FASHION Savvy sales shopping


Putting savvy into the sales

Maggie Gibbons

Well, the blitz is on ladies, and now is your chance to grab some serious bargains. But think carefully before you lose the run of yourself and buy a load of rubbish because ‘they’re such bargains’.
I adore shopping. I could shop for Ireland. The minute the sales start I’m out there.
However, I’ve made so many mistakes over the years and collected so many ‘orphans’ (clothes that went with nothing else) that I really had to rethink my strategy and learn to shop smarter. After all, who needs more wardrobe clutter?
So before you whip yourself into a shopping frenzy and start burning up the bit of plastic, here are a few tips.

Look at what you have in your wardrobe. Only buy something that will fit in with your existing clothes, in fact as a general rule I suggest you only ever buy something that will go with three items you already have.

When trying on clothes, make sure they feel comfortable, if you’re tugging and pulling at them in the dressing room leave them there. They won’t fit you any better at home.

Does the colour suit you? Some colours might look great under artificial lighting
but could end up making you look drained in natural light.

Do you need it? How many more pairs of black trousers or white tee shirts do you need? Work out your plan before you go shopping. A bargain is only a bargain if you need it and will wear it.

What about the fabric? Can you wash it or is it dry clean only. If you have to bring it to the cleaners after every wear then it’s false economy.

Wear comfy shoes but slip the good ones into your bag so that you can try them on with whatever you’re buying.

Don’t wear loads of clothes, as it will make trying on very difficult. I really hate all the lugging and hauling to the dressing room but it must be done otherwise you might end up returning everything.

If you’re unsure about something take the time to think about it. Go away and have a coffee or lunch – it will give you enough space to think straight and make a decision that’s not totally based on impulse.

I’m constantly learning from my clients. One young lady I met last week told me she prefers to save for something that excites her rather than endlessly purchasing ‘ok’ items.
She showed me a tiny Valentino bag that was to die for. She had watched it for ages and delayed the gratification until she had saved the €1,000 to afford it. Yes, girls, you’re reading it right - €1,000. But she has a point.
I once tried on a pair of shoes that made me feel absolutely wonderful but on checking the price I nearly choked!
They were €400, so I walked away unsatisfied, because in a million years I could never justify that kind of spending. But then again, if I added up all my cheapie bags and shoes it would add up to an awful lot of lolly. So who’s the smarter spender?
I think this will be the year of the discerning shopper. Here’s to a happy, healthy – and savvy – 2011!

Maggie Gibbons
is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at

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