I like to think I have many talents. One could say these would range from (my secret) hip hop karaoke skills to whipping up an excellent get-out-of-gym excuse on the spot. Another however is my knack of sale shopping. Online that is. I have no time for spending Boxing Day in none other than my pjs and bashing open a chocolate orange.
Just call me mystic meg, but to the joy of my pals I can predict the start date of the Topshop sale (without any insider info) and I can expertly track down that last cashmere sweater for less than half price. Does this make me incredibly materialist? Perhaps. But at least I scored my next season pair of boots at a fraction of the cost. So I'll take the term savvy thank you.
Rule 1: Get real
First thing we need to nail here, a sale snip is only truly a bargain if you wanted it (and you were kinda tempted to buy it..) when it was full price. OR it is an offer simply too good to miss - in your head, not your heart. Otherwise come the first month or two of the new year you'll be broke as shit with only a spur of the moment designer fail purchase to show for it.
Rule 2: Suss it out
Be firm, be strong and be totally clued up on what you need, not just what you want now. Right now my wardrobe is lacking occasion dresses (I already have two weddings lined up for next year), a pastel coat that will carry me through to spring, flats (that aren't leopard print - oops) and my knitwear, bra and basic t-shirt collection could really do with an overhaul.
What I don't need is: handbags, beauty bits, jeans or boots. Will I be tempted? Of course I bloody will. But at a time in my life where I ironically I have never had such a corker of a bank balance, that is strictly reserved for overpriced bricks and mortar aka: my house deposit.
Rule 3: Make a list
Anything cashmere. Knitwear, socks, scarves, gloves - anything. And before you roll your eyes, it's a wise investment that you'll be thanking yourself for years to come.
Anything classic. Be that a winter coat, the perfect grey jumper, a pair of black chelsea boots or stripy breton top.
Something worth the splurge. Dresses (that aren't strictly for the festive period), knitwear (hello Hush), small leather goods (hello Mulberry) or pieces that you could never justify (my weakness is an Aspinal travel wallet).
The essentials: bras from M&S, gym gear, basic t-shirts from Gap and knickers - because you can never have enough knickers.
When it comes to beauty, snap up any skincare / haircare sets that include products from your daily routine. I almost always stock up on Origins and Bumble & Bumble sets. Stay clear of any Christmas beauty make-up sets, you'll only regret it, however tempting.
I actually picked up this Bumble & Bumble thickening set for £13.20 as it is reduced, free delivery and has a welcome 10% off - insane!
Rule 4: It's all in the prep
Topshop have launched their shoe sale, next will be accessories and partywear (today) and quietly they will do a full hidden launch by Christmas eve at latest. I already have a list of saved items in my bag that I have added (wishfully) around the year that I have my eye on. That way I can log in, take a peak without being side tracked, bobs your uncle, ordered.
As well as saved shopping lists - ASOS saved items is also a massive winner - when I have a sneaky window browse in general I also pin bits and bobs that catch my eye to a secret Pinterest board, that also help me plan my blog wish-lists.
Places I will be stalking:
Whistles: for dresses (and accessories I don't need)
Topshop: for old times sake
Hush: for everything
Boden: for stripes
John Lewis: for beauty
M&S: for bras and cashmere
Worth a look:
Zara: even if they only knock a couple of quid off
Mulberry: so I can pretend
Oliver Bonas: so I can dither
What have you got your eye on for the sale season? If anything. Maybe I'll start the new year off in a new manner I'll wish to continue - not broke.