Updated: Aug 31, 2021
The new season is fast approaching and with the weather so chilly and dark already, never have we welcomed chunky knits and quilted coats already hitting the shop floors and online sites! Now the new season may be filling you with excitement, I know I certainly am, but I also know that for some of you it begins to bring an element of dread, a sense of overwhelm and the natural tendency to panic buy! Sound familiar? If so then the below may come in handy as some things to think about before you shop as I share my top tips to avoid the impulse purchases!!
What do you have?
Whether you are working from home, heading back to the office, about to start a new job, at home with the kids or just enjoying a break, as you think about what you want to buy into for the coming season you should really hold fire until you have gone through your wardrobe first!
It's really important to familiarise yourself with what is in your wardrobe, what still fits, what works with your current lifestyle and what is missing! My most popular service is wardrobe edits right now and it helps clients spend some dedicated time on themselves and their wardrobe, creating exciting new looks with what they already have and realising very little needs to be spent on so much new!
During this process you may find things you forgot you had, allows you to edit out what is no longer appropriate and will also give you time to switch your seasons over if you store away A/W during the Summer season.
Knowing what you have and what you need is such an important process before shopping and adding more layers to your valuable wardrobe space. For most of us it isn't a huge space so lets make sure it is filled with things we will wear and not full of stuff that makes us feel blah!
What is your style personalty?
When you are unsure of what your style personality is, what suits you and your lifestyle or what makes you feel confident then it can make shopping feel overwhelming and no fun at all and always results in impulse purchases and disappointment.
By going through the process above of familiarising yourself with your wardrobe and working out what you love and what you don't love it starts you off with an idea of what to and what not to reach for when shopping new pieces. I can guarantee it will make the shopping process a more confident and enjoyable experience.
Knowing what you need is just as important as knowing your style personality too. It can become easy to be drawn to lots of different styles but you risk losing focus on your own and by buying into items you have seen on a variety of people can result in your style and wardrobe becoming confused. Before you hit the shops I recommend you take some time to look through some images or high profile people/celebrities and find a style you like and use them as a bench mark. Do try and stick to people who have similar colourings and body shapes to you to make the process valuable towards your purchasing decisions.
This is something I do with my clients as part of the consultation process to align them with a style personality that they can utilise beyond their time with me. It's great to be adventurous and create your own style and this will come from confidence but there is never anything wrong with having a style benchmark to help with your selection and decisions. I adore Emma Willis's style and so occasionally ask myself "would Emma wear this?". Having a visual in your head will help you make conscious purchasing decisions.
Create a List
Once you have familiarised yourself with your existing wardrobe and identified a style and trend you are really drawn to, then you can create a list of what to shop for. This can include items that are categorically missing from your wardrobe and of items from a particular style personality you admire and would like to try.
By having a list you will head out intentionally looking for things that when added to your wardrobe have a purpose and be strong to stick to that list. If it's something your targeted style personality style icon wouldn't wear and it wasn't identified as something you need then put it back and walk away and avoid an impulse purchase!
As part of the list you take shopping with you or use for online shopping you can also include images as visuals are the best way to stay focused. It is also worth taking items from your wardrobe shopping with you if you identified you needed a particular top to go with those trousers. It's great to have them to hand to try them on with in the shop, avoiding disappointment when you get home.
If possible also have a bit of a budget for your shopping list, its another way to keep your shopping focused, reduce over spending but also allows you to identify bargains to be had too!
Do you have anything to wear with it?
When making a purchase I tend to advise a general rule of, "do you have at least 3 things that will go with?" So, do you have the bottoms to go with that top, do you have the footwear to go with that dress and do you have the right coat to go with the outfit. If the answer is "no" then you need to either be prepared to invest in the additional pieces there and then otherwise this will be an item you buy that will then sit unworn in your wardrobe as you have nothing to go with it! I do honestly believe that if you are having to buy additional pieces to go with an item you like, or alter it to make it work for you, then it really isn't the right thing to be investing in unless you are having an entire wardrobe and style overhaul, otherwise you will end up overspending.
By asking yourself this question it will really make you stop and think about your purchasing decision ensuring you are only investing in pieces that will make the most of what you already have. This avoids wasting time and money in the long run and is starting your journey to be a conscious and sustainable shopper too! Bonus!
Does it have longevity?
When I chat through trends I am very conscious to cover the commercial trends that will have longevity in your wardrobe. This basically means that if you invest in any pieces of a particular trend they will last into seasons ahead, or it means you may discover items that play into that trend already hanging in your wardrobe. Wearing a trend doesn't mean wearing a one hit wonder, or like you should be buying into "fringe" trends! Commercial fashion trends are rarely unique or innovative they are something that just focuses our outfit decisions when both shopping the stores and shopping our wardrobe!
Wardrobe edits are great for this as you may have some new, on trend outfits to wear that you already own, it's just how you put them together and how you accessorise them. The best place to shop can be your very own wardrobe as you find things you have forgotten about. It's amazing how excited you can get about what you already own at the same time as decluttering it and making it a shoppable space! By reducing what you have can actually make you wear more of what you have when you do a wardrobe edit and the bonus comes with the fact that you haven't even had to shop new things, it's just new combinations!
Have you considered all shopping routes?
Another thing I actively encourage you to do before hitting the shops is to really think about where you are going to shop. I like to openly chat about the benefits of a well balanced shopping pattern as we need a balance of all shop outlets for them all to survive in a very tough current climate.
It's very easy to immediately go to the big players for our shopping needs and we do that through comfort of knowing where we are going but also habit too and that's fine, but its good to know what other options you have. As well as the big players there are now more smaller independent businesses that offer the most incredible service and a more one to one approach to their customer service which is difficult to stumble upon these days! There are also smaller business that are environmentally friendly and use sustainable processes, yarns and fabrics to reduce pollution and wastage, their ethos is an important part of their branding and they educate the consumer as well as providing great product too. Then there is one of my faves and that's preloved! So much of preloved product is actually new with tags which does sadly show how we are currently making buying decisions without much thought but it also means you are now very likely to find items from your shopping list via a preloved route.
There are so many options to choose from, with the likes of eBay, Vinted and Depop , then there is the endless selection of local charity shops but also preloved pages on social media too. People have turned buying and selling preloved clothing into a business and it is fast becoming the most dominant form of shopping with some people now claiming up to 80-90% of their wardrobe being preloved!
If you follow me you know the love of preloved is music to my ears and I make it part of my service to help you discover preloved items as you do need some patience, time and love to shop this way! I find it so much fun and it is of course a great form of sustainable shopping as well as a complete bargain!
Take me shopping!
The final and most important bit of advice I can give you for shopping the new season is ,,,...me!!!!! By investing in me I can honestly say it will save you time and money in the long run and I sincerely hope at the same time it will bring a joy to your dressing and shopping going forward.
Everyone should enjoy dressing up first thing and dressing their mood and their challenges that day. Your outfit choices can have huge impacts on how your day goes and you should feel fabulous whether you are negotiating a million pound contract (something I used to) or whether you are negotiating meal time with your 2 year old! I certainly know what one is more challenging but I most certainly power dress for them both!
I am here to help you navigate your wardrobe, your style personality and confidence, the shops and your new found style. So whatever advice or help you may be looking for feel free to contact me and I am more than excited to help! Here's to Autumn/Winter season and to you smashing it in the most gorgeous style!!