How to Be a Smart and Savvy Shopper

Smart and savvy shopper @leidee

You don’t need to come from the Upper Westside to be a smart shopper, fashionable or start a trend. The idea about style is to go beyond trends and let your uniqueness show. To take what’s “in” and make it yours. That’s style. It’s almost unnecessary to build a wardrobe on high-end labels in order to be considered “fashionable”.

Check out The 7 Habits of Highly Stylish People

Anyone with a desire and a keen eye for style and what suits them is well on their way to becoming a trendsetter. Who decides that anyway? Well, you do. Your decision to drape yourself in all things beautiful (cut, color, fabric) is what sets you apart.

I love how this can be done just by being smart, savvy and aware of where and when to shop on a shoestring budget. My tips allow me to build a wardrobe I just kvell over!

I’m a simple gal, but I love clothes. It’s my best form of expression.

This post is going to have you get the most out of your shopping experience, keeping it minimal and fun. Here are some of my best strategies and tips I keep at my disposal to get you to shop smarter but also build an incredible and versatile wardrobe your friends will drool over.


Sales Cycles Are a Thing

As a smart shopper, the first thing I do when I walk into a store is to check the back. I make a beeline for the sale section first and that’s where it is. Most of the time I am only interested in the sales because everything I’ve considered buying is now on sale. I can usually bet on it. Waiting for something to go on sale usually helps me gauge my love for what I’m looking at. Should I buy it …should I not? If it goes on sale, heck yeah I’m buying it, is usually the crazy dialogue that goes on inside my head.

To get the most out of them or if you want variety you might want to start before weekend madness. Thursday is when the tagging starts.

In terms of seasons, I shop in reverse order. I buy my boots, coats and oversized sweaters right after Boxing day, January and going into February. This is when summer collections come out as they are clearing out all winter items.

The longer you wait the lower the prices drop. But I say this with a caveat. Find out if it’s a last call item, where if they sell what’s on the floor, the item might disappear forever. So keep an eye out for it. Find out how many other stores have it? Retailers want to move all winter stuff out to make room for new summer collections so they might be gone before you know it.

As for the summer collections, August/September is ideal time to start buying any pieces you’ve been longing for.

Pay attention to patterns, not every store is the same. Seasons, days, price drops and when? Buy clothes END of season not at the beginning.

The typical cycle of when an item comes out and goes on sale is six to eight weeks. Then the frenzy begins.

Here are some great tips to get you well on your way to being a smart shopper and that much more fabulous.


Essential Sweatshirt

from Kotn

Pro Tips for Being a Smart Shopper

Buy what you love

If you’re not in love with it, don’t buy it. This will be the most valuable tip, which is why it’s at the top.

Don’t buy on impulse

Give it some time to marinate. If you love an item that much it will be there when you come back. I’ll test this by walking away from the item, whether walking around for a few hours or leave it for a few days. If I am still thinking about it or can’t bare the thought of it being gone for good, then it’s worth getting and possibly paying the full price.

Compare and price match where possible

If it’s the last item and it’s not on sale, buy now and check if it goes on sale in the coming weeks. Some retailers have a policy that if purchased within a certain timeframe, you would get a refund for the difference. Also, know their return policy before you buy. Knowing this could determine whether it’s worth buying at all.

Call your favorite stores or check online

Some of the few best shops are online and have more inventory. Places like Free People, Frank & Oak, Kotn, or Top Shop to name a few.

This helps to focus on quality and whether you really need it.

Don’t shy away from consignment shops

Especially the designer ones. You can seriously score. Realistically, who doesn’t love vintage anyway?

Copycat shops

Many shops carry or design the same type of clothing depending on what’s trending. If you find something you absolutely are crushing on, wait a bit and see if another store might have something of a similar design or even color.

Popup Shops

Pay attention to Popup shops around your city, or warehouse sales and Google to find out.

I came across a one-day designer Popup shop, where if I was able to fill a giant paper bag, it would cost me $20 golden dollars!! I say golden, because it was probably the best twenty bucks I’d ever spent.

Another similar time, I heard of the infamous one-time weekend Lululemon warehouse sale in my city. We all know the price tags at this yoga mecca. I purchased a sweater and two pairs of pants for a whopping $90.

Become a loyalty member

If there is a store you frequent and are an avid shopper there, it doesn’t hurt to sign up to their email list, download their app, or sign up for their loyalty cards. This way you get perks and discounts most would never think of.

I did this once at an Urban Outfitters and received 40% off rather than 30% right at the register. Totally worth it for a second of my time.

Student perks

If you’re a student, (which I was at some point) I ravaged these opportunities and I saved a ton. When you’re a student this makes a huge difference in the long run.

Club Monaco - Smart Shopper

Out of season?

Don’t rule out places like eBay or local outlets like Saks OFF 5TH and Macy’s.

I did this with a coat two seasons later from Zara and found it brand spankin’ new on eBay.

Smart Shoppers Make Pinterest their best friend

Who do you know?

Part of being a smart and savvy shopper is leveraging your network. If you know a friend who knows a friend who works at a store you love, see if they can get you a discount. Don’t be shy trust me.

My friend “hooked” it up at a Fossil store, and I ended up paying $10 for a card wallet and a keychain.

Leverage your job

See if the company you work for offers discounts to certain retailers or anything else. You would be surprised just by asking what you can get discounted.

Ask Around

If they don’t have your size, ask the retailer to call around to see if the next store might have it.

The most important thing to keep in mind as a smart shopper is to not buy just because something is on sale. Ask yourself if you really need it. By doing this you are programming and disciplining yourself to tailor your style to what is really appropriate for you and your personality. Happy shopping!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Photo Credit: (Source: Masha Maltsava)




  1. April
    February 28, 2016 / 10:32 am

    Love love loved this article.!

    • fmenthusiast
      March 7, 2016 / 2:21 pm

      Hey thanks girl glad you did!

  2. June 19, 2016 / 9:00 pm

    Great post! I am always checking out the sales section first to see if I can find anything. Once I found $12 jeans at Banana Republic in the sales section that were originally over $100! It was an amazing deal!

    • fmenthusiast
      June 20, 2016 / 1:36 pm

      Thanks. Honestly, it’s the best way to shop and great find with the jeans. That’s awesome!