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Shopping for a Special Occasion

When dressing for any special event, dress for yourself first. If you feel beautiful, you will be beautiful!” Susan Lucci, Emmy Award–winning actress

With the start of spring and wedding season just around the corner, I thought it the perfect time to share some of my favorite tips on shopping for a special occasion from How to Win at Shopping :

-Pay attention to the formality listed on the invitation. Black tie means a formal short or long dress. For men, it means a tuxedo.

-Black tie preferred or optional means a formal dress, cocktail dress, or dressy separates. For men, it means a tuxedo or a dark suit.

-Semiformal means a cocktail dress or dressy separates. For men, a dark suit is appropriate.

-Festive attire means a cocktail dress, dressy separates, or your version of a Little Black Dress. For men, a jacket and tie will do the trick.

-Business formal means a business suit or dress. For men, a suit is appropriate.

-Business casual can be interpreted broadly, but don’t wear anything overtly sexy.

-Casual dress means wear something you wouldn’t mind being photographed in.


Think Pink on Pinterest

Follow me on Pinterest for inspirational pins of color as well as examples of the twenty-four archetypes featured in my book Color Your Style, featuring The Sensuous Backpacker, The Life of the Party and many more!


Increasing the Odds

It may sound shocking, but the vast number of people shopping in a brick and mortar store are not getting the most out of their experience. One reason is that they are not using the shop’s resources effectively. One of the most valuable resources is the sales staff. Forging a relationship with a great sales associate, and knowing what to ask of them can lead to immediate and longterm shopping success. To help you on your next shopping trip, try out these tips on creating a shopping partnership from How to Win at Shopping:

-Using a department store personal shopper is a free service that never has a minimum purchase requirement! Most department stores have personal shoppers who are available to navigate the store with you, free of charge. They know the merchandise and can easily guide you through the departments. Be sure to call in advance for an appointment

-Always expect a salesperson to check a nearby store if the requested full-priced item is not available at the current location in your size and color. Before asking for a stock check, determine your correct size by trying on a similar item, perhaps in another color. If the piece is available, you may have the option of requesting a store transfer or having your item held for pickup at the other location. If it is not, find out if the item may be available online.

-Always tell your salesperson if you’re looking for a hard-to-find item. Some stores presell much of their inventory before it ever makes it to the selling floor. A salesperson will often know what is in the stockroom or about to hit the selling floor, so ask her for what you want. If the salesperson does not know, she can find out from the store buyer. A great salesperson will also know which other stores in the area might have the item, even if they’re competitors

-Always ask for the business card of a sales associate you have enjoyed working with. Why start from scratch the next time you visit the store? Take the relationship a step further by sharing your information and ask for a call the next time items come in that he thinks you might like. Working with someone you know, and who knows your taste, can save you money. He will keep you updated on sales and promotions. You can also save time by calling ahead to let the sales associate know when you are coming in. He can preselect items and have them waiting for you in the dressing room.

-Never feel intimidated by a salesperson who is impeccably dressed. Instead, engage her. She may be able to turn her expert eye upon you and be extremely helpful. Many professional salespeople have gotten into the field because of their love of fashion and natural ability to put things together in interesting and innovative ways. If they can put themselves together brilliantly, might they be able to do the same for you? Find out by approaching the associate with a style compliment. Then share a little about your style and shopping goals, and see what happens.

How to Shop for a Hat

If you are thinking of adding some headgear to your Spring wardrobe, keep in mind these tips from How to Win at Shopping:

-Tilt a hat at different angles when trying it on.

– Take a cue from the shapes found in your face when trying on hats. Try a fedora worn asymmetrically for angular features, rock a slouchy beret with an oval face, or sport a cloche to partner with a rounded face.

-Don’t pass up a hat that is too large. The size can be reduced by hand-tacking the inside sweatband or by adding a bit of adhesive foam weather stripping underneath it.

-Unless you have access to a professional milliner’s block to stretch it to your correct size, don’t purchase a hat that is too small.

-Keep in mind that hats can be embellished!

How to Shop for Glasses

When contemplating a new pair of eyeglasses, take into consideration these favorite tips from How to Win at Shopping:

-Wear your contacts when shopping for frames so you can see what they look like both close up and far away.

-If you wear eyeglasses all the time, think of them as an accessory that you need to coordinate with each and every item that you wear.

-Follow the shape of your brow in determining and shopping the best frame shape for your face.

-When choosing a color for eyeglasses, match a color found in your eyes or hair, or take a cue from the color of your favorite jewelry metal.

-When choosing a pair of sunglasses, go more “statement” and take a cue from your favorite era for inspiration.