1. Have a game plan. To successfully accomplish the challenge of carefully adding to your wardrobe each season (or switching it up completely), you have to go in prepared for your shopping trip. Research the season’s hottest trends, and narrow down your key must-have pieces. If you’re building up your workwear basics, opt for classic styles. Or for that plaid oversized coat you’ve been saving for, know what boutiques to check out—and call ahead to make sure they’re fully stocked.

2. Keep trips short and sweet.
While we’re all for an afternoon power shop, it’s unrealistic to assume that you can load up on all your wardrobe basics this season in a few hours. Plus long lines for the change room, hunger and fatigue will kick in—leading to impulse buys and a subsequent visit to exchange it all.

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Bottom line, don’t rush—falling in love with the perfect item takes time, and if you sense yourself growing impatient, head home and come back refreshed another day.

3. Bring snacks.
There’s no way to overstate the importance not of shopping on an empty stomach. Hunger leads to undue headaches and frustration—exactly what you don’t need when hunting for a little black dress hours before your night out. Pack a granola bar and keep yourself hydrated so you won’t have to leave early and empty-handed.

4. Take breaks.
Don’t be afraid of taking a break. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by choices—ankle boots or a top-handle bag— momentarily walk away. Grab a latte, and re-assess your goals and how they’ve changed since walking into the boutique. This will help you focus on what you really need—a new pair of jogging shoes—and save the handbag for your next payday.

HOW TO BUY A LEATHER JACKET: 5 shopping tips

More top shopping tips on the next page…

5. Come well dressed. Don’t head to the upscale boutiques wearing sweatpants—the risk is that you’ll suddenly become acutely aware of all the beautiful things you’re surrounded by, and instantly feel the need to upgrade your look (two Opening Ceremony dresses? Yes, please!). Dress in an outfit that makes you feel confident so you look for pieces that will only complement your awesomeness.

6. …but still be comfortable. Think casual chic—you don’t need to strut between stores in stiletto boots. Opt for pieces that can be easily removed for quick and effective changeroom switch-ups. Try the off-duty model uniform: skinny jeans, a
white Tee and flat ankle boots. And of course, a statement-making leather jacket.

7. Wear proper footwear. Again, be smart about what shoes you wear. If you’re donning your
riding boots but shopping for a party dress, consider bringing along different pairs of shoes—trust us, you’ll want to see how it looks with heels. In that case, bring lipstick, too.

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8. Ask a friend. Have someone you trust on hand for input on important purchases. Bring a BFF, share a dressing room pic via Snapchat—either way, an objective opinion is crucial to shopping success. Even Cher Horowitz relied on the impartial judgment of a Polaroid.

9. Be open to new things. So you were looking for a trench coat and ended up walking away with a leather jacket and studded moto boots? It happens. Love grips us in mysterious ways sometimes, and the friendly sales person could be unleashing your new
biker chic persona. Own it.

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10. But stay true to your instincts! There’s a fine line between testing your sartorial limit and ending up with a closet full of
bubblegum pink pieces (your favourite colour is grey). Don’t be afraid to say no to helpful sales staff, and even if your mom wouldn’t approve of the gorgeous silk scarf that costs as much as one month’s rent, if you love it, you won’t regret it long-term. And isn’t that the point of investment shopping anyway?

Read more:
Why is the fashion world still obsessed with the leather jacket?

12 designer handbags worth investing in this fall
Classic shoes: The 5 pairs every woman should own

How to buy a coat: Expert style tips