1 – MAKE A PLAN. Look at what you have in your wardrobe, and identify any major gaps. Is there a skirt you can’t wear because you don’t have the right top? Take a photo of the skirt on your phone so that you immediately re-call it when you are out shopping and see something that might just work with it. And when you suddenly have an idea about needing a particular item in your wardrobe, wherever you are, make a note in your phone for next time you are in a shopping environment.
2 – LOOK FOR THE EXPENSIVE STUFF. Sales are the best time to buy big ticket items – winter coats, tailored jackets, special occasion dresses. You may not get quite the colour or size range you may have had at the beginning of the season, but you may only pay half the ticket price. For these items think ‘investment dressing’ – even heavily discounted they can still be expensive, so look for garments that are timeless, styles that you can wear for years. And even at half price, that lime and cerise lace ball gown may not be such a bargain!
3 – DON’T BUY IT IF IT DOESN’T FIT. Don’t get excited by something that is a size too small – even if you are going to Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig – it might not be the right shape when you are a bit thinner. And definitely don’t buy something that is too big – even if it is an absolute bargain. There is nothing worse than having to pay as much again to alter a garment, or having a shoddy home done alteration show up on a designer dress!
4– SHOP WITH A FRIEND YOU TRUST. You know the one – the friend who will tell you the truth, the one you can rely on not to tell you that you look good in everything. If you can’t take a friend – trust your own instinct, or find a shop where you love the clothes, and where you can build a relationship with the sales assistant, and trust their advice.
5– THINK ABOUT IT, JUST NOT FOR TOO LONG! If you are not sure – then it is probably not right for you, and only time will tell. Have a coffee, or a walk around the neighbouring shops. And refer back to that list – remember the one you keep on your phone – is this type of garment on your wish list?
6 – READ THE REFUND POLICY. Make sure you are aware of the returns policy when you make a purchase as most retailers don’t want to see their sale or end-of-line garments bouncing back into stock, as they need the space for new season.
7 - BUY SOMETHING THAT SCARES YOU. Sale time is a good time to experiment – buy something that you would normally never think of wearing – just make sure you wear it! If you get loads of compliments on your new look you may just have discovered a new you!
8– BUY THE ESSENTIALS. They are not often discounted because for any fashion retailer, their essentials are consistent sellers. But on the odd occasion they are discounted, grab them as fast as you can – these are things you will always wear, like slips, camisoles, basic tees, well cut jeans.
9 – BUY MORE THAN ONE. If you have garments that you love, from a favourite designer, make sure you check their website often. Towards the end of the season, the same garment might be available in other patterns or colours - and on sale.
10 – SIGN UP TO GET EMAILS. If there is a designer you love, sign up to receive their email marketing. This way you will receive advance notice of their sales, you are often the first to see new designs even before they hit the shops, and you can shop from where ever you happen to be – from sitting at your office desk to the comfort of your lounge.