Yesterday on the way to the mall, as I told my husband the best route to avoid the traffic into the parking lot, he said I was a “professional shopper.” I told him I did not think that I shopped enough to qualify as one, yet, but that I was pretty good at it. He lovingly replied with a smile that he hoped someday to be able to fully fund my ambitions.
So we continued on to the glorious haven of brightly lit stores filled with all kinds of delicious things to tempt our senses. Large red “SALE” banners tried to lure us in to any and all stores, but I was on a mission. Not a shopping mission, a buying mission. 4 hours, 5 stores, 3 full shopping bags, and 1 pretzel (Wetzels are the BEST!) later, we left satisfied with a productive afternoon together. We did not shop. We bought.
Today as I sat chatting with my manicurist, she told me how she has been working on cleaning out her closet. Her philosophy of clothing has changed in the past year. She is done with the “more is better” thinking (BRAVO), and wants to start shopping for quality pieces. But now she is feeling stuck. Her exact words to me were, “I get in the stores with all of the racks, and clearance signs, and I just get overwhelmed. I don’t even know where to start.”
“Pronti! Ai posti! Via!”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this before. But I can tell you that if I don’t keep my focus, I can start feeling that way too. It makes you want to turn around and give up completely. So I thought I would take a couple of days to give you some of my shopping, or rather, BUYing secrets. Ok, well they are not secrets, but they are the ways to keep my sanity while swimming through a sea of clothes. Soooooooo…….. here goes!
#1. Make a List:
Before you hop in the car, or onto the subway, and head to the stores, you need to survey your closet and figure out what you need. Buying, unlike shopping, has a specific purpose. Make a very specific list, number, size, color. This was my list for yesterday:
Gold leather handbag
Dark wash skinny jeans
Dark wash boot cut jeans
Pair of fun, decorated jeans
Long sleeved, fitted, button down, collared shirts (white, black and other)
Black, comfortable bra
Red Leather Snakeskin Boots with low heel
2 watch batteries
Pair of Ecco golf/street shoes for Hubby
2 Pairs of jeans for Hubby
#2. Get Dressed!
Stilettos, false lashes and red lips may work for strolling through the boutiques on a girls night out, but they don’t work when you are out on a buying mission. Your feet will be yelling at you all day and you will go home with a strange caterpillar crawling on your cheek next to red streaks of lipstick from pulling blouses over your head.
Wear comfortable shoes that will slip on and off easily.
If you plan on trying on shoes, wear or bring the appropriate socks for the shoes you want, and be sure to bring any insoles you plan on wearing in them.
Have great under garments on. Nothing can make clothes look worse than a sagging bust line or major panty lines. A good bra, seamless panties and even some Spanx will help you visualize how things will look.
Wear a button down top so there is one less thing you have to pull over your head.
Look nice. There is nothing like putting on a fabulous outfit and then looking in the mirror to find a haggard face and a rat’s nest on your head. It is hard to picture how great something looks on you when you can’t get past the mess. Go for a clean, fresh face with simple make up. Stick with a light colored lip gloss to prevent smudging and smearing.
Don’t forget the deodorant! You may very likely break a sweat!
#3. Bring a Friend
Having a shopping buddy will help things go smoother. Finding a sales associate to run and get you another size while you are in the changing room or do a price check for you can be difficult these days. So having a friend or husband along to carry bags and be a second set of eyes can be very helpful. Either take turns helping each other out during the day, or make one outing just for you and another outing just for her.
And last for tonight……
#4. Pray for my Parking Anointing!
I am anointed for great parking spots. I never have to look long and I always end up right up close so I don’t have to walk very far. This is a handy thing to have. Ask and you shall receive!! Ha, ha!!! But seriously, I’m not kidding!
Stay tuned for the next installment when we actually get into the stores and find out how much of my list I was able to check off yesterday.