Like a shot, it was out the door to the mall to buy some much-needed office togs on mega-sale. Talbot’s, my favorite vendor of grownup-appropriate clothing, provided two pairs of washable wool slacks – 40-freaking-PERCENT off! – plus a beautifully designed blouse and a very snazzy blazer at the same markdown. Chico’s sold me a very pretty gray sweater (also washable) at half price to go with the dressy gray Talbot’s slacks, and of course no trip to the Biltmore is complete without a stop at the Apple store. . . .
So smug do I feel about these little coups that I presume to offer my pointers for saving dough at the mall:
1. Shop the sales around major holidays, especially the post-Christmas season. Never pay full price for anything.
2. Reconnoitre your wardrobe before leaving the house. Have a clear idea of what items you need and in what colors. If more than two or three items are needed, make a list. Shop only for those things; don’t spend time window-shopping or browsing through racks of tempting but irrelevant items.
3. Go straight to stores where you have had success before. Avoid departments or shops whose clothes don’t fit well or aren’t your style, and stay away from stores where staff have been rude, pushy, or inattentive in the past.
4. Never shop when you’re feeling especially cheerful or blue; either cast of mind can lead you to overspend.
5. Shop alone. Shopping is a herd activity – you may find yourself buying things for no other reason than that your friend bought something.
6. If it fits and you really like it, get it. If it doesn’t quite fit right or you’re not so sure it’s the most gorgeous thing you’ve ever wrapped around your body, leave it.
7. Learn to embroider and appliqué. With a needle and some colored thread, you can make a $20 pair of Glorias from Costco look like a $200 pair of designer jeans.
How do you feel about shopping for clothes, and what do you do to minimize shopping angst? What are your strategies for getting the best value for your clothing dollars?