8 ways I learned to shop smarter

 

I thought I shopped a lot before I had a style blog, but now that I share outfits of mine on the regular with you all, I find myself shopping constantly. Like non-stop. But hey, at least I actually have a dual purpose for these purchases — I can share my new items on my blog and enjoy them in real life!

No, my excessive (at times) shopping habits are not necessary, but I’m always on the lookout for deals, new trends, and this season’s new fashion to amp up my closet and my blog. Let me just make this clear in case there is any confusion: I am not rich and I don’t have a money-tree growing in my backyard to support my online shopping — though that would be a dream, am I right?? — so it’s important for me to find amazing items I’ll love and wear (and not just collect dust in my closet) at a bargain, or at least feel good about my purchase at the end of the day. Over the years, I’ve definitely learned a few things about online shopping as well as my own closet and personal style, therefore I’ve compiled a list of ways you can shop just like I do — ensuring you only get what you’ll actually wear and love for a good price!

  1. First and foremost, I plan an entire outfit when I’m shopping. In person or online, I always recommend for every top find a pair of bottoms to go with it. Or find some cute accessories to go with that cute romper or dress you’re eyeing. I don’t buy anything if I don’t already have something to go with it at home or in my cart because, as I’ve learned, I’m a lot less likely to ever wear something if I can’t picture it in a complete outfit. If ‘m online shopping for outfits, which I honestly do 70% of the time, I’ll look at multiple retailers at one time to complete the outfit I’m wanting if it’s something I really want. This helps to prevent buying items and never wearing them!
  2. Download the Honey app to save money. Just do it. The Honey app is a downloadable app for your computer that will automatically pop up when I go to checkout or when I click into a discount code box at checkout. When it pops up and you click to enable it, the Honey app will automatically test all possible discount codes available at the time to find a code that will give you the greatest discount! It works for most major retailers and some smaller ones but it’s seriously saved me so much money by providing me a discount code when I don’t already have one, or finding a better discount code for me than I already know about! You can download it from the app store on your computer.
  3. Look at different retailers for the best price on certain brands. For items that you can purchase at universally any larger retailer (Amazon, Nordstrom, brand-specific retailers, etc.) I always check multiple sites before I drop my money not the first website I find the item on. For example, I really wanted the Doc Marten Leona boots that I first discovered on Doc Martens website, so I gave it a quick google search and found them almost $20 cheaper and with free shipping at Nordstrom. Use your sources to your advantage! 
  4. Always check Poshmark first. Most of the time you’ll find what you’re wanting for brand new or like new condition, but cheaper because the seller is trying to make some extra cash or the item wasn’t their taste/size. I’ve purchased many things from Poshmark (shoes, clothing, jewelry) and also sell my own items on there and have had great luck with the app! Anything over $500 is checked by Poshmark associates for authenticity but still know what you’re purchasing before you purchase! (My Poshmark closet is under aramackenzie)
  5. Be careful buying items online that you know don’t always fit you right — pants, rompers, shorts and dresses are items that I’m generally more picky of purchasing online because they can look completely different in person than on the model they’re photographing. Even if i’m just a little curious about how an item will fit, I will always read reviews (reviews with photos are the best) and size charts to help aid in my decision making.
  6. Consider the season. If we are in between seasons I generally purchase items for the up an coming season, unless there’s a good end-of-season sale happening, then go for it! I choose to shop for the upcoming season so that I can get ahead of the weather and trends and I start early — I’ve already been shopping Easter dresses for Easter weekend and I’m staying far away from any sweaters right now unless I’m saving them for next year. 
  7. Know what to invest in. Investing in good denim, shoes, and outerwear is probably the best purchases you can make. These are all items that will last you years or enable you to wear them several times. When I was in a fashion design class, we learned about the Price Per Wear (PPW). If a pair of jeans are $100 but you wear them just 16 times a year, those pair of jeans are essentially only $6 per wear, which is probably worth it! While these items are worth the extra penny, be smart about your shopping and find that cheap price or discount code! 
  8. There’s most likely a dupe at Amazon or Target. From Gucci to Steve Madden, these days there is a dupe for just about anything. But buyer beware, you get what you pay for. I will be the first to say I’m a big fan of a good dupe, but before you fall in love with that designer dupe make sure you read the fine print and the reviews. For example, a couple months back I was shopping for the best deal on the infamous Laniege lip mask everyone raves about and I found it super cheap on Amazon, even linked there by several other bloggers I follow. But upon closer examination of the Amazon photos of the lip mask, I saw on the bottle the print was in Chinese. A clear difference than the bottle on Sephora and even the Laneige website product. I then began to question why that bottle was so much cheaper on Amazon and decided I wasn’t gonna take the chance of having an allergic reaction to a product that may not even be what I want!

May my shopping habits do you some good during this quarantine, even if it’s just some online window shopping! You can always save those new outfits for when this craziness ends (hopefully soon!) Also, I decided to go ahead and share some of my favorite places to shop, listed below — it’s quite a mix as far as price points. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite shopping quotes/advice, “if you can’t stop thinking about it, buy it!”

Larger retailers:

  1. Revolve
  2. Shein
  3. Amazon
  4. Nordstrom
  5. Urban Outfitters
  6. ZARA
  7. H&M
  8. Forever 21
  9. Red Dress Boutique
  10. Princess Polly

Smaller, local boutiques:

  1. Sewn Clothing Gallery
  2. Back Alley Boutique
  3. T.C. Elli’s
  4. Vici Collection
  5. ShopRiffRaff

As always,

Ara

Tie dye top: Vici Collection| Jeans: Miss Me Jeans| Boots: Aldo| Gold bracelet: Tory Burch| Silver Bracelet: Amazon| Earrings: Shein| Lip Mask: Laniege 

Leave a Reply