so I'll just be upfront, I love to shop. it feels like therapy to be able to buy things that make me feel good, make me feel pretty even. I know most people want to be the type of person who doesn't care about looks, the inside is what counts, personality is everything blah blah blah. but lets be f*cking real, we all want to be attractive. whether its in the eyes of others or our own, who doesn't like to look good?
since covid I've had to adjust the way I shop. its not that new to me since I live in a state with limited clothing brands in the mall, but I've definitely had to sharpen my skills about how to pick the right clothes that fit my personality (not overly sexual but i'll show a lil cleavage here and there. fun. colorful. grungy. streetwear. comfy and stylish), my budget (affordable but good quality), AND my body type (thiccc as helllll and short as sh*t). Being a mid-size woman means I can fit into standard sizes and plus sizes, sometimes that poses a challenge to me when it comes to finding clothes but I've got some tips for you, sis.
tip 1: ANALYZE YOUR CLOSET
~ before you just go crazy buying clothes, check out the things you already own. Our closets tend to hold items that are still essentials in our wardrobe but maybe just need to be looked at in a different way. (this also includes shoes, bags, and other accessories!)
~ pick out your favorite items and identify what you like about them. ex: how they fit on you, if theres a lil lace around the boob that you like, is it cropped and shows off your imaginary abs, is it lowcut and lets your girls sit pretty, is the fabric soft and stretchy like you like, does it make your booty look fat? what draws you to this item of clothing? take note of these things so you know what to look for in items that you are about to purchase.
(example: I like jeans with stretch in them because im thicc and I need all the elasticity that I can get so I am going to search for jeans with stretch in the description.)
tip 2: KNOW WHAT YOU'RE SHOPPING FOR
~ shopping aimlessly is a frustraing waste of time if you ask me. *shrugs*. don't go onto that website until you KNOW what it is you actually need, this will save you from wasting money and buying duplicate-like items. nobody needs 4 plain white crop top shirts that all look exactly the same. if you need essentials (tank tops, biker shorts, leggings, etc) then shop for that and that only!
tip 3: SET A BUDGET
~ setting a budget is the best way to keep yourself on track and not overspend. If you go into online shopping with no budget, its easy to just buy multiple miscellaneous things because you feel like you got it like that. no. most people reading this, no matter how good your job is, arent millionaires so its important to keep your finances in order. those jeans arent that important if you cant keep your lights on! priorities people, remember that.
tip 4: PICK A COLOR SCHEME/VIBE -- or SHOP BY OUTFIT *optional*
~ this tip is optional but ive noticed it makes all my shopping that much easier. if i'm shopping by outfit i do some pinterest inspo digging. i'll search by my favorite celebrity styles (often rihanna, teyana taylor, kehlani) and see how i can use their outfits as a guide and add my own spin on it. get creative and dont be afraid to go out of your comfort zone! clothes are supposed to be a fun and a way to express yourself so think out of the box :)
tip 5: USE THE FILTERS
~ i notice that a lot of people, when shopping, just click straight on the "tops", "bottoms" options when picking clothes but very rarely use the filters
~ i filter my clothes by: color and size - or just size if i dont have a color in mind.
tip 6: DESIGNER IS COOL BUT DUPES ARE TOO!
~ dupes get hate but b*tch IDC! i love me a good dupe. especially when the designer brand costs $7,000 .. i'm just not in a position to pay that so as long as the dupe is good quality (which you wont truly know until you recieve it) then sis, gimmie!!!
tip 7: READ THE PRODUCT DESCRIPTION AND REVIEWS
~ the product descripton will tell you about the material of the item and that right there is your key! if you a lil thicccccky like me and even if you arent, the product decription is very important especially if you dont want to be disappointed.
~ reviews are always helpful, i love websites like SHEIN where they allow people to post picture reviews because you are able to see the item on other body types to see how it truly fits. the product description will give you all the precentages of cotton in the world but if it runs small, the reviews will tell you!!
tip 8: SEARCH YOUTUBE/TIK TOK FOR TRY ON HAULS
~ ok, so this tip definitely takes things a step further and i usually only do this when i have time but it is super helpful. I like to search on tik tok or youtube for try on hauls for whatever brand i am about to buy from. I have found this super helpful seeing someone with my body type try on the clothing because it gives me an idea how it would fit on myself. This can make or break a purchase, trust me it has for me multiple times. I have seen a try on haul and realized how cheap some of the material looks in person which sometimes is hard to tell from just picture reviews.
tip 9: UTILIZE ANY DISCOUNTS & AFTER PAY
~ I would suggest creating an acct on your favorite websites. Usually when you do that there are a ton of exclusive discounts and sales that you are able to access. i have seen my cart go from $200 to $80 with the help of discount codes so take advantage of that.
~ another great service to utilize is afterpay! quadpay, klarna, any of those vendors make it easy for you to spend less money upfront and split your payment into 4 if need be. This has made my large purchases easier to swallow since i only have to pay a 1/4 of the price upfront.
tip 10: TAKE YOUR TIME
~ shopping is a very tedious task especially when you're doing it virtually. therapudic to some and exhausting to others but the main goal of shopping is to find items that help you express yourself and that make you feel good.
So take the extra time and go the extra mile to find the right pants, shoes, shirt, or skirt even if that means you have to bounce around between different websites and stores. just keep a positive attitude and if you dont find anything thats right for you, well.... there's always the option to upcycle thrifted or old clothing that you own and bring it back to life. I think the most important thing to remember about fashion is that trends always tend to come and go. everything will be full circle so don't toss out 3 seasons ago Micheal Kors jacket because 10 times outta 10, its going to come back in style and YOU could be the person that does that!
Stay true to yourself and set your own trends.