It’s bound to happen. The summer soiree season is in full swing and the words “I have nothing to wear” echo through the house! What? You don’t want to wear your white capris 24/7? Hallelujah! What a relief! It’s like a freiking uniform! Set your eyes upon any ladies-night-out  and 99% of them are wearing white pants.

Let’s start with the root of the problem. When you packed away the winter woolies and the black booties last Spring, did you by any chance make note of what was either missing from your wardrobe all winter long or what you plain old wore down to it’s bare bones?

If you did not make note, shame on you! Let’s change that seasonal practice going forward. It’s time to take note of this summer season’s inventory – the good, the bad, the ugly and what needs replacing!

“Why?” you ask. Because my dear, those cherished items are now on sale! You need to buy them now, so next April when you perform your seasonal closet change-over, you will be swapping in something that makes you feel sassy, sexy and sophisticated – or perhaps simply current!

Let’s get to work on planning your future-fabulous Spring/Summer 2018 season!

Take Note ~ Check every category for wear, tear, fit and fabulousness! Shoes are obvious, if they are dirty, frayed or sole-less, be done with them! If your sweaters are all solid, one shape and relatively boring, pair them down and circle the racks for a pop of something different. Proceed through each and every category of clothing and of course if you find things that you didn’t reach for this season or this decade, boot them out the door. If you find items that you keep on – keep on – wearing, ask yourself why? What do you like about them and incorporate those thoughts and feelings into your next shopping excursion.

Plan the Products ~ As much as you might want to add that fabulous new bit of frosting to your wardrobe, first make sure the cake is ready! Check your bras, your hosiery, your over-worked white jeans and patterned skirts, sandals and wedges. My point is to make sure you have the essentials in your wardrobe covered. The essentials are on sale too you know! Everyone restocks the basic household items when they go on sale – don’t forget to restock your wardrobe basics also! Be wary of the shiny object syndrome while pre-shopping online. Also be wary of the sales associates who tell you it looks amazing on you, only two left, blah, blah, don’t believe a word of it. Stick to your guns and only look for, or try on, what is on your list. If shopping online, open several browsers to comparison shop before you hit the buy button. Stand strong and stick to your list!

Plan the store discounts and coupons ~ Sign up for their emails now, you can always unsubscribe later, but be sure to take advantage of the first shot of goodies! They may include an immediate coupon code that can be used on top of the sale price. Be sure you read the fine print and get free shipping both ways! And check out Ebates – it’s your discount reminder on steroids – it pops up on any website that you visit that uses the Ebates program – mindless and simple – you just hit ‘apply’.

Plan the Price ~ Just because it’s on sale, doesn’t mean it’s on sale – what? Were you ever aware of the regular price? Was that high-ticket item really EVER sold at that high-ticket price? Be a savvy shopper. If you are really planning on wasting a beach day and heading to the Mall, then you should already know what you are looking for and what you should pay. Do your homework – Google the item itself, open the top five links and check the price at different retailers! It might be two prices right within the Mall and your favorite retailer might price-match.

Plan the Savings ~ Shop early! Shop your favorite stores online in advance. Here’s a super-secret tip – put your items in your shopping cart and leave them there. Monitor them daily to see if they have been marked down. If you are on the store mailing list in advance, chances are very high that they will not bump your stuff out of your cart or they will send you an email reminder entitled something creative like, “Forgot Something”?

Create a budget before you power up the computer. As with any shopping endeavor, know the limits of what you can spend before you shop. Don’t be lead down the path of credit card over-load as you will spend more time thinking about how to detour the UPS truck away from your house.

Know the return policy in advance of purchase ~ Know their policy, as well as shipping coverage for returned items. Some stores allow exchanges and cover the shipping costs for returns while many others don’t.

Hit the sales early ~ Set your alarm and be outside the store before it opens. Yes, the early bird gets the worm!

Keep all receipts from your purchases ~ Always a prudent idea. If anything goes wrong, such as the item not turning up, the item turning up damaged, the item not being what you ordered or it just isn’t what you want, you’ll need those receipts as proof of purchase to be able to fight off the ‘final sale’ syndrome.

If you don’t plan, you either buy the wrong thing or pay the wrong price. That’s how you end up with one-shot wonders in your closet – lonely items with no mates!

Remember, plan the products, plan the discounts, plan the price, plan the savings, create a budget, comparison price shop, know the return policy, hit the sales early and save all your receipts.

If you don’t shop with purpose, you will no doubt be leaving money on the table and will start the Summer 2018 season without your wardrobe essentials!

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