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Why women should shop in heels

Want to avoid buyer's remorse? Force yourself to focus on balance.

By Sally Wadyka Aug 27, 2013 3:10AM
Like most women (and probably more men than are willing to admit it), my closet is filled with things I rarely -- if ever -- wear. Many of these unfortunate wardrobe choices were the result of bargain shopping. Confronted with prices too good to resist at sample sales or discount stores, I brought home items I shouldn’t have.But the more distressing unworn purchases are the pricy ones. Hiding in the back of the closet is the shoe of the season I splurged on (but couldn’t walk in) and the “it” bag that was too small for work, too big for a night out.

While I’ve gotten better over the years at buying only what I truly love and will truly wear, I’ve often wondered how I can completely eliminate buyer’s remorse from my shopping excursions. Finally, scientific researchers have come up with a solution.

The answer, according to a new study, is to wear high heels while you shop.

Researchers at Brigham Young University found that doing anything that increases your sense of balance leads you to make more balanced purchasing decisions. For example, instead of skimping on a low-quality, too-small TV or splurging on an oversized, over-priced one, the well-balanced shoppers chose something appropriately middle ground.

For the study, subjects were put in various situations that involved using balance while engaging in shopping-related decision making.  In one scenario, subjects were leaning back on chairs while they shopped online. In another, they played a Wii Fit game while answering questions about product choices. And in a third, subjects were required to stand on one foot while deciding which printer to purchase.

According to their results, the researchers theorized that anything that forces your mind to focus on balance can have a positive effect on your shopping choices. “If you’re someone who tends to overspend, or you’re kind of an extreme person, then maybe you ought to consider shopping in high heels,” suggests the study’s lead author Jeffrey Larson, a marketing professor at BYU.

I’m not sure I’ll necessarily make smarter decisions if I shop in high heels, but I may save money just by having to cut the buying spree short. I simply don’t have the stamina to walk that far in stilettos.  
Aug 27, 2013 12:02PM

Hey Buzz 101


Men should wear pin striped suits and fedoras but unfortunately it's no longer 1949. Instead us women get to look forward to stained t-shirts and saggy old jeans.


Wearing panty hose is the least of women's worries, some women forget to put pants on with their tunic for goodness sakes.


 Let's face it, class is long gone, but let's get back to the issue at hand; If I fail to make a solid decision based on my footwear, then I have much bigger problems than buying something I will never wear.

Aug 27, 2013 12:30PM
I can't believe someone wasted time and money doing this research when there are so many other IMPORTANT things in this world that need to be studied. The researchers must have all been men. I don't know about you other ladies out there, but the only decision I'm going to make while wearing heels is to wear flats the next time I'm tromping through a store due to the leg and foot pain I'm experiencing from wearing freakin' heels while shopping!
Aug 27, 2013 1:19PM
Stupid.  Shopping can be exhausting - lots of walking around.  No way am I doing to do that in heels.  If I buy something that I later find just isn't going to work, I take the darn thing back.
Aug 31, 2013 6:23PM
Aug 31, 2013 7:51PM
Wearing heels will help shop very well in ONE way....they will start hurting, and a woman will be glad to hurry out of the store!
Aug 31, 2013 6:34PM
Wouldn't it be cheaper to enjoy a few Singapore Slings with friends during cocktail hour, then try to focus on balance??   If it is just about balance... let's all shop on a skateboard!  I'm up for rollerblades...
Aug 31, 2013 9:04PM
Women, high heels, makeup, dresses etc. From my 70 year old perspective. Food shopping, kids shopping, sportswear shopping, ladies dress comfortably. Home depot shopping, sportswear shopping, automobile shopping, men dress comfortably. Men and women, if you are shopping for dress clothes wear dress clothes when shopping. The clothes will put you in the correct mood to try on and know how they will look when you are dressed. Married 44 years and it works for us.
Sep 1, 2013 10:47AM
Went shopping at a local outdoor mall with my kids just yesterday. It was almost 100 degrees out but despite that I did my hair and makeup, and put on some jewelry and a nice outfit. Due to years and years of being on my feet in dress shoes (high heels and narrow toes) I had to wear a very nice pair of flat sandals. I really can't see how my footwear could possibly make a difference in my choice of which water shoes I bought for an upcoming beach vacation, or which clothing fit well, or which jewelry was most likely to be something I would actually wear. If I like something I tend to buy it. If I am wearing heels or sneakers or flip flops or sandals or have bare feet, my opinion does not change. If I am buying a tv, I will buy something that fits where I want to put it....I really do not feel that my choice of footwear for the day is going to make me buy a 60" screen when only 32" would fit in that spot. Based on their own research, perhaps the Brigham Young University folks should wear high heels when they're making decisions about the studies on which they are focusing their resources!!!!!
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