Friday, 4 January 2008


Okay Ladies,prepare your hard earned cash, credit cards and sugardaddies. This is the time we have been waiting for and it's gonna be here in a couple of days---THE SALE SEASON!

Yup, the only reason for us to wake up early and actually NOT wear stilettos since the rebajas is a battlefield and only the strongest and the smartest will survive. The battle is up from the 7th of January till the 7th of March so it's a whole two months of chaos everywhere. Since it's a gonna be a two month long saga , I advise everyone to be smart in buying. I know we could all be impulsive sometimes especially when something like a Gucci bag stares at you like a sumptuous blueberry cheesecake waiting to be forked and swallowed till the very last crumb. Resist, ladies, resist. A real shopper knows how to spend her earnings wisely and real shoppers we all have to be.

Here are some of my personal tips on how to survive the shopping madness, smartly.

1. List down your priorities and stick to it--- write down the items that you've been salivating and saving for in the last couple of months. The gorgeous latex pants that you saw in ZARA, the tote bag from LV, or that quirky top that you saw Kate Moss wearing from H&M. This way, you know what to buy and not loiter around the mall THINKING of what to buy. There will be loads of temptations around so keep your list on your hand and have a one track mindset. Listing your priorities will save you time and energy especially when you're shopping with your boyfriend; which leads me to my number two advice:

2. Shop alone---Never ever for the love of the gods bring your man with you to the sale madness. You know it how it is, you've been there and you know what's gonna happen if you do. I know that you want to look good for your boyfriend, husband , whatever, but this is the time that you have to be independent in your fashion decisions and if ever you need some advice, tag your girlfriends with you. Your girlfriends are honest and they will say, without having to be polite, if something actually looks good or bad on you. The sale season is important to you as the Liverpool-Manchester United match is to them so leave them at home with a cold beer and the telly on.

3. Know your body.---This time of the month, it would be difficult to find your size especially if you are as "normal" as everyone else (meaning not too skinny nor too plump). Know your exact size. This way, you can save time. The fitting rooms will be filled and the queue will be endless so if necessary, just get your exact size, pay and go. Always keep the receipt though so you can bring it back to shop if you've missed. Avoid wasting time in trying to find out your shade, color, texture or scent. You should have known that by now.

4. Look underneath the rack. People go for the best items in this season but only the lucky ones will get their sizes, their choice of color etc. For these reasons, good ones are always left behind and the staff are just too busy to hang them again so put a little bit of effort and bend down to see what's underneath the rack because you wouldn't what sort of treasure you might find there.

5. Bring a calculator. A small one to avoid unnecessary glances from people around. Your mobile phone's calculator perhaps. There will always be hidden charges somewhere like the IVAs and whatnot. One time, I almost fainted when I saw my shopping receipt---almost 300 euros for a couple of pants and shirts and no, I wasn't in a PRADA shop! I knew there was a mistake somewhere since I've calculated everything in my head beforehand. It turned out that the salesgirl has rung up my shirt twice and the pants, thrice. She said it's the fault of machine as she didn't hear the sound when she rang those the first time so she did it again..and again. I understood that the girl was knackered because the shop was full but I really think chatting with her mate while at work helped.

6. Avoid the sales staff--you know what they do when you ask them to get you your size? They get a fag break then come back and tell you it's gone. It's alright to ask for help in normal shopping seasons but not during the rebajas. Be independent. If you can't find what you are looking for, go to the next shop.

7. If you can, wait till week 3 of the sale season. The first week is always a world war of some sort and the prices are still up. Shops don't put on the floor everything in one go. They release the items week by week to keep customers coming back for more. Shop on a SUNDAY (yes, everything will be open this day of the week) when everything is calmer, quieter and the Spanish are enjoying their gazpacho in the restaurants. This is your moment to ask the staff when exactly they will change or replenish the stocks. They will tell you, they do. ZARA in Torremolinos changes their stocks every Tuesdays (the last time I asked) so I make it a point to go there after work to check out the new finds. It is always handy to know the best moment to attack, you know. Every week, the prices go down and the third week is where you can find an equilibrium of availability of goods and rock bottom prices.

8. Pay in Cash.This is a great way not to overspend. Just bring a certain amount of cash that you think is just right for the goods that you've written on your list. It is actually a visual thing. You see your money, you see when it's dwindling, you know when to stop and for fuck's sake, stop when you have to. There's always the next day.

9. Double check everything before leaving the store. Search for holes, stains, lost buttons, and most importantly, the receipt. Some items are non-returnable so you have to check the stores' policies in returning goods. And oh, don't forget to check your bags and belongings. The shops become playgrounds of pickpockets this time of the year so beware.

10. Reflection: Needs vs. wants. When I shop, I collect and collect and then reject. I ask myself: Do I really need this? Would I die if won't have this? Kate Moss has this, but will it look good to me as it did to her? Most of the time, I only buy half of what I've gathered in the store which is truly great since I know that those items I didn't buy would end up rotting in my closet, untouched.
Remember, emotions play a vital part in shopping. Most of us gets excited by just looking at the word "sale". Everything is orchestrated for the people to consume as much as they could so the trick is to stay focused and calm during the course of shopping. Shop defensively but always put in mind your priorities, your needs, your wants versus your budget. Do not let excitement overtake you. Forget the " I deserve this" mentality. Everybody deserves something special not only you. Treat yourself with a glass of margarita after the shopping instead and cheer yourself up for a job well done.

And oh, don't forget to put on your best knickers. You would be sharing fitting rooms with other girls, you don't want them bitching about your saggy Marks and Spencers.

Happy Shopping everyone!


Miss J.



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