Now that Fall is here, it’s time to pack away your pastels and break out the sweaters. For many of us, Fall shopping is inevitable because we might need to replace worn items or refresh our wardrobe with a new piece. But how do you get the best deals? When money is low, shopping often gets knocked to the bottom of the priority list. Shopping expert, Patrice J. Williams, founder of shopping website, Looking Fly on a Dime, explains how to get the most out of your shopping experience and the most bang for your buck.
Read on to get the scoop on shopping for your style and body type without breaking the bank — even on designer items.
BE: When is the best time to shop for Fall?
Williams: The best time is late August because stores have already had their Fall pieces on display for a few weeks and you get an idea of what’s out there before the season begins. But don’t feel pressure to shop right away when these items become available because this often leads to buyer’s remorse.
BE: How can shoppers get the best deals on shoes, handbags, clothing and home décor?
Williams: There are designers like Tory Burch and Michael Kors that offer the luxury of a brand name without the prices you would pay, for brands like Louis Vuitton or Chanel. Department stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Target offer great discounts on designer shoes, handbags, and clothing. Thrift shopping is also a great alternative and allows you to find classic statement pieces that may be vintage or even designer with prices that rival those in department stores. You may find amazing pieces for your home at places like Home Goods for affordable prices without sacrificing style and trend. Also, comparison shopping online helps you determine where you’ll get the most for your money.
BE: What if you don’t like to shop? How can you maximize savings?
Williams: Figure out why you don’t like to shop; maybe you’re going to the wrong stores or you’re confused about what you want or need. Try shopping during off-peak days and hours to avoid crowds. Shopping can be overwhelming, so going to stores early in the morning or after the lunchtime rush when people aren’t likely to be shopping could improve your shopping experience. Also, shop online! There are websites such as Shop Style that cater to shoppers who aren’t sure what to look for. Shopping online or during off-peak hours removes anxiety and makes for a more uncomplicated experience.
BE: Share 3 of your best shopping tips.
1) Shop with a purpose. Know what you’re looking for. Go with a list so you don’t end up buying everything that you don’t need and nothing you do need. It’s like when you go to the grocery store and end up with a bunch of stuff you had no intention of buying, and forgetting the essentials like milk and eggs.
2) Don’t be hypnotized by sale signs. Sale signs are tactics stores use to get you to buy something you probably wouldn’t have purchased if it weren’t on sale. Sometimes stores mark prices up just to slash the price later. For example, you’re more likely to buy a dress for $50 if it was marked down from $150 as opposed to if the regular price is $50.
3) Be honest with yourself . Be honest with yourself about your style, body type and the trends. Certain colors or pieces that are on trend may not necessarily be your style. Also, size and body type should be taken into consideration because it’s easy to look at a nice outfit displayed on a mannequin but it may not look good on you because of your height or build. Being honest about what clothes, styles and colors accent your own body and style helps make shopping easier and ultimately more enjoyable.