Wednesday, 8 January 2014

How to Successfully Shop the Sales

I'm not normally much of a sales shopper as I found that I used to end up buying things that I didn't really want just because it was a good price and it seems that I am definitely not alone. 

Whenever I am doing a Wardrobe Detox session with a client, I more often than not, find that they have lots and lots of items in their wardrobes with the tags still on which they bought on impulse in the sales.

I was once sorting out a clients' wardrobe and found that she had about 20 really similar black dresses (ALL sales purchases)... even though she NEVER wears black. When I asked her when she would ever wear the dresses, she said that she bought them in the sale in case she had any funerals to go to! 

I think we are all guilty of buying something at one time or another that didn't fit, wasn't our style or was the totally wrong colour for us just because it was CHEAP! But it is quite scary when you add up all of these unworn 'bargains' that you have bought over the years and realise that you could probably have bought yourself something that you really wanted for the money that you spent.

I am certainly a lot more savvy when it comes to making sales purchases now and only buy something that I know I will get lots of wear from and that I would buy even if it was full price. 

Recently I bought 2 pairs of peep toe boots from Topshop in the sale which do look pretty similar to each other but I have already worn both pairs so many times (even in the rain!) and know that I'll get so much wear out of them as they go perfectly with jeans... and I wear jeans A LOT. I also wear heels every day and they both have sturdy, block heels which are really easy to walk in and they give me height without having to wear stilettos which are a lot more uncomfortable, even for a seasoned pro heel-wearer like me!

Anyone who knows me or follows me on Instagram (@victoriamartinstyle) or Facebook (Victoria Martin Style) will have noticed from my many outfit posts that I wear a lot of pink so I really couldn't resist this pink biker jacket from GAP. It's not normally a shop that I go into but the jacket was right at the front of the shop enticing me into the store. I can wear sweaters and scarves with it in winter and with dresses in summer so again, I know I'll get lots of wear from it.

One of my best buys last year in terms of cost-per-wear, were some white strappy sandals from River Island that I got for a wedding in May. I had them on so many times over summer and they go with just about everything from dresses to skirts to jeans. This is just 4 of the ways I've worn them.

So I really couldn't resist snapping them up in both pink and blue when they went on sale just before Christmas. They arrived last week and I can't wait to wear them!

My Top Tips for Sale Shopping!

A quick checklist of questions to ask yourself before buying any item in the sale.
  1. How much would you be willing to pay for it? Look at an item and decide how much you like it before you look at the price! So often people decide that they like the price of something before they've even properly looked it.
  2. Do you have anything similar already in your wardrobe? You might really like this particular purple blouse but if you have 2 or 3 already then do you really need another one? So often women are drawn to the same thing time and time again and then wonder why they have a wardrobe full of clothes but feel like they have 'nothing' to wear!
  3. What do you already have that will go with it? If the answer is 'nothing', then the chances are that you are either not going to wear it OR you will have to go out and buy a top, jacket and shoes to go with it. Not really much of a bargain when you have to spend money to actually wear it.
  4. Does it fit you? People are full of good intentions that they will take an item to get it altered at the tailors or stretch those leather shoes that are too tight with a potato. But, from experience, I've found that they very rarely do and they lie, unworn, taking up space and gathering dust...
  5. Are you going to get lots of wear from it? Shopping for basics in the sale are what sales are great for, especially if it is an item such as a coat, blazer, jeans or any other classics that won't date and that you'll get wear from season after season.
  6. Do you love it? Is it something that you would be drawn to in the shop even if it wasn't on sale? Would other people look at it and say "that's so you!" - if not, then step away! Sales are not the place to try out a new styles. Stick to classics, basics and other items that are true to your style.
I know it sounds really simple but these are the questions I always ask clients whenever we go out shopping, even for items that aren't on sale and it's really good to do a quick check before you get carried away with trying to snag a bargain! 

And remember, it's only a bargain if you get something in the sale if you were willing to pay full price for it!

I hope that you have found these tips useful and that it will spare you from any future buyers remorse!


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