Friday, July 13, 2007

Plan of Attack - shopping sales

We know there are just too too many massive sales going on, you're being tempted every direction you turn. If you're not careful, you can end up with a bunch of stuff that you don't wear. Grrr! Hilary Alexander, one of my fave fashion columnists who always offers great advice on fashion, shows you how to smartly shop sales this season. She first advices that you figure out what type of shopper you are and then have a solid plan.

The Cool Customer

You are as reliable as clockwork, and your wardrobe is as pared down as a peeled cucumber - all space is reserved for classics.

Invest in... a ribbed cashmere cardigan, £62.50 (50 per cent off), at Belinda Robertson (020 7838 9170); classic black trousers, £104 (30 per cent off), at Joseph (020 7616 8441); a trenchcoat, £484 (40 per cent off), at Burberry London (07000 785 676); a fabulous Little Black Dress, such as Ralph Lauren's long, ruffled chiffon version, £869 (reduced by 50 per cent), at Harrods (020 7730 1234).

The Fashionista

You're a fad-hungry follower of fashion, and you can't wait for prices to drop.

You'll drool over... Maxmara's long silver shimmer gown, £382 (30 per cent off; 020 7499 7902); Matthew Williamson's disco-sequinned shift, £475 (down by 50 per cent; 020 7629 6200); Miu Miu's satin party dress, £300 (40 per cent off; 020 7409 0900).

The Heat-Seeking Missile

Your target is designer labels, so set your fashion sat-nav for... Collette Dinnigan, Betty Jackson and Paul & Joe, all reduced by 50 per cent, at Fenwick, W1 (020 7629 9161); Balenciaga, John Galliano and Lanvin, among others, with reductions from 40 per cent, at Harrods, SW1 (as above); Chloé and Alexander McQueen, with 40 per cent off, at Harvey Nichols (020 7235 5000); and Stella McCartney, Givenchy, Balmain, Fendi, from 40 per cent off, at Selfridges (0800 123 400).

Prepare to do battle

Go through your wardrobe and decide what you really need. What are the missing links? Something in red? A pair of flared, black trousers? Some brown suede boots? When fighting your way through the crowds, you need to be as focused as possible, so:

• Set yourself a budget - this includes cash and plastic. We're only halfway through the year, and you still have holidays and Christmas to pay for!

• Wear flat shoes, but take a pair of heels for checking length in the fitting room.

• Take the item for which you are hoping to find the perfect partner with you.

• If you find something you love, it fits, and you can afford it, buy in bulk.

• Hunt as a lone wolf. Friends will distract and frustrate you; she'll want the Manolos, you'd rather wallow in Lanvin.

• Travel light, and wear clothes that are easy to remove. Leave accessories at home; they may get lost, and you don't want to waste valuable bargain-hunting time taking them on and off.

• Look ahead. If you don't need anything for right now, buy pieces without sell-by dates, or items that hit on autumn's trends:
Purple will be a key colour for winter; Balenciaga's military jackets and jodhpurs are a key look, as are coin-trimmed ethnic scarves; look for curvy coats and big sleeves; velvet will be big; and gloves are the new handbags.

• Don't forget to pick up a frock. This is the year of the dress, and the sales are full of them - from long-sleeved smocks to sleeveless, halter-necks slinks. They are the all-in-one answer to every wardrobe dilemma; just add shoes, a bag and a hint of jewellery.

Read the rest of the article here.

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