10 DIY Shopping Strategies
I know what you’re thinking: “Shopping tips that I can do myself? Kay, you’re an image consultant. You shop for people. Have you lost your mind?” I assure you, I haven’t! My passion for developing people’s potential doesn’t stop with my clients; it is my pleasure to share it with the community, and that means all of you reading! I want you to reach your maximum potential for success. And I’d love for you to fill your closet with items you look and feel great in. So the next time you do some DIY shopping, try out these tips!
Before You Shop
- Keep a closet shopping list. When you’re putting together an outfit and you reach for that perfect complementary item—only to realize you don’t own it—write it down! Keep a pad of paper or a note on your phone of the items you need to round out your wardrobe. Popular items include the right tights, no-show socks, a specific shape of necklace, and a specific-color pocket square or scarf.
- Keep a wardrobe calendar. Every Christmas, my mom gives me a golden retriever calendar with a month-at-a-glance feature. When I have an important meeting or social event, I write down what I wore, as well as the event name and the people I met with. This way, I remember what I wore when and with whom, so I don’t repeat my wardrobe the next time.
When You Are Shopping
- Try on everything that catches your eye. Whether color, cut, or fit, clothing looks so different on your body than it does on the hanger! I see my clients get caught up in a really narrow definition of what looks good on them, so I love when I ask them try on something different, and they say, “Wow, this actually looks great on me!”
- Don’t feel bad about yourself if clothes don’t fit right. Your body is unique! A mass-produced piece of fabric labeled with an arbitrary size doesn’t define your body or your worth. Your body is not wrong for the clothes; the clothes are wrong for your body. And you can find or tailor clothes to best fit your unique shape!
- Shop to your intentional personal brand. Ask yourself, “Does this item suit the personal brand I have now or am working toward, or is it a relic of a past version of myself?”
- Bring a trusted and objective friend. This is especially true if you have trouble telling what flatters you, or if you often bring home items you never wear. But beware the friend who wants to dress you in their personal style!
- Skip the heavy makeup. How gross is it to try on a blouse with foundation or lipstick smeared on it? Don’t be that person! Skip the heavy makeup if you’re going to be pulling clothes over your head. And absolutely no temporary body bronzers!
- Coordinate. Before you buy anything, consider what else in your closet coordinates with it. If it only goes with one or two other things, is it worth getting? (If you love it and feel great in it, it just might be!)
- Choose quality over quantity. You can buy five $20 pairs of jeans, or one $100 pair of jeans. Which do you choose? If you purchase something of cheap construction or cheap fabric, envision what it will look like after a few wearings. This is especially true of core pieces that you will mix and match. When it comes to quality, use the price-to-wears ratio: if you wear and look amazing in $179 Paige jeans twice a week, they’re totally worth the investment.
- Buy suiting together. If you can afford it, buy all the pieces to a suit (jacket, skirt, and pants) at once so you don’t end up with jackets or pants that don’t quite match anything else.
- Don’t be a duplicator. Buying the same fabulous item in every color doesn’t extend your wardrobe as you hope it will; it just looks like you are wearing the same thing over and over. The exception? If you really like a basic, like a favorite T-shirt, buy two or three at once.
- Love what you buy. Does that dress make you want to twirl? Are you smiling in the three-way mirror like a kid on Christmas? If a garment makes you feel good enough to dance in the dressing room, buy it! And if it doesn’t make you giddy, consider whether another item might.
I hope you find these tips useful during your next shopping trip! But if you’re feeling puzzled in the dressing room, wondering, “What clothes look best on my body? What colors best flatter my personal coloring? Should I just burn everything in my closet?” then I can help with more personal attention. Take a look at my Personal Services page to see if anything “speaks” to your needs. I’d love to talk about we can build your intentional personal brand together.