Sales are a great way to give your wardrobe a lift and best of all, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Given it’s the end of the spring/summer fashion season, all of the major retailers are offering huge discounts in August and September on swimsuits, shorts, tank tops and short-sleeved tops so that they can clear their racks for the Fall 2014 arrivals. Before you head to the store, you’ll want to develop a clothes-buying strategy, so here’s how to make this summer’s sales work for you:
You’ll want to use sales to round out your wardrobe, so first organize your closet to figure out what you have and the key wardrobe pieces you’ll need. Avoid “stuffocation,” that is, having a closet filled with clothes you don’t wear. If you haven’t worn something in the past year, give it away to make room for clothes you’ll actually wear.
Next, consider your lifestyle and figure out the clothes you tend to wear often. Then find inspiration by visiting your favorite stores’ websites, paying attention to what women are wearing on the streets, visiting Pinterest or flipping through fashion magazines.
To save even more money when you go shopping for sale clothing items, shop with a list of the items you need. Many shoppers tend to buy on impulse, overspend and end up never using the clothes they’ve bought. Then, set a clothes-shopping budget and stick with it once you’ve reached your limit, whether it’s $50, $500 or $5000. Don’t become enamored with discounts to the point that you’re buying something just because it’s on sale — a piece of clothing on sale isn’t worth buying if it causes you to overspend. Remember to ask “Do I really need this?”
Be smart when you shop and use tools like Hukkster to track products online and get notified when they’re on sale.
When you’re buying clothing on sale, start with neutrals and resist the temptation to buy items in this season’s trending colors. This year’s colors may be out next year, so if you buy items in neutral colors — black, brown, white, tan, camel, navy, gray and cream — you can top them off with items in next year’s colors when you shop next year.
If you see an item you love on sale but it doesn’t come in your size, ask a retail associate to check with the store’s other locations to see if they have the item in your size. You can also check smartphone shopping apps to see if the retailer has the item in stock online.
Before you buy, always read or ask about the store’s return policy regarding items on sale, especially clearance items. Most clearance return policies are pretty short, usually around 14 days, because stores don’t want to see out-of-season clothes back on their shelves.
Finally, pay with cash. Shoppers tend to pay 20 to 50 percent more when they shop with plastic, whether they’re using a credit or debit card.