The worst thing you can do this season is hit the stores without a  plan of attack, unless your plan is to spend too much, be confused and overwhelmed or impulse buy and in that case, go for it and let us know what you find! There’s always a chance it could pay off…

First things first, plan a time to shop, alone, or with your personal stylist…

Leave your best friend at home for this trip, it can be too distracting, to the point of not making it past lunch!  It should be fun though so take the time to magazine shop some of the latest looks and pull pages of those you love.  This gives you an idea of what looks you can replicate.  Once you have an idea of what you like, take an inventory from your closet.  See what you already have and make a list of the items you’ll need to complete the looks/outfits.  Write it all down so you have a list to work from while you shop.  At this point go to the internet and do some surfing to find what stores carry what you’re looking for (this is why a stylist is handy, they do the researching for you).  I like to shop the markdown outlets so that I find items from different designers at incredible prices.  A couple of things to keep in mind when you’ve found the right store is to keep an open mind, don’t judge what’s on the hanger, try it on.  I can’t tell you how many times the ugliest thing on a hanger turns out to be the best item I found all day.  Take multiple sizes to the dressing room and keep in mind how the item is supposed to fit when you’re sizing yourself.  You may require a different size than normal to get the fit that looks best, and that’s perfectly okay.  Don’t obsess about your size, obsess about the way it looks and fits.  That’s why trying it on is so key, it gives you the ability to make sure it looks good from every angle.  Trust your gut and don’t talk yourself into things.

If you don’t love it in the store you won’t love it at home either!  Trust me, I have a swimsuit I bought 3 years ago, haven’t worn it yet!

Lastly, try on your outfits with shoes, it changes everything and is totally necessary when making sure the length is right.  I always feel more confident with my shoes on.  Another idea is to bring a few pairs of shoes with you in a bag so you have what you need for the outfits your trying on.  My final tip before heading out on your shopping trip is to make sure you have your hair and makeup done and are feeling great!  It makes all the difference in the world when you’re shopping.   So plan a day, prepare yourself and think about your budget.  Then with your magazine pull outs and list in hand, hit the shops feeling prepared and confident.  What you end up with at the end of the day will surprise you!