For the imperfect Fashion lover.

Friday, 27 November 2015

How to shop the sales like a PRO without wasting money!

Faux shearling gilet and denim | Fake Fabulous

For many people, it's almost impossible to escape the lure of a SALE.
Seasonal sales... End of season, mid-season.
Black Friday.
Cyber Monday.

We all have an inbox full of deals and offers!
People are looking for a bargain.
But, it is easy to fall victim to the Faux-Bargain that is a real waste of money.

So, as a True-Bargain hunter...I am out shopping this weekend.

The trip is supposed to be for Christmas presents but, to be honest, it is more of a social occasion for me.
A chance to dress up, have fun and have a good old blether!
A day of coffee and cakes and looking at beautiful things.

The perfect shopping day for me looks something like this...

  • A train ride into the city.
  • Coffee (and cake) while formulating a rough Plan Of Action.
  • Looking in luxurious shops, that I can't really afford to buy from.
  • Trying on beautiful shoes.
  • Exploring, experimenting and maybe treating myself to a new item of makeup. 
  • Browsing for realistic purchases.
  • Lunch (with a cheeky glass of wine) to think about the things I have seen, and decide which of them I am going to buy.
  • A focused dash to buy those things.
  • A cocktail (or two) to celebrate success!
  • Home.
This plan for the day works really well with a friend, but can also be very relaxing and enjoyable alone.
If you have never shopped alone, I would highly recommend it.

Sale shopping this weekend is going to be full-on fun!

However, the shops will be full to bursting and aimless wandering is not an option.
Sharpen your elbows, ladies!

Sale shopping is the one time I stick to a set of own!

1. Dress like you mean business.

Dress for comfort as well as personal style.
Comfortable shoes are a must for trailing around the shops... Shopping is a good workout.
I always wear shoes that I can take on and off easily.
So I can try (lots of) others on!

I also need my functional layers.
Shops can be stifling and VERY crowded at this time of year.

A large and comfortable (to carry) bag is essential.
I need to have room for my usual bits and bobs, plus space for stuffing removed layers.

I always do my hair and makeup...and wear nice undies!
Looking scruffy and undone can be depressing in the changing room.
Especially, under those harsh lights and unflattering mirrors.

2. Make a list and have a plan.

I am not a fan of crowds and being pushed and jostled.
So, I never wander aimlessly through the shops hoping for inspiration.
I always make a list of things that I need (or want) and focus on finding those things.
I do some research online before I set off.
This is a great way to get ideas and to target the shops I need.

3. Don't buy things I wouldn't normally.

I always apply the  "Would I pay full price for it?" theory to any purchases.
If the answer is "No", then I step away.

A bargain Low Price is only a bargain if you would buy the item anyway.
Everything else is a waste of my hard earned cash.

Things I Avoid:
  • Anything the wrong size. If it does not fit and make me feel great, I put it back.
  • Faulty items. I am not a whizz with alterations and repairs if you are...go for it!
  • Being seduced by the designer label. If it was from good old M&S would I still buy it? Probably not.
  • Buying things for a different version of me. If it does not suit my body or lifestyle NOW then I step away.
  • Items that don't go with ANYTHING in my wardrobe. If I need to buy a whole new outfit to go with an item, it is not a bargain.
  • Really old items the shop has dug out of stock, there is a reason no one has bought it in the past 5 years!
If I am unsure about something, I go away and have a coffee (or my lunch) and think about it.
Usually, this is enough time to let it go.
But, If I really love it and need it in my life....then I buy it anyway!

Are you heading out on a shopping trip? Or doing it all online?
Do you have a plan? Or, do you just go with the flow?

Please let me know of any tips or tricks you use to find a bargain.

Shop this look:

Gilet: La redoute (old)  this one is nice...and a good price too.
Denim Jacket: Boden (old) this one is nice...and warmer.
Brooch: Gift .... This one is Stunning!
Dress: Primark (I like this one)
Under-top: Redoute
Gloves: Asda (these are nice)
Bag: Last seen in this post.

Faux shearling gilet and denim | Fake Fabulous
Faux shearling gilet and denim | Fake Fabulous



  1. The food part of your shopping expedition sounds fabulous....that's how I get my husband to go with me!! (Although he is truly a good sport, and carries my bags for me!).
    The other thing I try to think about, it wearing shirts I don't have to take off over my can be annoying! jodie

    1. That is a great tip Jodie! It doesn't bother me too much hair is short enough just to need a ruffle up and it is okay again :oD XXX

  2. "I always apply the "Would I pay full-price for it?" theory to any purchases. If the answer is "No", then I step away." I think that is such an important rule! A bargain is only a bargain if you get a lot of use of an item, and that usually doesn't happen with "good enough" items!

    Your shopping day sounds nice!

    1. Thank you Andrea, it works really well with a friend or alone...I can recommend it! More of a day out than a serious shopping trip but you can achieve a lot, especially after a relaxed lunch. The Combat shopping section is very productive. X

  3. I love shopping alone. I am either a commando or a floaty dandelion seed. I buy the most inappropriate clothes with I am the latter. I love your shopping itinerary - clearly I need to incorporate more food and drink into my plans. For me, riding a train To Go Shopping would really add a sense of adventure. Fantastic faux fur gilet and faux tiger head.

    1. Combat shopping or floaty seed...I love that! After the eating and drinking the Dandelion seed (and the Magpie) in me can be released too. That is why lunch is used as the time to do the serious planning. I can highly recommend plenty of eating and drinking. It makes it feel like a real treat instead of an exhausting chore. We always take the train....lots of fun. XXX

  4. I love your how to posts, Samantha. Shows such dedication to passing on your knowledge to your audience. I'm a lone shopper, always time challenged, and so love to see how it could be done if it were a regular event. The fur gilet looks snuggly and just the right blend of fashion and comfort. And I love that brooch - looks like it could be a party dazzle piece for later...
    Anna xx

    1. Thank you Anna. Shopping is actually a rare event for me too. These days out happen once every 6 months(ish) sometimes less. However, I do regularly browse ebay and local charity shops. The whole "train ride to the City" is so rare that I make a day of it. Even if I am alone....I still love treating myself to a delicious lunch. As for my brooch...I am devastated to say that it snapped in half just after these photographs. It is very old and was always a little fragile. It is now in bits. :o(....and unfixable. I need to find something similar to replace it. XXX

  5. I think I'll email you my response to this post. Too personal.

    I'll just say, I love you, and keep it at that.

    A x

    PS Thanks for linking up!

    1. Oh gosh! I did forget two things: I love the peak of that stunning brooch--I bet there's a story there, AND I have to have that leopard bag! (Maybe even a story there too!) A x

  6. Love this chic but cozy look and thanks for the shopping tips!
    Happy Holidays!



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