November 2014

Shopping 101: How to Shop a Clothing Sale

stacey-mayesh-shopping101-sales By Stacey Mayesh

How to Get the Best Sales on Clothing & Avoid Impulse Buying
The most important thing to remember about shopping a clothing sale is not to impulse-buy and spend money on things that aren’t right. You will never wear them, and 2 years later you’ll clean your closet and find them with the tags still on. I’ve seen so many people do this. They say, “Well, it almost fits,” or “It’s sort of cute.” But there’s no bargain in buying clothing you’ll never wear just because the price is good.

You must resist temptation and only buy what you actually need. The key to doing this is being prepared before you hit the sale.

Be Prepared Before Clothes Shopping to Maximize Discounts
Before sale season, go through the exercise of figuring out what clothes you really need. Sometimes the best way to do this is to keep a running log of items missing from your wardrobe.

If you see that every time you put on your favorite dress you’re missing a pair of ankle boots to complete the look, then you know you need that perfect pair of ankle boots! Keeping a log will help you realize what those critical missing items are, and you’ll end up buying just what you need without overdoing it and defeating the purpose of sale shopping. Once you know what you need, you’re ready to shop the sales.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind while discount shopping:
Watch the Clearance Clothes Selections: Often, clothing that is left on sale is in odd colors or prints. Be careful if you buy these discounted items, because it can be very tricky to find the right things to wear with them.

Always Grab Discounted Formal Wear on Sale: A great thing to get on sale is an evening dress. Everyone needs the perfect LBD, and it’s so difficult to find something under pressure when you have a big event coming up!

Outerwear Is Perfect for Bargain Shopping; I also like to find jackets and coats on sale. These are big-ticket items, so getting them on sale is especially worthwhile. And even if your weight fluctuates from year to year, chances are that the normal 5 pounds up or down won’t affect the way a coat fits.

Go for Discounts & Sales on Beachwear: Beach caftans, cover-ups, and swimsuits are great sale items because the trends don’t change as quickly with beachwear as they do with ready-to-wear.

Watch for Favorites When Shopping the Sales: Buy the classic wardrobe-building items that you wear year after year. If you tend to wear the same soft T-shirts under your sweaters or the same Lululemon yoga pants, those are great items to restock when they’re on sale, because they wear out quickly and you know you will want to replace them.

Shopping Stores with Their Credit Cards: Getting a credit card from your favorite stores, such as Gap or J. Crew, will ensure that you’re invited to participate in their special cardholder promotions.

Now, with your sale shopping tips in hand, you’re ready to hit the clearance racks and put those useless impulse buys behind you!

Related Links
On Sale Now, Wear It Later: The Fall/Winter 2011 Fashion Trends
Shopping 101: Before You Spend a Cent, Get Organized!
Get Cash for Those Unwanted Fashion Items
What to Buy, What to Buy, What to Buy? 15 Fashion Commandments for Signature Style

Stacey Mayesh, Fashion Contributing Editor
I am a NYC-based fashion stylist who has worked with top tier magazines (Marie Claire, InStyle, Elle, Lucky), and celebs (Selma Blair, Jessica Alba, Susan Sarandon, Sean Combs) for 15 years. I was recently featured in Vogue and on NBC Weekend Today. I now work with private clients bringing a fresh . . . Read more of her fashion secrets

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