Sale survival guide

The sale emails have started. A worryingly good distraction from shopping for other people and a major trigger for my “need new things” urges.

If, like me, you have a love hate relationship with the sales and desperately want to buy less you can do one of two things.

1. Go cold turkey. Unsubscribe and put yourself on a strict shopping ban

2. Shop mindfully. Using the following advice to help you get there…

What do I NEED…?

Take a long hard look at your wardrobe and write a list of what’s genuinely missing. What pieces would help you achieve the look you’re going for and elevate and expand the outfits you can create from what you have already? Ideally make notes throughout seasons. Use this list to cut things from your basket or (even better) to filter on during your search.

Be really honest hear, I’ve been telling myself for 2 years now that I really could do with a pair of leather leggings. Every autumn the urge hits me. But I’m perfectly comfortable with my wardrobe without them…another pair of skinny jeans though, in a washed out black – that’s a genuine addition that would add value.

Be brand loyal…

Write a list of the brands you love and what you love them for and avoid aimless meandering by focusing on their sales only. Have a wishlist of items of key pieces from those brands ready for extra focus!

Make time, but not too much time…

Carve out time to shop, don’t make it an ongoing browsing whilst multi tasking extravaganza. Set aside a couple of hours with your lists and a cup of tea. Don’t exchange the tea for alcohol!!

If you want to respond more quickly to the brands you love as their emails come in to get the best picks set a timer on your phone and stop shopping once a) you’ve looked at that brand or b) your timer beeps. Don’t use the timer as an excuse for impulse buying – curate in the time you’ve set yourself then take a step away from the basket, reflect and then make a decision.

Set a budget and stick to it

This one is simple, make it big enough so that the rebel in you finds it less easy to dismiss once the desire kicks in but small enough to be affordable. And if this means not getting everything on your list be prepared to say “so be it”.

Power of 3.

For everything you’re considering buying quickly brainstorm every outfit you can create with this item. If you struggle to think beyond 3 outfits you’d regularly wear with joy then it isn’t a good purchase. If you can think of lots of outfits but with a follow up caveat of “if i also had the perfect boots I could…” then unless those boots are on the need list without the other purchase and you can repeat the 3 rule independently for each item, don’t do it.

Must. Be. Perfect.

Do not buy the item if it’s not perfect for you – no grabbing the wrong size or not quite the right colour or cut but sort of OK. I promise you’ll just be disappointed. And most definitely do not buy a size smaller in the hope that you’ll fit into it once you’ve starved yourself post Christmas.

If the product gets less than 4 stars give the reviews a quick read – are the reasons people are giving for being dissatisfied the reasons you’d give too?

If you follow this advice I promise you can still get the thrill of the sales without the deep regret afterwards.


Image: Benedict Geyer @ Unsplash

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