Your guide to effective shopping

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If you are anything like me, then you go shopping with a clear idea of what you want to buy (normally what you truly need) and come back with everything you do not need.

Lots of your new items stay in your closet for weeks without being ever used and some fall out of trend before you truly make the best of them. And again and again, you stand up in front of your closet thinking you have nothing to wear!

So here’s your remedy, I will suggest few small rules to follow whenever you are planning to update your wardrobe or hit the market to check out latest offerings:

•Before even “thinking” shopping, define the “why”. Why are you shopping? Are u missing essential pieces (check my list of essentials)? Do you have a social occasion to which you do not have appropriate outfit? Are you looking to add some trendy pieces to your wardrobe? Are you trying to acquire some statement pieces?

•Start by checking your current wardrobe. What is it missing? Is it missing any of the essential pieces? (Check my list of essentials). Take note of the colors that you already own, of the cuts and the general style. You should be doing this in order to plan for pieces that are complimentary of your existing wardrobe so they do not sit in the closet forever.

•Pick up a piece of paper and a pen, write exactly what you need and in what colors. Be sharp about the pieces you need but a little more flexible about the colors. So yes, I am practically asking you to make a list, just like your groceries’ list so that you STICK TO IT!!!! And spare yourself unnecessary spending!

•Make sure you specify a range of cuts that fits what you already have in your closet. This way, the new pieces will fit perfectly and would be way more useful to you.

•I would repeat the last tip about the colors. Make sure your colors fit what you already own so you can find your new pieces wearable at any time. Now in case you are planning to venture into new colors, here’s my GOLDEN tip: make sure you buy at least 2 pieces of the desired color, let’s say “shoes-clutch” / “Shoes-Bangle” / “Clutch-Necklace”/ “Blazer-Shoes” or any two pieces that are “obvious” (this is why you should venture into bold accessories) . This way you make sure that your new colors are an easy fit into your wardrobe: go into a duo first, then try to find your way through other items in the same color.

•This is going to sound time-consuming, but I promise it is worth it. Make sure you know the market. Either visit your shopping malls/boutiques on a general tour or check their content online; whether the fashion items they present or their range of prices, it’ll cut your shopping time by half knowing your target places; it will also help you whenever it is a specific item that you want. And most importantly, it will be extremely useful and time efficient for you once you have set your style; because it will cut down your target market to few boutiques that carry the lines you are interested in the most.

•Make sure you are quite informed on the trending colors and cuts. And most importantly, make sure you are informed on the coming 2 years trends and cuts, so you do not end up buying the fashion that will fade within the next 3 months.

•Do your best to buy versatile pieces. Versatile pieces, that can take you from day to night and fit with more than one type of outfits are a true value-added to your wardrobe. Owning a wardrobe that is full of such pieces gives you an infinity of options when it comes to outfits!!

•Now finally, make sure you are in the right frame of mind and mood for shopping. Also make sure you’re not tired or hungry … because both influences might set you to make your choices in a hurry!!

And most importantly, always remember that great wardrobes are the result of successful shopping trips. They do not come down off of the sky in one day, but are built gradually due to smart choices. So keep these tips handy the next time you’re going shopping!!! Ah I forgot to mention …. This is my favorite hobby!!!

Glamorously yours,
Your fashion consultant,
Patricia Issa

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