Illustration Credit: nerosunero on Flickr.com
As the economy slows, many savvy shoppers are cutting corners at their favorite department stores in favor of sales racks. In such financially lean times, it is no wonder everyone loves to brag about that “great deal” they got the other day while shopping.
According to Janet Wood, style expert and founder of Fashion Fit Formula, “a sale is a retail store’s way of flirting with you. They are saying to you, ‘come into the store and see the bargains!’ It is a very temping thing to do, especially when you are trying to supplement your wardrobe.”
Is It Really a Sale?
Many times the higher end stores bring in sale clothing that is not up to the quality that of their non-sale items. According to Janet, “they are loss-leaders. Clothing sold at almost no profit to attract buyers into the location where they will then see the high profit clothing.”
This is how it works: the sale garment isn’t as nice as their other merchandise but its cost while lower, isn’t that much lower. Just a few steps a way is a rack with obviously better quality clothing and while the price is higher, it’s not that much higher. The buyer rationalizes for just a little more, I can get this outfit and it looks so much more expensive. That’s true, but you have just blown your clothing budget.
Are they still a bargain? Sometimes yes, but most often they are not.
- Check the quality of the fabric? Is the weave tight or loose?
- Look at the zipper; are there any puckers in the seams holding it in place? Does the bottom of the zipper area buckle?
- Also make sure to check any stress seams (areas where the clothing will have additional wear). They are usually sleeves and front and back seams on pants, shorts or capris.
According to Janet, true bargains can be found as the seasons change and unsold items are reduced in cost. Evaluate the items you may choose to purchase carefully.
- Is it a basic staple of your wardrobe?
- Do you have the accessories to make this new blend of colors work?
- Is this color or style going to be “out” in a year?
To battle the long-known dilemma of “it doesn’t fit quite right, but it’s on sale!” Janet invented the Fashion Fit Formula, which is a mathematical system based on 12 vertical measurements of a woman’s body.
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