Learn from Your Shopping Mistakes

Posted September 19, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Building Your Brand

Admit it, you all have something hanging in your closet right now that either A) doesn’t fit, B) still has the tags on it, or C) you try on and try on and never actually make it out of the house wearing. I’m certain we all have one of these pieces, and if you’re anything like me, you likely have 5….or 20….of these pieces. Why? Because we all make shopping mistakes. We buy trends thinking they’ll look good on us, jeans that are a bit too tight, and we never stop until our closets get too full. We suddenly find ourselves donating clothes that we’ve never worn.

One of my favorite fashion bloggers spurred this discussion recently in “Learning from Your Shopping Mistakes” on YouLookFab.com. And it made me wonder — how can we all avoid these shopping mistakes instead of continuing to commit them?

So we’re bringing you the most common shopping mistakes and how to change your habits right now.

  • Buying something too small. I’ve said to my husband more times than I can count, “This will fit perfectly 5 lbs from now.” Then, those jeans linger in the closet for……..years……..and frankly, they are still lingering. The fact of the matter is, though, that if I’d just buy the size up and stop with the vanity of wanting to be a size smaller, I’d look better, feel better, and damnit, I’d actually be able to wear the clothes I buy *gasp* when I buy them.
  • Buying something too trendy. You’re combing through the racks at Nordstrom and you just keep seeing floral jeans, floral jeans, floral jeans. Something inside your head says, “I mean, if Miley Cyrus can wear them, why can’t I?” But alas, you are wrong. You, the normal American woman who is not a stick figure, cannot under most circumstances pull off a pair of floral jeans. But you buy them anyway, and they linger in your closet forever. Use my helpful rule when it comes to trends: it has to be in style for two seasons before you buy. Skinny jeans, for instance. They came back on the scene in 2009-2010 in high fashion, and it seems now they’re here to stay. But investing in them when they first came on the scene might not have been smart. If you were betting on skinny jeans or high-heeled gladiator sandals, for instance, you would have lost one of those bets.
  • Buying something because it’s cheap. As I type, there is a horrible, horrible burlap-like top from Banana Republic in my closet that cost $4.99. It was a “but it’s soooo cheap” purchase. These are never good. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t wait for things to go on sale. But if you wouldn’t seriously consider buying something full price, you shouldn’t buy it half-off.

I hope these shopping mistakes will make you think twice the next time you’re at the mall. If you buy what fits you, what fits your budget, and what will stand the test of time in your wardrobe, you’ll never go wrong.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."