Sales. They are the stuff dreams are made of.  

But how to you make it worth your while handing over the Visa; especially when all too often you find yourself in the shop, trying something on and foraging around for your purse in your oversized work tote – when you'd only popped out at lunchtime for a quick sandwich and iced tea? 


 See, the thing is, there are sales and then, there are sales! Some stores always seem to have the greatest bargains while others – like HB Boutique – save their sales for well after the stocktakes have settled and offer up their sale as a bit of a last hurrah for the season that was. 


Maddie and Carmel are really fussy with their stock, and making sure it is matched to their customers' tastes, needs and expectations. They do sales properly. And when the store is marked down to 50% off, you can be assured the stock is still of the highest quality.


So how to you know when it is worth opening the wallet and handing over your hard-earned? And how do you take the best of a season punctuated by classic neutrals, naturals and pops of colour, and make it work in a longer-term wardrobe sense? 


We've put together a bit of a guide to help you make the decision – while not missing out on the thrill and fun of a sale!

  1.  Know your wardrobe! Make sure you have a good idea of what's there and what's hidden at the back of a shelf or drawer, not extracted since 2014. Audit what you wear, what you don't and what you love and loathe. Then find the gaps. That is what you shop to!                                                       

   2.  Know yourself! If peach (or whatever colour) is not your thing, then get over it. No shade of that colour, no pattern using that colour and very few contrasting or complementary accompanying colours are going to make it work. Similarly, if high necks make your boobs look like sagging shopping bags, or ankle straps bring out the not-so-best of your kankles – do not do it! Put it back on the rack and step away.

 3. Resist adrenaline-fueled impulse. They can make for great conversation pieces and sometimes the most fabulous statements can be made by offsetting a "sensible" ensemble with a nothing-short-of-insanely-fabulous neck piece, earrings, shoes or bag. But invest a wee bit of thought before investing hundreds of dollars. While most things are on sale because of excess stock, somethings are on sale because there are only very few people who can wear it well. A moment of pause can save you stuffing yet another item of unloved clothing into a bag for charity!


4. Budget. Boring, we know. But when there is a mortgage to pay, then you have to be a bit smart about what you buy. Set a budget and stick to it. And if that stunning jumpsuit is just achingly declaring its love for you, and the feeling is mutual, know that when you are eating beans and two-minute noodles for the next fortnight, you have a fabulous wardrobe piece to wear to the dinner table.

5.  Classics. Always classics. Look for perennials and items that will stand the test of time. You know the items: good sandals, nothing too on-trend, nothing you can't really see yourself in come next Summer. Know what defines your existing collection and add to it. Don't jar the flow and style for the sake of one here-today-gone-tomorrow seasonal "must-have". 


Maddie Jones