The Beauty in Shopping…

Clueless-shopping-sceneIf you’re not a shopper, don’t leave me yet. This isn’t a post about all the great things I found shopping or where to get the IT bootie for fall. Instead, here are my tips on how to shop better, faster and more efficiently. Surely I can’t be the only one to hates to return stuff!

One of my girlfriends is a bridesmaid in her friend’s wedding come September. She has to wear a nude color dress of her choice. No biggy, right? Well, this same girlfriend has a toddler and a tiny baby and anyone with kids, let alone small kids, knows that shopping for a dress with babies is almost an impossibility. So I suggested to her, that she call Nordstroms and set up a personal shopper. She said she hadn’t even thought of doing that and was going to make an appointment. After we talked I realized that there are probably LOTS of women (and men, Hi Dom) who don’t know about this wonderful service.

Here’s the details: Most department stores offer personal shoppers and it’s SO simple.  Call the store and ask for the personal shopper. Boutique style stores will do this as well, you just have to ask. Let her know what occasion you’re shopping for, your size, style (if you don’t know your style you she will ask you questions to try match items to your taste,) your body type and your budget (be honest with your budget- the sales person doesn’t care, seriously.) You’ll show up at your appointment time to a dressing room (usually the biggest and nicest one they have!) filled with items tailored to your needs. My girlfriend, for example, rather than having to search the entire store for every nude color-wedding-appropriate dress in a size S, it will just be there, waiting for her. There is NO FEE for this service.  Did you get that, FREE. I’m telling you, if you’re short on time, if you hate crowds, if you aren’t the best at styling yourself it’s so worth making the call. Last year I had made an appointment for my husband’s aunt as well as my mother in law. My husband’s uncle passed away and the girls were shopping for dresses for his service. Who wants to shop for a dress for a funeral. No one. As horrible as the situation was, they were SO touched and felt so special to have someone waiting on them and helping to make the process just a tiny bit easier. I highly recommend using a personal shopper!

Something else to make shopping more efficient is to know your body type. This can be so confusing. Women who work out assume they’re athletic build, women who have any extra weight assume their curvy and thin women assume they’re petite. I am 5’4, not the standard for petite but also not tall. However my frame-literally my bones, are small, petite. My mom would try to tell you she is curvy because she is not a size 2- wrong. She is a classic pear. These misconceptions encourage women to make choices on their clothing that result in ill fitting items that often need to be returned. If you know what your body type is, you will more easily know what pieces work for you. This is also helpful when shopping online. Here’s a little cheat sheet to figure out your body type.

Grab your measuring tape. If you don’t have a sewing measuring tape, get some dental floss and measure the length of the floss with a ruler after each “measurement.”

Write down these measurements: Shoulders, bust, hips, waist.

Inverted Triangle Shape– If your shoulders measure larger than your hips this is you! Pieces that are fitted at the waist will look great on you. Dresses with a sash or tie around the waist. Fitted jackets. Even shirts tucked in with a belt (a sleek sillouette- although the 90’s are back don’t try to bring back a baggy tucked in button up. Leave that to Jill Taylor, the mom from Home Improvement.) Demi Moore is an example of a introverted triangle body shape.


Rectangle Shape– If your shoulders, bust,  and hips are all about the same size this is you! You’ll look great in shift dresses, straight leg or boot-cut jeans, and V neck shirts also long necklaces. Camron Diaz is a perfect example of a rectangle shape.


Triangle Shape (pear)- If your shoulders measure smaller than your hips this is you! Empire waist and fit and flare dresses. Tunics with leggings.  Rihanna is a classic pear.


Hourglass Shape– If your shoulders and hips are about the same with a cinched waist this is you! Structured tops, form fitting dresses and skinny jeans will look great on you! Sofia Vergara has an hourglass shape.


Lastly my tip for better shopping is to be mindful of what you’re buying. Try to buy outfits rather than odds and ends OR if you’re loving a skirt but can’t find a top to match, think of what you have at home. Chances are if you can’t find anything at the store and you don’t have anything at home you’ll end up not wearing that skirt. Only buy pieces that have a partner either waiting for them in your closet or are accompanying them in your Medium Sized Brown Bag. Also- don’t just buy it because it’s on sale. We’re past this I think. There will be more sales, I promise you.

Here’s to happier shopping trips!

XxOo Spoiled Gal


P.S. My girlfriend has a great blog , From Our Experience that details her experiences as a professional. She and her co-blogger cover everything from networking to fashion and how they fit into the work world. She recently blogged about what to wear on an interview. She also recommends using a personal shopper and has some GREAT tips on how to present yourself during an interview.

Check out her post here:

Wear a suit.



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