The fall season is about to start and for many people that’s a good reason to update their wardrobe. Shopping responsibly however, isn’t as easy as it seems. It’s way too tempting to just go to the mall and buy random things you like (yes, I know it’s fun), but that won’t be very budget friendly. Shopping for clothes is a skill you can master with practice. That’s why I will list some of my personal shopping tips below.
Before splurging on a new wardrobe, make sure you know what kind of style and aesthetic you’re going for. You can create a mood board on Pinterest with outfits you like, or save pictures in a collection on Instagram. Every time you visit a clothing store or website, first take a look at your mood board to get inspired and avoid getting tempted by things you’re not going to wear.
Personally, I prefer to use Instagram for this, as I’m often scrolling through the app for inspiration and follow a lot of fashion influencers on there. It’s easier to find the looks I like and to save them all in one place. The pictures I save can vary from influencers, to celebrities, to throwback pictures or just simply a picture of a pair of shoes.
2. Invest wisely
One of the main lessons I’ve learned while shopping is to invest wisely. Try to avoid spending your money on seasonal trends and instead try to invest it in more classic and quality items. Let’s be real, we all love a good deal, but fast fashion brands hurt the environment and our wallet. This doesn’t mean that we should avoid fast fashion altogether, but no one needs to buy a new outfit every week.
If you know a piece of clothing you want to buy is just trendy at the moment, but not really a classic, try to find an inexpensive alternative, or do not buy it at all.
For example, the tie dye trend was huge this season. I really wanted to try it, but I wasn’t sure if it would fit my personal style and if I’d wear it that much. So, instead of buying a designer tie dye tee, I ordered a really cute top from Aliexpress. I saved a lot of money and still had fun with experimenting with something new in my wardrobe.
3. Keep a wish list
Impulse buying is one of the main reasons I own so much clothes that I never wear. Anytime I go shopping and see something I like, I first add it to my (mental) or actual wish list, if I’m shopping online. This gives me time to think about my purchase before spending my money, and really consider if the item would fit with the other clothes in my wardrobe and if it’s worth buying at all.
4. Shop safely
When you’re shopping online, one of the most important things to note is shopping safely. Always make sure to review a websites shipping and return policy before ordering something. Often, returns are not free and shipping costs to another country can be quite expensive.
Any time you purchase something online, make sure you’re using a secure payment system. I personally don’t like to use my debit card when paying online, because it’s linked to my primary bank account where I keep most of my money. If you also prefer not to enter your debit card information directly, you can always use a virtual card which isn’t directly linked to your primary bank account, like the one I use from iCard.
5. Know your measurements
I always keep a note with my chest, waist and hip measurements on my phone. This helps me pick the right size from different brands easier and I avoid wasting my time and money with returns because an item is too small or too big. This is especially helpful when shopping from a new place, because not all brands have the same size charts. Some online websites like ASOS even have a built in style assistant that helps me find my perfect fit according to my measurements. Find a guide on how to take your measurements here.
6. Clean out your closet
Yes, I know it’s annoying to clean out your wardrobe every season, but it’s a must. If you’re anything like me and you like to shop for clothes quite often (if you’re reading this article you probably do) it’s easy to lose track of all the items you’ve bought throughout the years. The best way to avoid buying something you already have is regularly cleaning out your closet and throw everything you don’t need away, or even better, donate or sell it. This way you’ll have more closet space for your new pieces, and you can make many people happy!
7. Repeat the process
Personally, I’m always keeping track of new trends and getting inspired by different fashion looks I see online. I like to change up my style and have fun with it, otherwise I’ll be easily bored.
If you’re really into fashion, you’ll probably want to update your wardrobe more often. You can keep applying this system on a regular basis, and you’ll end up with a closet full of clothes you love. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Practice makes perfect.
I hope my 7 tips for shopping smart were very useful. What do you think? Would you add anything to my list of tips? Share in the comments.