As a child, I used to watch TV reports of the Boxing Day Sales with wide-eyed fascination. Queues of eager shoppers bursting through shop doors, shouting and cheering… this enthusiasm for discounted jumpers and cheap whitegoods was beyond my childish comprehension.
Now I’m the proud owner of a fridge that dispenses cold water from the door – much like a tap does, tbh, but more exciting because it’s a fridge. And like those shoppers of old, I’ve also discovered the thrill of a bargain. The problem is how to keep a lid on spending when there are such amazing sales right now at Net-a-Porter, Farfetch, Matches, The Iconic – not of whitegoods, of course, but something far better: clothes, bags and shoes.
The key to successful sales shopping, according to our shopping editor Tara Morris, is being organised. “I go through the site and create a wish list of all my favourite items, then I edit it down,” she says. “You need to think about what you actually wear and how you’d integrate these new items into your wardrobe. Take a sustainable approach, rather than an excited one.”
With this advice in mind, Tara has chosen pieces this week that reflect current trends but will also work hard and look as good in winter as in summer. The red Ganni dress is a perfect wrap, she says, layered over a turtle neck and jeans when it’s cold (“use it as a coat”). Similarly, the orange JW Anderson bag adds a lovely pop of colour to a winter outfit but the fact it’s raffia makes it a good choice for summer, too. And a paper-bag waist, as seen in the Weekend Max Mara skirt, is a low-risk buy – the tie means it’ll probably fit you, even accounting for those warming winter kilos, and you can wear it now with high boots and in warmer weather with a sandal.
“The Staud handbag is a bit of an ‘It’ bag, and the colour makes it a different,” Tara adds. “Bags are a great item to look for in a sale, as they tend to be more expensive and thus harder to justify buying without a discount.” In fact, for all her sensible advice, Tara encourages the odd splurge. “If you’ve had your eye on a statement piece and it’s on sale, buy it,” she says. Just check the returns policy – usually they’re the same as usual, but you don’t want to be caught out with a pricey statement skirt that doesn’t fit.