Suit yourself in the sales

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The Independent Culture
If there is anyone out there still lucky enough to have credit on their cards, or even hard cash, now is the time to go sale shopping for work clothes. Suits are approaching the half-price mark; shirts are being sold in bulk; classic extras such as jumpers and shirts are a snip. Melanie Rickey chooses the best from four stores that cater to working people with style.

Thomas Pink

For local branches, call 0171-498 3882

If you need to stock up on work shirts, Thomas Pink is the place.

The Black Label (standard) and Blue Label (button-down) shirts are on special offer this week. Buy two sale shirts at pounds 45 each and get a white shirt (which are never in the sale) for pounds 45 too. All the shirts are reduced from pounds 49.50. Ties are on an even bigger reduction. Buy three or more ties from their Daisy and Spot ranges and they will cost pounds 15 each, from pounds 21. Woven ties cost pounds 33 each if three or more are purchased, from pounds 49.


Branches and concessions nationwide (call 0171 487 4484 for local stockists)

Whistles are always good for a work suit; indeed, when the new season's stock comes in it's always the work suits that fly out first. The sale is in full swing, with further reductions being implemented this week and more to come before the sale ends at the end of the month. These include bestselling classic black stretch trousers, reduced from pounds 120 to pounds 96. Black velvet V-neck tops are down from pounds 75 to pounds 52, and wool V-neck jumpers from pounds 59 to pounds 39, are good staples. Suit bargains include a thick cotton single-breasted suit jacket, from pounds 235 to pounds 164, with the matching slim skirt reduced from pounds 110 to pounds 77. That's a total saving of pounds 104. A velvet single-breasted suit jacket from pounds 225 to pounds 180 with matching trousers reduced from pounds 110 to pounds 77 means an overall saving of pounds 78. The final bargain is a versatile stretch Lycra shirt, reduced from pounds 59 to pounds 39.


Branches nationwide (call 0116 284 9424 for local stockists)

Next is brilliant for classic items that look expensive, but are in fact highly affordable. The sale can be a Pandora's box, especially for classic items which don't date, and can fit into any wardrobe. but each store is different, so finding the true bargains can be a bit hit and miss. This week, we are informed, a man's navy wool pinstriped suit is the ultimate bargain. Before the sale it cost pounds 159.99; now it is only pounds 74.98. Also worth looking for is a camel-coloured, single-breasted jacket, which is less than half price, down to pounds 44.99 from pounds 99.99.


Branches nationwide (call 0171-200 4000 for local stockists)

Jaeger has three divisions of clothing that aim to suit all tastes, particularly for smart office environments. Jaeger London, the line aimed at fashion-conscious career girls, has two suit bargains this week. Its directional black-with-charcoal pinstriped skirt suit, with single-breasted belted jacket represents a total saving of pounds 152. The jacket is reduced from pounds 320 to pounds 199 and the skirt from pounds 100 to pounds 69.

The other, a beige and chocolate window-pane-checked skirt suit, with the same belted jacket style, is less than half price, with a total saving of pounds 212. The jacket was pounds 320 and is now pounds 159; the skirt is reduced from pounds 100 to pounds 49.

The Jaeger main collection has still got a few of the suit of the season on its rails. A charcoal grey flannel, knee-length coat/ jacket is reduced from pounds 340 to pounds 199, but it's the trousers that are worth the hike. They are long, wide and chic, and are reduced from pounds 140 to pounds 79.

Men's bargains also include double-breasted wool suits in unusual colours such as pewter and graphite, reduced from pounds 380 to pounds 229.

See also Karen Millen, Marks & Spencer, and Oasis, all of which had no specific outfits to list, but assert that they still have plenty of sale bargains.