just need to make sure that these three are covered before looking for cute bargains.
When you’ve gotten this taken care of, it is much easier to shape your outfits for work, play, and in between. Shoes are so expensive, and the less you buy, the better quality that you can afford. Shoes are definitely worth spending money on. A $15 pair of shoes may seem like a great deal, until you’re replacing them over and over. In short, have your three and pay for quality.
If you can’t comfortably sit, stand, or walk – leave it.
These are signature signs of clothing that is too tight or too short. Not only does this often look unfavorably on us, it just isn’t fun to wear. No one wants to have to stand the entire time they’re wearing something, nor does someone want to have trouble walking.
The reason this is on the list is because although we may not want to admit it, we all want to feel sexy or extra attractive every now and then. It’s human nature! And according to mainstream media, the only way to achieve this is by wearing revealing clothing, whether it makes you feel good or not. Well, I’m here to tell you that this simply isn’t true. I’ve done the party scene with the short dresses and insensible shoes. About an hour into a night out on the town, I was already taking my shoes off and wishing I could just unzip my dress or remove my strapless bra. Some nights I would opt for some shorts and a cute, flattering top – this is when I had the most fun.
To sum this up, enjoying yourself is important and this is easier to do when you’re not worried about wardrobe malfunctions or wearing the right color underwear.
A good bra is worth spending money on.
There are very few things that I am willing to drop money on, especially if it’s not something people see. But it is a tried and true fact that a cheaply-made bra has a dramatically shorter life span than a good, sturdy one.
For some women, this means reduced back pain, thus, a drastically more comfortable wear. For less-endowed women, such as myself, it means that the piece won’t stretch out within a week and will still fit perfectly snug for a long time. And for ALL women, this means less money spent over time and a more satisfied customer.
As always, I’m very interested to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please share with us your best shopping tips or which tips you found to be most true for yourself.