Updated: Jul 28
With lockdown restrictions easing at different stages across the UK we are slowly starting to see businesses open up again including non-essential shops such as clothes stores. Things are starting to return to 'almost' normal. Apart from the hairdressers the thing I was most excited about was the clothes shops! I had really missed that whole shopping experience of seeing what the shops had to offer.
I know there are so many mixed feelings about the easing of lockdown. Some of us are chomping at the bit to get back to the shops (yes that's me) while others don't feel quite so confident to head out yet. Which ever camp you fall into it's fine and totally understandable either way but I thought I would share with you my experience of post lockdown clothes shopping and my tips to make it an easier experience. It's not like it used to be I'm not going to lie, it feels very different out there but once you've taken a while to adjust to the new procedures in place it's really not as bad as you think.
Expect That Things are Going to be a Little Different.
Shopping is not going to be the same carefree experience we had pre-lockdown. The shops and shopping centres main priority is to keep their customers and staff safe, this means that shopping is a little bit different. There are sanitising stations as you enter the shops and staff are wearing masks or visors. In some parts of the UK you are required to also wear a mask and as of 24th July in England wearing a mask becomes mandatory in shops . Rest assured that all this is to keep us all safe. It may seem all a bit surreal at first but it’s just going to take us a little while to get used to the new normal.
Allow Plenty of Time.
Social distancing measures mean that shops and shopping centres have to restrict the amount of people they can have in at any one time so some of the more popular stores you may have to queue for. Many shops also extended their returns periods during lockdown so the queues for the returns desk is going to be a little longer during this initial period. The good news is that it’s not so busy inside the shops so once you are in you can shop at your leisure.
Have a good look through your current wardrobe before you go and see what you already have. Shopping social distance style is going to take a bit longer than it used to so it’s a good idea to go with a list of what you actually need rather than coming back with impulse buys. Consider if you really need another black top or if your money would be better spent on a key item like a classic blazer that can be worn with multiple items and that will stand the test of time. Accessories can also be a great investment and will help revamp items you have had in your wardrobe for years.
Do your Research
Before you go have a look online and see which shops are open. Some stores are rolling out a phased return across the UK so your local one might not be open yet. Then have a browse online and screen shot or jot down the product numbers of things that you like. That way you know exactly what you are looking and the shop assistants can help you if you cant find it. On some websites you can even check if they have your size in your local store, that way you won’t have a wasted journey or be disappointed. Some independent boutiques are operating by appointment only so its worth contacting them before you go.
Know your Personal Style
With the changing rooms closed in most stores (although a lot of independent boutiques are able to offer changing facilities) trying on clothes and trying out new looks for fun just isn’t possible at the moment. If you know your style and you know what works for you then stick to that for now. Work out which colours are most flattering for your skin tone and which styles suit your body shape. Knowing this can be such a revelation and saves you so much money and time in the long run. It will help you avoid those queues for returns I mentioned earlier.
But most of all enjoy, I have loved being back in the shops again. Now that the initial mad rush seems to have calmed down overall for me it’s been nothing but a positive and most importantly safe experience.