8 Shopping Questions To Ask Yourself BEFORE You Buy


It’s easy to get seduced by the trendy print you saw your favorite celeb wearing in People StyleWatch or the designer name dress that’s on a flash sale site for 80% off. If you’re looking to save some extra cash or curb your online impulse buys, it helps to run through a short list of shopping questions to qualify your purchase before you swipe your credit card. Keep these 8 shopping questions in mind the next time you’re tempted to buy and see what actually passes the test!

Question #1: Is This Item on My “Need List”?

Every month, keep a list of the absolutely necessary things that you and your family legitimately need to purchase—a new winter coat because the one you’ve had for 10 years no longer keeps you warm and doesn’t fit you the same, new socks for your little dude because his are too small, new rain boots because you moved to Seattle and well, you’ve never owned a pair. When your eyes go starry eyed over something pretty and on super-duper-sale, pull out your Need List and keep your wallet in check. Otherwise, we’ll find some sort of reason to rationalize the impulse buy!

Question #2: Do I Own Something Like This Already?

When I really love something—suede ankle booties, grey sweaters, skinny dark rinse denim, black blazers, fresh graphic tees—if I see one of these while window shopping or online browsing, a crazy urge to buy consumes me. And if they’re on sale, good luck trying to pry my hands off these precious items! But now, when this crazy feeling comes over me, I ask myself, “Do I have this already?” Just like that, my reasonable self regains control.

Question #3: Where Would I Wear/Use/Need This?

This question may sound silly, but you’d be surprised how relevant it can be during Black Friday Doorbuster Sales, Sample Sales, Flash Sales. We all come across insane discounts for items that we would never consider otherwise but the fact that they are 80% off makes us think that we are obligated to take advantage of this incredible deal. Super Fancy Evening Gowns, Outdoor Apparel, Swimsuits, and more…before you make a grab for these final sales, think long and hard when you would ever use this item.

Question #4: What Will I Get Rid Of?

An excellent shopping savior for those larger item purchases including coats, sweaters, and boots. If you’re like us, you may already be battling with storage space issues in your home and adding another bulky item (because it was 85% off and you saw it on one of your favorite blogs) will probably make your partner crazy. Just the thought of my overstuffed closet is enough for me to put down that burgundy wool coat or olive suede over the knee boots and walk slowly away. But if I am willing to make the purchase, I usually end up donating or selling something to make room for this new item. Brick in, brick out.

Question #5: Does This Really Fit Me?

Ahh, the ambitious size purchase. I’m guilty of doing this too many times, because I’m always determined I’ll one day get back to my high school weight (HA) and also because the amazing sale item isn’t available in my real size and I NEED to have it. I’ve finally stopped wasting my money buying too small clothes by trying on each item and looking at how it fits on me in the fitting room before I buy. If it fits perfectly and I feel awesome in it, I buy it. If it pinches or tugs or is too short, I put it back on the rack.

Question #6: Can I Wear This With 5 or More Items in my Closet?

Trends flash and fade. Before cashing in on that gorgeous but very specific looking clothing item, ask yourself the hard question: does this item have the style legs to last next season? next year? If this item can be styled with more than a handful of items in your closet and isn’t in the crazy color or silhouette of the season, then it’s worth the purchase.

Question #7: Can I Wear It for Day and Night?

Day to Dinner is a golden rule of shopping for me. For the majority of items I buy, each has to be able to look cool during daytime duties/work and look chic for dinners, date nights, and drinks with friends. If you can style your item down (for day) and up (for night), add it to the cart!

Question #8: What Does My Best Friend Think?

When in doubt, use your shopping lifeline. Snap a pic of the item (preferably with you trying it on in the fitting room) and text it to your most stylish BFF to get her vote. Your bestie probably knows your closet and style as much as you do…including your style strengths and weaknesses. She’ll be your voice of reason and either cheer on your choice or suggest a better option. That’s what best friends are for. 🙂

Photo: Getty

This post was sponsored by Riders