Sale Shopping

It's that time of year again.  August 5 thru September 30th is the season of summer clearance around here and I used to live for these sales. Clearance. . a sale in which prices are lowered in order to sell things quickly and make room for new items(Merriam Webster). We live in a subtropical climate and wear plenty of summer clothes about 90% of the year, so if an item I really like has made it to the last chance clearance rack its fair game.  The other 10% of the year we give to sweaters, jackets and boots.  So, when August comes around I get excited. Summer tops, linen pants and bathing suits are always needed by my crew (Sister, Mom & Nieces) and I keep my eyes wide open for  deals.The buzz I get from scourging the racks and finding a bathing suit at 80% off is unparalleled, and dare I say a little addictive. Yes. . I don't mind driving miles in the tri-county area to pick up handbags, shoes, clothes, accessories that are just too good a steal to miss, even if they weren't really something I was looking for.  Walking out of my favorite store with armfuls of bags and bargains made me feel like a winner and they were my trophies.  Although in the store I rationalized the purchase, when I got most of my bargains home they rarely fit or were not great for the crew.  Often that bargain top, I just had to have because it was just five bucks, would be tight on the arms, not forgiving across the boobs and just not a good fit at all.

When I was at my nine to five job, a few of us gals made shopping for deals a contest and I always wanted to beat Sonia.  She would get to the scene early morning and because she wore a size small, she raked up.  There was always more in her size and she had a tailor to boot.  But, I always beat her in accessories and found the most affordable bags & shoes.  Back then I had a shoe thing, not just a thing. .  It was much  more than that, because I still love me some shooze. And, so many times those "must have pretty sandals" were so darn painful, they had to be returned or given away. But, that has never stopped me from the temptation.  So many shooze are still new in boxes under my bed, and have not seen the light of day for years. When will I get to wear them all?
Guess what? . . . I was making compromises because the item was such a great deal, rather than focusing on finding stuff I would enjoy wearing because of cost.  Lately, I find it not so thrilling to work the clearance racks.  Maybe it's a sign of getting older and the desire to be more comfortable, or because my style has changed. My friend Clearance does not call me over when my foot hits the door at Macy's, Dillards or JC Penney. Or, I just don't hear him. Also, the pickings are slim around here for my preferred styles. Most of the designers I once loved are gone out of the department stores, and sizing seems to be different these days.  Just last weekend my Cuz and I went shopping, and I could not be bothered with rummaging the clearance racks.  She laughed at me and even offered to take my temperature because she thought I was ill. And, this is not the first time I've been out shopping with no purchases. Just not feeling the Jubilation!

A recent purge might have something to do with this new frame of mind, along with the recent articles & blog posts that I've read. We just do not need a closet full of "things".  First, the closet had to have additional support before the rack breaks, and when we decide to purge and sell the new unworn items from last season. . no one wants to pay for it. So, you and I just threw away our money. This happened to me recently, although the items were at deep discounts. Let's just STOP this madness!  Many of those bargains are now gone from my closets and I'm  ready to attack the bins. My general "one in one out" rule still stands, but now I really have to LOVE it before I can bring it home. And, I'm just not loving what I see these days.  

My budget does put restrictions on my buying power so I still have to wait for sales.  But, I refuse to buy it just because it's only $4.99. Therefore, I keep my eyes open for items I love and could not afford at full price. In other words. . if it was not loved at full price, it's not worth buying from the clearance rack.  Saying all that, does not mean that sale shopping is not still big Fun and can save you a lot of money -  we just have to look beneath the bargain price tag.

Online Shopping. My saving grace is that I do not shop for clothing online. If you do, you have to measure your body twice and read the reviews of past buyers. Use your virtual shopping basket to your advantage, leave it there for a day or two while you contemplate the purchase.
Buy What you Love not what you Like. Rather than trying to find deals, it's far more satisfying if the item you loved at full price is now a steal. Hell Yeah. .
Invest in You.  It's true that if you work as an executive in corporate america, you should dress like one. So, spend some time selecting your 9-5 outfits that make you comfortable and look good. I'm not a stylist, but I do know that my favorite color orange has many shades to mix and match and it plays well with others. But, a orange crop top is not going to work with my green pants at the next office meeting. So, get styles you love to wear in your favorite colors, that fits your pocketbook. Also, get clothes you can wear again and again and not worry about pills and tears.
Be the Return Queen.  If in doubt, take it back.  Make sure you know the return policy before you get to the cashier and keep the receipts where you can find them. I never take off the tags from my clothes until I'm ready to wear them, so they are always returnable.  Sometimes the mirror in the store fools us into thinking the item is perfect, until we get it home.
How do you shop the end of season sales?