On these hot days the summer sales are slowly coming to an end and the temptation to sneak into one of the many deliciously air conditioned shops and use your ATMs and credit cards for some great sales shopping is particularly strong.
Online sales are at their best too in these days for those who, like me, have little time and love the rationality offered by online shops. So when I have 5 minutes of me-time, I look at some of my favorite online stores like
My actual favorite, Asos:
and many more, of course.
All your friends talk about their shopping, show off their latest summer buys, praise their incredible pieces they found everywhere: it’s easy to let yourself be caught by the frenzy of finding yet another bargain!
But what rules should you follow to optimize your purchases, shop with intention and satisfaction and, above all, live happily ever after with your new purchases?
My long-term empirical experiences 😉 and the reading of various books, blogs, etc. have led me to draw up this list.
1 – NEVER SHOP WHEN YOU ARE SAD, STRESSED, ANGRY AND ESPECIALLY HUNGRY OR THIRSTY
Because there’s not only a risk of misguided buying, which then leads to almost immediate repentance, but also because these factors can cause a rapid loss of energy, a vital element for great quality shopping, especially during the sales!
For some psychological background (I love it!) about why and how we shop, I found this book very interesting.
2 – MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE
When shopping, it’s always worth dressing according to what you are looking for. This saves you time when you are in the dressing room, and you are able to see how a potential garment or accessory you would like to buy would really look on you in a complete outfit.
If you are looking for tops, skirts, pants or shorts, it’s better to dress with a top and a bottom; if the object of your dreams is a dress, it’s better to wear one already, combined with a pair of shoes that are similar to those you usually wear with dresses.
3 – LET YOUR EYES (AND YOUR INSTINCT) BE YOUR GUIDE
I’ve often experienced that what doesn’t seem very rational often turns out to be one of the best rules to follow: our eyes know instinctively what we like, is suitable for us, will make us feel good and matches with what we already have. Following these instincts certainly offers a better chance of (shopping) success. To train my eye and my fashion instinct, I also use my seasonal pinterest board, where I collect some ideas during the whole season.
4 – TRY EVERYTHING ON
That said, when we are faced with long lines in front of the dressing rooms we may decide to buy the garment of our dreams without trying it on first. But doing so is fundamental! In my opinion, trying every single item on helps to reduce the percentage of repentances and disappointments by about 97%.
And if trying everything on in a brick-and-mortar store sounds too stressful because of the heat, the crowd and the long lines, shop online , preferably on a website that offers a wide choice and the opportunity to make comfortable and free returns, like Asos.
5 – KNOW YOURSELF (AND MAKE A BUDGET)
Many people are convinced that budgets are only useful if you have financial problems and that there is something shameful about setting financial limits (or at least about admitting it). Nothing could be more wrong: it’s often the people who have no problems whatsoever who are masters of this art!
A budget (or at least some financial limit) is not only helpful for those who are temporarily forced to save money: it’s useful in general to set a limit, because taking into account the amount we have decided to spend automatically creates a tension towards optimization. If we are not really convinced we should buy a certain item or accessory, in fact, we will tend to leave it in the store. Conversely, the desire to buy something really beautiful will automatically help us to avoid to buy all these small, useless things that we’ll end up wearing once – or maybe never.
6 – KNOW YOURSELF (AND DEVELOP A STRATEGY)
It’s hot outside, you always have so little time, shopping makes you tired after a while, especially during the sales. For this reason, instead of wasting your energies, it’s better to decide immediately where to look, according to what we want to buy.
Plan a little shopping itinerary, avoiding the stores that are not your style at full price (let alone during the sales) and those where you already know you will not find what you are looking for.
Avoiding unnecessary exposure to shops that don’t help us to reach your shopping gaols also helps you to create a cohesive, harmonious and therefore satisfactory wardrobe in the long run.
7 – THINK ABOUT THE OUTFITS BEFORE YOU BUY
Your great deal can rapidly transform itself in a total failure when you discover that it doesn’t match with anything else in your wardrobe. I always try to follow the “three outfits” rule: everything I buy should allow me to create at least 3 new outfits using what I already own. I also wrote about this topic in this post, where you can find some useful questions to ask yourself before you buy something (please use the translation button since it’s only in Italian).
8 – FIT IS EVERYTHING
For me, maybe the most important aspect to take into account is this one: either a new garment fits you absolutely well, or you should leave it in the store (unless you are a seamstress or know a really good one who is not on vacation).
A garment that doesn’t make you feel beautiful will always remain in your closet, often with all tags still attached.
This book is a very useful reading about this and many other important aspects of shopping.
9 – INSPECT EVERY NEW GARMENT OR ACCESSORY
Be picky! If you love an item that has some flaws, but you think you can fix it, try at least to speak with the saleperson: often you will obtain an additional discount without even asking!
10 – ASK FOR HELP
It may not always seem ovious, but the salespersons are there to sell and, therefore, to help you choose and buy. Always ask for assistance: you deserve it, and it’s always useful. A good saleswoman will not only assist you during the whole process of trying and purchasing, but will perhaps also suggest other items you may like, find your ideal size or an even more beautiful color or offer you some other benefits.