Sunday, 10 June 2018

5 Shopping Mistakes I Used To Make & How I've Learned To Shop More Successfully

Ahh, shopping. There are fewer things that I feel more qualified to talk about than spending coin on my wardrobe. My husband would perhaps describe it as a problem but I see myself as more of a clothing connoisseur. 

Barf. Let's scrap that last sentence. Truthfully though, I've made plenty of mistakes in my years of shopping and wasted more money than I care to imagine, but I finally feel like I've come out the other side, older, wiser and ultimately with a better wardrobe to boot. 

In today's post, I thought I would share some of the shopping mistakes that I used to make and the rules I now try to live by to enable me to shop more successfully and save money on unnecessary purchases. 

5 Shopping Mistakes I Used To Make & How I've Learned To Shop More Successfully - Life in Excess Blog

Mistake 1: Sales  I  have a pretty blanket rule now that I do not shop sales. In store, it's a total no-go. The sales rails are almost always a tangled mass of spaghetti straps and hangers, (which makes for a rather stressful shopping experience) and are crammed full of stuff that failed to sell at full price. There's a reason it's still sitting on the rack. As for sale shopping online, I try not to get roped into the endless 'Black Friday, White Monday, Purple Thursday, have a discount because it's a day ending in 'Y' day' marketing ploy. You inevitably end up buying things you don't really need and will more than likely never wear because let's face it, you probably wouldn't have purchased it full price anyway. Instead, I habitually browse shopping apps on my phone and save anything that I like the look of to my wish list, that way, whenever a sale does come around and I'm feeling spendy, I can go straight to my wish list and pick up the things I genuinely want should they be discounted. 

Mistake 2: Not understanding what you actually like  One of the most beneficial exercises I ever did was taking the time to do a thorough wardrobe evaluation, which involves pulling absolutely everything out and scrutinising it piece by piece. It sounds tedious but I promise you it was worth the effort. The questions I asked myself were:

  • Do I wear this - if so, how often?
  • Does it make me feel good about myself - is it flattering, does it suit me?
  • If I don't wear it, why not? 

I considered the style, shape, material and quality of each item and came to some valuable conclusions:

  • I actively avoid wearing most of my polyester items. Polyester is notoriously sweaty due to the fact that it's not breathable and traps moisture against the skin - not the best when I live in such a hot climate. Don't get me wrong, there are some polyester items in my wardrobe that I love, but on the whole, it's a material that I now try to avoid. 
  • I don't suit certain sleeveless styles - not strappy designs but those that look like the sleeves have just been chopped off. I always avoid buying anything in this style now. 
  • I prefer light, neutral colours and I get bored of patterned fabric very quickly. 
  • Comfort is key. This is probably one of the more significant revelations that I had. If something is too tight-fitting, is made from itchy material or has an annoying strap that keeps falling down, I never reach for it. If I try an item on and even the slightest thing annoys me about it, I always put it back. 

Analysing your wardrobe will really help you to see where you have been going wrong and will highlight where and what you should be spending your money on moving forward. 

Mistake 3: Not thinking about the bigger picture  In the past, I used to shop piece by piece. I'd see something I liked and would buy it straight away without considering how I would incorporate it into my wardrobe. Now, I try to see the bigger picture and will usually only buy something if I can pick out a couple of items in my wardrobe to pair it with - this is part of the reason why I love online shopping so much, it's a great way to try something on with various items in your wardrobe to see if you will get good use out of it. A new piece of clothing should slot into your current wardrobe, rather than your current wardrobe having to adapt (i.e. buying more stuff) to accommodate your new purchase. Of course, there are exceptions and if I really can't live without something then I'll make it work but it's a rule I always try to keep in mind when I'm shopping. 

Mistake 4: Putting too much emphasis on sizing.  Ahh, sizing. Nothing quite pisses on your chips like going into H&M and realising you've jumped up two dress sizes in the course of an afternoon - or at least it used to bother me. Now, I try to take sizes with a pinch of salt. Everyone's shape and size is wildly different and there are such discrepancies between retailer's sizes that I hardly ever think about 'my size' when I shop these days. I usually grab 2-3 different sizes and without paying attention to the labels, I pick out whatever fits me the best. There are so many items of clothing that have ended up unworn in my wardrobe because I've bought them based on what my size ought to be rather than how they actually fit. This also goes for buying things to, 'slim in to' just don't do it! By the time you fit into it, you'll be over it, I guarantee you. 

Mistake 5: Investing too much into trends and not having enough classic pieces  This is something I've definitely been very guilty of in the past. I was the girl that shopped every week and never had anything to wear, largely due to the fact that so many of my purchases were trend-driven pieces that ended up stuffed in the back of my wardrobe once Instagram had moved onto something new. Also, a lot of trends can be pretty impractical outside the realms of social media and harder to style on a day-to-day basis. Whilst it's fun to try new trends, I don't allow myself to get carried away, preferring to invest in more classic items and basics that will take me from season to season. If there's a trend I just can't resist, I will try it out but I limit myself to how much I'm willing to spend. If I don't tire of it after a few seasons, then I'm happy to invest in a better quality, more permanent addition to my wardrobe. 

As with everything I put out here on my blog, these are my thoughts and the rules that I like to live by. Of course, like clothing, these aren't a one size fits all and there will always be exceptions to the rule. Successful shopping is all about taking the time to find out what works for you and being stricter with yourself on what you allow to take up space in your wardrobe.

Remember, your time, money and closest space is too valuable to fill with things you don't fully love. 

What shopping rules do you like to live by? Do you have any tips and tricks you like to use when you're adding to your wardrobe?

5 Shopping Mistakes I Used To Make & How I've Learned To Shop More Successfully - Life in Excess Blog

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Back to Basics

It's been so long that I should probably start with an introduction... or at the very least, an explanation. 

At the end of last year, I decided that I was done with blogging. The joy had slowly been slipping away. Sitting down at my laptop every day had begun to feel more like a chore than a hobby and the same thought kept circling around my head - is anyone still reading blogs these days anyway? It was when my laptop decided to crash, burn and delete hours worth of work that I finally decided to throw in the towel, and I guess that up until now, I'd never really looked back. 

But here I am, six months later with a renewed interest and a restored faith in the process. If blogging is over, I'm fine with it. I've come to realise that it was never really about anything more than having a place in which I could talk about... well... whatever the hell I fancied anyway, and I guess I'd lost sight of that. 

It was time to take things back to basics.

Forgetting numbers and statistics, spending money on the latest products just to have 'content' and feeling like I was forever chasing my tail just to keep up, I'm ready to strip it all back and really focus on producing content that I'm happy and proud of putting out there. 

Scott and I have a really exciting year of travel ahead of us, we're heading to Georgia this month to drink all the wine and eat all the carbs and cheese. We're also in the throes of planning a 3-week long road trip around America in September and we've booked another mini-break to the Maldives early next year. I want my blog to revert back to what I hoped it would be when I started out all those years ago - a diary. A place where I can share highs and lows, travel experiences and document my progress as I set about completely overhauling my wardrobe. 

Sidenote: I feel like since I hit 30, I've had a bit of a style epiphany, (or a very early mid-life crisis) and barely any of my pre-30's wardrobe continues to spark joy so it simply must be revamped. Is anyone else with me on this one? 

So what next?

I've come up with a whole bunch of content ideas and starting from today, I'll be sharing a new blog post once a week, every Sunday. You can expect to see lots of travel content, Dubai posts, fashion features and food. Oh, and the occasional chatty post thrown in for good measure. 

I do hope you stick around. 

Thank you. 

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