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Upgrade Your Look With Sales

Making the most of post-holiday sales

post holiday saleJust days after the holiday season, markdowns and discounts are already underway. If you shop smart these post-holiday sales can be a great opportunity to both upgrade and update your look.

While racks of reduced items can be tempting, try to remember the professional’s tenet: just because something’s on sale doesn’t mean it’s a bargain. Those navy slacks may look like a good deal, but if they don’t go with anything else in your closet they’re not.

So what’s the secret to shopping the sales? Plan ahead. You have a chance to upgrade your look with sales. Sales are a great time to stock up on items that may be beyond your budget. Now is the time to upgrade your look by adding quality clothes and accessories that work with your existing wardrobe.

“Inventory your clothes to see what you need before heading to the stores,” recommends Susan Fignar, professional image consultant and co-founder Chicago-based Image Works Wonders. Fignar notes that black is always a good buy, but says making a list of items that will enhance what you already own is the best way to shop.

One of the most difficult shopping dilemmas is coordinating colors. To avoid return trips to the store, Beth Abrahams, a Connecticut-based image consultant, advises clients to clip swatches of material from their clothing’s seams. She says that carrying a book of swatches reduces the risk of buying colors that clash with what you have at home.

Sales also are the perfect time to pick up this season’s trendy items at discount prices. Give your wardrobe a fresh look with: bulky sweaters with that “handmade” look; clothes with touches of embroidery; pearls, particularly multiple strands; and anything leather. While leather – skirts, vests, jackets and boots – is big this season, Fignar advises staying away from anything too short or tight for the office.

One more word about updates, nothing can date your look faster than a tired hairdo. If you haven’t changed your hair or makeup in five years, or longer, it’s time. Visit a reputable salon or image consultant for suggestions.

Whether you’re a nine to fiver or out on your own, your professional image will either help or hinder your career. Keep yourself current and well groomed. Always buy the best quality clothes you can afford, allocating most of your clothing allowance on business attire.

Think of your image as an investment. An investment in your future. An investment in you. Happy shopping!

Shopping Do’s and Don’t’s


  • Start early, rather than later
  • Make a list of the items you need
  • Take swatches of clothes you already have
  • Clip department- and specialty-store coupons
  • Browse store catalogs for trends


  • Get caught up in the sale mentality
  • Shop for a party that night
  • Buy when you’re tired

Upgrading your wardrobe:

  • Cashmere and/or silk sweaters and twin sets
  • Tropical weight wool suit(s)
  • Fabulous white shirt
  • A little black dress
  • Good leather shoes and/or handbags
  • Quality classics
  • Eveningwear

Updating your look:

  • Fun sweaters
  • Pearls (particularly multiple strands)
  • Tops in trendy colors
  • Vests
  • Leather
  • Embroidered items
  • Boots (high and low)

About Annette Richmond, MA

Annette Richmond, MA, CARW, CCELW, is a Certified Resume Writer, Certified LinkedIn Profile Writer, and former recruiter. Her career advice has been featured by Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Business Insider, Monster, Vault, and WSJ. She helps motivated, senior level professionals tell their unique career story. She also serves as executive editor of career-intelligence.com.


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