"I'VE GOT NO MONEY"
Now more than ever, people are cutting back, saving pennies and worrying about the credit crunch, however a poll done by Grazia Magazine suggests that 83 percent of us still shop for clothes, accessories and beauty products at least once a week.
I would like to share some hints and tips on things you can do to stay looking stylish and feeling upbeat about your image during all this doom and gloom. After all girls it's in our nature to shop!
The first step is to detox your wardrobe. Once you have done this you could potentially sell off some of the clothes you no longer want or have a swapping party with some friends, which is a great way of getting the buzz of something new without having to spend a penny.
Also detoxing and organising your wardrobe helps you to identify exactly what you really need - a wardrobe wish list - and will help you from buying duplicates in future (hands up who has more than 3 pairs of black trousers!!). I always ask my clients how much they have spent on clothes they never (or hardly ever) wear. They always grossly underestimate just how much money is sitting in their wardrobe unused. Hundreds and in some cases thousands of pounds! Just think of all the clothes, bags, shoes, accessories you have that you haven't worn in 2011. Shocking isn't it?
Well the aim in 2012 shouldn't be "bargains" either in the sales or the likes of cheap clothing stores, because the very nature of such fashion bargains is to be disposable. However when you "invest" a little more in clothing you find you think more carefully about the purchase and therefore end up making a wiser choice.
TOP SHOPPING TIPS FOR COST-EFFECTIVE RETAIL THERAPY!
Don't shop without a list.
It's like food shopping when you're hungry! Enough said.
Have a Best-Fest!
Don't save your best clothes for best! I visit so many wardrobes stuffed beautiful clothes saved "for best" yet there are very rarely "best occasions". You first need to get it out of your head that clothes are either "weekend or work" or "day or night" and start looking at pieces as individuals that you can mix and match. Probably the main way in which I help a lot of my clients is by helping them to view their clothes in a whole new light! So many people say to me things like "But I only wear that black pencil skirt for high power meetings at work", were as I might suggest teaming it with pussy bow chiffon blouse, killer heels and bling for cocktails with the girls. Think outside the box!
Buy Cheap, Buy Twice.
As my Nan use to say, buy cheap, buy twice. Think quality over quantity. Look for fabrics that will wash well and last a long time to ensure you get maximum price per wear from them. People who shop in thrift stores often tell me that they feel they are getting ripped off on the high-street these days so they stick to cheaper stores. But what they don't realise is that although you can bag a bargain sometimes, on the whole, you pay for quality in terms of cut, fabric, design and manufacture, so if you pay £5 for a jacket, have a think about how they have managed to manufacture that at such low cost...probably not ethically or professionally!
Smoke and Mirrors.
If you try something on in a store but then when you get home it doesn't look as nice, bear in mind that many stores use slimming mirrors and lighting to make you look better in their clothes. Keep all receipts and tags and if you haven't worn a garment within two weeks of purchase, take it back. If it doesn't apply in your life within a fortnight, it's unlikely to apply in your wardrobe in the next six months.
Go It Alone! (or with a professional).
That leads me on to shopping with friends or family. In the main, not a good idea. Firstly unless you are a professional Personal Shopper and understand how to switch your brain from "shopping for me" mode to "shopping for someone else" mode, it is very difficult to remain focused on the other person, and even the nicest of your friends may find their patience wearing thin after you've tried on that blue dress for the third time. This results in the comment "Just buy it, you look great". Then the blue dress hangs in your wardrobe with the tags still on six months later.
Alternatively sometimes without meaning to be malicious, there are some of your friends who are so insecure that it makes them feel a little better about themselves if their friend (you) looks just okay and not your potentially gorgeous self. Therefore they are the type to enthusiastically convince you to buy that thigh-skimming shift dress which you aren't entirely convinced about.
My advice would be preferably get an expert Personal Shopper to take you shopping and show you how, where and when to shop, and then go it alone in future! A qualified Personal Shopper such as myself has spent a lot of time specialising in understanding other people and satisfying their requirements, so use them not only for your 2nd opinion but to get as much information about to shop as you possibly can! However if you aren't ready to invest in a Personal Shopper GO IT ALONE and try to trust your instincts.
Recycle - Go Green!
Don't throw out anything too hastily because you think is "out of fashion"! I have had many experiences where I have been discussing the coming trends for the year ahead with a client and she has been horrified to think she recently threw out what would have been a key trend again in a couple of months. Again this is why you would pay an expert. They will know what the trend forecast is for the year ahead and will have a creative eye for how you can revive your existing garments to make them look "now" for minimal cost. Look in magazines and on the internet for trend reports for spring/summer 09 before you ditch that floral blouse!
Accessorise to Maximise.
Use accessories to update your look rather than spending a fortune on expensive key fashion pieces. Accessories are cheap and fit you no matter what size or shape you are. They are also a cost-effective way of looking on-trend and unique and there is no worry you'll see someone in the same thing!
"The average woman spends approximately £1000 per year on clothes and only wears one third of her wardrobe! What a waste of money!" Cosmopolitan Magazine.
To learn long-term methods of shopping more cost-effectively contact firstname.lastname@example.org were we can save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds in future, where you will find you end up with MORE outfit choices, not less!
by Nicola Fulstow