Shop Smart In Black Friday Sales

Black Friday is upon us once more. Here's my top tips to shop smart at the sales.

We need to understand which clothes make us happy and why; before we make any purchases. This is what I call understanding your Style DNA and dressing to your positives.

Tomorrow as I am sure you are all aware is Black Friday, where stores discount heavily in an attempt to lure us to splash some cash in advance of the main Christmas spending spree.

The original one-day sales bonanza has morphed into a four, even five-day event, and spawned other titles such as Cyber Monday where the discounts are only available online. It crosses all retail sectors. But when it comes to the number of items bought and never used, sales of clothing and shoes tops the list. A survey in 2016 by Barclaycard found that on average only 41% of a woman’s wardrobe is typically used, and this year a survey by Ariel said that we wear only 59% of our clothes regularly. 

However, I know from my own surveys and talks that not wearing a high percentage of your clothes is only the tip of the iceberg.

At every talk I have given this year when I ask, “How many of you own clothes or shoes that you don’t feel good in when you wear them?” Everyone has raised his or her hand. Not only do we all own items we never or rarely wear, but of the percentage of clothes that we do use, from my own most recent study, 82% of respondents said that they didn’t feel good about their appearance in those clothes, which shocked and saddened me.

The reason we don’t feel good in what we wear ties in strongly to the relationship we have with our clothes. Whether your desire is to look fashionable, appear stylish or simply be comfortable, none of these is about the number of purchases you make, it is about how the clothes make you feel on the inside.

We need to understand which clothes make us happy and why; before we make any purchases. This is what I call understanding your Style DNA and dressing to your positives. 

I could dress two people in identical outfits both fitting them perfectly, yet those clothes would mean something completely different to each of them. Being stylish, fashionable or comfortable is not merely about the items you wear, it’s about how those clothes make you feel on the inside.

Buying new clothes kicks in those happy brain chemicals. On that first wear the feel-good factor of the shopping experience, buying a brand you love, treating yourself to something you have ‘earned” in your mind, thinking it looked great in the store is often a short lived high.


Merchandisers and retailers go to extreme lengths to manipulate your senses into making purchases with words and images online. Even more so when you shop in store with music, lighting, even room scents to get us making decisions on our emotions rather than with logic. Remember what they are selling you is hope, a lifestyle dream. Hope on a hanger as I call it. Hope, that if you buy that item you will magically embody all that that piece of clothing emulates to you.

If you know what you are looking for when you shop because you have done your planning in advance you will not be disappointed with a Black Friday purchase or any purchase.

I often draw parallels to food consumption when discussing shopping habits as both are pretty basic essentials to our existence. We all know what we should eat – a balanced diet to keep us healthy. However, if we only ate what were the most attractive things on the shelf we wouldn’t be able to make a meal and fancy packets of ‘x,y,z’ would end up at the back of your fridge and never used. That is what happens all too often when we buy clothes and how we can end up with a wardrobe full of clothes, yet still feel like we have nothing to wear.

We have all previously bought items for the wrong reasons. Let’s make it fashionable to shop consciously. Can you imagine a wardrobe full of clothes where each piece has a story to tell and you are happy wearing it? Buy more of what you know works best for you, more clothes with a purpose that enhance who you are and that you can wear with love for years to come.

Style is happy emotion, and who doesn’t want more of that in their life?


If you want to read more on this topic why not read some of my earlier blogs - Hope On A Hanger, Should I Really Buy This and The Sequence of Shopping