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With shopping fever approaching, stay cool
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As Spring Festival approaches, so does the sales season. It's the best time for women to take advantage of this period to refresh their wardrobes, but to make sure they don't completely empty their bank accounts too. However, with so many clothes available at discounted prices, the impulse to shop till you drop is tempting. To keep it in check, the following seven tips may help you to embrace this wave of shopping fever.

Stick to certain brands:
There are two types of men for every woman: those who love her and are husband
material, and those who she finds attractive, but aren't suitable for her. The same scenario goes for clothes. There are those pieces which appear beautiful but aren't her type, and also those that appear mediocre but suit her pretty well. If a woman often wears clothes of a certain brand well, she should stick with it. So if you're caught up in the shopping fever, try to go for those labels you usually buy.

Stay practical:
Our closets are filled with clothes to suit all kinds of occasions, from the office to sports, casual get-togethers and formal parties. Yet you may often gravitate towards a particular activity. So before squandering your money on various clothes, ask yourself, "Am I a party girl?" or "Am I spending most of my time in offices?" For the former, it's OK to buy a dozen of discounted Chanel or Marc Jacobs dresses. Yet for the latter, it's much more worthwhile to pick up some neatly cut suits.

Black and white makes the money worthwhile:
As with most sales, the clothes discounted are either the sizes that are too big or too small, the colors harder to match, or the style isn't quite right. While people often don't buy the wrong size, they could easily fall for clothes with the wrong colors. So when you're caught up in the sales frenzy, try to stick to black and white outfits and stay away from those colors that you don't wear. Women with lighter skin tones may try red, pink or blue.

There's no need to buy an entire wardrobe, but those clothes that are more compatible with the ones already in your closet:
When shopping during the sales season, it's easy to make the mistake of trying to buy a whole set of clothes, from sweaters, trousers to shoes, bags and accessories. They forget the reason to shop during the sales is not to shop a lot, but for high quality. Otherwise they can always go to street stalls to buy many clothes for almost nothing. So before heading out for the frenzy, check your closet first to see what you lack and what you already have. Then buy those things you need avoid repeating buying those items you already have.

Ignore the words of "fashion masters":
When shopping during the sales period, women often hear the words, "these clothes are from the latest season and it's worthwhile buying them at a low price", or "this brand rarely has discounts, so it's worthwhile to buy them now". Try to avoid those words, because the fashion seasons come and go so quickly, they're so hard to follow. Stay to your original plan and buy what you lack instead of what's in-season.

If it's a good deal, buy it:
The iron law stands: shopping for things on sale is surely a good way to save money than during any other shopping time. When you come across the clothes you really like and they suit you, hit the cashier and buy them. The price is less important.

Last but not least, whatever wise tips people may bear in mind, they sometimes make some mistakes and end up buying something they're not happy with. Instead of regretting the purchase, be creative and find ways to make the wrong clothes better suit you.

(China Daily January 30, 2008)

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