How Fashion Editors REALLY Shop The Sales

Find the bargain of the year with these sales secrets, straight from the shop-obsessed Marie Claire Fashion team.

Fashion sales
Fashion sales
(Image credit: Rex Features)

Find the bargain of the year with these sales secrets, straight from the shop-obsessed Marie Claire Fashion team.

Read and research Snap up this month's issue of Marie Claire and get the hottest scoop on new season trends. Swot up on the AW/13 trend report in our August issue before you hit the sales.

Top tip: Pink is a huge colour trend for autumn, snap up a blouse or invest in accessories to be one step ahead. Classics like stripes, polka dots, leather, tailoring and denim are always on-trend. Invest in pieces you will wear now and then layer up when summer is long gone.

Got a tablet? You can now download Marie Claire magazine straight to your iPad, Kindle (just search the store for 'marie claire magazine'), Nook or Google Nexus.

Dress for the occasion Whether shopping online or pounding the pavements for those Miu Miu platforms you have had your eye on all season, the only way to shop is comfortably. Cup of tea in hand, comfy chair and no distractions are all a must when browsing on your ipad. If searching in store is more your thing, before you leave the comfort of your home think about what you're wearing. Easy flats: tick, bag with long strap across the body: tick, loose layers you can easily whip off in the changing room: tick.

P is for Plan Take a good look at your wardrobe, get familiar with what is actually in there. Note down your favourite pieces and which designers or brands you like, then map out a route with these stores in mind. Sale shopping is all about speed. Scanning the rails and quickly nabbing that Helmut Lang dress is much easier if you're already confident of the sizing and cut.

Keep calm and go on your own Competitive shopping and distractions from friends are not what you need. This is the time to leave your shopping partner at home. Shopping at the sales can be enough of a frenzy as it is, so focus and go solo.

Or leave it to the experts Sign up to Marie Claire Fashion Sales Genius and they do all the hard work for you. Select your favourite brands and they come back to you with a personalised edit of the best bargains direct to your inbox. Plus its 100% free. Boom.

Count the ways Before you hand over your hard-earned cash, stop and think: does that yellow pleated mini skirt really scream 'you'? A rule the fash pack stick by is the 'five ways to wear'. If you can style it up with five pieces already in your wardrobe then add it to the basket.

Make friends with the mirror The sales staff are there to help you so take advantage of that and let them guide you to the changing room. Take the time to try on and inspect pieces properly. If it's damaged or needs altering, leave it behind. Be honest with yourself, you are not such a dab hand with a needle and thread, so leave it for someone who is. Read up on refund policies, too, as most differ from store to store and they can even change their usual policy during sales time.

Go off plan Many a bargain can be found in independent stores online and down your local high street. Don’t just stick to the big retailers. As much as we love a bit of designer browsing at Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Net-a-Porter sometimes it pays to go off-piste. Small independent stores don’t have the space to hold old stock from season to season so bigger bargains can often be found.

Shop, shop then shop again For the very best bargains, make the time to shop at the start and the end of the sales. Yes, we are talking getting up early and being first in line for the Selfridges shoe sale. To really make the most of the sales, one visit is never enough. Buddy up with the sales staff and find out how much longer the sales are on for. You will find new reductions in the last few days.

To check out loads of sales bargains, check out Marie Claire Fashion Sales Genius.