Fashion News

Personal shopping guide: Tips to avoid disappointing purchases

How often to you come home from a shopping trip feeling guilty or empty-handed? With a few rules in mind it’s possible to avoid the pitfalls and become a successful shopper.

1. PrioritiseYou’re best to start with the basics – tank tops, t-shirts, jeans – before moving onto more desirable items. Make a note of the things you need while getting dressed in the mornings. A pair of black tights could go with several outfits.

2.Visualise your purchaseAvoid disappointment by knowing exactly what you’re looking for, right down to the colour, fabric and price. Be ruthless in avoiding items that don’t fit the description. If you prefer to get inspiration in the shops, try and be as specific as you can about the kinds of things you’re looking for – for example, a black, floaty shirt for under $100 will help to narrow down your options.

3. Shop in comfortWear clothes that are easy to get on and off in the changing room. A small heel is flattering and suitable for walking long distances. Consider your underwear – it might be best to wear a strapless bra when shopping for a strapless dress. If you’re looking for something to go with an item already in your wardrobe, wear it. Go easy on the big hair and makeup. Pack a bottle of water and some nuts to keep you going.

4. Accept a salesperson’s help.This can save you time in searching out specific items and help you get the best fit. Just make sure you don’t get talked into buying something you didn’t come in for.

5. Don’t look at the price tag until you’re sure you want to try something on. It’s easy to think we need an item just because it’s inexpensive or on special. Make sure you really love something first, then check to see if it’s in your price range.

6. Try it on. Walk, sit, bend in the clothes. Do they move easily? Are you comfortable? Is your underwear exposed? Check yourself in a full-length mirror and consider the waist, butt and hips areas. Dont buy unless it fits perfectly. The only exceptions are pants/skirts that can be easily altered for length at the hem. Look for stray stitching, weak buttons and dodgy zips.

7. Question impulse-buys by considering cost per wear, durability, what it will work with in your wardrobe and whether it’s really in your budget.

8. Check the care tags and return policy. If you hate hand-washing or ironing and don’t want to spend money on dry-cleaning you may want to steer clear of certain garments. Hang onto your receipt in case you have to take it back.

9. Spend more on shoes and jackets. Shoes withstand more wear and tear than other items of clothing so look for quality leather. Same goes for jackets as they’re your last line of defence against the elements, and they will work with several outfits.

10. Trust your gut. The best gauge as to whether or not to buy something is if your positive feelings towards it (it’s slimming, will go with my pink shirt, feels comfortable) outweigh the negatives (it costs twice as much as I wanted to spend). Weigh it up, and if you’re still not sure, put it on hold and come back later.

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