10 golden rules for clothes shopping that'll banish buyer's remorse

Shane Watson on the fashion lessons we really should have learnt by now if we don't want to end up buying something we'll regret

23 November 2017 - 12:37 By Shane Watson
Remember that fancy gear with pearls, studs and sequins doesn’t take kindly to washing.
Remember that fancy gear with pearls, studs and sequins doesn’t take kindly to washing.
Image: 123RF/nicoletaionescu

It's mid-summer. The holiday clothes are in the shops, we're buying for the party season and know what we need. What could possibly go wrong? Lots, as it happens.

These are the lessons we still haven't learnt about fashion:

1. Do not copy the magazine fashion assistant

Nuff said.

2. Respect your heel height limit

1.2cm is the difference between "Ok, fine" and "I can't walk". They felt fine in the shop. Seriously?

3. You can be too rich

If you're dressed in Gucci or Louis Vuitton daily people will start wondering which cabinet minister you've helped to reshuffle.

4. You can be too thin

And you can have too much black.or navy, white and grey.

5. Itchy doesn't go away

Itchy builds steadily over the course of the day and then you have to tear it off in the loos and spend the rest of the afternoon in your summer jacket and undies.

6. Know where you are on the effort spectrum

If you are a minimal effort dresser (lazy and poor at styling) do not get fiddly effort clothes. The 12-buckle ankle boots (seriously?), the dress you have to wear with the slip and the special bra and the belt.

7. If at first you try and don't succeed, give up

Take denim skirts. They should be really you. Only (six denim skirts later) you're still not getting past the bedroom door, because you don't look like Blondie, you look like off-duty Sister Mary Agnes circa 1976. Same goes for really great fitting black trousers.

8. Don't listen to the voices

The assistant: "I love this on you." The woman in the next door changing cubicle: "That's nice." So what if you look nice? You're not the director of the new Zeitz Mocaa gallery. You have nowhere to wear it.

9. It's a problem if you can't clean it

Yes, lovely, brooches all over it. Big pearls little pearls. Sequins galore - and they go backwards and forwards. Charming. But don't buy it - because you can't clean it.

10. Don't get two

Very occasionally get two. But you'll get bored of one soon enough. You are not buying a cushion. That Zara kimono covered in embroidery that you want in both patterns is really pretty, and cheap considering. But both are still unwearable. Buy a cushion instead.