Daughter. Sister. Friend. Believer. Warrior. Writer. Voracious reader. Shoe Lover. Car Accident Survivor. Quasi philosopher. Prone to circumlocution. Beyonce stan. Retired cynic. On a quest to make a dent in the universe. Impossible to summarise in a few words.
A few days ago a good friend of mine asked me to be his personal stylist and take him shopping as he’s off to Napa/Malia/Ibiza/(insert ubiquitous holiday location where you’ll definitely run into someone you don’t want to see)
The shopping trip was rather hilarious and after 6 hours of arguing about why I was right and he was wrong he turned around to me and said
“You know what Christiana you’re a bit brutal at times and after today I like you a lot less but I think should do a rant where you tell people the shopping advice you’ve given me. But in a polite way….”
1) You name the price When you see a garment that you like before you verify its price decide in your mind what you believe it’s worth.
If your price is above its actual price and it looks good on, buy it.
If your price is below its actual price by more than 10%, leave it on the hanger.
2) The higher it costs the more wary you should be
The fact that some brands get away with charging consumers exorbitant amounts for distinctively average clothing is a reflection of our generation’s vapidity and obsession with wearing designer clothing. The price of a garment isn’t indicative of quality or beauty. Just because it’s by a ‘big name’ designer does not make it worth your money.
3) Velour is rarely appropriate or flattering.
4) Zebra print doesn’t even look good on Zebras. Keep away.
5) Buy two Most people have a staple item in their closet that they wear at least twice a week. For me it’s a white/black vest. Other people have a favourite pair of jeans. My advice, the day you’re shopping and happen to stumble across the perfect ‘staple item’, buy two. You’ll never regret it.
6) Make sure it fits. A very basic rule, but the overwhelming number of thongs I see on a daily basis demonstrates that it’s very easily forgotten. Even if you’re going for the Johnny Bravo/Jessica Rabbit look, remember there is such a thing as an item being too tight.
7) Sales wisdom Sales sections are often an assortment of items that were too ugly to sell when they were full price. Remember, just because an item is discounted does not mean you’re getting value for your money.
8) Take magazine recommendations with a pinch of salt.
The magazines tell us that Hareem pants are in and 'coincidentally' they can name us 15 shops that are all selling Hareem pants. Despite the fact that Harem pants didn't suit Aladdin (let alone the female physique) suddenly every single woman is wearing Harem pants. Now I’m not anti Harem pants, I’m just anti magazine editors manipulating consumers into buying unflattering garments because of their business relationships with certain brands. Now considering the fact fashion editors are supposed to act in the interest of the consumer not their pals at various fashion houses, I'm surprised there hasn't been a movement against the dispproportionate amount of power magazine editors have in dictating the fashion status quo.
But whatever... ! Next time you see a 'fashion must have' just remember it's more about making someone money, than making you look good!
Try and keep your receipt however if you lose it really doesn’t matter.
Receipts aren’t a legal requirement of in-store transitions, shops simply issue receipts because they make sense. Just remember receipts do not place an onus on you the consumer. Any manger that refuses to refund you because you have no receipt is in breach of the Sales of Goods Act 1979. The only scenario in which you’re not entitled to a refund (without a receipt) is if you were made aware of a fault before purchase.
The ’28 days no refund’ rule shops try to pull is just an arbitrary line they set so they don’t have to give refunds. The Sales of Goods Act 1979 requires the consumer to return the item in ‘reasonable time’, there are no strict parameters and a trader can be liable up until 6 years after you purchased an item.
Furthermore all those ‘it’s on sale so no refund/exchange’ polices are also illegal. Again just ask to see the manager and start your sentence with ‘Under the Sales and Goods Act 1979…’ and believe me you will get your refund. This is probably one of my favourite things to do in life....seriously!
11) Shop window rule If an item is in a shop window or on a mannequin inside the shop, I would advise you to resist from purchasing it. This is because it’s more likely to be trendy rather than stylish meaning in about 8 months you won’t like it. There's a recession....let's spend wisely!
12) If you don’t have time to try it on…. You should ALWAYS try before you buy. But sometimes circumstances won’t allow it. I learnt this randomly but it works for men and women The Jeans Rule- Pick up the jeans at the top and try fit it around the circumference of your neck (make sure it's buttoned/zipped up). If it’s a nice snug fit, with a bit of movement buy. If it can’t fit round your neck. Don’t buy.
Seriously it works….!
13) White Bar white t-shirt/vests, white is probably one of the most difficult colours to pull off. Tread carefully and if you can keep away from white shoes…
14) Buy it with conviction If you feel even slightly diffident about buying something put it back on the rack, straight away! The key to great outfits isn’t necessarily about the beauty of the garment but more to do with the confidence of the person wearing it. You bring life to the clothing, not the other way around. Therefore, only buy clothes you believe in!
15) Celebrity trends As most female celebrities have the physiques of pre-pubescent boys living in a famine ridden land and the men are on average about 5”4 , people should emulate celebrity trends with great caution.
16) Men don’t be afraid to accessorise Whilst most women have realised that beautiful accessories are the icing on the cake, sadly many men are afraid to accessorise.
Men, embrace the accesorisation! Contrary to the opinion of a few narrow-minded folk, wearing nice accessories is not a subliminal form of coming out of the closet. It just means you have great style.
17) Abandon the homogenised high street and shop at charity/vintage shops
18) Never be afraid to ask for a discount This doesn’t work on the high street, but often in small independent shops if you buy a lot of clothes and ask quite nicely they’ll give you a discount (this is my other favourite thing to do).
19) If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. There are only two debts worth having; a student loan and a mortgage.
20)Never ask the sales assistant Sales assistants are there for one thing and one thing only, to sell you things. Don’t ask their opinion, because the probability is they’re going to lie. Leave the changing room and ask a random person of the opposite sex for their honest opinion. Or shop with a trusted friend.