How NOT to End Up in Timbuktu When Clothes Shopping

How NOT to End Up in Timbuktu When Clothes Shopping

You just got a new GPS. It’s pretty nifty for cruising around town without having to pull out your city map. Or you’re driving across country and all you have to do is program it to get from point A to point B. But, usually we need some kind of navigating system to keep us on track and get us where we want to go, right?

What does a GPS have to do with shopping?

What if your destination is having a great, workable wardrobe in your closet? When you head out shopping for clothes, how do you find your way? It still helps to have a guide. A lot of us get off track because we don’t plan our trip and leave the job to haphazard meanderings and spontaneous combustion. But if you’d like to reach your destination on time without veering off course, you need a navigating system for your shopping trip, too. In this case, your map or GPS is a shopping plan.

Do I really have to have a plan?

No, of course not, it isn’t compulsory. Especially if you don’t care whether or not any of your clothes go together. Or you have a ton of clothes bursting out of your closet, but nothing at all to wear. Or you don’t mind looking at the price tags still on the clothes that were mistakes. But, if you do have any of these problems and yes, they are problems, a plan can make all the difference.

How do I go about making the plan?

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Sit down with paper and pen and answer the following questions:

Which situations do I need to dress for?

What activities are typically included in my day and what is my role in them? For example, if you need work clothes, do you need them for giving presentations, or meeting with clients? If you need everyday knocking around clothes, is it for driving car pool, or errands, or what kind of pieces do I need for each activity?

Do I need basics?

Most women do. It’s so much more fun to buy the cute stuff that’s impractical and doesn’t work with the rest of your clothes! But we all need some pants or skirts, and jackets in neutral colors and basic styles to form the foundation of a wardrobe, however dull they may be. Or should I be looking for additions to an outfit I already own? Maybe you have a long skirt that you never wear because you don’t have any shoes that look quite right with it, but a great pair of boots would be perfect. Or you have a top and a belt or some jewelry would make it pop.

How much money am I willing/able to spend?

What can I afford? Even if money isn’t an issue, you’ll be ahead of the game if you pay close attention to what’s in your closet and what’s going to be in it. If I find something perfect, am I willing to splurge a little if necessary? Do this only without busting your budget, of course. Knowing you’re okay with a planned splurge before you set out, can keep you from going into sticker shock and feeling guilty, which takes all the fun out of splurging.

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What color scheme do I want this time? Of course, this depend on what’s out in the stores, but whatever color family you decide on, stay within that scheme. Don’t venture outside of the scheme or you may find yourself with an orphan that doesn’t go with your other purchases, or with anything else in your closet.

What accessories do I need?

Whatever you do, get your outfits completed! Not having a completed outfit is the biggest reason new purchases hang in the closet neglected-because you don’t have the right shoes or belt, or earrings to wear with them.

Remember to take your list with you!

Your answers to these questions should give you a pretty good idea of where you’re going and how to get there. Don’t take any detours on this trip. Follow your plan, and don’t buy anything that’s not on your list. If you see something you adore, but it doesn’t fit into your scheme right now, put it on hold if you can and wait 24-48 hours to see if you get over your crush. Often, once you’re out of the store, it’s the old out of sight, out of mind story and you find you can live without it.

With your “GPS” shopping plan, you can arrive at your destination on time without getting lost or ending up in some exotic location where you don’t really want to be. Expect this trip to be a success!