Sometimes in life, we’re all caught off guard.
For example: It’s 3pm on a Thursday and your boss e-mails you to remind you of the client drinks you forgot. Or you simply have a meeting that totally slipped your mind. Or your significant other texts you to remind you that you’re having a bite with her parents after work — right after work.
While your read these messages, you might realise that the clothes you have on are going to remind your significant other’s father of how much you tend to forget.
In these situations there is no need for alarm. Emergency shopping is a combat sport for men, yes, but if you keep a few things in mind, you can get into a store, out of a store, and back to life at a normal speed in under an hour.
Business Insider sent our own Senior Editor Chris C. Anderson out on an emergency shopping mission last Thursday, and below are the lessons we learned from the high pressure, stressful experience we hope to save you.
- Decide what it will take you to look like an upstanding human being before you go anywhere: Take a second to gauge your current outfit. You’re going to want to work from whatever you have on first. If you have a button up and decent shoes on, all you need are some pants. This determines where you shop and what you need.
- Business casual works basically everywhere: Jacket, slacks, and a pair of loafers and you can go just about anywhere in life. You might even get away with a solid coloured tee under a jacket in some places, but be sure about that first.
- Take a backpack/bag: If you have to go back to the office, this will hide the fact that you had to do an emergency run to the store. No one wants their spot blown up by a curious co-worker with a loud voice and a real shopping addiction. Embarrassing.
- Pee: There is nothing worse than going to the store on full bladder, especially if you have to try things on. Before you leave wherever you are, make a pit stop.
- Do one-stop shops: You do not have time to go to your favourite shirt spot, or your favourite shoe spot. This is an extreme situation, and that means you’ll have to forego your small retailers for a one-stop shop department store. Yes, it’s full of teenagers. Yes, the music sucks. But sorry, it’s time to be a man.
Solids and classics, solids and classics, solids and classics: At this point, your personal flare for design and fashion needs to fall by the wayside. Is your favourite colour electric blue? So sorry, but it’s time for navy, black, brown and tan. They will go with whatever you have on (if you can work with that) and you can use these basics again in the future, so the trip won’t be a total loss.
YouTubeYou cannot get away with this.
- Shoes can be everything: A pair of dress shoes can go a long way in changing an outfit, and please for your own sake make sure that your shoes and belt match. This is a fashion indiscretion that will immediately give your ineptitude away to any casual observer.
- Go overboard in the fitting room: If you see something that works, grab it in a bunch of sizes. You can never, under any circumstances, make two trips to the fitting room.
- Heck, maybe buy two of something: If you don’t have time to do the fitting room, buy two of something and return one later.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help: If you really don’t know what you’re doing, don’t be afraid to ask someone that works at the store for the lay of the land, or for an extra size while you’re in the dressing room. This is harder for men than even they care to admit.
There you have it — some tips to ensure that you never embarrass yourself at Happy Hour with the your client’s sales team again.
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