Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Mid-season sales! How to buy.

Sales are on! Most high street shops flash 50% off signs at us and who is able to resist that? We tend to just pop in and search for the best bargains possible. Rushing trough the piles of previous season items, we happen to be mislead by the tempting prices and forget what we really need. Being a woman, I do realise that we usually buy something because we 'needed' it, but come on... Ask yourself how many times have you purchased something on sale and never really got to wear it? Guilty as charged. That is exactly why I want to share with you some tips that I follow when it comes to sales. Hopefully, it will help you avoid getting the wrong clothes for a wrong reason.

1. Go classic. If you buy summer shorts in autumn or winter coats in spring make sure that you go for the classics. Black, white, smart, tailored. Anything that is timeless and you can be sure that they will still be worn by you a year later. For example, pastels were fantastic last spring/summer but will you still feel like wearing them in 2013? What if brights will be the look to go for? Pastels will end up somewhere at the back of your wardrobe labelled 'I might wear it one day'.

2. Buy your size. Don't buy clothes that are either a bit too big or a bit too small. Don't think 'I'll loose weight by next summer and get into these shorts'. I don't mean to sound pessimistic but... how many times has that actually happened to you? I have been guilty of buying a dress that was a bit too big for me because it was 70% off. No surprise that it never made it out of the wardrobe. I ended up selling it on eBay a year later...

3. Stay in your comfort zone. Try not to go for something you wouldn't normally wear just because that neon cut out dress was a bargain. I also tend to look at certain pieces thinking 'I love it and what a bargain!'. Remember that the most important thing is to feel comfortable and feel good in your clothes. My friends very often say 'that is so you' when I show them my new purchases. That just reassures me that I've made the right decision.

4. Buy designer. Take advantage of the fact that it's cheaper and you may be able to afford it. Classic designer pieces, like a Mulberry bag, Acne knit or a Chanel jacket, will never go out of style. Make sure you do not have to re-morgtage your house though!

5. Go for quality. Again, make use of the fact that good clothes are very often sold for the price of their cheaper equivalents. Try to invest in pieces that are made of good fabrics. Look for silk, good quality cotton, wool. Forget about polyester! A real cotton printed t-shirt will last you much longer by keeping it's shape and colour even after a few years! And you can wear it with jeans for an everyday look and with a blazer and trousers for a chic work look so it's always a good idea.

6. Be patient. I don't follow this rule very often and regret it later... Remember that the longer you wait, the cheaper the clothes will be. After a week or two shops normally drop their prices down to 30% of the original value so if you can wait that may mean more savings. There's always a risk that your size will be gone so if you're an 8, 10 or 12 make sure that there's plenty of items in your size on the rails.

7. Take your time. Don't rush. When sales start high street shops tend to pile the clothes together and squeeze as many items as they can on their tiny clothes rails. Make sure that you flick through all of them not to miss anything. Other customers very often misplace what they initially picked up and put them back in the wrong sections. You would be surprised how many size 8 dresses will be hanging somewhere in between size 18 jeans!

8. Early birds rule. Make it easier for yourself and go shopping in the morning. I know it may seem like a crazy idea at first, but the earlier you go, the easier it is to find what you're looking for. Clothes will still be where they are supposed to be and not on the floor. Also, morning shopping will help you avoid queues to fitting rooms and staff will be friendlier at the beginning of their shift. You will be able to pay for your findings quicker and shoot off to another shop.

9. Think gifts. I know I shouldn't be saying it before Halloween but Christmas will be here soon. To avoid the rush and overspending I recommend you to begin your Christmas shopping right now. You know your friends and family rather well, right? Have a look at the bigger department stores that offer more than clothes and think what bargains you could grab as Christmas gifts. You will not only save yourself some money but find it less stressful in December knowing that your cupboard is full of wrapped up gifts ready to go under the tree.

10. Have a look online. Most shops have their websites where you can have a look at the discounted items. Before you go on a shopping trip make sure that you browse the web to know what's on the menu. Make a list of what you liked, look for it in the shop, try it on and decide. It's a great idea to go prepared. You will avoid disappointment and save time to catch up on that gossip over lunch!

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