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How to Shop Like a Boss and Get The Most Out of Your Purchase.

Featured blog post by: Natasha FS.

People tend to have a certain misconception about the wardrobes of fashion bloggers. The belief is that we shop all the time, have wardrobes filled with clothes and never wear the same thing twice and this couldn’t be further from the truth. At least in my case anyway. I admit that I do acquire a lot of clothes through blogging and it is absolutely one of the perks of this amazing job but as far as my wardrobe goes, it’s not big at all. To give you a little insight I have a chest of drawers with 3 separate drawers that stores my tops, dresses and bottoms and I have a stand alone rail which holds a few coats and most of the stuff I get new in. I also have a wardrobe in my room but its fairly small and has mostly Marcus’ coats and suits for work which leaves me only a few hangers for a few coats, knitwear and dresses that I don’t reach for that often.

This may surprise a lot of people because some bloggers have entire rooms dedicated to their wardrobes but nope, not this blogger. I love to live quite minimal and I hate to hoard stuff. I tend to go through my wardrobe at the start of each season and get rid of stuff I haven’t worn and store away stuff that I loved and know I will wear again when the season comes back around. Whether it’s interior stuff, makeup or clothes; I like to keep everything quite streamlined and over the years I’ve managed to hone in on my personal style enough to help me to do this effectively. The trick is to buy smart and get the most from your purchases.

This is something I started doing in 2016 and it’s really helped me out a lot. I now wear most, if not all of the clothes I own repeatedly rather than wearing something once and forgetting about it after. I still manage to look stylish and trendy without having to constantly run to the shops and replenish my wardrobe and I thought that I would write a post and tell you just how I put this into practice on a recent shopping trip to The Fort Shopping Park here in Birmingham.

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR PURCHASE

MAKE A SHOPPING LIST

For me it starts with how I shop and my biggest tip is to always make a list of what you need. It’s all too easy to get carried away when you’re shopping and to buy things impulsively and in my experience; I don’t tend to wear impulse buys as much simply because I didn’t take the time to think about them beforehand. I find that personally, I get more from my purchases when I think about how I can integrate items into my already existing  wardrobe and style things around them.

It all starts with making a list and this season when I sorted through my wardrobe I did just that. I wrote down a list which included what items I was missing from my wardrobe and what items needed updating. I also flicked through magazines and scrolled through Instagram as well as website new-in sections to see what was new and trendy for the season. After doing this I was well and truly armed with a list of items that I needed to add to my wardrobe for the season and then it was on to the best part, shopping!!!

TRY EVERYTHING ON AND THINK OF STYLING IDEAS

With my list in tow, me and Marcus were off to the Fort and get our shop on. My list mainly consisted of basics which I could style for both work and play that I needed for my new job which I start next Monday. I was missing a couple pairs of trousers, some jumpers, a pair of comfortable work shoes and a work bag. I also noticed while I was sorting through my wardrobe that I was seriously lacking in outfits for special occasions so I also added a nice dress/jumpsuit to the list.

We went into a few shops as the Fort has a great selection including some firm favourites like River Island, H&M, New Look and Primark. It was so simple to just go to the sections I needed and not get sidetracked once I was inside the shops thanks to my handy list. I browsed through and picked up a few options of each item then made my way to the changing room to try on everything.

As someone who doesn’t tend to shop in-store much, trying stuff on can be rather tedious but it’s totally worth it to cram yourself into a cubicle under harsh light and try on every single item. This will help make sure everything fits right and feels comfortable. It will also help you think about how you will actually style the item once you take it home with you. A handy tip is to pick up items that are similar to the stuff  you already have at home just so you can try them on with the item you intend to buy and make sure they will go well together. I also like to think about how many different ways I can style an item and if I can style it in at least 3 different ways then the item is usually a winner and is coming home with me. Another question to ask yourself when shopping is “Can I wear this item all year round?” I find that the items that get the most love in my wardrobe are items I can wear all year round like denim and basics so I always make sure to invest in these pieces.

Another tip is not to pick up items that require too much maintenance or that require alterations. Let’s face it, if you have to buy something only to spend more money getting it dry cleaned or altered in any way; it’s not worth it! Shop in petite, tall or curve sections if you need to and make sure the item fits you perfectly. It will save you a lot of hassle and it will mean you’ll actually wear the item more and get the most out of it. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve bought something that didn’t fit me perfectly with the intention of taking it to the tailors only to forget about it and chuck into a bag for the charity shop later. This has happened especially when an item has been in the sale and I’ve justified having to tailor it because it was cheaper. My advice is don’t do it! If it doesn’t fit just leave it even if it’s dirt cheap. Someone once said if you wouldn’t buy something at full price don’t buy it just because it’s in the sale and I couldn’t agree more.

*Jumpsuit – New Look
Scarf – Next (similar)
*Bag – Aily Official
Shoes – Primark

BUY BASICS AND SHOP SMART

Whenever I’m shopping I try to shop smart and shopping smart isn’t necessarily the same as shopping cheaply. There’s certain items that I will always spend more on and get the best possible quality I can afford because I know that I will wear these items a lot and I want them to last. Other items I am not that fussed about and will try to spend the very minimum I can because I know I won’t wear them that much.

On this shopping trip to the Fort I was prepared to spend most of my money on the basics; the trousers, the bag and the shoes. I knew that these were items I could repeat endlessly and I spent a little more on these and made sure to get the best possible quality I could afford. I also made sure to buy these items in neutral colours mostly because I had work in mind but also because neutral colours are generally easier to style and work well with brighter colours.

on the other hand, I wasn’t prepared to spend as much on occasion wear because the likelihood of me wearing an occasion number more than twice is really slim. Luckily this jumpsuit that you see in today’s post was really affordable and only set me back £20. It also has the added bonus of being quite versatile and I can totally see myself wearing it more than once.  I can dress it up as I’ve done in this post and make it suitable for a night out or I can dress it down with some vans and it can be a great casual piece for when the weather gets warmer. Another styling tip for this season is layering a thick jumper over it and pairing it with a block heel or ankle boot for a casual day look. Clearly I thought about how I’d style this jumpsuit a lot and seriously it really helps! Try it next time you’re out shopping.

That’s pretty much my secret guys. I don’t have a tonne of clothes in my wardrobe but what I do have looks good on me and gets a lot of love. These tips have helped me a hell of a lot when I’ve been shopping in store and some of these I even apply to shopping online although that process is somewhat different. I hope you found the tips helpful and that they help you out on your next trip to the shops. Let me know if you’d like me to share my online shopping tips and tricks and if you’d like tips on how to look after your clothes so that they last you ages and save you those all too frequent trips to the shops.

To see Natasha’s full post, check out her blog.

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