Sale Tales (Will I Survive?)

Sale season really stresses me out.  I understand that, in the scheme of things, this is not a catastrophic problem to have.  In fact, sales are good, right?  Right.  But, the simultaneous timing of every item you ever dreamed of going on sale can feel nearly overwhelming if you have anything else going on in your life (and, who doesn’t?).  The inundation of emails insisting that now is your ONE CHANCE to purchase that thing you dreamed of but couldn’t quite afford, but now, ONLY NOW, it can be yours for the bargain price of . . . oh wait, it’s gone.  I mean, how much can a person take?

Plus, since everything EVERYWHERE goes on sale all at once it feels like you have mere minutes to cull through the thousands of items to find the pieces you’ve longed for but couldn’t quite justify at full price before they are completely sold out and gone FOREVER.

Sales also bring up a different problem– that feeling of “I must have this sought-after item now that it’s 50% off no matter what.”  This can cause one’s mental faculties to conclude that, since the item is such a bargain, and since it’s sold out in all the other sizes, maybe it makes sense to buy that pair of shoes a half size too big or too small (which under normal circumstances you’d never do).  So, on top of the time pressure, and the sheer volume of options, you now also have the difficulty of new shopping guidelines in your own head to contend with.

Suddenly, I’m starting to understand why there are so many tales of fights breaking out when there are big wedding dress sales or at Filene’s Basement, and the like.  Clearly, it’s just more than the human mind can take when sale stress takes over.

Now, surely, there’s something that can be done to avoid this deep panic that sets in just knowing that bazillions of items are on sale right now, and your chance to find your coveted pieces is slipping away.  For one, a person could be super-organized and compile lists of things she wants, so that if and when they go on sale, she will be ready to pounce (a lot of websites let you do this right on the site, which is super-handy).  But how much you want something usually is tempered by its price, so should one go so far as to keep a list of what she’d be willing to pay for each item?  Or how much she’d want something if its cost were cut in half?  Or which size she’d be willing to squeeze into if the price of an item is slashed?

Instead, that seems like a spur-of-the-moment calculation that’s a little bit hard to plan for.  Hence my racing heart, sweaty palms, and difficulty mapping any strategy at all.  I think I may be on the verge of a complete sale meltdown and just giving up entirely– nah, that can’t be right.

Do you have a sale strategy?  What am I missing?

Meanwhile, some of my faves:

Clockwise from Top Left– Orange Dress: Roksanda Illincic / Zebra Clutch: Jimmy Choo / Bright Coat: Burberry Prorsum / Striped Pajama Top: 3.1 Phillip Lim / Striped Pants: 3.1 Phillip Lim / Sequined Box Clutch: Diane Von Furstenberg / Black and White Heels: Gianvito Rossi / Lobster Sweater: Tibi / Patterned flats: Nicholas Kirkwood / Colorblock Heels: Pierre Hardy / Patterned Tote: Pierre Hardy


  • sandra

    SO stresses me out. and i hate myself for waiting on those GV shoes 🙁

    • Sandra, I’m sorry!!! That’s such a bummer. Hopefully you’ll find something even better ASAP! If I can help, let me know. 🙂

  • Haha, I love this post! And I seriously used to love Filene’s Basement when I lived in DC in high school. There are a few items that I missed recently that I was pretty devastated about, but luckily it doesn’t happen too often.

    • Thank you, Callie! I’m glad that my anxiety could serve as a good tale for others. 😉 At least it had a purpose. I’m glad you haven’t had that experience too often, because it can be quite upsetting!

  • I try to stick to sale strategies, but it can be very hard. I tend to aim for sticking to things that were on my wishlist or items that I would still buy regardless even if they weren’t on sale. Of course this is all easier said than done. And yeah, our vision can definitely get cloudy for sure. And yeah, peeps can go nuts when sales start fighting over certain items and whatnot. Speaking of which, I’m loving the pieces you selected. Great post Ali!


    • Thank you, Theresa! It really can be hard. Have you had any luck finding wonderful pieces this sale season?