Shopping as a Grown-Up
Updated: Sep 10, 2018
I’m entering my my last year of college—that’s so scary stuff, you know. Not only am I having to begin thinking about my future; future life, goals for the future and who I want to be. To say that’s a lot would be an understatement.
One thing that is fairly important, but less stressful to think about is my appearance. As we grow up, our style changes. The reason we’re getting dressed everyday is changing. It’s exciting, and shopping is fun, but it can get expensive. As I have been helping some of my friends create their new closets and wardrobes, I realized there are a few key points that are so helpful when beginning to shop as a young adult.
Okay, so let's figure this out. What is a young adult? First thing I think of is a growing professional. I think of people that are growing into themselves, isn't that what your twenties are about? And of course, I think of fun, socialite evenings, from parties to cocktail hours, the fun is just beginning for us.
So we are growing into the slightly more serious, but at the same time, we are still trying to just have fun. Sound about right?
I'm thinking young adults, I am thinking in college, just out of college, post-grad, maybe first time jobs. I'm thinking we might not always have a lot of money. Which means we're buying on a budget. In another one of my posts, I also discussed the way you present yourself can have a direct correlation with how you can feel about yourself. Dress like you're worth a million bucks, and you will feel like you're million bucks (even if your wallet says otherwise).
Shop for Multiple Events
When I'm looking for a top, I'm looking for a top that can be worn with a pencil skirt for work or with jeans and heels for the night. Look for items that can be mixed and matched between different reasons for dressing, and that can be transitional between seasons as well. This is super beneficial when traveling as well. I took a single backpack for two weeks when traveling to Europe. I managed to have different outfits for every single day, and for the nights we explored the social scene. How? Every one of my tops matched my jeans, and matched each of the skirts I had packed.
Some people might interpret this as having a single color palette, but that's not necessarily the case. Get patterns, get a variety of colors, and definitely snag textures of all sorts. One piece does not have to match every other piece, but each piece should be able to be worn in multiple looks while looking like a different piece. This is great because you'll be able to grow your closet options, without necessarily having to grow your closet space. You'll also save money also because your LBD will be look great for date night with heels or worn to work with a blazer.
Know Your Size per Store
Every store is different. Every store has their own unique sizing. It is hard to find stores that have the same size 8 as another store. There's always some kin doc slight fluctuation, especially when it comes to different styles (see: jeans and their entire hodgepodge of different styles). Go to the stores, try them on.
This is also wildly helpful because as we all know, we can't buy everything we want/need in one shopping trip. Remember your size, remember the style and head online. Most stores have great offers for your first-time online purchase if you share you email. IF you're really worried about getting mindless emails, order your purchase and immediately unsubscribe. Done. Keep an item in your online shopping cart for a week, and you'll get a coupon 9 out of 10 tens (number from personal experience at a very untracked rate, but trust me on this one). Also check out tools such as Ebates to get cash back for online purchases.
Try It On Like You're Going Out
A lot of the time people go shopping, they're shopping for an event in mind already. If you already have some sense of what you're shopping for, come ready. Do you have an interview coming up? Bring the shoes you plan to wear with the suit you are shopping for. It will give you a better idea as to how the whole look will come together. IT helps if you are trying match colors, you won't have to remember if that top leaned more to the line of navy or black, just bring it with you. When you go shopping like you're ready to go out, you know exactly what it will look like when you get home.
In addition to this, it also will give you a small reminder of what you are working with. When you start revamping your wardrobe, you don't need to start from scratch. Look at what you already have, and think more about what you can buy to continue to modern size your current items at home. Just because you are buying dress pants, doesn't mean you need to buy new shoes, look at the shoes you currently have (unless you desperately need new shoes, I get that). There is nothing worse than trying something on at the store, loving it and then getting home to realize it doesn't look how you thought it would. Save yourself the trouble, and just bring what you might be wearing with it to the store.
Another quick tip: if you forget, just snag something in the store that is very similar to what you have at home, and use that to help you imagine the new with the old.
What Do You Need for When?
Like I said before, you don't need to get it all in one shopping trip. Understanding the items you need and in what time capacity will help you maintain your budget for each shopping trip. When I go shopping, it helps me to make a list of my top 3 priority items and to set a maximum price I am willing to pay. This can be challenging because it really depends on the item. On jeans, I am willing to spend more, eschpeially if it's a quality pair that is wearable for business casual but also able to worn for going out. Understanding the try dollar value of an item as I see it is so important, this value will also be different for everyone. You might value shirts more than pantsuits, while someone else will splurge on their suits, but thrift their shirts. It makes no difference as long as you know where you stand.
In addition to this, know what you need, and when you will need it. The season is always a few steps of us. It's barely September, and I'm seeing the tall knit socks, cozy sweaters com e out, and I'm also seeing the summer dresses and bikinis go on sale. When you know when you need certain clothes, you can plan around retail season. Right now, there's a few amazing sales for suit as they are getting in their new suits for the new season. Buy out of season and save money. Get your swimsuit after summer, and have a bargain bikini for your winter vacay.
Times are changing, as are we. May we age beautifully, gracefully and always with style.
For inspiration, see the style boards.