I hear it all the time:
"Shopping is just too hard. All I see in the stores are things that are too matronly or too young. I'm sick of it. I’m frustrated. I give up!”
Oh no! Please don't give up!
I agree that it's a jungle out there and shopping today is not for the faint of heart, but with some smart, solid strategies firmly entrenched, you can and will be a successful shopper. I guarantee it. Ok, maybe not absolutely every single time and with absolutely every single item, but pretty darn close.
After all, the goal is not perfection; the goal is progress.
There was a great article about shopping in a recent issue of Real Simple magazine. I don't subscribe, so fortunately for me, a friend cut it out and sent it to me. It was four pages long and very detailed, so I will condense it as best as I can. The author called it Never Buy the Wrong Thing Again. A lofty goal to be sure! As a professional stylist, even I still make occasional shopping mistakes. And when I see one of those mistakes hanging in my closet? I can’t help but wonder: What was I thinking?
Truth be told, I remember exactly what I was thinking. I LOVED it. The mistake part became clear when I discovered that darling top or those uber-cool boots did not love me back.
It happens to every one at one time or another and not just with clothes.
If you take a look back at past relationships in your life, you will likely remember certain people with whom you were totally enamored at first. In just a short time, however, you learned that they were not who you thought they were. In fact, they were not good for you at all.
Well, the same thing can happen with wardrobe items that we fall in love with for one reason or another! Maybe it was the fabulous color that colored our judgment. Or maybe it was the bargain price that was so seductive. Or just maybe, you pictured yourself as a modern fashionista in those gorgeous high heel boots.
Even though the object of your affection was 75 percent off, or tres chic, or some fabulous color, ultimately you did not feel the love. The boots were too high and hurt your feet. The gorgeous purple top did not flatter your complexion, nor did it really go with anything else in your closet. These items did not love you back and were undermining your self-esteem. We all have some regrets, right? But we move on.
We live, we learn, and we will do better in the future if we keep our heads in the game at all times. Thus, when trying to decide whether or not to commit to a purchase, we need two essential ingredients:
1. We need to love it. Not just think it's kind of cute or it's OK and it will do. I'm saying LOVE it.
2. It needs to truly love us back, making us feel comfortable, more confident and more beautiful.
That’s all she wrote, except for next week’s column Can Savvy Shoppers Find True Love: Part Two. We will discuss exactly how to tell if an item loves us back and how to recognize the potential for a long-lasting relationship. Stay tuned!