the smart girl’s sales shopping guide

Hi old friends! Apologies for the radio silence, but I took the liberty of having a Christmas break and this is the first time I’ve even switched the computer on in about a week. And of course the first thing I thought about once it was on….SALES SHOPPING!

If you’re anything like me, your Twitter feed and email inbox is currently FULL of retailers trying to tempt you in to look at their sales. And it IS tempting. But it’s important to go forth and shop with a plan, or your excitement could get the better of you and things could go badly wrong (“but they’ve got 50% off! THEY’RE ONLY £500!!”). So readers, here are the En Brogue rules to the sales; a guide to happy shopping (peppered with a few inspirational ideas).

1. set your financial limit before you start.

You know how much you can afford to spend, so have this figure in your head before you start shopping and stick to it. Just because something has an amazing discount, it doesn’t necessarily mean a) that you can afford it or b) that it is a bargain. This should avoid any feelings of regret the following day and moments of panic when you are due to pay the leccy. Even if it’s a brilliant discount, it might still be more than you’re willing to fork out, so be brave and leave the credit card in your wallet for now.


Prada pointed loafers, £507 reduced from £845, STILL TOO EXPENSIVE FOR ME! But lush.

2. You know what size your feet are…

…so why, WHY, would you squeeze into a pair that are two sizes too small simply because there’s £50 off? This is a blog about COMFORTABLE shoes: don’t forget that! I once fell victim to buying a pair of shoes that were a size too small and sure enough, I never wore them. I may as well have thrown the money in the bin. This rule obviously also applies when the shoes are too big. If they don’t fit, DON’T BUY THEM! By some stroke of luck the ONLY size left in these See by Chloe loafers is 37, which just so happens to be my size…


See by Chloe ‘Christie’ loafers, £182 reduced from £260,

3. If you didn’t want them at full price, you probably don’t want them now

A good way of tackling your sales shopping is to start by finding the items you REALLY wanted at full price but couldn’t afford, and see whether they’re still available but at a cheaper price. Your joy will be all the greater for finally getting your mitts on shoes you’ve coveted for so long. Or a brand you’ve always wanted to own but have never been able to afford. If you’re struggling to find them, try using; it’s like fashion Google and does all the searching for you (you can also sign up for a sale alert and search by size). Personally, I’ll just head straight to my favourite brands directly – Grenson currently has LOADS of sizes in this totally gorgeous style available.


Winnie lace-ups, £120 reduced from £200,


4. Two glasses of wine? Don’t shop online.

Online shopping is fantastic. Unless you are drunk. Tell your family and friends that they should not allow you under any circumstances to be on the computer if you’re at the stage where you’ve lost all volume control and have done a little dance in the living room. In fact, my own personal rule is ‘two glasses of wine? don’t shop online’. But I’m a lightweight. In my current sober state, I will NOT be buying these incredible Penelope Chilvers boots. Oh no. Even though they make my heart race a little bit. I could easily be swayed this evening after a tipple, so I shall be steering well clear. (Or will I?!)


Moccasin Pony boots, £159 reduced from £229,

5. Don’t forget your own personal style

It’s easy to get carried away with the frenzied excitement that comes with sales shopping, but don’t forget what you normally wear. Consider the cost-per-wear ratio of the shoes – that’s the number of times you will wear them vs the price – and if you can think of five outfits you might wear them with, you should be on the right track. Take these Northern Cobbler Stonefish sneakers for example: I have a pair, which go with everything and I reckon I wear about once a week. So at £100, that’s £1.92 per wear. BARGAIN!


Stonefish sneakers, £100 reduced from £140,