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Image / Fashion

Shopping The January Sales: The Strategic Shopper

by Niamh ODonoghue
26th Dec 2016

Take a strategic approach to sales shopping this year with some sage advice from those in the know.

Louise Flanagan Co-Owner, Emporium Kalu


If you’re looking to invest in a statement piece, we stock beautiful coats from Mant?, Goat and Italian label Ter et Bantine. A designer handbag is always a terrific sales purchase. I love the Robert Clergerie crossbody pouch and the Collection Priv?e rucksack, both of which we stock. This year, I’m holding out for a pair of Emma Hope runners to add to my collection. I think the best way to approach the sales is to throw caution to the wind!

The Kalu sale begins on December 28 with discounts of 30 percent, emporiumkalu.ie.

Valerie O’Neill Buying Director, Arnotts


Keep an eye out in the sales for jumpsuits and wide-leg trousers in corals and reds through to navy and white. They encapsulate the sunset Riviera trend, which is coming through for SS17. We have an amazing striped jumpsuit from Tara Jarmon in navy and cream. A peasant dress will also see you through next season, from Ganni’s soft florals to Pinko’s electric hues. Pick up a statement shirt in simple white cotton or striped poplin. Selected Femme has some great options and Les 100 Ciels? oversized shirting feels really edgy. It offers great cashmere too. I’ll be investing in a black silk bomber jacket from Hugo by Hugo Boss, and a shirt dress with wrap tie from Marella. Handbags are always a great sale buy. Kate Spade accessories have proved extremely popular since they launched in store – the Candace satchel sold out in just three days – while Coach has some great investment pieces too. I’d also recommend picking up a Helen Moore faux fur scarf. Before tackling the sales, think about where you spend most of your time. If it’s at work, then a great work jacket or coat will be worth the spend. The Arnotts sale starts on St Stephen’s Day. Discounts vary across all departments.

The Arnotts sale starts on St Stephen’s Day. Discounts vary across all departments.

Shelly Corkery Fashion Director, Brown Thomas Group

no repro fee-photo Kieran Harnett

Keep an eye out for a timeless handbag from Bottega Veneta. It would be a fantastic coup, as the label rarely participates in seasonal sales. Also, anything you can get your hands on from the hottest handbag brands of the moment – Chlo? and Saint Laurent – but get in early, as these pieces will be extremely limited and snapped up quickly. Bright colours, floral prints and stripes will all carry you into next season, and any of those fabulous retro?pieces from AW16 will remain relevant too. Outerwear and boots are also great sale buys that you can wear in so many ways throughout spring and into next winter. When shopping the sales, it’s so important to buy what you love and not to buy something simply because it’s on sale. My advice is to shop those designers and brands you love and wear throughout the year and purchase key items that will easily build into your wardrobe. The Brown Thomas sale begins on St Stephen’s Day with discounts of up to 60 percent, brownthomas.com.

The Brown Thomas sale begins on St Stephen’s Day with’discounts of up to 60 percent, brownthomas.com.

Anita Barr Group Fashion Buying Director, Harvey Nichols


Sales are a great opportunity to inject newness into your wardrobe. But think ahead about what will be relevant for SS17 too. Watch out for anything pink, soft utility wear and slogan T-shirts. Graffiti jackets are also set to be big next season. Metallics will carry through from this season to next, and 1980s references were seen on several SS17 catwalks, spurred on by Anthony Vaccarello’s debut for Saint Laurent. Joie offered silk blouses with metallic detailing, while Alice + Olivia went for shimmering partywear. London-based accessories label Gwyn is new to Dublin. Its handbags are a fashion essential, so they’re a terrific investment buy. Gwyn works with design teams from top luxury houses to create quality-centred pieces with a clean and simple aesthetic in a pared-back monochromatic palette – perfect for a modern metropolitan lifestyle. I also think a Charlotte Simone scarf adds an element of fun to any outfit.

I’ll be looking out for items that have interesting and unique details but are not trend based, as my personal style is quite androgynous. I’ll also be investing in great accessories, boots and bags. The key to successful sales shopping is to make smart and considered investments. Consider upcoming events, wedding parties and holidays. Sales can be the perfect opportunity to save on occasion wear.

The Harvey Nichols sale starts on Friday, December 23 with discounts of up to 50 percent, harveynichols.com

Sadhbh Fahy Owner, Electra Boutique


Electra is the only Irish stockist of Vanessa Bruno, Barbara Bui, Christian Wijnants, Maison Kitsun?, APC, Aur?lie Bidermann and Ginette NY, so this is definitely the place to shop if you’re looking for refined French luxury and top-quality basics. Snap up silk blouses and gorgeous knits, as they can be worn season after season. We have some beautifully feminine but edgy dresses by Barbara Bui that you won’t find anywhere else. A good coat is probably the best piece you can buy in the winter sales; it can dress up your look even if you are just wearing a sweatshirt underneath. We stock some gorgeous Carven coats. I find women are often looking for good-quality leather travel bags. We have a beautiful style in store from Carven, as well as crossbody bags and totes for running around every day. Make sure you buy a handbag you really love because then you will use it every day. We have a lovely selection from Vanessa Bruno, Carven and APC.

Beautiful jewellery is also well worth investing in. Our statement pieces by Aur?lie Bidermann are exquisite. I’m planning to pick up a gorgeous wool silk cape by Barbara Bui, in either black or winter white. When sales shopping, you are better off buying fewer pieces but of better quality. Shop in smaller boutiques for a personalised experience. Then meet a friend for lunch and make a day of it. The Electra boutique sale begins on Tuesday, December 27 with discounts of 50 percent, facebook.com/electra.

The Electra boutique sale begins on Tuesday, December 27 with discounts of 50 percent, facebook.com/electra.

Lorna Weightman Personal Shopper, Dundrum Town Centre


During the sales, focus on the shops you love and the styles that fill your wardrobe and you know suit your body shape. This season, Hobbs, LK Bennett and Whistles have each offered timeless pieces in classic cuts that you’ll wear for seasons to come. Handbags are always worth investing in at sales time. For AW16, I particularly liked the DKNY Greenwich crossbody bag, Marc Jacobs? backpacks, and Michael Kors totes. It’s also worth investing in accessories that will complement the clothes you already have. Long chains from Accessorize, statement earrings from River Island and this season’s must-have choker will all help finish a look.

Pink is making a return for SS17, and Zara’s soft pink pea coat is in store now; it’s a perfect example of how a look translates from catwalk to closet. The cold shoulder trend is here to stay too, I think, so Whistles? off-the-shoulder dresses will be great for the party season as well as a spring wedding. I’m holding out for Hobbs? full-length moss green military coat; it’s a beautiful piece of outerwear that will last for years. When planning a visit to the sales, first go through your closet and identify the items you think are missing. Make a list of these, and stick to it, so your shopping remains focused.

Discounts at Dundrum Town Centre vary among retailers. Visit Dundrum.ie for details.

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