My new favourite mantra is this:
“Buying more and more items of clothing does not magically mean loads of great outfits.”
A well thought out wardrobe that provides you with great outfit combinations does not require a constant stream of new pieces. And during sale periods, when there are great discounts every way you turn, the temptation to buy a whole load of new pieces is real.
Another evening on the couch with a glass of wine, your laptop and credit card is a dangerous combination!
Buying more and more clothes simply means that you accumulate more. Your wardrobe becomes more jam-packed and this is the quickest way to overwhelm and (ironically) that feeling that you have NOTHING TO WEAR.
In reality, a smaller collection of clothes can mean more outfit options.
The biggest sales purchasing mistakes are those that are a significant departure from your usual style. In your head, you’ll love wearing the sequin party dress next Christmas when the pandemic is old news and we are back to in-person socialising. You’ll be shimmering around the room, causing a stir. You’ll never have looked more beautiful.
I’m sorry to burst your bubble but the most likely fate of that vastly reduced too-good-to-be-true sparkly number is a lifetime of hiding in the back of your wardrobe with the label still attached, until you finally send it to charity/donate it to your niece after yet another wardrobe purge.
I believe that the very best pieces to buy in the sales are those that you would’ve considered investing in at full price. Tried and tested pieces that you know suit you, work well for your lifestyle and last you a long time.
Here are my three top tips to help you to buy well, whether in sales time or always. Shopping online is very different to shopping in store. There are benefits to both ways of adding to your wardrobe but your chances of making a mistake are much higher online for obvious reasons.
Let me help you to increase your chance of a great purchase.
1. Know what you are looking for and its place in your wardrobe i.e how you’ll wear it.
There’s no point repeat buying something you already have 3 or 4 versions of (unless you are still searching for THE version and are prepared to get rid of all the others). Knowing your Outfit Formulas is helpful here. I highly recommend you work out some outfit formulas that work for you and your lifestyle.
An Outfit Formula is a repeatable way of dressing, usually a particular silhouette that you know is flattering and crucially that makes you feel great. e.g. if one of your outfit formulas is a midi skirt with a shortish chunky jumper and boots, you know that a new skirt or chunky knit is probably a good bet.
If you never wear skirts (but feel like you should) and find one that catches your eye and is cheap, there’s a good chance it’ll hang in your wardrobe with the labels attached for years. (This used to be me…).
2. Do your research.
If there are reviews, read them! Don’t make your decision based on the star rating – sometimes a poor review is given because an item was a looser fit than they expected – which might be just how you like things to be. Poor reviews based on fabric quality or service are worth paying attention to.
Reviews will give you an idea as to how things fit and if you are between sizes, whether to go up or down a size.
3. Think about your body shape and how you like clothes to fit.
I know that high waisted waistbands aren’t good for me, neither aesthetically or comfort wise, so if something is described as high waisted I click away.
The best time to try something new or different is when the shops and fitting rooms are open again so that you can try on and be more considered (and not run the risk of a gazillion returns). My advice during the sales is to invest in key pieces that are no-brainers for your style.
Out of stock?
What if you’ve done your research, found a great piece and slept on the idea to be double sure it’s right, then when you return to your laptop, you find it’s sold out.
Type out the exact name of the piece into google and see if it’s in stock elsewhere. There’s a lot of cross over in different department stores and of course most brands will also have their own website. Some places have the option of signing up to be notified if it comes back in stock.
At this time of year with so much frantic purchasing, there are lots of returns so keep checking back. I’m doing daily checks on a pair of tailored joggers right now. Please send positive vibes my way. I neeeed another pair!
So, there you are, my top tips for buying well in the sales. I hope you find something lovely that brings you lots of joy for years to come.
N.B. When you know your style inside out, it’s very easy to hone in on the right pieces and ignore the rest. Investing some time and funds in getting this important part nailed first will ensure that your wardrobe develops in the right way for you and your lifestyle for years to come.
Get in touch here if you’d like to discuss having my guidance in shaping your personal style. My remote services are very popular right now!
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