Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Sale Shopping Tips

I managed to grab a few hours locally in some shops today.  I was very controlled - unusally for me.  I think when I saw some trousers that I had seen in the September mid season sale on sale again, I kind of thought I was being cheated a little.  I picked up, put down, had a bit of the 'couldn't be bothered attitude' so I came away empty handed.  I am a one of those shoppers that if I start shopping, I usually end up with quite a few items, if I refrain, then I try to talk myself into not buying anything I don't really need.  With todays outing in mind, I thought I would share some of my top sale (or even just normal) shopping tips.

Think before you buy (easy to say I know).  If it's clothing, how will it work in your wardrobe, do you really need it or are you being drawn in due to the price tag.

Leading on from this try to ignore the price, don't be lulled by a cheap £4 tag, you need to be able to wear the item regardless of whether its a bargain or not.  Think of all the items you have previously bought due to being cheap but never worn, add all them up, you would be able to afford a luxury garment that you would probably wear and wear.

Sometimes it's worth having a little look on line before you go if you have the time.  It gives you a good idea of what's gone into the sale and which shops are reducing heavily and worth more of your time.

Don't be taken in by the sale sign, look at the discount the shop is offering.  You may be surprised to find some are actually only offering a 10 or 20% discount.

For further discounts, be patient and wait.  Especially if say there are 20 pairs of the same shoes which clearly aren't anyone else's cup of tea apart from yours.  Sales get into full swing after a good couple of weeks.

If you have purchased and don't need to wear it straight away, don't take the tags off and wait a few weeks as items sometimes get reduced further.  If your serious about saving pennies and it's gone down again, return and buy cheaper.  Always check the shops sales terms and conditions before you buy.

Go first thing in the day to avoid the crowds.

For the hardcore sale shoppers, take a packed lunch or at least a snack it will save you time and money.

And finally, buy your Christmas gift wrap and cards now!

Happy sale shopping everyone!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The no new party dress post (sigh)

Another 'left to the last minute' outfit for the husbands Christmas works do.  This time though unlike the wedding outfit, I was not successful in my quick shopping spree.  To be honest, after spending an hour racing around Debenhams delivering outfit options to my husband whilst he waited with the kids in the changing room, I had kind of lost interest after an already very busy day.  I had selected a back up plan dress a few days earlier, my emerald green one seen in this post.  I am so glad that I didn't make a rushed decision purely for a 'one night stand' dress.  Even more so as the one I was contemplating buying in the French Connection sale I had seen on 2 ladies at the party.  I still love the dress, but one as bold as this perhaps needs to be put away for a little while then bought out again when it's no longer available.  Makes me want to buy my Christmas party dress at least 6 months before hand.  How many dresses have you bought in a rush just for an occasion for them to only end up being worn once and left hanging in the wardrobe?  Such a waste isn't it?

Instead I invested a few less pennies in having a manicure, a treat that I rarely make the time or money available for, I normally do them myself.  I have previously used Bio Sculpture, but having found them quite heavy on my nails and leaving them weak when they came off, Shellac was suggested.  So far, so good, I am really pleased with them.  I love having a cheerful colour at the end of my fingers.  They make me feel 'made up' even if I'm in a casual outfit.  The moral to my story (post) being that I was comfortable and happy in a previously worn dress, I didn't need to waste my money on a dress again, instead I spent on something I don't normally, my nails.  Manicures - going on my New Years Resolutions list, I need more of them!

Friday, 14 December 2012


Well what a busy week, not helped by us all coming down with a bug.  Just a quick post to remind you all to start keeping an eye out for the sales.  Gap, Kurt Geiger, TK Maxx, The Outnet, Timberland, H&M, French Connection, to name but a few have all started their sales/clearance.  If you can brave the shops, do, if not then hunt those bargains down on line.  

Some of my favourite sale items so far (and not bought, how good am I....yet...!);

Dune £75 down to £45

Timberland £135 down to £81
Gap £14.95 down to £5.99

H&M £12.99 down to £7

French Connection £275 down to £137.50

Sunday, 9 December 2012

A Twist on a Christmas Party Dress

A client came over to show me her great find at Coast in Bicester Village.  She wasn't initially sure, however upon trying on properly at home and not being so rushed, realised and rightly so what a little gem this item was.  The dress is called Mathilde and was reduced to £90 from £160.  What I love about this dress is that it is sleek and classic from the front then twisted at the back with this amazing extra panel which really changes the traditional side of the dress.  It has a great shape and looked even better on.  We talked about adding something else to give it a bit of a lift in colour, purely because she is going to wear back tights and shoe boots (to give it more of a modern edge).  After trying on various necklace shapes with it, a bold bib style definitely worked the best.  So she was off to find a silver version to add that Christmas sparkle.  And judging by the pictures she's sent me, didn't she do well!  Well done T, you are learning and thinking more about your outfits as well as investment pieces that can work again and again.

Asos and John Lewis are still stocking this dress at slightly more than the outlet at Bicester Village

I love this extra panel, it looks so chic

A sparkly clutch also from Coast, £55 down to £35

I love this one from FCUK and believe this is her winner!

A slightly different style from Next, go with the other one T!

I, on the other hand have been let down by an online order having been sent the wrong sized dress and what I did order is no longer available, mentioning no names!  So I have less than a week to put my party outfit together, a rush yet again.  I really should start listening to my own advice with pre-planning these things.  I have too many birthdays and parties straight after Christmas which take up valuable pre Christmas time.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

A Few Recent Outfits

I can not pose for toffee, my eyes are either shut, the picture is blurred, I move, I look drunk, I don't get the background right, the list goes on.  So bare with me whilst I try and master this like other bloggers seem to.  Honestly, the outfits looked better in the flesh (I am assured).

I went for an evening out to a used designer clothing sale at a pub, which gave me an excuse to don some heels instead of my usual flats for the school run.  I purchased these burgandy suede knee highs from New Look last Christmas.  Being heavily pregnant, I was insistent on buying them even if I wasn't going to wear them for a while.  Why was I so insistent - because they were £20 (and real suede!).  Love them!  They spruce up an outfit instantly.  Throw in my trusty (and also not worn so much due to the kiddies) McQueen scarf and a dash of perfume and I felt effortlessly chic and comfortable.  A little tip, if off to a clothing event/shopping, wear a vest or cami under your jumper.  If changing room queues are horrendous, you can whip off your jumper and at the least try on some tops.

Next I bring you my Gap jeans from my last post.  Now honestly, this outfit looked better in the flesh!  I teamed them with my H&M black vest top seen in this post and then woke it up a bit more with this fab yellow necklace, £2 from Primark.  The shoes are old Kurt Geiger.  This was a meal out outfit for my friends birthday, warm legs and a roomier top to accommodate some food, job done!


Not an outfit as such, but a demonstration of my brilliant snow boots, I purchased them a while back and featured them in this blog, for the bargain price of.  I have never owned a pair before, but my they gripped the ground well for the school run.  I will say it again, buy investment pieces like this out of season when you see them reduced down to pittance.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Alternative to my grey coat

I've had some lovely compliments on my grey French Connection cost seen in this blog.  So much so, some have been to try and buy it but it's sold out at Bicester Village.  It was a bargain for £60 and I've had a lot of wear from it already, it is so versatile.  I have found a few alternatives though!

The red version, currently on their site in the sale section, reduced to £97.50.

Gap have a slightly shorter coat, which is very similar.  It is £89.95 but they recently had 30% off, they are always doing deals, so if you can hang on, it might be worth the wait.

£115 for the blue version at Asos

£68 at French Connections's Ebay outlet, this is 68% wool and was originally £190.  I am loving this one!

Reiss outlet section, was £245, now £163, 80% wool.  Stunning classic, easy to wear, an investment piece!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

November Round Up

It has been a very busy month with trips to Birmingham, London, sample sales, used clothing sales, Christmas shows but I'm finally sitting down to bring you some of my best finds.

In the Bullring, the H&M was fully stocked with some great items not seen in the smaller stores.  I fell in love with their cashmere range, at £39.99 I thought it was a really good price for this luxurious fabric.  (sign up to their newsletter now, I've just been given a 50% off 1 item code - cashmere here I come!).

Love this pop of colour!
Comes in yellow also

Warehouse are doing some great party froc's at the moment.  I like the feathers on this one but felt it was a little pricey at £130 however they are doing 25% off all full priced items.

Gap (also doing 30% off) was full of colour, I loved it!  I loved the jumper below but I'd just stocked up on loads of cheap knits at a sample sale so was very controlled.  I saw some deep purple ankle jeans at £44.95 but even with the 30% off I walked away (and it was meant to be that I did).  Looking on line the next day they were £14.99!  I ordered them straight away thank goodness as they sold out so quickly.  Never known this with Gap before, less than half the price on line, so keep a watch out in their sale section for little gem's like this.  I am off out for my friends 40th tonight, so they are getting an outing straight away!
£39.95 (sold out on line now too)

Gap's colourful wall in their Oxford Street store
My bargain jeans!

And finally, ending on some more colour, Selfridges flowers and cakes, nom nom nom!



PS Almost forgot!  Finally found some great tights in Primark, £3, thick and comfortable (already snagged on first wear - don't you just hate that?!).  Waiting for a discount code to try some more pricey ones at Marks and Spencer as recommended by Beth at Style Guile, cashmere tights £10 but out of stock on line currently, how nice will those be!  (or I'm hoping Santa may pop a pair in my stocking!).

Primark £3

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