The 25 Best Shopping Tips EVER WRITTEN

Fun Shopping 300x172 The 25 Best Shopping Tips EVER WRITTENSince 2003, we’ve been dishing shopping tips here on TBF. Long time TBF readers probably think we sound like a broken record (cost per wear, 70/30 rule), but that’s because these shopping tips really do work. Recently someone asked us if we had a place to review all of our shopping tips (many are in Kathryn’s  book “How to Be a Budget Fashionista”), and I realized that it would nice to have all of our best shopping tips in one place, sort of like a shopping tip vault, so that they’re easy to reference.

So,we scoured our archives to find our list of 25 proven shopping tips that help you save money and look fabulous, then put them into one (albeit very long) post. While others may have been “inspired by” (some would say “stolen from” TBF), these tips come straight from The Budget Fashionista.

25 Awesome Shopping Tips

Shopping Tip #1- Use the Cost Per Wear When Shopping.
Frequent TBF readers know this is something I’ve been preaching for years and is probably my No. 1 shopping tip. Value is the key when building a great closet and The Budget Fashionista’s cost per wear formula can help you get the most bang for your buck. The cost per wear  is the price of an item divided by the number of times you think you’ll wear it. So if an item costs $100, and you wear it 10 times, the cost per wear  is $10. The more you wear an item, the cheaper it becomes. This tip is especially important because it forces you to focus on the utility of an item, i.e. the usefulness of an item to you, rather than just the price. Paying $5 for something you never wear is $5 wasted.

Shopping Tip #2- Know Your Shape
Can you flip through a magazine or walk through a store and automatically know what styles are going to look good on you? You should be able to do this. When you know your body shape well enough, you won’t waste time and money on unflattering trends (remember those harem pants you bought? Yeah, we thought so). First, stand in front of a full-length mirror for a few minutes. Don’t suck it in or wear your Spanx, just be honest with yourself.

Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do you carry most of your weight in your hips and thighs? You’re a pear shape.
2. Are your chest and shoulders wider than your hips? You’re an inverted triangle.
3. Are your hips, shoulders, and waist pretty much the same size? You probably have a “rectangle” shape.
4. Can’t figure it out? Ask a close friend for her opinion.
Shopping Tip #3- Recycle Fashion.
Pay a visit to your mother and/or grandmother. While you’re there, offer to “help” clean out their closets. You’ll be amazed at the goodies you’ll find. While visiting my grandma in Milwaukee, I discovered a vintage Coach saddlebag, dating from around 1960, in mint condition amid a box of old magazines. If you are unable to visit a relative’s closet, try having a clothing swap party with your friends. Ask everyone to bring unwanted, high-quality clothing to exchange for similar items from other party-goers.