Do you hate to shop for clothes?
According to a recent report by WGSN (Worth Global Style
Network), 28% of women HATE to shop for clothes. To them,
it’s a four-letter word that produces stress and anxiety
any time they think about hitting the mall.
Now for the 26% of women who absolutely LOVE to shop and
frequently ease their woes with retail therapy, this may be
inconceivable. How can anyone NOT enjoy the thrill of the
hunt or the big bargain score? Who doesn’t love modeling
new clothes in front of the mirror or being asked
incessantly, “Great outfit! Is it new?”
The answer? Plenty of people.
And for many women who hate to shop, the problem has little
to do with money. In fact, according to WGSN, when these
women actually force themselves to go buy clothes, they
rarely look for bargains.
Instead, they tend to avoid the mall because:
1. They don’t know what kinds of clothes look best on them.
2. They don’t follow fashion and don’t want to look
ridiculous or dated in their purchases.
3. They’re easily flustered when they can’t find what
they’re looking for quickly.
4. They feel uncomfortable trying on clothes in dressing
5. They may have put on a lot of weight and either can’t
find clothes that fit or don’t want to face the fact that
they need a larger size.
6. They hate crowds.
Does any of this sound familiar?
If you can really relate to this list, here are some tips
to make shopping easier, less expensive, and far less
frustrating than you may have experienced in the past:
1. Determine Your Body Shape
Start by taking a good look at your birthday suit in the
mirror the next time you change clothes or step out of the
bath. Are your hips bigger than your chest? Your chest
bigger than your hips? Is your waist the same size as your
chest and hips? Does your body resemble an hourglass?
Make a note. Look for clothes shaped the same way you are
when you hit the stores. This will lead to fast success
and minimal frustration.
2. Determine Your Lifestyle
What kinds of clothes work best in your current situation?
Do you need business wear? Jeans? Ball gowns? If your
lifestyle is 60% work, 20% social, and 20% leisure, for
example, or 90% work and 5% social and 5% leisure, then
your wardrobe should reflect as much. Otherwise, you may
be hard pressed to find something to wear for those
activities where you spend the least amount of time.
3. Assess Your Needs and Make a List
Once you know your shape and your lifestyle, it’s time to
go through your closet and see what you need. If you’re
short on tops, put them on the list. Feel fabulous in a
coatdress? Add a few more. Love your black A-line skirt?
Buy another one in dark blue.
Remember: if you start with a list, you can immediately
hone in on those pieces in the store. When you only look
for what you need, you’re a lot less likely to get
distracted – or confused.
4. Go When it’s Quiet and You Have Some Time
This may not always be possible, depending on your
situation, but try to go when the stores are nearly empty
and you have a little time to look, like a weekday morning.
Not only will the store clerks be more available to help,
you’ll have plenty of time to go through the store
If you hate crowds or have to constantly monitor your watch
as you shop, you’re more likely to give up quickly or buy
unsatisfactory pieces just to get it over with.
Simple solution: shop online.
5. Leave The Kids At Home
This may not always be possible, but if you can shop when
they’re at school, leave them with a sitter, or swap
sitting duties with another mom so you each have free time,
6. Buy and Return
If you don’t have the time or inclination to try on clothes
before you buy them, go to a mirror, hold the clothes up in
front of you and see how they look. If it looks like
something you might like, test the size in the places it’s
most likely to give you trouble, like the shoulders, bust
or hips, by grabbing the edge of the garment and seeing
where it hits on the side of your body. If it goes half
way, chances are, you have a close fit. If it doesn’t or
if it goes beyond the halfway point, go up or down a size,
respectively. Buy it, take it home, and try it on there.
If it fits, keep it. If it doesn’t, take it back.
7. Hire Help
If you truly don’t want to attempt any of this on your own,
or if you’re after a certain look but don’t have the time
to track it down, hire a personal shopper. Many better
department stores and boutiques have one on staff; just
ask. Or, check online, in the newspaper, or in the phone
book for freelance personal shoppers in your area. The
Association of Image Consultants International
might also be able to recommend someone locally.
While the fee for department or boutique staff shoppers is
usually free (they receive a commission on the clothes you
buy from their store), most freelance shoppers will charge
either an hourly or flat fee for their services, plus the
cost of clothes. If that’s what it takes to get you out
the door, looking your best, with a minimum of stress, pay
it. It will pay you back many times in increased
confidence, reduced stress, and a workable, wearable
Shopping for new clothes should be an enjoyable event you
participate in at least twice a year, to refurbish your
closet for the new season. If you hate to shop or always
wind up with stuff you don’t need, try these tips to get
your closet in order. Who knows? You may actually start
to enjoy yourself!