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Stressed to Impress

February 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion


Rachel Burton

An experience that evokes agony or ecstasy, regret or satisfaction, shopping for clothes is something we all have to do. After decades of dressing people for a living, I’ve learned a few things that can help to heighten your experience while keeping you sane.

Define your needs. What essential piece(s) are you missing from your wardrobe, and how much are you willing to pay for it? Ask yourself what shop or boutique would most likely carry what you’re looking for.

Know your body type. Sometimes this is tricky because some of us tend to focus entirely on our flaws, which leads to a distorted sense of our shape. But knowing how to wear what’s right for your body type is essential to making it look its best. Attend a workshop or catch a fashion makeover show to learn the basics.

Check your attitude. Do you find yourself going out the door with negative thoughts? Commonly known as a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy,’ be conscious and careful of what you put out there.

Dispel your mistrust in sales people. They can be tremendously helpful and they know their product better than you do. Spend a bit of time seeking one out that you think you’ll click with and approach them with a smile and your request. An added bonus is that you get to relax and let them do the legwork.

Don’t take anyone shopping with you if they don’t want to be there. Women are usually guiltiest of this. Boyfriends and husbands trail along behind them, feigning delighted interest in store after store. If you must have a second opinion on every purchase, take a photo and email it to your beloved instead.

If you can shop during off-hours, you’re not going to run into queues or harried sales personnel as you would on a Saturday afternoon. Early weekend mornings or weekday evenings tend to be quieter.

Consider calling ahead. Many stores offer personal shoppers with an appointment. If you feel obliged to make a purchase because someone has dedicated their time to you, remember that it’s perfectly fine to say, “Thank you for taking the time … can you bear with me while I go for a coffee and mull
over everything?”

Always trust your gut. If you’re about to hand over the equivalent of your child’s education fund for that fabulous coat and overwhelming guilt consumes you, walk away!

If your mission is a failure, don’t let it dictate every shopping experience thereafter. It can be easy, it can be fun, and there’s something out there
for everyone.

Rachel Matthews Burton – Guest Fashion Editor
Rachel Matthews Burton is an international fashion stylist and host of Rack to Rack Funshops, a forum where women are empowered with the tools to shop smart. Burton is currently represented by artist agency Judy Inc. Follow Rachel on Twitter @racktorack


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