Conscious Consumption Shoes Smart Shopping

How to Be a Smart Shopper (Not an Impulse Buyer)

Take Me Home With You!

We’ve all had moments when an item of clothing catches our eye and we feel we MUST have it. You get a tingle of excitement, your heart starts to race, you feel a rush of endorphins and you fantasize about how happy that new item will make you. When you are a smart shopper the item ends up being a workhorse in your wardrobe with tons of mix and match ability. Too often though, a quick purchase can become a closet orphan…hanging or sitting there with the tags left on, waiting to be worn. You become tortured with buyer’s remorse because you don’t know how to wear it or have no place to wear it.

Smart Shopper Purchase Decision-Making Strategy

How do you consistently make smart purchases? On what will you base your decision to buy or walk away? There will always be pretty things to buy. How can you be sure you are actually going to wear something and not just have it sit in your closet?

1. Take Inventory of What You Already Have

When I saw these snake skin print booties it was love at first sight. I managed to pull myself away, but couldn’t stop thinking about them. Rather than rushing back and pulling out my wallet, I implemented a similar purchase decision-making strategy we use with our Joy of Style clients. Using the app Stylebook, I looked at what I already had. There was no point in purchasing something similar to what I currently own. I prefer boots to shoes except in the summer when I love to wear sandals. I have booties in brown leather and black suede which I have been wearing regularly. I also have a pair of lace up granny/combat boots in black leather with distressed brown suede shafts. These are my go-to hockey mom boots. I could see pretty quickly that I did not own anything else like these booties. The peep toe snake skin booties are similar, but dressier and the high heels don’t make them practical for everyday wear.

Shoes and boots already in my closet

2. Think About Whether the Pieces In Your Closet Go With the New Item

Note if the piece(s) you are considering create a cohesive look with items you already own. For example, if I favoured a preppy or romantic esthetic it would be more difficult to incorporate these booties.  Because I prefer a more rocker/artsy/boho look it was going to be easy. Also, be honest with yourself about your lifestyle and how often you would actually have the opportunity to wear the item. These booties definitely met this criteria. I could see myself wearing them to shop for clients, running errands, casual date night, going to watch my son’s various sports, etc.

Some of the tops and toppers in my closet

Some of the skirts and pants in my closet.

3. Look at How Many Outfits You Can Create Incorporating the New Item

A smart shopper rule of thumb when purchasing tops or bottoms is that the new purchase must go with at least 3 other things you currently own. I expect my shoes and boots to work even harder. Using the Stylebook App, I was able to experiment and create a few virtual outfits right there on my phone. This part of the process is the most fun and will reveal how much wear you would actually get out of your new item of clothing. It’s a reality check and should make or break the deal.

After realizing how many outfits I could combine, the smart shopper that I am, happily went back to purchase the booties, feeling confident they will be worn frequently and be easily incorporated into my casual wardrobe.

Since I got them home, I’ve enjoyed creating outfits with them in reality. These are a sample of the outfits I was able to create (before my 12 year-old photographer lost his patience):

Snake skin booties with jeans and solid coloured top



This combo was a no-brainer. A solid coloured top with jeans is super easy to pair these booties.







Snake skin booties with denim on denim and chevron sweater vest



I love pattern mixing and got excited to combine these booties with my chevron sweater vest in a similar colour scheme.







Snake skin booties with patterned top and leather skirt



More pattern mixing with my top and booties. The leather skirt makes it night-time appropriate. There are several other tops in my closet I can swap for this one. I was concerned the vamp of the bootie might stumpify my legs, but the light colours in the python pattern counteract that.







Snake skin booties with grey/black cardigan and skinny jean


A comfortable and easy look. Neutrals with a pop of texture make the look more interesting than if I had worn my plain black booties.









Even if snake skin booties are not your thing, you can implement the same smart shopper strategy when the next top, pair of pants, pair of shoes or handbag grabs your attention.

Spring is around the corner and the perfect time to book your closet refresher. Contact The Joy of Style today. We’ll help you find amazing pieces that incorporate perfectly into your wardrobe and into your life.



Dee Clarke

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