Before heading out to shop, familiarize yourself with different department stores, independently owned boutiques, and national chain specialty shops. If you’re not familiar with a certain store’s merchandise, go online and research what kind of clothing they carry. Take a look at their website and see if it’s right for your needs. This will save you a ton of time.
Certain stores are geared toward juniors, meaning the thirteen to nineteen- year-olds; others are for a more mature crowd. Some shops specialize in clothing for career women, others for a more relaxed lifestyle. By looking at the website, the mannequins in the window, or by asking around, you can easily determine the genre and age group different stores cater to, as well as the price point and styles they carry. No sense wasting your time in a store that doesn’t carry what you want. No sense dulling your spirit in a store where nothing will fit, either.
Department stores like Nordstrom, Dillard’s, and Macy’s, to name a few, have different sections within the entire women’s clothing department. These departments have individual names, to differentiate what kinds of clothing they carry, price points, and lifestyle or age range. For example, Nordstrom has Studio 121, Narrative, Savvy, Brass Plum, TBd, and Point of View. They all carry women’s apparel and some accessories, but they each have a very different flavor to them. They also have the specialty size departments Petites and Encore.
Don’t let these different departments confuse you. simply look around and get your bearings. Notice if a certain department has the overall style and quality of clothing you want to buy. Ask a salesperson to give you the lay of the land, and ask what age group and what styles the different departments sell. You may rule out one or two of the sections, but keep an open mind. Be thorough in your hunt for treasures.
If you can’t find anything you like in the regular departments, you’re probably in the wrong department or the wrong store. Or you may need to come back in a couple weeks or so.
Before you head out on your shopping trip, be sure to:
• Wear comfortable clothing: easy-to-remove slacks, top, and shoes, nothing too complicated with lots of buttons and snaps.
• Wear comfortable panties and your best-fitting bra.
• Bring a light-weight pair of heels for trying on with a dress or skirt.
• Bring a water bottle and a small snack, like an energy bar.
• Bring your shopping list.
• Eat before you leave.
• Wear a light jacket; you don’t want to be too warm inside the stores.
• Give yourself goals, a reasonable budget, and a time frame.
Before you decide whether or not to spend your hard-earned money on anything, ask yourself three questions in front of the mirror.
1. Does it fit me? (Does the waist taper in to show off your womanly figure? Does it pinch or sag? Is the crotch of the pants too low or too high? Is the sleeve length correct? What happens when you sit, or pretend to drive a car?)
2. Does it flatter me? (Does the color make your skin glow and your eyes sparkle? does it flatter your figure? do you look terrific or at least pretty darn hot?)
3. Do I love it? (Is it you on the inside and out? Is this how you want people to see you? Is this the look you want to move your personal style toward? does this feel like the real you – finally? Does it have the potential to be one of your favorite things?)
If the answer to any of those questions is no, don’t buy that item. There are plenty of other items in other stores for you to spend your money on. Don’t settle. Not even if it’s on sale. Not even if it’s a clearance sale. Not even if the saleslady is gasping over it. That goes for clothes, shoes, and accessories.
Your new mantra: I’ll only buy what fits me, what flatters me, and what I love, from this day forward. Copyright 2014
This is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, Look Good Now and Always, due out in Nov. 2014. It will be available on Amazon.com. But you can pre-order by contacting me via email: [email protected] or phone: 720-933-9247. Free shipping for orders in Oct!
Marian Rothschild is a certified personal image consultant serving the Denver and Boulder areas, speaker, and author of Look Good Now and Always. Marian teaches successful professionals to have polished presence and confident leadership skills with exquisite intention. Marian coaches on appearance, body language, and communication. Call for a free 20 min. consultation: 720-933-9247.