3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Shopping for New Clothes

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Brace yourselves, ladies. Because the Pre AW17 collections are slowly beginning to trickle into stores. And with that comes the overwhelming urge to shop. I’m generally very frugal when it comes to fashion, but right now it feels like there’s temptation in every corner. So – mostly for the selfish act of self-motivation – I thought it was the perfect time to share my tips for smart shopping…


This sounds totally obvious, but we’re all guilty of making the occasional emotional purchase. Sometimes you simply desire the thrill of a new pair of shoes – or need that rush of excitement to block out negative emotions. I once bought a ridiculously expensive ceramic stapler shaped like a dalmatian because I was feeling heartbroken. So there’s no judgement here!

But, let’s face it, it’s not a sensible way to shop. Purchasing things you don’t really, truly love is just a waste of money and closet space. So, next time you’re feeling blue and want to self-medicate with a shopping trip, head straight to Whole Foods and buy yourself an overpriced cookie instead.

And whenever you are contemplating a new fashion purchase, stop and ask yourself if you really love it. If you’re not sure press pause immediately. Put the item on hold and wait an hour (or even a day) to check you’re still crazy about it.

Topshop Chanel Dupes Shoes

After assessing whether or not you really love an item, the second thing to consider is how well it will work with your existing wardrobe. Because there’s no point maxing out your credit card for a beautiful velvet blazer if it doesn’t go with a single thing in your closet.

As a rule of thumb, I try not to make any new fashion purchases unless I can think of at least three pieces in my wardrobe that they can be worn with.

This Karen Millen stripe Bardot top is a new addition to my wardrobe. And it made the cut because I knew I could style it with multiple pairs of skinny jeans, leather leggings and my leather pencil skirt.

Karen Millen Bardot Top

I’M WEARING: Stripe Bardot top by Karen Millen c/o | Skinny jeans by Hush (now on sale) | Two-tone heels by Topshop | Shoulder bag by Reiss (past season – similar here) | Hoop earrings by Dinny Hall c/o

Chanel Two Tone Slingback Dupes Topshop
Shopping Rules Shop Smart

How to Shop Smart for Clothes

It’s hard to put a universal answer on what makes something good value. Because we all measure “value” in different ways (and we all have varying levels of disposable income). But, for me, I first like to check if something is well made and machine washable. If it’s a yes to both then I know I’ll keep for a long time and get a lot of wear out of it.

And when it comes to designer fashion, more often than not, I’ll look for a high street dupe instead. I think it’s such a special process to save up for a designer treat that you then cherish and truly adore. But, at the moment, that’s not practical move for me. So I’m being savvy and looking out for dupes.

These Chanel two-tone slingback dupes from Topshop are a brilliant example. They hint to the real deal without being an exact copy, cost a fraction of the price and are super-comfortable. I’ve already got a lot of wear out of them, and it’s only been a week since they arrived on my doorstep!

Cocos Tea Party Wild at Heart

What questions do you always ask yourself before making a new fashion purchase? And do you have any rules to help you shop smarter? Leave a comment below to have your say…

Photos by Claire Menary


  1. I love the post! Excellent recommendations, I think the most important one is if they are truly complementing your wardrobe. I will go with them on my mind next time I go shopping. I love the shoes as well, they look super classy with that top!

    Elena Jackson
    [email protected]

    • cocos_tea_party says:

      Totally – there’s no point buying something new if it’s not going to bring out the best in your existing wardrobe!

  2. It is such a great post! I totally agree, we buy too many clothes we don’t love and need. It’s such a waste…
    This is why I created my business, Stylishly App. Women in the UK only wear around 40% of what they have, if not even less than that. It’s such a shame. I created a service that makes use of your own clothes, by creating a virtual wardrobe. Would be great to chat about this one day in person! Really enjoying reading your potst all the time!!
    Anna x

  3. VarunaJithesh says:

    This post is gorgeous


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