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Around every corner there is a sale. And while that is great for consumers who have the resources to spend, it's a sign of hard times to come. Retailers are fearful. I am hopeful that they will persevere.

Several times a week, I get emails requesting guidance on what exactly to buy during this economy. I am going to break it down for you.

Staples
For women: jeans, killer black pants, a trench coat, cashmere, quality t-shirts, LBD ... for men: overcoat, suit, dress shirts, cashmere, jeans, sports coat — these are all items that are worthy of investing in full price. If you find them on sale, it's a no brainer. Just ensure they work for your shape.

High-end Designer Items
While this category is awfully broad, let me clarify by saying that if there is a garment, pair of shoes, handbag or a piece of jewelry (vintage included) that you've been eyeing for quite some time — or, if you love to dress up and play princess in designer dresses — and you suddenly stumble upon a 60%-80% reduction in price, jump! There are not many times in our lives that we can afford such luxuries. Prime example, I bought my first couture gown by Reem Acra. It's midnight blue silk, stunning and classic. I will have it forever (and I swear I'd wear it everyday if I could). It was unattainable until a month ago. Many thanks go out to my mother (thanks, mom) who made a generous contribution for my birthday. After two fittings, it will lovingly make its way into my closet today. I may have to slip it on one of my mannequins just to steal a glimpse of it every day.

I am, by no means, suggesting you go crazy buying designer goods. Use your best judgment of things that are befitting to you — your personality, your style. Trust me, you will know if it's right (the stars will align and you will hear music).

Cosmetics
Interestingly enough, this economy has led to a first. Never before has the cosmetics industry participated in sales. Now, you will find more than ever. However, this is not your ticket to go hog wild at the counter. Be smart. If you are out of your favorite mascara, benefit from the sale. Or, if you have an event and want a whole new look, go have fun. My caution is against "product collecting" for the sake of price alone.

Skin Care
Skin is precious. You don't want to take chances. After all, the consequences could take weeks to reverse. Just because something is on sale, doesn't mean that it's right for your skin. The best advice I can give you is to consult your dermatologist. If your "go to" skin care line is having a special, there's your green light to stock up. Otherwise, pass.

Accessories
Accessories fit into several categories — cheap and trendy, quality pieces priced right, and decadently designer — making it difficult to enlist a hard and fast rule. Again, use your best judgment (ask yourself: can I live without it?). Accessories are responsible for pulling a look together. That doesn't mean you have to spend an arm and a leg on them, though. I have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to accessories that I will share will you in an upcoming article.

Shoes
Shoes deserve their own paragraph, even though they are an accessory. I am going to try my best to provide good advice here ... but please realize you are listening to a shoe addict. Those close to me understand why I shouldn't be allowed in shoe stores but twice a year (my husband would say only once a year). With that said, the sales on shoes right now are unbelievable. I have taken advantage of crazy savings ... one pair I purchased last week (runway worthy) was $750 off! Seriously. If you have no will power around shoes, get your fill with a couple of pairs and move on. Don't look back ... and stay away. For those of you who are not shoe fanatics and need to fill in the gaps of your wardrobe, this is the time to do it. You can find quality shoes at ridiculous prices. Look for shoes that will amp up your closet, such as red pointy-toe pumps, leopard print stilettos and sleek metallic heels. Men, stretch your boundaries a bit with a modern designer shoe. Good quality lasts for many, many years if cared for properly.

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out.

Views: 41

Comment by Viktoria on January 26, 2009 at 9:11am
Wonderful article!
Comment by Catherine Horgan on January 26, 2009 at 2:01pm
Thank you!

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