The art of sale shopping
Happy New Year!
While December is full of promise, booze and food, January can be a pretty bleak month: grim weather, detoxes and resolutions to name a few. However, there are some significant things going for it: back to school, booking a holiday, and sale shopping.
So where do you begin when faced with those endless red ‘Sale’ signs?
Firstly, avoid the temptation at all costs to buy something just because it is a bargain. There is often a reason why things are in the sale (particularly if there is a whole rack of the same item in every size – if it doesn’t work on anyone of any shape or size, it probably won’t work on you either) so don’t suddenly decide that you need a Juicy Couture pink velour tracksuit because I am telling you now, you don’t.
Secondly, buy things that actually fit you. And I mean fit you now. There is no point buying a pair of tiny Cinderella-esque heels if they aren’t your size. You won’t wear them, and if you do, they will make you pay with serious pain.
Instead, use the sales to invest in classic pieces (pieces that you may not have previously been able to afford) that you will wear for seasons and seasons to come and that will go with several other pieces in your wardrobe (3 or 4 is the rule if you want to be mathematical about it!). Simple.
So what are those key pieces you should invest in?
It might technically be the Winter Sales but you and I know there is going to be a lot more winter heading our way so a coat is not a silly buy at all. Jigsaw has this Boucle Coat at £215 from £269. A real classic.
Cos has a navy option with this classic Tailored Wool Coat £123 from £175.
Also at Cos is this Detachable Collar Coat £88 from £175 in a lovely dark green that although is fashionable this season, is also a very easy colour to wear.
If it is a casual coat you want, then there are some good bargains to be had at Mango such as this Detachable Hood Quilted Coat £49.99 – half price.
Also high on the list would be a little jacket that you can pair with dresses, trousers and jeans alike and this Open Front Cropped Jacket from Whistles is a real bargain down from £90 to £20.
If you want something a bit more current, then their Sleeveless Crepe Jacket is now at £33 from £110.
Reiss is always good in the sale too and has this Poppy Black Double Layer Jacket £95 from £185.
A very different type of jacket, but extremely useful nonetheless, is this Knitted Marl Cardigan from Jigsaw £84 from £164. Perfect for throwing on over jeans and adding a bit more style than a cardi.
Dresses – the LBD or the LND and something you can wear all day and all night would be on my priority list. Jigsaw has a Silk Panel Mix Jersey dress in navy at £49 from £98.
Alternatively this is a very easy dress you can check on and look very chic wearing and could be easily dressed up or down: Hush Alexa Dress £40.
Their Winter Newport Dress £35 is another one of these little beauties you can work into several casual or up-scaled looks.
A bit off-piste but this tunic dress is also great from Cos: Dress with silk skirt £48 from £69.
A good pair of tailored black trousers are a wardrobe must-have and Reiss has a very good selection on-line in the sale such as these Crema Tailored Trousers half price at £55. There are plenty of other styles to choose from if these don’t float your boat.
Okay this isn’t exactly setting the world on fire but you can’t beat a good t-shirt, so bag a couple in the sale as these really won’t break the bank: Fay Marl Seam Back T-shirt £17.50 from £35.
Banana Republic also has some good T’s like this Shine Scoop Tea £12.99 from £25.
Same goes on the sweater front so get the layered look in one with this Whistles Layered Silk and Knit Jumper £65 from £130.
Cashmere is another good sale investment and Gap has a good selection including its Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater which is down from £100 to £69.99. This comes in various colours including navy and charcoal.
You can also pick up some good basics from Gap such as this Merino Wrap Cardigan £22.99 from £59.99. It also comes in black.
And these Merino turtle neck sweaters £14.99 from £39.99. These look great with girlfriend jeans, a cocoon coat and trainers for a current look or keep it classic with some dark skinny jeans and boots.
Jeans now and everyone needs a good pair of dark denim jeans. Gap’s 1969 Resolution True Skinny Jeans are half price at £24.99. Denim is a whole Pandora’s box which I am not quite opening yet but it will be tackled in the coming weeks.
On the footwear front, you can’t go wrong with a black boot and this Whistles Camb round toed boot is reduced from £185 to £92.50.
Or for more of an everyday style it has to be a Chelsea boot and these Bertie Panola boots are £92 from £115.
At the other end of the spectrum a good trainer is essential and Carvela’s Lorenzo Skate Shoes are half price at £49.
I am aware that what I am now about to say is a huge contradiction, but there is another side to sale shopping, and that is buying pieces that just make you happy. Things that are maybe, just maybe, are a teeny bit frivolous. BUT and this is a big but, you still need to be able to sensibly justify where you will physically wear these. There is no point in buying a full length sequinned gown that you know you will never wear (because your life consists of Costa, the school run and Netflix) just because you fall in love with it. That is a note to self as I still have a sale bought sequined skirt which is unworn. January is generally not a month for sequins. You should think about buying things that add personality and interest to the rest of your wardrobe and often accessories can be a good place to start.
Ok so a pair of metallic shoes is definitely not down on the ‘must have’ list. However, I know these would be a great buy because a good pair of party flats can be just the thing you need. Not too dressed up for the pub or a dinner but enough to sharpen up any outfit and they will work year-round with jeans, trousers, skirts and dresses alike. J Crew’s Gemma metallic flats £145 down to £72 are just the thing.
They also have some good necklaces in the sale including this Fabric backed Crystal Cluster Necklace £69 from £138. It might not be super cheap but you can wear this in the summer with a cami or in the winter over a sweater. Don’t just keep for best – wear to add a bit of sparkle to a dull January.
This animal bag from Mango £59.99 from £89.99 would also fall into that ‘frivolous but happy-making and lots of wear’ category for me.
What you have on this section of your sale list is up to you, but make sure it makes you smile.
This is a mere drop in the sale ocean and there is sooooo much out there to tempt you but hopefully you are now on the right track. So go forth and flash that plastic. After all, Auntie so and so didn’t want you to spend that Christmas cheque on bills did she?!
NB – v. sorry if these items are out of stock by the time you read this. Third and final rule of sale shopping – don’t be disappointed when they inevitably don’t have your size.