A slip dress, a trench coat, trainers and a pencil skirt: there’s nothing more satisfying than that much coveted fashion item brought for a fraction of its original price, but do the sales really save us money or do we splurge on things we’d never normally buy just because it’s more than half off?
Despite reports that Black Friday shoppers spent less than previous years [source: BBC News], the pre- and post- Christmas Day sales seem to send normally sane human beings into a spending frenzy; the temptation of getting a fantastic deal on that coveted leather jacket or 32-inch flat screen television (my partner had to be talked down from a 42-inch monster!) sends hordes of shoppers rushing to the high street, clutching their credit cards.
However, if you’re a savvy shopper and have a list of items that you genuinely need then sale shopping, especially now, offers some amazing value. So before you hit the shops, adopt our strategic approach to sales shopping and come home with items that won’t leave you questioning your choices a few months down the line.
Figure out what you want, what you really, really want!
It’s all to easy to get distracted by glitzy promotions and end up aimlessly wandering the shopping malls, and then coming home with items that never see the light of day (the most expensive item in your wardrobe is the one that’s never worn, even if it cost you less at the time).
Decide what you need or want before you leave the house, sales are a great time to pick up some investment pieces such as a classic tailored coat or smart trousers. A list will help you stay focused when you’re faced with an array of choices or pushy sales assistants talking up the savings.
Set a budget
Don’t assume anything you buy that’s not full price will be a good deal; many people overspend on things they don’t want, need or use because they had no parameters around their spending – they just went for it. It’s important to keep in mind how much you can afford to spend – and then try to stick to it.
The early bird
The best bargains are found in the first few days of the sale, so find out when a sale starts (most shops publish their sale dates in advance) so you can be there to snap up the bargains, this is especially important if you’ve had your eye on a particular item.
Get a head start
Want to get first pick of the new season’s hottest clothing trends? A small selection of new arrivals can often be found nestling alongside the sale rails providing an irresistible opportunity to look ahead to the key new trends that will emerge next year, whilst also snapping up some trend-worthy bargains – one of the best reasons to shop in the sale is to pick up a few key pieces to store away for the following season.
To help you stay one step ahead of the fashion pack, and provide some much needed focus, here’s an overview of next season’s key trends to help inspire your post-Christmas sales shopping list.
Spring Summer 2019
- Shades of beige! Beige has a reputation for being boring and drab and can wash you out, but neutrals can look impressive when layered correctly. Next season it’s all about achieving that classic played-down look by layering on some monochrome tones, soft greys, sandy beiges and chalky creams. (Image right: Paula Sweater, £65. Edith Mac, £199. Edith Trouser, £139. Lucina Flat, £159 – all Hobbs)
- Animal instinct. Animal print was everywhere for Autumn Winter 2018 and you will likely find some classic pieces in the sales. Early reports suggest that animal print is still very much on trend for Spring Summer (bonus points for wearing more than one type at once), so snap up a bargain that will carry you through to next season.
- Just like leopard print, it would appear that the 1980swill not quit. Scour the sales for the eighties most outrageous trends – strong shoulders, lamé, glitzy party dresses, Princess Diana–worthy skirt suits and gaudy accessories, and you’ll be all set for Spring.
- Neon adventures. Not one for the faint-hearted, vibrant zesty hues are back with a bang next season so keep your eye out for some half price fluorescent shades. (image, right: Woodley Bag, £159. Polly Dress, £329. Lucina Flat, £159 – all Hobbs)
- Summers past. Now’s the time to channel your inner Bardot and look for locally-inspired artisanal treats, kitsch dresses, vibrant swimwear and OTT sunglasses, all of which will be a big hit next season.
- What ruffles were to 2018, fringing is to 2019. This is the detail you’ll see swishing from every possible hem, sleeve, bag, shoe and even necklace.
Main image (top left): MW by Matthew Williamson, Dress £79, Sequin Jacket £99 – Debenhams
Image gallery (above): Animal Print – Animal Print Blouse, £35. Animal Print Dress, £45 – both Wallis. Neon – Star by Julien Macdonald Dress, £79 – Debenhams. Parachute Trousers, £26 – River Island. Fringing – Mustard Shoulder Bag with Fringing, £19.99 – New Look. Summers Past – Ferrier Dress, £229 – Hobbs. Folk Dress – Marks and Spencers. 80s – Paisley Print Dress, £45 – Wallis. Yellow Neon Resin Disc Earrings, £4.99 – New Look.