When I woke up this particular Monday morning, I had no idea I’d be using the shopping YES Test on a coat I’d purchase for myself a few hours later—a coat that had Erin written all over it.
Here’s how it went down.
Erin and I had some scheduling details to go over before meeting our shopping client that morning. Personal fashion leaked into the conversation. “Now that I’m wearing this cognac handbag and boots so much, I think I need a brown coat,” I said.
“What do you mean? You have a brown coat already, that houndstooth one you love,” she snapped back.
“Oh, yeah, you’re right,” I said. I pulled out the houndstooth coat, which I hadn’t worn yet this season. I didn’t have a better choice than this one with my burgundy and orange outfit and my cognac boots and handbag. I slipped it on and away I went to meet Erin and our client at Nordstrom.
A few hours later, our client left with a new, much-needed casual wardrobe. Erin told me she had alterations to drop off but said, “Let’s look at coats.” Okie Doke. That girl loves her coats.
Slipping in some coat shopping
I spotted a tartan coat and showed it to Erin. She’s crazy for menswear fabrics. Her face lit up.
“Let’s take it to the dressing room,” she said. You betcha, Babe.
She tried it on and it was too big. “You could order it in a smaller size,” I said.
“But just how many plaid coats do I need?” she said. True, I’ve seen her closet.
“You try it on,” she said.
Her face lit up again. “You should buy that.”
“But how many plaid coats do I need?” I said.
Let me tell you, it felt so good, but I held back. I was being practical.
We brought our rejects to our buddy, Mariam, at the Indy register counter. The two of them started chit chatting as Mariam rang up the sale.
I nearly failed to listen to my own YES Test
While they were busy jabbering away, I tried the tartan coat on again. I took a selfie so I’d remember this moment of bliss, and then I put it back on the counter. I put my old coat on again and stood next to Erin.
Erin looked at me in my coat and said, “Why didn’t I get that coat when I had the chance? I love that coat. Let me try it on.”
I took the houndstooth coat off and handed it to her. Mariam looked at Erin wearing it and said, “Oh Honey, this coat is perfect on you.” I had to agree. I saw the longing in Erin’s face. Reluctantly, she handed it back and I slipped it on again.
Getting a second opinion on my coat
“Mariam, will you look at this coat on me?” I said. “It feels bunchy in the shoulders.”
I’ve worn this coat for a few years but suddenly it didn’t feel right. Of course, I’d just taken off a coat that I felt 100% at ease in.
Mariam fiddled with the shoulders. “Honey,” she said, “if you were buying this coat again, I’d want to go up a size. This coat looks best when it’s nearly falling off your shoulders. It’s too small on you.”
Hallelujah. From where I stood I no longer had a plaid coat, yet I knew exactly where to find one. That longing in Erin’s eyes disappeared when I took off the houndstooth coat and said, “Here, it’s yours.”
I put the tartan coat back on. The feeling of YES* flooded my body. It looked so much better with my cognac shoes and handbag than the other one did. It fit much better, and my body felt happy. “Yes, body, you deserve to feel good!” I told myself.
I pulled out my credit card and purchased the coat I loved.
Erin and I left the store in just-right coats. We had smiles in our hearts, and we lived happily ever after.
Well, so far at least.
*Use the YES Test when you’re shopping
Let me tell you about the YES Test. The first time I ever used the YES Test was early in my career. I was shopping with a new client. We were in the shoe department, and I was really nervous. I wanted this shopping trip to be successful, but I felt so inexperienced.
I needed to push my performance doubts away, and that’s when I remembered to use the YES Test. With each pair of shoes she tried on, I waited to feel YES flooding my body. When I listened for YES, I stopped thinking. My gut guided me. It worked—she was thrilled with our selections.
Origins of the YES Test
I named this shopping tip after an experience my former mother-in-law had when she met the love her life, Charlie.
It was during WWII. Jeanne was with her girlfriend, Rosalind, at a USO dance. A very handsome man in uniform came through the door. Jeanne grabbed Rosalind’s hand and said, “See that man over there? I’m going to marry him.” There was no hesitation. At that moment, every cell in her body knew he was the one. As the evening wore on, Charlie crossed the dance floor and asked Jeanne to dance. They were married a year later.
Ready to try the YES Test?
When you’re shopping, ask yourself if the thing you’re looking at is a YES. I capitalize “yes” so you can feel the certainty of it. It’s not kinda, sorta, almost, close—it’s YES. This tartan coat was an absolute YES. I just had to sort out the practical issue of whether I needed two plaid coats in my closet. As you see, it became a non-issue!
Look at items in your closet. Can you tell which ones are YES? Can you hear them talking?
Come back and tell me what your clothes said to you, okay? I’m so excited to hear all about it!