How to Shop Sample Sales and Seasonal Sales

how to navigate sales

Over the last year I’ve been slowly purging my closet. Letting go of items that no longer fit, have been in my closet forever, or simply clothes that I am no longer excited to wear. And while I’ve been editing my closet almost monthly, I’ve also have been working to consciously replace these items with comfortable, evergreen clothes that fit my lifestyle. In a nutshell, my goal is to build a capsule wardrobe, ( I previously wrote about this process here). Because part of this puzzle includes shopping, and I am the type of person that heads straight to the  clearance rack, I had to set some rules for myself to keep on the path. Here is my philosophy on how to shop sample sales and seasonal sales, and stock your closet with functional, affordable and timeless pieces without breaking the bank.


Before heading to a sale or shopping online
  • Scan your existing wardrobe for items you already have, so you don’t end up buying more of the same. After purging and organizing my closet I realized I have a real penchant  for flowy blouses and tops in the purple, blush pink family. Because I know that I gravitate to those items naturally, I also know to now stay away from buying another top that looks like all my other tops. How many of you do this?
  • Make a mental list of what you actually need. If you know you want to find a perfect pair of white jeans or a new handbag, you’re less likely to come home with five new pairs of shoes because they were on sale. Knowing what you need, instead of seeing what they have, is key actually ending up with pieces that work for you.
  • Be comfortable, not hungry and have a hands-free purse. If going with a friend, seperate instead of chatting, so you can focus on finding what you came for.
  • Set a realistic budget. This way you will be more critical of items in your cart.

[ Every item I’m wearing here was bought on sale, or at a sample sale, and I’m pretty confident I’ll wear all of these pieces over and over again]

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At the store or sample sale warehouse
  • The most important part of sale shopping is asking yourself if you are buying this item because it’s on sale or because you love it.
  • Look for deals on items that are classic and evergreen instead of buying seasonal or highly trendy pieces. I spent a lot of time buying up funky print tops and trendy items that quickly go out of season. I also now stay away from funky prints, because I realized I tire of them almost immediately. You’ll likely wear a  plain beige or grey cardigan 10x more than a tribal print one. That’s the difference between finding a timeless item on a huge sale or buying yet another cardi you’ll be sick of in a month.
  • Only buy clothes that fit well and are in your size. Sometimes our eyes get so blurry and our blood rushes to our heads when we see a great deal, that we scoop up things that are not in our size, just to get the rush of the sale.  If those jeans don’t  fit you today, do not buy them telling yourself you’ll lose those 5lbs and then they’ll be perfect. I’m not saying that you won’t drop the weight, I’m saying that you have no idea if those jeans will fit, even than. Those jeans are simply not for you. Unless you regularly go to get your clothes tailored, that item that doesn’t fit will just sit in your closet forever.
  • If you’re not sure about an item, ask yourself if you would still pay full price for it. Could you see yourself wearing it, more than once? If the answer is no, leave it.
  • Do a final edit of the sale items you pulled. Love everything? If not, leave it.

how to navigate sample sales

What to look for at sample sales and seasonal sales
  • Good quality denim you won’t otherwise be able to afford or won’t normally pay that much for.
  • Big ticket items like coats, jackets, boots, cashmere, and bags.
  • Trendy pieces that fit your style to keep your wardrobe current
  • Accessories. A great way to update an old look.

Have any tricks you’d like to share?! Sound off below 🙂




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  • Reply Stephanie January 29, 2017 at 1:53 PM

    These are some great tips girl! Thanks for sharing

  • Reply Jannine Pampu January 23, 2017 at 4:38 PM

    Those are some great tips! Hands free purse is a must, and it’s so important to have a budget in mind.

    xo Jannine |

    • Reply ... besos, ALINA January 23, 2017 at 6:06 PM

      Glad you agree, Jannine!

  • Reply Meredith January 18, 2017 at 8:41 PM

    These tips are amazing!! I love the tip about looking for stuff you wouldn’t normally be able to afford like denim and cashmere–I love both of those, and YES they’re always WAY TOO EXPENSIVE!! Love your outfit here too!!!

    • Reply ... besos, ALINA January 19, 2017 at 8:21 AM

      Yes, nothing like the rush of scoring a piece on major sale you wouldn’t otherwise allow yourself to buy, right?!

  • Reply Stefana Silber January 18, 2017 at 1:56 PM

    I agree with everything you listed. I’m a very organized and minimalist person but I tend to get carried away shopping sometimes so I periodically purge and start over again. Just like you said, having a goal helps keep me away from unnecessary stuff.

    • Reply ... besos, ALINA January 18, 2017 at 2:49 PM

      Yes, purging is so necessary and a great excuse to start fresh, right?

  • Reply Kari January 18, 2017 at 9:55 AM

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time! I am in the midst of purging pre baby clothing and trying to build a quality and timeless wardrobe.. These tips will help me big time! Thanks Girl!

    • Reply ... besos, ALINA January 18, 2017 at 2:50 PM

      I’m so glad to hear you found these helpful. I am in the same boat, with building a wardrobe post baby, let’s keep each other accountable to only buy timeless pieces, unless of course we fall in love!

  • Reply Belle January 18, 2017 at 9:52 AM

    These are great tips! I’ve never been to a sample sale before but I’ve always wanted to go in one. But I guess since shopping is my weakness, I should never dare try right? Lol!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

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