We all love a bargain, don’t we? But how many of your previous sale purchases do you actually love and wear regularly? A bargain is only a bargain if you actually wear it! It is all too easy to get carried away by thoughts of how much you’re saving and end up buying something you would never normally consider and that is destined to lurk unworn at the back of your wardrobe (Trust me, I’ve done literally hundreds of wardrobe weeds and most women have at least one item with the sales label still on.) When confronted with a so-called bargain, it’s always worth asking yourself whether, if the sale price was the original price, you would still buy it. If not, leave it for someone else.
Think Cost Per Wear
It’s helpful to think of purchases on a “cost per wear basis”. So for example, £100 for a pair of jeans is an expensive upfront purchase, but if you wear them twice a week for fifty weeks, the cost per wear is only £1. A Summer dress that costs £30 but which you only wear a handful of times has a much higher cost per wear so is not such a good buy after all. Also, don’t be seduced by designer labels – just because it’s “designer” does not mean that it is attractive or that it’s right for you. Frankly, there is a lot of over-priced designer “tat” around in the sales.
Don’t forget to look online. This is in fact where I get most of my best sale bargains as I find there is more choice of styles and sizes. If there’s a brand you love (personally I’m a sucker for Hobbs, LK Bennett, Pure and Boden but you will have your own favourites), be sure to check out what they have online as well as in-store.
A word of caution though. It is very easy to get carried away buying online, particularly if you’re a bit bored and have had a glass or two of wine (or is that just me?) Most online retailers offer free returns though so ,as long as you are disciplined about returning items that aren’t absolutely right for you, there’s no harm done. Just make sure you check out the returns policy (it can be different during sales) before you buy.
Be prepared to buy out of season. Summer can be an excellent time to pick up cashmere pieces you can wear in Autumn/Winter and that will not date. Similarly, now that a lot of Summer balls and Ladies Days are out of the way, it’s a great time to bag a bargain to wear for a special occasion next year. Only buy something out of season though if you absolutely love it and are confident in your style choices. Otherwise, by the time you come to wear it, you might have lost confidence in it or simply gone off it.
Designer shoes, boots and handbags can be great sale buys. Quality footwear is definitely more comfortable than less expensive options and a classic designer leather handbag will always look chic and will last for years.
To Buy or Not to Buy?
So how do you decide which of the sale bargains to go for? My advice is to buy only if:
- It fits. Don’t kid yourself you’ll slim into it, chances are you won’t.
- It does not scream “last season”
- You will have occasion to wear it
- If the sale price was the original price, you’d still buy it.
- You love it
Conventional wisdom has it that you should only buy an item of clothing if you have at least three other pieces it will work with. This is of course very sensible advice but who wants to be sensible all the time? In the face of a bargain which meets the above five criteria, I think you are totally justified in buying it and then investing in other pieces that will work with it!
If you’re not sure what colours and styles suit you, come and have a consultation with me. If you don’t like shopping, let me make it easy for you, either with a personal shopping trip or providing online suggestions with the option of reviewing your purchases with you when they arrive to decide what you keep and what you return.