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shopping advice

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What I look for before buying anything designer

9th May, 2021

Nothing beats buying a beautiful designer item but they’re often a significant investment so I always make sure I am strategic about what I’m purchasing to ensure there’s no buyer’s remorse involved. If you’re looking to snap up a special piece to treat yourself or are looking to add some key pieces to your wardrobe in the new year here’s what I always look for…

Is it really popular?

I steer clear of the ‘it’ bag of the season. If I’m shopping for an everyday bag that’s going to be carrying everything from my essentials to my laptop then I make sure that I opt for something that’s a signature item for the brand but not ubiquitous. I don’t like having a designer bag that everyone has because I feel they go in and out of fashion just as quickly as they come in. Plus you don’t want people being able to immediately identify that your bag is from a certain year’s collection. To combat this I always ask the shop assistant if it’s a style they intend to do again so it’s not so identifiable to a particular year.

Finding a unique style

I’m the complete opposite in my approach to evening bags and shoes. If I’m buying something special like a clutch I like to make sure they’re not making further runs of it because I want it to be a one-off. The same rule applies when I’m shopping for statement heels. I want them to be quite unique so I don’t want them coming back season after season.

Anything with interlocking Cs is always a good buy!

Researching what’s out there

I used to do a lot of shopping whenever I went on an overseas trip but these days that’s impossible as a mum, especially now with two little girls to entertain. So most of my designer purchases are made online these days. I always make sure to visit various websites such as Net-a-Porter, Nordstrom and Matches Fashion to see what’s available. One way I make sure I’m only getting up to the minute releases is to click on the ‘What’s New’ section when I’m browsing websites. That way I’ll only be seeing current stock.

Double check the size

Shopping online at the high end e-tailers is often a little easier as doing returns is fairly straightforward if something isn’t quite right. However I always do a check of the size just to be sure it’s the right fit. If it’s true to size generally choosing your normal size will be fine, however if it’s not I always check if I’ve bought the brand before and see if there’s something in my closet that I can cross check the sizing against.

This Gucci clutch will be a go-to for years to come

Always opt for classic

I’m all for taking a fashion risk or two but when you’re making a purchase that’s quite expensive it pays to think longevity. I always opt for neutral colours and opt for classic styles so I know that I’ll end up with something that will last in my wardrobe season after season.

Shop around

Anything by a high end designer is generally going to come with a significant price tag so be prepared to shop around. Check out prices both in-store and online before you buy anything so you can get the best deal. Whilst they’re definitely an investment buy and will (if you choose right) last you for years to come, it still doesn’t hurt to pay the least amount as possible…and hey, anything leftover can always go to another future purchase!

What’s one designer purchase you’ve made that you absolutely love?


The secrets to avoiding an impulse buy

1st February, 2021
Avoiding making an impulse buy requires adopting a few key strategies

Shopping is fun but it can also become a costly exercise if you find yourself constantly impulse buying. Simply splurging on something because it popped up in an email or you saw it on someone on Instagram or even because the lure of sale stickers on a window was just too much can often lead to making ill-advised purchases. I’ve found that impulse buys are more often than not the kind of things that will end up gathering dust in the back of my closet because I haven’t really thought them through.

The thing is we’re all human and I know that sometimes we can see something and just become fixated on the fact that we absolutely, positively can’t live without it. I’ve been there many times, I get it. However it’s also what can lead to overspending and ending up with a wardrobe full of things that just don’t get worn. So, in the interests of helping you all avoid another impulse purchase you’ll regret, these are some of the strategies I use. Here’s how to avoid making an impulse buy easily and effectively.

Have a shopping list

I always, always have a shopping list on the go as it helps keep me focused on what I genuinely want/need as opposed to being distracted by shiny new things. By doing this I know what I will actually genuinely wear and helps to remove the temptation (somewhat – willpower is still needed!) to just buy something because it caught my eye.

Sleep on it

Whenever I’m making a big purchase decision I always make a point of sleeping on it. I think it’s so easy to get caught up in the moment whether it’s online shopping or simply seeing something in store that I need to give myself the appropriate space to think it over. Often I’ll find that if I genuinely love something I’ll still be thinking about it the next day, whereas if it was just a fleeting thing I would’ve already moved onto something else.

As yourself if you really genuinely need something before buying it
Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash
Ask yourself key impulse buy questions

I think it’s always a good idea to have a set of questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re making a good buy. For me this will be things like:

“Will I wear this more than once?”

In my opinion wardrobe space is precious and there’s no room for one hit wonders (the only exception to this is my wedding dress!). I always like to make sure something is going to be worn numerous times.

“Would I pick this up if it were sitting in my closet right now?”

This helps me identify whether I really would wear something. If I wouldn’t think I’d gravitate towards it in a hypothetical situation, why would it be the case in real life.

“Does this go with at least 10 other things in my wardrobe?”

Versatility is so important to me. I like to make sure that anything in my closet can be mixed and matched easily.

“Do I already own something like this?”

We all have styles that we really love and as a result we can inadvertantly end up with multiples of the same thing. To avoid this I always make sure that if I’m buying something it doesn’t already have a doppelgänger in my closet.

Set yourself a shopping budget

What’s the most important things if you want to learn how to avoid an impulse buy? Set yourself a shopping budget. If I have a firm idea of what I can spend it generally helps to curb impulse buys as I know I’ve got a pool of funds to work with and I’ve got to use it to purchase other things on my list.

What strategies do you use to avoid impulse buying?


How to save money on clothes without compromising on style

28th June, 2020

Truth: clothes can at times be a little expensive. Depending on the brands you like, they can be really expensive. So how can you still splurge on pieces that you love without having to completely break the bank? It’s all about having the right shopping strategy. Over the years I’ve learned a few things that have helped me ensure that I’m not paying more than I should. And sometimes you may not even have to spend any money at all! I’m all about maximising style but minimising cost, and here I’m sharing how to save money on clothes without compromising on style.

Do your research

When I have my eye on something I like to do a reconnaissance mission before I buy it. I’ll make sure to check across several different stores or sites to see which is selling it for cheaper so I know that I’m getting it at the best price possible.

Wait for sale time

There are a few designer pieces in my closet which I really, really wanted but made myself wait till sale time to buy. And I’m glad I did because it saved me a lot of money. I just make sure to do my research beforehand so I know exactly what I’m looking for so I can pounce on it the moment it’s reduced.

It’s a good idea to sign up to the mailing list of your favourite brands and stores so you can be alerted whenever they are having a sale. You may even be given early sale access by doing this which means you’ll have a better chance of finding what you’re after.

Use fashion search engines

Sites like and are like Google for fashion. You can use them to search for whatever it is you have your eye on whether it be a pair of Gucci loafers or a new Givenchy handbag. It will scan across a range of stores, bring up the search results and you can see which retailers are selling it and for how much. If you find something that you like you can ask to be sent a sale alert the moment the price is reduced so you don’t miss out.

Do regular wardrobe edits

There are things in my wardrobe that I forgot I even owned until I stumbled across them during a closet clean out. All of a sudden I felt like I had something new to wear and I didn’t have to spend a cent. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing a seasonal edit of your clothes, shoes and accessories. This process will allow you to see what you own, find things you’d forgotten about and see where the gaps are. Also it lets you see what you really should be spending your money on instead of ending up with another pair of shoes identical to seven other pairs you already own.

Make a style hit list

Post-wardrobe clean out I always like to list down what I’m lacking. If left to wander aimlessly, I’d often end up things that I probably didn’t need but a list helps me stay on track. I know exactly what will be useful to me as opposed to just something that I want. This helps me direct my fashion dollars to the right things.

What’s your favourite way to save money on clothes?

5 questions I always ask myself before buying anything

26th April, 2020

When I’m shopping for anything I always make sure that what I’m buying will be a worthwhile and practical addition to my wardrobe. Sounds easy enough, right? I’m the first to admit that in the past I’ve been guilty of buying something because I just like how it looks but have found that it hasn’t really worked with what I already own. There’s really no point wasting money on something that won’t necessarily be used all that much and will just end up gathering dust in my closet. I’m all about maximising the use of everything in my wardrobe and to ensure this happens there are five questions that I always ask myself before I even consider buying anything. By going through this mental checklist I’m sure I’ve saved myself from buyer’s remorse many times!

What will this go with?

It’s important that I can immediately think of a minimum of 10 pieces that I can pair a possible purchase with. And they have to be 10 pieces that I already wear a lot so I know that it will definitely have plenty of outings.

How can I dress it up or down?

Versatility is key when it comes to anything I own so I have to make sure that I can dress something up or down quite easily. I need to guarantee that I will get multiple wears out of it so it has to be able to have many outfit incarnations.

Is it going to last the test of time?

On trend pieces are great here and there but generally I always make sure that the bulk of my wardrobe is comprised of things that I can see myself wearing years down the track. Classics will always last so I can justify spending the money on it. Also with the question I consider whether it is suitable for work and when I’m off duty so I know how much wear I’ll realistically get from it.

Fabrication is a key consideration for me when making any purchase

Is it good quality?

I take into account what materials something is made from and how well it has been made. Construction is important as I don’t want to end up buying something and only wearing it a handful of times because it’s falling apart. Also quality materials such as cashmere or silk may cost a little more initially but it wears a lot better over time so I’m not having to replace a garment soon after buying it.

How many times will I wear it?

I always visualise how many times I’ll wear an item and how often but even more so when I’m thinking of buying something that’s a bit pricey. It’s all about cost per wear so I want to ensure that I’m getting value for my fashion dollar.

What’s the best purchase you’ve ever made?