How to change shopping habits in recession

There is no telling when it will happen; that light-bulb moment, when a woman finally realizes, although she has a closet full of clothes, she still has nothing to wear!

How to change shopping habits in recession

For a lucky some this happens in their late 20s or early 30s— but for many, it happens around our 40s when it dawns on us that we can no longer get away with a lot of wacky seasonal trends and carrying off much of today’s cheap, disposable fashion.

That light bulb moment, when it comes, is a realization that looking good is less about fashion and more about style and glamour. It is about looking at our overstuffed wardrobe, and discovering that by spending money on badly made and ethically dubious clothing, many of our garments have a short life span, are not particularly versatile, and don’t give us the wardrobe we really want.

Why We Shop

Many women shop to make themselves feel good, the thrill of buying something new, and the tingles of excitement it brings when you get it home. However, the excitement is often short-lived, and so the cycle continues. Psychologically it is very easy to justify another trip to a shopping mall with “I don’t have anything to wear” or “I don’t have the right shoes.”

Buy Less But By Better

Perversely though, if you buy less but buy better, you get a sense of excitement and pride every time you open the wardrobe door. Finding the right thing to wear suddenly becomes so much easier, as classic, quality items are pretty much go-anywhere pieces, if accessorized correctly; and you have fun trying out new looks. A wide belt here, a headscarf there, or a cacophony of layered chains or cuffs.

How to Change Your Shopping Habits

The biggest single change you can make, both to your wardrobe and self-confidence, is to start investing in better fabrics, better cuts and more classic lines. This does not necessarily mean buying high-end designer labels; but means investing in fabrics that fall well, and feel comfortable, and finding cuts that flatter your silhouette, accentuating the positive aspects of your figure; whether that be slim legs, a curvy figure, or your décolletage. It’s amazing how many women try to hide a fuller, curvy figure, rather than wear cuts that embrace it. Instead by trying to camouflage an ample bust or waist; voluminous garments, like sloppy T-shirts or baggy pants, actually accentuate it. Neither does it mean wearing clingy outfits which make you look like an overstuffed sausage, with body contouring in all the wrong places. It means looking for styles that skim your figure rather than squeeze it.

The second biggest change is to resist trend traps. Give a nod to a trend,b by cleverly integrating it into your wardrobe but avoid being overpowered by it.

shopping habits

Spend money on classic good quality pieces and less on trendy items that will date quickly. A stylish woman has learned to balance her wardrobe by accentuating her outfits with some on-trend accessories, mixing timeless pieces with some up-to-the-minute ones, and adding new season colors to ensure that she doesn’t look stuffy or overdressed.

Resist the urge to impulse buy, on a reduced item or something that jumps off the shelves at you as you walk past. Take time, think about any prospective purchase, and make sure you feel good about it.

Buying better may mean changing your shopping habits to fit around seasonal designer sales. Instead of buying year-round, cheap throwaway fashion, save your dollars and wait for the reductions during sale time, to buy some of the better quality labels.

By buying less but buying better you are working towards getting the wardrobe you want rather than the wardrobe you have.

Guide to Recession-proofing Wardrobe amid Pandemic

If the time has come when it is necessary to cut back on the clothing budget, it doesn’t mean having to cut back on style. This is the perfect time to rediscover a closet full of clothes and learn how to become a more sensible shopper.

Wardrobe Maintenance

Clear out the closet. Decide which clothes are no longer wanted, and those which, with a little maintenance can be given a new lease of life. Consider using a fabric dye to restore faded black. Take more care of clothing by replacing missing buttons, removing stains, mending holes and pepping-up pieces that smell “old” by washing them with a fabric softener. Consider reworking any favorite outfits that have gone out of fashion by getting them restyled by a local dressmaker or adding some new accessories. Cut back on dry cleaning costs by freshening clothing with an odor remover.

Swap Don’t Shop

Get together with friends and hold a swishing party, to swap any unwanted clothes. This is the best way of building a new fashion wardrobe at no extra cost. Alternatively, check out online swishing sites like and for ways of swapping clothing online or information on events.

Revamp Your Wardrobe


Update an existing wardrobe with some cheap but chic accessories. This is the easiest way to change the look of an outfit. Some colored tights, a fashionable scarf or some statement jewelry or belt. Be creative by trying some new ways to wear clothes. Take inspiration from style guides and women’s magazines and have the confidence to try some new looks by mixing and matching pieces in new ways.

Shop Smarter

Whilst there is always the lure of the latest fashion trends, don’t go overboard as these have a short shelf-life. Instead of obsessing about the look-de-jour, focus on pieces that will prove an investment in the long term. Don’t shell out a fortune for that one season wonder, such as an on-trend sequinned party dress, when the same money can buy an outfit that will transcend many seasons. Don’t be swayed with impulse buys unless the piece will go with 3 other items already in the wardrobe.

Endurance clothing, which will never die no matter what the trend, is trenchcoats, simple shift dresses, white shirts, black tailored pants, classically-cut denim jeans, white t-shirts, cashmere sweaters and leather biker jackets. Nautical themes, florals and animal prints are safe bets as fashion staples too.

Cost Per Wear

Choose quality over quantity when it comes to wardrobe basics. A good quality pair of black pants at £100 will be a better investment than a much cheaper pair that look shabby after a few months of wear. Similarly, a well-cut T-shirt in a good quality fabric at £40 will usually prove a better buy in the long term than 2 cheaper ones of lesser quality. Inferior quality garments may not last a year or once washed several times may start to lose their shape.

Think not only about the price, but how long a piece of clothing will last, and the number of times it is likely to be worn. This concept is known in fashion terms as the cost per wear principle.

Collect Discount Coupons

Be shopping savvy by looking for discounts and collect store coupons. Scour women’s magazines and online money-saving sites such as Fashion Discount Codes and Money off voucher codes. These websites are geared to providing information on money-saving codes and coupons for high-street shops.

The current economic downturn can be used as a chance to re-discover a closet full of clothes and to change a woman’s approach to clothes shopping. Spending money on fewer impulse buys and more endurance pieces will save money in the long run.

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