I used to be a buddy shopper. I used to enjoy require the company of a friend on my shopping excursions. I would seek the input of friends, store clerks, and passers-by if need be. I did not enjoy a trip to the stores unless I had a trusty confidant by my side. But things have changed. I am now… dun dun dun… a solo shopper.
Nothing thrills me more than an impromptu trip to a vintage shop by myself or an after-work dressing room sesh. There are no outsider opinions to influence your personal taste, no coconspirators saying “get it! get it!” And you can spend as long as you well please picking through the sale section with a fine toothed comb or turning from side to side in front of a mirror, while your poor friend/boyfriend/mom waits impatiently.
That’s not to say that purchase decisions are any easier. Sometimes it is hard to tell whether you’re a small or a medium. Or whether that drapey top is fiercely edgy or swallowing you whole. Sometimes you can’t tell if it’s the just flattering lights and magic slimming mirrors that make you want that dress. Or whether that seam is poorly positioned (ahem, Anne Hathaway, ahem).
For these scenarios, I enlist the help of a second opinion that never lies: a photograph. I snap a photo of myself in the mirror, and somehow all of the wrinkles, underthings, or bulges come to light. The shortcomings of the clothing seem magnified, and the urgency to buy them melts away. Next time you’re facing a dressing room crisis, I suggest you try a mirror selfie with your phone.
Selfie? Eek. I know. Just the thought sends shivers down my spine, but I never said you had to send them to anyone (although that can help, in a pinch) or post them on your blog (like I, somewhat embarrassingly, have done here). Take a selfie, study it with a discerning eye, and then delete it. Honestly, this has saved me many an ill-advised purchase.
For example, although I liked both of these shirts, neither of them made it home with me. (The black skirt and sandals were what I wore to work that day, but they happen to be Zara too). I couldn’t think of an occasion to rock a kimono shirt, and the white jacquard top, though smart in person, looked unflattering in the photo.
How do you decide if a piece will come home with you?
ps I got a haircut