How To Shop the Sales with Ease

January 21, 2011

It’s a fallacy that every woman loves to shop! Even if it were true, most of us are pressed for time all the time, so having uninterrupted hours to shop is a rare luxury at best. Add to that the lure of sales and it gets complicated.

And, we are right, smack dab in the middle of the January sale season!

I don’t know about you but, even though I enjoy shopping, when I see racks and racks of sales I want to turn around and leave…quickly! So, I can only imagine what those of you who hate to shop feel.

Whether you enjoy shopping or would rather have a root canal than hit the stores, these five shopping strategies make the process more efficient, productive, and enjoyable.

  1. Choose the right store. When it’s time to shop, many women automatically head for the nearest department or chain store. This is great if the clothes there are what you like. If, however, you find yourself tediously sorting through racks of clothing to find one piece worth buying, then it’s time to look elsewhere. There are smaller, boutique-type stores (even on Newbury Street) that are reasonably priced and offer delightful alternatives to the traditional stores. A little research can save you a lot of aggravation (and money) in the long run.
  2. Sort by Color. Once you’ve discovered a store that works for you, identify colors you love and that you want to build your wardrobe around. This will make your selection process (and your wardrobe) more efficient.
  3. Use Your Senses (including your sixth sense). Identify what draws you to an item. Is it the feel of the fabric, the way it moves when you walk (yes, walk, sit, and bend in everything you try on), the detailing of the design, or does it just feel “right?” If it’s simply that it fits or the price is so tempting, unless there are other factors that draw you to it, put it back on the rack and continue looking.
  4. What’s it Worth?I’m talking about the price per wear, not the actual price. Consider these three things:
    1. Do you have at least two things at home that go with it (or are you purchasing two complete outfits that it goes with)?
    2. Is it versatile? Can you dress it up or down?
    3. If you can answer a resounding yes to all of these questions, then buy it!Do you love it and are already imagining all the places you can wear it?
  5. Do you love it? Functional, useful, serviceable, and classic alone are not satisfactory euphemisms. Life’s too short to wear anything you don’t enjoy wearing just because it “works.” Remember, too, that with a few nips and tucks a tailor can often take something from serviceable to beautiful.

Oh, and one last thing…be sure you love it as much as the friend you’re shopping with or the salesperson. Listen to their advice, and then decide for yourself. After all, you’re the one who will be wearing it, not them!

If, after following these steps, you’re still shopping and not finding things you love, go back to step one and begin again, or just wait until new seasonal items are coming into the store.

It can be fun to find a great buy at a sale but sometimes it’s just better to pass up what’s there if it doesn’t make your heart sing and wait for something better (even if you have to pay a bit more). Ask friends, search the internet, ask a local image expert, or keep an eye open for new places to shop in your area.

The end result is a shopping experience that is inspiring, fruitful, and fun. Imagine that!

Learn how to stop wasting money on things you never wear.
Get Ginger's free e-book and bi-weekly newsletter with fashion secrets.