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  • Alicia McCaslin

SALE! Keeping Your Wits About You

If you’ve seen the movie, Something About Mary, you might remember the scene where Dom (Chris Elliott) suggests that Ted (Ben Stiller) consider a certain pre-date ritual to calm his nerves before going out with Mary (Cameron Diaz). Dom articulates that going on a date “cold” is like carrying a loaded gun. Sale shopping without a plan is very similar. We tend to give ourselves license to spend when discounts are involved. Items that are needed or have great purpose, do not always prevail. Many times we just want to find something that is flattering, fits, and 30% off to get that sense of “job well done.” That is the goal, correct? To feel good about what we have chosen to spend our money on?

I was in The Shoe Hive a couple weeks ago to meet a client and a discussion regarding which sale bag to purchase ensued. Another shopper contributed to our debate with how women tend to share too much when someone admires our bag. We’ll respond with, “Thank you, I got it on sale.” We will carry a great bag that is filled with guilt, evidently, that we feel the need to purge when someone pays attention to it. Isn’t that why we chose the bag? Didn’t we want it to be admired? Do we need to share all of the information on how that bag came to be ours? For the record, l'm working on getting better about this myself!

Shopping can be a very psychological activity. Throw in a sale and it’s not only a head trip, but can be like squirrels gathering nuts in the fall (have you ever taken notice of the squirrel carnage on the road in late September?). If our head isn’t in the right place, it can be like going out with a loaded weapon where the assault is on ourselves. Often, we leave feeling victorious over winning the battle, but somewhere we know we’ve lost the war. Having a plan is not only valuable to your closet but will keep you feeling good about the things you purchase.

Let's say SALE SHOPPING is comparable to dating.... It would help to have a few tips to guide you through the experience. Here are a my pro-tips for hitting a sale ~ (I’m playing the part of Chris Elliott and you’ll be Ben Stiller)…

Make a list – are you missing a trench? a pair of nude wedges? a statement necklace or earrings?

  • Photograph (with your phone) the items you own that you don’t wear – this keeps you honest.

  • Get a professional involved – I send my clients what they should consider purchasing to complete and extend what they own.

  • Utilize the “something in, something out” – if you buy another striped t-shirt, one MUST go.

  • Walk away – give yourself time to ponder whether it’s adding value to what you already own

  • Never shop with an enabler – you know who they are…go have lunch with them instead

  • Ask yourself "Would you purchase it at full price?" Then don’t buy it on sale!

  • Consider cost per wear value (but you MUST WEAR for this to work!)

A more purposeful approach to sale shopping will bring you a sense of accomplishment, without the guilt. And when someone admires an item your wearing, consider saying, “Thank you, I love it too.”

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