How to stop impulse shopping?

I find myself having frequent shopping urges and I know I’m not the only one. Here are some shopping guidelines I try to follow to stop impulse shopping (enphasys on the “try”).



These shopping urges we get almost never mean that you are running low on clothes or make up. They’re almost always associated, in my case at least, with boredom or with some kind of anxiety. It’s those typical bad days when you feel like you need a shopping-therapy session. Since I’ve become aware that I turn to shopping for all the wrong reasons, I try to avoid it when I’m feeling down because most of the times I will either return, exchange what I bought or I will keep it but never wear it. On some occasions I’ve even associated what I bought with that bad mood I was in that day and the clothes actually turn me off.

I pay a lot of attention to the way I shop and the way my friends shop and I definitely feel that our generation has an unhealthy relationship with shopping. I like to think about these issues because it can help other people like me become aware that they too are making the same shopping mistakes and because I feel that it’s not easy to reconcile the love of fashion with healthy consumption habits, for us and for the planet.

I have developed some shopping guidelines I try to follow every single time I shop to avoid impulse purchases that I end up regretting, these rules have helped me become a more successful shopper with cuter clothes.

Don’t shop “under the influence” of a bad mood

If you’re having a bad day or if you’re in a bad mood just go home, take a bath, light up some candles, drink a glass of wine and maybe do a mask. Shopping is fun but it doesn’t cure everything, don’t ruin a good shopping session with your mood. You’ve probably experienced this, the things you buy on those days Murphy’s law is in action almost always get returned so why loose you time. If you’re buying clothes you should feel inspired and confident, everything will look better.

Take your time

I will say this a lot of times: shopping is fun so why should you hurry a fun experience? If you don’t have time, if you’re in a hurry you will almost probably buy things you don’t like or need. I know first hand how shopping in a hurry almost never works, this happens a lot of times specially before a special dinner or event, I feel like I need something new to wear so I rush to  a Zara near me, I sprint through the racks of clothes, snatch some dress or top and walk away. I arrive home with scarce time and when I get dressed with my brand new purchase I immediately realize I actually don’t like it and that it’s not what I want to wear. Am I crazy or has this also happened to you? Lesson learned: take you time.

Exploring comes before shopping

This is the main reason I like to shop alone. I like to look at the entire store first and then I choose what I want. If I’m looking for something specifically I tend to look at different stores first and then I return to the one’s with the cutest pair of jeans of them all. This prevents me from buying a leather jacket and then walking in a different store and finding the coolest leather jacket ever at half the price. You might say: “just go and return it”, but returning something takes time and patience that I like to reserve for other activities so If I can get it right the first time by exploring before buying, why not do it.

Be critical of everything you buy

Don’t leave your head home when you’re buying something, you need to be rational. Ask yourself the typical questions: do you really need it? Does it have a good price/quality relation? Now, being rational doesn’t mean you should take away pleasure from the equation. The pleasure that particular clothing item will give you is probably one of the most important criteria, so you should also ask yourself: does it give you pleasure? Does it have a good price/pleasure relation?


Be more environmentally conscious

S-U-S-T-A-I-N-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y folks!! That’s the most important word/verb/adjective/strategy/goal in the fashion business right now. Every brand has developed some strategy to become more and more sustainable and so should you. Everybody watched the documentary “Before The Flood” by now so you know that you can make all the changes you want in the world (sustainable forms of energy, recycling etc) but those will all be in vain if we don’t start to slow down our consumption. Ultimately I only have  two legs, two arms, two feet and 365 days of the years to wear these all of the clothes I own so it’s outrageous to keep buying and buying.

What are your tips? Can you relate to these shopping guidelines? Share them in the comments.



  1. Great post and tips. I’m becoming more and more aware of what I buy and feel like the impulse buys have decreased. But one of my personal tips, and since I shop a lot online, is to leave the clothes in the cart for a day or two. If after that I still want to buy them, I do. If I take a second look and, after all, they’re not that great, I discard them. Xx


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