I like to think of myself as an understanding person. I can empathize. Relate. And I’m a pretty good listener.
All of that goes out the window when someone says that they hate to shop.
I just don’t get it.
Shopping is my love language. I know it’s technically not one of the 5 love languages, but I’m pretty sure that’s an oversight because it really should be.
Shopping is one of my favorite pastimes, and it’s how I bond with people, from my mother to my daughter. In my opinion, it’s the most enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
But I know that many, many of my favorite people don’t enjoy shopping. And you might be one of them.
Whether you hate all shopping or just clothes shopping in particular, these tips should help.
Do Your Research
The more specific your wish list is, the more you need to prescreen stores before stepping foot in the mall. Use the online filters that let you see what is at your local branch of your favorite store, so you know that the selection is before you get there, and you can save time and money!
Go With A List
We all know what happens when we go to the grocery store without a list, only to come home with Haagen Dazs and chips. Don’t let this happen to you. Have a list (as specific as you can make it) so that you can head straight to the right department and find what you’re looking for fast. Also, a list prevents you from picking items up out of boredom or frustration.
Be Focused But Flexible
As important as a list is, it’s also important to not be myopic about the particulars of the item you are looking for. Leave room for an unexpected surprise. Instead of focusing on a specific item, focus on the role that the item will play in your wardrobe. For example, a cream blouse for work doesn’t necessarily need to look like your other work blouses. Maybe, if appropriate, you can leave yourself open to a different style that fills the same hole in your wardrobe, i.e. a cream lace blouse or a cream flowy blouse rather than the cream silk button-down you had pictured.
Set a Timer
If you are really shopping averse, it can be helpful to have your end time in mind before starting. Maybe schedule your shopping trip when you have a fixed amount of time, so that you can stay focused and also not get overwhelmed. For a non-shopper, a long afternoon of shopping can make you want to quit before you start.
An experienced sales associate can be your greatest ally when shopping at your favorite store. They know the fit and the selection, and can help you quickly find the pieces you are looking for. In order to get the best service, go with a list of items in mind, and hit the stores during low traffic times, like weekday afternoons. Finally, get recommendations from a friend, and let them know they were recommended.
Prepare To Not Find What You Find
You know I’m an optimist, right? However, you can do all the research and all of your homework and still not find what you are looking for, and that’s okay. There’s always next time. Don’t settle for something so-so because you were determined to find something.
Try On. A Lot.
There’s a misconception that we only have to try on a couple of items in order to find the jeans/dress/blouse of our dreams, but this is not true for most women. Finding the perfect item often involves trying on a ton of duds, and holding out for the right piece.
Be Surprised It It Fits, Not If It Doesn’t
Related to the previous point, remember that, for the vast majority of us, most of the things that we try on will simply not fit or flatter us. That shouldn’t be surprising, especially if we go in expecting it.
Most Things Don’t Work On Most Women
See the last point. Many styles don’t work on many of us, and that has nothing to do with how awesome we are and everything to do with the cut of the item being wrong for us. Let’s not make it mean more than it does. 🙂
Make Note Of What Works
Take a picture of anything promising, even if (especially if) you’re not planning to buy it right away, so that you can refer back to it later. Do the same with things that you are on the fence about. Distance and time will give you clarity, and you’ll learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t.
Set a coffee date with a friend or schedule a manicure immediately following your shopping trip to make the process more pleasurable and give yourself something to look forward to.
If all else fails, and you’ve done enough trying to establish a size range, consider shopping online. To make this less daunting, choose a store with a local brick and mortar so that you can return there if you need to.
So where do you fall on shopping? Love it? Hate it? Or somewhere in the middle? Let me know in the comments!