Last update on July 24, 2019

Europe’s fashion hotspots abound with summer sales every year, but caution is the watchword according to expert stylists. Learn how to be a keen shopper in the summertime.

Across Europe, especially in the major shopping cities of Paris, Brussels, Milan, Rome, Barcelona, and London, summer sales kick off mid June and run up until at least the end of July. In countries where sales aren’t state-regulated, such as the Netherlands, expect sales all the year round.

Although it can be fun to you get your favourite items at reduced prices, be cautious. According to research we spend more money during sales than on a normal shopping spree because we think we are saving money.

Experts have developed theories to support this buying behaviour. The first theory is ‘mental book-keeping’. While shopping, we have just ‘saved’ money so we imagine that our budget is bigger than it is. The second theory looks at the play of emotions stimulated through surroundings–ambiance, décor, music, and the purchasing mass-which unite to create euphoria and lead to easy buying.

Stores in turn make use of this, and entice consumers into spending more than they intend. For instance, they place their least expensive items on lower shelves, or move the sale items to the back of the store so that people have to encounter more items on the way to the bargains, which increases the chance of an impulse buy.

Designer brand: Paule Ka

Designer brand: Paule Ka

Make a shopping list

Avoid purchasing items that you don’t need by creating a list of items that will round out your wardrobe. Don’t buy on impulse! Stick to the list. Go straight for the clothing item you need before you spend all your money on ‘distractions’. Don’t get tempted by ‘2 for EUR 45’when you only need one item.

Be prepared

When shopping for a specific item, be prepared. Bring the item you want to match with a jacket. This way you know for sure that it goes. Always bring the right shoes and bra to finish your outfit off.

Value for money

Think about the quality of the merchandise. Is the sale price reasonable and does it match your expectations? If the quality is not that great, then it is not worth getting even if it is 70 percent off the original price.

Create multiple outfits

You should be able to make at least two new combinations with your new purchase. If a new purchase only works out with one outfit in your existing wardrobe, it has to be dynamite to be worth buying.

Designer clothes

Go for quality. Now is the time to buy quality designer clothes. They can be very affordable in the sales. Brand clothes should be good quality and have the advantage of remaining chic and beautiful for many years.

Basic & classic items

Quality basic clothing items such as summer T-shirts and skirts (reduced in the sales) are a great investment. They are timeless assets to your wardrobe. You can be sure you’ll wear them next year.

Transitional pieces

Every season you can reinvent your basic and classic items by mixing them with new and trendy items and accessories. These fashionable items or transitional pieces should always cost you less than timeless clothes.

Make sure you try on the clothing item before you buy it! Don’t overindulge. Stay focused!