My Shopping Philosophy

Shopping is a science. It's not something that you can or should do will-nilly, because not only does it affect you aesthetically, but it also affects you financially.People tend to think that I spend a whole lot of money on my clothes because I shop at 'expensive' stores. But let me tell you a little secret...

I almost never pay full price. For anything. 


Crazy stuff, I know. Let me add in this little disclaimer before I begin: my mom does still pay for my clothes. I know a lot of 18 year olds don't have that 'luxury,' but this doesn't mean that I can have free reign with my mom's credit card. Shopping for clothes with my mom has taught me a lot about shopping strategically. I've learned that, above all, buying a few good quality pieces that last a lifetime will save you more money in the long-run than buying a lot of clothing that you'll just throw away.  

Phew. That was a long disclaimer. Anyway here are my tried and true tricks for being a serial shopper:

Consider Value // This is rule #1 of smart shopping. Firstly, make sure you look at the label of the garment. Is it silk? Cotton? Polyester? Certain materials are worth more than others, because they are natural and hold up much better than synthetic fabrics. For me, if an item of clothing is polyester (a cheaper fabric), I won't be willing to spend as much as I would for something made of silk.

You also should take value into account by considering how often you think you'll wear the piece- for example, it makes sense to spend more money on classic top that you'll wear for years than a trendy shirt in this season's print that might be out of style in a few months.

Shop Often // One of my best friends always laughs at me for how often I go shopping. Sometimes, I'll even go to the mall more than once a week. But does that mean I'm buying something every time I make a trip? Absolutely not. About 70% of the time I come back empty handed. I shop as often as I do to "haunt" favorite items. Unless what I want is a must-have, I always wait for the item to go on sale before swiping the card.

But shopping often doesn't always have to mean going to the mall. Because, trust me, that can get pretty exhausting. It also means finding clothes online and checking back on favorite items to see if the price has changed, or if I can find the item elsewhere for less.

Use Special Discounts // Coupon codes are usually for everyone, and are easily displayed at the top of most websites. But want to be a super-insider? My two favorite discounts are the student discount and the birthday discount. Not every store does this, of course, but some of my favorites do. At J. Crew, you can get 15% off year-round (24/7!) by simply showing a college ID at the register. Another favorite discount comes when you sign up to be an Anthro member at Anthropologie (it's free) and you'll receive a 15% discount for any one purchase during your birthday month.

Use Gift Cards // According to a Business Report by TIME, $2 billion worth of gift card money goes unredeemed each year. I don't understand how people go without using gift cards. It's like free money! Even the ones that don't particularly interest you- use them! I almost never buy anything from Amazon. But when I receive a gift card for the site, I always try to put it to good use. My favorite thing to buy from Amazon? Stationery. Because at heart I'm actually a middle aged woman who appreciates nice paper goods.

Shop the Kids Section // Okay, this one comes with fair warning. This is only applicable if you are smaller than average (like me, of course). But boy have I saved a lot of money shopping the kids section. I usually shop there for pants and jeans, and sometimes even dresses. My favorite sites for quality kids clothes that fit well and don't look babyish are Boden and Crewcuts. I don't fit into adult jeans, so these sites are gold-mines. Just make sure what you're buying doesn't look too young (it'll be our little secret).

These children are more fashionable than I am.

If you love it, buy it // You can spend all day agonizing over whether or not you should buy that gorgeous dress, but if the dress makes you happy, then you should buy it. Simple as that.



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