Top Tips For Surviving The January Sales

6th January 2016

Posted In: WMB Living
Maria Macklin

Everyone loves a bargain. At this time of year the shops are pulling out all the stops, tempting us through the doors with cut-price morsels of clothing loveliness.  But even the most dedicated bargain-hunter can find the January sales `shopocalypse’ a bit too much.

So before you join the rush, here are some top tips for surviving the January sales.

Words: House of Colour


What exactly is a bargain?

A bargain is an item that you buy at the lowest possible price. Getting something for a fiver makes us feel good.

The trouble is a €5 bargain is a bit like a stodgy take-away. It’s tempting and briefly satisfying but you regret it almost immediately. And during the sales, your wardrobe can easily get stuffed full of `bargains’ that rarely see the light of day.

Here’s an interesting statistic for you: most of us wear 15% of our clothes 85% of the time. So a true bargain is an item of clothing that makes you look and feel fantastic every time you wear it. And actually, bargains aren’t always cheap.


The cost per wear equation

The price of a garment isn’t just the amount of money you pay for it. Think about your most loved piece of clothing and try this simple equation:

Cost of garment ÷ the number of times you wear it = cost per wear

Cost per wear can turn even the most expensive clothing into a bargain – especially when you factor in the amount of confidence you get from wearing it.


What kind of shopper are you?

Once you understand your own shopping mind-set, the January sales become a whole lot less frustrating. Most people fall into one of two categories:

– The Hunter: Sees something that looks amazing, clubs it over the head (metaphorically speaking), buys it immediately and leaves triumphantly clutching their prey. Hunters are prone to over-excitement and can sometimes make rash purchases.

– The Gatherer: Will walk the entire length of the high street, forensically comparing like with like, convinced that the grass will be greener in the next shop. They then go back to the first item they saw, only to find that it’s been sold – probably to a Hunter.

There’s nothing wrong with either approach, but during the sales your natural shopping instinct can become exaggerated. Once you know which kind of shopper you are, you can go prepared. Hunters become more discerning, Gatherers get less exhausted.


Filling the gap in your wardrobe

Many of us fall into the trap of `repeat buying’. Something looks good, so we stay safe and buy something as close to it over and over again. It’s particularly tempting when there’s money off your repeat item.

Before you hit the sales get strategic. Try to identify a key item that’s missing from your wardrobe, something that would bring several outfits together. Then fill that gap rather than adding to the clutter.


Can you leave the shop without it?

Even when you’ve a clear goal in mind, it’s easy to get seduced by the discount label and end up with an `it’ll do’ item. Perfection is difficult to spot during the sales, but you can strive towards it. Our top tip is to ask yourself this before you get to the till:

Can I leave the shop without it, i.e. will I still be thinking about it when I get home? If the answer is `yes’, leave. If it’s `no’, go ahead and buy it. 

Rather than filling your wardrobe gap with an `it’ll do’ item, keep that money and invest it in that perfect colour and style which will look gorgeous for the long term.


The pitfalls of `hungry buying’

Everyone says you shouldn’t go shopping for food when you’re hungry. The same principal applies to sales shopping.

If you’re buying a special occasion outfit, it’s best to avoid doing it during the sales. You’re more likely to make an unwise panic-purchase. Allowing more time gives you more options.

And it’s important to be comfortable during your shopping day. Wear flat shoes and comfortable clothes, things that are easy to whip on and off in the changing room.



HoC-Stacked-PosWant some expert help? Contact Maria Macklin at House of Colour at or 087 278 9547.