What to buy - and what to avoid - in the sales.
A change in mindset
With the recession, there's never been a better time to be savvy about shopping in the sales. It's not always about spending less, but making your money go further.
There's always the risk of buying something you don't really love just because it's a bargain. It's much better to buy something you love and spend that bit more. It's a good idea to plan ahead - decide what your budget is beforehand to avoid post-sales-shopping guilt, and also think about which pieces you might want. Are they something you can wear now and next season? Key trends stick around, so a sale is a good way to snap them up. Right now, look out for coloured leather, graphic print and tuxedo dressing - think sharp jackets with cigarette pants.
Be open to ideas
Have a general idea of what you'd like, for example, a jacket or a coat, but be open-minded about the brand or style. The great thing about sales shopping is you might discover brands that you previously didn't know about. Our fashion team just went to Los Angeles and came across Clover Canyon, a great label that produces fun, colourful prints.
Get in there quickly
Bags, jewellery and small leather goods are the first things to go in a sale as they are sizeless, and due to the nature of sales shopping, sizes are always limited. If you see a bag or shoes you love and they are on sale, go for it. At The Outnet , when we have a Christian Louboutin sale, we sell them at the rate of one pair of shoes every three seconds.
Buy classic and statement
If you're looking at designer labels, definitely go for items that are the signature pieces for that brand. So, anything leather from Helmut Lang, red from Valentino, or blazers from Stella McCartney. But, as well as the classics, sales are also a good opportunity to buy something like a really amazing evening gown that you couldn't quite justify at full price.
If the dress fits…
If you're shopping online, shop by size. A lot of websites have size filters so you aren't tempted to buy something that's way too big or too small simply because it's a good deal. It's a great way to do a first edit. Having said that, if you completely fall in love with a piece of clothing that's the wrong size, you could always look into getting it tailored.
Time for an upgrade
Buying from the sales is an opportunity to upgrade your wardrobe, if you think it's time you invested in better fabrics. For instance, beautiful cashmere is timeless and great to buy when you can. Have a look at your wardrobe and work out what's missing.
Compiled by Stephanie Phair, director of theoutnet.com