We’ve all been there.
You’ve been in the worst dry spell of your life with shopping where nothing seems to look good on you or isn’t in your size and you feel like you’ll die if you have to go to one more store of disappointing racks of let-downs. But today is your day. Your patience has paid off and now you’ve hit nothing but gold and everything you try on fits like it was made for you and you alone. You love 90% of it and buy that 90%. But it was all just an illusion. You realize days, weeks, months later…you wasted your money. But why? How? It all was so absolutely perfect in the dressing room!
This phenomenon happens to even the best of us. We dig around for receipts and tags, praying we held on to something we can use as proof of purchase to return these causes for our sickening (and horribly pricey) case of buyers remorse. More often that not, though, it’s too late. Our friends and the neighborhood consignment stores all benefit from our poor choices and we’re left feeling robbed. Once again we’re back at square one and history repeats itself.
But there is hope for you.
Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years that help me think twice about my purchases when I’m under that dressing room hypnosis.
Don’t make exceptions to your standards. If it doesn’t fit perfectly and you know you’re not going to get it tailored or it can’t be then put it back. We make exceptions for little details that are off whether it’s the fit, the pattern, the style or what-have-you and next thing you know, that little detail is the reason you never wear it or even inevitably hate it.
Be honest with yourself. If you know you have a tendency to say you’re going to hem something, take things to the tailor, take your dry-cleaning to the cleaners but then don’t ever follow through then don’t buy the things that require any of that. Those little lies we tell ourselves end up wasting us the cost of the article of clothing as well as valuable closet space and time.
Have an outfit. Don’t buy a shirt you have nothing to wear with. Have in mind a least one thing you know you can pair it with that you already own. If you buy a skirt that would go great with a certain type of blouse that you don’t actually own, you’re only setting yourself up for a loss.
Don’t be dazzled by low prices. Just because something use to be $200 and is now on sale for $50 does not mean you need it. Yes, it may be a great deal but if you’re buying it and disregarding rules 1-3 then what good is it? You didn’t save $150 – you just lost $50.
Set a safety budget. I know me and I know that I always go over budget. Because of this I always set my budget much lower than I can actually afford to spend. If my budget is $600 then I tell myself it’s $450 and this way I never go over and if something does come up that I absolutely need at the end of my shopping trip, I can usually afford to buy it because I still technically have more than I set aside beforehand.
Don’t shop with just anybody. A good shopping buddy is an essential if you don’t plan on going alone. Most of us can attest to having that one friend that thinks everything either looks great or nothing does. They are your worst enemy in the shopping world. If they’re with you by default then make sure to not break down and ask for their opinion or allow them any say. Their company can cost you. A good shopping buddy is on your same wavelength and wants what’s best for you. They want you to be your best you. They aren’t going to waste your money or pull your shopping momentum down but they will give you honest and helpful advice.
Remember there’s an end to your cash. There’s no rule that you have to spend all your money in one day. Consider it a victory to walk away with nothing knowing that your cash can go to something you really want but just haven’t found yet. Think about what you’re missing out on when you settle for something less than perfect and you’ll find yourself much happier with your closet choices in the future.
So there’s my advice to beating those post-shopping woes and gaining control of your wardrobe. Soon you’ll be on your way to having fewer feelings of “I have nothing to wear!” with a closet overflowing with clothes and closer to being able to say “I can’t decide which of these great outfits I’ll wear today.”
(This was originally a post I wrote for CHEAPITCLASSY)