When it's sale time, it's savings time. And when the holidays roll around, it's time to give yourself and your family the gift of a little extra cash. After Christmas is the time to buy these fashion favorites at bargain prices to wear any time of the year.
*Scour the Shoe Sales
Shoes are basic necessities, and when you can find them on sale, snatch them up -- especially if they are your favorite brands. A new pair of shoes can make you feel like you've got a whole new wardrobe. The workhorse shoes like flats, pumps, sneakers, driving loafers and boots are always good deals. Boots are winter favorites, and if you've had your eyes on that pair of designer snakeskin knee-highs, now is the time to watch for end-of-season discounts. Pay close attention to all the buy-one-get-one-free deals out there. You still have a few months to wear them, and they'll be ready and waiting for you in your closet next year.
*Bring on the Bags
Handbags, backpacks, totes and carry-alls -- these are accessories that we rely on, year after year. While the fashion trends are constantly changing, there are lots of classic shapes and styles that you can depend on forever -- the ladylike top-handle satchel, the oversize slouchy hobo, the crossbody messenger bag, the sturdy leather backpack. Now is also the perfect time to stock up on party accessories, too. Take advantage of store coupons and customer reward points to save money on these everyday classics.
*Dig for Deals on Denim
Another basic in most of our wardrobes, denim, doesn't change in style that much from year to year. Most of us do have a label we love, but when you find denim on sale, it may be a great time to try something new. This may be the time to let your teens splurge on that one pair of "Mom, I have to have those" jeans. Denim skirts are year-round basics. You can always wear tights and boots with them in chilly months, and sandals come summer.
*Dive into Swimwear
Whether or not you're jetting off to tropical beaches, you can still take some time this winter to shop for new beachwear at end-of-year sales, especially online. Update swimwear wardrobes for the entire family. Add mix-and-match swim separates to stretch what you already wear on and off the beach or poolside. Get creative with cover-ups that you find on the sale rack. The popular kimono-style tops in flirty florals are easy to layer over swimwear or cropped jeans and tank tops later.
*Stock Up on Kids' Clothes
If you're shopping the clearance sales and you've got young kids, then think ahead. Children grow out of clothes as fast as they can tear the wrapping off those packages under the tree. Now is a good time to stock up on larger sizes in clothing basics and shoes that they can wear all year. Coats are always a good deal at end-of-season sales. And who knows ... those graphic T-shirts for young boys and glittery rompers for girls that were the hit of the fall back-to-school season may be marked down even more.
*Work on Workwear
Everyone loves scoping out bargains on casual clothes and accessories, but when we must get back to work, our professional wardrobes are what we rely on. So, when you're shopping for deals, think about those basics that need to be replaced or refreshed in your everyday workwear. Staples like trenchcoats, white shirts, neutral-colored trousers, pencil skirts, tailored jackets and little black shift dresses are perennial classics. Find these classics on clearance, and maybe you can give yourself the gift of a little more vacation time once summer rolls around.
Sharon Mosley's column "In Fashion," can be found at www.creators.com.