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  • MJ

Mindful Shopping in College

When you’re a fashion obsessed college student that’s not living off of an income and not paying bills, it’s easy to blow through money by shopping because there’s nowhere else for it to go. This move is dangerous because it can take you down the shopaholic spiral that results in you wasting money on things you don’t need or things you stop liking after a short period of time. Of course, fashion is important, but mindful shopping is the best way to go because it’ll save you time and money. Now I’m going to show you how to make it possible.

Ever get that surge of excitement rushing through your body when that special thing in the store catches your eye?

That special thing like the top that you absolutely love the first time you wear, like the second time around, and by the third you’re sick of wearing so it ends up sitting in your closet? You rushed to buy it, and within weeks you don’t even like it anymore.

But the first time you saw it, you told yourself that you had to have it right this very second because there would NEVER BE ANYTHING LIKE IT AGAIN right?

Wrong, ignore that voice in your head!

Being a mindful shopper

This is the story of the color changing Zara sweater

I work in retail and I am constantly wanting to buy the first new items I see when they’re put on the sales floor. Lately there’s been so many times where I just put an item in the back room or keep my eye on it, only to find out that a few weeks later I don’t even like it anymore. Sadly the urge was too strong sometimes so I gave into it. This would often end badly; me being filled with a feeling of regret, and a sad bank account. This happened with my magical Zara sweater that was cute, long and a wonderful olive green color —or so I thought.

When I first saw it I instantly fell in love with it, and bought it the first chance I got, but within just days of buying it I realized that I absolutely hated it because it looked completely different from the way it did in the store.

The sweater went from being a perfect olive green to a murky brown color. I thought it might have looked funny because of the lighting in my room, but when I stepped outside the sweater became an awful dark gold color.

I was horrified. The sweater now sits in the back of my closet, untouched since the very first day that I wore it.

The moral of the story is that you should definitely TRY ON the clothes you like and make sure that you 100% love each item of clothing before you go and spend your money, because you might end up realizing that you don’t even like it as much as you thought you did. Also because you might have to deal with a store like the one I work at where there’s a 7 day return policy and once it’s passed it’s too late to bring it back. You’ll also be really bummed if you bought something that was totally over your budget.

Imagine putting in those extra dollars only to realize that you don’t even like what you bought anymore?


These tricks that I’m about to share are saving me so much money because I would still be wasting tons of it on items of clothing that I'd stop liking just weeks after purchasing them.

The stories could go on but I think you get the picture, here are 9 tips on how to be more mindful in the store:

1. Bring cash

You will be much less likely to spend more than you planned.

2. Have a plan

You should go into the store with a pre set idea of how much you would like to spend in each of the following categories:







3. Breathe

Don’t become too attached to the item before you’ve seen how much it costs, which leads us to my next tip…

4. Check the price

If it is already out of your price range just put it back down, your wallet will thank you.

5. Be realistic

If you just can’t put it down, take a minute to think about whether you really need the item or if you just like the way it looks (my $35 bag with the cool circle handles for example, I’ve worn it once but I just couldn’t resist the urge to buy it!). Think about whether or not the item is worth your dollar and if it will last.

6. Try it on

Take pictures of yourself in the outfit and see how you feel about it. Does it scream “you”, or did it just look really cute on the mannequin?

For those of you who hate trying things on:

7. Visualize it

Try to picture yourself in at least three different outfits using each item that you tried on. If you think they will work well, plan on purchasing those items.

For those of you who are bummed about the top that was just over your budget by $10:

8. Wait it out

You’d be surprised at how many items you might not like once you come back to look at them again. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but that’s not always the case when it comes to shopping.

9. Don’t be discouraged

I promise that it’s not the end of the world, there is always more to look forward to and fashion is always repeating itself in one way or another so you’re bound to find something similar.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post please share it or leave a comment below because I'd love to hear your thoughts!



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