Impulse shopping. Love it? Hate it? Both?
Yea, me too.
It can feel good in the moment because who doesn’t love a dose of happy-brain-chemicals. And taking advantage of a good sale is a fantastic way to elevate your wardrobe and obtain higher quality clothing.
But impulse spending can easily lead to an overflowing closet and also nothing to wear. Impulse shopping can lead to regrettable purchases and adding more guilt to the back of your closet – plus a pesky credit card balance and an out of whack budget. It’s also easy to forget all the other costs to an impulse buy than just the price tag.
So, how do you take advantage of great sales? How do you pick up that gem you’ve been hunting for? But without the unfortunate consequences of impulse shopping.
It’s time to stop impulse shopping and start smart shopping.
Use a Pocket Shopping List to stop impulse shopping.
Using a pocket shopping list to transform impulse shopping into opportunistic shopping is simple but effective. It works for your groceries, it can work for your clothes.
When we’re intentionally shopping for clothes they usually fall into a small handful of categories: clothes we’re on the hunt for, clothes we’re keeping an eye out for, and clothes we’re dreaming of.
That’s why I created this free downloadable Pocket Shopping List template so that you can easily buy opportunistically and shop intentionally without impulse shopping. Sign up here and you’ll find it in the free Resource Library.
Filling Out Your Pocket Shopping List
If you’re inspired by pictures, add pictures to your shopping list. Or if you’re artistically inclined, make a sketch. If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, write down as much detail as you can.
If you have a budget or price range you want to stick to, make a note of that. When you think of stores or brands to check, write them down too. If you already have your wardrobe inventory use the Pocket Shopping List in tandem with your inventory. (If you don’t have your wardrobe inventory, check out The Wardrobe Inventory Workbook.)
However you choose, fill out your shopping list in a way that makes sense to you. Here’s a little bit about how I think about these intentional shopping categories.
Clothing we’re on the hunt for
Clothing we’re on the hunt for are clothes we’re actively searching for. This could be a new work blazer or a shirt in that perfect shade of emerald.
You could also be on the hunt for a good deal on a type of garment you’ve always wanted, like a fair trade sustainable cashmere sweater, or the perfect jacket to dress up jeans and a t-shirt.
At the moment, I’m on the hunt for things that are my perfect balance of structure and comfort – deconstructed blazers, structured sweaters, that kind of vibe. (Plus the ever illusive holy grail jeans).
Clothing we’re keeping an eye out for
This section is so you can use your Pocket Shopping List to keep track of things you need to pick up the next time you’re clothes shopping, but don’t want to make a special trip for.
I think of these clothes as falling into the “don’t forget to pick up milk” category of shopping. For me this usually looks like black ankle socks and tank tops, I’m always looking out for these.
Keeping these on your Pocket Shopping List helps you stay focused on what you will use, and what you will wear. For me, keeping black ankle socks on my list keeps me from getting distracted by colorful over-the-knee socks. Because while I love my colorful socks, I don’t wear them daily. And intentional shopping means navigating the balance between aspiration and reality.
Clothing we’re dreaming of
We all have clothes we’re dreaming of. So this section of the shopping list is for you to dream up whatever your heart desires.
Maybe it’s a specific bag or pair of shoes. Maybe you’re dreaming of something custom. Or that elusive perfect item.
If you have a concrete dream, add a photo or the item’s name, brand and price. If your dream is still brewing make as many notes as you can.
Use this section of your list to start making your dreams a reality.
Keep your Pocket Shopping List handy
Keeping your Pocket Shopping List handy while you’re out is key to making it work for you.
You can keep a copy on your phone, or print it out and keep it in your wallet (or do both!) – whichever will work for you is the best way to do it.
Download your Pocket Shopping List and ditch the impulse shopping
Sign up here to get your own copy of the Pocket Shopping List from the Free Resource Library.
Keep a copy on your phone, on your computer, even print it out and keep it in your wallet if that’s more your style. Just fill it out and have it handy to take advantage of opportunities when you see them and shop impulse shopping when you would really rather hold out for something better.
No more wandering the store wondering what that thing was you meant to be looking for. (Fun fact, I managed to walk into a wall doing exactly that. Download your Pocket Shopping List, save your nose.)