Saturday, July 21, 2012

Today's Style Tip: Shopping & the art of refusal

Style is not about having loads of money to buy loads of clothes. 

Sure, a deep wallet can help and it can certainly be fun to have, but it can also confuse.

I know many women who open up their wardrobe every morning and despair - too may things, too many choices and too many orphan clothes - clothes that dont go with anything else in their closet and spend more time on the rack than on their back.

Outcome: Confusion & frustration.

It doesnt help that stores these days are so desperate to make IMMEDIATE SALES, that sales assistants (SAs) dont think about having a long term relationship with you - all they want to do is make that sale today & they dont care about building a RELATIONSHIP with a customer.  

What I'd prefer is if they tried to sell me things that flattered me, things that I would be happy with long term, so that I would return again & again to buy more things that truly looked good on me. 

I'd like an SA to focus on our long term RELATIONSHIP by making sure I was happy with everything I bought and not one who heaped me with compliments and false praise so that I would buy more. 

Unless you shop at the high end of the market, you are unlikely to find this. Even at the high end, so many of those stores are used to selling to tourists, that frequently, even they dont focus on the long term RELATIONSHIP.

Since you are unlikely to find this type of environment, you need to figure out what you want & follow your own way. To do this, you need to build the muscle which knows how to say NO. Saying "NO" is essential because it allows you to be yourself - it allows no one else to interfere with your plan.

Dont forget - the SA is not your friend, no matter how friendly she pretends to be. She is there to flatter you and to sell - because the better she does that, the more generous you will be with your wallet.

So starting NOW, say NO to any SA who offers you something you dont want.

Say NO to the personal shopper who is working with a particular store (& whose suggestions are independent of her paycheck).

Say NO to any personal shopper who is making you feel uncomfortable (ie: pushy), even in the slightest.

Say NO to any personal shopper who claims they can build your wardrobe in one or two shopping sessions. Like anything good, it takes time & quite a few seasons to do this.

Say NO to any offer of alcohol while you are shopping.

Say NO to sale stock that is too tight, the wrong colour or the wrong look for you - no matter how inexpensive it is. If your gut feeling says "no" or you are umming & ahhhing, then say NO.

Say NO to the "buy 2 get 1 free" offer when you only need 1.

Say NO, even if they only got 1 in of each size.

Say NO even if "they are selling fast".

Say NO to up-selling - NO, I dont need the shoe cleaner with these shoes - NO, I dont need the necklace with the top - NO, I dont need to see the cute clutch that will work with that top. 

Saying NO, makes you feel strong. It empowers you - it makes you in control of your shopping trip.

Instead of having a gazillion ordinary things taking up space in your closet, leave room for the things you ADORE and sold themselves to you without any persuasive SA's assistance.

If you arent sure, then WALK AWAY NOW. It'll be there tomorrow and the next day. Sleep on it. You'll know if its a winner only if you literally cant sleep that night.

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