How To Shop Fast Fashion

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Lately I’ve shifted my focus from shopping at fast fashion stores to more quality retailers. Throughout my undergrad, I did almost all my shopping at fast fashion stores and most have not survived into my working years. I still have some items that have stood the test of time and still look amazing! However, most of the time, the items start to look cheap and dated. I’m trying to be more conscious about quality and investing in timeless pieces.

When I started working, I found it difficult to find clothes that suited my new working lifestyle. Although I had a generous closet, it just wasn’t working for me! So I did some research and came across an article about wardrobes. It stated that 80% of your wardrobe should reflect what you mainly wear on a day-to-day basis and the remaining can be whatever you’d like. Additionally, it should comprise of 70% classic pieces and 30% fashion. In my life, that meant comprising my wardrobe mainly of clothes that I can comfortably wear to work and out for a drink with friends afterwards.

Favourite Fast Fashion Stores

  • ASOS
  • Dynamite
  • H&M
  • Payless Shoes
  • Tobi
  • Zara

Although I’ve been starting to invest in more quality pieces, I still enjoy fast fashion stores. Not everything is worth the splurge and sometimes it’s fun to keep up to date without breaking the bank. I love keeping up with trends and finding out what the new fashions are, but I have to be ruthless in choosing items that I can continue to wear after the seasons end. After shopping at fast fashion retailers throughout my undergrad, I noticed a pattern among retailers in regards to longevity, quality and wearability. Because of this, I only buy certain items at fast fashion retailers. I don’t strictly follow these rules, but it provides a guideline. In some cases, I may find a great blazer at a fast fashion store, but the item would have to meet certain criteria to be considered a quality timeless item.


  • Accessories (Hats & Scarves)
  • Blouses
  • Dresses
  • Rompers
  • Vacation Clothes


  • Blazers
  • Coats/Jackets
  • Jeans
  • Purses
  • Shoes
  • Sweaters

Here are some tips to how to shop fast fashion!

1. Tone Down The Details

This is my number one rule! If I could wear something that looks like it came off the runway in my everyday life, I would. But the reality is, I most likely will never wear it again. As much as I love to stay on trend, I also want to be able to wear the item multiple times in future seasons as well. My advice is to play down the dramatic details of the item.


2. Comfortable Silhouettes

As cute as the romper with 20 cutouts is, if trying to put it on feels like trying to solve a riddle, it’s too complicated. Stick to wearable silhouettes that you’ll feel comfortable and confidant wearing. If you find yourself constantly fidgeting with parts of the outfit to keep it in place, it’s not convenient! Fashion should be effortless!


3. Wearable Prints & Colours

Some patterns may look beautiful and eye-catching, but I have to be realistic and ask myself if I would feel comfortable wearing that print/colour over and over again. It helps to think about your current wardrobe to see if the item will match other pieces in your closet. When in doubt, play it safe with your usual go-to colours.


4. Expensive Looking Materials

It’s important to choose fabrics that look and feel luxurious. If the fabric is likely to look old after a few washes, will significantly shrink or wrinkles easily, it’s too high maintenance. I usually lean toward chiffon like materials and avoid lace, crochet and cotton fabrics from fast fashion stores.


5. If You LOVE It, Get It!

Tips and advice aside, there are no rules in fashion. If you absolutely love the item and it’s something you feel confident in, grab it!

I hope you find these tips helpful! I’d love to hear about what you look for when shopping at fast fashion retail stores in the comments below!


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