Thursday, May 3, 2012

GUEST POST: FATSHION SHOPPING TIPS AND TRICKS

You know that one friend of yours that always finds amazing deals on the coolest clothes?  The friend that constantly amazes you by searching out awesome fatshion for seemingly nothing when no one else can?  Well, Hanna of The Wardrobe Challenge is that friend of mine and I'm always in awe of her ability to hunt down bargains.  Because she's awesome, she happily agreed to share with us the tips and tricks she uses to find great deals.  Yay!  Included are pics from her blog with some of her finds, and I've added links to stores mentioned and click-thru links to her blog posts under the pictures.  Thank you Hanna, you did a great job!  :) 

Hi all!

I'm Hanna from The Wardrobe Challenge, and this is my first time doing a guest post. I'm very honoured that Dani asked me to do one, since DIY Fatshion is absolutely one of my favourite blogs and I'm excited to be featured here!

me, Hanna, in a size 18 and thrifted (but still with tags!) Dorothy Perkins skirt

Dani asked if I could share my tips on bargain-shopping with her and her readers, and I promised to try my best. Most of my bargain finds have just been about luck and stepping into a store at the right time, but to be honest I can't remember when I have paid more than £40 ($65) for anything! I have gotten awesome coats for £36, shoes for £6 and many skirts for around £8.. etc. Actually the most I have paid of something in months was £38 on something as small as bikini bottoms (bummed that the way cheaper ones from H&M weren't high waisted enough)!

So yeah, I thought of the list below and I will try to give you as much of my tips as I can. The stores I mention are mostly UK ones, but there's some US stuff there too :). I might come off as REALLY cheap, but well, I have other stuff to use my money on too ;). These are not in any particular order, all tips have the potential to save you some money.

Check online sale-sections daily

I usually check all my usual store's (New Look, H&M, ASOS, Forever 21, Dorothy Perkins, Simply Be) front pages and sale-sections daily during my lunch break at work. They really don't update them much, but sometimes they just add a few random items to sale and don't inform about it. That's where the advantage of this tip is. If they don't inform (tweet or something) about it, not many people notice. That gives you a better chance to get your size/preferred colour..etc.

Take advantage of offer codes & free shipping

Sign up for newsletters and follow brands on Facebook/Twitter. Those are the ways they usually inform about offer codes and if they do free shipping for a day etc. I love free shipping, basically you save one day's lunch that way. 

That reminds me.. did you UK readers know that Style369.com has free UK shipping all the time, and they have most of Evans items stocked? So if you see something on the Evans site, go to Style369.com to check if you see it. If they do, order from there and you save the price of shipping :).  (Dani says: They also ship free to the US for orders over £40, so check it out!)

Many stores do free shipping if you order for more than let's say £45.. if I have £39 on my basket I add something that I kinda like to my basket just to get free shipping! Might be a bit silly, but I do it and then return the item later. (I told you I will sound cheap! Haha.)

Another tip I have is to that I usually save stuff I want on my wishlist/shopping basket on sites and when I see an offer code I just log in and buy. Sometimes stores have offer codes that are only valid for a few hours (Simply Be did this about a month ago - and I did score the £75 PU sleeved trench for £36!), so saving stuff in your basket saves time in these cases.

Don't shop only for your usual size

You're missing on a lot of cheap things if you only shop for your usual size. I actually have items between sizes 14-26 on my wardrobe myself, and I do wear them all. 

For example H&M regular sizing is very generous. I'm size 22 top and 24-26 bottom, and I can wear L/XL on most of their tops, dresses and skirts, especially if they are elastic materials or have elastic waistbands. They're usually very cheap anyway, but I've noticed that they have a lot of the bigger sizes left in their sale-sections both online and in stores. So next time you see an H&M, walk in and have a look. 

Look at the items themselves and how they look, not at the size label only. If they look big to you, just go to the fitting room and try it on. I'm quite sure you will be pleasantly surprised :). This same tip goes to Primark (sizes go up to 20, and their leggings for example are cheap and GENEROUS), Old Navy, and sometimes Forever 21 too. 

If you pass Primark/Old Navy, pop in and see what's on clearance

Different branches of these stores might have different stuff on clearance. I once bought a top from Kilburn branch of Primark for £1, and everywhere else I have seen it for £6. Step in to Primark and look for the red signs and go through the rails. The same goes to Old Navy. They have huge and messy clearance-sections, but if you have time to really look them through you will find gems from there! 

Do swaps with friends abroad

Dani and I have done this ourselves and I'm sure both of us can recommend this. The main thing in this is that you know your friends' size, style and what they like. I have found awesome sale finds for Dani and vice versa. For example there's no Primark in the US, and no Old Navy in the UK, so team up and help each other ladies :)!

Go to thrift stores/charities as often as possible

Of course there's much less plus sizes in thrift stores than regular sizes, but sometimes you can find amazing stuff! And well, even if there isn't much clothes that fit, there's accessories. I have found expensive leather shoes that have barely been used for just a few pounds! Of course this is again down to luck, but if you walk past one and you have a few minutes to spare, just walk in and have a look! I don't know how this actually works in US or anywhere else (or other parts of the UK for that matter), but here in London the area where the store is makes a big difference. Areas with more rich people get more donations, and some of these still have their tags on etc. Find out where to go :)!

Blog sales and eBay

Many bloggers are doing blog sales from time to time (I need to do mine at some point.. I've been too lazy), so if you like their style follow them on Twitter and read their blogs regularly – you might have a chance to buy a piece from their wardrobe for a bargain price!

Also never forget eBay. If you're looking for something specific just search for it and there's a chance you'll be able to find it. Sometimes typos help too, especially if you're looking for brands. Do weird searches like 'Michael Kosr' instead of 'Michael Kors' and you might get lucky and find something cool that no one else hasn't bid for. Some people do their auctions way too quickly and then they wonder why anyone isn't bidding ;). 

Take a risk 

Wait for sales. I myself.. well I don't really buy anything on full price, unless it's from a cheap store or I REALLY want it. Like the New Look Inspire swallow dress that everyone seems to have.. I did want it, but I didn't want to pay £26 for it. I tried it on in store and since it was so generous I could easily fit into 18.. so the sales came and the dress was in there, sizes 18 and 20 only! So I got 18's for Dani and me both, £11 each! Of course if you must have something this tip doesn't really work, you might miss out on the whole item, but sometimes it really does pay off!


So, that was my list of tips to bargain shopping. I hope you found out something new that might help you save some money, or at least gave you a different insight to things you already knew. Thanks Dani for this opportunity, I really enjoyed this :)


- Hanna xx

The Wardrobe Challenge

2 comments:

  1. Some really great tips there, thank you! I'm all about keeping up to date of what's happening on my favourite shopping websites, and always search for a discount code before i hit pay, just in case! More often than not, you can find one!

    Sometimes store cards come in handy, too. I wouldn't recommend store cards to people, but they do often send out exclusive discount offers for card holders. The interest rates on unpaid balances are high though, so unless you pay the balance straight away I wouldn't recommend getting one!

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  2. I've never really considered shopping outside my normal size before. This might just change my life. Or, well, my closet at the very least!

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