Shop Smart: Summer Sales

Let me set the stage. You are shopping in one of your favorite spots, and as if the sign were flashing neon, it calls to you…50% off! It’s energetic pull you can’t resist. Before long you’ve scooped up a handful of sale-priced items and are off to the checkout counter, feeling quite proud of yourself for having ‘saved’ so much. Sound familiar? Who amongst us doesn’t love a bargain?? I know I do!

That said, I am of the mindset that a bargain is only a bargain only if you wear it…otherwise it becomes one of the most expensive items of clothing that you own. Or, put another way…If you added up how much you spent on all those supposed bargains that you never wore, would it have paid for one of full-priced item that truly made your heart sing?

I’m not trying to make you feel guilty or suggest that you should only pay full price for things (heaven forbid!) However, it does beg the question: With summer sale season upon us, how can you curb your enthusiasm and come home with only those items that are worthy of hanging in your closet(s)? Read on, my fellow sale shoppers.

Make a list and check it twice. Before you shop, prioritize your wardrobe needs; review what you already own; and make a shopping list. (After all, we shop for groceries with a list…why not clothing?) A list will keep you from buying something that you don’t really need or already own.

Know thyself. Know (and make friends with) your best colors, silhouettes, and styles… and then don’t compromise! (By the way, if you are confused about this, I can help.)

Focus on fit. To determine proper fit, sit, stand, stretch, and bend. The garment should fit well in all of those positions. If not, you should have an idea as to whether something could be altered and, if so, how much it costs.

Try, try again. Things often look different on the hanger than they do on a person, so try on is a must. And, don’t try on things ‘half way.’ For example, don’t try something on over the blouse or pants you came in wearing because it seems like too much effort to undress. You will be better able to judge it if you try on the garment as you would be wearing it.

Consider the “friend” factor. Do you already have other items (or ‘friends’) hanging in the closet that work with the item you are trying on? If you need to by other companion pieces, your bargain may no longer be a bargain.

Finally, be honest. Ask yourself if you would have considered paying full price for the item. If the answer is yes, take your prize home!


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