By Traci McBride
Look for the clues: winter clearance items have moved to the back of the stores, and early-spring items have arrived and are brilliantly displayed in the windows, catalogs, and email advertising. I’ve already booked many Spring Power Shopping appointments for February and early March.
Take advantage of some pre-spring coupons (sign up at your favorite stores). There are more sizes to choose from, and stores are not as busy. Depending on the items you purchase, some can be layered in to wake up your winter wardrobe, giving you an even better cost per wear (CPW).
It’s also true that, when we mentally put ourselves in a warmer season, we get inspired and motivated just by planning. Much like when preparing for a vacation, anticipating spring makes us happier.
Depending on how organized you are, these recommended preparations could be done in a few hours. Should just reading this list overwhelm you, then it’s time to bring in a professional (like me!), as together we can get you completely ready to shop for spring transition in three to four hours.
Beware: Do not shop without preparing first. These steps are very important to avoid spending your money in the wrong places and in the wrong way.
Try it on and use a system: While this takes a bit of time, it is worth it. You’re taking a chance if you pull out items you haven’t worn in a year and assume they still fit and that you still like them. They may have missing or broken buttons and zippers and need tailoring, etc. You do not want to assume these items are perfect and build around them, only to find out you need to replace them later. Be honest – are they adding to your happiness quota? Use a system of bags or boxes for “keep and build onto,” “donate or sell,” and “tailor” to keep you on track.
Be smart – use your smart phone to take photos: Your memory can play tricks on you and having a photo to refer to while shopping is smart. I use photos of my clients’ wardrobes all the time.
Prioritize: Perhaps you are focusing on professional over casual weekend wear. While I believe we can have one wardrobe that embraces our whole life, certainly some items lean heavily one way or other. Then we have the universal items that play well either professionally or casually, such as camisole, knits, blouses, scarves, belts, etc. I also find we tend to shop at different stores or departments for professional items, which can make it easier to prioritize and shop.
Budget, plan, and make a list: After reviewing what you own from last year, you know are able to figure out your budget and what needs to be added most right now. Each week more items will be floating into the stores, so if you don’t find everything on the first trip, you still have time. You probably don’t need a lot of items unless you have changed your style or had a major body shift.
Spring is all about being thoughtful, of using between-season transition items graciously and stylishly. Buy quality in your key pieces. Use fast fashion on the trends and easy layering items that usually get replenished on a more regular basis.
Quick money-saving tip: Shoes are the key to freshening an existing outfit and staying modern.