Sometimes all that can alleviate the inevitable post-Christmas depression is a mammoth online shopping spree... Particularly when armed with Charbonnel et Walker truffles and leftover champagne.
That said, we can all be guilty of senseless sale shopping...
"50% off you say?! Ripped zebra jeans? Yes! Perspex neon clutch? Yes! Pink fur coat? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!"
It is easy to get carried away when you see those hefty designer price-tags whittled down to the £100/£200 mark, but there are a few rules one must remember when it comes to sale shopping:
1. If you wouldn't buy it full price, don't buy it on sale.
2. NEVER buy a size down/up.
3. Remember the three-year rule. Will you still be wearing this piece in three years time? No? Step away from the cashpoint missy/mr!
To reiterate, I know it's all too tempting- heck, while compiling this post I spent £400 on The Kooples website (the title of my upcoming memoir shall be SW Fashion: From Blogging to Bankruptcy pre-order on Amazon now)- but it is also easy to find some great pieces that will last a lifetime.
Ladies and gentlemen, here are some of my favourite sensible sale buys of the season. Enjoy!
1. This Zimmermann dress is the perfect LBD to add to your party dress collection. The delicate broderie anglaise fabric is slightly summery, but the backless detailing makes it a sexy party season staple. Did somebody say New Years Eve? It is on sale at Net-A-Porter for £237 here.
2. Luxurious lingerie is best to buy on sale, and my favourite brand this year is Myla. Last year I was obsessed with Mimi Holliday, but this December I have fallen for Myla's subtly sensual styles. This Layla bra in champagne pink with black lace is far too beautiful to keep under-wraps. Complete with rose gold fittings and ornate lace, the Layla bra is available here for £67. Sadly they have run out of my size (and I have got WAY too much lingerie already) but had I been quicker I would have paired this with my new satin camisole from ASOS (here).
3. Reduced from £120 to £36 (!!!!!), this Devon bra by Myla is another dazzler. It is great for A and B cups in particular, and the full set is sure to go down a storm come Valentines Day. I may, just may, purchase this as an early birthday treat.
4. Lingerie to one side, Myla are also renowned for their decadent nightwear in high quality silk, satin and eyelash lace. Their sultry lace kimonos of black and ivory (ideal for honeymooners) are reduced from £1000 to £500 this season, and their satiny slips, babydolls and pyjama sets are also on sale. This black Angelica babydoll is the ultimate nightdress for the contemporary glamour puss, reduced to just £87 here.
5. Beauty Bay is a great place to look for slash-priced beauty staples, and these Essie polishes can be found on sale here, alongside some other great seasonal hues. Pictured are Spaghetti Strap, a light peony pink (£7.82 here) and Cabi au Lait, a sheer ballet pink (£6.38 here). Beauty Bay also have free delivery at the moment for guilt-free post-Christmas spending.
6. Selfridges have a lot of great scents on sale following the festive period, and these jam-jar natural scents by Honore Des Pres are great to stock up on for gifts. Originally £53, each scent is now £19.50. My personal favourite is the Sexy Angel scent which is fruity with a touch of spice and a sugared almond base. You can shop them here.
7. A little sparkle goes a long way, so add oodles of glamour to any evening look with these Tom Binns earrings at Net-A-Porter, reduced to £99 here. I won't tell anyone they aren't antique if you don't.
8. While compiling this post, I may have been led astray by The Kooples sale. The Kooples is always my first port of call for sale bargains as I find the pieces are classic and timeless and great quality. This silk blouse in muted blush pink is sure to work hard in your wardrobe, and is the perfect piece to wear slightly undone to show off your new Myla lingerie. It is now reduced to £99 here.
9. Saint Laurent Paris court shoes under £300? Need I say more? These are just £280 at Matches and come in crimson too. A great pair of court shoes will last you a lifetime, and this slick pointed style are sure to delight for work or play.
1. I know it doesn't seem like the most sensible sales purchase, but this silk Carven camisole in zebra print will look amazing for SS14, tapping into the Wanderlust trend for all things wild (roar). Wear with a split front pencil skirt such as this ridiculously bargain-ous ASOS style (£11 = lunch at Pret or split front skirt?) and classic courts (I can only assume you've bought the Saint Laurent ones already?) for a sophisticated look with just a nod to the trend. It is reduced to £204 here.
2. If you like to smell as delicious as you look (such a charmer), then you will doubtless be familiar with the popular Laura Mercier Eau Gourmande collection. With delectable scents of Créme Brulée, Tarte au Citron, Toasted Chestnut and Almond Coconut, these miniature candles are great to dot around the house or to keep on standby for future presents. Reduced from £42, these Laura Mercier candles are available at Space NK for £21 here.
3. The key to a good little black dress is to keep it relaxed and nonchalant, and who could do that better than Maje? A brand synonymous with Parisian chic, this ultra-flattering dress is effortlessly elegant. With a draped silk satin top and a crepe layered skirt, this dress is just calling for a little Isabel Marant boucle jacket and some killer heeled ankle boots. Party season perfection à la Emmanuelle Alt. Maje dress, £162 at Net-A-Porter here.
4. One of my favourite gifts this year was my Rosie for Autograph dusky pink silk pyjamas. They feel so luxurious and elegant, and are the ultimate lounge-wear. Come Summer, though, a short alternative is a must, and these ones at Avenue 32 should do just nicely. The vibrant raspberry shade will really pop with a tan, and the quality is superlative. Raspberry Silk Pyjamas at Avenue 32 by Alöe £98 here.
5. In terms of value, I think Phillip Lim handbags are a great investment. I bought my Pashli this Summer and I have already seen the price go up, so it is always a good idea to get a bargain while you can. This shoulder bag is wonderfully discreet and simple, making it a safe and smart sale buy. 3.1 Phillip Lim Scout Shoulder bag at Avenue 32 £351 here.
6. Jewellery is usually a bit of a silly sales buy, but this Dogeared charm bracelet is an exception. Granted, it is hardly even reduced, but this gold-plate bracelet is great to keep for a special present such as an impromptu 21st or promotion. Dogeared Lucky Star bracelet exclusively at ASOS reduced to £40.50 here.
7. My first (of many!) sale purchases this year were the Kurt Geiger London Belgravia sandals in nude. For something punchier, opt for the Isabella's in vibrant coral. The shade will be a knockout with a Summer tan and sunset brights are big for SS14. At £49, surely it would be rude not to? Kurt Geiger Isabella reduced to £49 here.
1. Richard Nicoll's menswear line has always been slick but understated, and a lot of his trend-led wardrobe staples can be found in the fantastic Matches Fashion sale. These light grey chinos are a great weekend alternative to denim, and also come in rich french navy. They will also transition well into Summer. Richard Nicoll trousers at Matches here.
2. If you don't have a really fabulous dinner jacket yet, head to The Kooples for a great selection of classic jackets with seasonal reductions. I featured this slim fit navy jacket in one of my menswear pages as it has such a sharp cut. It will work just as well with relaxed Chinos and a simple tee as it would with the matching pants and a buttoned up shirt with a leather collar. Navy Blazer at The Kooples reduced to £294 here.
3. Givenchy is one of the coolest brands of the moment in menswear, so add a little edge to your working wardrobe with these gold wing cufflinks, also available in silver. Givenchy Wing Cufflinks now £105 here. Psst! Ladies, these make for a great gift.
4. This woolen jacket, also by Richard Nicoll, is a contemporary weekend essential. In a biker style, this deep petrol blue jacket is effortlessly stylish and will add a little edge to even the most simple ensemble. The quality is fantastic, and this jacket is sure to impress your other half come date night. Richard Nicoll Wool Melton Biker Jacket reduced to £444 here.
5. The ruckack is back in a big way, and this leather style from Zara is a particularly stylish offering. Zara brown leather rucksack £39.99 here.
6. Never neglect the shoes- they can make or break an outfit. In the Winter sales it is always a great idea to pick up some classic Chelsea boots, such as these battered brown ankle boots from The Kooples. Kurt Geiger also have some strong offerings, as do Sandro at Selfridges. The Kooples battered brown biker/chelsea boots reduced to £198 here.
7. A favourite of slick city boys, Reiss never fail to impress with their inventive menswear collections and dapper detailing. Often it is quite difficult to distinguish between higher-end brands and Reiss, for the quality is often on a par, and this grey cashmere sweater is a great example. Reiss cashmere sweater in dove grey reduced to £119 here.
8. If you're after something a little more exciting than plain grey, look no further than this printed jacquard sweater. Come Spring, this one shall be available in pale grey with lemon print, so this neutral style is bang-on. Reiss jaguar sweater reduced to £65 here.
1. A great pair of slim-fit jeans is a worthwhile investment, and this season's best value label is BLK DNM. Only a few sizes remain of this wash, but stay tuned to Matches for new lines and other brands such as J Brand and ACNE. BLK DNM Jeans at Matches reduced to £82 here.
2. Unleash your wild side with these casual ponyskin flats by Kurt Geiger. They are a little outlandish, yes, but worn with simple jeans and a great teddy jacket they are sure to liven up your look a treat. They also come in patent navy croc. Leopard Print Plimsolls at Kurt Geiger here.
3. A good t-shirt should be light, soft and slightly loose-fitting, and James Perse t-shirts are arguably among the best for men and women. This dark grey tee with black trim is a smart style that will work well under a leather jacket. Grey James Perse t-shirt at Matches here.
4. T-shirts are great to buy on sale, and this navy one with leather pocket detailing is great value for a souped-up staple. Navy t-shirt with leather pocket reduced to £48 at The Kooples here.
5. The varsity jacket has been on the up for a few seasons now, so now is a great time to invest in a neutral style to add a little modernity to a casual look. I love this one by Reiss 1971, which is reduced to £109 here.
6. Worn well, a statement sneaker can give any look a fashion-forward twist. These Sandro Interstellar high-tops feature a tonal, Alexander Wang-esque graffiti print on the side, and will look fantastic with black denim and an embroidered varsity jacket. Sandro Interstellar High-Top Sneakers at Selfridges here.
7. For something a little more conservative, these black leather sneakers are great for casual weekend wear. They are smart but still comfortable, and the high-top style feels distinctly modern. Sandro Cha Vision High-Top Sneakers at Selfridges here.
SALE PICKS: HIM
SALE PICKS: HER