How to REALLY Go Shopping on Pinterest

I dunno about you but when I think of Sundays I think about cosying up in PJs with comfort food, Netflix and my favourite Pinterest boards. Once upon a time, my days on Pinterest would be spent designing my dream house, planning a wedding to rival a Kardashian’s or giving myself major food envy.

Recently however, I’ve been thinking about how Pinterest can be some much more than that. Now I use Pinterest not only as my vision board but as my stylist and personal shopper. Bringing me pins of shoppable items from my favourite affordable stores like ASOS and Topshop, complete with styling suggestions from celebrities, my favourite bloggers and even my best friends. Here’s how to unlock the power of Pinterest:

Okay, so how many times have you ventured onto your favourite online clothing store only to fill the basket, realise you’re about £300 over budget and empty it again *cough*ASOS*cough*. And how painful does it feel to let those pieces go knowing that, as much as you feel like you can’t live without them now, come payday, you’ll have forgotten all about those gorgeous studded flats for just £28?

Well the good news is you don’t have to forget. Instead you can pin them to your ‘Payday’ Pinterest board to remind you that they’re firmly on your want list. Seen a dress that would be perfect for that summer wedding you’re going to but not ready to purchase yet? Save it to your board and, fingers crossed, when the time comes it’ll still be in stock and you can click right through and buy it. No searching necessary.

Get the ‘Pin It’ Button
The trick to two second pinning is to simply add this Pinterest ‘pin it’ button to your browser. It free, quick and easy and when you’ve installed this once, images on most websites you visit afterwards become pinnable. This means you can add them to your Pinterest board in two clicks without ever having to leave the website. It doesn’t even have to be an online store. Maybe you saw an outfit you like on a magazine site or a cute cat that made your day on Twitter. Install the pin it button on your browser and you can save the kitty to your ‘All Things Adorable‘ board in two clicks, ready to cheer you up on a down day. Even if you don’t want to install the button for whatever reason, most online stores nowadays have a pin it icon on all product pages that you can use to pin items in the same way.

If you’re one of my American readers then you’re in extra luck – did you know that in the US there are ‘buyable pins’ that let you buy directly from Pinterest? If a pin has a blue price icon on it that means that it’s a buyable pin and you can purchase the product right there and then without having to leave your Pinterest page – cool huh?

Share Boards with Loves Ones
For those times when you need styling suggestions, who better to help out than the people who know you best? How many times have you seen something in a shop and thought how much your best friend would love it? Remember all those times your mum has spotted a ‘top you’d just love’ while out shopping for herself or your sister has WhatsApped you a photo of a dress she knows you’d adore? Encourage them to get on Pinterest (if they’re not already) so you can all share boards and pins with one another. Next time each of you are shopping online, if you see something another would like – share it! Many heads are better than one and online shopping is sooo much easier when you have a head start of things to look through.

 Even if things sell out, having a shared board of ideas like ‘Looks for Jade to Wear to Sophie’s Wedding’ will give you an idea of what colour and styles are in the shops at the moment and perhaps help you to consider a style you otherwise wouldn’t have. Being able to build an outfit visually also makes online shopping so much easier to tackle. When you don’t have to just imagine what your potential graduation gown will look like with that fishtail braid you’ve been meaning to try, but can instead see them right next to one another.

Shared boards also come in very handy around birthday and Christmas time too. Not only can you keep your loved ones up do date on your style (because, bless her, your mum just can’t seem to remember that that sickly-sweet perfume your once obsessed over was just a high school phase… ) but you can also subtly hint at exactly the items you’d like – size, colour and everything. Perfect for that aunt who refuses to just give gift cards or cash at Christmas and instead insists of guessing your style despite only seeing you once a year (bless her, it’s the thought that counts!). If your family refuse to get on Pinterest, don’t be afraid to screen grab your boards and share them on Facebook or, next time they’re round yours, subtly show them all the super shoes you just happened to stumble across online. Works a treat!

Use Celebrities & Bloggers as Stylists
Let’s not forget the stylists. Celebrities, bloggers, the characters of PLL (I would kill for Hanna’s shoe collection) these people have been styled so let’s use them and recreate their looks. You get a professional personal stylist without the £500-a-day price tag – yes please! I would start with your favourite high street bloggers (well hey there, wink wink) because their wardrobes will be easiest to emulate as they are affordable. Personally, I’ve started pinning all of the items from my recent blog outfits onto my ‘Shop My Blog Outfits‘ board. If something isn’t in stock any more, I’ll find and pin the most similar dupe I can so that you can still recreate the look for yourself. I encourage you to ask all of your favourite fashion bloggers to do the same – it’s what we’re here for! To give you inspiration and help you to recreate the looks we share. If you see an outfit or even just a skirt or bracelet you want pick up yourself, leave a comment and ask them to pin it to one of their boards so you can repin it and remember it come pay day. I doubt they’ll mind, they should be flattered!

For high-end fashion bloggers and celebrity wardrobes that might be out of our budget, we can still get styling suggestions to give us ideas for outfits and then recreate them using affordable pieces. I will often pin a look that’s styled using designer items and then go online and find and pin similar pieces from my favourite high street stores. That way I can go back and buy an affordable version of the designer outfit later on – woop woop!

Follow Shops’ Boards
When talking about shopping on Pinterest, it goes without saying that you should follow your favourite shops on Pinterest too. Most of them will have a ‘New In’ board featuring all of their newest pieces ready to pin straight to your outfit boards. They’ll often also pin images of bloggers and celebrities wearing their stuff so you’ll have multiple styling suggestions all in one place without the searching.

As well as using Pinterest for shopping suggestions, I also like to have boards made entirely of outfits featuring pieces which I already have in my wardobe e.g. a LBD paired with a leather jacket and shoe boots or a long trench coat with boyfriend jeans and a cross body bag. It reminds me of all of the different outfit combinations already sitting in my wardrobe that I might have overlooked. It’s really handy when I need to get changed in a hurry on Friday night but have no idea what to wear.

A Little Wishful Pinning Helps Too 
Don’t get me wrong. My Lust List board is still adorned with Louboutin boots and Birkin bags. I still have a Bucket List board and yes, my future home will have an infinity pool overlooking the ocean and a penthouse view of New York City at the same time. Heck, I’ve even created artistic colour blend boards before that blend from pink to white to lilac etc. (a favourite with my social media clients, this one’s a work in progress) just because they’re beautiful to look at. I just think that too much aspirational pinning can lead to life envy when there are actually millions of affordable, accessible pins that we shop from – yay!!!

Smart pinning isn’t just about shopping either. Pinterest doesn’t have to just be a graveyard of ideas long forgotten. I actually use it to organise my life and help me with everything from how to perfect winged eyeliner to how long to cook my poached eggs… but that’s a whole separate post so I will get onto that next time. In the meantime, happy pinning! Do you have any tips for perfecting your pinning strategy? If so, please do share in the comments section below!

FYI all of my blog images should be pinnable if you just hover over the with your mouse – even if you haven’t installed the ‘Pin It’ button! Whether it’s an outfit, a recipe or a ‘How to’ guide on here, just hover over any image and click on the ‘P’ that appears in the top left corner to pin the image to one of your boards! If it doesn’t work please do let me know!!

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x Jade Mercedes Fraser x