It was a snowy Saturday morning, but my mind was in the balmy days of summer as I pawed my way though the sales racks at my favorite shopping haunts. It actually made my bargain-hunting excursion incredibly easy by doing the exact opposite of every other woman there elbowing each other out for the 50- to 75-percent off deals most stores are offering now.
Unlike everyone else, I skipped over anything dark, wooly, nubby, down-filled, or, in other words, anything that screamed “In season!” Instead, I lasered in on the very few whites, pastels, and sleeveless items that popped up here and there because, in my head, I’m thinking summer.
That’s right. For years, I’ve saved hundreds on my wardrobe by flip-flopping my shopping habits. When it’s winter, I shop spring and summer. When it’s summer, I shop fall and winter. And the payoff is the tons of money saved, and the upgrade in goods. Yes, a lot of designer stuff at 75-percent off is actually affordable—especially if it’s already been marked down.
That’s my other trick: It has to be a markdown from a markdown to entice me to buy. Then I’ve really scored a savings that works with my budget. So here are some tricks I’ve picked up along the way that I’ll share with you while there’s still time to cop some deals.
Go for classic, not trendy. Black, beige, and white never go out of style. In my last haul, I picked up a white, goes-with-everything-in-my-
Do your homework. Before I shop out of season, I check the fashion seers’ sites like harpersbazaar.com, glamour.com, and elle.com. That’s hardly work—it’s fun to see all the stuff that strutted down the runways that we’ll be seeing in the stores come spring. Their fashion forecasters tell me the hot colors and motifs we’ll see at every price point (like flowers for spring 2012), and even the shoes du jour. OK, so that’s how I knew wedges were still in, plus I picked up a pair of red jeans (yes, red!), because bright neon colors are hot, hot, hot for spring/summer 2012. You’ll see.
Get in on sales alerts. I get e-mail alerts from every e-tailer I’ve ever shopped with. So I never miss an opportunity to shop out of season. It’s easy to sign up for alerts, but you can also do this one-stop sales alert move: sign up at retailmenot.com, which lets you check off your favorite stores, the items you’re most interested in, and they’ll automatically send you alerts—as little or as often as you like—when your faves go on sale.
Check out these other sites. I regularly check my favorite department store websites, but I only hit the sales section to see what’s been drastically reduced. TIP Save yourself time—and disappointment—and only look at the stuff left in your size. I also regularly scout out6pm.com, which has deep discounts on the coolest stuff—which is often from a season or two before and the reason for such great deals
This post was generously shared by Sue Perry of Consumer Reports ShopSmart magazine.