Saturday, 13 December 2008

The Savvy Shopper

It seems like everyone is talking about the credit crunch and recession, so what better time for a post on savvy shopping? Though it might feel like you'll have to make drastic spending cuts when it comes to clothing, that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice dressing well.

My basic rule when clothes shopping is: Never pay full price for an item.

Sound strange? Not so long ago, this would have been practically impossible, as usually stores only held sales at the end of summer and in January. But with the economic situation today, most shops are having to resort to attracting customers with frequent special discounts and sales. But that's good news for us! In my experience, the quality of most clothing and accessories on the high street are very rarely worth paying full price for anyway. Saying that, some items are worth investing in. Read on for more tips on how to make the most of your money:

The High Street:
  • Plan before you shop. Make a list of the things you need, but don't get the list get too long. It's easier to concentrate on a finding a few items at any one time.

  • If you see an item you like, it's usually worth waiting until it's on sale. So many times I have bought something full price only to find it was reduced just a few days later! Check out the promotions section of the blog for news of sales and special offers.

  • If you do buy something at the full price, leave the tags on for a while. This gives you a chance to see if you really do need/want it. Also, if you do find it's on sale later on, you can return the full price item and buy the discounted one. But if by the time the sales come round it's out of stock, you'll have already bought it.

  • If you're a student, take advantage of the year-round discounts available to you with your student ID.

  • Certain items are worth spending more on. As a general rule of thumb, the more you use an item, the more it's worth investing in. This means a winter coat and boots, a basic pair of jeans, your work handbag and a smart suit are items you want to last and to look well-made. Don't pick these up from Primark, but do try shops like Clarks and Russell and Bromley for shoes, John Lewis and House of Fraser for clothing. They can be pricey, so it's also worth waiting until the sales to invest in these key pieces.

  • And saying that, some things you can easily get away with spending less on. I personally spend a lot less on summer clothes for example, than winter ones, because the UK climate means I'll spend more time in knitwear than I will in light linens. Trendy items and accessories are the things to pick up for cheap.

  • Take care of your clothes. It sounds obvious, but the better you look after your clothing, they longer it will last. Follow the given washing and drying instructions and store clothing carefully. With hijabs, it's always better to handwash them in warm water and hang dry to avoid damaging delicate fabrics.

Online Shopping:
  • Look for websites that offer free delivery and returns. Always make sure you read their terms and conditions carefully before ordering, and that they are a reputable website. Sites like Promod offer free returns, and Littlewoods give both free delivery and returns.

  • Sign up to website newsletters to receive news of special discounts and offers which may not be advertised on the website.

Islamic Clothing:
  • There's no denying that a lot of Islamic clothing is pricier than mass-produced high street alternatives. Look out for the special offers and sales that I often post here if you're looking to bag a bargain.

  • eBay is also a great place to find inexpensive hijabs, abayas and accessories. Check out the links on the right hand side of this page for a few eBay shops.

So, the secret to dressing well on a budget? Looking out for good quality key essentials on sale, whilst cutting back on the amount you spend on 'disposable fashion'. In the long run, this is also an environmentally-friendly attitude, as you'll be reducing waste. I hope these tips have helped, and if anyone has more advice, feel free to share with us!


Inspired Muslimah said...

Nice tips sis, Inshallah i will use them :D

Tassy said...

I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am to have found your blog.It is fantastic and very inspiring.I love everything about it.Thanks for taking the time to give us so much feedback, links ect, I do really appreciate it:)

Anonymous said...

Masha'Allah I wish you did this blog from the US. You are amazing. I guess I'll just use the online tips....Thanks

Adventurous Ammena said...

subhanallah.. can u believe it? I paid full price for a pair of jeans from Next today.. 22 quid :| I cant remember the last time I did it. But I needed a pair that wasnt trailing the ground as I walked!! and I really like em alhamdulillah

Anonymous said...

As salamu Alaykum.

Yes Islamic clothing is quite expensive. Ebay is inexpensive for it, BUT they also charge shipping and packaging usually which ends up to be more than what the item was worth :(

I saw nice underscarves for a very discount price I think it was like $1.50 each and the shipping for I think 20 underscarves was $30!

Anonymous said...

I love dress agencies. You can get beautiful clothes of great quality and materials for high street prices. My last purchases: French Connection long black winter coat for £20, Valentino long black silk skirt for £60. I don't shop anywhere else. Don't forget the quality is better than the quantity. If anybody is interested I can send you the names and addresses of these dress agencies.

Hijabi Apprentice said...

Great post! Thank you'


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