Shopping Champion: Three Habits of Highly Effective Shoppers

Promise me something. Cross your heart and hope to eat pie; wrap thai noodles around your thighs…I can’t remember the exact wording of that childhood pact, but it was something along those lines. Promise me that you will never, ever go shopping for new clothing clad in athleisure wear. Anything belonging to the world of bedtime or yoga should be avoided at all costs when you embark on your shopping escapades if you want to be a highly effective shopper.

Upon reading this, you may be wondering what kind of deprived childhood I had that would compel me to make such a cold-hearted demand, but I assure you, you will thank me. I adore comfort, not showering, and occasionally masking my bodily transgressions with a tube of male-grade Old Spice deodorant as much as the next dame, but when it comes to shopping you must cease and desist your comfort-above-all-else ways.

“But why?!” you politely ask.

Have you ever gone grocery shopping while starving? Somehow in your hunger, four boxes of double-stuffed Oreos, queso dip of the neon orange variety, and a cauldron of Sour Patch Kids seemed like sensible grocery options. You purchase things out of frantic hunger that you would otherwise never purchase on a full belly, and the same is true when it comes to your shopping habits. If you are dressed in comfort wear, the second you catch a glimpse of your yoga-pant-toting ways in the mirror you are inclined to conclude you must purchase everything in sight to make up for your slothful state.

Let’s end this bad habit right now with these 3 habits of a highly effective shopper:


Habit #1: Shop Like You’re On A First Date

Go shopping in what you would wear to a classy first date. When it comes to shopping, my weapons of choice are always a fitted blazer, graphic tee, and a pair of dark skinny jeans. This look always makes me feel like the queen of my domain, and the clothing items at hand are my royal subjects toiling to impress me instead of the other way around. When you take a glance in the store mirror and see that your current attire is already effortlessly adorable, you are less likely to binge on frivolous purchases. A polished outfit helps you make a sober assessment of what you need and resist poor purchases accordingly. Something along the lines of “I’m cute already; I don’t need that second pair of identical beige khakis” will be part of your natural experience as a highly effective shopper.

Habit #2: Make A List, Check It Twice

Let’s face it: you don’t have a lot of time before the shopping experience feels tiring. After about 25 minutes of staring into a pool of patterns and prints, my soul begins to atrophy. Okay that was dramatic, but I do begin to lose motivation. To fight this, come prepared with a list of top three things that you are looking for. Prioritize the list by ranking them, one being most important and three being the least.


Everyone is different, but a highly effective shopper needs to think about their burnout time. How long can you shop before you start muttering nonsensical things to yourself and accusing mannequins of giving you some flagrant side-eye? My personal burnout time clocks in at an hour and a half. Knowing that I have an average 90-minute time cap, I allocate a set amount of time to locating the items on my list like this:

  • Wrap dress: 40 Minutes
  • Funky fun, off-the-shoulder top: 30 Minutes
  • Black pants: 20 Minutes

Creating a list and giving yourself a time cap prevents shopping burnout and sets a healthy boundary around your time. Making a strategic list with your burnout time in mind will also keep you in the shopping game before the crazies set in.

Habit #3: If At First You Don’t Succeed, Go Home

If your designated burnout time cap has elapsed and you did not find what you are looking for, dear woman, for the love of clearance items, go home! Trust me, going home empty-handed will be better for your soul than toiling away at the sale racks and being escorted out by security at closing. Sometimes, it is not meant to be. It’s better you go home and nuzzle up next to loved ones than stay longer and grow wearier of shopping. You’ll live to try again another day.

With your three shopping habits now in place, remember your promise to me. The day of becoming a highly effective shopper is now here: go in peace, and may your closet go forth and sensibly multiply!


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19 Responses to Shopping Champion: Three Habits of Highly Effective Shoppers

  1. Avatar
    Kale @ March 13, 2019 at 8:24 am #

    I enjoyed reading your post! It made me smile…and I love smiling!!! 🙂

    • Avatar
      Kat Depner March 14, 2019 at 8:36 am #

      Why Hello Miss Steakandkale! So glad this put a smile on your face!

  2. Avatar
    Marna Altman March 13, 2019 at 8:56 am #

    I found this post really interesting. I always shop in yoga pants and a sweatshirt because I want to be comfortable and easy to try things on but your point about dressing up makes a lot of sense. Great tips and pics.

    • Avatar
      Kat Depner March 14, 2019 at 8:38 am #

      Hey Marna, I know it seems counter intuitive to get a little dressed up when you go shopping, but I promise it will save you from some frivolous buys! So glad these tips are helpful!

  3. Avatar
    Jaimi Stewart March 13, 2019 at 3:16 pm #

    I LOVE this!! Great advice and you’re such a talented writer! Pinning this post! 🙂

    • Avatar
      Kat Depner March 14, 2019 at 8:38 am #

      Hey Jaimi! So glad these shopping tips are helpful. Thank you for your kind words!

  4. Avatar
    Tori March 13, 2019 at 7:30 pm #

    Yoga clothes are my jam, though! This was a fun read!

    • Avatar
      Kat Depner March 17, 2019 at 1:14 pm #

      Hey There! So glad this post was a fun read. I am a huge fan of yoga pants too, just not when it comes to shopping marathons. Thank you for reading!

  5. Avatar
    Rebecca Rinn Powell March 13, 2019 at 10:34 pm #

    Dressing up to go shopping! Never thought of that! Great tip!

    • Avatar
      Kat Depner March 17, 2019 at 1:15 pm #

      Hey Rebecca, give it a try the next time you go shopping, it may surprise you :).

  6. Avatar
    Trish ~ Habibi House March 14, 2019 at 5:59 am #

    I never thought about dressing up for shopping! I guess I do it inadvertnedly as it’s a chance to get out! lol

    • Avatar
      Kat Depner March 17, 2019 at 1:16 pm #

      Hey Trish! I like the way you think :). Getting dressed up to go shopping will save anyone from frivolous spending. 🙂

  7. Avatar
    Maria March 14, 2019 at 8:32 am #

    These are seriously great tips! In my earlier years, I could have just impulse bought something on clearance if I didn’t find what I was looking for. I always bring a list for any type of shopping now. 🙂

    • Avatar
      Kat Depner March 14, 2019 at 8:39 am #

      Hey Maria! So glad to hear that these tips are helpful! I think a shopping list for clothing is Key to being a highly effective shopper :).

  8. Avatar
    Kat Depner March 14, 2019 at 8:35 am #

    Hey Jaimi! So glad these shopping tips are helpful. Thank you for your kind words 🙂

  9. Avatar
    J casey March 15, 2019 at 5:02 am #

    Such a fun post! Im guilty of doing everything you say not to do (i love shopping in sweats!) but now I l know better and it makes total sense!!!

    • Avatar
      Kat Depner March 17, 2019 at 1:18 pm #

      Hey there! So glad this post put a smile on your face! I promise getting a little dressed up and bringing a list with you the next time you go shopping will make a world of difference. Thanks for reading!

  10. Avatar
    Kisha Stewart-Harris March 15, 2019 at 9:41 pm #

    Number one is something I never even thought of before. Getting dressed up to try on clothes is a tool I’m going to try. Now number three, that’s a hard one. I hate feeling like I’ve wasted my time looking through a store and not finding anything I like, but, even still, I will go home empty handed before purchasing something I don’t absolutely love.

  11. Avatar
    Kat Depner March 17, 2019 at 1:21 pm #

    Hey Kisha! Yes, please do try getting a little more dressed up the next time you go shopping, it’s life changing… LOL… or rather, eye opening. I have found that it keeps me from making purchases I may regret later. Ah yes, the dread of going home empty handed, it feels so counter intuitive doesn’t it? But it seems to be the one thing that protects our time, and keeps us from getting too discouraged when shopping. Thanks so much for reading!