Saturday, 7 January 2012


This morning two strange things happened to me. I was up super early to drive my parents to the airport and, as I was driving home, I made a little shopping detour. As I walked into the store, I had the rare and indulgent experience of shopping completely alone. No other shoppers, no whiny kids, no bossy sales ladies, just me and one employee quietly folding clothes. I now understand why celebrities close down department stores for their own personal use. There is something particularly lovely about strolling through the empty aisles of a store looking at clothes, feeling fabrics and trying things on at your own pace.

This state of faux-celebrity led to the second strange experience: I bought a pair of white pants in the dead of winter. That's right. White cigarette pants. In January. I think the lack of cranky, snow-covered hoards, combined with the fact that my parents are on their way to Florida, lulled me into a false sense of tropical comfort. The pants are oftly lovely though, so I will definitely not be waiting until spring to wear them.

My little adventure this morning inspired me to blog about some easy-to-follow tips for stress-free shopping. I know that a lot of people find shopping overwhelming or depressing, so here are some ways to get the most out of the experience:

Keeping a wish list, whether it's on your phone or in your day book, is a great way to keep track of the things that you really want. Your list will also help prevent impulse buys; when you see something that you want on a shopping trip, refer to your list. If it's one of the things that you have been searching for, then go ahead and buy it! If not, ask yourself some questions. Do you really need it? Does it work with the pieces in your wardrobe? How frequently will you wear it?

There is no harm in trying things on. If you think it will look good, then try it on. If you aren't sure, then try it on. If you like it, but you've never worn anything like it before, then try it on. No matter how good (or weird) it looks on the hanger, you can never know how it will look on you until you see it in person. Some of the best finds are completely unexpected :) So don't be afraid of the change room! If it looks great, then you're in luck. If it looks bad, then don't over think it and move on to the next harm, no foul.

When you aren't sure, it's usually best not to buy it. Not only will this prevent impulse buying, but it will also ensure that you have an organized, well coordinated closet full of clothes that you actually wear. There is nothing more disappointing than opening your closet and seeing that frilly sweater that looked preppy and cute in the change room, but hangs really strangely every time you put it on. If you are on the fence, then consider its use value. If you still can't decided, then wait a day or two... you can always go back and pick it up later.

Don't let ill-fitting clothes get you down. Clothes are made for a standard body type, so chances are they won't fit perfectly all over. If you're busty, then shirts that fit in the bust might too big in the waist. Maybe the sleeves are too long or a dress hangs too low. Don't settle for second best - just alter them! For example, I'm 5'5'' so pant legs are almost always too long. What you should do is find a pair that fits well at the waist, hips and thighs and then hem the legs to fit. Easy peasy.

Always remember that shopping should be a positive experience, even if you're looking for jeans or a bathing suit. Cut the fat talk and be nice to yourself in the change room. If you're still having trouble, then take a page from What Not to Wear's Stacy and Clinton and picture someone else's head on top of your body. Be objective, not mean. If it doesn't fit properly, stay calm and try on something else. When you go into the change room, remind yourself that most things won't fit. Some days you won't find anything at all and that's okay too! If something doesn't fit, then it's not your body that doesn't fit, it's the clothes :)

Wishing you empty stores and shopping success!
Talk soon,

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