Do you treat shopping like a sport or like a hobby? I treat it like a job because it is. What does that mean? Well no doubt it means I do it better, as we all know hobbies are fleeting and sports at our age, require lots of practice and how many days a week are you wearing your Lulu’s and not breaking a sweat?
So what are the basic differences that set us apart in both the process and the results?
The main difference is experience. I started in retail at 16 years old and never left the industry. I have spent the past 4 decades empowering men and women to look good, feel good and ride that magic carpet of self-confidence wherever they want it to take them!
So how could you possibly get yourself up to speed with my skills? Practice and planning baby, practice and planning! Chances are you are not going to be launching your own global styling business but you are styling yourself and who is more important than YOU!
So let’s start you with Basic Training!
A calendar – To pre-schedule a closet assault. After all, you actually need to make room for a few newbies! You have to schedule closet time or trust me, you will never do it! I have tons of information on how to effectively edit your closet in my book download, so make it easy on yourself and start there.
Paper & Pencil – You need an accurate list, just like for the grocery store. The list is naturally going to come as a result of your closet edit, because if you finally purged your bell-bottom white jeans from the 80’s, a new pair will no doubt show up on your list.
A computer – Yes Mildred, pre-perusing required. I recommend you subscribe to 3 sites that are going to send style ideas directly to your inbox.
- My weekly style blog – you will receive a free chapter download, right away.
- One specialty store – defined as a store that only sells their label (that’s called Private Label) that you already have had luck in, maybe Ann Taylor or Talbot’s.
- One department store like Lord & Taylor because they carry designer labels, private labels and multiple categories of goods – one stop shopping!
When you sign up for the store email you will no doubt receive some sort of first time discount in your box, as well as notifications of special sales. You also have the option of refining the frequency (once a week, only sale notification, etc,) under update my preferences.
A tape measure – To measure your fabulous curves – no size assumptions allowed. If you are going to buy new clothing do you even know what size you are? If I asked 3 women that question, who I already know are the same size, I guarantee they would all have different answers based on the stores they shop in. They might be a size 10 in Banana Republic and a zero in Chico’s. But if I asked one man his size, he would say he is a 42 long with a 35 waist, a 33-inch inseam and his shirt size is a 16 x 34. How is that even possible? The reason is that men’s sizing is consistent and actually based on measurements; women’s sizing is based on vanity. Vanity Sizing is defined in Wikipedia as, “The practice of assigning smaller sizes to articles of manufactured clothing than is really the case, in order to encourage sales.”
Here’s your first line of defense. You have to take the time to note not only your height and weight, but also your bust, waist, hip, inseam, outseam and even your preferred jacket length! Just knowing your height and weight doesn’t even tell you if you are a petite or not. You could have a short torso and be 5’6 but could benefit by wearing a petite top! You could have a long torso and short legs and could benefit by wearing petite bottoms. Shopping is painful enough and not knowing what you are looking for precisely is not only a waste of time, but also a waste of money!
This is one of the reasons that the 85% of clothing you don’t wear, exists in your closet. Women hate to try things on, they trust the size labels or they order online and then of course they hate to return things or think about the fact that they need a larger size, so the stuff just accumulates over the years. Having these measurements jotted down enables you to shop with purpose both in the stores and online! Even if all you are doing is pre-shopping to check if your local store even carries your size!
Running shoes – bunions beware, hunting and gathering can be painful. Let’s pretend that new pair of white jeans is now on your list and you are headed to Lord & Taylor to embark on that traffic-stopping fit. First, you need to interview the pant before you get naked with it in the dressing room! If you were interviewing candidates as a new spouse (just saying), wouldn’t you interview several candidates, make comparisons and choose the best ‘fit’? Damn straight you would, especially the second time around! So here is why you need the running shoes to shop that category like a stylist. You must move through the whole store, left to right, front to back, top to bottom and ONLY search for white pants. Gather all that look good to you and in your top 5 favorites, grab them in two sizes! Yes, this will be a haul to the dressing room, but this is the only way to guarantee the best fit! Buyers beware – you may actually enter the dressing room with 20 pair of white pants, but why would you do it any other way? Who wants to leave looking marginal in a pair of jeans when you could leave looking maaaavelous? When I have a client looking for a pair of black pants, I have no less than 20 pair, from no less than 8 vendors waiting for them in the dressing room when they arrive.
Let’s circle back to the computer for a moment. Now that you understand the process – take a minute to follow this link. I put in the search field at Lord & Taylor – Women’s White Jeans – and got 191 results. Now granted, some might be crops, some might be skinnies, some might be bootlegs and some might even be shorts, but you catch my drift don’t you? How much easier would it be to walk into the department store, in comfortable shoes, with a list and know exactly what you are looking to gather! Genius!
Last Thing On The List – A bottle of water – hydrate, gather more, hydrate, and gather more.
Need more help shopping like a stylist? Check out my new webinar.