The Pieces I Always (and Never) Wear for a Long Day of Shopping

Preparing for a big shopping trip (and when I say big, I mean big—think military-level planning and execution) might seem unnecessary to some, but trust me, if you want to see the best results, with maximum cost-efficiency and minimum mental breakdown, it's the only way to go. This is coming from someone who is very familiar with the inside of a high street changing room cubicle. Picking a budget, figuring out your wishlist (which has been cross-referenced with your existing wardrobe, of course) and mapping out your shopping route are the obvious first lines of defense, however, in my experience, deciding what to wear can be one of the most essentials elements of a successful mission. From arming yourself with a fit-in-everything tote bag to choosing a uniform of simple separates, with pay day on the way, I've come up with my 5 key dos and don'ts for choosing a shopping outfit. Scroll down to see my styling rules.

ALWAYS wear comfy, simple separates

There's nothing worse than shopping in an outfit that you have to wrestle off every time you try something on (hello makeup stains). To avoid this, always stick to simple separates that are easy to take off—loose shirts are a great option. Also, opt for pieces that a reasonably neutral as you'll be able to try them on with a broad range of items. Tophop's high-waisted jeans will work with most looks. 

NEVER wear dark underwear

An oldie but a goodie. Wearing white or nude-coloured underwear will make for an easier shopping experience as it will provide a neutral base for trying on a range of clothing. & Other Stories is great for delicate, triangle styles, while ASOS is a better option for bigger busts.

ALWAYS choose slip-on shoes

No one wants to spend 10 minutes in every store laboriously tying and untying lace-up shoes—I've learnt that lesson the hard way. Instead, I like to wear shoes that easily slip on and off, and mules are a personal favourite. They tend to look good with most things and are super comfortable (even the heeled varieties) because they avoid the dreaded heel rub.

NEVER wear hot, bulky layers

We've all been there: it's the depths of winter and you've power-walked down the high street in your favourite shearling coat and arrived in Topshop a sweaty mess. You then spend the next hour lugging round your coat like it's some sort of over-pampered pooch. Not so chic. It's much easier to stick to lighter layers (and a scarf if it's very cold) that you can easily slip off and stuff into a tote bag. Arket's bomber jackets were born for this purpose as they're both insulating and lightweight.

ALWAYS bring a sizable tote bag

No, it's not the coolest or most elegant thing in the world, but honestly I couldn't survive a shopping trip without my tote bag. From holding that much-needed bottle of water (and snacks, obvs) to storing all your shedded layers, this is an absolute must-have. Plus, it also means you don't have to get a separate plastic bag for every purchase—good for the environment and easier to carry. Win win.