This might make me sound like a materialistic monster, but shopping is legit one of my favorite pasttimes. The frenzy of a Sephora, the endless racks of clothes, the gross fluorescent lighting that makes everybody look terrible…I kind of live for it. Of course, my bank account doesn’t always allow me to go as wild as I’d like, but as someone who is really into personal style and general aesthetics, this seemingly vapid activity is like a fun creative exercise. I can imagine how this suede dress or this color block bomber jacket will look with this mini skirt or these combat boots. It…almost feels like an art? Is that too presumptuous?
Art or not, even artists eff up, and I’ve definitely made countless mistakes over the years when it comes to shopping. From buying something without trying it on first, or buying something I wasn’t all that into just because my friends said I looked good in it, I’ve definitely made some shopping choices that make me shake my damn head…and I’m sure you have too. In fact, you’re probably still making a lot of bad shopping decisions. Check out these nine mistakes you make when you’re shopping and keep them in mind the next time there’s a sale at your favorite store.
Not Trying On Clothes Before You Buy ThemYou cannot go through life thinking that something is going to fit just because it says it’s in your size, or thinking that you’ll like the way you look in it just because it looks cute on the rack. Clothing is fickle, every brand has a different size chart, and you don’t want to find out that that dress you bought is see through at the worst possible time. The biggest advantages of shopping IRL as opposed to online is the ability to try something before you buy it! You have no right to get apprehensive about buying a cute pair of pants you saw on ASOS when you don’t even try on the pants you cop from H&M. Slums Of Beverly Hills
Only Buying Something Because It's On SaleYes, sales are great and shiny and lovely and save you money. But that doesn’t mean you need to participate in one just because there’s a sale. You’re just wasting money if you’re buying something on sale that you wouldn’t buy for full price. iStock.com
Caving In To Peer Pressure To Buy Something You're Not Crazy AboutWhether it’s your friends or your bae, don’t buy something you’re not crazy about just because they’re gassing you up. I did that a few months ago with a jumpsuit that my BF said I look good in; it’s like I let my thirst for compliments overrule the fact that I really could have lived without buying it. Well, I lost, like, $34 that day for no reason. I could have bought food or a couple of lipsticks for that price! Now I’m stuck with a jumpsuit that I’m forcing myself to love. Ugh. Not worth it. Skins
Buying Something Just To Buy SomethingI’ve only just now stopped doing this, but it’s really hard to resist. Sometimes you get so amped about the idea of buying something that you just hate the idea of leaving empty handed if you don’t see anything that wows you. Don’t just buy something just to buy something. Your wallet will hate you and you’ll probably end up never really wearing or using whatever you bought anyway. You aren’t hurting the store’s feelings, okay? Just leave, you might find something better next time. Clueless
Going Shopping In Restrictive ClothingThis is something that took me a while to figure out: As much as I’m an advocate for trying on clothes before you buy them, I wasn’t always. And even to this day, I think it’s a necessary evil. But do you know what makes the process a lot less painful? Wearing clothes that are easy to get in and out of. So if you know you’re going shopping, make sure to wear comfy, non-restrictive clothes that day. Think leggings that are easy to slip off, tops that don’t require someone a lot of zipping or buttoning, a relaxed fit dress, etc. American Apparel
Not Taking Advantage Of Beauty SamplesI sincerely don’t get how people can buy a makeup or skincare product from a place like Sephora or a department store without taking samples home first. Sure, you can’t try everything, but there’s plenty that you CAN try. Foundation, concealer, cleanser, moisturizer…don’t drop a ton of money on any of these items without knowing how it feels on your skin. It might not please your need for instant gratification, but it’s so annoying to return things, you know? iStock.com
Shopping Right Before A Store Is Set To CloseThere’s a lot of ways you can make a retail employee’s life a living hell, one of which includes coming into a store just minutes before it’s about to close and deciding, welp, you made it in before closing time, so you might as well shop. Uh, no. Not only is it unfair to the employees (and rude AF), it’s also unfair to you because you’ll be rushed. Just go another time. iStock.com
Buying Clothes In A Size You Hope To Be SomedayI totally understand what it’s like to gain weight and resist buying clothes in your new size. It’s really easy to keep buying clothes in your old size in the hopes that you’ll one day become that size again. Well, that might happen, but it might not. But one thing is certain: A piece of clothing isn’t the right motivation for everyone. You’re wasting money if you buy clothes in your dream size. Just focus on being a little more accepting of the size you are now and get some cute clothes that will make you feel better about yourself. Baby steps. Mean Girls
Not Understanding The Return PolicyMany stores have a return policy requiring you to return an item with its receipt within 30 days or so. Easy, right? Some stores like Sephora or Nordstrom even let you return used makeup or skincare products that you didn’t like (even if you don’t have a receipt). But no matter what, never try to return underwear. Most stores are blatant about this policy, but get this: I was once at an American Apparel and witnessed a woman fight with an employee about not being allowed to return a used pair of undies. GAH! Don’t be this person. Just cut your losses. iStock.com