THIS winter the fashion bargains at the sales are among the best in living memory. With retailers keen - even desperate - to get the tills ringing, they have started their sales earlier than ever and are reducing prices with gusto.

The sensible shopper should take care not to be swept along by retailers' enthusiasm. Don't go buying that bright fuchsia jacket simply because it is pounds 100 cheaper. Does it really suit your pale complexion?

It is worth planning sale shopping with some precision. Decide which areas of your wardrobe could do with a boost and shop accordingly. Our guide to the best sales makes this task easier, dividing them up by garment category rather than by store.


Silk suit, in black or caramel, by Phase Eight; jacket reduced from pounds 89.95 to pounds 39.95; matching trousers reduced from pounds 112 to pounds 49.95. Sale now on at branches nationwide.

Jacket, by DKNY, down from pounds 295 to pounds 195, at Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, London SW1. Sale now on. Collarless wool gaberdine jacket by Harvey Nichols Collection, reduced from pounds 250 to pounds 159. Matching skirt reduced from pounds 120 to pounds 69.

Forties-style pinstripe jacket by Hobbs, reduced from pounds 159 to pounds 129.99; matching wide trousers, reduced from pounds 79.99 to pounds 57.99; sale now on at 84 Kings Road, London SW3; 27 King Street, Manchester; 105 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, and branches nationwide.

Chocolate double-breasted wool trouser suit, jacket reduced from pounds 89.99 to pounds 44.99; trousers, reduced from pounds 46.99 to pounds 23.49, sale now on at Next branches.


Twill cavalry coat by Hobbs, as before, reduced from pounds 159 to pounds 99. Wool coat by Nicole Farhi, reduced from pounds 315 to pounds 249. Sale now on at 193 Sloane Street, London SW1; Unit 24, Princes Square, Glasgow; 6 Market Street, Manchester, and branches. Wool coat with fake fur collar by Harvey Nichols Collection, as before, reduced from pounds 295 to pounds 195.


Coat by Whistles, reduced from pounds 500 to pounds 350, sale now on at 12- 14 St Christopher's Place, London W1, and branches. Jacket, by John Richmond's Destroy, reduced from pounds 259 to pounds 180; sale starts Saturday at 59 Neal Street, London WC2.


Red pony-print ankle boots, reduced from pounds 95 to pounds 59; suede or leather knee-length boots, reduced from pounds 149 to pounds 79, both from Pied a Terre, sale now on at 19 South Molton Lane, London W1; 23 Duke's Lane, Brighton; Princes Square, Buchanan Street, Glasgow; 58 King Street, Manchester; First Floor, Brompton Walk, Lakeside, West Thurrock; The Colonnades Shopping Centre, Bath.

Black or brown leather and suede flat ankle boots by Russell & Bromley, reduced from pounds 89.50 to pounds 69.50; sale now on at 24-25 New Bond Street, London W1; 7 James Street, Harrogate; 42-44 Mount Pleasant, Tunbridge Wells; 377-385 Lord Street, Southport; 247 High Street, Exeter, and branches.

Suede zip-back ankle boot by Hobbs, as before, reduced from pounds 69.99 to pounds 59.99.


Black or grape suede court shoes, with lacing around foot, by Russell & Bromley, as before, reduced from pounds 89.50 to pounds 49.50. Black or brown loafers by Russell & Bromley reduced from pounds 89.50 to pounds 59.50.

Red criss-cross platform shoes by Hobbs, as before, reduced from pounds 59.99 to pounds 49.99.


Three-ply cashmere cardigan by Pringle, reduced from pounds 382 to pounds 267.40, sale now on at S Fisher, Burlington Arcade, London W1; Scotch House, Edinburgh; Pringle, Metro Centre, Gateshead; Greg Nicholson, Urmston, Manchester; Lewcombe Partnership, Dorchester.

Lilac twin set by Next, cardigan reduced from pounds 29.99 to pounds 14.99, short sleeve top reduced from pounds 24.99 to pounds 12.49, at Next branches nationwide.


Cashmere leggings by Pringle, as before, from pounds 212 to pounds 148.40. White shirt by Comme des Garcons, reduced from pounds 140 to pounds 80; sale starts Saturday at 59 Brook Street, London W1. Silk shirt by Jaeger, branches nationwide, reduced from pounds 109 to pounds 69, sale now on.


Etro handbag, reduced from pounds 295 to pounds 150, at Harvey Nichols, as before. Georgina von Etzdorf selected chiffon scarves reduced from pounds 90 to pounds 60; sale starts 6 January, at 149 Sloane Street, London SW1. Fake leopard-skin hat and matching muff, by Herbert Johnson, down from pounds 125 to pounds 62.50, sale now on at 30 New Bond Street, London W1.


Black wool dress with velvet trim, by Myrene de Premonville, reduced from pounds 365 to pounds 185, from Whistles, as before. Classic Yves Saint Laurent long-grain de poudre jacket with diamante buttons, reduced from pounds 1,075 to pounds 645. Sale starts Saturday at 137 New Bond Street, London W1, and 33 Sloane Street, SW1.

Selection of Russell & Brom-

ley evening shoes, as before, is reduced from pounds 125 to pounds 59.

Black velvet smoking jacket, satin collar by Harvey Nichols Collection, as before, reduced from pounds 450 to pounds 299; and black satin trousers, reduced from pounds 160 to pounds 99.