Going gluten-free has helped me lose about 15 pounds in 3 1/2 months, and of course that means things fit differently. When I go shopping though it’s still hard to try on clothes. Mostly because most stores don’t understand sizing should be fairly uniform to make me not have to spend 3 hours hunting for a pair of jeans only to find that none are sized the same (I’m looking at you Gap).
I sometimes wish I was a guy. Not because I want to be a dude (ew), but because their sizing is pretty uniform. My husband doesn’t even have to try pants on! He can just walk in, pick them up, pay and leave.
Sadly I’m not though, and partly due to my changing size, and lack of any semblance of a wardrobe I’ve been doing a bit more shopping lately. I’ve found some ways to help you stick to your budget, and make clothes shopping a more pleasant experience.
Next time you go shopping, get ready ahead of time by doing a few things to make the experience more pleasant:
1) Wear your favorite undergarments, or go buy some.
There’s nothing worse than trying on clothes and having frumpy underthings on. If you don’t have good foundation garments (underwear, bras and yes, even shapewear) then get yourself to a Bloomingdale’s or other department store to get properly fitted. Be prepared to spend a good amount. Once you know your favorite bra you may be able to find it online or someplace like Nordstrom Rack for way less.
2) Wear comfortable shoes.
There is nothing worse than your feet hurting when you’re shopping. Choose something that you can slip on and off, like Crocs (yes, they make cute ones), or Uggs.
3) Set aside lots of time.
Be prepared to spend 3-5 hours shopping (if not more), and if at all possible leave the kids at home. There’s nothing worse than having a toddler along who like to crawl under the doors especially when you are down to your skivvies.
4) Make a list of needs, wants, and trends you want to try.
Before you shop it’s essential to know what you need, what would make a nice addition to your wardrobe, and what trends you would like to try out. If you’re shopping for needs try to stick to classic styled clothing which you can find at most department stores, Banana Republic,and other places like Ann Taylor. For trends try bargain shopping at places like Forever 21 or H&M. If you’re clueless about the latest trends, you should definitely check out some of the blogs below in the Fashion Friday linkup which all have great advice.
5) Don’t buy it just because it’s a bargain.
Sometimes it’s better to just go through the store and look for everything you want to try on and then take it back and try it on. Then you will end up with a pile of winners, losers, and oh-my-gosh-this-looks-awful-on-anyone-but-a-supermodel piles. From there you can pick and choose which pieces you like the most based on your budget.
6) Stick to your budget.
Speaking of budgets, set one. Either shop with cash, or keep track on your phone’s calculator.
7) Don’t focus on size.
Create a range of sizes that work for you. In some pants you may be an 8, while in others you’re a 12. Mostly this is due to the way the pants fit. For instance I tried on a pair of low rise jeans only to find the size I wear in the other styles was not even close to zipping up. So I searched and found a pair 2 sizes bigger, and they were a perfect fit. The same also goes with shirts. I will purchase anything from an XS to a M depending on how the shirt the shirt is cut. Dresses, skirts, etc. also qualify.
8 ) Look at the care and fabric content tag.
I always look at the care tag so I can avoid costly dry cleaning bills. I also look at the fabric since I’m allergic to angora, and prefer natural fibers whenever possible.
9) Look for storewide sales.
I like to shop at Banana Republic, and lately they’ve had lots of sales that either reduce the price of everything in the store, or mark down sale items an additional %. Look for lots of sale reductions right now and through the next few weeks as stores try to sell off the last of the winter clothing so they can get spring items in stock. (this always seems crazy to me, but it also helps me shop in season)
10) When in doubt, don’t buy it.
Listen I know you think you’ll return it, but you probably won’t. If you’re not 1000% sure about a purchase, leave it. You can always come back and get it another time.
11) Bring a friend. If you can shop with a friend, do it! Just make sure she can be constructively critical, and has a similar budget. You don’t want a yes girl, or someone you are trying to keep with. (think you’re shopping at Marshall’s and she’s at Neiman’s) Shopping with someone who is a good shopping buddy is a great way to find great pieces you may not have tried on otherwise, and honestly it’s just more fun!
Here are some great sales that I found online, if you prefer shopping online.
1/7-1/9:Crocs Up to 60% off!
What are your tips for shopping for clothes on a budget?