5 tips for making sure you never make a ‘shopping mistake’ again
By Brittany Anas
We’ve all committed shopping sins before. Perhaps it was buying a pair of jeans that were one or two sizes too small, but we were optimistic that we’d lose 15 pounds and shimmy right into them. Now, the rinse is out of style. Or, maybe it was that really fancy dress that you bought because it was on major sale — but, well, you’d feel overdressed in it at your neighborhood bar and grill where you spend most weekends.
Whether it’s impulse buys, your love affair with the clearance rack or just a temporary lapse in judgement, it feels wasteful when garments are hanging in our closet — tags still attached.
Here’s 5 tips for making sure you never make a shopping mistake again.
- Know your “power colors.” Some colors are universally flattering on all skin tones — emerald, eggplant, teal, or coral for example. But, if you have cool skin tones, pastels, for example, might work better than tangerine or marigold. Warmer skin tones look beautiful in olive and jewel tones. If you ever get stuck in a rut, check out the Pantone Color Institute. The leading authority in color schemes always has great trips for what colors can mix harmoniously in outfits. This spring, for example, designers are pairing soft pastels with more vivid bright colors. Find yourself wearing a lot of black? Try mixing in some cobalt to infuse some color. Or, let navy be an alternative some days.
- Buy your size: The cardinal sin of shopping is buying something a size too small with optimistic goals that it will fit later. Even if you lose weight, it’s always a mystery where those inches will come off from, right? Buy what fits right now. Or, if you’re in the process of losing weight — make sure you have clothes that fit you well in the moment, but hold off on any big shopping sprees until your weight stabilizes.
- Ask your pals on the Internet: Over the last couple of years, stores have embraced the “review” trend — allowing shoppers to post candid reviews of apparel and accessories to help other shoppers. One of the best online review systems is at Anthropologie, where shoppers can upload photos and fill out a profile that includes their body type and style preferences. Check out the reviews before you buy so you can tell whether the fit will be right based on previous reviews; whether the materials are high-quality and to make sure the color scheme is similar to what you’re seeing on your computer. (Read more articles about Anthropologie here and earn 2 percent Cash Back on your Anthropologie purchases with ShopAtHome.com).
- Get a second opinion: OutfitMeTonight App. OK, so maybe your husband isn’t going to give you an honest review of your outfit. (He’s well-trained). But what about fellow fashionistas on the Internet? When you need an honest or second opinion, check out the Outfit Me Tonight App. You can upload pictures of your outfit options and the community of fashion lovers will vote on their fave look. Free on the Apple App Store.
- Know the exchange policy: Stores wildly vary on their exchange policies. Check out disclaimes before you buy. For example, Nordstrom has received rave reviews from customers for its return and exchange policies. While stores like Forever 21 have more strict guidelines — where you can only get store credit and you can’t exchange accessories.
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