Jennifer Nataf
Fashion Fairy Godmother & Street Style Photographer

Going shopping? Here’s a tip!

Everything looks good when you’re hungry. It’s a similar thing when shopping for clothes. Image courtesy of Dan Gold on Unsplash.
“Never shop for groceries while hungry.”
This is invaluable advice. When we’re hungry, everything appeals to us, even the inedible. You’ve probably experienced this yourself. When you shop for groceries while hungry, your defenses are down, and you end up indiscriminately purchasing items you wouldn’t normally consider bringing into your home or putting into your body.
I’d like to draw a fashion parallel to the hungry shopper concept:
When you shop for clothes and you don’t look your best, you have an emotional need (or hunger) to improve your appearance. And you do anything to satiate that emotional hunger. Since you’re in a shop, the most expedient means of improving your appearance is indiscriminately buying whatever makes you look remotely better.*
Let me set the scene for you. You know you’re going shopping, so you put on comfortable clothes and shoes that you can easily slip off. Maybe you don’t even bother to put on makeup or do your hair. You aren’t thinking about how you look at that moment, because your goal isn’t to look good while shopping. Your goal is to be at ease while searching for new clothes that will make you look fabulous.

The Palace of Mirrors, aka the mall. Picture courtesy of Burst on Pexels.
What has likely slipped your mind is the fact that you are about to enter the Palace of Mirrors (aka The Mall), with mirrors at every turn confronting you with your own image. And if that image is one of schlumpy clothes, face au naturel and hair in disarray, you are not going to feel great about it. Your immediate emotional need, your hunger – whether you realize it or not – will be to do anything to improve that image, causing you to be less selective.
Much of what you try on will look good by comparison. And you will be more tempted to buy those fresh, clean, unwrinkled new garments – even if they’re not exactly your style – just because they look better than the schlumpy ones you came in.
So here’s the tip: When you go shopping, put on a bit of makeup (if you normally do when going out), make sure your hair looks decent (whatever that means for you), and wear flattering clothes. Set a bar for all other clothes to measure up to. If the clothing in the store doesn’t enhance your image as much what you’re already wearing, don’t buy it.
It’s a very simple tip that requires a little bit of effort. But if you abide by it, I promise it will save you money and aggravation.
* This is my own observation. To my knowledge (and I’ve searched), no research has been published on this topic.
About the Author
I'm a personal stylist in Jerusalem and the center of Israel. I help women find their own unique style and elevate it, so that they feel beautiful and confident and ready to take on the world. I also photograph stylish strangers on the street - my goal is to demonstrate that you can have great style regardless of your age, body shape, or budget.
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