How to be a better shopper

I’ve always been an emotional, reactionary shopper. My sister used to get so frustrated with me because whenever we were looking at clothes I would pick up the same thing over and over. Then I would get upset when it came time to getting dressed because I felt like I owned a closet of repeat items. I was terrible at asking myself “Do I already own something similar?” or “Do I really need this?” My other weakness was buying items that absolutely did not fit my lifestyle. Which is how I ended up with sequin pieces of which I have no idea what to do with. I admit I purchased items with a scarcity mindset and made impulsive purchases.

Over the years I have focused on becoming a much more responsible shopper. Listen, I am still far from perfect when it comes to buying pieces that will stand the test of time. That being said, here is are the steps I take before hitting the purchase button.

Three Steps to Being a Better Shopper:

Step 1: Play With Your Clothes

About once a month I turn on my favorite podcast (Bitch Sesh btw) and I PLAY with my clothes. I just start putting on clothes with no regard to putting together a styled outfit, or for a particular need. The point of this is to have fun with my clothes. Remember when you were a little kid and threw on an outfit because you liked each piece, but it made no sense together. Did you care? Nope. This exercise is made to reacquaint you with what you own and have FUN (key word) with it.

How this exercise has helped me is making me aware of what items I own in repeats. It has also taught me what particular pieces I reach for each time because they make me feel good. And most importantly it has stopped me from feeling like I need to buy more.

Please do not look at social media while you do this. This is a time to be child-like and just put clothes on for the fun of it.

Step 2: Plan Sale Shopping

I have a notepad in my room and every time I feel like there is a particular item that would make getting dressed easier I write it down.  For example, last summer I constantly desired a white pleated midi skirt to throw on. I wrote it down and then put a check by it every time I felt getting dressed would be easier with it. By the end of the season I saw there were eight checkmarks.

In the Fall, I looked for a white skirt during the Summer sales. And guess what, that was the only thing I bought for next Summer. I didn’t get reactionary during the Summer sale period because I knew there was just one piece I really wanted.

Step 3: Unfollow, Unsubscribe

Not only did I recently do a giant closet purge, I did a social media purge. Anyone who whose stories are just links upon links I unfollowed. This includes those quickly multiplying substacks. If a newsletter was just basically them saying, “I wore these jeans to dinner and they are the best!” Unsubscribe.

There is a very fine line between sharing fashion and forcing fashion. For me, sharing fashion is someone saying, “Here is what I am wearing today.” Forcing fashion is when someone says, “Here is what I am wearing and here is links to each piece.” The latter makes you feel like you are supposed to want their outfit. You are supposed to want to be them. Which is how you buy things you don’t need.

Ask yourself this: Do the people you follow want to share their style with you, or force their style upon you.

Conclusion: Find a way to shop for items that feel authentic to you. Ignore what everyone else is wearing. Don’t click on that link unless you have a religious experience when you see something. And most importantly, play with your clothes whenever you have a chance. They will tell you exactly what you truly need in life.











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