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11 Tips And Tricks That Make Clothes Shopping Stress-Free

clothes shopping

Have you ever suffered from buyer’s remorse after a day of clothes shopping, or come home exhausted and empty-handed? As someone with a lot of shopping experience, both for myself and for my children, I know all too well how the process can strain your nerves as well as your pocketbook!

But a little bit of planning ahead of time can make shopping for clothes go a lot more smoothly. Shopping can be productive, and—dare I say—even fun if you keep a few simple tips in mind!

Here are 11 tips and tricks I’ve gathered that can help make clothes shopping a lot easier and more fun for everyone involved.

11 Tips And Tricks That Make Shopping For Clothes Easier

clothes shopping

1. “Get Ready” Beforehand

You might be eager to get out the door, but taking the time to “get ready,” whatever that means to you, can make a big difference. Seeing yourself with your hair and makeup the way you like them will make it easier to look and feel good in the clothes you’re trying on.

Feeling frazzled and messy can lead to a rough day of shopping—we’re talking “nothing looks good on me” territory, which we all know is not a fun place to be!

clothes shopping

2. Don’t Forget To Bring:

  • Anything you need to return (that way you can use the credit right away!)
  • A measuring tape, which can be useful if you’re shopping secondhand, since sizing varies so much and fitting rooms aren’t always an option. It can also be a good way to check fits quickly at any store.
  • Shoes that are easy to take off and put back on.
  • Any applicable coupons or gift cards.
clothes shopping

3. Know Your Budget

Knowing the amount of money you have to work with not only makes shopping easier, but it can save you a lot of remorse later on too. If you’re looking for a general rule-of-thumb, some suggest setting aside 5% of your monthly income to put toward clothes, shoes, and accessories, and saving up for a few months ahead of time if you need to. (That’s just a rule of thumb, so don’t sweat it if it doesn’t work for you.)

clothes shopping

4. Start Broad, Then Edit

Whether you’re shopping online or in person, one approach is to add everything you like to your shopping cart, then edit down your options from there. Bringing many pieces together at once allows you to compare them and decide which ones you like best.

There are bound to be some things that don’t work out and others that surprise you, so don’t start counting things out too early. Likewise, bring plenty of items to the fitting room, and in multiple sizes if necessary.

When my kids were younger, I would act as the “gofer” and switch out sizes for them while they were in the fitting room. It’s a great way to save everyone time, plus it prevents the buyer’s remorse of getting something that didn’t fit right because you didn’t take the time to try on a different size.

clothes shopping

5. Keep A Wish List

Keep a running list of clothing items that you want or need—you can start one anytime! Then when you go out shopping, you can use the list to remind yourself what you’re actually looking for.

Shopping from a list is usually more successful than heading out with one specific item in mind—you may not find everything you want on the first try, but over multiple shopping trips, you can generally check off most of the items on your list, or you may decide you don’t want some of them after all!

clothes shopping

6. Shop Out Of Season Sales

If you really want to save money on clothing, never miss out on out-of-season sales. This means shopping for summer clothes during end-of-summer sales, winter clothes during end-of-winter sales, etc. It may require some advance planning, but it’s a great way to save.

The key is to shop these sales often and not necessarily with volume in mind. When you happen to stumble across something that will go with everything in your closet, buy it — even if that wasn’t what you were looking for that day.

Eventually, you’ll find that you’ve scooped up a very balanced wardrobe over time and saved a lot of money doing it! You know what they say — slow and steady wins the race.

clothes shopping

7. Buy Easy-To-Wash Items

If you don’t have anything that requires dry cleaning, why start now? Make sure the item you’re considering is easy enough to wash — for me, that means machine washable (even if it has to be washed on the delicate setting.) Even if an item is a bargain, dry cleaning costs can cancel out those savings and then some.

clothes shopping

8. Bring A Friend Or Two

Shopping with friends is more enjoyable, and getting a second opinion can be very helpful. If you’re not sure about something, a friend can give you the confidence to try it out, or tell it to you straight that it’s not right for you. And don’t be afraid to ask a friend or family member whose style you admire to come along on a shopping excursion — even if they can’t make it, they’re sure to feel flattered.

Or why not get together with a friend for some online shopping and snacks? I’ve also been known to text photos of clothes I’m considering buying to friends to get their take, and it can be quite helpful!

clothes shopping

You can save money by spending more on timeless pieces that will last a long time and that can be worn in multiple seasons. For instance, a classic pair of black boots or a blazer will never go out of style, so spending more to get something that’s made to last means you won’t have to constantly replace it. (These 13 fashion essentials are great examples of this rule!)

On the flip side, avoid spending a lot on trendy pieces or things you know you’ll only wear on rare occasions. There’s no sense in blowing your clothing budget on stuff you’ll only wear a few times.

clothes shopping

10. Know The Return And Exchange Policies

This is particularly important when shopping online. I try to limit my online shopping to places that offer free returns. Shipping for bulky items can be expensive, and if the store also charges a re-stocking fee, that will only add to the cost you paid just to try something on.

clothes shopping

11. Find Coupons And Discounts

Coupons aren’t just for groceries! For online shopping, use a site like Rakuten to find money-saving coupons and get cash back on purchases. There are also apps that will compare prices for you and let you know if an item in your cart is cheaper elsewhere.

For in-person shopping, check online or in the store’s app for special coupons or discounts you may be able to use at the store.

Do you have any shopping tips or tricks you would add to this list?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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