I like sales. You like sales. Everyone relishes in a good deal, a fab find, a majestic money-saving moment… but what happens when blow out sale hysteria leads to impulse buying, poor judgement, and dare I say it: ugly clothing hanging in our closets?!
I’m going to give you a scenario, you tell me if it sounds familiar.
You’re rifling through the clearance rack, eyes glazed over with the promise of up to 70% off retail, and you start grabbing all these “good deals.” You think: I don’t usually do florals, but this dress is only $17. Then: Oooh this top isn’t really my color but it’s marked down to $7.99! What a steal! Jeans one size to small wander into your pile, you decide to buy them because you’re going to join the gym and do a juice cleanse and they are $20 for INSERT COOL BRAND NAME HERE jeans! Before you know it you’ve gone home with a dress in a print you merely tolerate, a shirt that makes you look jaundice, and jeans that might fit if/when you lose those 10 pounds. You’re $40+ in the hole and don’t really even like anything you bought. This is what I like to call a case of the “Sale-Fail.”
Have you been a victim? Do you have a closet full of “great deals” that make you feel mediocre at best?
It is time to stop buying things because they are cheap and only buy things you love.
I’m not suggesting you throw out your budget, but I am suggesting you stop stocking up on a smorgasbord of buying mistakes all in the name of a good deal.
Next time you hit the stores, arm yourself with these simple sale-shopping rules and start saving the smart way by only buying items that you [gasp] actually WANT to wear.
Rule #1: Only buy what you love. Would you even consider purchasing the item if it was full price? If the answer is “no,” put it back. It’s only a “good deal” if you feel it is worth MORE than you are paying for it.
Rule #2: If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t get purchased. The only exception to this rule would be high quality, classic items that need minor tailoring. If the item is still swoon-worthy after factoring in the cost of alterations, go for it, but take it right to the tailor. Otherwise it will end up in the back of your closet on the list of things that will never get done.
Rule #3: Shop off-season. I find the best deals at end of season sales. Sure, you might have to wait a little while to wear it, but it’s worth the savings. Shop classic pieces that won’t go out of style. No sense in purchasing trendy items that will be outdated before you have a chance to wear them.
Rule #4: Invest in functional pieces that reflect your personal style. Will you wear it? Does it fit your day-to-day life? Is it “you?” Sure those blazers are marked down to next-to-nothing, but if you don’t wear blazers, don’t buy them.
Rule #5: Stop buying uncomfortable clothing. You found a beautiful sweater. It’s itchy. You start thinking: maybe if put something under it, it’s such a good price… Stop thinking and put it back. Same thing goes for that beautiful beaded blouse you try on and notice that it rubs under the arm pits. You think: maybe I just won’t move my arms. Noooooo! Did you just hear yourself?! Who doesn’t move their arms!?! Put it back. Chaffed pits are not cute. Neither are chaffed nipples, but that’s another story for another day. Let’s suffice it to say a good sub-rule would be the ability to wear a bra with whatever you buy…
Rule #6: Know what you have and what you need. Yes, those sandals are marked down to $6.49, but do you NEED a third pair of flat black sandals? Probably not. There is nothing worse than getting back home with your shopping haul only to find half of it already hanging in your closet. You know what they say, when you fail to plan, plain to sale-fail…or something…
Rule #7: Refuse to be blinded by brands. Have you found yourself screaming OMG this is INSERT NAME OF SUPER HOT DESIGNER for ONLY $59!!!! I get it. They’re famous, they have spreads in Vogue, but that could be a whole lot of ugly with a designer label. Ugly is ugly. Sure it might have sold for $449 once upon a time, but there is a reason it’s now on clearance at TJ’s. So put back the neon green alligator wallet with fur trim and a rainbow applique, say a prayer for the poor souls who paid retail for it once upon a time, and move on. At the end of the day no one cares WHO you are wearing. Really. I promise. And if they do… it’s time to get new friends… but (again) that’s another topic for another day…
Bottom line: it’s only a “good deal” if wearing it makes you feel fabulous.
I LOVE every item in the photo above, so getting them WAY below retail was just an added bonus. (Total cost of this outfit was less than $70 and all items mix and match with other pieces of my wardrobe.)
What’s the takeaway here? The next time you make a beeline to the sales rack, keep these rules in mind. Don’t end up with a closet full of “good deals” that you never want to wear — turn yesterday’s sale-fail into tomorrow’s bargain-shopping victory.
Shop on frugal fashionistas. Shop. On.