5 Tips to Avoid Sales Disasters

As the January Sales continue with shops tempting you with further reductions, I wanted to share with you five simple tips to ensure you don’t make any rash sales purchases that you’ll later regret.

So if you’ve yet to thumb through any sale rails, ‘click buy’ on a coveted item or perhaps you’ve yet to snip off the tags on items recently bought in the sales, do take a minute to read through my tips below and be sure you buy wisely.


1. Shop by colour

Every season I can quickly identify items which will very likely end up in the sales – those that are in colours that suit very few people – and will invariably be the ones languishing on the sale rails in several sizes.

For those of you who have had your natural colouring assessed and thus know which colours suit and flatter you best, you should already be familiar with shopping by colour. Never does this become more useful when trying to work your way swiftly through the jumble-sale like rails. Many shops will group each garment type together on one rail and order by colour which makes it even easier for you to zone in on those items which will suit you best – leaving just the style aspect to be assessed.

And for those of you who have more unusual colouring e.g. bright and warm, then the sales can be an excellent time for you to grab a great bargain as you may very well find colours that suit very few.

Matthew Williamson Silk-Chiffon Dress
Matthew Williamson Embellished Printed Silk-Chiffon Dress - Was £1,195, Now £358.50

You can buy this dress at Net-A-Porter.


2. Don’t be seduced by the discount

Yes it may very well be a designer brand and/or reduced by 70% but that doesn’t mean the colour or the style will suit you any better. Don’t allow yourself to compromise on the key design elements that will ensure you look your absolutely best – you’re only cheating yourself.


3. Invest in pieces you’ll wear season after season

Some premium brand items are worth buying in the sale. For example, a high quality winter coat in a colour and style which suits your fashion personality will look great on you every season and thus a timeless coat for you.

This particular winter coat would be ideal for someone who suits deep, warm, soft colours; wishes to balance out their broad shoulders and loves classic styles with a twist…

Hoss Intropia Coat
Hoss Intropia Twenties Cut Coat - Was £445, Now £222.50

You can buy this coat directly from Hoss Intropia.


Equally, this coat which I featured in my Discover the 11 Secrets to Choosing a Perfect Winter Coat blog, is still available in every size in the beautiful Amethyst colour – great for all those who suit deep, cool, soft colours and seek an elegant classic coat.

French Connection Coat
French Connection Wonderland Wool Collarless Coat - Was £165, Now £132

You can buy this coat directly from French Connection.


For men this Burberry trench coat is an absolute classic in an interesting neutral colour which will suit men with both a deep warm and deep cool colouring.

Burberry Trench Coat
Burberry London Cotton-Twill Trench Coat - Was £995, Now £497.50

You can buy this coat from Mr Porter.


Another item worth buying in the sales is a stylish, timeless bag. This year, I treated myself to this oversized tote bag. It’s not only practical as I can fit everything in (and more) and allows me to shop hands free but the plain neutral taupe shade complements all the colours in my wardrobe and ultimately completes my look.

Jigsaw Middle Tab Satchel
Jigsaw Middle Tab Satchel - Was £170, Now £155

You can buy this bag directly from Jigsaw.


4. Be careful with high-fashion trends

Some trends come and go where others remain for many seasons. I always encourage clients to develop their own fashion identity and to pick and choose which trends they adopt accordingly, ensuring all future purchases complement their own signature look.

This approach remains true during sale shopping, however be careful not to buy up items that are associated with a particular trend that is unlikely to last and thus date very quickly. The Autumn/Winter 2012 print trend is a very likely candidate – difficult to wear, in particular the bold upholstery print trouser suits.

If you are someone who likes to always have a nod to the current trends, then here are a few looks which will ensure your bang up to date this Spring:

  • monochrome (although the more white the outfit the better)
  • minty green featured heavily on the catwalks for women
  • whereas men should be on the lookout for bright, primary colours
  • anything with a nod to the 60s (a flattering A-Line shift dress)
  • big, bold stripes were everywhere


5. Seek out the staple items

The sales offer the perfect time to bolster your capsule wardrobe, some key staple items lacking from many wardrobes are smart/casual trousers (ones you can dress up or down); jeans; a blazer or casual jacket; cashmere knitwear.

These extremely flattering high-rise cropped trousers are great for updating a smart/casual work wardrobe, or offering an alternative to jeans for stylish evening look.

French Connection Trousers
French Connection Isar Herringbone Trousers - Was £97, Now £48.50

You can buy these trousers directly from French Connection.

For men seeking a blazer to finish their smart/casual wardrobe, you won’t go far wrong with one of Ted Baker’s quirky but very wearable blazers like this one:

Ted Baker Blazer
Ted Baker Samchek Wool Nep Blazer

You can buy this blazer directly from Ted Baker.


For times when you seek something to throw on over a basic top to add style to the overall outfit this cardigan is the perfect solution, whether it’s for grabbing as you dash out the door for the school run or a smart alternative to a jacket for work.

Mint Velvet Charcoal Clasp Front Cardigan
Mint Velvet Charcoal Clasp Front Cardigan - Was £69, Now £55

You can buy this cardigan directly from Mint Velvet.


Want a hand in becoming a savvy shopper?

If you feel navigating through the sales – and beyond – why not book a Women’s Personal Shopping session or Men’s Personal Shopping session? If you’d like to discover what colours will ensure you look great on you and what styles will suit and flatter your shape then you may also be interested in my personal styling services – Colour Analysis & Style Analysis – for women, or Style Analysis for Men.


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Read on…

Why not check out other posts relating to items you might find in the sales – How to Find Winter Boots Perfect for You…and How to Wear Them and  Discover the 11 Secrets to choosing a Perfect Winter Coat.