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If you’re still hunting through the local sales to snap up a bargain here are our handy tips to sales success.

ESP’s style guru Sue Donnelly knows a thing or two about shopping for clothes so follow Sue’s top tips and you’ll be bagging a real bargain…

It’s that time of year again when all your unwanted presents go back to the shops and you’re assailed by ‘bargains’ that you just can’t do without.

But don’t be fooled by all the savings you’re going to make. Many of us buy sale items only to find them hanging unworn in the closet the following year. There’s always a reason why the store wants an item to go from its rails and it’s never because it’s a ‘must-have’.

To help you find a true gem, here are some of my top tips:

  1. Don’t go to the sales without a shopping list and a budget (that you will stick to of course!)

  2. Do your research beforehand and check out what you want to buy and make a bee-line for it on sales day (with no departures). If you know the sales assistant in the store, see if they can sneakily put it on one side for you – always worth asking, even if the answer is ‘no’.

  3. A classic garment that will stand the test of time is a great bargain to find but make sure it is ‘classic’ and not ‘dated’.

  4. If it’s really trendy, you’ll need to wear it immediately as it won’t be cool six months from now.

  5. OR wear it in small chunks

  6. To initiated fashionistas and followers of labels, an ‘It’ bag or gadget is only ‘It’ when it’s that season’s ‘must-have’. If it’s last season’s it’s no longer ‘it’ therefore decreases in status and financial value. Only buy it if you love it and don’t care.

  7. Only buy it if you know for sure it will go with other items in your existing wardrobe.

  8. It must fit properly. A garment will look cheap if it doesn’t hang properly

  9. If you find the perfect shirt, trousers, jeans – buy two.

  10. Don’t trust size labels, as the best bargains I’ve ever bought were garments sized incorrectly.

  11. Check any refund policies in the store before you buy.

  12. Too much hassle? Check online as sale dates are often two or three days earlier.

  13. Lastly, wear comfy clothing and shoes and minimal accessories so you don’t waste time in changing rooms and your feet don’t get sore from running around. Wear the right underwear and carry heels with you if needs be.

For more from Sue take a look at


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