HOW TO DRESS FOR A DAY OF SHOPPING

It’s the beginning of another fashion season and the stores are bursting with new and tempting new outfits and accessories. I for one am over winter and can’t wait to wear some new outfits and bask in the sun.

Each season I check out the trends and decide which ones I’m going to adopt. I plan a full day during the week – definitely, not a Saturday when it’s too busy, and I start early.

Over the years both shopping for myself and with clients I learned that there is a smart and dumb way to dress when shopping for clothes. The right outfit will set the stage for a comfortable and fuss-free day.  So in no particular order, these are my dressing suggestions.

Comfortable heels

Shopping days are usually long ones so comfort is  essential. Now you may instinctively reach for flats but resist the urge. Most outfits look better when you’re wearing heels. Heels and comfort are two words that don’t necessarily mix, but what you need to do is to choose just the right pair to wear. The perfect shoe is one that can be easily slipped on and off – no buckles or laces, has a mid-height heel, tapered toe and a classic to block heel.  Chunky heeled sandals or pumps are also comfortable choices but may not give your leg as nice a look that a classic heel will.

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Stay-put makeup

Wear light daytime makeup that won’t clash with whatever you’ll be trying on. Having light neutral makeup is a great idea since you’ll get a clearer picture of how you’ll look overall. To ensure your makeup does not rub off onto the clothes you are trying on wear long-lasting, stay-put foundation and lipstick.

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Make-up wipes.

I always take make-up wipes with me just in case I do accidentally mark the garments with my make-up. Good quality make-up remover pads will generally remove the mark with very little effort given the stain is fresh.

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A good bra

To shop for clothes in a saggy bra is a crime against fashion and your body. You need to provide your body with the support it needs to look it’s best and for clothes to hang well.

Each bra you own can sit your breasts slightly differently and can have varying styles of cups and bands. Because of this, when purchasing special occasion items like gala and wedding dresses it’s important that the same bra that was worn on the day of purchase is also worn for the occasion.

There have been many personal shopping trips with clients where the second fitting room we visit is in the lingerie section for the purchase of new well fitted and right sized bra. For most other clients, a lesson in adjusting their bra straps to sit their girls in the right place has been their first fitting room lesson.

So, leave your old T-shirt bra at home, and wear one that makes you look your best in whatever you try on.

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Seamless underwear

Ban the VPL (Visible Panty Line). Wearing seamless underwear won’t just save you from committing and embarrassing style no-no, it’ll also give you a better fitting experience without unsightly lines getting in the way of visualizing your final look.

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Shapewear

If you’re shopping for an ultra-important dress, get a true feel for the fit by bringing your hip or thigh slimmer with you. And while you’re at it, bring heels, lipstick, and a hairbrush. These will help you get a better sense of your true potential in it.

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A minimum number of easy to get off and on separates

I love a dress as much as the next woman, but not on serious shopping days. You don’t want the fuss of having to fully undress when you’re trying on a top or bottom item. Dresses are best left for shopping expedition when you are after items that don’t require undressing i.e. jewelry, makeup, or shoes.

When it comes to separates dress in as few as possible, you don’t want to go through the cumbersome process of shedding and redressing multiple layers every time you go into a fitting room. Choose pieces that are easy to slip on and off such as closed front tops, sweaters, pants, and skirts

Denim is always a good choice to wear when shopping for tops since it pairs well with almost everything.  Choose a classic pair of denim jeans that are not too distressed for maximum curb appeal.

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Light, simple accessories

The same principle applies when choosing accessories for your day of shopping – easy on, easy off should be your mantra. Stick to classic accessories that can be left on because they won’t fight too much with whatever you try on, or those with a simple clasp or long enough to just slip over your head. 

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Earrings that can’t fall off

Avoid losing earrings you love, and make sure that they stay in place during the process of trying on multiple pieces of clothing. Earrings with solid backing and studs are your best bet. Chandelier earrings are too tricky and might get caught on items.

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Smart phone to photograph items

Although your smartphone isn’t technically a piece of clothing, it is an item you carry everywhere. Having a smart phone on hand to take photos is clever when on a shopping trip. Not only can you take photos to remind you of the items you liked best and what store they were in, you can also take photos of how you look in the pieces so that you can better assess their suitability for your body type and personal style.

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Hands-free bag

Trust us, you’re going to need all your hands for looking through merchandise and more importantly, you’re going to need your hands for holding those bags filled with your new wardrobe looks. A hands-free bag can save you the hassle of having to mind your purse constantly. A crossbody bag or one that’s slung on your shoulder is a lifesaver for shopping trips.

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If possible wear an item you aim to find a coordinate with

If you really have to find a particular item to match with something, if you can wear it on the day. But not if it’s high heels (that’s just dumb). It can really help save time. 

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There you have it, a simple formula for what to wear for a serious day of shopping. All are very doable and will make you day go so much smoother.

Happy shopping! 

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Ann Reinten AICI CIP
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