Why is shopping, an activity glorified by 95 percent of all rom-coms, so painful? I don’t think I’ve ever had a therapeutic shopping experience. Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City makes it look so easy. She walks around all perky with her arms filled with bags undoubtedly brimming with the best possible purchases from Bloomingdale’s. She’s so happy, so excited, so pure. Anybody who looks like this at the end of a shopping day should immediately speak up. Whenever I go shopping, I end up making a pro vs. con list of every item of clothing I’m interested in. I often decide I could either make it (which I never end up doing), or that I have something too similar to pay the cost, no matter how small. Despite this immediate reaction to spending money on clothes, every spring, without fail, I get the urge to buy a “couple of things” to freshen up my closet. Either I feel I’ve exhausted every acceptable ensemble in my closet, or I’m much too excited about a new trend to ignore the small amount of money that lives in my pants’ pocket. Though I brave it, I still feel the terror of handing over my card to a cashier in exchange for a new pair of shoes, even if they’re $20 from Beacon’s. By the end of my shopping day, I have endured the aches and pains of hours on foot and multiple pangs of horror with each glance at my bank balance. At the end of any big shopping day, I am far from rom-com material.
However, with the advent of weather warm enough for little skirts and shorts, it may be time for even the misers to suck it up and swipe. This doesn’t mean you have to mug a girl wearing Christian Louboutin shoes, it just means you have to know where to go and recognize a deal when you see one. So, I suggest a few guidelines for shopping smart:
- Take. A. Friend. Even if their style is drastically different from yours, they can provide the, “What, what, what are you doing!” necessary for smart shopping.
- If you are in love with a garment but something is holding you back from immediately cutting the line and demanding to purchase it “Right NOW!”, just wait like, five minutes. Try it on. If something is still holding you back from making the final commitment, come back later. Especially if the store has a no-return policy. If you’re still thinking about that fabulous romper later that day, you can run back and snatch it up.
- Think about your budget. How much do you want to get for your money? This will play a part in deciding where you shop and how much you spend at each store.
- Mantra: “Do I own this already?” I often end up spending money on things I know are “safe” on me, sparking conversations with my friends on how exactly I came to acquire six variations on the same gray sweater. (See rule 1)
- If you’re at a vintage or thrift store, make sure you give a comprehensive look at what you’re buying. Make sure it’s worth it.
- If you find yourself giddy upon looking in the mirror after putting on a garment, buy it. Trust your gut: sometimes we all have to splurge, and if it’s love, it’s love.
Happy shopping; lets see some leg!