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Sale Season

Sale season is like open season… on your wallet.

We’re all being crunched a little with the global economic meltdown everyone’s been talking about these days. And signs that read ‘75% off ALL items’ certainly don’t help if you’re trying to make it through the month.

But it’s that time of year again – when stores literally slash their prices to get rid of their winter collections to make way for the new summer styles. Seeing all those red ‘marked-down’ signs makes us feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, and spending during the sale season becomes dangerously easy.

We spoke to Durban-based fashion stylist, Pippa Lynch, and COSMO’s fashion assistant Nathirah Isaacs, as well as Lois Eskowitz-Carter, costume designer for the Will & Grace show, for their advice on how to shop the sales wisely.

SALE PREP
• Before venturing out, take stock of your wardrobe and decide what it is you’re going to buy (and what it is you don’t need). ‘Tell yourself you’re not going to buy anything else, even though it might be super tempting,’ says Isaacs.
• Lynch agrees. ‘Determine how much you’ll be willing to spend, as having an idea of your budget will mean that you are a lot more careful with your purchases.’ Lynch suggests making a ‘shopping list’ beforehand.

BEST BUYS
• Isaacs believes sticking to the essentials is the only way to go. ‘Don’t spend unnecessarily. If the item you want is at a good price, then by all means, buy it, but don’t live above your means. You can still look stylish at the lowest prices.’
• Make sure everything you buy is the right size and suits your body shape and colour palette, suggests Lynch. Don’t get caught up in the frenzy and only buy items you actually need.
• ‘Invest in standbys like black pants, a good purse and classic pumps, and spend less on trendier items,’ Eskowitz-Carter advises.

BAD BUYS
• ‘Never buy clothing you wouldn’t have bought if they weren’t on sale,’ Lynch warns wisely. ‘Buying trendy pieces at a cheaper price doesn’t make them any more trendy.’
• Don’t buy anything that doesn’t meet your usually high standards. You wouldn’t buy an item that was torn, scuffed or stained if it wasn’t on the sale, so why buy it now, Lynch asks.
• Isaacs agrees and suggests you stay away from irrelevant and unnecessary items. Let’s face it: balloon banana pants won’t always be a fashion-must.

THE RUNNING OF THE BULLS
Thoughts of shoes, coats, skinnies, tops, jackets, dresses, skirts, accessories, etc. etc. etc. can cloud your thoughts, making you forget you still need to buy groceries for the rest of the month. ‘Remain calm!’ warns Isaacs.
‘Don’t behave like a crazed shopaholic, rather act like a woman on a mission; have your shopping list ready and stick to it,’ Lynch advises.

RUEFUL REGRET
We’ve all come home with a polka-dot dress and 6-inch stilettos we had the best intentions of wearing – but in truth, they’ve never seen anything other than the insides of our wardrobes. Lynch says there are a few ways you can limit the damage when you come home with a stray:
• If you decide you don’t like the colour and it doesn’t match anything else in your wardrobe, dye it.
• Speak to a tailor. Whether you’d like to make a maxi dress shorter, add lace to a skirt or turn the trousers into shorts, there’s always an option.
• As an extreme, last resort, sell the item to a second-hand clothing dealer and get a small percentage of your money back.

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