I sometimes get asked why I dont write more often about sales, alerting readers to the latest and greatest steals both in this column and on my website (www.stylegirlfriend.com). A recent commenter said, These posts are great and all, and I enjoy finding out about new places to get clothes but everything is at full retail cost. In my opinion (and probably many other guys), paying full price for clothes is a waste of money.
Hes right that the clothes I write about from colored khakis to tailored peacoats are generally found at full price when I write about them both there and here in my weekly column. The commenter closed his critique by asking, If were going to find a steal where do we go?
Now, look, I get it. Im always on the lookout for a good price myself. Im pretty sure its in a womans DNA to sniff out sales and cling to clearance racks. However, with sales comes scarcity. Whats the point in suggesting a discounted dress shirt that you fall in love with, only to find out the last size left in stock is an 18/38? That doesnt do you much good, unless you have an 18 neck (in which case, I bet youre pretty strong! Would you mind helping me put in my air conditioner unit this weekend?). The reader gets annoyed with me for getting his hopes up about finding a great deal, and I dont do anyone much good.
Luckily, you wont always need the clothes when you first read about them here. By the time youre ready to buy, theres a good chance youll be shopping the sales.
Thats because fashion moves fast. I get excited when a catalog arrives in the mail touting the brands all-new offerings for the new season, but I almost never buy anything from it. Thats because theyre always ahead of the curve and the weather. Just like when stores start showing shorts in their windows in March.
Another way to look at it, of course, is to say that your time is valuable and by getting pointed in the right direction with a certain article of clothing even a full-priced one youve saved money by not having to go out and shop for it yourself. Thats the attitude Ive taken when working with personal shoppers in the past, and the notion gave me comfort when I would otherwise have felt sick paying retail.
Whether you see the price as a steal now or buy it as one later is up to you. You can find trends you like here and go digging for discounts later. Or you can pony up the cash and appreciate the time youre getting back. Im just here to give you the style lowdown. You get to do with it and shop with it as you see fit.