4 Major Shopping Tips That Will Change Your Life!

I have done a LOT of shopping in my day. And because I have been shopping primarily online for the past year, I’ve been virtually (pun intended) blocked from impulse buys! Gone are the days of purchasing unnecessary clothes because I got caught up in the moment and for all the wrong reasons. I seriously wish I had had solid set of shopping tips in the past, because I would have saved a lot of time and money!

I’ve ordered online from so many of my favorite retailers and have only had to return a handful of items. No joke, I could probably count them on one hand! This is because I have really learned about my personal style and what works on my body. Do I love fashion trends? Of course! But that doesn’t mean every trend is suitable for me or my lifestyle.

shopping tips to help you buy the right clothes

In this post, I am going to share the types of items I order on repeat and how to know what to do if you’re on the fence about a particular item. I call this shop-smart method POPS. Here are the 4 questions you should consider when shopping for new clothes and accessories.

Shopping tip #1: PURPOSE

First of all, does the item in question even fit into your lifestyle? If you’re a stay-at-home-mom like me, it might be tempting to go for that trendy millennial pink matching suit set, but do you ever find yourself in a situation where you need a look like that? I guess I could talk myself into buying something of the sort if I had a booming social life or went on tons of date nights, but I have to be honest with myself here. And so do you!

If you can definitely find more than one occasion on which you would wear the bubblegum pink suit, go for it! Just know that most likely, you will wear it once or twice, and then it will go out of style for 10 years. You may find yourself putting it in storage or selling it on eBay or Poshmark.

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And please, oh please, don’t pay a ton for really trendy pieces. If you find lots of occasions for trendy clothes, try buying from Forever 21 or SheIn, which are both highly affordable.

Shopping tip #2: OVERSTOCK

Having overstock of certain items in your wardrobe can mean you really understand your personal style, but you certainly don’t want to have more plain white t-shirts than you could wear in a week! Or, do you always gravitate towards midi dresses but have way more than the occasions you have to wear them?

While it could be fun to buy the things you love, if you have too many of a certain thing, you could face a hard decision when trying to get dressed! You always want options, don’t get me wrong, but too many options can lead to frustration and a messy closet.

With that being said, if you wear leggings literally every single day, you may need 10-14 pairs! And you might find it useful to have 20 pairs of jeans of different washes, cuts, and distressing. You just have to really consider your lifestyle when shopping.

Shopping tip #3: PRICE

Did you spot a plain white button down from a high-end designer? If you have mountains of cash in the bank, go for it. But if you can find that exact type of item at a more affordable price, wouldn’t you rather do that? There are TONS of good white button downs in the world. Save the high-end stuff (if at all) for things like timeless bags, dressy and classic winter coats, and shoes.

Shopping tip #4: STYLE & FIT

In my opinion, this last component is the absolute most important. Will you wear something that doesn’t fit just right or isn’t even your style? (More on how to find your personal style in an upcoming post.) I can’t tell you how many times I bought something just because it was “in style.”

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Just because something is “in style” doesn’t mean it’s your personal style, nor does it mean it’s a good fit for your body type. In the past, I wasted tons of money on ill-fitting clothes (Hello Mudd flare jeans circa 1998 that were way too short on my long legs.) that I thought society was telling me to buy. Because I felt uncomfortable or self-conscious every time I put on one of these clothing items, I almost always took it off! Stick with what you KNOW unless you feel 100% comfortable in a new style.

Always remember to buy items that you know you look good in and that you can style multiple ways. You don’t want to simply stock up on basics and always wear them as basics. Be creative and stylish in items you feel most comfortable in!

Clothing Items I Never Hesitate to Buy (unless I already have an overstock)

  • classic basics (ribbed tanks, plain tees, high-waisted jeans, neutral cardigans)
  • fresh, white sneakers at the beginning of spring
  • matching, neutral sets (These are always a chic idea, and you can wear the pieces as separates, too.)
  • neutral or patterned button downs for layering
  • black high-waisted biker shorts
shopping tips / how to shop

See some of my current go-to looks and shop my faves below!

basic cardigan and mom jeans - tips on how to shop

how to shop and stock your wardrobe so that you always have something to wear

Refer back to these shopping tips (remember POPS) before your next shopping trip, whether it’s in-store or online!


A fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blog written by Jackie Mikkelson, Instinctively en Vogue is a source of inspiration for busy girls, especially moms like her, who want to be chic while staying comfortable.

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