My Best Shopping Tips

Who loves shopping? I have a mother-in-law, niece and girlfriend that LOVE TO SHOP and to be honest, it drives me crazy. They can spend all day going store to store, sifting through all the racks & piles of clothes, touching all the jewelry, trying on shoes and leaving after 8 hours with empty hands and full hearts.

It is literally my worst nightmare. I don’t mind shopping, but I’d much rather be doing anything else… besides laundry…. or dishes. You get my drift.

I’m writing this blog to help you have quick & successful shopping trips! There will still be the occasional hit & miss but this should help you make the most of your time and come home with what you had your heart set on.

  • Tip #1: Find & Save Style Inspiration
  • (@kayschronicles on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest)
  • Tip #2: Go Through Your Closet
  • Tip #3: Know Your Style
  • Tip #4: Make a List
  • Tip #5: Find Your Go-To Stores
  • Tip #6: Wear Something Easy to Slip On & Off
  • Tip #7: Take Multiple Sizes to the Fitting Room
  • Tip #8: Take Advantage of Online Shopping & Returns
  • Tip #9: Take Photos of your Try-ons

Now, let me tell you how I follow these rules so you can put them to practice yourself!

Tip #1: Find & Save Style Inspiration

Pinterest is my Google. I have been an avid user since it was released and I have a handful of boards on there where I save style ideas. This is where a majority of my style inspiration came from over the past 5 years. In the past two years, influencers have really taken to Instagram to share their styles and now I would say that a majority of my style inspiration is found & saved directly from my favorite style influencers on the ‘gram. Did you know that you can bookmark & save looks on Instagram to reference later? Check this video out if you need a refresher on how to do this. The best part? They’re both easily accessible from your phone when you’re out shopping & need some outfit inspiration.

Tip #2: Go Through Your Closet

Anyone else go shopping only to come home & realize you have 3 nearly identical black tees? Just me? No, I know it’s not. Once I’ve found some style inspiration, I will go through my closet to see what I have and what I need to help create the looks I want to achieve. I know I’m not the only one who finds clothes they forgot they had or haven’t worn in too long while I’m sifting through my closet either. It’s always good practice to survey what you’ve got before adding to your wardrobe.

Tip #3: Know Your Style

For 5 years now I’ve been lucky enough to work at casual-dress offices but prior to that I worked in a corporate office where business dress was required. My shopping trips got much easier when I consciously thought about what types of outfits I could wear when and what percentage of my wardrobe I needed for work & play. Now that I am able to wear casual clothing to work I always ask myself – can I wear this piece to work and out with friends? About 80% of my wardrobe I can wear to work and anywhere else I might go. I am ALL ABOUT versatility.

Tip #4: Make a List

Do not just go to the store with a few outfits in your mind (or on your phone). If you’re anything like me you’ll get distracted, forget what you needed and end up buying random things that are hard to put into your existing wardrobe when you get home. I will go back through my style ideas after I’ve sifted through my closet and make a list of items I want or need to achieve the looks I like. My recent list looked like this: black t-shirt dress, graphic tee, distressed hem shorts, white v-neck, summer layering tanks. I have had a camel trench coat on my list FOR OVER A YEAR and I’m just still waiting on a good deal.

Tip #5: Find Your Go-To Stores

My general rule of thumb for shopping is buying basic or wardrobe-staple pieces from Big Box stores and accent pieces from boutiques. My go-to store for jeans is Hy-Vee (F&F) but I used to dabble at Target or Old Navy prior to finding that gold mine. For solid colored tanks I go to Target, for solid colored tees and long-sleeved tops I go to Wal-Mart. For workout gear it’s Old Navy ALL THE WAY. I will snag a cute dress at any of the above. When I want a nice blouse or accent dress, I will shop at TJ Maxx or a boutique. My personal experience has been that boutique quality is usually higher but this depends where you shop. I rarely make it to Forever 21 anymore unless I’m going to Vegas. I do like Altar’d State, Dry Goods & Francesca’s but would rather buy from a local boutique at those prices to support small business.

Tip #6: Where Something Easy to Slip On & Off

Who actually enjoys trying on clothes? Not me. So don’t make it harder on yourself by wearing something complicated that takes 5 minutes to dress in & out of so you’re able to try on your picks. When I go clothes shopping I usually wear leggings & a tee. The less layers, the better. Try to go neutral on your shoes or just take them off all together during your try-on so they don’t throw-off your look.

Tip #7: Take Multiple Sizes to the Fitting Room

If you find a piece that you like, take your 2 closest sizes in that piece to try-on. There is nothing worse than waiting for a dressing room attendant to go track down a piece or having to get dressed, go hunt down another size and then try-on again or worse, just guessing and taking home a piece that doesn’t fit. Save yourself the stress and take a few sizes. Different stores, brands and pieces all fit differently. Just at my Old Navy try-on today I put on a size 8 shorts that fit perfectly and then the next size 8 were too baggy. Trust me on this one.

Tip #8: Take Advantage of Online Shopping & Returns

If your go-to store doesn’t have an online presence, they’re not going to be your go-to for much longer. I do so much shopping online and my favorite part is the ease of online returns now at nearly all retailers. Max will frequently follow Tip #7 when ordering from Amazon and order 3 sizes of the same shoe or jacket, keep the one that fits best and return the others. Time is money and I can hardly ever justify taking another trip to the store & back and waiting in the return line for 20 minutes for a $15 top so online returns are extra clutch for me. Yes, clutch.

Tip #9: Take Photos of your Try-Ons

I do this for the blog but I’ve been doing this for years now! I also do this when I plan & pack for trips. By taking photos, I remember what pieces I got and how I styled them. My memory is absolutely shot with all I’ve got going on and I will genuinely forget a t-shirt here, a pair of pants there (especially the basics) if I don’t have some photos to look back on. My favorite part of this for packing is that I never forget exactly why I packed this or that top or what I was thinking to pair this necklace with plus it let’s me more easily style a few pieces multiple ways. It’s worth the extra time & storage space for me.

For all of you kind souls who have told me I should be a personal stylist, I hope this blog helps me, help you! I mean, how fun would that be? If only I could be two places at once. Don’t forget to save my looks for shopping inspiration, follow my Instagram page and REACH OUT if you want style tips and ideas for your body types, activity level, work environment or special event.