Sales? Err, no thanks…

Sales… massive bargains, fabulous finds and happy shoppers, right?

Err… I’ll pass.
The truth is, I hate sales. And I do almost anything to avoid them, or to avoid going anywhere near shops this time of the year. The frenzied shoppers tossing clothes around, elbowing each other out of the way… No, I don’t need that.

And yet, there I was, in London, on Oxford Street, last Friday, armed with a shopping list and uncharacteristic determination to push and shove my way through the hordes of crazy bargain hunters…

No, I haven’t gone mad (always been that…), just going on holiday (vacation for my American readers). And I needed a swimsuit as the hotel I’m going to has a spa with steam rooms, whirlpools etc that I’d like to try. I know this because we went to the same hotel two years ago, and my husband tried the spa and loved it, and I was so annoyed I didn’t have a swimsuit so I could join him.

A woman who doesn’t own a swimsuit, what’s up with that, you might ask… I suppose it’s a legitimate question. I haven’t had a swimsuit for a long time because a) I cant’t swim (and I’m well aware of the irony, being a Finn…) and b) I don’t sunbathe. Ever. So, why would I need a swimsuit? Except when I’m going on holiday to a nice hotel with a fantastic spa…

Which brings us back to my expedition… Normally I would avoid Oxford Street, but now I wanted to go to John Lewis (for my American readers: it’s a bit like Macy’s, something for everyone…), to get the swimsuit fast and with as little hassle as possible.

So, trying on swimsuits, how could I describe that? Not much choice, no nice colours, horrible prints, made me feel like a sausage. Enough said.

And the sales… Well, like any fashionista, I know that this is the perfect occasion to find some good basics at the fraction of the cost, provided I do my research and plan ahead. Done and done: I said I had a list didn’t I? I wanted to get (besides the swimsuit, that is) a couple of T-shirts, a pair of trousers, a scarf, a top with long sleeves. I had planned my route in advance: take the Tube to Oxford Circus, first stop Banana Republic, then the House of Hanover on the way to Fenwick (both great places to find scarves), then Zadig and Voltaire and Zara on the way to Oxford Street and John Lewis…

And did I get what wanted? Well, as you can see:

wellies: Jigsaw / swimsuit: John Lewis / pashmina: Beck Söndergaard / T-shirt: Zadig & Voltaire / necklace: Fenwick

I bought a pair of wellies (rubber boots for my American readers), a pashmina, a necklace, a T-shirt and a swimsuit. Only the T-shirt was on sale…

So, I guess we could say that my sales shopping skills are far from perfect… OK, fine, I suck at sales.

On the other hand, I’m quite good at shopping, i.e. I seldom buy anything that I don’t wear; and whatever I buy usually goes perfectly with my existing wardrobe. But still, do I need another pashmina? Probably not. Will I wear with? Absolutely. And the wellies… I guess we could call that impulsive shopping. Although this time last year the British winter certainly made me wish I’d had a pair, and I know for a fact that they will come in handy, sooner or later.

As for sales… I think I’ll wait for the new season clothes.

If I wanted to share any shopping advice, it would be this: when you see something you like, and it fits and looks great, buy it. Now. Because when you come back for it later, expecting to find it in the sales, it will be gone (at least in your size and preferred colour). And the worst part? Some smug fashionista somewhere just bagged your dream dress / shoes / bag, only because she didn’t wait for the sales…

Do you shop at sales?


Photo credit: the mini-fashionista is me, on a family trip to Stockholm, so many years ago…

PS: Dilettante Artist has her own blog now, The Dilettante Artist’s Gallery,  where I will be posting (very infrequently) random pictures: illustration, photomanipulation, that sort of thing. And there is a pretty, new widget on the sidebar to take you there…


  1. Jazzy Jack
    7 January 2016 / 7:13 pm

    Hate hate hate sales! Love love love a bargain!Totally get you. Glad you found a swimsuit! Despite the sausage making factory.Enjoy the spa!Xo Jazzy Jack

    • Tiina L
      2 February 2016 / 10:14 pm

      Yeah, sales… That's where you find all the stuff nobody wanted when it was full price. Makes you think, huh?

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