Tips from a Self-Diagnosed Shopping Addict

I’ve received an embarrassing amount of questions about my shopping habits. The “shopping is my cardio” shirts don’t even scrape the surface – shopping is my therapy, my pastime, my first love. Over the years, I have learned quite a bit from the shopping gurus before me  (not to mention my previous stint working in the fashion industry), leading me to create a list of my top 5 shopping tips. I hope you enjoy!

1. Splurge on a Staple Item

Gucci Gucci, Louis Louis, Fendi Fendi, Prada – or, in my case, YSL. You absolutely do not need to be dressed designer from head to toe in order to be fabulous – a staple item will do the trick! Whether it’s Dior heels, a Hermès belt, or a Louis bag, having a timeless staple accessory adds so much to any outfit. Some of my most fashionable friends will pair a $5 H&M clearance dress with a $3,000 bag, leaving spectators none the wiser. You absolutely do not need to spend thousands of dollars a year in order to keep a current wardrobe. Choose a high-quality, high-fashion brand that you identify with, buy one of their signature pieces, and voila, you’ve upped your fashion game.

2. Don’t Give In – Everything Will Go on Sale Eventually

This may be the most important tip of them all. I know so many women who waste so much money because “they have to have it NOW.” Trust me when I say that almost everything (besides truly designer items) will go on sale eventually – likely while the items are still in season. Having worked in the fashion industry, I can tell you that shops like to keep the pieces in their stores a season ahead. In order to make room, they will often place still-relevant pieces at a major discount. If you don’t believe me, let me show you:

This top was originally $179.50 from Club Monaco (www.clubmonaco.com). I kept my eye on it for about 5 months, and eventually got it for $34.30 while it was still in season, as Club Monaco worked to get their fall line out on the floor.

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This may be my biggest shopping victory yet. This top was originally for sale at Madewell (www.madewell.com) for $88. It was their store-front featured piece at the beginning of summer, meaning that I had to walk past it all the time, hoping it would go on sale. Only a month later, my wish came true – it had been marked down to $50, with 50% off of that. After using my birthday coupon, I got my top for free (!!!).

You can totally get in-season, quality pieces for affordable prices – you just have to be willing to take part in the hunt. Visit a store between the middle and end of the season,  and you will be surprised what you find at a discount.

3. All About the Cash Money

If you’re like most people, you’re ballin’ on a budget and the absolutely worst thing that you could bring with you on a shopping spree is your credit card. I was once given this amazing piece of advice: Before going shopping, set a budget and bring that exact amount in cash. Go to the ATM machine and leave the credit cards at home. There’s no way to justify why you just HAVE to add on that top or that skirt – all you have is the cash and, once the cash is gone, that’s a wrap. It’s painful the first time that you try it, but I promise you’ll thank me later when your bank account is still intact!

PS: Don’t worry, the picture above is all play money – not even I could spend that much money on one shopping spree! 🙂

4. Closet Refurb

If you don’t want to wind up on Hoarders, then you need to have a method for your shopping madness. If you’re like me, for whatever reason it is so hard to get rid of that t-shirt from 8th grade or the Halloween costume you wore in college, but take my advice – trash it! A wise shopping guru once gave me the best idea for closet cleanups: If I wouldn’t buy it today, then I need to throw it away. I’ve also heard the idea of throwing out 1 item for every 1 item you add to your closet, but I think that may be a bit draconian. Whatever option you choose, a key to keeping a fresh wardrobe is knowing when it’s time to say goodbye to those outdated pieces.

5. Consider a Subscription

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Skirt and earrings courtesy of Rent the Runway

I’ve always had my reservations about fashion subscriptions, like Stitch Fix (www.stitchfix.com) and Rent the Runway (www.renttherunway.com). As mentioned, for me, the act of shopping is not just a means to an end – it’s an experience, and one that I wouldn’t give up easily. When you sign up for a subscription, you take most of the joy out of the hunt – you’re limited to a smaller selection of styles and, at least with Stitch Fix, you aren’t even the one picking out the pieces. However, I highly recommend using a subscription if you’re either too busy or too impatient to go shopping yourself. Many subscriptions are very affordable and do a wonderful job of keeping your closet up to date – plus, it’s always fun getting a package! I will be sure to share reviews on specific subscriptions in the months to come 🙂

That sums up my top 5 Tips from a Self-diagnosed Shopping Addict! Thank you so much for following along, and feel free to leave a comment below!

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