Thursday, 19 December 2013

Savvy Sales Shopping

As per the last few years, the traditional January sales are now starting  before Christmas, great if you are still looking for a party outfit or some last minute gift shopping, not so good if you are banking on Christmas money to bag yourself a stylish or designer bargain.

However you need to be aware that some sales are in fact just giving you a little taster with a 30% or similar reduction. In most cases these  retailers will go 50% or even more after Christmas, but by whipping you up into a sales frenzy early on, they live in hope that most stock will go, as consumers panic buy fearing their wishlist item or size will sell out before they have to make further reductions to clear stock, hence making them a bigger profit.

Marks and Spencer have a 30% reduction on a range of goods including Lingerie, knitwear and lots of gift items, however they have gone 50% in certain departments, so I have just spent the last hour doing an order for cards, wrap, tags and some decorations (I have decided I want all white baubles and tinsel for next year - very chic I  think). In my world, this is savvy sales shopping, something I do every year but usually in my local Boots chemist but as I had a last minute nightwear present to buy for someone, it made sense to get it all done now, even the special cards for close family members are reduced, I used to find going out and buying all these cards in one go came to an extortionate amount of money until I started buying them in the sales a year ahead.

Shopping ahead like this is a great way to bag a bargain and save on expenditure later on the year.  I have always used the sales to stock up on nightwear, underwear and socks for the kids, usually in the next size up.You can also think about next clothes you might need for holidays taking place before the summer sales, forthcoming events like weddings and taking a good look through your wardrobe to use the sales to replace any items that are now or will soon be fit for the bin or charity bag.

If you really want to shop the sales successfully but don't have a clue what to put on your wishlist, you can never go wrong with wardrobe basis.

Saint Germain Coat was £149 now £89.40 in Camel. Also available in black or geranium. Shop here.

Coats - Boyfriend, Cocoon or peacoats are all classics and although you may already have one or all or these in your wardrobe, maybe inject another colour into your collection with classic black, navy, camel or red. Glam up both day and evening looks with a patterned jacket or faux fur as both will take a jeans/t-shirt combo to another level or think ahead to spring and shop trench coats and blazers.

Buy Alexon Lace Jacquard Dress, Red, 8 Online at
Red Lace dress by Alexon at John Lewis was £135 now £59. Buy here.

Dresses - Although a little black dress may be the most talked about staple, it's uses throughout the year can be limited. Shop red/pink/blue/winter white for dresses with all year round appeal.

Tops - Basic shirts such as the classic white, denim or chambray and even checks and  plaids will have their uses year after year and are also great for layering. Stock up on quality layering t-shirts at sale time and grab a couple of pretty tops to dress up jeans for impromptu nights out.

Knitwear - stick with classic solid colours as with coats, fairisle is also a safe bet every winter. Think v neck for layering, crew neck to wear alone with scarf or statement necklace and boyfriend cardigans for weekend casual. Invest in cashmere at sale time and avoid knitwear containing Angora like the plague, google if you want to know why, I can't talk about it, but lets just say I've had press releases in my inbox this week telling me that both Zara and Asos are banning the use of it.

MIH Bodycon Jeans was £185 now £129. Shop here.

Jeans - If you are looking to invest in designer and can only afford one pair, make it dark and skinny to smarten up day looks tucked into boots and look dressier for nights out far better than if you stuck on a pair of stonewash!  Shopping on the high street, then incorporate different colours/prints/textures, think berry tones, camel or moss green.

Trousers - What's missing from your wardrobe? Classic black for the office? Chino's for weekend cool come spring?  7/8th length to pair with the perfect kitten heel?

Skirts - Black lace has been huge for nights out this season and works perfectly with a grey t-shirt or cashmere jumper. Skirts make fantastic mix and match pieces which you can dress up for a wedding or other occasion rather than being stuck with a dress you don't think you will ever wear again.

Accessories - In winter I always think that you could quite easily live in the same jeans and t-shirt for months but just by changing your coat, scarf and  footwear you get to create a completely different look every time. Although I love the simplicity of throwing on a summer day dress, I quite enjoy making use of the basics and creating different looks in this way. So if looking to buy accessories at sale time, think cashmere beanie hats, classic black leather gloves, cosy scarves and snoods in a range of colourful prints and neutral colours.

Footwear - If you have a wardrobe full of black boots in various styles, buy brown or tan to create more looks as above. It may seem boring investing in classic black court shoes but they really do go with everything so you simply must. Same goes for Nude. Nude was pronounced the new black a good few years back and hasn't left the limelight since, just check out the Duchess of Cambridge for footwear confirmation of this.

Jewellery - Statement necklaces don't come cheap but can lift a simple top or jumper and take your look from day to night with ease. Wallis have some amazing ones if you can't afford J Crew. Invest in silver or gold cuffs, chandelier earrings and sparkly bracelets.

Bags - If buying designer go for classics. I never have and took years to learn my lesson as the Chloe Paddington fled to ebay along with a Marc Jacobs Stam, Fendi what was it called? oh yes the B bag, beautiful it was but the flap front drove me nuts everytime I got my purse out!.Oh well you get my drift anyway and to be honest I am shocked I still have the Wang Rocco.  Louis Vuitton don't do sales so you can eliminate them from your wishlist and think about the style you either need or that suits your life best be it hand held, shoulder, across body or tote, then colour. Black or tan go with everything and lighter shades of beige or cream make a refreshing change come spring whereas bold colours like cobalt blue, red or orange can brighten a drab outfit with ease.

I'm off for a browse on the Boden website whose sale has just gone up to 60% off!

What's on your sales wishlist and do you have a sales shopping criteria?


  1. Love the Boden coat....can't decide between camel or black!
    ~Anne xx

  2. Some really good advice. Thank you. You're right about getting whipped up into a frenzy. I'm not brave enough to hold on for further reductions. I cave in and buy straight away. No willpower! xxx

  3. Great advice...... Need to sick to the classics don't you, made a few mistakes in the sales in the last just because it had 60% ..... That camel coat from boden is calling both my mum and & I . Xx

  4. That coat is gorgeous in camel! I agree stock up on cashmere - the Mango sale has some great deep discounts on fun dresses and skirts too!

  5. Hi my dear-you are so super duper organised, I haven't even written out all my cards for this year yet, hehe!! Great sales tips, thanks for sharing! xxx

  6. Excellent tips!! I always ask myself would I be happy to pay full price for's good at stopping in my tracks from making a mistake, although believe me I still end up returning sale stuff if I haven't worn it within 7 I obviously don't love it enough if it's still sat in the bag!

  7. Great post Sharron! Love the camel coat and red dress! I did buy this year' s cards in the sale for next to nothing last year and will do the same and more again. I always hold out for the further reductions - love bagging a few bargains! xx

  8. As every great advice Sharron. I must admit I will be resisting the sales this year, the only item I truly need are Jeans.

    X x

  9. Great tips and you are so organised thinking about the year ahead. I'm hoping to get another cashmere jumper in the sales. Thanks also for the Boden 60% mention.

  10. Fab tips Sharron & I love that Boden coat. Like you I always try to buy things in the sale like underwear etc that I know my son is going to need in a few months time following his next growing spurt & will keep an eye out for birthday presents for family and friends too. Although this year I've told hubby I'm going to be good....only time will tell lol!! Jane xx

  11. I love Wallis necklaces too. Not much left in the cards line in Marks though. :(

  12. Such great advice! I always plan to get Xmas bits in the sales for the following year but never get around to it! I most certainly will this year & have put a bit aside to do just that! Cards are so expensive & bagging a few in the sales is a great idea! I have planned to buy a tree in the sales but may add a few extras with the money I save on it! Ax


Let me know your thoughts, all comments are much appreciated, I know it takes time and effort xx