I am still reeling from several events—Blake Lively’s surprise wedding to Ryan Reynolds (cue collective sigh from all females in the room), the fit of John Lloyd Cruz’s suit in The Mistress (cue collective sigh from all females in the room), images from the recently concluded New York Fashion Week, news of the Sting concert in Manila (near suicidal because I won’t be able to make it), and our company’s Casino Royale bash last weekend. What a week it’s been, and September has just begun! That can only mean that a flurry of events and preparations are upcoming as the –Ber months are underway. And, in anticipation of the major Christmas shopping in the next few months, stores are more likely to go on massive sales around this time to clear up their inventory. Now don’t get carried away darlings, sometimes the word ‘sale’ can freeze our brains and get the better of us. Here are some tips, the things to watch out for during a sale:
- Would you buy it at full price? Normally we think– well at full price I don’t think it’s worth it, but on sale I’m willing to get it. That means you weren’t that into the item in the first place and it will probably just gather dust at the back of your closet. You should only get something if you’re crazy about it and are completely convinced that you cannot live without it. That’s your guidepost for keeping shopping expenses at bay. Consider whether this blouse/dress/whatever is worth the effort you spend for a long day’s work, and if the answer is a big, excited yes then you can happily take it to the counter without that nagging thought of buyer’s remorse.
- How’s the quality of the article? Is it made of good fabric that doesn’t wrinkle, tear or fade (or worse, bleed into your other clothes)? Can it travel well? Is the stitching straight and sturdy? Buying something that you perceive to be dirt cheap can turn out to be a total waste if you can only use it a couple of times before it falls apart. That’s like throwing your money away. Might as well save up for something that may be pricier but can last longer. In fact, the main reason people ought to buy branded luxury items is for the quality, not the status. Think investment, not expense.
- Does it complement your wardrobe? Can you imagine at least three articles you already own that would go well with this item? That’s how you know whether it fits in your wardrobe and is even worth the space. How often can you wear it? Is it too trendy and might go out of style by next season? If it’s a staple like navy blue pants, a little black dress or something similar, you can be sure you can make use of it many times over a longer period. Take the total amount of the item and divide it by the approximate number of times you’ll be wearing it and you’ll get the price per wear. The lower, the better.
- Does it fit well? Let’s not force the issue ladies. Say you find the dress of your dreams in a size 2 and you are a size 4. Don’t even think about buying it in the hope that you will lose the weight or worse, force fit yourself in the thing and look like a Krainer sausage in the process. That’s not going to work out and you know it. Or let’s say it’s a tad too big for you and you intend to nip and tuck the dress to fit better. Be careful here, it may not turn out the way it was supposed to after you alter it. At the end of the day, the dress you are waiting for comes in the exact style, fabric and fit that you need. So don’t worry if you have to pass on this one, there will be others out there.
- Is it a ‘you’? Ever notice how you start identifying clothing styles according to friends who you know would wear them? That’s cultivating personal style. You have your own distinct look, your own brand, and you should only get things along that line. Sure, you can keep some surprises up your sleeve once in a while, but in general, make certain that the clothes that you buy suit your lifestyle, the image you are trying to project, complements your skin tone/coloring well, and highlights your best assets. So don’t buy a bohemian skirt if you’re an uber preppy girl just because it’s pretty and it’s on sale. You’re better off getting it for a friend if you really want to, provided you know her size.
- Does it offer something new? Yes, you want something that fits in seamlessly in your wardrobe and complements other things that you own, but does it give you something new or is it just like everything else? If you already have three variatons of the little black dress, do you really need another one or should you at least explore other colors? In other words, don’t buy an item unless it has a particular purpose, otherwise it’s just going to be redundant.
- Is it a keeper? All things considered, is this item something you really and truly want, something you can imagine in your life for a long period of time, something you’d regret being without? Then ka-ching! Run to the register and get it.
Hopefully these tips can help you ladies keep your bearings in the midst of pre-holiday sale season. Now I have an interesting exercise for you—read this article all over again, and replace choosing clothing and all other metaphors with choosing boys to date. If you answered yes to all the questions, you know what to do! 😉