Sunday, 25 October 2009

STYLISA Shopping Tips – Part One

Fashion Stylist, Lisa Maynard-Atem of STYLISA, gives us the low down on what to do when hitting the shops….

Ask yourself the question – do I really need it? If not, then don’t buy it. Yes I know what it’s like when you see something and you convince yourself that you’ve just got to have it but how many times have bought something on impulse, worn it once and then never worn it again or never worn it all for that matter??? Unless you’re a stylist and can use your clothes for your work, then it really isn’t worth it. It’s more than likely that you will have something in your wardrobe that will suffice.

Decide on what you want to spend and stick to it. One minute you are going into town to buy a new top and the next, you’re coming away having seriously assaulted your credit card. I know that it’s hard girlies but resist the temptation. Think about it this way…it takes seconds to stick it on the credit card but it could take you years to pay it off!

Shopping can be very stressful, so if possible, try and go shopping early in the morning (or early in the week). The shops are less crowded and you will get an opportunity to see what new stock has just being delivered rather than leaving it later in the day and missing out on that must-have item that you’ve had your eye on. Take your time when shopping. If you feel yourself getting stressed, go for a coffee and chill out for half an hour. Don’t rush because you may end up going home with something you didn’t want.

Try to familiarise yourself with what the stores offers. Some stores, like Harvey Nichols, offer excellent customer services. Other stores, like H&M, have great return policies. Return policies are very important, so if you are unsure of what the stores policies are, then make sure you ask before you buy.

Always dress comfortably when hitting the shops. Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing that is easy to slip in and out of (for when you are trying stuff on).

The right underwear is fundamental to any outfit. Depending on what you are buying, always make sure you either have the right underwear on or take it with you in your handbag. I know this may sound a little extreme but believe, IT HELPS. If you don’t know your size, head to M&S and get yourself measured immediately. You would be amazed at the amount of women still wearing the wrong size bra!

No matter what you are buying, think about the versatility of the item. It is better to buy complete outfits (budget permitting) – a suit jacket with matching trousers and skirt for example. I always ask my clients (if they are not buying complete outfits), to think of three things in their existing wardrobe that their potential new purchase would go with. If they can’t think of three things, then don’t purchase.

If you are looking for an item to match something else that you already have, then take the item with you to ensure what you buy matches perfectly. If you’re embarrassed to do that, then take a picture of the item (ah yes, the joy that is the camera phone) with a note of the items colour and any detailing.

Look out for part two next week...

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