How To shop for clothes
Clothes shopping doesn't have to be an impossible
chore. These tips for smarter shopping will help you buy a
better wardrobe by spending less time and money.
Time Required: Varies
1. Have a plan. Check your
closet and make a mental note of what you could use (e.g., a
black turtleneck to go with menswear pants you own, etc.)
2. Set a budget. Knowing you can
only pay $100 for a dress ahead of time will help you sort
through the racks quicker.
3. Start early. For special
occasions allow yourself at least two weeks prior to the event
to find the dress. You'll need extra time for shoes and
4. Dress for shopping. If you'll
be looking for a special occasion dress, try to wear or bring
undergarments (strapless bra, etc.) to go with the style.
Otherwise, wear easy on/off clothes. Also, styled hair and
makeup will make looking at yourself in the dressing room mirror
just that much easier.
5. Shop by yourself. If you
really need a second opinion, put the item on hold and bring
someone back with you later.
6. Keep a blind eye to sales and
promotions. Stores put enticing promotional items at the front.
Chances are you'll blow your budget right there unless you stay
7. Accept a salesperson's help.
You may be surprised by how much time you'll save you if you'll
give them some direction about what you're shopping for.
8. Try it on. Walk, sit, bend in
the clothes. Do they move easily? Are the seams pulling? Do
zippers, buttons, etc. all function properly?
9. Use the three-way mirror. Get
an honest look at your rear and side views. Watch for extreme
panty lines (too-tight pants), bunched up waist (too big) or
other tell-tale signs of an ill-fitting garment.
10. Check the care tags. If
laundry concerns matter to you, then you may want to do this
while browsing. Otherwise, see how much care the item is going
11. Check the return policy.
Many stores don't give cash back, just a store credit; but some
mark sale items "final sale" which means you can't bring them
back at all.
- Avoid buying items you can't return for
at least a store credit.
- Never buy anything that doesn't fit
perfectly. The only exceptions are pants/skirts that can be
easily altered for length at the hem.
- It's not a bargain -- even at 90% off --
unless you actually have some way to work it into your
What You Need:
- Shopping list
- Money: checks, cash, credit cards
- A shoulderbag to keep hands free for
- Comfortable clothes and shoes for trying
on and walking