Now it would be cliché for me to say that shopping is therapeutic because that’s an understatement. Shopping is literally a lifestyle for me. I used to think I had an issue that probably required treatment from a therapist; until I realized my shopping habit is not problematic at all. I actually do this! The ability to have an expensive taste on a low-budget is an art form that requires skill and persistence. Somehow I have developed that (all credit due to my momma). I get tons of questions and compliments on my looks and outfits. But only if you knew how much I REALLY paid for everything, your head would spin. There’s no secret formula to this, but I’m going to share some of the tips and tricks that work for me.
As a frequent shopper, I make sure my day is clear to do just that (SHOP!). The majority of my time shopping is spent alone, that way I do not have to worry about being rushed and I can fully devote my attention to whatever it is that I want to look at. If you rush the process, you will miss out on items that could have come home with you. I like to get to places at a decent hour that way I have time to hit up all of my favorite places and some other joints as well because you never know. So pack a light snack and beverage for fuel and be prepared to do some looking.
You’d be surprised at how many people over analyze the clearance/sale racks. No matter what store I shop in, that is the FIRST section I look at. Some may get intimidated due to the fact that this particular section is usually always disorganized and messy but this is where time plays a huge factor. It’s not necessary to slide through every item, but take a brief overview in this section. I usually analyze over the area with my and run towards the items that catch my eyes. I scan for fabric, texture, and color; then I’ll pick up the piece to determine whether I want/need it and I’ll make my decision based upon that.
When I shop I RARELY look for a complete outfit. I like to pick up pieces and items that I know will already go well with something I already have. It’s nothing worse than when I hear people saying “I don’t have anything to wear with that.” Trust me you do and if you don’t, eventually you will! When I say “pieces” it can be anything. A top, pants/skirt, accessories or shoes. A piece is just a singular item that you can pair with something you have in your closet or something you may find along your shopping journey. Shopping this way will build your wardrobe and add flavor to your looks!
The stores I like to shop in will often have great deals and promotions going on so you have to know when the time is right. I go to the mall often (like every weekend) so at times I will see an item that I will instantly fall in love with … until I see the price tag. So I think to myself, is this something that will eventually be sold cheaper? If yes then I’ll wait for that. What if the item will sell out? you ask. Look up a coupon (I’ll list my sources below). As I mentioned earlier, timing is EVERYTHING! Before you hit up a mall, think about the holiday’s that will be coming up as well. Most stores will often have a deal or sale during that time (Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, etc.).
I promise shopping is not as tedious as it may seem. The most vital part of shopping is patience. A few miscellaneous tips include Quality vs. Quantity. Ask yourself is this particular item worth the money or can I find it somewhere cheaper. Most of the time you can find a product that’s just as good but for less. Don’t get me wrong, I splurge at times and there is nothing wrong with that, Treat yo self! The key to saving coins in your pocket is to shop on a budget while remaining fashionable. Most of the trends that you see on the runway will soon get picked up by trendy stores such as Forever 21 or Fashion Nova, so just be patient. Another small but HUGE tip that I stand by is to shop off-season. Towards the end of each season, stores will usually have a bomb sale getting rid of their clothes in order to make room for the upcoming season. I find the best deals at this time! A huge part of my wardrobe is thrifted. Please do not sleep on your local thrift/consignment store. With fashion, nothing is new under the sun; you can find a trendy piece that popping today in a vintage form at the thrift store. My last tip will be to stay original, I can’t stress this enough. Just because it’s trendy and looks great on someone else, DOES NOT mean it will compliment you and that’s okay! It’s easy to tell when an outfit is forced because you’re trying to steal someone else’s steez. When you shop, try to have an open mind. It’s perfectly fine to step out of your comfort zone as long as its natural to you. Remember money can NOT buy style. Enjoy yourself and happy shopping!
My TOP places to shop: