Thursday, March 13, 2014

Stop Buyers Remorse with a Spring Shopping List

via Polyvore
Shopping for a new season can be so much fun but it's easy to go overboard. I'm not trying to squelch your adventures in shopping for spring if you can honestly say that you actually wear every single piece of clothing that you buy (more than once), that you never spend more than you need to, and that you always find it a breeze to pull together outfits post shopping spree. 

On the other hand, if you're shaking your head or fighting denial, it might be time to put a little more thought into how you shop for a new season. I keep myself on budget and working towards a wardrobe that mixes and matches really well with a basic tool of organization -- a trusty list! 

Create your own spring shopping list with these 4 steps: 

 1. Take time to get inspired
Even if you're not an avid magazine reader, the start of a new season is a great time to treat yourself to a new glossy. Turn the pages and just pull out anything that inspires you without worrying about how to pull it off. Online sites like Pinterest or Polyvore are great and even an image search on Google will do the trick if you're a digital girl. The important part is to bookmark or keep a of file of images you're drawn to. From there you'll start to notice the trends, colours and silhouettes that you're really digging and can then embark on step two to figure out you need to create similar looks. 

Step 2: Consult your closet
It's so tempting to start buying new pieces when they first hit the shelves but this is often before we've had a chance to look at what's already inside our closets. Instead, I recommend pulling out your warm weather wardrobe first to make notes on what you have and what you might need to buy to recreate your favourite inspiration looks. This keeps you from buying more of the same, a natural tendency because you'll always be drawn to what's familiar. 

Step 3: Make a visual list
via Polyvore
Don't rely on your memory. I blame "baby brain" (despite the fact that my kid is a preschooler) but really we all have selective memory when we hit the stores. Having an actual list to refer to is the best way to keep you on track. Now this doesn't mean you can't save a little splurge room for something unexpected, but a list will keep those splurges in check. Rather than just having a boring old hand written list, I actually encourage a visual one. It's more fun but it's also functional because it gives you the opportunity to include styles you've seen and like. Again, sites like Polyvore or Pinterest are awesome for scooping up a little photo of your ideal piece. Above is a visual list I made in Polyvore because I need to do some shopping for items to wear in my home office. 

Step 4:  Window shop first

You might choose to do this exercise with an actual visit to the shops or you can browse online from the comfort of your home but either way a little window shopping is a great way to help you narrow down your search for when it's time to actually buy and to do a little price comparison if you're on a budget.  Focusing on window shopping just the items you've included on your list also trains you to stick to that list when it's time to lay down the plastic. TIP:  If you do choose to leave home to window shop, you may want to leave your wallet at home to limit temptation but if you happen to see an item on your list and it's exactly what you were looking for plus the only one in your size, go for it!
Using a shopping list is just one of my personal tricks to shopping smarter for spring and I swear it works! Yes, it's a little more effort than you're probably used to but I'm personally challenging you to give it a try because I promise you'll see positive results. The biggest benefits are way less buyers remorse and sticking to your budget. If you're intrigued and want a little more guidance on the process (plus other awesome tips on wardrobe building for Spring) I invite you to check out my free online masterclass on April 1st so I can share more secrets with you live. "See" you there!

-- Tamika Auwai is our resident Style Editor, Shopping Enthusiast and Wardrobe Expert

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