Chances are you're not yet quite ready to shop for spring clothes. You're probably still snuggled up in your heavy sweaters and sweatpants, slugging through cold rain and blowing snowstorms. But hey, it is sale time and worth browsing your iPad for some great deals, right? And if you're really serious about scoring some fashion bargains, you'll head out to your favorite store even if there's a blizzard.
But before you Google "sale at Macy's," here are some ideas to keep you on budget:
— Shop in your own closet. I know you've got cabin fever and you want to hit the streets, but it really pays to assess what you already have at home. Many of us have a strange habit of buying the same thing over and over and over. How many pairs of black leggings do you have?
— Make a list of what you really need. Sounds simple, doesn't it? But how many times have you wished you had a blouse to go with that long emerald green skirt you bought last year just because it was the color of the year? You may even want to take that skirt with you while you shop to find its perfect mate.
— Replace the basics. No, it's not as fun as finding that faux fur coat at 75 percent off, but if your old trustworthy trench is getting a little rugged around the edges, this is the perfect time of year to consider replacing it with a newer model. You know classics will always be good investments, especially if you can find them on sale.
— Be prepared. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes when you go shopping. Make sure you wear clothes that you can easily slip on and off. Leave the tight boots at home and wear flats. Suit up like a shopping warrior who means business but wants to have some fun, too.
— Check out apps. There may be plenty of good deals out there, but there are even more online. You can often get extra discounts just by perusing the websites of the stores you intend to visit. When you get coupons in the mail, stick them in your purse immediately so you will have them with you when you go shopping.
— Don't get overwhelmed. If the racks are brimming over with a tangled mess of clothes, just take your time. Get into the spirit of skimming the hangers for those hidden treasures. I often do this by color. I know I don't need another pair of black pants, so I just skip over to the next aisle.
— Try the merchandise on for size. This is a step that many of us just want to skip when we are in sale mode with a hundred other shoppers. But it can pay off. How many times have I just "known" without a doubt in my mind that that sweater would definitely fit me only to get it home and realize it swallows me up? Remember, sizes can vary drastically from label to label. So unless you know that you "always" wear a size 8 in a particular designer jean, err on the safe side and try on everything you want to buy, no matter how good a deal it seems.
— Get out of your style rut. Sale time is a great time to re-evaluate your own wardrobe. If you've been stuck in a rut, take advantage of buying something a little "outrageous" when it's marked down. Try something that may not really be "you." You never know how good it may make you feel ... especially when you got it half-price!
— Explore the new season. You may have promised yourself would only shop the sales, but once you're in the stores, look around! Check out the new spring merchandise that's bound to be lurking just inside the entrance door. You never know what kind of deal you'll find ... before it goes on sale!
To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.