1.Do a wardrobe inventory
Before you go anywhere, work out what you need. The most important thing to consider when it comes to your wardrobe is your lifestyle. What do you do for work? What do you do for fun? What base clothing items will you need to look and feel your best each and every day? Whatever your day-to-day style might be, the more versatile your core wardrobe pieces are — the more interchangeable they are — the better. So when it comes to shirts, pants and jackets, aim for neutral colours like black, navy, grey and tan, as these will be the most versatile.
2.Make a list (and follow it!)
If you’ve taken our above advice and inventoried your wardrobe, this next part will be easy. Never head to the store or shopping complex with a vague “get some new winter clothes” idea in your head. Instead, head to the store or shopping complex with a list of exactly what you need in your pocket — one that reads something like “3 pairs of jeans, 1 waterproof winter jacket, 1 dressy winter jacket, 2 jumpers in neutral colours” and so on. The beauty of having already inventoried your wardrobe will mean that you’ll know exactly where to fill in the gaps. Need four pairs of jeans to make your week work? Already have two? Two pairs of jeans go on the list. Simple!
Now (and this is very important), there’s no use having this list if you don’t stick to it. Don’t get distracted by pushy sales people, sudden bursts of colourful inspiration or by bargains for stuff that isn’t on the list. Stick to your list, get in, get out and you’ll be free to enjoy the rest of your day. If you want to further streamline things, also set yourself a budget and a time limit. Challenge yourself. Can you get everything on your list in less than an hour without blowing your budget? Game on!
3.Wear appropriate clothing
One of the easiest things you can do to speed up your shopping experience is to wear the right clothes. Wear things that are quick and easy to slip in and out of multiple times. Generally this means the less buttons, zips, buckles, belts and laces you have to contend with each time you’re undressing to try on something new, the faster you’ll go. However, you should make sure that you’re wearing the right shoes. For the sake of speediness, it might seem like a good idea to wear thongs or slip-ons so you don’t have to wrangle with socks and shoes each time you change your pants, but if these aren’t the style of shoe you’re planning to wear with the pants you’re trying on, you’ll miss crucial information like appropriate pant length and fit. Not to mention you won’t have any idea how, say, your new chinos are going to look with your dress shoes until you get home. Try to speed up the time you spend changing where you can, but always make sure the shoes you’re wearing are the ones you plan on wearing with your new pants.
4.Take a friend
If you want some company while you’re shopping, your first instinct might be to take your wife, girlfriend, or a female friend, but hang on just a minute. A woman might seem like a great shopping companion, given that we value their opinion when it comes to how we look. They’re also probably more familiar with stores and brands than you are. But, if time is of the essence, are they the best choice? Your best option here is to find another bloke who needs to go clothes shopping as well. You’ll both want to get in and get out as fast as possible, you’ll have each other there for moral support throughout the whole ordeal, and afterwards you can go grab a beer, making clothes shopping just something that you did before you went out and enjoyed the rest of your day. Boom.