By Susan Sommers
Originally Posted: December's Dresszing Newsletter
Tis the season for shopping the sales. This is the moment when you might find that fabulous--but formerly prohibitively expensive--outfit at 50 percent off, a few items to freshen what you've been wearing for years and/or that great party piece. And don't forget basics because they too are discounted now.
However, shopping the holiday sales isn't for the meek or indecisive. You need to be sure of yourself and have a plan. In short, you have to be a black belt shopper. Here are some tips:
MAKE A LIST. That suit you've had your eye on, the cashmere sweaters that were advertised or replacements for your black, gray and camel pants...note the item(s) or category(ies) on a list, which will be your starting point.
WEAR THE ITEM YOU WANT TO BUILD ON. Looking for an interesting cardigan to team with those plaid pants? Wear the pants (or at least, bring them along to try on) so that you can see how the outfit will look. Guessing about it might take more time than it's worth--and certainly going back to return the item is a time-waster.
BE AN EARLY BIRD. Arrive when the store opens. You'll find the best selection and the fewest shoppers, so you might have the sales racks all to yourself.
DON'T BUY ORPHANS. Purchase only items that work with something you already own. An "orphan" usually stays that way. Whatever you buy should be easy to integrate into your wardrobe.
SHOP YOUR LIST FIRST. Once you've gotten what you need, then you can look at impulse items. Remember, even bargains become expensive if you don't wear them.