Five Simple Shopping Tips for Trendsetting, Budget Conscious Divas
Yes my friends, we made it to Fall 2017 shopping season! Have you checked out the new trends? Set your budget for new wardrobe additions? Or are you confused about where to start? Look no further, I have five simple tips to get you organized and ready to shop for the hottest Fall fashions!
Visit Fashion Week Online
As much as I would love to attend one of the four Fashion Week events in New York, London, Milan, or Paris, the trip is out of my budget. Those of us who cannot attend in person can have a similar experience watching runway show highlights on Fashion Week Online. Start here to gain inspiration and prepare your shopping list for fall must haves. Some trends I noticed coming to the sales floor include: leather pants, political statement shirts, fur accents, patchwork looks, muted plaids, and fringe details. Once you identify what you would like to try, look to the retail calendar to be first in line for new fashion forward looks!
Learn the Retail Calendar
The retail year is divided into two major seasons: Spring and Fall. Spring starts in February and ends in July while Fall begins in August and ends in January. Each season’s inventory breaks down into monthly deliveries sent to the store at the beginning of each fiscal month. Since retailers use a special calendar, the fiscal month may begin at the end of the previous calendar month which is why new August merchandise debuts at the end of July, September deliveries hit the floor the last week of August, October items arrive at the end of September, and the pattern continues through the end of December. August gear is transitional with some elements of the previous season in the delivery. September has the largest amount of inventory because it has the highest sales plan of all of the months in Fall season. Look for the largest concentration of new trends during September and into October. Private sales and special events occur during this time for insiders that include bonuses and discounts not available to the general public which leads to my next tip.
Sign up for Email Lists
Do you like special access to secret shopping events? Would you like to preview new collections before the general public? How about a special gift with purchase or win free merchandise? Then you must sign up for email distribution lists! One of my favorite events as a sales specialist allowed us to provide a special shopping day for our top clients where they received a gift with purchase, a complimentary chair massage, and a bottle of their favorite wine or champagne. Talk about an opportunity for pampering! Stores collect your email address and associate it with your purchase history to help identify events that you would enjoy so don’t be afraid, sign up.
Make Friends with Sales Associates
Still shy about that email list? Well make friends with a sales associate at your favorite store who can inform you about upcoming events. I had aggressive sales goals working in retail stores like Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue and the only way I could make my numbers was by building relationships. Some customers hated email so I would call them about special events that may suit their tastes. If I knew a customer only wanted sale items, I filed her under “sales” in my client book. If she wanted only the newest items, I filed her number under “new deliveries”. Each of these cheat sheets created useful lists of people I could call about special offers.
Shop Sample Sales
My fellow retail associates turned me on to sample sales where you pay a fraction of the retail cost on designer merchandise. Once designers finish up their runway shows, those items are made available to the public at special pop up shops in different cities. Go to chicmi.com for the latest sample sales available in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London. If one is not in your area, what a perfect plan for a getaway with friends? It’s a great way to find unique items at a great price while spending time with your besties!
Shopping is meant to be fun! Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by fashion commentators and their “shop talk.” Fashion is a personal statement and a chance to showcase your personality with your wardrobe. Remember, there is only one you and YOU make the clothes look fabulous, not the other way around!