Shopping is one of our favourite past times, and we want you to enjoy it as much as we do. Whether you need a new outfit for that big party, a bridesmaid dress, birthday or Christmas presents, shopping can be stressful. But with the right tricks up your sleeve, it can actually be rather relaxing. Put the pep back in your step and discover the 12 smart ways to shop – there’s a reason it’s known as retail therapy!
#1 Make a List
Like grocery shopping, check your wardrobe and beauty drawers for what you need to buy. If you’re attending a wedding then you’ll be more prepared with a check list – and doubly satisfied once everything has been ticked off!
#2 Flat Shoes
When shopping around, you’re bound to do a lot of walking and stepping, therefore good shoes are key. You’ll be on your feet for at least 2 hours and the last thing you want is to stop because you wore heels. Runners really are the best for this, but flat boots would work well too. When in the changing rooms and trying on a dress, do ask the sales assistant for a pair of heels if necessary.
#3 Repeat Purchases Are Okay
Never tell yourself “no” just because you already have that top in black. There’s no reason to stock up on a favourite piece in a few different colours. If that top, dress, jumper or even those jeans fit perfectly at home, then go for it and buy the same ones but in a variety of colours. Just don’t go overboard!
#4 Be Ready, Be Comfortable
You may not realize it, but wearing good & comfortable underwear will not only help you when trying on clothes as you whip off your shopping attire and slip on that LBD from River Island, but if your underwear isn’t comfortable to start with, it definitely won’t be once you’re in the changing rooms. Opt for seamless styles, without too many details and a smooth-cupped bra.
#5 Bring water
Dehydration is never a good thing when you’re shopping, as it could make you rush your purchasing due to just wanting to get outta there. Bring a bottle with you from the start, take frequent swigs, and especially so after the dressing rooms. They really need to fix that too hot problem in there!
#6 Set yourself a budget
Have a wedding or an occasion coming up? Most ladies will want a new dress for such an event but it’s important to set yourself a price limit of what you’ll spend. Not only will you be looking for that new dress, but it’s possible you will want to style it with new shoes, jewellery, a bag and even a new coat. These purchases add up so give yourself a budget for each piece and try to stick to it. If you manage to go under the limit, then treat yourself to that Grande Caffé Mocha Dark afterwards with the leftover money!
#7 Do your research
Before you even head out for your shopping day, if you want to get in and out without wasting time then do your research. Know which shops to hit for those high-waisted jeans, check online for the opening times, and even ring ahead to reserve those runners. Not only is doing your shopping research fun, it will save you so much time during the day.
#8 Investments are totally okay!
When it comes to buying something special for yourself, it’s totally okay to purchase that dream designer dress or the leather jacket you’ve been eyeing up for weeks. The fact that you’ve been thinking of that piece means you won’t forget it after its first wear. Although a fully sequined gold mini dress isn’t always wearable (guilty!), a biker jacket or LBD will be a timeless purchase. Really, it’s an investment and you’ll never tire of it if it’s a staple piece either.
#9 Get in early
The best time of the day to do your shopping is always between the hours of 9am and 12pm. This is when the shopping centres and streets are least busy, even at the weekends. It also means that when in a store, the staff will be able to help you more easily without other customers on their mind. Plus, as you leave at midday with your bags of shopping to head home for a chill out, you’ll have the biggest smile on your face as you see the throngs of people only entering now. Basics.
#10 Do you really need it?
When you’re on a mission to finding something new and something specific, don’t be distracted by stores or products you don’t actually need. If it’s a black blazer you’re on the hunt for, you will definitely not find one in ALDO or Office Shoes, no matter how many shoe shops you wander into. And really, do you really need another new pair of pumps??
#11 Take a Break
Shopping for hours tires us out. Naturally, as you’re on your feet, entering air conditioning that varies from store to store and eventually you’ll have worked yourself up into an appetite. Stop at a coffee shop or café and take a break. Your arms, legs and energy levels will thank you after.
#12 Don’t let the sale price win
Of course, sales are a great time to shop but they’re also a trap designed to lure you into pieces you don’t love just because they’re cheap. If they top has a rip in it, don’t buy it. If the dress doesn’t fit you at all, don’t buy it. If those jeans are way too tight on your legs, don’t buy it. And if the shoes are squeezing the bejaysus out of your toes, don’t buy it! The piece might be €10 now but will you actually wear it more than once? And on a final note, be aware of the mass shoppers when that 70% sale is on!