How to be all conquering on your next clothes shopping excursion…
1. Know Thy Wardrobe
It’s a mistake to shop for food at the supermarket when you’re hungry. Similarly, heading out to buy clothes without an idea of what you already have in your wardrobe is a great way to waste money on ill-fitting impulse purchases. Before you go out, take stock of what you already own and where there are gaps in your collection. Check your shirts, jeans, suits, etc, for wear and tear and decide if any need to be replaced. Take note of colours you have a lot of and where you might want expand into new hues because there’s simply no point having a dozen black shirts that are nearly identical.
2. Make A List
Just like when you head out to buy ingredients for a dinner party, make a detailed list. Divide it into what you need (socks, underwear, new shirts for work) and what you want (casualwear, new coats, accessories). With a cool head, prioritise what you want to achieve on this shopping excursion, what can wait until next time, and what you can afford to pay for various items. This is the best way to keep on track, avoid unnecessary duplication and not blow your budget.
3. Take Your Measure
Try on those Levi’s size 34 and see if they still fit. Same deal with that large size shirt. Use a tape measure on your waist, hips, chest, legs and arms. Jot all of those numbers down. They’ll save you a ton of time and perhaps a bit of embarrassment. Go out shopping with an acceptance of your size and only go for clothing that fits now. If you plan to hit the gym and lose a few kegs, great—reward yourself with a slimmer size when you’re slim. Don’t try to squeeze into those size 32 jeans now.
4. Take Your Time & Use Your List
Set aside a specific amount of time on a specific day and devote that to clothes shopping. Only go with a mate or partner if they’re willing to give their time and honest opinion and aren’t going to rush you. You want to have time to consult your list, check the fit, have a think and buy only what you’re sure about. If you have a niggling doubt, then put the item back on the rack. If it’s truly for you, it’ll nag and you’ll go back and get it. Better to do that than to get home and realise it’s going to sit in your wardrobe until your next purge. Also: always go back to that list. That way you won’t get sidetracked and come home with a brand-new jumper that was 60 per cent off (that you won’t be able to wear next winter) when you were supposed to be spending your time and money on shirts (that you need for summer).
5. Embrace The Online
If you’re sure of your sizes — including international size and metric-to-imperial conversions — then you can score true bargains online, even including global shipping costs. Some people go to stores, try clothes on to ensure they’re what they want and then buy the equivalent item online. We’re not sure of the ethics of that. But you could perhaps raise the online price difference with your retailer and see if you can get some sort of a discount.