With the holidays behind us, the portion of our brains that controls the urge to shop has shifted ever-so-slightly from its focus on gifts to focus on the slew of post-holiday sales that inundate shoppers with deals each January. But while we’re all for good deals, cluttering up our closets with items we’ll only end up ignoring is never, ever on our lists.
For tips on how we can shop smarter this year, we spoke with San Francisco stylist and image consultant Rachel Fauman. A former visual merchandiser and buyer for companies such as Gap and Nordstrom, the 28-year-old Pacific Heights resident has been helping Bay Area men and women make the most of their own personal style through her company EPIC for the last four years. Along with offering image consultations and personal shopping services, Fauman guides clients through one-on-one and group shopping trips, closet clean-outs and shop-your-wardrobe sessions.
When we caught up with Fauman recently, she gave us five simple tips she often uses on shopping trips with her clients. We’ll be keeping these in mind when we hit the sales.
1. Be willing to try on new things.
You’ll never find out whether it’s right for you unless you try it on.
2. Ladies: embrace skinny jeans, even if you’ve never done it before.
Think you can’t wear them? Fauman says, think again:
“For women, there’s kind if this idea that only super skinny women can wear skinny jeans. Really, they look great on anyone. They’re comfortable, and they’re totally sexy and they look great on curves.”
3. Gentlemen: mix colors and patterns in the same outfit.
“One of my favorite things to do for men is to have them be in, say, a purple and white stripe button down and then pair that with a plaid blazer for going out at night. Don’t be afraid to mix your patterns and don’t be afraid to use color,” Fauman advises.
4. Only buy it if you love it.
Before buying, ask yourself just how much you’re in love with the item at hand.
Fauman’s buying barometer: “If you don’t want to wake up tomorrow morning and put that item on and wear it, it’s probably something to consider not purchasing.”
5. Know what you’ll wear it with.
Before charging up a storm, ponder how well your potential purchase will mesh with items you already own.
“If you can immediately think of something in your wardrobe that it goes with, then that can be a sign that it’s a piece that’s really going to work,” she says.
Looking for stores to start off your next shopping adventure? Among Fauman’s favorites:
Elizabeth Charles, Candystore Collective, Eden and Eden, Jeremy’s, Loehman’s (“it’s a great place to get an $800 women’s blazer for $300) and Bloomingdale’s for the best sales.
Want more? Check out Fauman’s latest finds and style advice on her blog.