Taking the fun out of Shopping: Learning the ways of experts when it comes to shopping

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I love shopping—that is the understatement of the year. I may be an impulse or two away from being considered a shopping addict (I’m not, really).  I do love a good deal and subscribe to emails to get the coupons, deals and promos.  I take Boxing Day seriously enough that I kind of take the fun out of it by basically forcing my cousin to wake up at the crack of dawn to shop with me because I know that’s when we’ll get the best choices.  I never thought much to it, shop and go home happy; seems simple enough, right?  With the holidays approaching, what better time to analyze shopping habits and strategies than now?

Well apparently I’ve been approaching shopping all wrong! Wrong, you ask? Yes, totally wrong! I’ve been reading up on blog posts on Who What Wear on some shopping strategies and breaking down that I’ve been wasting my time buying shoes at places like Zara or Aldo (sorry guys, still love your shoes tho!) While I never see the harm in my little shopping sprees and my impulse shops, apparently they can do more harm than good to my closet.

As I near my mid 30s, having the right essentials and basics becomes more important to me as I now learn the errors of my shopping ways from my tween years all the way upto my 20s. I’ve learnt many things that I once believed to be the holy grail of having it all when it came to shopping; mistakes like buying cheap is good because it affords you many things that otherwise would be spent on just one thing.  Mind you, I still buy in multiples when it comes to my favorite wears, like buying the same sweater in different colors if I love it, or the same style of pants that come in different textures if I know that it flatters me and hides my flaws lol.  I could go on but it will just be too embarrassing lol.

I think that my shopping strategies, though not quite honed and refined, have gotten better. Gone are the days when places like Sirens and Bluenotes with their less than stellar quality clothing, can top my list of places to shop.  I have learned that cheaper doesn’t always mean better, and in actuality may mean worse most times as it forces me to wear it once or twice and then it gets ruined after a wash.  I’ve learned the value of shopping for quality, and that the most expensive doesn’t mean the best, but finding something that is pricier than the cheap stores with good quality fabrics and made well can actually ben more of an investment in the long run. I’ve learned words like ‘capsule collections’ and ‘essentials’ which I had never put much thought into in my 20s.  I’ve even learned the value of a good ‘investment’ piece that can not only take you to the office but right down to happy hour if you choose well. Even so, like anything you do in life, you learn new things, improve approaches and find new efficiencies in your strategy.

I’ve recently learned of the 3-7-14 rule from Who What Wear that I thought kind of silly at first but now makes sense to me. You can go read about it in more detail on their blog post but to summarize, it basically means that when you find something you want to buy, think about it in terms of whether or not you’re excited to wear it within the 3 days after purchasing it, and if you haven’t worn it in 7 days then make sure to return it within 14 days.  That’s it…simple, yes? Well yes, but amazingly it isn’t common sense, at least not to me.  I always thought it was weird to buy something I want to wear right away.  I never realized that these were some of my best purchases, the ones I still use today! Now while I think it’s a good rule to go by, it isn’t the be all and end all of shopping.  There may be some things that don’t fit this simple rule, but it’s a great rule when you are suddenly hampered with a sudden urge to impulse buy.

Another thing I’ve learned (again from Who What Wear, I know, they’re like a fashion interactive bible right?) this one I was skeptical of. The blog post ‘Will THIS Make You Stop Buying Zara Shoes?’ made my head tilt like a puppy looking at some strange weird toy. As I open the link to this post I think’ well except maybe if they were abusing their workers or something. ‘there isn’t much that is going to stop me from buying a pair of Zara shoes or a mild freak-out of having one less place to shop for shoes.  Of course after reading the rest of the article (which I should have instead of immediately jumping into freak-out mode) I understood and totally agreed with the logic being presented in the article.  Again, this concept isn’t new to me either, but surprisingly not common sense to me.  In fact, I’ve only recently been doing this and have found that have been in large part happy about my purchases.  Basically the premise is that instead of buying 10 zara shoes, that you think about holding off and then saving all that money that should have gone to the less expensive shoes and pool together for a better made and probably more classic pair like Monolos, or Jimmy choos.  Actually, I arrived at this same process for the same reason, cheaper shoes just don’t make smaller sizes.  I noticed that the pricier pairs are the ones with the size 4s and 4.5s which are more in my shoe size neighborhood than a size 6.

So I hope that these shopping lessons from the more seasoned shoppers have helped make you christmas shopping more efficient and less troublesome!

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