Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Ridiculously Simple Shopping Tips

Tis the season for buying a lot of stuff you probably don't need, but TOTALLY need.  While I was trying on my five millionth shirt in a dressing room the other day, I started thinking about the little things we learn through the years to make shopping better and easier.  I thought I'd share some of my tips, and I'd love to hear yours in the comments!

*When you're getting dressed to go shopping, think about what you might be shopping for.  Try to wear whatever you'll be pairing your new items with.  For instance, if you wear jeans most of the time but wear shorts on your shopping trip, you will probably spend a lot of time squinting in the mirror at the top you're trying on, wondering how it will look with jeans.  In the same line, wear heels if you are going dress shopping so you can avoid that whole standing on your tip toes in the dressing room thing.

*The above also goes for undergarments.  If you're shopping for a sexy top to go out in, don't wear your most fuddy-duddy bra.  You'll spend all your time smooshing your boobs up to see how they will look with a good bra.

*Keep your bra and underwear simple and neutral if possible.  I've learned the hard way it is tough to judge how something looks if you have bright red straps and things sticking out everywhere.



*Keep your foundation light.  Handing a shirt back to a dressing room attendant with a big smear of beige across it is no fun for anyone.  I usually run a damp wash cloth gently over my face before leaving the house if I plan to try on clothes, not applying pressure but just letting it pick up any makeup that would otherwise rub off.  An alternate to going super light on foundation is to use a spray that sets and locks your makeup.

*The above also goes for lipstick.  Stick to something clear on your lips, or a no-transfer lip stain.

*Stick with clothes that are easy to get on and off.  The few extra seconds it takes to button up a shirt vs whipping off a t-shirt doesn't seem like much until you're doing it for the 20th time that day.  Slip-on shoes are also your friend.

*If you're shoe shopping, dress your feet accordingly.  If you'll be trying on heels, wearing tights or stockings lets you skip those weird little foot pantyhose without having that fugly moment of trying to try on heels over socks.  If you aren't comfortable shopping in heels all day, at least toss a pair in your purse or car so you can grab them if you think you've found the right dress.  If you're shopping for winter boots, wear boot socks or thicker winter socks, since what you wear underneath is going to make a difference in how they fit.

*Four words: Cell phone mirror pics.  Posting photos of things you tried on in a dressing room is a staple for some fashion bloggers, but for everyone else they can be just as important.  If I'm not sure about an item, I'll snap a pic and look at it again an hour or so later to see if it really looked as good as I thought.  You'll often find that after your initial enthusiasm over finding something cool has faded a little, you'll discover that you don't need it quite as much as you thought.  If you still get excited when you check your photos over an hour later, though, it's probably going to be an item you really do love and use.

*If you're not shy, you can do what I do and instantly upload a pic of something you're considering Twitter or FB, begging dozens of people you may or may not know all that well to make your life choices for you.  I kid, but people love to give opinions, and chances are they'll be way more honest in this format than if you're standing in front of them, ready to go out and asking "Does this look okay?"  Unless you only have 12 followers that are all your best friends, try to avoid doing this more than once or twice during your shopping day, though.

*Keep your hair simple- ponytails and messy buns work best for me.  You're probably going to have to take a second to fix it a little after each store to avoid what I like to call Shopper's Fro, so stick with something you can smooth back into shape with minimal effort.

*Check out the websites of the stores you know you might visit ahead of time.  You'll find out about any sales or specials going on, and there may even be printable coupons!

*Don't be afraid to buy out of season.  I was at a Gap outlet last week and found a bikini bottom on the clearance rack... for 97 cents!!  It turned out that everything in the store was 50% off at the time, so I ended up getting it for 53 cents!!

What tips do you have to share?

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