No Regrets Shopping

An oldie-but goodie style book I often turn to is In Style: Instant Style. It’s got loads of pictures and common-sense advice, as well as a gazillion checklists. I adore checklists, being ever-so-slightly OCD. OK, quite a bit OCD, but I do not alphabetize food items in the pantry.

The book’s advice for no-regrets shopping includes these helpful tips. I’ve modified them a little to make them applicable to online shopping:

  • Shop for the here and now. “Never shop thinking, I’ll lose a little and it will fit. Buy for the moment you’re in.” I do well with this one. I like to buy only what feels good on my body, not what will make me feel uncomfortable or negative about myself.
  • Know your price. “When you find a miracle worker, buy at full price. As for the sales rack: it’s not a bargain if you won’t wear it.” Hmmm, I could improve here. I seem allergic to paying full price, but I know I have passed up some great classics, like the perfect V-neck cashmere sweater, or fabulous boots, by shying away from the “investment.”
  • Don’t give in. “Ask yourself the key questions: Do I love it? Do I feel great in it? Does it fit me? Does it flatter me? Does it go with at least two other pieces in my closet?” This one really says it all about smart shopping. Especially: Do I Love It? I tell myself while shopping that I have plenty of “you’ll do” pieces already. If you’re coming home with me, there’s gotta be love.

Have you any tips to add for no-regrets shopping?

For my fellow list-lovers, here’s a checklist for a Fall/Winter wardrobe, from the same book:

I’d skip the turtleneck, switch trousers for more skirts, and change out
kitten heels for wedges. Oh, and no long winter coat needed  : >
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  1. I get so frustrated when almost every must-have list includes so much WOOL! I am highly allrergic to wook;can't even wear cashmere without itching and red blotches. I do wish these folks would include some wool-alternatives fo folks like me. We seem to be consigned to Hopeless Un-Chic-dom…..
    (But I love your blog!)

  2. I just discovered your blog via Style Blueprint.  I am a designer and almost 47.  I love seeing more than just the 20 somethings having fun getting dressed!

  3. I'd add that it's also not a bargain if 1) you have to buy something else to wear with it, 2) it doesn't fit.

  4. My tip is not buy something just because it is on sale
    make sure it really fits, looks good on you and that you actually need the addition in your closet

  5. This is such great advice, and it can't be repeated too often. I know better than to buy for later, but when I see a huge price reduction I go weak! So, I need a reminder every now and then, to only shop for here and now!

  6. I am actively working on all three of those points, and doing a lot better. I'm great about not thinking "oh, I'll lose some weight!" in choosing things, but I have a terrible problem with thinking "oh, they'll stretch!" about shoes that are slightly uncomfortable. I am very tired of buying almost-perfect shoes that hurt my feet. I have my classics hit list, and it's training me to quit making do with the clearance rack, although I passionately hate paying full retail for anything. I'm done with "giving in," because I am NOT saving money that way, in most cases (although I couldn't care less if my workout clothes aren't perfectly adorable, you know?) because when I do that, I don't have what I want, and I keep looking, and then I have bought multiple items of roughly the same thing, and I still don't have what I want, and then that money's wasted.

  7. Oh Yeah. I love a good list! But like you I live in a warm climate and these Fall/Winter suggestions are just wrong for us. But it's fun to pretend that I need a beautiful new winter coat.

  8. For me – don't compromise on fibers. If something doesn't feel amazing against my skin, I'll probably hate it. Sure you can layer a tank underneath wool, but if wool makes you itch – find an acrylic. I can't take polyesters – and finding cotton is harder than you'd think these days. 
    I think knowing what pieces you like to wear a lot is going to also affect whether you wear something. I know I'll wear a full skirt, ankle boots, and t-shirts. I don't bother with most pencil skirts or fussy blouses.

  9. Oh I am so naughty with checklists, like a recalcitrant school girl refusing to do her homework! There is such a lot on that list I don't wear/have. I think my wardrobe is a little… off list, I suppose!
    But I definitely buy for now; I do know my price; and I only give in when absolutely necessary! Sometimes it's good to brea the rules! xxxx

  10. Well, I'm just as apt to have regrets buying something as I do not buying something. Fickle. In general, when thrifting, the item must be stain-free, unless it's too overall fabulous to overlook, and the item must not require mending or nipping/tucking, again, unless it's too fabulous. These are the two things that most often hang me up if I break the rules – I'm a tardy mender and in daylight the minor flaws look bigger than they were in a dark store. 

  11. that is a great book and great advice.  I am a bad shopper.  My cousins daughters are happy about it though so they are the beneficiaries of my discards.     I am printing this out as a reminder anyhow.

  12. Hi Patti,

    I may need to have that book as I adore checklists too. Especially wardrobe checklists.  Very timely post, Thank you!

    Lisa/Dangerous Curves

  13. Nice tips Patti! but one good tip and i am sure some Ladie omit to sometimes like me – Try it on  before purchasing it!

    Have a great day

    Ariane xxxxx

  14. What a great book! Something to keep in mind as I sew my wardrobe.  Thanks Patti 🙂 and thank you for visiting the cottage 🙂

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