Pay day is nigh: 10 hot bargains to bag at the summer sales

Scour those upmarket shops and online sites for the very best deals ... and dress for success

Newcollage
 

June may not be the end of May, politically speaking, but it’s certainly summer sales time and in full swing right now. Many will be lured out because of pay day this week, but the first thing bargain hunters need to know before the seasonal hunt is how to dress for it.

If you’ve ever tried on clothes in a changing room wearing separates  with buttons, laces or zips and ditto footwear similarly armoured, the cost is agonising and I’m not talking about the price tags but the sheer dance- of- the- seven- veils- and- back again ordeal.

 So it’s important to remember to wear something easy to take off and replace – a loose dress rather than trousers or jeans, maybe flesh coloured underwear and slip on shoes or runners so you don’t look as if you’ve struggled out of a sauna afterwards. It helps if you’re trying on a lot of stuff and wriggling in and out of tight squeezes – swimwear comes to mind.

Second piece of advice is to spend where it matters most; what you will wear to work daily is a sound quality investment, a rate per wear ratio that’s better than a special item for a special event that won’t be worn more than three times. Experienced hands know that often the best buys are not on the first day of the sales, but towards the end. I remember bagging an Alexander McQueen short black trench years ago - way beyond affordability beforehand - in a sale for a fraction of its original price and it is still fit for purpose.

On the other hand, what you learn from innumerable encounters is that when it comes to shoes or boots, if they’re not comfortable when you try them on for the first time, they will generally remain that way no matter what sales assistants assure you otherwise. Does the pleasure outweigh the pain? If you want to look good, you should feel good too.

Jeans that are a good fit (view them from all sides) are a top buy and if you find a bargain that suits, buy two pairs. Look for long zips or high waists for a better fit and unless you’re slim, beware fiddly button fly fronts with shanks – not tummy flattering.

Scour upmarket shops and online sites for quality buys at reduced rates rather than the high street with its already low priced disposable fashion. And not all of us have the time to go ransacking vintage shops for special finds or TKMaxx to squirrel out three figure price tags at two figure prices or to discover that amazing Marni dress among the tatty spaghetti straps and bondage lacing.

It’s worth noting that both Cos and Margaret Howell (whose shop is in Rathgar) both have sales at the moment with good mark downs, but do not actively promote them. Finally, beware impetuous purchases and decide what you need, what will chime with what you already have and if in doubt, divert, grab a coffee, take stock and relax.

Here are 10 good buys at the moment, some pricey but worth it long term.

Tote bag

l. A really useful black tote work bag by Kate Spade from Arnotts – was €425, now €255.

Suede shoes

2. Sky blue suede shoes by Dries Van Noten from Envoy of Belfastwere €628 now €426. You’ll love them forever.

Shirt dress

3. White shirt dress by Comme des Garcons from Envoy of Belfast, a cool summer staple that transcends trends was €628 now €426.

Black jeans

4. Black boyfriend jeans from Zara were €40.95 now €29.00 – a foil for any topping.

Long-sleeve top

5. A sleek long-sleeve feather trim Claudia top at Samui, Cork was €515 now €257.50. Easy and flattering evening wear.

Red and black jacket

6. A crisp red and black pattern jacket by Anne de Meulemeester from Havana now €347. Wear with black jeans or a short black skirt and heels for work.

Silk dress

7. For angled evening drama – a red silk dress by Roland Mouret from Brown Thomas was €765 now €295. If you can shoulder it.

Denim dress

8. Renata dark blue denim dress by MaxMara from Brown Thomas was €215 now €129 – wear with or without a long white T-shirt and flats.

Trench coat

9. A pure cotton weatherproof trench coat – what could be more practical? Costs €79 from Marks & Spencer, not yet in the sale which starts on July 11th.

Print scarf

10. Animal print scarf from Zara was €15.99 now €9.99. Energises any outfit. 

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