Even the savviest shoppers can make ill-advised impulse buys when shopping for themselves or a loved one. You may think you’re being thrifty by buying clothes at half price, but next time you find yourself staring at a tempting discount tag (hello, Black Friday!), ask yourself these five questions before your next shopping trip.
1. Is It the Right Size?
If not, put it back on the rack. It may be a great bargain, but be realistic about whether you’ll have the time to alter that dress or hem those pants. Consider how much work you’ll have to do before you can actually wear your new purchase, and remember that your time is worth something, too.
2. Is This a Wardrobe Staple?
Thrifty fashion experts use sales to stock up on basics and investment pieces, so skip the statement-shoe purchases and seek out premium denim, luxury cotton basics, timeless leather handbags and classic shoe shapes such as wedges. If it’s this season’s fashion must-have, chances are it will be next season’s style cast-off – it’s heavily discounted for a reason!
3. What Is the Weather Like?
Is it chilly and damp outside? Then question whether you’ll still like that discounted bathing suit in six months when summer arrives. If you’re thinking of buying clothes out of season, ensure you’re picking timeless pieces that won’t feel dated when the weather changes. Additionally, invest in good-quality fabrics such as cashmere, and look for colors you know you’ll wear. A coral pink blouse may look great with sun-kissed summer skin, but would you wear it in the middle of winter?
4. How Does It Wash, and Will It Wear Well?
Pay attention to the washing instructions and avoid the dreaded “dry clean only” label. Also check the fabric contents and consider how the garment will wear over time, after several washes. Does it feel thin or substantial? Does stitching look sturdy or sloppy? Even if the item is heavily discounted, it may not be worth buying if it falls apart in a few months.
5. Is There Something Wrong with It?
Check the item thoroughly for damage or irregularities before heading to the cash register. Are there make-up stains or holes? The clearance section often conceals damaged stock, so make sure your new purchase is truly new. If it does have flaws, negotiate a further discount if you feel comfortable making repairs or are confident that stains will come out in the wash.
Once you’ve returned home with your sale purchases, launder before wearing them to remove any manufacturing chemicals. Use Tide PODS with Downy to clean, freshen and protect clothes, and add Unstopables to each load for an irresistibly fresh scent that lasts for up to 12 weeks. For items that can be dried in a dryer, use Bounce dryer sheets to reduce wrinkles and static.
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