A shopaholic’s tips

Do you love shopping? I know I do. I am always window shopping (whether online or physically walking around), always on the hunt for a good bargain. I used to buy frivolously, until I taught myself to shop with purpose. Here’s how I have learned to shop, and let me tell you how incredible helpful these tips are to me. I hope you can find value in them as I do!

~Know your measurements.
This is key. I cannot stress this enough. With the size variations by all the different designers (Arash Mazinani did an incredible post regarding size differences & self esteem), knowing what size you think you are may not always be the best fitting size. I can vouch for this first hand. For example, at Old Navy, I wear a size 14 or16, at Target I wear a 16, large, extra large, and the occasional medium, at Modcloth I wear a large or extra large depending on the item, at Forever21 I wear a large in some pieces, the list goes on. I would say my average size would be a large/extra large or a size 16. However, these general sizes are based on my measurements. While some styles at Target & Old Navy run on the larger size, Modcloth & Forever21 are on the smaller side of the size spectrum. When I shop at these places, I always look at the size chart and compare measurements. A large for one dress could be equivalent to a medium in another or an extra large in another.

Image Source: Beautiful Day Bridal Cottage

~What’s it made of? 

Check out the material of the garment. Know what each fabric is and how it tends to fit your body. It is a cotton/poly blend? Is there spandex or lycra in the mix? It is a deadstock fabric? All of these are will impact the fit of the garment. I prefer cotton, cotton/poly blends, rayon, and of course, who doesn’t enjoy a bit of stretch? My main goal when shopping is: comfort. I ask myself – Will I be comfortable in this garment? Will I enjoy wearing it? Will it make me uncomfortable in any way? Will I want to take if off a few hours after wearing it? Tell me, what is the point of purchasing something that you are just not comfortable in?

~Make your choices wisely.
We all have the “Ah ha!” moment every once in a while. My rule of thumb is, if my eyes don’t widen with excitement and I don’t get a huge smile on my face and say to myself, “Oh my god!”, then that garment goes into the maybe or no pile. I will not purchase anything that doesn’t make me say, wow, I look amazing in this. Now, going further, if something in the maybe pile speaks to me, I will figure out a way to restyle it or DIY it to suit me, before completely tossing it out.

~It’s OK to shop outside the box
Have you ever fallen for something that you would never try on? Do you see that red leopard dress in the picture above? Thats the case with me and that dress. I made my weekly rounds to one of my favorite vintage shops (& fellow fashion blogger), Twitch Vintage, and I saw this dress. I was drawn to it for some reason. This is something I would NEVER try on, never even give it a chance. This time, I took a chance, click on it and wouldn’t you know it? It was in my measurements, my size. I put it in my watching items for a while, and then one day decided, “what the heck? I’m going to get it.” Once I put it on, the post it is featured in, In red we wait, can show you how much I adored it. Always think outside the box. Thanks to my amazing Scott, who has taught me to try new things, even if they sound or look unpleasant, has really opened my eyes. No, not everything works out in my favor, but I have gained a new view on fashion. Think of it this way, if you think it’s not you on the hanger – try it anyway. It may or may not work out for you, but you will be glad you tried it.

~Shop for yourself.
I never go shopping for myself with someone else in mind. Meaning, let’s say I find a look that is absolutely gorgeous on the person wearing it (a model, fellow fashion blogger, etc). I may want to recreate that look, but I won’t do it so I can look exactly like that person. For example, Keiko Lynn is one of my favorite people. She’s a sweet heart, was a great friend in high school, and is now a gorgeous woman, with amazing style. While I adore her outfit posts and her sense of fashion, I do not want to copy her. They say copying someone is the highest form of flattery, but to me, it is a lack of creativity. Instead, I use her as an inspiration. This is what I mean when I say to shop for yourself. Make yourself happy. Keep yourself inspired. Make your jaw drop when you look at yourself in the mirror. Boost your self esteem. With that said, I leave you with one of my favorite outfits of mine…

I hope you find my shopping tips/advice useful, and I hope it sheds some light on my logic behind shopping.

On a side note, thank you, all of you, for your sincere comments. Sometimes I can’t believe I am so lucky to have readers like you. I welcome all of my new followers, and thank you for following me. I can’t wait to connect with you!

About Kirstin Marie

Hi, I'm Kirstin (pronounced - Keer-stin)! Shoe crazed, animal lovin', vintage addict, and I love dressing up. I live in the moment, and thrive on change & challenges. Contributor to Lucky Magazine & The Curvy Fashionista. Stylist | Plus Size Fashion & Style Blogger | Events Coordinator | Lighting Designer.
This entry was posted in fashion, garments, shopping, shopping tips, Sizes. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to A shopaholic’s tips

  1. Louise says:

    Awesome post, Kirstin! Bookmarked!

  2. “Shop for yourself.” AMEN! It is so true. It’s such a temptation to try and emulate someone else’s style in every way, but it’s always best to resist the temptation. These are really good tips (also about knowing your measurements- esp when it comes to shopping for jeans I find.)

    The moving photo is called a “gif.” If you type it into Google search, loads and loads of websites will pop up where you can make one by loading the photos, and it will put them together to make them look like a moving photo. x

  3. Love these tips. I need to know my measurements. Some of my thrift store choices have backfired because I didn’t update my knowledge of my waistline.

  4. Alice says:

    Super helpful hints, thanks! I’ve been such a bad dresser for the past year or so- just so lazy! I’m trying to buy more decent clothes this year, so will keep this in mind! I find sizing SUCH a pain too, and the difference between stores is ridiiiculous! If I was rich I’d love to have a store of cheaper clothes for “odd” body shapes- especially the variations in boob to waist ratio! Everything (here at least) seems to be made for small body & small boobs, or big body & big boobs, which is sooo not always the case!


  5. wow, honey, this is a really great post!! thank you for sharing these tips! Sooo helpful! And tweetable. 😉


  6. herCatwalk says:

    GREAT tips! So true about knowing your measurements. A size 8 at Gap isn’t a size 8 at Forever 21, so it’s important to know the measurements not the arbitrary size companies attach to each item.

  7. Little Rus says:

    Really really good post and tips! Agree with everything! xxx

  8. Brookelyn says:

    I agree, knowing your measurements is an absolute must!

  9. Mode Plus says:

    I agree with everyone: these are some good tips.
    I used to shop a lot and now I find myself re-inventing with what I own. Blogging has had an influence on my shop style, I’m more critical than before. Watching others share their looks, inspires me. I truly enjoy it.

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