Dos and don’ts on filling one’s clothes cupboard

1. Sales mean bargains. It is good to know that certain shops have a tradition of keeping prices high, so as not to jeopardize the store’s prestige. 2. Sunglasses, leather and fur, bags and shoes are rarely sold off. It’s best to invest in classic designs and not go to town on fancier items. Leave them on the shelf. 3. Grab anything you regard as essential for your wardrobe. You’ve found your size, the design of choice, and you’re still hesitating? 4. Don’t buy fluorescent track suits or tights in the hope that you will lose weight. Remember all those failed buys which have taken up cupboard space for all these years – like white stiletto sandals, breathtaking (literally) bodices and the rest of it. 5. Don’t give in to the temptation, for the umpteenth time, of trying shoes one size larger or smaller than what you normally wear. Why should your size nine feet squeeze into shoes that are size eight? 6. Ignore revealing tops, super-mini skirts and see-through blouses when you know you’d be too shy to wear them. If you’re too embarrassed to walk out of the changing rooms in them, just imagine parading in the street without the protection of a screen. 7. Go window-shopping in the evening. Look on it as a kind of reconnaissance for the big battle. Back home, check out that cupboard carefully and see what you really need in order to lay your plans for your final sally. 8. Most times, the best solution is to organize your purchases together with a friend with taste, attitude – and moderation. (Researchers filming a department store one day found only one woman who was shopping by herself. The rest were walking around in twos. Everyone is in need of a second opinion.) 9. Don’t panic. It’s just a passing fashion… which will turn full circle. Don’t get depressed if you can’t find anything. Remember you’re economizing, on both money and energy. 10. For future shopping trips, the biggest secret is this: Don’t forget what your goal is; don’t buy the 10th pair of black trousers in your collection because you couldn’t find anything else; don’t shop for shopping’s sake. There’s world enough and time for you to give full vent to your consumerist passions.

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