You walk into a store for one of two reasons: 1) The name of the store is something you like/recognize, or 2) You like what you see. I have walked into countless stores that have displays that are inconsistent with their merchandise available. It's a bit of false advertising if you ask me. That's why I like to stick to retailers that give you exactly what you see.
Take this display (above) at H&M, for example. Even seen from outside the store, front and center are three mannequins tastefully wearing their featured Spring pieces. If these looks don't make you want to shop at H&M, then nothing will. They're also smart that they display this line of Spring fashion and then directly behind the display is the merchandise available for sale all on one or two racks. There's no guessing game. You like the blouse with the shorts, they're right there... on the same rack. There is a method to retailers madness.
Not all retailers are as dialed in as H&M, but most of them do have sales associates that can help you find the displayed merchandise you're looking for. Actually, that's usually why a sales associate is working in retail. They enjoy helping customers put looks together. You won't get the personal attention or knowledge of a Personal Shopper, but they will have knowledge of what's in stock and where it's located.
Despite the feeling of defeat when you walk out of a store empty handed, the retailer did not intend that. I always encourage Clients to look up. Look at the mannequins, look at the merchandise hanging on the walls, look at one section at a time. The front of the store is going to have the newest featured items. If there are multiple rooms to the store, each room usually has a fashion theme. One room will feature contemporary clothing, one room will have casual and the sale or clearance items are usually in the back.
Focus on a room or rack that speaks to you. When I walk into H&M, I scroll through the front, but usually walk pretty quickly to the back room to their DIVIDED collection. I would describe it as their "juniors" department, but what it really is, is their more trendy pieces for a fraction of the price of all the featured pieces in the front. Just a little secret to my followers. You're welcome.
Don't fight the mannequins in stores. They're just trying to tell you what is new and available inside. If they speak to you (figuratively I mean. If they're speaking to you literally, then you're reading the wrong blog), check out the racks around the display. You may just find an entire adorable outfit all on one rack! That's shopping success. If you feel overwhelmed just thinking about it, call me and I'm happy to help you through the shopping madness.