And before we get into the whole SALE thing, little something on SALE etiquettes -
Be polite at all times. With everyone. The staff is under immense pressure. When the salesgirl says, size 8 isn't available. Believe her.
Do a little bit calculation on your own before you head to the billing counter. With so many discounts, broken tags and hundreds of irate customers around, the poor chap might just get the total figure wrong. If you spot a mistake, again politely point that out.
Thing is don't be a bully. Not even if you discover your current size is tad tight.
Day 1 & Day 2 of the SALE. Go, no matter how busy you are, call in sick, fake a headache, whatever, just go. Yeah, yeah right... it's a month long SALE, still go. Pick your top 3 favorite outlets, that you frequent the most. And 3 stores you haven't been to in a while.
You don't buy anything on the first day. Nothing at all. You observe and absorb. Only that and a whole lot of that. You walk the aisles and the floors, more than once. Of course, the time spent on each floor depends on what gets you lusting... alright, so you do this until you are about to collapse. You might want to take a break here, a quick refuel at the in-store coffee place [do not step out, we don't want any distractions here.] Once re-fueled, repeat the observe and absorb part. This is when your list of 6 stores gets down to 3. The 3 stores that make it to your list, will be judged on -
- The discounts [knock off the stores that mostly offer a measly 10 per cent]
- The collection, does the store have what you wear? [nothing explains buying a fuchsia tights, not unless you are 7 or kate moss, and not even if its 70 per cent off]
- The size, does the store have the stuff you like in your size? Always buy your current size [size 4 isn't happening, not anytime soon, certainly not until the next SALE season]
You enter the buying phase, armed with the knowledge of what you need and where [the store, the floor, the shelf] to find it. [you'd argue, SALE was never about buying what you need, it's about splurging... WRONG, it's about what you need and never about what you might need.]
Now, onto buying, the easy part -
If you like something [like really, really, really like something], buy it, even if it's just 10 per cent discounted. [do not confuse it with the measly 10 per cent, I mentioned previously that's about the store selection, you are at one of listed stores, so can't go wrong here.]. Do not wait for it to be marked down any further. Your size will be gone. Buy what you really like, now.
If you are on the fence about something [the colour, the fit, the style or anything] do NOT buy it. [not even at 70 per cent off]. You are never going to use it or wear it. Do NOT buy it.
Buying jeans during the SALE season? I would rather steer clear. I am not sure whether it's just my thing, but jeans are better off being bought when you have all the trial rooms to yourself, it can never be a rush buy. Meaning, you can try 29 different jeans before finally buying one [now, I don't exactly try 29 jeans :-O]. I have bought marked down jeans thrice and now, I have no clue where they are.
Shoes, are another SALE buy that I am a little skeptical about. Sometimes it works, mostly it doesn't. The mad heaps of shoes that the stores put up is an absolute no-no.
However, this is a great time to buy a bag. But, just because you don't have to queue up outside the trial room, be careful, you may tend to go over board. Stick to one casual, one formal and one party. Okay, make it two casual, two formal and one party. But no more.
Buying books on discount has never worked for me, but, but those lovely pricey foreign magazines can be bought for almost nothing.
Miscellaneous stuff like – linen, kitchenware, curios etcetera – buy them, only if you like them and use them. A note about collecting curios – if you are like me and don't like the idea of turning your living room into a showroom/museum, be careful: These are dangerous times.
So you have shopped smart. Now, lie low. For the next ten days. Arrange your closets, again. Look around the house. Observe and absorb.
Then on the last week of the SALE. Venture again. Also, to the stores you hadn't shopped during your round 1 of shopping. Buy, only if you spot an absolute gem. Nothing else. You are done.
You may now smile giddily.