The world is a huge marketplace of wonderful things for us to purchase. Also some not so good things, but let’s stick to the positive for the purposes of this article. If you find yourself unable to find things you like. If you find yourself spending lots of time and coming home with things you aren’t passionate about or nothing at all, you are probably guilty of overthinking.
Shopping for clothes is one of those areas that sets overthinkers into overdrive. Let me explain. Overthinking can take many forms, such as endlessly deliberating when making a decision (and then questioning the decision). Making up stories that have no basis in reality. Imagining things that will never happen, and more…
Now I’m not a psychologist, but I know a thing or two about overthinking as it relates to shopping for clothes. Here’s an example. A few years ago I had a client that wanted to get back into the dating scene. We found amazing items for her and she was feeling good in the dressing room. There was one particular skirt that she had tried on and really liked, but didn’t pick up to purchase. You’re not getting that skirt I asked? And I swear this was her answer.
She said Anne, that is a dating skirt. And what happens when you start dating is that men get lazy quick. They start not brushing their teeth and farting and not going on dates anymore. And so, that skirt would just sit in the closet unworn, so no I’m not getting it. Wow! I said to her, it’s just a skirt, you got that whole story out of a little skirt?
When it comes to shopping, you have to evaluate what is in front of you and just drop the story. Drop the what if… Drop any other thoughts and ask yourself these three questions. 1. Do I love it? 2. Does it fit and flatter me? 3. Does it work for my life now? If you can answer yes to those 3 questions you can get it. If not, leave it at the store and move on to the next store.
Overthinking will make shopping a nightmare. There are too many choices online and in the stores to be overthinking and making up stories about each purchase. If you find yourself prone to letting what if’s and shoulds run the show and not being confident or happy about your purchases, here’s another way to think about it.
Let’s say you need to go shopping for a few pieces to refresh your wardrobe. Before you even set foot in the stores, get your mind straight. You will not be overwhelmed, you will find pieces that work. You will enjoy yourself and not pressure yourself. Breathe. In other words, your attitude has to be right before you get there.
The trick is to bypass that part of your brain that wants to go into overdrive beforeit can talk you out of trying something on.
When I’m shopping for clients by myself, I go about the store picking and choosing a bunch of things I like for them and I do it quickly. I do not say, I wonder if they will like this or that. The truth is I don’t know if any of it will work for sure, but I don’t let that paralyze me. I just make selections based on what I’m attracted to and put it all on hold for them to try the next day.
If you’ve managed to bring a bunch of things into the dressing room, and by a bunch, I mean at least 5 and closer to 10, then you have managed to get through the first obstacle. Congratulations!
The only way you’re going to know if you like something is to try it on. Trying it on will reveal the truth. It’s either a yes or a no. And when you try it on you should know almost instantly whether you like it or not. If you have to take more than 6 seconds to decide, it’s a no.
Here is where it gets a little tricky, you might need a size up or down to get a better fit, so if it doesn’t fit well, try another size. Alternatively, ask yourself if it can be altered to fit better if so, consider getting it and making it fit YOUR body. Some people can try things and it all fits, other people have to get alterations, it’s just a fact.
Here’s the bottom line. You can learn to stop overthinking. It’s a matter of training yourself to catch yourself when you start. Stop, catch yourself and ask if what you’re thinking is true and relevant or is it just a distraction from what’s in front of you.
And last but not least, make sure you have something to wear your pieces with when you buy them. If not, either commit to finding something then or don’t buy it. The last thing you need is to have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. Here’s to better shopping! Good Luck.