Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I love shopping at the end of the sales. There may not be much left, but the bargain-basement prices make the final trawl of the sales very much worthwhile.
Take River Island, for example. It's knocked a further 50% off sale prices, making its reduced wares cheaper than Primark! I got this heavy textured-cotton skirt for just £6 (it was originally £29.99). And, with print being a big spring/summer trend, it'll do me well for the start of the season.
So, if you're prepared to hunt through the remnants of the sales rails for that undiscovered gem, here's a few shopping tips to make the most of the end of the sales:
1. Stock up on classics such as skinny jeans, plain vests and tees, stripy tops (the Gap one I blogged about in December is now £6.99 in the sale), leather bags and good quality underwear. Look for things that you'll get a lot of wear out of. The trick is to take advantage of the sale price to invest in something that is better quality than you'd normally buy - so if you'd usually spend £30 on a sweater, why not spend that same £30 on a sale sweater that would have normally cost £60?
2. Swot up on the new-season trends so that anything you buy will still look current. For example, my sweater dress from the COS sale crosses over into spring/summer's sportswear trend. As a heads up, look out for prints, nudes and sporty pieces. But avoid anything gimmicky and details that date an item back to last season - big shoulders are a no-no.
3. Shop for designer labels at knockdown prices. If there's a brand that you love, now's the time to get your favourite label for less (like I did with my Sonia by Sonia Rykiel sweater). Department stores often offer the best reductions on designer goods, but there's bargains galore online, too. I've been browsing the designer offerings at www.asos.com and www.my-wardrobe.com.
4. Don't get too preoccupied with the sale price. Just as supermarket offers such as '2 for £3' bamboozle you into thinking you've got a great deal when, in fact, you're only saving a matter of pence, so it can be with sale prices. Ask yourself if you would still buy it if it wasn't reduced? If the answer is no, then no matter how cheaper it is, you didn't really want or need it.
5. Don't be afraid to ask for more money off if a sale item is damaged. For example, if something has make-up marks on it, a rip or a broken zipper, I'd expect a further reduction (note, extra discounts like this will make the item non-returnable in most cases). However, only buy faulty items if they can be fixed and you're prepared to do so - otherwise they'll remain unworn in your wardrobe.
6. Lastly, look beyond your clothes size. Sizing varies so much from store to store, designer to designer and even item to item. So if you can't find an item in your size, go a size up (or down!). You never know, depending on the cut or style, it may be fine - and you may even like the look or fit of it better. I often find that going a size larger on sweaters can still look good.
With many stores now offering final reductions as they aim to wind down the sales by the end of the month, there are bargains to be had. So happy sale shopping!