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Ledger Lifestyle - Fashion, Home & Shopping

Spring Fashion 2012: Shopping Tips and Smooth Sales

Jan 24, 2012

Indulge in designer trends at affordable prices.

Sale, sale, sale. Everywhere there's a sale now.

It's out with the wintry wardrobes and in with the latest springtime trends. At this time of year, discounted merchandise is ripe for the picking ... but there are some precautions to take before you fill up your shopping cart and whip out the credit card.

"If you can get the right items on sale, great," say fashion experts Jill Martin and Dana Ravich, co-authors of "I Have Nothing To Wear!" "Sometimes even the classic basics go on sale. Stores are always receiving new merchandise and need to make room, so sometimes you can find exactly what you need on the sale rack."

But the two fashionista's also know a sale can mean trouble. "A sale price is not, repeat not, a reason to buy something," they add. "Don't kid yourself. Just because you are getting a great deal doesn't mean you are going to wear it."

Instead, you may end up with a closet stuffed full of clothes with tags still on them. So what do Martin and Ravich suggest you spend your money on? Here are a few of their tips to get you started on your shopping list for a new season.

-- Invest wisely in classic pieces for your wardrobe. From dark denim jeans to black blazers, skirts and dresses to white button-down shirts and pashmina wraps, the authors suggest buying high quality. "We cannot stress enough that it is worth it to spend a little bit more on these pieces," they say. "That doesn't mean you have to go beyond your clothing budget, but you get what you pay for. For the must-have pieces, it is worth paying a little more." And if you do find that perfect pair of jeans or classic trench coat on sale, go for it.

--Spend less on fashion trends. While Martin and Ravich advocate spending more on quality classic basics, they also suggest spending less on trendier clothes and accessories. "Don't spend as much on the fun piece of costume jewelry or the 'in' summer sandal," they say. "In fact, spend a lot less. You'll probably wear trendy items for a season and then chuck them. That's what makes them so much fun. You feel and look current, on trend, and in step with everyone else. But since trends are fleeting, to invest heavily in these pieces is totally unnecessary."

--Check out designer collections at mass-market chains. One of the newest trends in retailing is exploding with possibilities -- high-end designers producing stylish collections at affordable prices. Jason Wu, a favorite of first lady Michelle Obama, debuts his chic collection at Target on Feb. 5. The Missoni collection at Target last fall was so popular, it crashed their website. Other retailers are following suit.

"Why spend a ton on something that you don't need to last more than one season?" asks Martin and Ravich. "Like the sale items, buy the chap and trendy items only if you are actually going to wear them. Cheap, trendy and you is OK. Not you? Not OK. Just like the classics, trendy items, inexpensive though they may be, must be a 10. If they don't fit, flatter and otherwise make you look and feel great, they don't make the cut."

--Old clothes out, new clothes in. "You don't need a ton of clothes to always have something to wear," add the fashion experts. "You just need the right clothes. As you add new things, keep ditching old stuff. Your closet is a work in progress. It needs constant care and monitoring." And a few new things found on sale!

In the photo:Jason Wu unveils his chic designer collection at Target on Feb. 5. Featured, his navy floral sleeveless top with sheer panel and matching skirt.

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.


See Photos: In Fashion Photos & News


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