I am a shopaholic. There is no denying that. I love trying new hair and makeup products, looking at new trendy clothing styles, and scouring the Internet for sales and deals. However, a lot of times I use shopping to make me feel better after a breakup or a bad day. I just buy stuff to make myself feel better. However, no matter how many candles or bottles of perfume I buy, my problems won't solve themselves, and I won't have money to buy the things I really need.
As a reformed shopaholic, I have set 7 Commandments of Smart Shopping in order to guide myself when I go to the mall:
1. Clearance section first!
When you walk into a store, you may be tempted by the first items you see or the displays in the windows. Typically, these are the most expensive items in the store because they are the newest. Try walking to the back of the store to the clearance section first, then work your way towards the front. You'll probably find some great sale items that are as awesome as what are on the launch tables.
2. Quality, not Quantity.
Yes, you want to have versatile pieces so you can make lots of outfits, but unlike Paris, you don't need and probably can't afford a closet of shoes. When shopping, aim to buy things you love and know that you'll wear with a lot of pieces instead of grabbing a ton of trendy things on sale you won't wear after this season.
3. Follow social media for deals.
Tom Haverford has the right idea. Following certain brands or stores like Victoria's Secret, American Eagle, Love Your Melon, and even Starbucks on Instagram and Facebook can let you know when special deals or semi-annual sales are happening. This way you'll stay in touch with everything that's going on with your favorite brands, and can keep track of when items you love go on sale.
4. Invest in basics.
According to our society, being basic is a bad thing. However, that's not necessarily true when it comes to our wardrobes! Basic items are the meat and potatoes of a wardrobe: a pair of skinny jeans, a black pencil skirt, a navy blue blazer, a white button down shirt, a pair of black pumps, you get the picture. If you invest in key basic pieces, you'll have the foundations of a great wardrobe, and then you can fill in the blanks with trendy pieces!
5. Shop by yourself or with one friend, not with a big group.
Shopping with more than 3 people can be really stressful (see Say Yes to the Dress for examples). You may be tempted to please your friends or family you're with instead of yourself. You may also feel rushed into making rash decisions so that the group can move on to the next store. If you shop alone or with only your bestie, you're more likely to make smart shopping decisions.
6. Eat before you shop.
Everybody's done this - you've gone shopping, whether it's to the grocery store, the mall, or even a drugstore, without eating. You're checking off the items on your list, and then hunger pangs strike. Hunger makes you indulge in rash decisions, such as buying lipstick or shampoo when you don't need any, or buying an article of clothing simply because it's pretty, not because you need it. Eat a snack before you leave home, and you'll come home with just the things you need.
7. Don't shop when you're sad or stressed.
I am absolutely guilty of this. When I'm having a stressful day, I absolutely want to go shopping - it doesn't matter if it's for clothes, bags, candles, or shoes, a swipe of the credit card makes me feel better. Like being hungry, the stress makes me want to buy more and more. What I've learned to do is to find alternatives to shopping - if I have an urge to go to the mall, I do a little cleaning, read a chapter of a book, or watch an episode of something on Netflix. By the time I've finished the activity, the urge to go shopping isn't quite as severe.
Keep these commandments in mind and happy shopping!