Thrifty Living: Get a move on - it's sales time

Of course, once you have decided to start a life of thrift, the pressure is on to look anything but, as if minding your overdraft hasn't reduced your personal chic one atom. Fortunately, cheap fashion rather than designer labels is the look right now.

However, you must plan your assault. First, casually wandering down the high street will result in a wild overspend, believe me. I know about these things. Second, avoid any shop which is not having a sale.

Shopping devotees know Christmas sales now begin well before the "Bargains Galore!" ads start appearing on television. As far as the high street is concerned, it's already New Year Sale-time. If you want to go online, the website Zencudo.com will lead you to nearly 450 sites, from Boots to Dixons, which have discounted stuff, three-for-two offers, and so on, but who can wait for a sexy dress to arrive in the post when you need to be once, twice, three times a lady, tonight?

It's far better to make the journey to central London and somewhere like Dickens & Jones in Regent Street, or Barkers of Kensington, both of which are closing down in a matter of weeks. Jump on a train and start shopping there now, because the bargains are terrific. Forget about modest little sales; Barkers, which has always looked like an old-fashioned liner, is going down with Titanic-esque abandonment.

There is 50 to 70 per cent off everything in the entire store, from Calvin Klein knickers to Whistles jumpers, by way of Pied a Terre shoes. Finding myself standing in the Ronit Zilkha concession (I know, it just happens), I picked up two swingy cord mini skirts, one with a belt, one decorated with sequinned butterflies, for about £50 each, (down from £120 or so), and a long "Cossack" coat in crushed turquoise velvet, decorated with jet and ribbons, for £224.50, down from over £500. It's just the thing to make knockout appearances at Christmas parties in, this year and next.

A quick saunter past Shoes for a pair of black torturers, a detour into Lingerie for an Elle Macpherson bra and knickers set, and I'm set for several appearances under the mistletoe.

The other key is to make a beeline for the superstores, because this is where the fight is on for the fashion purse of Middle England. Unlike everyone else, I feel that the M&S Twiggy phenomenon hasn't gone quite far enough; at M&S you could find yourself spending well over £150 for an outfit that still looks just a bit too sensible (bar the Per Una faux fur cape, £25). Whereas over at Matalan, frankly, if you have £14 and the nerve to get away with rockin' around the tree in a stretchy black strapless jumpsuit, then go for it. The crushed velvet tiered skirt at £10 is also rather fab.

But for my limited money, the most glamorous glad-rags have got to be at Tesco. Once you can actually find one that sells clothes, that is. I took nearly two hours to get to my nearest one, even after looking it up on the net.

When I arrived, however, all was forgiven. I picked up a pair of this season's sharp shorts (£15); a jewelled evening bag (£15); a long, green button-through Paisley dress (£25); and a 100 per cent cashmere jumper in fawn for £30. With prices like these, who needs changing rooms? There are decorated skirts that could have come straight out of Eley Kishimoto for £20.

I got the shorts, dress, jumper, tights - and some Pringles to celebrate - for less than £100. And some lucky knickers for a quid. Because you always need lucky knickers at Christmas, don't you?

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

    £23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

    MBDA UK Ltd: Indirect Procurement Category Manager

    Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

    £16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...

    Day In a Page

    Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

    Greece elections

    In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
    Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

    Holocaust Memorial Day

    Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
    Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

    Magnetic north

    The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
    Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

    Front National family feud?

    Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
    Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

    Pot of gold

    Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
    10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

    From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

    While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
    Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore