How to Strategically Shop the Christmas Sales Like a Fashion Pro

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When is a discount not a good discount? When you’ve bought something you’ll never wear, and it languishes, gathering dust in the back of a closet. This mistake is easy to make when the frenzy of the Christmas sales comes around, but this season we want to make it easy for you.

We’ve harnessed the knowledge of those who really know what’s worth snapping up as much as they know what should be avoided. Fashion buyers are at the epicentre of stock movements, the inception of a brand boom, and they always have one foot in the next season, keeping their fingers firmly on the pulse.

Here are eight tips on how you can navigate the cut-price craziness with grace and some seriously successful wardrobe additions. Scroll down to get the buyers’ advice and top buys now…

“Whether you’re wearing it during the day or in the evening, it will make a fabulous statement,” says Holly Russell, Net-a-Porter’s senior buyer. 

2. Wide-leg trousers are always a solid investment.

"It’s a great time to invest in beautifully cut trousers, which will carry you through to spring/summer. When buying simple tailored pieces, it’s the luxury detailing that is worth investing in. Look for streamlined pressed creases that create a sophisticated and structured silhouette,” says Hazel Catterall, head of womenswear buying at Harvey Nichols. 

3. Memorise your existing wardrobe before spending.

“When shopping the sale you need to know your current wardrobe inside and out. Before heading to the sales, assess any gaps in your wardrobe, and make a list of what you need. Try finding a monochrome blouse or sweater, as it’s a timeless staple that I know would fit perfectly into my current working wardrobe,” Catterall says.

4. An luxury (discounted) hat is a surprisingly wise investment.

“I don’t go anywhere without my hat, great to cover up those bad hair days with a sophisticated style. Lesser millinery doesn’t last or make as much of a solid statement, so if you’d be wary of spending too much on one hat, now is the time to consider it,” says Natalie Kingham, MatchesFashion.com’s buying director. 

5. Shoulder-baring silhouettes offer plenty of mileage.

Russell says, “The off-the-shoulder trend shows no signs of stopping, which is why I’ll be investing in one in the sales. It has the perfect details for the winter season, while the bare shoulders reveal and conceal design will take you through to spring.”

6. Don't ignore the really obvious classics.

“You can’t go wrong with a camel wool and cashmere coat or cape. You can wear a chunky knit underneath this without feeling bulky,” Russell says. 

Kingham says, “Cchannel that ’70s boho vibe and wear with a midi skirt Stevie Nicks–style or opt for a looser tunic dress. While it might not have been as big on the catwalk this year, the look will definitely still be going strong.”

8. If you want a handbag, prepare to shop with the earlybirds.

“Handbags are hot property in the sale so best get there early if you plan on getting your hands on a statement bag. Accessories are always a great way to update your look, I like to add a playful touch to my outfits with bold accessories like this stunning bag. The precision finish is a testament to Valentino’s mastery of leatherwork, making this envy-inducing statement bag the ultimate sale buy,” Catterall says.

Want more? These are the most stylish sales buys.

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.