It has taken me years to learn how to shop the way I do. I promise though that they are worth it and that I’m only 21 so it hasn’t been that long either… My mom has always been a bargain shopper, so I must admit that not all of these tips are totally and completely mine.
And while I’m not “rich” by any means whatsoever. I’ve been paying for everything on my own since I was 18, I have been moved out, I pay for all my own living costs and extras, I bought my own car, etc. And all of this is not to say that if you’re 16, working at a retail store part-time that it’s not gonna work for you but rather help you make smarter shopping decisions over time, saving you a lot of money over the years. Sometimes, even I wish I could go back.
But let’s be honest, we’re always growing, always evolving and “fashion” will always be changing, so here are my top 5 best tips for you!
Take a week or two to really look through all of your clothes, shoes, accessories and get rid of anything you haven’t touched in the past year, donate it to Goodwill or local consignment shops if they’re in good shape! I know, sometimes it hurts how much money we spent on the pieces we thought we gonna be a huge hit but don’t worry – just accept the loss (no matter how much it hurts) and donate it, the good thing is that you wasting your money stops now.
And I know what you’re thinking… Being the savvy person you are, you might attempt to try to sell your things. And I’m gonna tell you right now… No, you won’t. It takes a very disciplined type of person to actually sell and make money off of apps and websites designed to help you sell your old items. So if you’re really young, a full-time student, or work full-time, chances are you’re not going to make enough money for it to really be worth the time and effort you’re going to put into selling all your unused things. On that note, I promise to write a blog post for tips on how to sell your unused items if you’d like! Just let me know in the comments below!
Get rid of anything that is ratty and old – even if it’s that pill-covered t-shirt that you use to sleep in or work out in – GET RID OF IT. Donate it, toss it in the trash, but don’t keep it. You’re going to be looking for and replacing ALL of these items. (But also, don’t put yourself out! If you absolutely don’t have anything else to wear, only keep the pieces in the best shape.) Slowly, but surely, you’ll be on your way to an abundant collection of beautiful, quality pieces that will last you a long time!
Make an ongoing list of things you’ll need to replace the basic pieces you got rid of. I suggest listing all the things you could possibly need/want in their own respective group. The most important ones are probably going to be your tops and bottoms and shoes. For all three, go in and highlight the things you actually need.
This is the fun part! I’m sure you’ve heard of Pinterest and Instagram… Search for all your needed items and pin or favorite your pieces! Use the research to help make the ongoing list. ALSO, please keep in mind that fashion is very trendy and that not all of the hot pieces you see on Instagram that absolutely everyone and their mothers have are always going to be in style. So along with my next tip, proceed with caution!
4/ SHOP: This is the not so fun part. And unfortunately, this is the most time consuming and longest process in the history of the world. I’m kidding, but seriously, it’s gonna take a while. You will need to be patient and you will need to be picky. Very picky.
In order to build a great wardrobe, you’ll need to invest in quality pieces. But don’t be afraid, quality doesn’t necessarily mean expensive! It just simply means well-made, made of good, lasting material, and is usually a “classic” or “staple” piece. These might be bigger pieces like jackets, jeans or shoes that you can wear and pair with anything. Or they might simply be t-shirts or tanks tops that will actually last you more than a month at a time.
When you’re out shopping, be picky! If you find something you think might be a good staple piece that you think will go with the things you already have, buy it! I always say it’s better to get it now, while you can than to spend your nights regretting not buying it. (THIS CAN VARY WITH PRICES & SALES)
Keep your receipts! Check all of your return dates and note them into your calendar on your phone. This may seem silly but this is going to help you save money and give you a chance to change your mind. And before I get hit with a bunch of negative comments, I understand that returning items is sometimes very frowned upon but in order to avoid hurting someone’s commission, I shop online, particularly at places that really only pay on commission. That being said and understood, it’s YOUR hard-earned money that’s paying for these pieces, you are ultimately the one who is going to take the loss if it ends up being thrown out or donated with the new tags still attached to it because you later changed your mind and decided it wasn’t your style.
I can elaborate on this further if you’d like, feel free to ask any questions! I’m totally here to help, even if you need an opinion about something you just bought and don’t know if you want to keep.