It’s that time year when our inboxes are full of emails shouting about ‘further reductions’, and you are being targeting by online ads tempting you to indulge in a bit of sale shopping.
But is shopping in the sales at this time of year a good idea? In my opinion, yes and no. If you are shopping wisely and making good choices then now is a great time to update your wardrobe. We still have a few months of winter, so there is still time to get as many £s per wear as possible, and if you may even be able to buy something that is a real investment piece that has been out of your reach until now. But it is important to plan and be truthful about whether you actually need, want or actually like some of the things that you have popped in your basket, or you could be just wasting your money.
So to save you time, hassle and money, I have put together my top tips for savvy sale shopping. .
Don’t be swayed by the discount
Just because an item is 70% off doesn’t mean that you should buy it! So many of my clients have pieces in their wardrobe with the sale tag still on them. They have never worn the items and in fact don’t actually like them that much. The key is to consider whether you might have bought it at full price. If the answer is no, then you probably shouldn’t buy it.
Know whats in your wardrobe before shopping
Everyone is naturally attracted to a a certain style, and it is easy to buy the same or similar piece over and over again. To avoid having a wardrobe full of black jeans and striped tops; for example, make sure you know where your gaps are.
Have a look at your closet and see if there is anything you don’t currently have that would enable to you wear more pieces in different ways. Think about whether you are missing knitwear or winter boots? If you can wear that new sale piece with existing items in your wardrobe in at least 3 different ways, then buy it. Once you know your wardrobe, you will be able to make better sale choices.
Shop more aspirationally
Have a look at some brands that you admire but would never normally be able to afford to shop at. Now is a great time to get some great quality, investment and statement pieces at the prices will be more attainable whilst in sale. Have a look at John Lewis to get an idea of what brands are out there.
Know you measurements
No two size 12s are the same on the high street. Every brand has a different fit model, based on who they think their customer is, this is why it is important to know your measurements and use the size guide when shopping. Once you know what bust, waist and hip measurement you are, you will be able to compare it to the size guide and discover which size is likely to fit the best.
Invest in your wardrobe
This tip works hand in hand with knowing your wardrobe and shopping aspirationally. Now is a great time to invest in some pieces that are going to last for years, such as a cashmere cardigan, and classic coat or good quality leather handbag. When you look at cost per wear, it won’t seem so scary spending such a large chunk of your budget on one piece.
Know your budget and stick to it
It is so easy to get caught up and go off piste when sale shopping. The key is to know how much you have to spend and make sure that you make the right purchases within you budget.
Go for quality not quantity
If you are able, I always advise that you shop for fewer good quality pieces that are going to last, then lots of low quality items that are going to shrink or the decoration is going to fall off. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to shop high end, just make sure that you look at the reviews, consider the original price and look at fabric composition and care instructions if possible.
Cheap fabrics such as nylon, polyester and acrylic will not wear as well as wool, silk or cotton, so always try to go for natural fabrics. Fabrics such as viscose will also crush and crease easily, so unless you love ironing I wouldn’t advise buying anything in this fabric (unless its knitted) because you will never wear it.
If you can, check the care instructions before making a purchase, basic items that say things like ‘dry flat’ will probably warp at the hems and neckline if you don’t follow to the letter, and who is going to dry a basic white tee flat?
Know the stores return policy
No matter how savvy you are with your sale shopping, once you get the item it still might now be right. This could be down to the colour, your body shape or the quality and fit isn’t quite right. So it is important to know whether you can return for a full refund, or whether the store only offers credit or and exchange. Don’t forget to check out how much the postage is to return either as this may add more money to your purchases than expected.
So there you are. My top tips for savvy sale shopping.
If you still aren’t ready to hit the sales solo, don’t forget I offer an online personal shopping service from as little as £35. Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for find out more.