We all know how difficult it can be in the industry, as bloggers and fashion-lovers alike. With pressure to shoot outfits every week and stay on top with shiny new-ness, it’s crucial to learn to not spend way over your head. So, I thought I’d share some tips I’ve picked up over the years about how to shop savvy.
1. Shop in multiple places.
This is my number one tip, as there’s such a vast choice on the high street right now. I usually visit my all-time favourite brands (Zara, Topshop, Mango, River Island) first, and sometimes I’ll see an item I really love. Then I check the price and then decide whether it’s worth it. While £70 for shoes in Topshop is still pretty expensive, £15 for a T-shirt like this slogan one (very Gucci-esque) that I bought the other day, is pretty cost-efficient. If I think it’s quite a lot of money to spend, I think to myself: can I find a cheaper version somewhere else?
Then I scour some other stores – usually slightly lower-cost ones like Bershka, H&M, Pull & Bear, or New Look (verrrrrry occasionally I venture into Primark). Most of these stores follow the same trends, but sell trending pieces for a lot cheaper. I remember I was close to buying some bootcut jeans in River Island one time (roughly £45) and then I found an identical pair in Bershka for £19.99. You can even scour online retailers like SheIn or Boohoo which often have trending items at really low prices.
2. Go shopping with a plan.
Sometimes it’s nice to just go shopping for the sake of shopping, if you need a little retail therapy. But most often I go shopping knowing what I want, which is why it’s important to know how to shop savvy. I’ll think, “I want to buy an oversized shirt”, “I want to buy a gingham skirt”. I don’t usually go shopping that often and, on the whole, I avoid online shopping. As a blogger, I’ll often style it up whilst I’m still on the same trip. I’ll be thinking what top I could wear with a skirt I’ve just bought, or how I could accessorise with a mini shoulder bag…
3. Return things you don’t think you’re going to get long-term wear out of.
I sometimes buy things because I think they might look great in a post. Sometimes I’ll shoot them. And, then, I’ll change my mind, realise they’re hideously impractical and return them. This is a bit of a cheeky one, and I don’t do it often, unless I’m certain I’m going to get absolutely no wear out of it.
4. Look out for sales and discount codes.
A lot of places are having spontaneous “seasonal reductions” right now. Topshop had some last week, and today I went into Office and bought a gorgeous pair of mules reduced from £58 to £36. And it’s not like they’re last season, either – still so on-trend right now. Or, if you’re more of an online shopper, Google around for discount codes. I always do this when I do shop at major online retailers, like Missguided or Boohoo. And, if you’re a student, most places offer at least 10-20% discount.
5. Shop alone.
This may sound a tad depressing, but when I go shopping I have a schedule and a plan of what I need to buy. And I always shop most quickly and effectively by myself. While it’s nice to sometimes ask your friends for opinions (which thanks to social media, these days you can do with a simple Instagram story), often the best thing is just to go with your gut.
6. Try vintage shops.
If you’re, like me, lusting after the current slogan T-shirt trend, for many brands this is actually a revival of slogan trends from the ’90s. For example, the Gucci T-Shirt retails at £285 here. But, if you scour vintage clothing stores, you can often find Gucci logo T-shirts and sweatshirts for a fraction of the price. Channel your inner Sophia Amoruso in the Netflix’s #Girlboss and go for vintage designer finds.
7. Vestiaire Collective it.
Another great place for designer finds, also at a vastly reduced price, is pre-owned clothing websites like Vestiaire Collective and Rebelle. Most of these pieces are in near-perfect condition – now that’s how to shop savvy, truly.
Shop the look: “How to Shop Savvy”
Dress: Topshop (similar)
Jacket: Lipsy x Michelle Keegan
Watch: Abbott Lyon
So, let me know how you guys shop smart in the comments!