I'm always amazed when people tell me that they don't like to shop. To me, that's almost equivalent to not liking to eat. And who doesn't like to eat? But then I remember that we're all wired differently and, yes, there are some people that don't enjoy schlepping from store to store looking for the perfect white shirt.
If you happen to be one of these rare birds, here are five tips to hopefully make your (oh dread) shopping experience a teeny bit more enjoyable.
1. Have a Plan
When shopping, it's always good to have a plan -- especially if you're looking for something specific. I'm going to assume that if someone doesn't like to shop, the only reason they're actually going shopping is because they need to.
So whether you need a new pair of jeans or an outfit for a particular occasion, have an idea of what you want and where you might find it. That said, remember to keep an open mind because you might not always find what you're looking for. If you're not sure where to shop for your particular needs, ask around or trawl the Internet for possible options in your city.
Once you have a plan, or even to help you plan ahead, pre-shop possible stores or boutiques to help you see what's available, narrow down your choices or maybe even give you other ideas.
Many stores have online shops through which you can browse from the comfort of your own home. If you find something you like, call ahead to see if it's in stock in your size and possibly the sizes above and below yours. If it is, have them place the items on hold so that they're available when you arrive.
Also, if you're looking for something particular and have an idea of which stores you'd like to visit, it doesn't hurt to call ahead and speak to a sales associate to see if they have what you're looking for. If they don't, you've just saved yourself a trip.
3. Be Prepared
When shopping, make sure to either wear or bring the right undergarments, shoes or any other pieces that are meant to go with what you're shopping for. If you're looking to buy a strapless dress, bring the right bra. If you're looking for pants to wear with a certain heel, bring the heels along. If you're looking for a top to go with a specific skirt, definitely bring the skirt.
Having all the pieces with you gives you the opportunity to see if you're making the right choice as opposed to wondering or buying it and then having to return it.
4. Ask a Friend
Some people don't like to shop because they find it tedious and boring. Bringing a friend along can turn a monotonous day of shopping into a day spent laughing and enjoying each other's company.
Remember to bring along a friend that'll be honest with you about your choices and how you look. Also make sure that they can handle the shopping -- you don't need someone whining that they're tired or that they're feet hurt. Not helpful.
5. Bring Provisions
If you don't like to shop on a good day, you sure as hell won't like shopping when you're dehydrated or hungry. Bring along or pick up a bottle of water and some snacks to keep in your handbag. Staying hydrated and satiated can mean the difference between going home early empty handed or staying the course and getting what you need.
I once shopped with a client for four hours straight without stopping because she was both on a mission and on a roll. If it wasn't for the water and snacks I brought, I don't think we would have made it that long and she definitely wouldn't have gone home with so many great pieces.
Now if none of these tips resonate with you and you think that no matter what, you'll never enjoy shopping, perhaps you could do all your shopping online or just hire someone to do it for you. I happen to know of a really great stylist who would love to help you out.