4 January 2014

How to: Shop Effectively

With sales season upon us and oodles of money and giftcards from Christmas, it is inevitable that us ladies will end up with armfuls of shopping bags. However, Christmas sales can be madness and once you're on the shop floor, it's each woman for herself! To help anyone who may get caught up in the whirlwind of buying anything and everything just because it is on sale, I have written a guide to ensure you shop wisely and make sure your money ends up in the right place (your wardrobe!).

Money Matters

Keep all your gift cards even after they are spent. If you choose to refund the items you purchased the money has to be put back on the original gift card. If you lose the gift card you are generally only offered a credit note/gift card from that store. 

♡  Have a safe place in your house to keep all your receipts. Preferably not your purse as they all get mixed up and can get lost easier. Even placing them on your desk under a paperweight would be an improvement.

Always ask about student/teacher/elder/unemployed etc discounts. It may surprise you to know that some shops, such as Urban Outfitters, accept student discount on sales prices. You go Glen Coco!

Always ask the exchange/refund policy. Would you be surprised to hear that American Apparel offer exchange only? This is why it is important to find out. Sale items in shops can sometimes have a different policy to full price items so be sure to ask at the til before you purchase. 

After purchasing a garment, leave the tags on until you are 100% about the item. This seems so obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people are eager to rip the tags off right away. This results in you being unable to get a full refund if you change your mind.

How to Prepare

 Wear clothes that you can remove quickly and easily. You will be trying things on all day so keep it simple. Try to wear leggings, t-shirts or any top that can be pulled over your head. Avoid skinny jeans and buttoned blouses- you will spend too much time dressing and undressing them. Try to avoid chunky jewellery that will have to be removed when you try things on.

 Wear flat, comfortable shoes but try dressy outfits on with heels from the shop. If you intend on wearing heels with the garment after buying it, you should try it on with heels before you buy it so you can gain a true idea of how it looks on.

Wear your hair neatly and have your make up applied nicely. You want a true impression of how well a piece of clothing could look on you so try to make an effort. No need to go overboard and spend ages getting ready before shopping, just aim to look neat and well-presented. 

Where to Start

We automatically start at the right-hand side of the shop. This is just something customers naturally do so shop owners/companies/visual merchandisers work on this basis. New stock is generally put up to the front of the shop. This is so it is near the doorway to attract the customers in.

 Clothes that look well together are placed together. The visual merchandiser is making life easy for you: if you do not know what to wear this blazer with, look at the clothes displayed around it and you will see a dress or shirt that coordinates stylishly. This is used throughout the shop.

The "nicer" items are generally put on the walls or on the front of rails. Items behind these may have fewer sizes available as they have been in store for a while but never be afraid to have a look at them anyways and ask if your size may be in the stockroom.

Fitting Rooms

If you are over the limit of items allowed into the fitting room, ask the sales assistant to hold the remaining items so you can try them on after your first lot. Often the sales assistant will just let you go in with all your selected items out of niceness, but on a busy day or a day with managers and supervisors around this may not be possible. In this case try on your favourites first, and when you're done ask the assistant to swap these for the items you have on hold.

If something doesn't fit, ask the sales assistant (politely) if she would fetch you another size. As long as you are polite, they'll be happy to help and will tell you if you are wearing the item correctly (i.e. a jumper may be purposefully oversized etc).

 ♡ As I have already mentioned, bring heels from the shop into the fitting room to try on. Try to bring in a shoe with a shade that suits the dress. If one is not available then stick to the colours that are safe bets : black, nude or silver.

 ♡  If you are still unsure after trying it on, take a picture in the fitting room of you wearing it. It may feel cringy but it means you can go home and have a proper think about the item, with a picture to help you make your mind up.

Before you Buy

 Consider how well the garment will wash. Some clothes can't just be bummed into the wash so read the washing instructions carefully. These can be found on the inside label of the piece of clothing (this is the white label seperate to the store/brand label). Glitter is a pain as it almost always comes off when put in the wash. Often, writing detail on t-shirts and jumpers becomes cracked and chips off after being washed. Studs, diamantes, beads and fur can also fall off after being washed if they are cheaply made, so always check their sturdiness. Beads and gems that are sewn on (rather than glued) have a much longer lifetime.

Do you have three outfits that this garment can be worn with? Asking yourself this question each time you buy will result in less unworn clothes in your wardrobe.

 Does the price of this garment match the quality? I don't mind paying a little extra for something that is unusual that I know no other shop will have. This is rare nowadays though, and often you'll find other shops does a cheaper version with pretty much the same quality. Look around before flashing the plastic!

Check that any zips, buttons or catches are present and functioning and look out for stains, rips and holes. It is in your own interest to ensure the item is in good condition before buying it because it is quicker than traipse back in a few days with a faulty purchase. It is also a good idea to check that there are extra buttons/beads/gems attached to the white inside label of the garment, just in case. Accidents happen!

If what you want to buy is missing some sort of accessory like a belt or shoelaces, ask at the til for a replacement. The more people try on things the more accessories like belts go walkabouts and often the shop will have a bag of these belts or otherwise to replace any missing ones from clothes throughout the shop. It is up to you to ask for one at the till!

And that sums up my tips for shopping effectively! 
I hope this helps you! 
ps: Look out for a haul post coming soon on the items in the photo above!

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  1. This is a great post and has loads of tips I'll be using next time I go shopping!
    The Lipstick, The Girl and Her Wardrobe

    1. Awh thats great to hear, I'm glad you like it! X

  2. Great tips doll I usually keep receipt in a small makeup purse.

    1. That's another good idea, thanks for your comment! X

  3. Love this post going to use some of these tips when i go shopping next x

  4. Hi Hannah, thanks for dropping a comment on my blog, came to check out yours, lovely lil blog! and a handy guide too! <3 followed you back :) keep it up!

    zara xx

    1. No problem! Thank you I appreciate it :D x

  5. These tips are so useful, especially around sale time! xo


  6. WOW-- this has got to be one of the most helpful blog posts I have ever read!

    I absolutely love it. Every single thing you point out is 100% true. I have known many of these, and due to me being a middle class shopper-- I kind of have to in order to get the most of my money.

    I think every one should start adopting these points into their shopping trips because not only will it save you money, but you get a better bang for your buck so to say.

    Overall, fabulous post chica!

    I am new to your blog and would love it if we can follow each other :)

    Rica x0x
    I comment4comment && follow4follow <3

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment I really enjoyed reading it, much appreciated! I am now following you also and left a comment on your blog :) x

  7. Wow awesome shopping dear

  8. i definitely need to take tips on this! i always buy spontaneously without even thinking about if i'll even wear it haha

    1. I know sometimes I can be the same but I just ended up wasting money! Hope these help, thanks for your comment :) x

  9. thank for this very usefull post !



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