How to create a smart shopping mindset



How does shopping make you feel?


I've worked with a lot of clients, and I've learned that shopping doesn't bring a smile to everyone's face.


I know it's technically not a sport. But, for me, it's always been an enjoyable pastime (kind of like a form of urban hiking - just with different views).


Because I happen to be in shops frequently (lately I've been scoping out for clients rather than shopping with them - as well as just browsing to see what's in stores), I rarely purchase a lot at one time. I always have a pretty good handle of what is in my closet and what wardrobe gaps are on my radar. Also, in theory, I am trying to streamline my wardrobe so I am much more deliberate and thoughtful when considering how a new piece will fit amongst what's already there. It's an investment.


Shopping (or browsing in shops) isn't an enjoyable pastime for everyone. There's a lot of people that would rather be doing something/anything else. I get it. So, for those people rather than pick up a piece here and there; they would prefer powering through and shopping as infrequently as possible.


Whichever category you fall in (or somewhere in between), here are a few things that I always ask myself when shopping (either in-person or on-line to keep on track when it comes to building a cohesive wardrobe and sticking to a reasonable budget:




Top 5 things on my radar when considering a new garment:


1) Fit: Does it fit and flatter? Does it suit me and my lifestyle? How does it make me feel? Does it represent who I am today and align with my goals?


2) Current Wardrobe Inventory: Do I have anything similar to it in my closet that I would wear for the same purpose (note: often we end up with a closet full of the same types of pieces). Or, will this fill a gap or hole in my wardrobe? It’s alwasy good to be aware of what is lacking, so you can shop or acquire new pieces with intention. That’s why I love the closet edit before a big shopping excursion!


3) Versatility: Will it go with pieces already in my wardrobe? Can I style it at least 3 ways? If I think about styling options ahead of time, the likelihood of me wearing a new garment increases dramatically.


4) Cost-Per-Wear: Do I have occasion to wear it? How frequently do I see myself wearing this, will it earn its cost-per-wear...


5) $$ - Cost and my Budget: What do I feel is a reasonable price for this garment? I love to try something on, see if it checks all the above criteria, and then figure out what I think it is worth. I then, check the price and that helps me decide if it is a reasonable purchase that I will feel good about.




The 5 points are always part of my decision making process. Which is why, more often than not, I end up walking away - it's hard to find clothing that meets all the criteria. Which is a good thing, if it passes the test, it should serve us well over time. That's the goal.


Sometimes I find a piece that I absolutely fall in love with. It brings me instant joy. It may not tick all the boxes above, but that excitement can occasionally justify a purchase. I like to say those pieces earn their love-per-wear. Because, the goal is to feel happy with and in our clothing.


I often end up purchasing some gems while on holiday as they are unique and always have a memory attached (like the dress I am wearing in the first photo - a gem found in Mexico a couple of years ago and has far surpassed its cost-per-wear).


Regardless of how you feel about shopping, if you have a well-edited closet and keep these questions in mind when out and about in stores, you'll make good decisions. It will benefit your wallet and you'll end up loving the wardrobe you own. Don't forget, it's an investment - how we spend our money matters.


So no matter your shopping style or preferences: frequent browser or short and sweet - if you start to embed this mindset into the experience, your closet and your bank account will thank you. I promise. No more impulse purchases and closets full of clothes with nothing to wear.






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2019 • LORI THOMAS • STYLESMARTS • VANCOUVER BC