Ever feel overwhelmed or lost when you enter the store to purchase a new outfit? The worst thing you can do is head to the store without a prepared plan. You want to go in knowing what outfits you are looking for, so you don’t walk out with 5 swimsuits you only kind of like or no new clothes at all. Avoid impulse purchases and confusion by creating a plan of attack!

Step One: Set aside some time to shop, alone, or with a personal stylist.

You want to avoid making this a girl’s day out with your best friends. Having a friend go with you can be very distracting. You may not even make it past lunch! Going by yourself or with your stylist will still be fun and give you that personal time you need to find the best outfits for you.

Step Two: Do your research.

Visit Pinterest and ShopStyle for inspiration!  Browse to find outfits that you want to recreate. Use these examples as blueprints to replicate looks you are trying to achieve. After you have a few ideas in mind, do a closet inventory check to see what you already have, and write down a list of the items you’ll need to complete the looks/outfits. 

Step Three: Surf the internet for stores you like.

On ShopStyle, create an account so you can ‘favorite’ the items and brands you like.  That way you’ll get alerts any time your ‘favorites’ go on sale or are back in stock. Such a handy tool for shopping and getting deals on the things you love.  Even if you don’t shop online, you can still use ShopStyle to track the brands you like and eventually visit the storefront when you have the chance. You’re essentially doing your window shopping to find which stores carry what you’re looking for. This is when a stylist comes in handy, they can do the researching for you.  I personally like to shop the markdown outlets first and find a nice designer mix and then fill in with basics from the stores who I know have the best fit for my body, price for my budget and hit the kind of style I’m looking for.  

Step Four: GO SHOPPING!

Remember….keep an open mind 🙂 Don’t judge that summer dress on the hanger before you try it on! I can’t tell you how many times the ugliest thing on a hanger turns out to be the best piece of clothing I found all day. Stock up on multiple sizes when you head to the dressing room. You might need a different size than normal to get the fit that looks best, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t get hung up on size. You want to obsess over how it fits, looks and feels on your body. Try everything on. It’s key to finding the perfect outfit and gives you the ability to make sure the item looks great from every angle.  The idea is to find pieces that skim the body and don’t pinch, tug or pull.

Here are some last little secrets:

Shoes! Bring a few pair of shoes with you when you hit the stores for your new summer wardrobe. A pair of shoes has the power to change everything and they are so important when making sure length is correct on certain pieces. Plus, shoes can make you feel more confident and who doesn’t want to feel confident when shopping?

Get dressed up to go shopping. Style your hair and do your makeup so that you look as great as you feel. Nothing helps shopping more than feeling great!

If you have trouble deciding as you go, take a pic of every outfit you try on, then at the end, let the photos help you decide what looks best and buy with confidence!

Final words: 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, and still haven’t worn it. #thestruggleisreal

Now that you have a plan of attack with outfits in mind and stores you love, pick a day to hit the shops feeling prepared and confident. What you end up with at the end of the day could be your best outfit yet!