The Three Golden Rules of Smart Shopping

Posted by: Christina Ponte

ShoppingIt’s the most wonderful time of the year… And no, I don’t mean Christmas. For as long as I can remember, autumn has always been my favorite season.

It stems back to my childhood, when my mother would announce it was time to go shopping for school clothes for the upcoming academic year. “Hooray!” I would think to myself. The day-long event, which I had waited for all summer, was finally at hand. I was guaranteed to get a number of coordinating ensembles, complete with matching bags and shoes. And since I was an only-child growing up, my parents didn’t have the option of giving me hand-me-downs. Hooray again!

Now as an adult, I still get the same intoxicating rush as I see leaves change their color, and smell the crisp fall air. As nature begins to prepare for another season, so do I. And my desire to update my wardrobe with the hottest looks from the latest fall collections is invigorating!

But let’s admit it - Shopping, at any time of the year, can be a hassle, especially when budgets are a reality and your mom isn’t as keen to support your habit. So what’s a girl in need of a major retail fix to do?

Shop like a pro, and look like a fashion icon by sticking to these practical, and oh-so-easy to follow rules:

1. Shop during off-season.
So what if you feel a bit silly buying a two-piece bikini in October? The money you’ll save is no laughing matter. I once bought a beautiful pure white, cashmere scarf for 80% off the regular price in June. The sales are out there! Be sure to check the websites of your favourite shopping centres before heading out, and see who is advertising the best end-of-season specials.

2. Go for classics.
Basic black pants, well-fitted pairs of jeans and crisp white shirts are always guaranteed to be in style. Though fads can be tempting, you don’t see people still wearing Hypercolor t-shirts, do you?  Investing in basic pieces can go a long way to amassing your wardrobe. Club Monaco is a favourite store of mine for this very reason. They have a fantastic collection of ready-to-wear pieces, and their merchandise is classic enough to be worn year after year.

3. Don’t buy what you don’t need.
How many times have you made a trip to the mall, intent on buying a blouse for an upcoming business function, only to return home with two pairs of shoes, a great sundress, an elegant pair of earrings – and no blouse? Many of us are usually sidetracked on shopping excursions and tempted to purchase items that we don’t need. Most of the time, these unexpected splurges are a waste of time and money – You hadn’t planned on buying them, so they sit in your closet waiting to be unveiled at the “perfect time” which never arrives, and they sit in the closet collecting dust. Take control and promise yourself no more impulse buying. No matter how great the deal is, just walk away. You’ll be happy you did. 

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Christina Ponte
Toronto, ON, Canada

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