Saturday, October 9, 2010

Successful Shopping Strategies

Over the last few years, I’ve spent many an hour with women inside various boutiques and department stores, searching for those outfits that will make them feel like a million bucks. As the aforementioned stores have officially begun their peak season, I want to take this opportunity to share with you some thoughts on making your next shopping spree a true success for you – and for them:

1. Wear the right undergarments. If you’re in the market for a silky, clingy cocktail number (and you should be, by the way, for party season is quickly approaching) don’t show up in a jogging bra and cotton underpants that are two sizes too big (or small, for that matter). Wear, or at the very least bring along, what you’d normally wear under an evening ensemble.

2. Look your best. It’s hard to get excited about trying on clothes when you’ve not a hint of makeup nor have taken the time to fix your hair. These little things truly make a difference.

3. Know what to expect. Cost-wise, boutiques are generally mid-to higher range, so be prepared to spend a little money. Don’t complain about the prices, and don’t have the audacity to ask for discounts. If you’re looking for steals, visit the well-known discount places, but do so with this in mind: most of what they carry is from last season. Develop an awareness of the shops before you hit them!

4. Be mindful of returns. Know the store’s return policy (it’s most likely printed on the bottom of your receipt). Don’t buy a boatload of clothing with the intention of returning a portion (or all of it) – not only does the store take a hit when you do, the stylist who sold it to you does, as well. Yes, most stylists work on commission, and most of them spend hours sorting out things just for you, so be mindful of that if you should start to have second thoughts about your purchases.

5. More on returns. I find it incredibly tacky when someone has obviously worn a garment and then has the gall to return it. Trust me, the boutique’s staff knows what you’re up to; they see the makeup on the collar, and can smell your perfume on the garment. They also know that wine stains were not prominently featured on the item when you left with it. Don’t try to pull one over on them, please, for they do remember – and talk about – these things.

6. Customer service. Boutiques pride themselves on hiring actual, trained stylists who are more than happy to assist you in fitting rooms. You won’t find that in department stores or the discount places, so don’t expect it. I also encourage you to take to heart what the stylists tell you. They’ve a trained eye, and those with integrity sincerely have your best wardrobing interest at heart. (Side note: if you’ve no intention of buying, don’t waste the stylist’s time. One stylist friend of mine once spent two hours in a fitting room with a woman, who claimed to love everything, yet left empty-handed. Seek attention elsewhere, please).

7. Refrain from including your teen-aged daughter in your fashion decisions. Nothing baffles me more than a woman who will hold off on buying something new for fear her teen-aged daughter will disapprove. You’re the adult; she is still a child. Even if she’s fashion-forward, she doesn’t know what works best on your 40-something frame. Parents who constantly seek approval from their children worry me; but I’ll save that for another blog.

So there you have it – my little spiel on successful shopping strategies. My intention is to guide you on the art of seeking out new clothes. Enjoy the experience, and remain open to new, gorgeous things!

Beth Newman
Image Consultant/Life Coach/Author
Newman Image
Look, feel, and LIVE your absolute best!

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