How to Bag a Bargain: Shopping the Sales

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Ah, the sales. Basically my bread and butter. I’ve become a right old skinflint as I’ve aged, and it’s actually become very rare that I buy things full price. Yeah, I know, I’m not certain why I started writing a blog about clothes either…. So it doesn’t make for the most inspirational outfit posts, I’m afraid, because most of what I feature can’t be bought any more, unless you’re willing to stalk it on eBay! Sorry ’bout that! This does mean I have learnt the odd trick or two over the years though, and today, while the sores are all hurriedly dragging the last of the Summer lines out of the back of the stock room before the party frocks land, I thought I’d share some of that knowledge with you. ‘Cause I’m nice like that!

Shop Ahead…

These days, sales and discounting and fairly commonplace. This is great news for us bargainistas, and shop away, I say. Shop away to your little hearts content! There are two times per year though where you need to stay calm and keep your wits about you though, because there are crazy bargains to be had, and that, my friends, is the end of season sales. My circumstances are a little different this year because I have a late holiday to look forward to, but usually at this time of year I’ll be getting seduced by Wintery things like Boots and jumpers. I certainly wouldn’t normally be eyeing up a sundress. Similarly, in March I’ll be getting excited about sandals, and coats will be the furthest thing from my mind. This is where the best deals can be had, though. It will only work if you’re sensible and go for classic styles that will stand the test of time, but if you keep your eyes peeled and can hold on another 6 months before you can wear it, you might just pick up that dream princess coat or pair of wedges that no-one else noticed. It can also help if you know you have an event next year but know money will be tight – don’t disregard that sequin dress in July if you’re confident you’ll still like it come Christmas!

Shop Around…

It’s easy to get lured into a sale because you spotted the sign in the window and just go nuts, but don’t be too reactive. I always plan the pieces I’ll be looking for throughout the year and go looking for them specifically. It can of course be soul destroying if you struggle to track that dream dress down, but patience and persistence can pay off. Most high street stores have more than one branch locally these days so don’t forget to check them all, including online! If you manage to make friends with a friendly shop assistant they may even help you out by checking the system to see where they might have stock! And never forget to check concessions – Brands like Oasis, Warehouse and Dorothy Perkins often have concessions in most major department stores, as well as with online retailers like Very or ASOS, but people often forget to check there, so get in there quick before they remember! And never be afraid to have a bit of a root around – I tend to want to turn away from a disorganised heap on what looks like a jumble sale table because it makes my OCD senses tingle, but you just never know what treasures might be lurking beneath!

Shop Smart…

The most important thing of all to remember though is not to lose your head – don’t forget that something is only ever a bargain if you would have bought it full price! Those bright yellow peep toes are darn tempting, but if you don’t have anything to wear them with, they aren’t really much use, are they? And that Top that is two sizes too small, but you might just slim down enough to fit into? Put it back. You won’t. Just like you will never find an occasion to wear the floor length gown you just couldn’t resist because it was 75% off! Stick to things you either need or love enough that you know you’ll get to wear. A discount doesn’t always make it a good deal, so don’t get too excited over a £2 reduction. And no. You don’t need that bag if you already have one that is almost identical… (note to self – you really can have enough glittery shoes…!) If you let yourself go too mad you’ll end up spending far more than you intended, and that negates the point of a sale altogether!

How about you guys – any top tips to add?






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