How to Navigate a Store with Ease

May 6, 2011

At first, as I walked around a department store with a client, we were not finding her colors very easily.  This was back at the beginning of the spring shopping season when everything seemed to be beige!

After about 15 or 20 minutes she turned to me and said, “I would have left the store by now and gone home empty handed and frustrated.”

I told her to have heart, take a deep breath and relax.  We would find what we wanted.  Sure enough, at the end of our shopping time she had the two outfits (plus a few extras!) we had been looking for so she could feel absolutely confident making a presentation the following week.  The colors were perfect, the styles suited her personality and they were appropriate for being in front of her staff and colleagues.

Sure, shopping successfully takes understanding certain guidelines, fashion rules, and of course, personal styling tools.  It also requires a certain amount of persistence and a positive attitude (which, I know, many of you have lost over the years).

It’s important to know when the store just isn’t doing it for you and when you need to focus and dig a little deeper.

Since we are in the middle of the shopping season, I wanted to give you all a boost of confidence to help you navigate a shopping experience with grace and feel productive at the same time.

How to Shop Successfully:

The next time you head out to the store of your choice, keep these tips in mind:

  • When you go to a department store, go with a purpose and find the specific department that fits your needs.  (Try to refrain from getting distracted.)  If that still feels overwhelming, ask for help or shop in a smaller store.
  • Set an intention. Go in with the intention that you will find everything you want joyfully and effortlessly (if you go in as if you are waging a war you will exhaust yourself and sure enough the going will be tough – just as you expected!)  To counteract this, create a positive affirmation before you even start.
  • Look for your best colors ONLY – make this the first thing you look for once you find the department you are shopping in.
  • Shop for one thing at a time, e.g., jeans, suit, outfit for a specific event, etc.  Keep it simple and you are much more likely to feel happy with the outcome.
  • Shop only when you are relaxed and happy. Skip this one at your own risk.  I have seen women shopping when they are harried, not feeling well or down in the dumps, and it is rarely a pretty picture (at least for someone who generally dislikes shopping (for those of you for whom shopping is retail therapy, that’s a different story – it is more likely to give you a boost).

Be sure to avoid:

  • Wandering aimlessly around the store. Have a purpose and goal in mind and stick to it.
  • No multi-tasking. Trying to focus on 3 or 4+ items at once will put your mind and psyche on overload.  Of course, if you have immediate success with your original objective and you have the desire and energy to keep going then, by all means, keep shopping.
  • Run from pushy sales women. There are two types of saleswomen you want to avoid: 1.  Saleswomen who insist that they know better than you do about what you should buy.  Even if something does look good, if it is not your personality or you just plain don’t like it, it will just sit in your closet unworn.   (Note: This does not mean you shouldn’t try new things, but sometimes the sales women are way off base.  If you have your words (from the inner beauty work we’ve done together or through the home study program, this will help to keep you on track.) 2. Saleswomen with frenetic energy.  Both will exhaust and overwhelm you – and you are sure to buy things you don’t like!

If you have your Nurturing Beauty Shopping Guide from “Who Taught You How To Dress?” be sure that is in your handbag at all times.  It will help keep you on track and make good selections.

If you have been procrastinating about getting your spring shopping done, print out this article and take it with you.  Keep your chin up, plan on success and most of all, have fun!

(Note: If are still not having any success or you find yourself procrastinating endlessly, I am happy to help.  Take a minute to fill out the “I Need Help” form on my website ( and let’s set up a time to talk.  Let’s see if we can find a way for you to create a wardrobe you love and feel great dressing every single day!)


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