This is what is costing you money and still leaving you with nothing to wear.
Having nothing to wear is a reality. When we stand in front of our over-full closet and we feel like we have nothing to wear it is not a lie. One of the biggest reasons we have this is because we shop wrong.
You don’t even need to be labeled a shopaholic to fall into these traps
I also have an education in visual merchandising. And I know all too well what sneaky pitfalls stores or even online stores create to make the sale. You don’t even need to be labeled a shopaholic to fall into these traps and feel super high and satisfied when you shop. Research has shown that dopamine receptors are activated when you experience something new, flashy, exciting or challenging. All of these are found in a shopping experience. Especially if the sales are on. Why do you think those sales tags are those bright colours ? From the lighting in the store to the way the mannequins and displays are placed, they’re all a way to trigger your excitement.
You pay and the challenge is .. will the card work?
The shopping environment is created to be exciting and appealing and creating a vision, not necessarily a need. The stores put outfits together and that is the vision… you must think this will look great on me, I love this outfit! The items you actually need are usually the ones that are folded, not on mannequins. The items on the mannequins aren’t always your style, but it looks so well put together and you like that look. You are hooked. You get talked into another item by the sales lady, who shows the same exact excitement as you that the item is on sale and what a discount! This sales lady and you really hit it off and she will even carry your purchases to the till. You are friends now and friends can be trusted…? You pay and the challenge is .. will the card work? That causes endorphins to go cray – fight or flight- believe it or not it’s true …and everyone on the other side of the counter is rooting for you.. your new friends!
…the same guilt addicts feel.
We fight all kinds of battles all day long and doors gets closed in our faces. Things we want to accomplish seem like they are taking forever. We feel demotivated, low on energy, but once that purchase goes through you get instant gratification and that is the part that becomes a tad addictive … Then once you have broken out the credit card and that first sale has hit you, you want more… you are ready for more, the first purchase high has worn off and you just want a little more because you are on a roll now girl and you deserve it! The sale sounds too good to pass up on and you can totally see yourself with this item… it’s exactly what you need. That my dear is how you walk into the store only to look and walk out with bags hanging around your arm like bangles and the steam coming out of your card. And then you go home and the regret and the guilt hit you so hard that you can’t even sleep… the same guilt addicts feel.
And then there is online shopping !
Often the scarcity tactic gets used to make us purchase, sooo sneaky. Wishlist sales. Social media influencers that put outfits together so perfectly, and we just want that look. Oh online, I love that gallery at the bottom that suggests similar products or products that will go well with the item you want to purchase … so helpful, but so very, very clever. Generous return policies. Easy shipping … and try it on at home. All clever sales tactics.
I think online shopping is much more responsible
But I must be honest I think online shopping is much more responsible and less impulsive and easier to fix. You can try the items on in the comfort of your own space. You have time to decide if it is you or not and these days it is so easy to return the items.
let me explain to you the shopping pit falls
We end up with things we don’t need or even want. Things that don’t suit us or make us happy. We have a closet full of clothes, but we have nothing to wear. And it is frustrating !
I have shopping experience, I have sales experience and I also understand visual merchandising, so here, let me explain to you the shopping pit falls so you can wise up and be prepared and go to the shops enlightened.
There are 4 categories of big shopping mistakes.
Bright colors /shiny
Whether it’s the sales tag or an item of clothing, bright colours and glitter get to us. This is a visual merchandiser’s favourite tool. When you see bright colours or glitter, rather than getting too excited, realise that it is a sales tactic and get your thinking straight.
You are on a roll
Often once you have broken that 100 note or swiped your card, it seems and feels okay to continue. You get a high that breaks you away from your reality and you feel happy and positive and it feels like you can afford to keep on shopping even if you actually can’t.
Sales, sales! Sales are such an illusion, but one I can honestly say I also fall for. It is okay to buy on sale. If you can get that item you covet and have been dreaming of on sale go for it! We live in this world and the system is not going to change so we can and should embrace sales, but very cautiously. Just because its only 34€ doesn’t mean you should have it. You are not saving 25% if you don’t need it, you are wasting 75%. Shop sales with caution and be responsible. Remember quality over quantity.
You nip in and see an item. It’s not really your size but you like it and you don’t know where the others are so you just take it… you will bring it back if it doesn’t fit. Or you go in to shop for something and you come out of the store with more that you planned for because somehow it just seemed like you needed other things too… seriously ? Shops are set up to encourage impulse buys, especially since it is usually the smaller cheaper items that we often are too lazy to return .
YOUR PERSONAL STYLE
Not knowing what your style is
Establishing your own style is the very first thing in your style journey. When you have an idea what you look good and feel good and comfortable in, it will hinder those impulse purchases.
Not knowing what your body type is
Knowing what body type you have and how to dress right for your body will be a huge help when it comes to shopping and avoiding those regret purchases that still hang in your closet with tags on them.
Having an unorganized closet
When you don’t know what you have in your closet you often buy the same type of thing twice. You also buy items that do not go with the rest of what you have and your wardrobe ends up looking like the clothes rack of the circus.
Not having an clear idea of what you need
When you have an unorganised closet, when you don’t know your style or body type, it is not possible to be clear what you need. And this all leads to buying stuff that makes your closet full, but you still have nothing to wear.
Wanting to copy someone else’s style
You want to copy a style, but this style does not suit you or make you feel comfortable. Yet you buy these items only to wear them and realise you feel like a fool. This happens because you don’t understand your own style.
Shopping with the idea who you gonna impress
When we page through magazines and see the latest must have items or see them on the influencers and we feel like if we copy this style we will impress someone, we are moving in a rocky direction. Don’t get me wrong, it is cool to copy and to try new styles and be inspired by others. But don’t dress to impress others. Be comfortable and creative with your own style. Steal ideas from others , I do it all the time, but try to be true to yourself.
Oh the sales staff! Some of them make you feel like you are best friends shopping together. They are so good!
Go in for one thing and getting talked into another by sales stuff
They’re all about selling more. Stores where the staff are oblivious to your presence aren’t getting commission. But the staff who are acting like your bestie shopping buddy get commission. They will follow your eyes and if you just look at something they notice it and they will sell it to you. They play on our emotions and they do it so well. They are just people after all and they need the commission, but you also need the money in your pocket rather than stuff you don’t need in your closet. Be firm and ready with no thank you. Stand your ground.
Feel the pressure to shop because of sales staff effort
We often feel pressured to buy because it seems like the sales staff is watching your every move. They were so helpful with trying on 10 different types of shoes and now you going to leave without buying? Yes you are ! If you need time to think or you don’t really like it but you were going to buy it to just to please the sale staff – get away from it. Really, the pressure sales staff put on you when you say you don’t want an item is ridiculous! Some people don’t care because they are not that sensitive, but some of us can’t stand disappointing people so we feel this pressure to just get it and return it later… Say no thank you and walk out.
Too intimidated or lazy to take items back
Then there are the dreaded returns. It’s a schlep and not a fun exercise, but it’s important that you master it. When you purchased something and you regret it or you don’t like it or it does not fit, take it back. The sales staff often try and get out of giving you a return or they make you feel bad or want you to choose something else. Be firm, be strong and don’t give them the upper hand. Don’t get annoyed, they are doing their job. As long as the return policy is 30 days and the items are unworn with tags, you have the right to return it.
TIP: Often sales staff ask uncomfortable questions like why do you return it and do you want something else and and and. They often go to a place that makes me very uncomfortable and I don’t appreciate it. So what I do is just as I walk in to return the items I phone someone so that I am on a phone call while I do the return.This way they have no way to get into the uncomfortable 3 rd degree polygraph test. They just silently do their job and process the return.
Buying labels for the sake of it/ sale
Often I would walk into a store and see one of my favourite brands is on sale and it is a good sale price. I know very well I do not need the item. It was never on my wish list and it is not that great hence the low low sale price mmmm? This is a time to talk yourself out of the buy. Don’t buy something just because it is a brand you love. Don’t go down that road.
Eyes bigger than you wallet
Then there are the times you see an item and it is really pricey you know you can not really afford it but you are just going to split it over a few credit cards. This is a no! Don’t do it . Talk yourself out of this too. I always remind myself if this is gone there will be other stuff.
Shopping when you feel sad and lonely is a bad idea. Because shopping cheers us up it is bad to go on a shopping spree by yourself when you down in the dumps.
Buying without trying when you can’t return
If you are at a store that does not have a return policy or you shop in another country and can’t return the item you have to try the item on before you purchase it. This is just such a huge mistake and waste of money when you buy something and you get home and it looks terrible or doesn’t fit.
Hopefully this will help you in your future shopping endeavours .