'This is my formula.' 8 shopping hacks our fashion experts swear by.

How many times have you taken yourself shopping - on what should be a really fun outing - and left, no clothes in hand, feeling deflated?

Shopping can be stressful even at the best of times - with sizing varying from brand to brand (not to mention the limited sizing options in-store), harsh lighting in change rooms and an overwhelming amount to choose from.

Now that we have a new season to shop for, the co-hosts of Mamamia's fashion podcast What Are You Wearing?, Tamara Holland and Deni Todorovič, have shared their best shopping tips, so that next time you're after a certain dress or new pair of shoes, you find them.

No more changeroom meltdowns, here's what you need to know.

1. Think about longevity.

Shopping for staple pieces? Ignore everything that's on-trend.

When browsing in-store or online, you'll find most brands are following the trends - like right now, you'll see an influx of crochet and linen two-pieces for summer.

But will you get the most wear out of them? That's the question Deni says you need to ask yourself.

"If you're shopping for foundation pieces, figuring out whether or not you can wear said piece with say three to five things in your existing wardrobe, that's my formula," Deni, whose pronouns are they/them, said.

"If the answer is no, you likely won't get the mileage out of that piece that you deserve."

While this doesn't necessarily apply to occasion shopping - for example, if you need a dress for a wedding coming up - it can.

Tossing up between a bright colour or timeless black? Maybe consider the black, because you know you'll probably wear it again.


2. Take these items into the change room.

Like you would prepare your handbag with things you might need throughout the day - your wallet, lipstick, etc - prepare before you go shopping too.

Tamara recommends you take with you a belt, slip-on shoes, a scarf and a basic top.

"A belt [because] it's going to help you visualise that garment better," Tamara said.

"It might not apply to a t-shirt but if you've got a dress, a suit, blazer or jacket, [use one to] see what it looks like cinched in."


"There's nothing worse than having to unlace your shoes and take your socks off every time you jump into a store," she added. 

"So wear shoes you can easily slide on and off."

Also consider a scarf - because although it's more of a curtesy to the store, it will prevent any makeup from getting on the clothes you're trying on.

And pack or wear your favourite basic tee or tank, Tamara says, because if you're shopping for a skirt or pants, you can see how they will really integrate with your style. As she explained, standing there in a bra and jeans may not give you the best read on how those jeans look IRL.


3. Know your shopping personality. 

"I'm a firm believer that everyone has a shopping personality, so get to know yours," Deni said.

Are you someone who needs moral support when trying on clothes? Then take the person you trust with you (but make sure they can be honest about what you're trying on).

Or you may you prefer flying solo (Tamara and Deni are both in this camp), so go at it alone and get the most out of the experience, Deni says.

4. Prepare for sales.

Online sales, while exciting, can be stressful. Very stressful.

Tamara has two tips for how to attack them, especially when looking for a designer piece at a cut price.

Her first tip: "Know what you want before the sale goes live," she said.

"Obviously not all the styles you want are going to be on sale but if you have an idea, you can snap it up first."

Also sign up to wish lists.

"A lot of these luxury websites, [for example, Net-a-Porter, Matches Fashion and Farfetch], have these wish lists that inform you once you sign up when these items are going on sale," Tamara shared.

"It just gives you a little more insight."

5. Consider this one question.

In true Marie Kondo fashion, Deni says you should always consider this one question, especially when purchasing an investment: "Does this piece spark joy?" 


"Sometimes you need to throw away the rule book," they said. "If it [sparks joy], then you're onto a winner."

Listen to the full What Are You Wearing? podcast here with more of Tamara and Deni's shopping tips. Post continues below.

6. Ignore the size.

We all know that finding a piece of clothing in your size can vary from store to store, and it's one of the hardest parts about shopping.

Deni's hack? "Ignore the size and choose what fits right," they said.

"[fashion influencer] Elle Ferguson said whenever she shops denim, she literally couldn't care less what the size is and will go into the change room with anything from a size 10-16."

Deni notes that finding your size can be a difficult thing, especially in Australian retail stores, but "with things like denim [and] dresses, wear what feels right."

7. Be open-minded.

"Don't be limited by where you shop - I've found pieces in the most surprising locations," Tamara said.

The co-host, who is also Mamamia's Head of Lifestyle, explained that at 33, she'll happily browse in stores marketed to younger people like Supre and Glassons, because if she finds an item she loves, she's taking it home.

The same applies for gendered clothing.

"You shouldn't feel limited shopping for your gender in store," she said.

"You never know what you find when you just look a bit broader."


8. Know your style.

And lastly, remember what clothes work for you before you go browsing.

Deni suggests starting with some keywords "that best describe who you are," and then consider, "what does that look like on an aesthetic level?"

You might even want to create some mood boards, figuring out your colour palette and what silhouettes work for you too, because "when you have that set in stone it's really easy to know you [love something]".

Do you have any shopping hacks to add? Tell us in the comments!

Feature image: Instagram/@_tamaradavis_/Mamamia.

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