Everyone loves a sale. There’s that feeling that kicks in. The I’m getting a bargain one. The hunter gatherer one. The get out of my waaaay lady I saw them first one. Phew. Short version we love a sale.
The dilemma: how to shop the sales in a way that benefits our wardrobe when all those feelings and adrenaline? You make a plan. A plan will ensure you are ready, willing and able when the time comes armed with the essentials to make sure you grab a bargain.
This is my guide to shopping the sales, how to get the biggest bang for your buck and stretching that clothes budget further.
Sign up for the newsletters. In a complete reverse productivity move I suggest you sign up for ALL your favourite its brands. Often brands use this method to drive traffic to their sales long before it is posted on their social media sites. Ever wondered why all the good stock is gone? This could be why.
Shop the sales for trend pieces. We all know to shop out of season for our key wardrobe items but have you consider doing it for trend pieces? Often end of season sales of overseas companies are rife with trend pieces that the brand knows are going to be no good to them come the following year. The good news is because you are shopping the US or UK seasons our time here in Australia is yet to come. Snag a bargain and feel okay when you have moved passed the cropped top come 2014. Ha.
Know your measurements. Then USE them to check them against the size chart of the item you are buying. More and more online stores are stocking a number of brands in the one place. That means variations in sizing can be huge! Know your current measurement, keep them nearby and always check the size chart. Returns are often not allowed during final sales so what a waste it would be to choose the wrong one.
Like the scouts say, be prepared! Prepare a list at the start of each season of items that you want to add to your wardrobe for the current and upcoming season. This list will become a bit like one of those tricky missile targeting systems. When you’re at a sale it’s easy to become distracted by all the things. This list will keep you on track and make sure you aren’t adding items that you don’t need. If it’s not on the list, don’t buy it.
Make friends with those in the know. When it comes to sales it an absolutely be a case of first in best dressed. Make friends with the ladies in your local store, communicate on a brands Facebook page or be in touch however you can be. This will ensure if there is a sale they KNOW you’ll be interested and they’ll be in touch.
Consider a clothing fund/savings account. It may sound extravagant but if you are refraining from using credit in order to secure your bargain buys (and I’m very much for for doing that) then having a bit of money up your sleeve come sales time can be a great help. If an account seems a little too tempting try a money jar or a $5 note challenge (where you add all your fivers to a container, never using them). You’ll be surprised how quickly things can add up.
Now that should have you all set come sales season.
This whole post got me thinking about a adventure I had at the Boxing Day sales one year. We’d been to the beach in the morning and missed the first of the madness. We arrived at Myer and there were items of clothes and frazzled shop assistants strewn everywhere.
I went to the plus section, which is a little lack lustre sometimes to say the least, not holding out much hope for any bargains. I figured the shoes would be worth the trip. No biggie. Wandering about I spotted a sales rack. An 80% off, last-season, clearance-style rack. Now I don’t know what happened that day, if it had something to do with stars aligning or whatever BUT I scored big time.
I picked up three great dresses (including a formal one I wore to my brother’s wedding), a work suit and a few casual tops for less than $200, all in my size, all fitting perfectly. It was like there was a golden light of awesomeness shining over my head that day. A never-to-be-repeated experience I’m sure.
Where were we? Oh right.
The key points for scoring a great deal at a sale are:
Tell me about your top secret, fool proof method for scoring a genuine bargain in the sales. What’s the best bargain you have ever scored?
Nikki has graciously allowed me to take a moment to let you all know about the recent release of my eBook The Budget Fashionista Workbook. The workbook will empower you to get into your wardrobe, sort it out and using considered choices start building a stylish wardrobe on a budget. For $9.99. No steak knives.
The simple fact is that most of us have purchased an item we’ve never worn, spent more than we should or wandered the shops with no idea. It’s expensive and time consuming to be so haphazard about it all. Using the checklists in the workbook you’ll be able to work out what you have and what’s missing to go after a personal style you love.
Melissa Walker Horn is the chief blogger at Suger Coat It, a blog about living the sweet life. Known as Suger, Melissa loves her family, too much butter on fresh bread and anything with stripes on it. She created the Confident You series and shares her love of fashion, the gym and cooking most days of the week on her blog. The Budget Fashionista Workbook is Melissa’s first eBook and will followed by Confident You in 2014. A social media addict and consultant, you will find Melissa anywhere you search for Suger with an e.