Fashion Magazine

How to Make the Best Clothes and Style Purchasing Decisions

By Imogenl @ImogenLamport

Reader Question – I often choose great outfits which don’t look good on me. How can I make better decisions?

We can love an outfit on the mannequin. We can love it on the salesperson. We can love it on one of our friends.

You are not the mannequin. You are not the salesperson. You are not your friend. You are your own unique individual.

Shopping mistakes around clothing are so common. Did you know from recent research across the Western World, the average woman wastes $900 per year on clothes she never wears? That’s $9000 every 10 years! You might feel the need to purchase so that you justify your time and effort spent shopping. You might be chasing the feel-good feeling from the oxytocin rush that you get when you buy something. You might feel pressured into buying an outfit to make the salesperson happy or not feel like you’ve wasted their time. You might be hoping that this new thing will be the answer to your style/wardrobe issues yet rarely does this turn out to be true.

How to Make the Best (for you) Clothes Shopping Decisions


Don’t Buy Off the Mannequin or Salesperson’s Back

I’ve had a number of clients who have purchased outfits that looked wonderful on the salesperson but they’ve found that the outfits don’t look great on them. 

  • Does the salesperson look like you?
  • Do you have the same body shape?
  • Do you have the same hair colour?
  • Do you have the same body proportions?
  • Do you have the same colouring, value and colour contrast?
  • Is your personality the same as that mannequin (well I hope not, mannequins are kind of faceless and bland)?

This list could go on and on, but I hope you’re getting the picture of how it’s so easy to go wrong when you make decisions based on something you see on the mannequin or what the salesperson is wearing without any consideration of whether or not it will be in harmony for you and your body or  your personality.

You Need an Education in Colour and Style

This is why it’s worthwhile getting a style education. It gives you an understanding of what really works for you and your unique features. It stops you from buying something that looks good on somebody else.  For example, knowing the answers to some or all the questions below will help you find garments that flatter your individual body and help you make the best purchasing decisions. 

  • Which colors work for you? – Finding your best colours makes it really easy to build a wardrobe of clothes that mix and match easily and make you look amazing.
    Finding your best colour palette makes it easy to shop for colours that make you look greatFinding your best colour palette makes it easy to shop for colours that make you look great
  • What are your signature colors? – Your knockout colours that really make you shine!  For me, blues are a signature (because I have blue eyes) and it makes it so easy to create a mix-and-match wardrobe!
  • What are your contrast levels? – This tells you how to put your palette of colours together in any outfit
  • What is your body shape? – So you know the best silhouette to create harmony with your shape.
  • Where are your body proportions and variations?- So you can figure out the best hemlines and other aspects of clothing not covered by body shape.
  • What are your defining features? What shapes of patterns and styles, what kinds of details really work with you?
  • How do you want to express your personality through your style?  Who are you and how do you want to express that?

Fashions Change and So Will Your Style 

The one thing that stays the same with fashion is this: It always changes! You’re only ever making choices from what is currently available and sometimes there is nothing out there for you. The current fashion trend doesn’t really suit your figure.  The current colors are just not really great for you. This is ok because there are other ways to keep your look current. Fashion goes beyond just clothes, though. It can extend to shoes, jewelry, and even how you style your hair so you might find more on-trend items outside of garments that suit you. 

As those fashions change, when you have your education in style you’ll be able to easily pick from the available fashions the ones that work for you and make you feel good as well as look fabulous.

For some fashion retailers, in three weeks’ time, there will be a whole new range. Do some research online before you go shopping to save yourself time, energy, and money. Check the colour range to see if retailers are carrying colours that suit you, if not, skip them this trip and save yourself the disappointment. 

Only you get to decide how a piece makes you feel. If you try on something and it just doesn’t feel right, then there’s probably a better choice waiting on the next rack. Don’t waste your money on something that doesn’t work – sometimes the best purchasing decisions are the ones where you don’t buy anything at all as you’re empowered to know what to NOT buy so you can save your money for another time.

You might be one of those lucky people who seem to have a knack for style but the reality is the majority of people find style frustrating. This is I developed my 7 Steps to Style system to give you that style education, advice, and input you need to fast-track your style so that you’re empowered to build a wardrobe full of clothes you adore.  So that you feel confident and look polished and put together in a way that is true to who you are. Find out more about the 7 Steps to Style system here… 

Further Reading

Shopping Strategies – Are You Better Shopping Alone or With Someone?

Tips for a More Successful Online Shopping Experience

3 Strategies to Have a More Successful Clothes Shopping Experience

11 Questions to Know it’s a Winner Should Be Added to Your Wardrobe

7 Essential Tips For Narrowing Down Your Options When Shopping for Clothes

How to Make the Best Clothes and Style Purchasing DecisionsHow to Make the Best Clothes and Style Purchasing Decisions


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