File this under #fashiongirlproblems: There are so many great trends out there (this season alone, it’s culottes, flared jeans, chunky heels—and we want them all), but sometimes it’s challenging to winnow down what you need versus what works best for you. And let’s not forget about navigating a sale and scoring deals. With so much to choose from, we canvassed several power shoppers (stylish women who always look great, score amazing deals, and have an encyclopedic knowledge of seemingly every chic store and e-commerce site out there) to get their tips. Turns out that they had very similar shopping habits. Take a look at their practices and glean all the retail wisdom:
1. Home In: Know what silhouettes and colors suit you and start there. If you know that bold reds and blues flatter you and that A-line skirts are your best bet, it will help you focus your search in stores and online.
2. Storyboard: Create a Pinterest board of your look for a given season, along with a “story” of your wardrobe for the season. Think about your celebrity or street-style inspirations and the things you’re interested in buying. This will help you edit out what won’t work and it will also enable you to mix and match pieces in your wardrobe with greater ease.
3. Budget, Budget, Budget: It’s important to know how much you’re looking to spend in a given season or year. For instance, you won’t need a coat or knee-high boots every year, so perhaps you can allocate your budget toward a bag or a trendy item. Like the storyboard, this will help you architect your wardrobe. It’s also fiscally responsible!
4. Build Upon a Solid Foundation: Black trousers, a navy blazer, and a leather tote bag are essential building blocks for any stylish woman. Once you have those foundation items, then you can add in trends pieces and experiment with new colors.
5. Think Across All Seasons, All the Time: Sure, you won’t wear your swimsuit on a blustery winter day, but you might wear a lightweight cashmere sweater or a great blazer all year round. By thinking this way, you can get great deals at sale time.
6. Know When to Buy What: Buy your swimsuits by early spring before they sell out. Start scouring winter coats in August and buy one by October. These seasonal items tend to sell out, and you don’t want to miss the window. Another strategy is to buy classic pieces that may have been returned by shoppers at the end of the season, and stash them away for next year.
7. Prep for Sale: Once you’ve got your basics set, keep an eye on the “sprinkles.” Pop some sale wish-list items into your online shopping cart on e-commerce sites and set an alert to email you when that item goes on sale. This way, you’re prepared to shop and buy what you like—and not be overwhelmed by the zillions of options. A turquoise tutu at 70 percent off? Tempting, but no.