Shopping on a Budget – Part 3: How to Shop

In a couple of weeks, it’s August. For those of us with kids, that means its back-to-school season, and that means fall is a few weeks away. That was a fast Summer, huh? Hopefully, the shopping and tailoring tips in my last two posts have made your closet thinner, but better, and you now have a selection of pieces that you like, fulfill all your needs, are complimentary in colour, and are pressed, clean and have no buttons missing or loose threads. Congratulations, you have a wardrobe.

The only things to do now are to update them on an ongoing basis. This is easier and cheaper than it sounds, because you already have your look, palette and style, so you can ignore over three quarters of the displays that you see in store windows. You also have your favourite suppliers and stores (Hopefully, they are contacting you with new arrivals, too, to further streamline the process.), so your future monthly shopping trips are easier to perform. Here are a few rules to follow:

The rules:

Focus on one item at a time. You know what you are looking for, so don’t get distracted.

You know the stores that you like, and your own tailoring service. Of course you are going to visit other stores, but don’t get distracted by the ‘flashing lights and colours’. Ask yourself the question: ‘Where would I wear this on multiple occasions?’ If you can’t answer it, don’t buy it. Leave your wallet at home. Don’t buy until you are ready, you are just browsing, so don’t get carried away with an ‘impulse buy’.

When you do buy, buy two or three complimentary pieces and spread your spending over time.

When an item costs more than your budget allows, simply save the money for the next shopping trip.

Your Shopping Plan should be precise, once you have received your e-mail or Social Media blasts.

Can you get good deals at your favourite stores? What is a good deal? Keep those e-mails to see if 15% off is the best deal of the year, or if they go to 20% at certain times of the year. Now, you know their average prices, like: Shirts – $30 T-shirts – $10 Jeans – $60 Pants – $40 Blazers – $120, as well as the kinds of sales they have during the year, and you can comparison shop at any new stores that catch your eye.

By shopping smartly, you’ll quickly discover that the cost of rebuilding your wardrobe is far less than you imagined. You have plenty of money to get started. Don’t worry about expensive clothes at this point. You don’t need a Porsche to learn how to drive, and you don’t need fancy designer clothes to learn how to dress yourself. Get a tailor that you trust and pay that bit extra to ensure that you look your best.

Now Go Upgrade Your Wardrobe !

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