Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
A Saint Laurent skirt for half price, you say? Oh, go on then. But where do you find these bargains, we hear you scream?
Follow our 16-step guide and have the most hassle-free sales shopping session you ever had...
1. Plan It Out
If you have your eye on those Chloe jeans, the trick is to go now, a few days beforehand and make sure your size is available for a trying on sesh. Then come sales time, just grab them and smugly step in the queue without any of the fuss of the changing room.
2. Get Your Timings Right
Decide on either the early shift or the late one. Queuing up at 5am doesn’t sound that appealing but you are likely to get the best stuff. Or try your luck late afternoon when all those early birds have gone home and you have free reign to pound the pavement.
3. Don’t Get Dressed In The Dark
Sounds obvious, but dress accordingly. Keep the layers to a minimum and keep your hands free with a cross-body bag – but do keep an eye on your belongings at the same time. We love this Alexander Wang printed bag from Harvey Nichols, just big enough for the essentials and in the SS15 must-have tones.
4. Bulk Buy Your Staples
Sale shopping isn’t all about half price Stella McCartney sandals you know, fashion insiders invest in their basics at the sales. Think premium denim, designer luxe cotton tees and lingerie – all wardrobe essentials that you can find in the sales.
5. Decide On Your Route
The chances of you being able to visit all the major department stores on Oxford Street are unlikely.Let’s be honest it can be overwhelming, so pick one and go hard or go home. Also, go on your own, you don’t need your partner/bessie mate/child hanging off your arm, too. So cut your losses and go it alone.
6. If You Love Something, Don’t Hang Around
At the start of the sales you will find the best pieces but reductions are not at their highest. But if you have had your eye on that special something then this is the time to pounce. You will only kick yourself if you miss out.
7. Failing That, Wait It Out
Two to three days later can often be the best time to go. The crowds have died down and you can actually pick something up and think about it without someone else grabbing it out of your hands. Better still, wait until the following weekend when the returns are back and on the shop floor and you may just find yourself a bargain.
8. Do Your Research
Invest in next season’s trends now and top up your wardrobe at bargain prices. Think 70s, head-to-toe florals and tailored denim as well as utilitarian pockets and dropped hemlines – still a must-have shape for SS15 FYI. We have our eye on the J Brand flared jeans below – were £260 now £130 at Matches – to tick off just a few of next season’s key details.
9. Know Your Policies
We are talking refunds, ladies. At most stores you can get a refund on sale items for up to a week. So if you’re not 100 percent convinced on something, we say buy it anyway.
10. Stock Up On Gifts
Find birthday presents galore in the sales. Think coin purses, iPhone cases, nail sets and statement jewels.
11. Snap Up Next Season’s Partywear
Yes, we know you may have another 11 months to wait to wear them but you will be glad when you have the ultimate party piece for half the price. Sparkles, lace and LBDs never go out of fashion. We have our eye on this sparkly lame dress by Victoria, Victoria Beckham at Harrods, was £699 now £419.
More rational decisions are made this way, plus its a lot calmer.
13. Steer Clear Of The ‘It’ Bag
Look for timeless, classic styles like this Chloe bag from Selfridges at 40 percent off from £1235. Something that doesn’t shout out a particular season is a lot more chic and will keep you looking more fashion editor than fashion victim.
14. Buy Buy Buy… Or Not
Just because something is heavily discounted doesn’t mean it will work in your wardrobe. If you know you wouldn’t take a shine to something at full price, put it back and let someone else enjoy it.
15. Think High Fashion
You can easily grab yourself a high fashion bargain. Timeless classics are always good to buy in the sales but more directional pieces usually have the biggest markdowns.
16. Get These Dates In Your Dairy:
– 15th December
Whistles – 16th December
Warehouse – 16th December
Avenue32 – 18th December and new lines added on the 2nd January
Rupert Sanderson – 20th December
Urban Outfitters – 24th December
Beyond Retro – 25th December
JOY – 25th December online and 26th December in-store
Selfridges – 6am on the 26th December
Debenhams – 7am 26th December
Harrods – 26th December
Harvey Nichols – 26th December
Farfetch – 26th December
Alexander McQueen – 26th December
House of Fraser – 26th December
Damaris – 26th December
Fenwick Bond Street – 27th December
Toast – 27th December (but there will be a flash 48 hour sale on the 17th December)