Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Pre-sales planning

Its the eve of the January sales- do you know where your dream handbag is on sale for 60% off? that classic black wool coat that you couldn't afford in a million years? those silly yellow heels that will only get worn a handful of times, therefore never justifying their price? I'm not exactly sure but I think tomorrow I will be heading over to the Bon Marché directly because that is where I always have my best luck. My best sales tip? Go into the designer boutiques around the perimeter of the shop because they everything on sale, often at 50% off, from the first day because they need to clean out all their stock. Great for things like sunglasses that seem to never go on sale in other places.

I would really love a new big black bag but am in serious trouble because I haven't had the energy to do any pre-sale reconnaisance missions. I have been lusting for a bit after the YSL Downtown. My sister-in-law has one and until I saw her with it, I thought I hated it. In photos, I thought it looked really silly. In reality, the leather is so gorgeous and soft that I can't believe her husband bought her story that it was a fake she picked up on the street for 20 euro. The bad thing about having your husband in the clothing business is that he has an eagle eye for thing like that... Of course the positive side is that if I do happen to splurge, he has the good sense to acknowledge that the quality is excellent. But like I said, I don't know where to go looking for one of those on sale, although I assume looking for one would be like looking for leprechans or unicorns. Low probability of success.

So, although I always consider a new purse the best way to spend my winter sales budget, I think that priority number one this year is a black wool coat. I have a really basic model that I bought 8 years ago at Cacharel and I think that it is up for retirement. The fabric is gorgeous and doesn't have any sign of wear. BUT I ripped a belt loop off years ago and couldn't figure out an easy way to replace it. This year the second belt loop fell off so luckily I could just wear it with a wide leather belt and not only did I solve the belt loop problem but it looks quite modern. On the other hand, the ripped pocket (from Ella hanging on me one day) just looks trashy. And the shredded lining for the sleeve? It makes it impossible to wear this coat anywhere where it might require removal. So that means, I am only able to throw it on to go to the park or the grocery store. I suppose since those are about the only two reasons I leave the house on the average week day, the coat is still very very useful. I might as well just admit the real reason- I am bored bored bored with my boring old black wool coat. I saw the most beautiful coat from Zac Posen on net-a-porter, the Boulevard, but it looks a bit odd when left open- but since I found it for only 400 euro on ebay, I was very very tempted to buy it anyways. But then I started looking a bit more and, when skimming the sales items, I spied this Vanessa Bruno coat which I think is very cool. B thinks it looks absolutely useless as a winter coat; he's probably right. But, if I figure I might end up wearing the coat for 8 years, I figure I can spend a bit more than I think reasonable, right? In that case, why not this one? Anyways, I will go out looking tomorrow and atleast I have an idea of what I can find for a certain price range. The worst thing is getting caught up in the sales mob mentality and coming home with bags and bags of crap.

A few sale success techniques to remember:

* always shop alone. No time to waste waiting for your girlfriend to make up her mind about the identical pairs of black heels
*wear a skirt and ballet slippers so that you don't waste any more time than necessary in the changing room (and can even to an emergency essayage in the middle of the racks, when required)
*decide what you can spend and withdraw it in cash. That way, you will only spend what you can really afford.
*Go to the department stores first where you see lots of different brands and when you aren't sure about something, buy it. At all the grands magasins, you can return your purchases even when they are on sale, so long as you keep the ticket. Buy from the boutique only if you know won't try to return the item and then ask for an extra 10% off (since you are paying in cash)
*buy classic, quality items that build your wardrobe. Buy trendy things at the beginning of the season (preferably from a cheap brand) so that you get the most wear out of them.

Wish me good hunting.


maitresse said...

good tips! except the ballet flats and skirt combo are tough for some of us to pull off in january (I am a total baby when it comes to the cold). and legwarmers are so last year. any suggestions??

Nicole said...

Well, obviously, the cool thing to do is go the Lilo route and wear leggings. BUT I'm not totally sold on leggings. I always steal this trick from my sister who spent 3 freezing winters in Montreal and therefore is an expert in winter survival techniques- two pair of tights and you are toasty warm. It ends up being warmer than jeans, actually.