Guest Editor Shine By Three: How To Shop A Sale

Ironically, this photo is of me going through rails and rails of beautiful clothing in Incu at The Galeries, that I can’t afford. But that’s ok, because I’m wearing things I could afford – i.e. distressed knit by Living Doll and my favourite wide leg Stylestalker pants.

The savvy shopping I’m talking about today is specific to buying in stores 1) in a raging 50% off (or thereabouts) sale and 2) if there isn’t a sale going on, you’re only making notes of what you’ll buy when it goes on sale.

My points:

Sale sale sale. And designers will hate me for this – I still love you all, relax, but let’s face it. I can’t afford your clothes. So this is the honest and painfully frank inside scoop: I never buy full price. There’s a mark-up on all clothes, shoes, bags, whatever, that eventually will come down – and if it sells out before then, do you really want to buying that necklace, because now the 5000 they made are around 5000 other people’s necks which would just be awkward and mainstream (only half serious on that).

The times I’ve really forked out to buy full-price, I always walk past the store and its 70% OFF signs 2 weeks later and think about all the train tickets to uni that I could have bought with that extra $50.

More importantly, though, is how to find the beautiful pieces in sales – the aim of this game is to look well put together, not to be expensive. If the not-quite-silk shorts are the right colour and look amazing on, get them. You’ll be sick of them by the time they fall apart anyway.**

Touchy feely. Whenever I go to showings, I always get laughed at for feeling up the clothes (think leather, suede, silk, jacquard, wool) and never actually looking at that brilliant print until after I’ve assessed how the fabric feels. Because that’s important – you’re (hopefully) going to be wearing that dress. You don’t want it to make you sweat when you step outside. This is what will generally happen with fabrics that feel grainy when you scrunch it between your fingers (polyster, nylon, etc).

The philosophy here is that if it feels cheap, chances are it’ll look cheap. Sometimes darker or neutral colours will counter that (so as long as nobody touches you, then you’re sweet), but generally look for pieces that feel smoother or are heavier woven fabrics. They’ll generally last you a lot longer.

Swing both ways. If you find a beautiful dress in Size 700, don’t put it down. Stare at it for at least 5 minutes and think about the way you could belt it, stitch it, cut it, tuck it in, wear it as something else (enormous shirts as high-waisted skirts are a good one).

By the same token, if something’s too small, think about how the piece is constructed. If the bottom half is too small, cut it and wear it as a top. If the top half is tight, cut it, give it to your kid sister, and wear the skirt.

I call this: “I can’t afford these Acne shoes either, but let’s pull a face in this unflattering light and talk about shoes anyway.”

Shoes are a bit different for me. I’ve always said that if I ever become a millionaire (key word: if), the only designer things I’ll ever buy are shoes – because while it might not matter whether your white t-shirt is Cotton On or Alexander Wang, badly made shoes will destroy your feet and make you wish you didn’t even have feet. Then you’ll block it out of your memory and wear the same, poorly made shoes time after time because they look awesome, until your feet are beyond repair and your pedicurist judges you. And let me tell you – the number of sub-par shoes I own is marginally ridiculous. Almost everyone I know has seen me crawling somewhere at some point because I’ve vowed not to take my shoes off.

I would wear flats (Rubi ones with elastic edges are so comfy), but I’m short so here are some handy thoughts to have while sale-shopping for heels (though they probably apply to flats too):

  • Make sure the inside is leather. Anything else guarantees blisters.
  • Sitting on the try-on chair doesn’t count as being able to walk in them.
  • Are you going to break your ankle at Dubstep night?

As a general rule, wedges are your safest bet. Remember that things are on sale for a reason. I don’t want too much hate, so I’ll leave that one to the imagination.

So I suppose the over-arching moral of the story is this. Nobody cares how much you bought something for, or even what the label is (tags are on the inside of your clothing… what’s the big deal?). If you look amazing, people you tell you so. Then, consider your surroundings and decide whether you want to tell them that your your revolutionary tailored shirtdress is actually a men’s shirt and you cut the back panel off.

Love,

Marg.

P.S. don’t forget to check online before you buy something too – but more about that next time.

**Having said this, I’m the first to say that if you are looking for those timeless classics like blazers, tailored pants, shift dresses, black pumps, remember that ELLERY has sales too… sometimes…

 

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67 Comments

  • Reply BellaB Saturday 9th March, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Helpful.

  • Reply yslyenom Sunday 3rd February, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Nice article!

  • Fashionista8P
    Reply Fashionista8P Saturday 28th July, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    awesome tips!

  • Reply Zerotolove Monday 23rd January, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Great tips, I’m just the same, I never buy full price, and rely on the sales to get me through the season!

  • Reply Xiaxiao Saturday 21st January, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    so true

  • Reply weesy Thursday 19th January, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    this is so helpful!

  • Reply lara.heaton Thursday 19th January, 2012 at 7:42 am

    She’s such a cutie. x

  • karan2386
    Reply karan2386 Monday 16th January, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Outlet stores and sales all the way…

  • Reply linhyy Sunday 15th January, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Oh I agree on this one clothes are never to be bought full priced but accessories **cue in leather shoes and designer handbags that will take you forever are so worth the splurge!

  • Fashionis_blows
    Reply Fashionis_blows Saturday 14th January, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Good guide to the sales, funny too!

  • Reply teekendall Saturday 14th January, 2012 at 9:06 am

    So true, especially labels. Who cares what they are.

  • Reply chocolatelace Friday 13th January, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    i love the honest advice.

  • Reply julzjulzz Friday 13th January, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    touche!

  • Reply candi_lee Friday 13th January, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Thanks for the advice

  • Reply doogs Friday 13th January, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Agree

  • hausoftina
    Reply hausoftina Friday 13th January, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Thanks for all of these tips! They’re all extremely helpful(:

  • Reply punkemohardcore Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    I need to start following these tips

  • Reply traanster Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Without knowing it, I already do most of the things she’s stated here! Definitely agree with her there.

  • Reply bubble_n_squeak51 Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    I totally agree! I work at Cotton On and my sister works at Country Road, completely different price ranges. Yet we usually end up with very similar wardrobes, that get given to Lifeline in 2 years time anyway. ‘Nobody cares how much you bought something for, or even what the label is (tags are on the inside of your clothing… what’s the big deal?). If you look amazing, people you tell you so.’ Definitely great advice!

  • Reply juliew Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    good advice there

  • Reply piccolanippy Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    That was a great read!

  • Reply BBstar Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I follow the “swing both ways” note of not just looking at your own size in sales. Often knits can be oversized and still look fabulous, or skirts have a couple of darts put in the sides to bring them in, it just depends-I also am a sucker for beautiful fabric and will stare longingly at something a good while if the fabric looks of feels to good to put down.

  • Reply Crystal Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    agreed!!

  • Reply marcie4 Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Love these ideas, thanks 🙂

  • Reply Chanels_Allure Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    totally agree with her, I used to be shop savvy but since having a little one time is so limited that I have to be in and out before he pulls everything off the rack!

  • sommy7
    Reply sommy7 Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Wonderful tips..make me think how I shop

  • Reply i-n-u-r-e Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Great article! It was interesting and I totally agree with her

  • Reply pearl06 Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Great! Since we all go to the places first where we see the sale sign. It makes sense. Thanks for the ideas.

  • sbooth29
    Reply sbooth29 Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 11:43 am

    stunning!

  • Reply candicelee22 Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Love a good sale

  • violetflower61230
    Reply violetflower61230 Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Great tips!

  • Reply BellaB Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Totally agree.

  • Reply Tashie Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Love it!

  • Reply linhyy Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 10:10 am

    you make me laugh!

  • Reply tessarella Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Such a well written article, fantastic advice!

  • Zoe93
    Reply Zoe93 Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 10:05 am

    thank you!

  • Reply lieuloves Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 10:02 am

    seriously good post 😀

  • Reply fifi73 Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Great ideas and tips…. 😉

  • Reply Caty Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 9:26 am

    It’s so refreshing to have a blogger who’s all about the bargains instead of ones who wears all expensive designer wear that normal folk can’t afford (or ones who only blog about the few designer stuff they own). Thanks Marg 🙂

  • Reply ichigolove01 Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 9:21 am

    I love your tips! Great guide

  • Reply aalana Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Some great ideas, thanks!

  • Reply KNY Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Good tips. Personally I cannot remember the last time I bought clothes or shoes at full price…!

  • Reply ang43@hotmail.com Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Thanks

  • Reply nicolecooper Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Great tips Marg!

  • Reply whatsupmonkey Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Pft,heels with leather interiors give blisters too. Break them in my ass.

  • Reply midnightstarfish Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I agree!!

  • Reply doogs Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 8:00 am

    thanks 🙂

  • Reply bardie Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 7:55 am

    agree

  • spunkx
    Reply spunkx Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 7:51 am

    fabulous article, I agree whole-heartedly with all statements made, most especially: “never pay full price” – this being my retail mantra too!

  • Reply shell0606 Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Great article!

  • Reply darling Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 5:46 am

    love it

  • Reply sappheire Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 2:14 am

    fantastic helpful tips

  • Reply Vanessa Thursday 12th January, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Trust Margaret to come up with this nifty article! Marg is spot on about looking online. PS. to all you girls out there, go to make up counters, test then go to http://yesstyle.com.au and search for products! Happy saving! xx

  • Reply UNoPoo Wednesday 11th January, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Thanks!

  • Reply qwysycl Wednesday 11th January, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    great ideas thanks

  • Reply Claireo Wednesday 11th January, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Great Advice!

  • Reply ladadidah Wednesday 11th January, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    this was great! I rarely buy things not on sale too

  • Reply MsKimo Wednesday 11th January, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Yay for saving money.
    I hate buying things at full price but I do anyway because I’m bad at waiting but then things get so much cheaper! x

  • jazlovestoskate
    Reply jazlovestoskate Wednesday 11th January, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    love all these tips, very helpful!

  • Reply themissus Wednesday 11th January, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Awww, she has such great advice! Thank you. 🙂

  • leilani-lovebird
    Reply leilani-lovebird Wednesday 11th January, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Great advice. thankyou miss x

  • Myra
    Reply myra00 Wednesday 11th January, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I love this guide to sales, some great advice, thanks!

  • aimzybabe
    Reply aimzybabe Wednesday 11th January, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Really, really great tips. This was a pleasure to read! I love your humour 🙂

  • Reply Sarahh Wednesday 11th January, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Great article! Really cute and easy to read!

  • Reply chrisbabe1971 Wednesday 11th January, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    some great ideas

  • Reply JENNIFAARRH Wednesday 11th January, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    love her advice!! 😀

  • Reply holly vals Wednesday 11th January, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    I am in 100% agreeance

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