I'm a shopaholic like most girls, however shopping can become a huge addiction and end up being broke cause you've spent all your money on clothes. According to Gok Wan you only wear 30% in your wardrobe I was really shocked about that cause I thought I wore most of my wardrobe.
Yes there is that problem with money, when you see anything you like it's usually when you have no money, but when you get money and see nothing, but what happens if you see something you like and have money for it? It really depends if you're on a budget or you can splash as much cash as you like on clothes. You see an item, make sure you've got the right size and most importantly try it on cause items may look good on the hanger but on yourself they may not look as great.
If you're on a budget, why not look around other fashion stores cause they easily make copies and are sold either cheaper or more expensive. Which is pretty good in a way and more bargains, more clothes!
If you're not sure if it looks right on you or not, why not ask your mate or even a shop assistant! Once, some random person told me that my dress looked really nice, so a random person may tell you whether it looks good on you.
If you're unhappy with item, make sure you keep the recipt and return within 28 or 30 days depending where you buy!
So hope my tips have helped and happy shopping!
I am very smug to say that I shop for a living. Sounds pretty fabulous doesn't it? Well you're right, it is!
As a result of my job I spend about 3 days a week shopping on the high street and in vintage/ thrift shops and the rest of the time shopping online. So I like to think I'm pretty expert at it.
Here are a few bits of quite obvious, but useful, advice for high street shopping:
1. If you can, shop on a week day, as there will be far less people out and about.
2. Think about what you might be shopping for and dress accordingly. If you're going to be shopping for a dress wear tights. You'll also want tights if you're shopping for heels or other going out shoes. If you're buying boots wear a skirt so you don't have to role up your trousers.
Don't wear odd socks and go to shoe shops before you've done too much walking, to avoid embarassing smelly feet!
3. Think about what bra you wear - if you're looking for a going out dress/top wear a push up bra. I'm quite busty and find some shops, like H&M and Zara, have very small busts to their clothes. SO i would wear a non padded bra when shopping there.
If you're shopping for something slinky or tight fitting take some control pants with you in your bag. You could wear them but you're likely to get hot shopping and they could become very uncomfortable.
3. I usually keep a length of ribbon in my bag so that I can see what loose dresses and tops look like with an underbust belt or sash.
4. Wear comfortable shoes because you can spend hours in the shops. It's hard shopping in winter because it's cold outside but boiling in the shops. Wear a few light, layered tops rather than 1 heavy jumper.
5. If, like me, you get hot and bothered after a few hours in busy shops it's a real benefit to keep a bottle of water in your bag.
When shopping online it's easy to get carried away, making spontanious purchases without really thinking if you need the clothes or without knowing what you're getting.
I buy loads of clothes on ebay. In the past I've been disappointed because I bid on something in the last second without reading the description (or examining the photo) properly. It's important to make sure you have all the information you want and to ask questions before bidding. It isn't fair to complain when it arrives if your disappointment is due to an issue you should have asked about. There are also quite a few fibbers on ebay - if you think you recognise a dress from primark, but the seller 'thinks' its from topshop, it could well be from primark.
I get very excited by the sales on sites like ASOS.COM, BOOHOO and ELVIE. They have some great bargains and it always feels like a race to buy things on the 1st day of the sale, before they're all sold out. This is okay if you can afford the postage costs, but make sure everything you buy is returnable, unless you're willing to take the risk.
It's also easy ot get carried away in 'sale previews' from sites like miss selfridge and topshop. But before you pay £5 for delivery without trying the clothes on remember that they nearly always have racks of the items online in the shops. The websites only sell sale items they have loads of, so if its online its bound to be instore as well. The same is not true the other way around - so if you spot a fabulous bargain on its own in the shop i'd recommend buying it, rather than risk getting it online after you've had a think about it. You can always bring it back!
I happily admit, that I am a shopoholic. Especially when it comes to clothes, clothes and more glorious clothes.. with some shoes, jewellery and bags added in.
I spend the majority of my spare time shopping, resulting in an overflowing wardrobe and boxes filled with bags. I'm one of those people who keeps everything as it has a memory attached to it, so stuffed in a box is an extremly fashionable teddybear back-pack.
Anyway, I like to think of shopping as a sport - and honestly, women will always be best at it. The high street, is like our football pitch. And the cash registers are our goal.
So, my first tip which I think is pretty obvious. Know your limit.
If you only have a small amount of money, then avoid the more expensive shops, they're just to tempting. PRIMARK, is the most amazing shop for cheap, fashionable clothes. I go straight there if ever I'm in need of basic tights, t-shirts or hoodys. All very cheap, and pretty decent quality. But at their prices - you can afford to replace them!
Always, always try on Shoes, Jeans and Dresses.
I find a decent pair of jeans is the hardest thing to find. I try on about 2 or 3 pairs in afew shops, then make a decision. Same with dresses, nothing cheers you up more than buying a gorgeous, killer dress. But then when you get home, eager to show it off, and find it doesn't fit or look that amazing... ruins your mood fairly quickly.
Know the shops. I have about 6 shops that you can find in most decent shopping locations, that I always go to. It really helps, when you know what type of clothes the shop sells, the prices and whether it will have what you're looking for.
So, here's my top 5 high street shops :)
1. H&M - sell everything from basic strap tops, to party dresses. Prices vary from about £3-£30. Most tops are around £10-£25, and all essential t-shirts and cardigans are under £10
2. New Look - New look is my favourite place for shoes. Killer heels, comfy pumps and warm boots. All at reasonable prices, but some can be pricey. They're great for t-shirts with quirky icons on, like Teletubbies and Mr. Men, priced at around £8-£14
3. PRIMARK - as mentioned before, it's the bargain shoppers heaven. Stock is changed very quickly, so if you see something 1 week, it's unlikely to be there the next
4. River Island - I class this as a more expensive high-street shop, but the clothes are rather gorgeous. Great for smart, work clothes and jeans.
5. TOPSHOP - a favourite for me and all my friends. Again, the clothes are slightly more expensive than New Look and H&M, but are well worth it. They sell lots of lovely jewellery, in quirky designs priced between £4-£15. They sell the Kate Moss collection, and have a fantastic choice of comfy jumpers and dresses
And the final thing, every great shopper needs.. a nice, strong man to carry all those bags. ;)
Are you being stereotype for your fashion sense?
We cannot entirely put the blame people for stereotyping us.After all, we are the one to that decide what to wear, which colour suits us, what kind of accessories, handbags and shoes we have.
Fashion style is so individual and personal, a friend once said. How true it is. Many of us follow a set style of dressing and sometimes a safe way of dressing. We present ourselves in the same way all the time, day in and day out so much so that we are now branded. Many of us probably do not mind being branded, after all it is a safer bet.
But just think for a moment, wouldn't it be great if no-one could actually guess what you are going to wear today. Then friends wouldn't be able to stereotype you.
It's really not very difficult to do so and it's so much more fun.
How do get started? First ask yourself, are you happy being branded? If you are, that's fine, if you can change that if you are not happy with stereotyping.
Getting out of the being branded syndrome is not difficult. There are a few thought provoking questions you have to ask yourself first before making that move.
Are you happy with the way you dress and the way you look?
Do you sometime wish that you could be more adventurous in your fashion style?
Do you like to be different?
Would you be uncomfortable getting envious stares from people?
And would you like to be an individual?
The way out of this branding syndrome need not be life changing, in fact it will be fun. All that is needed are just a few adjustments and a new mindset.
Look at your wardrobe, your jewellery, shoes and bags. Are they all of the same colour, shape and designs? I know it's only too easy to always go back to the same design and style because we are comfortable with it and we feel we look good in it.
Make small changes, using your favourite colour and styles as your base and then expand from there. Add on an orange floral scarf to your favourite blue dress. Wear a chain round the waist instead of a belt. Carry a bold coloured handbag with your black working suit. Wear red high heel shoes with black leggings. Make changes that does not take you away from your comfort zone yet still gives you a different look.
If you are ready to be adventurous, have a different variety of style in your wardrobe. Try different colours everyday, be adventurous in mixing and matching colours and accessories. Instead of the usual black business suits wear something different that is both smart and elegant. It need not be black if you like dainty necklaces but not sure if it will look good on you then wear several strands of the dainty necklace. Make a statement, be different.
Go beyond the norm. We don't have to dress like the supermodels or the celebrities but we can make the latest fashion trend work for us. As long as you are adventurous, the fashions that you thought were beyond your reach can now be available to you through improvisation.
Nothing is impossible, as long as you feel good with what you are wearing and you can carry that fashion style well. You know you have done the right thing when friends tell you how great you look or ask where you got your outfit from.
Have fun with fashion. Feel good and be different. You are not branded anymore. You are an individual!
The 5 C's of Buying a Coat or Jacket.
There are some discoveries/inventions in the world that leave you thinking 'how did people ever cope without this'. For example, cavemen were walking/crawling about happily eating their berries and raw meat feeling not overly warm when suddenly one of them went "Urgh! Bunga rumpagna, go rubuny rubuny et sparky boosh!" Which as most of you will know translates into modern day English as "Here Phil, I've just discovered fire, fancy coming round mine and Tracey's cave the night for a barbeque?" Or back in the day when people needed stuff moving, they used to just drag it about slowly, or pile it all on a donkey's back and tease the creature along with a carrot, until someone invented the wheel. Or the internet, I know it's only new but how did people manage without it? You get the idea anyway, what I'm about to share with you (free of charge) will completely change the way you think for the rest of your life........................................................regarding the purchase of a coat or jacket.
A Bit of History
Before I start to talk you through the 5 C's of Buying a Coat or Jacket (C/J for short) let me give you a brief insight as to how and when I was struck by this genius theory. It was 1998 and I was a student. I spent a good bit of my studenting times either travelling on a train, waiting for a train, or patiently (hmmm) waiting on a broken down train. God bless Northern Ireland Railways. So anyway, my mind tended to wander quite a bit on the commute, and on one occasion I started listing in my head the key requisite factors I needed to consider for the jacket I planned to buy later that day. They happened to all begin with the letter 'C' thus the 5 C's were born.
Ok, so if you are actually reading this review, and not just skimming through it and judging the size of it before you give it the obligatory 'very useful', you might want to take a couple of seconds to predict what you might think the 5 C's are. I've discussed the subject with friends and family on different occasions and they always think they have another 'C' to add, but so far no one has managed to convince me that there are any more than the 5 fundamental primary C's. I very much welcome any comments offering suggestions. Right, C number 1....
This is one a lot of people will guess straight away. Cost is something pretty much every person considers (except maybe the super-rich) before making any major clothing purchase. Normally people will have a fair idea what their budget is and shop in the suitable shops accordingly. I think it is worth mentioning though that something that's on sale and has a bargain knock down price is only a bargain if the person who buys it is actually going to wear it (I know this sounds massively patronising but this bit's not for you, you're not stupid, it's for all the other readers). If it sits in a wardrobe untouched it's just money wasted. So Cost alone is by no means a more important C than the other 4.
Another fairly obvious C is Colour. Sometimes people know exactly what colour of C/J they're after before they buy it. Other times it's the style of the C/J that's decided and the colour is negotiable. Either way, Colour is a major factor that has to be considered when making your purchase.
Cloth is really the material that the C/J is made out of, but 'material' quite clearly doesn't begin with the letter C and 'the 4 C's and 1 M of buying a coat or jacket' isn't as memorable a title. So anyway, Cloth... There are certain materials that some people won't wear, like vegan's won't wear leather, or the upper classes won't wear polyester, stuff like that. There are also different practical uses for different C/J's. For example you might be looking for a new winter coat, so a warm and possibly waterproof Cloth would we what you're after. There's really no disputing it, Cloth is definitely a Primary C.
Cut is an incredibly important C. It basically defines the shape and size of the C/J. You could see the most desirable jacket ever in a shop, within your budget, but if they don't have it in your size or if it's designed in a way that doesn't fit your body, it's not the perfect jacket for you and ultimately it won't be worn. Since everyone's shaped slightly differently this can often be the most difficult of the 5 C's to successfully put a tick in the box.
Possibly the most controversial C in the list, and that's why I've left it to last. Generally a compartment could also be known as a pocket, but for the benefit of this list, it's a compartment, alright?! Some people will argue that their perfect jacket does not need compartments. That's fair enough, but a definitive list to describe everyone's perfect C/J needs to cover compartments, as to a lot of us good pocket space really is a key requirement. I can only speak for myself, and to a certain extent my gender, and on the whole most men do not carry handbags, or manbags, whenever they go out so they can often end up putting a lot of stuff in their pockets. A good C/J for me will need room for a wallet, phone, keys, MP3 player, not to mention my hands too. I know this is less of a priority to some people but the fact remains, Compartments are a key requirement for the perfect C/J even if just for aesthetic value.
Primary or Secondary?
The 5 primary C's are quantifiable, not qualitative. What I mean, is you can measure them definitively. For example the cost is a certain amount, or the cloth is a certain substance or a mixture of a number of substances. These things cannot be argued or disputed, but secondary C's are open to individual interpretation by each of us and very much down to personal preference and opinion.
Whenever I've initially asked people to guess what the 5 C's might be there is one C that is mentioned time and time again, Comfort. Comfort cannot be universally measured or defined; it's entirely up to each and every individual to decide on a level of comfort a C/J provides. That makes it an excellent example of a Secondary C. All Secondary C's are either covered by one existing Primary C already, or a combination of Primary C's. Comfort is a combination of Cut and Cloth (and to some extent may be influenced by Compartments in certain cases). I've listed below a few examples of Secondary C's and put in brackets the Primary C's that cover each:
Creasability: Does it lose most of its creases just by being given a good shake (Cloth)
Cleanability: Does it wipe away kebab sauce stains with minimal effort (Cloth)
Checkability: Does it have so many checks on it that people looking at you vomit (Colour & Cloth)
Chavability: Does the C/J make you look like a chav - a negative (or does it help you fit in with your chavy friends - a positive) (Colour, Cut & Cloth)
Catch-on-ability: Does the C/J posses the ability to start a new trend (Colour, Cut, Cloth, Cost & Compartments)
Caravan-ability: Does wearing the C/J makes you look like you own a caravan (Colour, Cut, Cloth & Compartments)
So, let me just clarify that I understand individually these factors don't seem like I'm telling you anything new, but the key to successful application of the 5 C's is ensuring you fully consider all the C's together, not just two or three of them. Anyone can say you want to buy a coat within your budget in a colour you like. What I'm trying to get across is the fact that if you obey the 5 C rule strictly as a collective you will never make anything other than an excellent coat/jacket purchase again for the rest of your life.
That is the gift I have given you today. Some would say it's a priceless gift, and one that keeps on giving for the rest of your life.
Was that last line too much? Nah.