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Updated: Jun 5, 2019

Grabbing a bargain in the sales can be so tempting, particularly if you are driven by the thrill of the bargain chase. This isn’t a bad trait, but it is helpful to recognise that it can sometimes overtake your sense of reality – the high of the bargain find is addictive, so we compromise on important things we wouldn’t if an item were full price. And before you know it, you’ve spent £100 on a few cheap items you won’t wear.

How to shop the sales successfully?

It’s always best to be strategic and start with what’s in your wardrobe – even better if you can get help from a professional, as they will help you put together outfits from existing items you might not have considered, so your wardrobe becomes larger without buying a thing.

Having a shopping list of wardrobe gaps that you can then take with you to the sales will help make your shopping trip more focused.

If you don’t have the time right now to do that, and just know that you need a few new items, then do ask yourself these questions when shopping.

1. Does it fit perfectly or would it be worth getting it tailored?

2. Is it flattering?

o Sometimes design elements we like on the hanger don’t flatter our bodies, e.g. frills and ruffles on larger busts or patch pockets on larger hips. Remember that end of season sale items are the pieces that haven’t sold well, and very often that’s because they aren’t cut to flatter.

3. Do you own anything similar?

o If you know what’s in your wardrobe and what’s missing, this is easy. Investing in really good quality basics that you’ll wear again and again is a brilliant tactic, but nobody needs 12 pairs of black trousers.

4. Is it you? Does it match your style?

o Be true to yourself - if you’re a fairly classic dresser, you’ll never feel comfortable in a very dramatic design.

5. Does it match your lifestyle?

o Again, be realistic about what your lifestyle is right now – as a new Mum, I used to be guilty of buying clothes for nights out with the girls, which is something I actually only did about 4 times a year.

6. Does it work with the rest of your wardrobe?

o There’s nothing wrong with buying a statement piece at sale price but consider whether you have the shoes/bag/jacket/accessories to go with it.

7. Can you wear it three ways?

o This is a good tip for any purchase at any price. Can you dress it up or down? You could have a quick look on Pinterest for inspiration – just type in the item you’re considering. e.g red cardigan outfit.

8. Will you wear it next year?

o It’s worth bearing in mind that the January sales are clearing out for the new season stock, so you might not get much wear out of an item this season. It’s actually better to look out for mid season sales that usually take place a few weeks in to the beginning of the season.

9. Is it washable?

o If it’s dry clean only (and not a blazer or jacket), it might end up costing you more in dry cleaning bills not to mention the hassle of having to take it to the dry cleaners after every couple of wears.

10.What’s the returns policy?

o Check that you are able to take something back if you change your mind and if not, then make sure you try on in store. And make sure you do your returns!

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