Shopping Smart October 30 2012, 1 Comment

"Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping"
But the good news is, I do.  I shop a lot.  Like a lot, a lot.  I love the feeling of finding a great deal on a pair of rocking pumps, scoring that perfect statement necklace to complete my Saturday night get-up or sometimes just checking out the hot new pieces for the season.  But even though I shop a lot, I don't necessarily buy a lot.  I'm happy to leave empty handed if it means I didn't waste money on something I didn't really want or need. 
I always keep a few rules in the back of my mind that help me stretch my fashion dollars a little further, check them out and maybe they can help you too. 
1.  Make friends
It freaks my husband out a bit that the sales lady at one of my favorite stores knows so much about me.  Truth be told, I made friends with her a while back just because she's so nice and knowledgeable but it's really paid off.  She keeps me informed of upcoming sales, and will occasionally set something aside if she thinks I might be interested.  It's also a good idea to friend your favorite stores on Facebook or follow them on Twitter for insider deals.  Express is great for running exclusive online deals for their online fans.

2.  Splurge or Save
If an item catches your attention, like a great bag or a well made statement coat, splurge.  If you know you'll use it often and it makes you feel great, it's worth the investment.  But for trendier items that won't necessarily stick around for long, go for the less expensive option.  Try a trend out at stores like Forever 21 and risk wasting a little less money if the trend fades fast or you decide it doesn't work for you (this has saved me a little shoppers guilt many times).

3.  Don't settle
Don't buy something you aren't 100% comfortable in or in love with, you'll regret it.  Be patient and take the time to find those perfect printed jeans that you have in mind, don't just buy the first pair you see because it's easy.  If they make you feel great you'll take better care of them and wear them longer.    If you find yourself thinking, "I LIKE this, but I don't LOVE this", skip it and keep looking.  Buying out of desperation usually leads to a return.

4.  Buy what fits
The key here is to buy what fits today, not when you lose the extra five pounds. The idea is to look good now, and you will—even with that extra little bit of weight—if your clothes fit you right.   It's crucial that you try things on before you buy them (as annoying as that can be sometimes).  You need to be able to comfortably sit, lift your arms and stretch.  If it doesn't fit and look great in the dressing room, it won't at home either.

5.  Compare, compare, compare
Not everyone has the time to shop around different stores to find the best deal.  Use online sites like to find the best price and save yourself the hassle. 

6.  Buy in multiples
If it works, it works.  The dress that makes you look super slim or the t-shirt that hugs your waist perfectly is worth buying in more than one color if it makes you feel fantastic and the price is right.  Stock up.

These helpful tips will allow you to buy more, at a better price without regret of picking things that aren't right for you.  When in doubt ask yourself, "does this make me feel great?"  If the answer is anything but a YES, let it go and keep on moving.  Happy shopping friends!


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Norma LaVallee on October 31 2012 at 08:05AM

Hey Nikki,
You’ve got some really great ideas. This helped me a lot!

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