Staples

I have loved clothes ever since I was a little girl. I like to think I was pretty fashionable even as a 5-year-old–trust, my oversized Nike tee and my vast collection of Ariel gear would be indie gold today–but it took me a long time to hit my shopping stride. Let me explain–I’ve never had problems shopping until I drop (mostly my jaw, when looking over my bank statement). But until a year or so ago, I wouldn’t say that I was shopping properly.

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See, there are three types of clothing shoppers. And if you ask me, these could apply to personalities as well, but some people don’t like to be defined by their ugly shoes, and that is their right. So, there’s…

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  1. Shopper Numero Uno. This person is the practicalist. They don’t like shopping for clothes. They get in (to boring stores with cheap clothes) and get out with the bare necessities. They probably wear running shoes as sneakers and own jeans that make their butt look flat.
  2. Shopper Numero Dos. This kind of shopper is also practical, but they have a modicum of personal style. They shop at plain stores and aren’t super into it, but they have enough sense not to wear Shoxx out to dinner.
  3. Shopper Numero Tres. The trend-whore. This shopper leafs through Lucky, runs to the store, and spends $600 on high-waisted baroque pants that make them look like a 15th-century whale.
  4. Shopper Numero Quatro. The classic shopper. They know that quality is worth more than quantity  and they buy clothes that flatter their body type. They don’t like to change it up–they know what works for them  and they stick to it. Forever.
  5. Shopper Numero Cinco. This is the best type of shopper. They’re a healthy mix of Dos, Tres, and Quatro. They shop smart, know what works for their shape and style, but still try new things.

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See, I just made that up right off the top of my head, but it seems pretty accurate. You can probably squish anybody into one of these categories (if you’re some kind of cruel freak who likes to label others–God, what kind of monster are you?!). And so for my whole life, I was a Tres-Quatro. I had my body-conscious, never-change-’em clothes (ancient jeans that I still wear–they hug my body even after 700 washes), but for everything else, I’d just run out and get whatever was in stores. If i liked it, I bought it. The end result was a tragically overstuffed closet filled with clothes that clashed more than two Kardashian sisters fighting over a basketball player. I couldn’t put together an outfit to save my life, unless it involved a stripy top and floral-patterned bottoms.

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But then, in a beautiful moment of clarity–or, you know, getting really sick of having a half-useless wardrobe–I realized: you have to shop for staples. The majority of your wardrobe should be well-fitting, nice, practical staples. Jeans. Black leggings. Black tank tops and tees. White tank tops and tees. Plain-colored cardigans and sweaters. And then, once you feel like you’re in a Uniqlo, you can finally get fun things, because hey, you know something you own will match them.

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In conclusion, I am now the most fashionable person in the world, and you can be too. Click this link to take my, “What kind of shopper are you?” quiz and then buy my styling book (Stop Dressing Like That, Fugly!) for the low cost of three installments of $19.99!

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