This isn’t a post that I thought I would ever write but 2020 hasn’t exactly shaped up to be the year I thought, so here we are! As the high street and clothes shops prepare to open, I for one can’t wait but one thing is sure there will be a new normal – at least for a while.

Leisurely chatting having a coffee with a friend whilst out shopping for the day is something that we can but dream of. Instead, we will be faced with the prospect of queuing as shops are limiting the number of customers at any one time, one-way systems, sanitiser stations, the loss of changing rooms and of course maintaining a strict 2m distance.

We’ve already seen an increased limit of £45 for contactless payments in some shops (which I think is a good thing anyway), and this is likely to be the case for clothing retailers too. And then there is the question of returns; queues are likely to be much longer than we’ve ever experienced, which can all make for a very painful experience, particularly if you don’t like shopping anyway.

On the plus side, this may encourage people to buy less but better quality items, think about what you really need or what pieces would be an investment?

Sustainability could be a positive by-product of the pandemic. That said, we are likely to see huge sales as retailers try to offload their disastrous spring/summer season – now that’s a great reason to go shopping whilst being savvy. And so you have a choice; do you adopt the smash and grab approach in your local budget store: a pair of shorts for a fiver, a swimsuit reduced by 80% and those faux-leather sandals that you’ll ‘bed in’ on a buy one pair, get one free offer.

Or do you use this opportunity to invest in better quality items that will last for years to come, in your best colours and the most flattering fit? I will always point you to the latter approach. Use this opportunity to look at retailers that have always been slightly out of your reach, because the discounts on offer may well mean that you can afford to treat yourself now.

Before you part with your hard-earned money, check that the intended purchase will go with at least three other things in your wardrobe. You that tick list that I have mentioned many times. If you have to buy extra things to make the item work or to make an outfit, chances are it isn’t a bargain. Step Away!

It’s going to be a lot more difficult to leisurely mooch around the aisles, and you may not be able to use the changing room facilities. So, do a little bit of homework before you set off. Take note of the style of clothes already in your wardrobe that you love and feel good in. So for example, if you are a curvy hourglass, this could be a fluid wrap dress in stretchy fabric, a deep v-neck top or soft jackets with waist definition. Make a note or take photos on your mobile phone to remind you to shop for similar styles. They’re bound to be winners.

Another important point to consider is colour. It may seem obvious but before you make an unnecessary purchase, check in the mirror that it looks good on you. Hold the garment under your chin and have a look at what it does to your face. Your complexion should look clear and vibrant.

And if you really don’t know where to begin, help is at hand. I can help you to build a lifestyle and investment wardrobe that provides you with endless outfit opportunities. Email or visit my website for more information

Of course, it is unlikely that you will be able to test make-up at the cosmetics counter or indeed experience a makeover for the foreseeable future. But don’t leave your purchases to chance. I can advise you on colour and can help you to select the best shades of make-up & products to complement your look.

Wishing everyone safe and happy shopping trips (as we try to get back to a little bit of normality)

Natasha x