Recently, I have had to begin to do my own shopping for clothes. That is, without the advice or help of a woman. To me, that stinks. I’ll be honest with you. I have no fashion sense whatsoever. I don’t know what looks good on me and what doesn’t. But I do realize that I need to make the proper efforts to ensure I am not walking around looking like a fashion fool. I try not to be vain about what I wear or who I’m trying to impress, but I think the way you carry and present yourself in the professional world still does matter, and I should be mildly in tune with that reality.
Before I continue, I will now implore you to leave comments and suggestions at the end to give me further tips, because I am sure there are improvements that could be made to my strategy. I could seriously use the help!
My Old Plan
So, up until now, my plan was this. I would always take a “helper” with me. I always made sure that I had the advice or approval of a woman before buying any clothes at all. Either that, or I would just rely on any and all holidays that I receive gifts and make sure I asked for clothes. That has changed too. I am now basically on my own with regards to clothes shopping. I walked into a big box retailer the other day to get some shorts, and boy did I feel like an idiot. Clueless, uneducated, the whole nine yards.
This was actually a test case for me. Because I knew that I had to begin to figure out some strategy for buying a whole category of items, like clothes, that I knew nothing about, without getting ripped off.
My New Plan
My new plan is to find a new female shopping “helper” as soon as I can, but they’re not as easy to find as they used to be. People are busier; I have fewer friends now that I’m a father and so on. So here is what I have figured out:
You can actually do a good bit of research online to at least find out who has sales and when. I currently utilize Fat Wallet, which has a daily email update feature you can sign up for, and their members do a great job of informing other members when there are sales on just about anything.
Stick To The Basics
Maybe I lied a bit in my opening because I do know a tiny bit about how to save money on clothes. As a rule, I try to avoid buying clothes in the mall. Malls carry the ultimate retail price, because you’re paying for their expensive overhead to be in a nice shopping mall. And there are a few big box retailers that seem to consistently have good clothes at good prices. Old Navy, TJ Maxx, Kohl’s, and Target are a few that I check for sales on a regular basis.
Ask For Help
There’s nothing wrong with asking a salesperson for help, preferably a girl. However, keep in mind that they might be paid by commission and they are there to make money (but you can still get soom good advice out of them).
Case in point: During my recent trip out to get shorts, what I wanted were light and comfortable shorts. It’s very hot outside where I live, so I wanted some light shorts. I asked a girl at the store what she would recommend, and she pointed out some fairly “light” shorts, but of course, they were the most expensive light shorts in the store. She gave me a great spiel as to why I should buy them as well. I thanked her for her time, found some even lighter shorts about ten feet away, and they were less than half the price of what she was trying to sell me. My guess is she was on commission, but I still was able to utilize her help in choosing a category of shorts that would work, and then finding a cheaper version of it either in that store or another store.
I’ll try to keep you updated on my experiences in this new area of shopping, but I would almost beg you to leave me some feedback. Is there a way I can save more? Are there better stores out there to shop at with better bargains? Do you have any other tips or pointers you could give me?
(photo credit: meatbell)
As always, your comments are appreciated below.