Bargain hunting at the sales

Do not buy anything that will not go with at least two other things you already own.

Do not buy anything that will not go with at least two other things you already own.

Is the rain and doom and gloom of the recession dampening your mood? If so, maybe you need an injection of retail therapy to brighten your spirits.

Now is the perfect time to hit the high streets as the last of the summer sales see fashions being reduced to giveaway prices.

Every self respecting fashionista should be planning to bag the best bargains at this annual summer event.

The sales give us an opportunity to make good fashion investments, to target quality outfits which we have had our eye on all season and are hopefully knocked down now to rockbottom prices.

Shopping experts warn the sales can be a minefield for those who do not have a clear sale strategy. Faced by an array of “never to be repeated” reductions it is all too easy to rush in and snap up cut price items but rue your haste later.

Too often we succumb to the biggest reduction or the cheapest offer only to find four months on that we have not worn it.

One way to avoid overspending is to work out a realistic budget and try hard to stay within it. Many of us fall into the trap of impulse buying. Seduced by the thought of bagging a once in a lifetime bargain we buy something we do not need and will probably never wear.

The best way to get a good deal is to spend time beforehand deciding what you want and how much you are willing to spend. Examine your fashion needs. If you have a basic collection then you may just need to revitalise it with a few good buys.

The amount of money you are prepared to spend is an important consideration. Decide a figure in advance and aim to stay within it. If you are tempted to stray ask yourself would you pay the full price for the item now selling at half price. If the answer is “no” you should reconsider parting with your hard earned cash.

What should you look out for during the sales and how can you maximise your chances of getting good value for money? Firstly, think ahead to the next season, say experts. Aim to buy a look rather than bits and pieces. This will eliminate the difficulty of trying to shop for co-ordinates later.

The larger department stores tend to be good bets for serious bargain hunters. Watch out for classic looks and colours which will not date. Avoid eye-catching styles or faddish patterns which will lose their appeal and value quickly.

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