We live in a world in which, whether we like it or not, presentation is everything. Your physical appearance and level of grooming have a massive impact on the impression you make, whether you’ll get a job or not, and it may even help or hinder your career advancement. According to Catherine Hakim, physical and social attractiveness deliver substantial benefits in all social interaction – making a person more persuasive, able to secure the co-operation of colleagues, attract customers and sell products.” Luckily, this ‘attractiveness factor’ doesn’t have much to do with the traits you were born with – your face, body size and shape as much as it has with your choice of apparel and level of personal grooming. And the office isn’t the only place where appearances matter. We are expected to be properly dressed for every given occasion, honor the dress code and simply look like we belong. So, today, we’re about to teach you all about smart shopping, so you always look ultra-presentable without breaking the bank.
Make money in order to spend money
There are probably tons of clothes hanging in your closet, some of which you haven’t even worn ever as they were impulse purchases you almost instantaneously regretted. There are also probably items in there you are kind of over, clothes you haven’t worn for six months or longer. In order for them not to end up in the waste bin and your money down the drain, consign them – you can get cash or store credit and that’s always good to have. You can also organize a sale among friends or set up a website, take good photos and sell them at a reasonable price. This way you will have earned more so you can invest in the new items you either need or crave.
Set a limit
If all your money is on a card, go to the ATM and make a decent withdrawal – a sufficient amount of money you need to purchase the items you previously wrote down on a list – items you need. Once you have this deadly combo – a strict list and cash, you won’t be able to overspend. You will get the exact garments you came to get and even if in the process of browsing you come across items you crave but aren’t on the list, the fact that you are limited by cash and have no cards on you will save you from making more impulse purchases.
Prepare in advance
If you see, for instance, great designer bikinis that will look perfect on you during your next vacation, and it’s October, so summer is far away, buy it anyway. Shopping garments that are off-season means they usually come at reduced prices and that is the right time to snag them. Turn the seasons upside down – buy winter coats at the beginning of the spring – when they’re cheapest, and buy summer outfits when they’re being replaced by fall collections. You’ll get amazing pieces that you will rock in three months, and you will save a ton because during these end-of-season sales, you can get something at 30% of the original worth.
Keep your eyes open
There are always secret coupons circling the online world, great apps that alert you when the price of a garment you’ve had your eye on goes down. Install these apps and wait for the notifications, check on them every so often and find buried treasures at a fraction of the price. Thanks to the perks of the Digital Age, we can be in the know about everything that goes on in the retail and online store world.
Keep friends at bay
We all rely on a friend’s opinion when trying on clothes, and our decisions are usually made by a friend’s opinion. They can save us from making the wrong choices, that’s true, but when friends shop together they tend to be bad influences on each other and end up spending a great deal more than they initially intended to. You get into the shopping groove, start having fun and throw caution to the wind. Your friend suggests you try this and that on, tells you that you look amazing in it and that little voice of hers is the voice of the cartoon devil standing on your shoulder telling you to commit more retail therapy sins. This is why it’s crucial to shop alone – if you make a mistake and realize you don’t like something, simply keep the receipt and return it. You’ll spend much less time meandering around the store, not to mention that you will leave the store without ending up completely bankrupt.
Don’t separate, amalgamate
We have a tendency to separate our work clothes from our ‘regular’ clothes, but there is no need to do that anymore. It’s not cost-effective, and furthermore, now that there are tons of new trends that have become acceptable in the office environment, you can choose to buy things you actually like and that you can wear inside and out of the office. Think in terms of high-rise pencil skirts with your favorite playful pattern, cool and trendy culottes, check blazers and simple tees that you can cover with said blazer. Mesh the work and the life clothes together and create the perfect capsule wardrobe that is both you and office-friendly. In today’s world, there is no need for this kind of separation, and it will save you tons of your hard-earned money.
Finally, make sure you invest in quality garments that will stand the test of time so you don’t have to buy the same thing in three months. It may seem like spending a lot at first, but once you’re set with quality basics, you won’t need anything for a very long time. On top of that, treat your prized possessions with care – read the labels, make sure you wash them using the right machine program, see which clothes are dry-clean only and which require to be washed by hand. You paid good money on these things, you love them, so make sure you don’t ruin them because that will just push you back into a shopping frenzy and that’s the last thing you want.