SKIP THE DRESSING ROOM:
If the line at H&M rivals the one at the DMV and if you can't shop at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday, when the place tends to be less crowded, give yourself a pass on the fitting room madness. Just pay up, try on the threads at home, then promptly return the rejects.
REACH FOR THE TOP:
Stylists say unless you're waifish, you may have more success finding shirts than pants at red-hot bargain retailers. The reason? Fit models are expensive so trousers may follow a one-size mentality, thus can be less flattering than those at high-end shops.
TRY FOR FIRST DIBS:
Experts recommend asking a sales associate what days of the week their shipments come in. The timing tactic is most helpful at stores like Zara that don't stock in excess but do replenish frequently.
DEEP-SIX YOUR SIZE ISSUES:
It's not your body dysmorphia talking, stylists confirm that some European brands do run small, even tiny in some cases. Go up a size as needed then cut the tag off ASAP if you think you might dwell on it.