The news of a sale comes to women today in many ways. It can be a catalogue on your lawn, an ad in a local paper, on TV or an email from a retailer who has your name on their email list. You can hear about a sale from a friend or you can see the magic word while browsing on the Internet.
The words, sale and discounted, are designed to attract your attention as retailers vie for your shopping dollars. Yes you will ignore those items outside your budget or price comfort zone. If we are comfortable with the price, what next?
Here are some tips to help you bring home real sales bargains rather than sour lemons.
Are You The One for Me?
Items go on sale because they either have been overlooked or judged unsellable. A recent poll in the July 2012 Australian Womens Weekly conducted for the article ‘The Crisis Rocking Our Fashion Industry’ reported that 57.1% of women are unhappy with the selection of clothes unavailable. Lemons fit in that category. Bypass the boring, the unsuitable colour and the too outlandish for you. You will never wear them and they are not a bargain at any price. Skyscraper 10 cm heels are great for some but if you feel you will totter and fall on your face, admire them and pass by or scroll down the webpage.
A sale item is a real bargain if you have never seen it before and can now picture it going with a number of your current clothes and being worn regularly like my purple jumper and cami. The sale price is the bonus. Wearability and versatility mean nothing if the size is not perfect. Do ask as your size may be available from a different store. Choose only items you will wear often with pleasure. Unworn and rarely worn items are no bargain.
Beware Hidden Costs
Before you pay for that item do the ‘Hidden Costs’ Check. Is it a well-made item in quality material? Check for broken zips or missing buttons. If it is a little too big or too long, can you or someone else alter it. I bought a sale item merino wool top with sleeves for an Amazonian woman. Too late I found out that woollen seams cannot be altered. Now I must manually tuck under the excess every time I wear it. You have to decide whether little annoyances make the item a bargain or a lemon.
Sometimes the hidden cost of alteration can take a sale item from a bargain to a lemon. To have the sleeves taken up on a lined coat bought at a sale cost me almost as much as the coat itself. I was not expecting that. A modern classic, very wearable item is worth altering. A trendy, one or two season, occasional-wear item is not.
The Curse of Vanity
It does not matter how educated, practical or miserly you are, every woman has succumbed to vanity when shopping. Sales increase the temptation.
Those lust-have brand leather shoes may be beautiful and well made. Vanity struck when I bought apricot shoes in a half-size too small. I told myself that leather stretches. It does but not that much. Why apricot when I had very little to wear them with? Vanity is the answer. They ended up a lemon – lovely to look at but rarely worn.
There is no complete cure to vanity. Think twice before buying and hopefully vanity purchases will be a rare rather than a regular occurrence.
Sale Shopping with a Friend
This can be as dangerous as vanity. You can talk each other into buying unwise clothing and accessories or the second pair of eyes can find real bargains you may miss or overlook. Only you can decide whether sale shopping with a friend is a wise idea.
A sale was once a rare, much anticipated event. Now it is commonplace and learning to sale shop wisely is a modern dressing skill every woman needs to master.
(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 9 August 2012. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)