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3 Things that Make Online Shopping Easier

"Shopping is my cardio." - Carrie Bradshaw

I shop for so many clients that some days it does feel like cardio! Most of the women I talk to find online shopping to be completely maddening, and a giant time-waster. You, too? They’ll shop for the perfect thing for hours or days or weeks, but come up with nothing. Or they’ll add a ton of things to their cart, only to abandon it, uncertain if it will be right for them. Who has time for this... really?

As a stylist, shopping for many clients at one time, it is essential for me to know what I'm looking for - and then move on. Over the years, I have learned a few things when it comes to being efficient with online shopping, and so I want to share those with you. And it may not be what you expect.

When it comes down to it, these 3 things above all else are going to be your key to successful shopping, and it’s where I start with all of my clients:

1. What’s your personal style?

Having a good sense of who you are, and how you want to show up in this world, will make the shopping process so much easier. It will help you align with certain brands, and eliminate others. It will help you know instantly what's you, and what isn't. That's why doing vision work, and naming your style is the first thing I do with my clients. It's a critical foundation for the rest of the work we do. I like to think of it as my compass when I'm deciding if something will be right for them or not. In our time together, I get to know my clients' style so well that it's easy for me to see something and say "that's so you!" And, if you stick with your style long enough, you'll notice other people will comment on this, too. My sister and mom are always sending me links to clothes and saying, "This is SO YOU."

If you're sitting there thinking, "Ellie, I have no clue what my style is! Do I even have one?" Not to worry my love. As the great Diane von Furstenberg says,

"Style is something each of us already has, all we need to do is find it. "

Dive into finding your own personal style in this blog, which is part of the framework I go through with my own clients in a 1:1 setting.

2. What colors look best on you?

Knowing the colors that naturally light up your skin tone is incredibly helpful. While you may already have a good sense of what colors are best on you, having your colors done professionally is the boost you need to go confidently in the right direction.

Here's what knowing your best colors will do for you:

  1. It takes the guesswork out of shopping and eliminates so many options, saving you time. When I first had my colors done, I was able to more quickly decide if something would work for me or not. Plus, if you're honing in on a certain color, you can use the color filter on shopping sites to reduce your options significantly. I also recommend to always filter on size and category to reduce your search results immediately.

  2. It makes it easier to create a cohesive wardrobe - having colors that all work together and are able to mix and match well. Mixing and matching is a big part of what I help my clients do. I like to ask: Can I wear this item in at least three ways, with the clothes I already have in my closet? When you have colors in your closet that work together, this process is so much easier!

  3. You'll feel like you're glowing every day! Who doesn't want that!

  4. You get to discover new colors you haven’t tried or considered before. Even though I am a huge fan of color and like to experiment a lot, there were colors I had never considered trying before once I got my colors done. I'm excited to test them out.

  5. You'll know why certain items in your closet never *felt* right for you. If it's not the fit of the item, the color may have been the problem.

  6. You get compliments (Don't lie... it gives you alllll the warm fuzzies!)

Here's the caveat with having your colors done: It can be tempting to go completely overboard and eliminate all items from your closet that don't match your color card, or to only buy things that are in your color wheelhouse. It happened to me when I first got my colors done! It was as if color were my only filter when shopping for clothes. I had to catch myself and remember that finding the best clothes is a combination of several things, of which color is included. Knowing your colors is ONE amazing tool in your style toolkit! Does it mean you can never buy a color outside of your color card? Nope. You can be strategic when wearing those colors, such as keeping them farther away from you face, or wearing them in a shoe or accessory.

See this IG post where I share my tips for wearing black, even if it's not in your best colors.

3. What styles naturally flatter your shape?

While you may not want to be labeled as a fruit, knowing your body measurements (and your body type) is a really helpful tool in understanding which styles naturally complement your body. When I do this exercise with my clients, they are frequently surprised to know their real body type. I had one client who didn't realize they were an hourglass shape because they over-focused on a certain body part they didn't love. I had to go back to the measurements to prove to her that she was, indeed, an hourglass shape.

We all tend to make assumptions about our body types, or we over-focus on the parts we don't like, which alters our perspective of our bodies. (I mean, let's be honest, when was the last time you looked in the mirror and really looked at your shape - without judgement? ) Taking your measurements gives you a chance to look objectively at your shape, get to the facts. (Learn how to measure, and find your body type in this blog.)

From there, you can find clothes that work with you - not against you. When I shop for my clients and share my recommendations, they will often tell me they would have never tried something like that, or would have passed it by while shopping. This is proof that sometimes, an outside perspective is exactly what you need.

So now you know my secret... if you want your online shopping process to be a little easier, get to know these three things about yourself. Again, it's why I take all of my clients through this process before we start our time together - it's that important!

The great news is that retail sites are offering more and more filters to make shopping easier - so use them, and use as many of them at one time as possible! Outside of the usual filters (size, color, category, etc.) many retailers include shape of the garment as an option - specifically in regards to dresses (sheath, dress shirt, fit and flare, etc.), pants (skinny, bootcut, straight, wide, flare, etc.), and even tops (wrap, button-up, peplum, crewneck, v-neck, etc.)

Need someone to guide you through this process? I’d love to help! My brand-new styling service - Your Style Brand Intensive - is a 2-hour virtual session where we'll walk through each of these three things together (your personal style, your best colors professionally done, and your best styles and shapes), so you can shop with confidence and eliminate anything that doesn't work for you in your closet now. Learn more or book your spot now.

About Me

Hi, I'm so glad you're here! I'm a Personal Virtual Stylist and owner of Style Decoded. I'm a Midwest born fashion lover on a mission to help women show up with more authenticity and alignment at work and in their businesses through their style, and feel 100% confident in their own skin every day. Styling is my passion but it hasn't always been my job. I spent 20 years of my career in client service, advertising, developing brands, blogging, podcasting, and creating marketing and social social strategies for my clients, ranging from Fortune 500 giants to individuals building their personal brand online. To say I know a thing or two about marketing and branding is an understatement! Now, I love teaching women how to define and own their unique personal brand through style.

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