Style Wise, Shopping Smart – InStyle Magazine

I am a faithful subscriber of InStyle magazine – they feature not only the ‘trend of the moment’, but give great information on building and enhancing your own personal style so that you can look your best every day.

One of their recent articles, Shop Smart Every Time, gave a wealth of great tips on how to shop at any time of the year, and that inspired me to add my own advice for LYR readers:

1. Try Lots of Sizes – InStyle advises readers to

“Go into the fitting room with three sizes of the same garment because sizing isn’t consistent from one designer to another, from one fabric to another, or even one season to another. Ignore the number on the tag and choose the best fit. “

LYR Modification: If you are shopping at the same stores continually – and there’s nothing wrong with that if you find a line that fits your body, your lifestyle, your color preferences and your budget – you may not have to do this every time. Watch the papers and the store’s own announcements about changes to designers, etc, and if it’s a brand or sub-brand that you have no experience with, THEN take multiple sizes into the dressing room. Remember what I’ve always said – once you buy the garment, take the size tag OUT if it bothers you – what is essential is that you not compromise on fit.

2. Make a List and Shop Alone – I’ve combined these two tips into one, because they relate so closely.

Know what you’re looking for and go in with a plan—it will keep you from getting overwhelmed by all the choices and help you cut down on impulse buys.

Friends are fun for a second opinion, but the best way to concentrate on what you’re looking for (and to save time!) is to go solo. In the end, you’re the one who will wear what you’re buying.

LYR Modification: I definitely advocate shopping with a plan…shopping on “impulse” is what’s created the ‘orphans’ in our wardrobes currently – those outfits and garments that don’t seem to go with ANYTHING else! They are a waste of money and space – if you haven’t done a wardrobe inventory lately (or ever!), check out the LYR Core Color Prescription and LYR Capsule Wardrobing Kit. Take the time to check out your existing range of clothes, accessories and shoes before you go shopping. Concentrate on building your Core wardrobe first, then add versatility by adding trend items, accent colors and more inexpensive items.

Shopping with a friend can be fun, but if you have vastly different styles, body shapes, professions or personalities, it may become a exercise in conflict resolution instead of the pleasurable time it SHOULD be. If you really DON’T like shopping alone, be careful in your choice of shopping companion. I often do not shop with my daughter because we have very different personal styles, but when she’s shopping for classics or career clothing, she depends on my expertise. Working with an independent Image Consultant like myself can prove to be the best solution. The advice I give my clients – whether we are meeting in person or I am giving you advice virtually via the phone or email – is tailored just for THEM and no one else. While personal shoppers working in specific stores can be very helpful with their knowledge of store inventory and specials, they don’t know YOU, and often cannot take the time to get to know you.

3. Don’t Compromise – This is my everyday mantra – don’t compromise when planning and purchasing your wardrobe, shoes or accessories. Plan your purchases so that you are happy with them every single time you reach for them in the closet, take them out of a drawer or organizer, or slip them onto your feet.

As a day of shopping wears on, it gets more and more tempting to buy something to avoid feeling as if you’ve wasted your time. Ignore the urge—buying out of desperation usually leads to a return.

LYR Modification: Planning ahead for big events and occasions means you won’t be subjected to buying out of desperation. When planning your wardrobe, always work to have 2 or 3 “Go-To” outfits that you can pull out at a moment’s notice, so to speak, and be assured that you’ll look great. One casual outfit, a business outfit, and one for evening will handle a lot of emergencies and with small tweaks, can be expanded without breaking your budget. One example – a favorite casual outfit that includes a great-fitting pair of jeans, wedges, a colorful shell and a jacket can easily be modified by substituting the shell and jacket for a cardigan and sweater, and switch out the wedges for flats or boots. Voila! An entirely different outfit with minimal fuss and expense. The critical piece is the one that fits your most attractive asset, or that minimizes your area of concern.

To see the entire InStyle article, visit InStyle Magazine