Shopping is a Workout – Preparing for the Hard Work and the Payoff

It’s no joke that shopping is tiring. It really is a workout. You’re faced with a myriad of stores, a plethora of options. You’re surrounded by trends and fads; you just want to find something, anything because your wardrobe needs updating. You’re getting cardio just by walking the floor, weight training holding all those heavy hangers and a bit of yoga with all the up-and-over-the-head, shimmying, kicking and jumping of the try-on process.

Be prepared for the harsh conditions and the bright lights. It’s exhausting just thinking about all the activity which is why preparing for the excursion can mean all the difference between feeling elated or deflated by your purchases.

1) Warm-up: Get Dressed To Go Shopping

This means everything from your hair to your make-up to your attire (including shoes). Look good when you catch a glimpse of yourself in those harsh mirrors and you will not only feel better but you will likely get better service from the salespeople. So wash your hair, blow it dry, put on some make-up and wear clothes that are easy to remove but that are presentable.  Slip-on shoes, like loafers are highly recommended – this is a great opportunity to build your outfit using the first of my 3 Antidotes.  This is also a good time to wear your prettiest underpinnings.  Again, those mirrors.

2) Hitting the Floor: Be Focused But Open to Opportunities

Know what works for you and what doesn’t. Stay focused on what you’re looking for but you never know what you’re going to find when you’re looking for something else. That’s called style serendipity.  Either way, be sure that when you look at the price tag you would be willing to pay five times more than what’s listed. This puts into perspective whether or not something is worthwhile, especially if it’s on sale.

3) Sustaining the Workout: Hydration and Satiation

Low blood sugar is a surefire way to buy something that you don’t really like just to end the painful process of shopping itself. And, with all the exertion, you likely are losing quite a lot of water.  Bring a small water bottle with you and don’t be afraid to ask an eager sales clerk if they have water on hand. Most stores do and it’s in their best interest to keep customers happy.

4) Stamina: Try It On!

Buying it and taking it home means that you will be swayed into thinking that you should keep it mostly because you don’t want to go through the returns process (I don’t blame you!). This results in all kinds of clothing that you don’t really like and that you won’t really wear. Trying clothes on in-store helps combat falling into this trap.  When in doubt or even when you find something you think you love, take a SELFIE!

5) Throwing in the Towel: Leaving “Empty Handed”

This is paramount. Just because you went shopping doesn’t mean you have to go buying. If it isn’t fabulous and you don’t absolutely love it and you wouldn’t pay five times more for it, then leave it behind. You’ll feel so much better and you’re making room to buy something that you do really love down the line. Again, let me stress, don’t be afraid to walk out of the store with nothing. The worst is getting trapped on the wrong side of the Waterfall Effect so be sure to practice just a dash of restraint and self awareness.

Whether you have plotted a course or you are out browsing for an impulse buy, these strategies will arm you for the battle and ensure you are confident in your purchases when you walk out of a store, shiny bag and tissue paper in the crook of you arm.

Helena Grant is a Boston-based Brand Stylist who loves to shop anywhere from T.J.Maxx to Saks.  She believes everyone can benefit from a little retail therapy with the right strategies. Follow her on Instagram @hgrantstyle

Photography by Sonya Highfield