Quite possibly the best – and most dangerous – thing to happen to the Internet yesterday, Barney’s decided to make their Warehouse sale available online, all the time. Now super chi-chi brands are actually within reach – some at splurge level, but still a lot at mall prices. I took a look this morning and it is TANTALIZING. But here’s why it’s dangerous: all sales are final. No returns, no exchanges, no store credit. The Barney’s Warehouse sale prices are good, but not so good that I would advise dropping $150 blouse that might never see the light of day. Even I, a battle-tested, seasoned shopper, have fallen prey to “good” deals that leave me with buyer’s remorse, but I’ve learned from my mistakes – and hopefully you can too!
1. Research the brand
Are they American, or European? European clothes are often cut narrower and start their sizes smaller, so while size 4 may translate to an XS at an American store, that same XS is actually a size 0 in the European brand. I’ve also heard that shoes made in Italy tend to be narrower, and that British shoes run really small. I can attest to that last one – I’m usually a size 9.5, but trying on a pair of shoes from Mulberry I found that I was a size 11!
2. Know your key measurements/Buy around your problem areas
We all have those problem areas that are hard to fit. Every time we get in the fitting room the same sections trip us up. Is it the shoulders? the bust? the hips? the inseam? Whatever it is, be sure to measure that part of you and compare with the measurements online. Too lazy to measure? Me too. Instead, avoid the problem areas altogether. If blouses don’t fit in the shoulders, buy a sleeveless blouse. Hard to fit a skirt at the hips? Buy a fit-and-flare skirt that starts at the waist, etc. And remember: the more fitted the item looks, the more places it has to fit.
3. Be prepared to make alterations
If you absolutely have to have something and aren’t sure it will fit, try to get a size larger so that you can make any necessary alternations. It’s always easier to take stitches in rather than let them out – and better to spend extra money on a tailor than have completely lost money on what you bought.
4. Buy Accessories
They don’t have to fit! And they’re much easier to offload (see #5).
5. If all else fails, try re-commerce
Of course, there’s always re-commerce. You can go to eBay, Poshmark, Threadflip, Tradesy, Like Twice, the Real Real, or any number of websites/apps that will help you sell your clothing. But don’t bet on it. It might take you a while to sell something, and the item that you can’t believe nobody snapped up… might just not be interesting to anybody else.
6. Above all, stay cool
This sale isn’t going anywhere! Sure, a specific item may sell out, but there are still plenty of great deals to go around.
I hope these tips helped. Feel free to suggest your own – in the comments. And if you hit up the sale, let me know how it goes. Good luck!