The summer sale season is now in full swing, as Net-a-Porter, & Other Stories, MatchesFashion.com, and many more have gone into sale. It can be easy to get into a shopping panic when you see red 50%-off signs all over the place, so we turned to some of the savviest shoppers we know (some of the country's finest fashion writers) to find their own sales strategies. Essential reading before the Zara sale, which will happen any day now.
Scroll below to see the five things to consider before the Zara sale hits.
Only buy if you want it at full price
"Keep a cool head," says Frankie Graddon, fashion and beauty editor of The Pool. "Don't just buy something because it's got money off. Only buy it if you'd still want it at full price. I avoid sample sales and flash sales because it's easy to get caught up in the moment and waste money. Collate your options and really think about whether you really want it and if it's worth it."
She adds, "I remember reading a tip years ago that said before you buy anything new, try to mentally pair it with three things in your wardrobe. If you can do it, then the piece is worth buying. If not, then step away. I try to stick to this as much as I can."
Be wary with high-street sales
"The sales are a chance to shop designer labels that would normally be out of reach," says Charlie Gowans-Eglinton, acting senior fashion news and features editor at The Telegraph. "Unless you just need basics, I'd avoid high-street sales, no matter how tempting the prices might be, because if you could afford something full price but didn't want it until it was 50% off, then it's just going to hang unworn in your wardrobe. Only buy things you can't walk away from."
Focus on categories
"Get in early and focus on a few categories rather than trying to look at everything," adds Charlie. "I tend to buy shoes online as you can sort by size, and the fit is more predictable than with clothes. I don't generally have specific pieces in mind, but I will focus on certain designers who I love and know suit me. If you miss the start of the sales, then look for coats at the end—they often get left at the beginning of the sale as the prices are still too high so will get marked down again later on."
Think carefully about timings
"If there's something I really want, I'll buy it as soon as the sales hit so that I know I'll get it and in my size," says Lauren Franks, style editor at Red. "Then toward the end of the sales when prices have really been slashed, I go back through and see if there are any unexpected gems left over. Fenwick's top floor is great, as there's always loads of great stuff there."
Keep a list of things to look out for
"Don't force a purchase," adds Lauren. "You'll regret it. If you find something you've wanted for ages (I keep a list on my phone of bits I'm keeping my eye out for), and it's on sale, then brilliant—that's when sales are great. If you're just shopping and not really sure what you want unless you get that LOVE LOVE LOVE feeling, don't do it."
Next up, shop our edit of the best pieces you'll find in the summer sales right now.