A STYLIST’S GUIDE TO SHOPPING ALL THE BEST SALES
That perfect find
Who doesn’t love that euphoric sense of pleasure at finding just what you’re looking for at a fabulous price? The combination of a beautiful new piece and feeling like you got a super bargain is hard to beat. Confess ladies, we love revisiting that price tag with the original price and the markdown price. Shopping sales is a fantastic way to introduce higher quality items, like cashmere, into your wardrobe without breaking the bank.
But, just buying something at a great price is anything but a bargain if you end up never wearing it! lookingGLASS stylists often say most of the items they end up removing from clients’ closets still have the tags on them! Why? Because they saw something on sale and thought it was such a good deal that they just had to buy it. No shade, here. We’ve all done it. We’ve all been the victims of our inner impulse buying imp. But victim no more! In this blog post, we’ll share a few tips and tricks that will transform you into one of those savvy sales shoppers who gets great bargains, buys what they need and wears what they buy.
Shopping sales intentionally
Shopping intentionally can go a long way to saving you time and money when you guy clothes. You’ll get just the right items that you will enjoy wearing and that will expand your options in putting together outfits when combined with pieces you already in your closet. Before you even walk out the door or get ready to shop online with only a vague idea of what you need to add to your wardrobe to freshen it up or replace a piece that you no longer want to keep, know in advance what you’re looking to buy. Besides saving time and money, planning in advance helps cut down on impulse buying. Buying something on impulse or a sudden whim—often whether you need it or not and whether you are really likely to wear it or not—too often results not only in money wasted but in a closet that is cluttered with things you don’t even wear.
But let’s be real, an occasional impulse buy isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We all do it. As a matter of fact, it can be fun. The trick is recognizing an impulse buy for what it is before you whip out that credit card in the checkout line or hit the checkout now button for your online shopping. The simple process of awareness can make a huge difference in the money and time you save when you shop and your overall satisfaction with your wardrobe. It only takes a second to ask yourself whether you’re buying an item because you need it to fill a gap in your wardrobe or buying to fulfill an emotional need. Either is okay when the decision is a considered one that you will be happy with a month from now.
Are you vulnerable to that sneaky impulse purchase?
So, what are some clues that you might be a little too prone to impulse buying? For one, do you find yourself bemoaning having “nothing to wear,” when your closet is jam-packed with clothes? Do you buy items and then forget about them? Are there clothes hanging in your closet that still have the tags on them? The next time your inner impulse imp starts trying to convince you why it really makes sense for you to buy an item—who cares if it’s on your list or not, who cares if you already have three similar ones, who cares if it doesn’t quite fit, take just a second and think about that last shopping trip with your kids in tow. Mom, can I have this? Mom, I really want this. Mom, I really, really want this, pleeeeeeeeze. Yeah, you get the picture. You’ve got this. You’ve got a plan.
Keep an ongoing list
The essence of The Plan is The List. Have an ongoing list in your phone, a digital file, on paper, wherever. You do this for your groceries. You have a recipe in mind, and you buy ingredients accordingly, right? It’s a habit. Intentional shopping is taking a habit you already have and applying it to shopping for clothes. When you’re ready to buy, you know at least generally what you need or want to get. When you’re scrolling through Pinterest, have a special pin board labeled Things To Buy. Then you’ll have the advantage of a visual to define and refine exactly what it is you need to add to your wardrobe. When it’s time to peruse items on sale, you’ll be able to zero in on what you’re looking for.
Rate any item before you buy
Get in the habit of mentally rating any item before you put it in your basket or your online cart.
Before you buy, ask yourself these questions:
If the answer to any of those questions is no, do not purchase. You’ll be glad you didn’t.
If your answer to any question is yes, mentally apply the 5-star rating system to it. If you love it, is it a 5-star love? If not, maybe rethink the purchase. Developing this habit will help you distinguish between items you actually need and items that trigger your little imp. You’ll be amazed how this simple process can quickly quell a passing whim and have you shopping sales like a pro in no time.
You thought about the last time you struggled to put an outfit together because you were missing an essential piece. You need a statement jacket to freshen up the look of your favorite jeans. Those are the items you’re going to keep top of mind as you shop. If you don’t find them, you won’t purchase. You’ve got a plan. You’ve got a list. What better time to plan to do your intentional shopping than during recurring sales?
Know the Annual Reoccurring Sale Schedule
To get the most out of your sales shopping, it helps to know when the big sales happen during the year, so you can plan in advance and take advantage of the best bargains. We’ve compiled a list of recurring sales for 2023 to put on your calendar, when they happen and what to look for, as part of your savvy sales shopping plan.
December—This is one time that putting things off to the last minute pays off. If your holiday gift list allows for flexibility, the closer to December 25 you can do your shopping, the steeper the discounts you’ll find. And don’t forget the after-Christmas sales for some great bargains.
January—January is prime time for end of season winter-apparel sales shopping. Retailers typically discount (sometimes as much as 50%!) items like heavy coats, sweatshirts, warm pajamas, winter boots, sweaters, hats and scarves in late January. There may still be some discounted items in February, just not as big a selection. In Janurary, look for good sales around New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
February—Wait until right after Valentine’s Day for some great discounts on jewelry. And don’t forget Presidents Day bargain sales.
March—If you’re a fan of the great outdoors or love to workout at your local gym, this is the month to look for running and workout apparel and footwear. You might find better pricing on these items in the fall, but spring selections will be bigger. Also, watch for sales in around St. Patrick’s Day. With Easter coming up, be on the lookout for department store savings on kids’ clothes, women’s fashions, as well as men’s suits, shirts and ties. These stores will be eager to push their new warm weather inventory.
April—If you missed the March sales, April might find you shopping for that perfect Easter outfit for yourself and your family. The lead up to Easter will provide plenty of great sales shopping opportunity. And, don’t forget the after-Easter sales.
May—In May, retailers will start making room for summer fashion, so look for good discounts on spring items. Plan your May shopping around Mother’s Day and Memorial Day sales.
June—For outfitting the men in your life, watch for sales in the lead up to Father’s Day.
July—Stores will begin to clear inventory for fall. Fourth of July and Amazon Prime Day are the big sales to watch for this month. Expect to see deep discounts at 4th of July sales, one of the best shopping times of the year. Also, Amazon’s Prime Day sale usually occurs in mid-July. Watch for the dates to be announced a few weeks prior. Look for sales on swimsuits, sandals and beach towels this month.
August—Another month when retailers are clearing space, this time for fall inventory. Look for more sales on summer clothing and swimwear. Take advantage of this month’s back-to-school sales for great bargains on kids’ clothes and backpacks. And if your state has tax-free weekends for clothing and school supplies, that’s another opportunity for some good savings.
September—Labor Day is a great time for bargains on inventory left over from back-to-school sales.
October—Retailers will start tempting you with their discounts on cooler-weather clothing. Look for sales on leggings, robes, sweats and joggers. These prices might not be as low as January sales, but the selection will be bigger.
November—November is a great time to start picking up gifts for the holidays. Kick off your sales shopping this month with Veteran’s Day bargains. The big events for bargains in November will be Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Black Friday is the first big shopping day of the holiday season, so bring your holiday gift list. You can expect to see steep price drops on jewelry and clothing, as well as cologne and perfume gift sets.
Shopping Sales Like a Pro
Let’s face it, being a smart sales shopper feels like an achievement and leaves us with a sense of satisfaction, whether it’s because we found that perfect piece at a great bargain or because we had a plan and stuck to it.
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