Intelligent Shopping (or Guilt-Free Spending)
December is about gift shopping and we get busy with giving to others. This is also the time of big sales when all retailers become generous and offer good deals to boost their sales before the year ends. So, this is a good time to reward ourselves, too.
Here are some guidelines on how to navigate the maze of sales so you can make better shopping decisions and avoid the unnecessary guilt of spending too much.
1. Know what you have and what you want to add to your wardrobe. Take a look at your closet and see if you have all the essentials I wrote about in my October story. In case you missed it, here it is again: http://www.allnewsnoblues.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=45&Itemid=65 .
2. You should have a solid foundation and only then add some extras. Go through every piece you have, (It's time consuming, but it's absolutely worth it.) and see if it's in a good condition and/ or current. Maybe your favorite pair of jeans look tired and are screaming for an update, or your beloved pencil skirt looks passe now. Make a list of the items you're missing or that need to be replaced.
3. Know what's in. If you're happy with your essentials and want to add few trendy pieces, learn what's fashionable now. You might have been observing street fashionistas, following the trends on TV, the web or in fashion magazines and have a clear idea about the hot items. If not, stop at a bookstore, treat yourself a coffee or tea and skim through the fashion magazines, such as In Style, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Lucky, and many others. Or, grab some store catalogs from Nordstrom, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, or Anthropologie on your way home and spend some quite time browsing them while enjoying a glass of wine.
4. Buying trendy pieces in the middle or toward the end of the season can be risky, because not all the trends will carry on to the next season. For example, fur is the big hit this winter season, but we're not sure if it will be popular next winter. If you still want something furry, look for the best bargains so you don't regret spending too much. Other popular items, such a military- style jackets and stripped tops will most likely transfer to the next season, so it's not too late to add them to your closet.
5. Know your stores and your brands. Do you know what store and brand has the bottoms that perfectly fit your body or where you always find the best fitting shoes? If you're not sure, ask a wardrobe consultant. All brands make their clothes for a specific type of body that might be quite different than yours, so knowing what firms design for your body type helps to avoid frustration and saves a lot of time. If you're not sure, hire a wardrobe consultant. Many companies change their fits from time to time, so if you haven't shopped for a while, you might be unpleasantly surprised to discover that usual styles don't work for your body anymore.
6. Do your online homework. Check the websites of your favorite stores to get familiar with their collections, and then compare to other sites to make sure you know what has the best deals. All retailers offer free shipping until the end of the year, so if you see something that will fit you for sure, order online. Once you know what to look for, the whole shopping experience will be much more enjoyable.
7. Know the return policy. We like America for it's flexibility with the returns, but be careful with the holiday return policies and especially the final sale items. Many stores have recently changed their policies to protect themselves from the shoppers that overdose on using and then returning worn pieces. Nordstrom is still the most generous one with the returns, but if you order a sale item from J.Crew online, this won't be returnable.
After you're done with this tremendous homework, treat yourself with one special piece for your New Year's party. You want to feel festive, unique and happy, so add some bling: sparkly shoes, a jeweled top, a piece of glittery jewelry, or a clutch. Enjoy the end of this year and the beginning of the new one to the fullest.
As a freelance wardrobe consultant, Diana Placiakiene, AICI, MBA, works with men and women who are looking to advance their professional and personal image. Most of her clients are professionals who want to take their business to the next level ,or people who are going through various life transitions. In her practice, Diana combines her business skiills, understanding of human psychology, natural visual talents and passion for fashion to help people have more ease, fun and success.
To contact Diana, e-mail
Last Updated (Saturday, 08 January 2011 23:12)