How to Clothes Shop

You may love fashion, but do you know how to clothes shop? Yes, there is an art (and perhaps, a science) to  a clothing purchase – and let’s not forget about clothing accessories.

For many people, carefree shopping is one of the best pastimes.  There is something to be said about walking into your favorite boutique and finding that perfect piece.  Do you absolutely need it? Most likely, no. Do you have to have it? Well,… yes.  

Let us be clear. We are not hear to put a damper on an enjoyable shopping experience. Hallak simply wants to provide you with a few tips on how to shop and build the perfect wardrobe. 

Before You Head to the Boutiques

First, start by looking at your current collection of clothes. Each season brings new trends and palettes. As fashion enthusiasts, we understand the love and look forward to each new seasonal reveal. So before you head out, let’s determine what kind of shopper you are so you can have the best shopping experience possible.

Fashion lovers can found heading out with the sole purpose to seeing what’s new and what catches their eye. Their current clothes are typically a mix of classic staples and trendy pieces. You cannot find a better collection of clothes to covet.  Even if you do not have the budget to purchase everything you fall in love with, you can still create a personal style that lets you shine.

For those who love a good deal, online shopping sites offer various discounts and an ease in finding sales. Sometimes, there is a limit on how much money on clothes you can spend. Other times, it is all about the love of a great deal. (You should be wary of some sales, but we will talk about that later!)

Of course, there are some that shop because….well, because it’s fun. Whether you are visiting your favorite online retailers or heading out to your favorite mall, you can find some great pieces.

How to clothes shop if you are on a budget, it is important to have a strategy. This is also important should you be looking for a complete outfit for a special event such as a holiday party or wedding.

Before you’re off on your next shopping trip (or online shopping experience), consider what you are looking for and any budget restraints you may hav

Plan Out Your Shopping Day

If you plan on online shopping, then this is easy enough. Set aside some time to visit your favorite online retailers. If your shopping ‘trip’ has a purpose, then it’s important to keep track of time. Put a limit on how long you shop. By doing so, you are more likely not to go down a shopping rabbit hole filling up your cart with items you’ll never end up buying. Nothing needed in particular? Then, fill up that cart for some fun. You can always edit later.

When looking for the very best in designer fashion, the New York metro area has many options including Madison Ave, SoHo, Garden State Plaza, Shops at Riverside, and Short Hills Mall. Depending on your favorite designers, find the best ‘route’ that leads you to all the fashion you can handle in one day. 

What’s wonderful about high-end clothing retailers is that you are also welcome to work with one of their fashion stylists. If you call/email ahead, these talented boutique friends are able to learn your preferences and body measurements prior to your visit. Then, they call pull pieces of clothing ahead of time. Upon arriving, you may wish to have them check for accurate measurements. 

Make the most of your retail excursion by planning ahead. For those who do not enjoy shopping (gasp!), you will find this especially helpful by making each trip more efficient.

How to Clothes Shop for Your Body Shape

Shopping for your size is easier than you may think. Follow these few helpful tips:

  • Be open to different styles. Lean towards a certain silhouette? If you have found pieces that suit you, you should certainly shop and wear with confidence. However, it’s also important to be open to something new. 
  • Try your clothing on. This goes along with tip above. See a piece you like, but it’s not in your typical shape? Try it on. You may be surprised. (We really stress this tip for brides searching for a wedding gown. The ballgown you always dreamed of may be replaced by a mermaid you weren’t sure about.) In addition, a new silhouette can easily become more flattering with a few adjustments such as cinching at the waist.
  • Find a tailor/seamstress you love. Alterations and tailoring are key in curating the perfect clothing wardrobe. Unless you are one of the lucky ones, custom clothing is not in your budget. And clothing was made for the masses, not you. The good news is that a talented tailor or seamstress can make clothing look and feel like they were! (Hallak has alterations/tailoring departments at both locations.)

Build a Wardrobe Worthy of Your Style

On a daily basis, you are visiting your closet. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the visit minus the struggle in deciding what to wear. By choosing the right types of clothing, getting dressed can be a lot less stressful. That’s why so many people look towards a capsule wardrobe.

A capsule wardrobe is one that may be too extreme for some. Many people that love the excitement of getting dressed may not find the uniformity that comes with a quality capsule wardrobe. It’s because it consists of only interchangeable items. Thus, removing excessive garments from your closet. Often, a capsule wardrobe is made up of higher-quality clothing since one can afford to invest in a limited number clothes and clothing accessories.

Your wardrobe should be looked at in segments: the basics, workout gear, work wear, casual wear, and formalwear (night out). Whether you are a big fashion spender or clothing shop by necessity, developing this type of strategy truly helps build a more cohesive working wardrobe. To make this manageable, start with a detailed list of what your daily routine looks like, upcoming special events, typical weekend plans, etc. Consider what kind of garments you need to make dressing a cinch.

  1. Review size charts and clothing labels. Each clothing retailer has its own way to handle clothing size measurements. Each garment (and fabric) has its own required care specifications. And if something say dry clean only, please listen. if you are still questioning it, try a test are or ask a Hallak team member. (Some care labels are sewn in prior to any embellishments being added. Therefore, the care for the garment may differ from the proper care of any add-ons.)
  2. Invest in quality pieces. Basic items are going to be staples for you work, casual, and some weekend plans. Spend a little more on a well-fitting pair of jeans, a few good suits, a staple black dress, etc. Quality over quantity is always a good rule of thumb.
  3. Fall in love with layering. Purchase layering pieces in neutral colors. Use these key items to create various outfit combinations.
  4. Shop (Some) Trends Sparingly. Depending on your budget, you may want to only purchase a few seasonal trends. Purchasing too many may cause your wardrobe to become outdated in the near future.
  5. Build with multiples. Found something you love that works? Then, pick up a few in different colors and/or prints. For example, pick up a few different versions of that dress shirt you love.  And don’t forget those comfortable pair of shoes.
  6. Mind your budget. If you are working with a limited budget, take advantage of coupon codes. Often, there are always promo codes to reduce the fee for shipping. Also, sign up for emails that will keep you in the loop for sales, seasonal drops, and more.

To make the most of your budget, formal wear and other expensive item should be purchased as needed. Don’t waste money or closet space on garments with no ‘wear’ date in mind. 

How to Clothes Shop – and Avoid Bad Deals

See a great deal, but is it really worth it? Many of us fall into the trap of finding something that looks good at an amazing price. However, the care cost may be more than you bargained for.

When looking at clothing, DO consider the fabric. Natural materials look good; they are also considered sustainable fabrics.  Natural fabrics also result in higher-quality clothes so they are worth the investment. In addition, they also often have some great benefits such as: breathability, renewability, and sometimes can be pre-treated ( to reduce stains). Of course, synthetic materials have their own benefits. They are often considered to be: durable, less expensive and also less prone to wrinkles.

Many buyers do not give much thought to a garment’s care though.  As a full service couture dry cleaner, it is the first thing we tend to think about. Our customer service team has helped many clients with garment education. 

Think about that new pleated dress you have been eyeing.  In the store’s window, it sits crisp and pristine.  Pleats may be may be sewn in, heat-set, etc.  Before purchasing clothing, you should take into consideration the type of pleat, the fabric, and how often you will be wearing the clothing.  For a special item, we may not think twice about the maintenance because it will not regularly be worn.  When it comes to  an everyday piece, you may wish to give it a little extra thought.

More fragile fabric will require a good pressing with each wearing.  Dresses and skirts tend to require special attention to the back due to sitting.  When we clean a pleated item, we take into consideration the fabric, type of pleat, and how often your garment will be worn.

If a deal seems good to be true, it often it is. When it comes to cheap clothes, they are typically cheap for a reason. You can certainly purchase them, but you cannot expect too many wearings.  Even with the finest care, poor materials cannot withstand multiple washings. (You have probably met this issue on more than one occasion.)

To sum up these shopping (and general wardrobe) tips, it is important to take a little time to think about the following:

  • your budget
  • your wardrobe needs
  • cost per wear (in terms of cleaning)
  • fabric education

When shopping online, take advantage of customer reviews. They often provide insider tips on how the size chart will truly provide you the correct size, color variances, and fabric quality.

How to clothes shop made simple by your friends at Hallak.

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