Sales season is upon us, and there are plenty of options in our Opera Lane stores. But before you head out on your quest, read on to discover out top tips to Savvy Sales Shopping.

Who doesn’t love a great deal? It’s such an adrenaline rush when you ‘bag a bargain’ – plus we all feel virtuous and slightly smug when we get something for less and save some cash.

But when is a bargain not a bargain?

A bargain is:  a winter wool coat with 30% off, that you love so much you would have happily paid full price for it.  It fits like a dream and you know it will work in your wardrobe for years to come.

Coat River Island with up to 50% off

A bargain is definitely not: a very ‘of the moment’, trend-led piece, heavily reduced, that doesn’t fit well (trust me, you’ll never get it taken up or taken in), and while you like it, you have no idea when or where you’d wear it. .

Real bargains are pieces that you really love and will actually wear. They should always speak to your personal style and work with the pieces you already have. And even better, fill a ‘gap’ in your wardrobe, i.e., pieces that you need.

The most important thing with shopping the sales, is to avoid falling into the trap of buying items, only because they have been heavily reduced. If the price becomes your dominating decider and the item’s wearability or whether you really like it are an afterthought then hear those alarm bells.  You will be much better served if you use the price as your secondary buying consideration, and let your primary decision be based on two things: do you really, really like it and will you really wear it. 

Let’s take a moment to think that through: Ask yourself if you can easily make at least three outfits with this item and think of at least three scenarios in which you can see yourself wearing it.

Statement pieces like wool coats, trench coats, leather jackets, jeans (that suit your shape & shoe pairing preferences), blazers (that fit well & speak to your personal style), knits, classic shirts, simple tees or tops and good boots are always good options. You can definitely get some great suiting or party dresses too – but make sure it’s a style/silhouette that you have bought & worn before. Look for classic silhouettes and consider a neutral colour palette, to reduce the risk of them looking dated next year.

Be on your guard with ultra-trendy pieces.  This includes flash colours, which sometimes have staying power, for instance ‘Bottega’ green is still bang on trend for SS 2023, but sometimes don’t – who knows how long Valentino inspired ’barbicore’ pink will stick around.

If you have to make too many adjustments e.g., get a piece tailored or you have to buy other items in order to make it work, then the ‘bargain’ element has gone out of the window. Chances are you you won’t do these things and you’ll never wear your new sales purchase.

Here are some general guidelines which you should use when fashion shopping, sales or no sales:

  • Try to hit the shops at quieter times – weekday mornings are best
  • Wear clothes that are easy to take on & off.  It can be a pain, we know, but trying on in store will save time, energy and money in the long run. 
  • Wear decent underwear
  • Bring something to tie up your hair
  • If you’re really on a mission, have a belt with you and heels too if necessary.  
  • Having a little make-up on can help everything look better
  • Only go shopping with people who share your personal style and give good advice. Otherwise, go it alone.
  • Check the label on the item, not just the hanger
  • Check the shop’s return policy.

Sales can be very worthwhile, and you can get some great pieces that would otherwise have been out of your reach. Just be mindful of what you’re really looking for and stay in control!

And remember the golden sales shopping rule: anything you buy is only worth the money if you love it and actually wear it.

Breeda O’Connell is the Opera Lane Personal Shopper and you can book your own bespoke one to one appointment with Breeda via the Personal Shopping link here