If you have already managed to get to your local high street, you will have noticed that many people are making the most of once again being able to shop, eat, and connect with loved ones. But the new normal may feel a little daunting in terms of getting out and shopping for perfect items for your wardrobe, without wasting your time and money.

In this article, I wanted to share my guide to maximising your shopping trip to make it enjoyable, functional, and economical. This is so important, as shopping, particularly for fashion, should be an enjoyable experience. For many, it can be overwhelming and expensive, particularly as at the moment, many stores are not allowed to have changing rooms.

Have your technology ready

The first important thing to note for going shopping after lockdown is that many stores will have a QR code to scan for your NHS tracker. Make sure you have that set up on your phone, and can easily check in and move into the store.

Technology can also be really handy too to help you know the items you want to get – so bring your phone with your style board already downloaded (if you’d like your very own style & confidence boosting guide, book my styling session!). This can be a really excellent way to make sure you are picking up the right items for your personal style, without getting distracted by the current trends that feel shiny and new, but may not suit your current wardrobe.

Know what you need, and what you want

What you need and what you want are two wonderfully different things when it comes to shopping. Knowing which of each you would like to get when shopping will help you feel more in control of what you are looking for, rather than aimlessly walking through shops, feeling like you can’t find what you want!

How to know what you need:

  1. Consider the outfits you already have and love – see if they need an update for the season
  2. If you have a go-to outfit that you love, but perhaps an item doesn’t fit, or you have only one so can only wear it once, then see what extras you need to replicate the look regularly!
  3. Know your basics – do you have them? For example – do you have an easy to wear light jumper for spring; perfect jeans you can pop on and feel confident in; a tee that can be comfortable but suitable for seeing colleagues, loved ones, and friends; and if you need an update in shoe options since we’ve been in slippers for a year!

How to know what you want:

  1. If you love a certain style of outfit but your wardrobe doesn’t currently accommodate, you can see if you can make this from items you find while shopping
  2. Non-essential items in your wardrobe, but ones that will bring a little more personality and joy to your outfits.
  3. Special occasion events – let’s be honest, we aren’t going out to lots of parties, so a special occasion outfit isn’t as essential as work, meeting, and networking outfits!

Once you have your “needs” and “wants” lists with you, keep them in your bag so you can refer back to them throughout your shopping trip and tick them off as you pick them up.

Do some research!

One thing my clients find so helpful once we’ve had our personal shopping together is seeing how we plan prior to the shopping trip. I do my research on local shops that offer the colours, cuts, styles, and personal brand options that my client wants.

This helps us to know more than just the right shops to visit, but also that they will be a good shop to go to and enjoy the experience. For example, if you are looking solely for excellent jeans, then you should find the highest recommended jeans shop in your area, or go to a store like Selfridges which has a lot on offer in one easy to visit area. You can then try different brands to see which ones fit your body best.

Within this research stage, you could check out the outfit ideas that are shown on the shop’s Instagram, and website to inspire you for future outfits. It’s also important to know the sizes that fit you in this store. This can be a learning curve, and without being able to try on in the store for many shops, you may want to get a few sizing options and ignore the number – it is different in so many places and is not a reflection of anything other than the shop’s creations.

Enjoy the shopping experience

My most important thing to remember when you go shopping is to enjoy it.

So often we are rushing around, feeling concerned about our timing, other things to do, where to go, and what to find. With your research and list in your pocket, your style knowledge on your phone so you know exactly which colours, cuts, and stores to gravitate to, you have removed the stress element. Then you can make the experience an enjoyable one.

Give yourself time to walk around the shops – don’t have appointments you have to rush to afterwards, let this be a meeting with yourself that you can enjoy.

Find a local coffee shop for a pick me up – I find having some delicious coffee, or tea, stopping for lunch, and knowing the little places you can stop, recuperate, and enjoy the day, is so important to my mindset when shopping.

Bring a friend – when we are able to shop with different households, see if you can bring a friend that is confidence-boosting, who knows you well, and can perhaps bring a different idea to your clothing choices that really reflect you, but perhaps push you to new styles you may not have picked up.

Use a professional – if you still feel overwhelmed by the whole experience, I would love to recommend finding a local stylist who can help you. Whether it’s an online guide, a personalised experience, or just seeing what professionals suggest, will make shopping happy for you.

I hope these tips have helped you feel more encouraged about the shopping experience for yourself. If you have any questions or want to discuss how I can help, please reach out – I love making sure all of my clients get to enjoy their wardrobe and feel confident every day.



Stefania is a London-based Italian style coach, and she loves helping people boost their confidence by exploring and developing their personal style. She’s got a passion for fashion, an eye for detail and a great sense of fun. And she’s worked her magic with everyone from business leaders and brides to new mums and mumpreneurs.

So, whether it’s helping you decide which of your clothes are keepers, or taking you on the most enjoyable shopping trip you’ve ever had, Stefania will work with you to build a wardrobe that’s everyday fabulous.