Confessions of a shopaholic

With the onset of the sale season, we get a celeb stylist and other frequent shoppers to tell you how to make most of the discounts on offer. Merely uttering the word ‘sale’ sends most of us scurrying to stores with a big shopping bag and a fat wad of cash.
Hindustan Times | By Amrutha Penumudi, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JAN 03, 2013 02:10 PM IST
Merely uttering the word ‘sale’ sends most of us scurrying to stores with a big shopping bag and a fat wad of cash. But before you get carried away with those pretty mannequin displays or buy-three-and-get-one-free offers, let us remind you that there are very good chances that the stuff you are purchasing at a discount sale today might be declared as the fashion disaster of tomorrow. We get stylist Tanya Ghavri and other shopaholics to help you navigate through sales and get the trendiest picks from what’s on offer.

Basic instinct

Fashion and film stylist, Tanya Ghavri, who has worked with celebs like Kareena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor and Katrina Kaif, advises that that safest thing to pick up at a sale is something that is basic and just cannot go wrong. "The key is to buy stuff that is more basic that doesn’t necessarily pertain to a particular season. Go for dresses that can be layered and used both in summer and winter, shoes that are neutral and go with a lot of your looks and nice skinny jeans never go out of fashion," she says. "Accessories and bags from the sale section are always a steal."

Lakshmi Jayaraj, a 23-year-old media professional and self-proclaimed shopaholic seems to share a similar view. "I buy staples like black pants and jeans from high-street brands like Zara and Mango. The medium sizes (US 4, 6 and UK 10, 12) are the ones that get over the fastest so make sure you hit the sale on the first day itself," she says.

Store manners

It also turns out that the best way to be informed about ongoing or upcoming sales is to keep friendly relations with the store staff. "Talking to them always helps. Get them to inform you about sales in advance and ask when fresh stocks can be expected. Many stores have members’ only preview sales, which are a good way to avoid the crowds. So sign up for loyalty cards," advises 32-year-old Jasleen Narang, a regular sale-hopper and homemaker. "Take the maximum allowed items into the changing room to avoid the long queues. It’s a good idea to have a friend guard your spot in the queue while you hunt for sizes," she advises

Shop smart

If you were a true shopper, you’d have done the rounds of all your favourite stores by now, so you have some idea of what will be in store. If you haven’t, try visiting the store around opening time so there are fewer people and you can browse more freely.

Not trying on outfits is the key to shopping quick and easy at sales. Knowing what size fits you at which store is a big plus, so on the day of the sale, you can just pick stuff off the rack and buy it instead of queuing up for the trial rooms.

During the initial stages of the sale, discounts are not so high, so buy only those things you really want, which you feel may be out of stock by the time prices are slashed further.

Visit selected stores once again towards the end of the sale period, when discounts are at their peak. This time, look around with a keener eye. Some pieces that you may not have picked up earlier may make more sense now and automatically seem more attractive at lower prices.
— Shweta Mehta

Look book

We asked Tanya to put together two simple looks including garments that could be easily picked off a discount rack. Here’s what she’s got:

Look 1

Invest in pieces that have a long shelf life and are very versatile and useable. Get a pair of flat nude shoes to go with a light coloured top and a boyfriend blazer. Team it up with a pair of black shorts (skinny jeans will also do) with a brightly coloured day bag.
Look 2
Go for a beautiful shift dress with a different kind of a collar (Peter Pan, buttoned up) and an interesting neckpiece to go with it. Wear it with ballet flats.

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