12/01/2016 07:56 EST | Updated 12/01/2016 07:57 EST

5 Ways To Get A Return On Your Investment When Shopping

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Woman carrying shopping bags in shopping mall

Being a stylist can be the most satisfying job: you get to have fun with fashion, stay on top of trends, and live out your style fantasies during the shoots. It can also be an exercise in self control unlike any other. I could not even begin to count the times that I want to keep a piece that I bring to a shoot or for a client (or two pieces or ten...) With current trends changing faster than a hare racing to the finish line, shopping can become a daunting experience.

So how to do you shop in a way that maximizes your return on investment?

There are a few ways that can guarantee that you not only invest in pieces that you can get a lot of use out of but pieces that can make your closet more dynamic. Having a closet that is actually functional can help you redefine both your daily life and your future success. If you exercise these very easy to follow steps every time you go shopping, you should have no problem turning a closet that is "blah" into a closet that rocks your world!

1. Shop with a friend.

The first thing I tell my clients after we shop together is to work with a buddy system until they comfortable shopping on their own. Shopping on your own can be a difficult process (not to mention boring) and having a friend around to narrow down options with you can really help. Make sure if you bring a friend with you it is a friend that understands your style needs and actually enjoys shopping. There's nothing worse than feeling under pressure if you're shopping with someone that just wants to leave.

2. Bring some of your regularly worn pieces with you.

We all have pieces in our closet that we normally reach for, that little black tee, the pair of jeans we live in, or even the scarf we can't leave the house without. Bringing some of those items with you when you're updating your wardrobe can help you pick other items that fill easily fit into your regular rotation. Choosing new pieces that work well with your regulars will guarantee that they will fit well with a large percentage of your other current wardrobe staples. And if you don't feel like carrying your bulky items with you, take some pictures on your phone in natural light and bring those with you.

3. Layer, layer, layer.

Make sure you take some time to style any piece you are considering purchasing. Try to envision different ways of wearing the piece to see if you can multi-task it. If you're buying a shirt then grab some bottoms, blazers, and jewellery and play around. Dress the shirt up for a night out and dress it down for a casual weekend. If you can see it working in more than one scenario then chances are it's a good buy.

4. Buy pieces that are multi-seasonal.

Purchasing a few small pieces that are on trend for the season is fine if you need to accessorize your outfits but don't blow your budget on pieces that you can only use one season at a time. Instead, invest in items that can take you through at least two seasons to make sure you get the most out of your purchase. Tops that can be layered in colder weather are always a good buy, the same goes for dresses that work well with boots and pumps.

5. Don't be afraid of tailoring.

People often walk away from clothing that might not be a perfect fit. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes I've seen my clients make. If you love something and can see its potential then consider having it tailored. When you're shopping, bring some pins with you and use them to alter the fit of an item. And don't be afraid to tailor inexpensive pieces! How much a product costs has no relevance on how you treat it. I've had pieces tailored that I found at thrift shops and they're the ones I get the most compliments on!

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