So it is Queen’s Birthday weekend and the shops are full of amazing sales! This weekend I have seen sales such as 30% off knitwear to 50% off your second pair of shoes and clearance sales. You name it, we are seeing it this weekend. If you are like me your eyes will light up as sale means bargain, bargain means more clothes for your budget, and overall this should mean more outfits. :-)

However, shopping at sale time, whether it is Easter, Queen’s Birthday or Boxing Day sales, there are a few tips to keep in mind so to make sure you are getting the most useful items for your wardrobe.

Below are my five helpful tips on how to sale shop for your corporate wardrobe.

Do your prep work

This means knowing what is in your wardrobe and writing a list of the items you are on the lookout for. It will also mean that you should (in theory) not get too easily swayed from your list as you now have some direction in your shopping. You won’t be aimlessly wandering the shops hoping for some inspiration! You might not get all your items on the list but that just means you get to have another go later in the year. :-)

What needs to be replaced?

This is typically your basics,  and because it is sale time this means you can usually get even better quality pieces. However remember what basics need replacing and what you already have in your wardrobe. If you have built your wardrobe around black and grey (like me), don’t go buying a pair of navy pants unless you are absolutely sure that you not only have the shoes that will go with it but also that your tops will go well with it too. Don’t forget my first post about how to start your corporate wardrobe – these rules still apply!

What colours do you want to build on?

For example I have just purchased a marsala waterfall cardigan which I am in love with! Marsala is a beautiful warm colour for winter and oozes elegance. So I was after a masala coloured top in order to build my colour package for this colour.

Remember the golden rule when purchasing colour, you must buy more than one piece to make this colour versatile in your wardrobe. If you aren’t good with matching colour, take the original coloured garment you want to match something to, with you. That way it will be easier for you to find pieces that match. :-)

Now just because you buy matching colour pieces does not mean you have to wear them all together at once…

What items are missing from your wardrobe? 

And their inclusion will allow you to make lots more outfits? For me this weekend it was pants. Now I hate buying pants at the best of time but I have found a few shops which finally cater for the girls with hips. This means I have stocked up on pants this winter (because last year I only found one pair!). I got a pair of grey, black and navy pants. This will provide me with countless new looks and are easy mix and match pieces, which are so desperately missing from my wardrobe.

Having an understanding of the style you like

Are you a collared classic, boho beauty, romantic wonder, or sophisticatedly sporty? Whatever or whomever you draw your dressing inspiration from, make sure you stay true to it. If you like wearing romantic waterfall cardigans, don’t try and force yourself into a suit jacket. Not only will you feel uncomfortable, people will also notice that you aren’t entirely comfortable and therefore not confident about your look.

Also don’t worry about sticking with the tried and true – if your preferred dress shape is a wrap dress, stick with it – especially when it comes to investment pieces. However don’t be afraid to try different shapes, styles, patterns and colours – you never know what you like until you have tried it. What’s the worst that can happen? It doesn’t look good and just you revert back to the shapes and styles that you have always loved. :-)

If in doubt experiment with patterns first – especially if they are in shape you like wearing.

Body shape! Body shape! Body shape!

Simply put what parts do you want to show off and what parts do you want to… not show off – if you get my drift!

For me, I am not such a fan of showing of my tummy – either by way of tight tops or pants which are giving me a muffin top. Therefore I am careful about what detail I am drawing to this part of my body. However this is just one example. We all know the areas we don’t want to draw attention to!

If you are in an outfit and the first thing you think about is this problem area – it is probably not the correct outfit for you as it most likely doesn’t work for your body shape. Instead find an outfit which makes you feel confident and fabulous. Odds are that it is the correct outfit for your body shape. :-)

If in doubt, remember you want people to look at your face first and foremost. This means scarves, statement necklaces and lovely detailed necklines such as ruffles drawing people’s eyes upward to your face.

Stay away from the statement pieces

There is a reason why the statement pieces are in the sale rack. I also dub these the one hit wonders. We all have them in the wardrobe and a lot the time we fall for these pieces time and time again! From the “how do I wash this” tasseled jumper or bedazzled t-shirt and the silk work shirt…

Whatever it is, stay away! These items create no value for your corporate wardrobe and also have probably been worn to death by all your fellow colleagues. If for some reason you are desperate to buy something “in-style”, go to a cheaper retailer. They have the same styles and patterns at half the price and then you can spend the rest of your money on a good functional piece for your wardrobe or shoes. You can never have too many pairs of shoes. :-)

If in doubt walk away

This is the best advice my mum gave me. If nothing works or looks good, don’t buy anything.

There is nothing worse than feeling your money burning in your pocket and you are on a shopping mission, but nothing looks good! The best thing you can do is walk away and come back in a month. By then new trends will be in the market and you never know what you might find. There is nothing worse than buying something and the next day to have the awful feeling of buyer’s remorse and having to get a store credit. You are better to hold on to your money until something great comes along.

What are your favourite sale tips for shopping in the sale? And talking about shopping a sale did you get anything this weekend?