I was flipping through the October issue of Glamour when I came across the above Piperlime ad and was completely overcome with the urge to shop. The ad is simple, yet compelling. The OTK boots, the knit, the tank, I want, nay, need them all right now. Maybe I am just being dramatic. Did you ever feel like that? Lately those emotions come few and far between, but old Grace, she used to be rife with them. Once I would see an ad like this I would run out to the mall with just an idea of what I wanted and come home with a lot less money and a lot more clothes with not one item resembling anything in the ad that sparked the frenzy. That's some magic those advertisers work. But I'm on to you advertisers...
Here are some tips to help you shop smarter, and stop over-spending:
1. Make a wish list. Seriously. Write down the things you want, prioritize, and edit it often.
2. Make a "I don't need anymore of this list". Honestly, do you really need a fifth white tee-shirt? Make sure you know what's already in your closet so you are not constantly buying the same items over and over and over. It's ok to replace, not duplicate ten times.
3. Do your research. Check online to see what stores carry what you are looking for before even stepping foot in one but don't buy online unless you are absolutely sure of your size or if its a silhouette you've worn before, or if it's what you want at a better price (don't forget to factor in s&h)
4. Set a spending limit: Number three above factors into this as well, searching online helps you feel out a price range for items you want to buy so you can set an estimated budget.
5. Never settle. Sometimes the item you want isn't always the cheapest, and that's ok. You should never buy anything because its the cheapest. But keep in mind if you are spending a little extra on say that pair of ankle boots, you may have to wait a little longer for the leather leggings.
6. Don't force it. Kind of on the same line as "never settle", if you have an item on your wish list that you try on in store and it just doesn't fit the way you imagined, move on-- sequined drape cardigans aren't for everyone.
7. Bring someone who hates shopping. It sounds counter-productive but having someone with you that is less enthused about wandering around the mall for hours (ahem, SSBF) means you will have focus your time on what's important, making you less susceptible to impulse buys.
Finally, if you find yourself in the heat of the moment, with the impulse buy to top all impulse buys in your hands, ask yourself "Do I really need this?" A total buzz kill yes, but also a wallet saver. Coming home empty handed does not mean you failed, it means you are just waiting for the right shirt/cardigan/boots/pair of jeans/whatever it is you are looking for, to come along.