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  • Writer's pictureEvan Wolkenstein

10 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid When Clearance Shopping: [30 DAYS OF WRITING: EPISODE 16/30]

This is day 16 of a 30 day New Year’s Resolution.


People think the best shopping day of the year is Black Friday or Cyber-Monday, but that’s just what the businesses want you to believe.

The reality is that the biggest sales (at least for new threads) are happening now. Why? Mainly, the spring season is here, and a lot of last season’s stuff has to be moved out, fast. It’s almost as if the fashion industry has a problem with anticipatory anxiety and needs to take care of weather changes three months away — right now.

This means that if you haven’t already blown your shopping wad, so to speak, you probably ought to hit a few of your favorite shops before the reduced reductions are gone.

Here are 10 tips to help you on Clearance Shopping Day.


By the way, if you're a grown-ass man, you have no business shopping at punk-ass Abercrombie.

By the way, if you’re a grown-ass man, you have no business shopping at punk-ass Abercrombie.

1. Cheap does not mean that you need it. Yes, it retailed for $150. Yes, it’s now $50. It’s still ugly. Don’t buy it.

2. When trying on pants, put your shoes on. I know that you get tired of slipping your kicks on and off, and the back of your foot is getting rubbed raw, but you cannot gauge the fit of pants without having shoes on.

3. Go shopping with a friend who can give you a) moral support, b) grab you another size while you’re in the fitting room, and c) tell you enough is enough when it’s time to go.

4. If you’re hitting a mall, after three stores, your judgment is shot. Don’t try to fit in a fourth. You’ll end up bringing home something you didn’t really want.

5. Make sure you’re clear on the return date. Some stores offer two weeks, some a month, and some 60 days. Whatever you bought at the fourth store (see #4 above) will need to be returned promptly.

6. If you’re not sure whether you should buy an article of clothing, use this simple formula: if you love it but you’re not sure about the fit, take it home and try it on in front of your own mirror. If it fits beautifully but you don’t love it — don’t buy it.

7. If you already have something like it, don’t buy it. If it’s similar but a quantum leap better than what you had, buy it and donate the old one. That’s called an upgrade.

8. Focus on finding a piece that’s a bit of a stretch for you: find a statement blazer, a bold shirt or tie — something refreshing. For guidelines on how much flair you should be aiming for, consult this handy-dandy infographic.

9. Have a sense of what you’re looking for before you hit the shops. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’ll waste your time and probably your money.

10. Wear a white t-shirt, indigo jeans, and styley-casual shoes (see links for more info) to allow you to change sweaters or shirts without using the dressing room, and to allow you to try a variety of tops without swapping the pants and shoes. You know…since everything goes with indigo jeans and styley-casual shoes…

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