It’s sale time again and we all love a bargain but before you dash into town beware, because the sales are the time when we Brits make our biggest fashion faux pas, buying things that don’t suit us and we will probably never wear.
A recent survey by Churchill Insurance revealed that 23 million adults will visit the sales and purchase clothes that they will never put on their backs. This means we will each spend an average £25 on unwanted garments.
The research shows that the average woman already has nine items in their wardrobe they haven’t worn in the last year. Men are almost as bad with eight garments clogging up their drawers and cupboards.
There are a number of reasons for the unworn clothes trend – the main one given for not wearing sales buys is simply having nothing at home that matches them.
Women are more likely to buy a garment that is too small (12%) or that they bought smaller in the hope of dieting into them but failed (4%). Nearly a fifth of women (18%) have bought high-fashion garments that they know look better on the hanger than they do in person.
So here’s how to survive the sales without spending a fortune and finding some treasured bargains that will suit both your budget and your wardrobe.
1. Colourful thinking
Does the colour of the garment suit you? Be careful to check that a particular colour flatters your skin tone. Hold it up against your face to see if the colour makes your skin look radiant or harmonises well with your colouring. If it doesn’t then put it back.
2. Consider your shape
Think of the style of clothes that you already have in your wardrobe that suit your body shape and use this as your benchmark. Bootcut trousers and jeans suit everyone and are a timeless shape that will still be in fashion next season. The A-line skirt is also incredibly flattering whether you’re hourglass, apple, atheletic, petite or pear shape.
3. Try things on
Always try on your sale items before you buy them. When the shops are crowded it’s often tempting to take the risk and try your purchases on at home. Beware, as a lot of retailers will only allow an exchange rather than a refund on sale items. Check on this before you part with your money.
4. Avoid high fashion
Certain sale items are extremely high fashion and will only last one season. If you try to wear them next year they will look horribly dated. Buy trendy bargains if you must, but make sure you wear them to death before they go out of fashion.
5. Follow the three other items rule
Ideally, everything new you buy should go with at least three other things in your wardrobe. Do a mental scan of your wardrobe before buying, or as soon as you get home with your new purchase try it on and match it with other pieces in your wardrobe. If you don’t have any items that will match there’s a strong likelihood it will become an unloved ‘orphan’ so take it right back.
6. Invest in costume jewellery
Jewellery is often the first thing to undergo vast reductions in the sales. Since jewellery styles change each season, this time next year your sale purchases will be vintage…meaning no one else will be able to get hold of them, giving you a totally unique look. Plus jewellery always fits no matter how much weight we gain or lose!
By Natalia Colman, Image Consultant & Fashion Stylist www.stylespecialists.co.uk