A Year Of Buying Better Starts With Careful Sale Shopping

Egg’s autumn collection, now on sale

So, after such a drought of purchasing, you may be wondering what it felt like to buy after a year of abstaining. And WHAT I bought on my first shopping spree. Or not, sorry if I’m boring you on this subject, I promise this’ll be my last post on it for a bit.

I found myself not really wanting to break the ban, it felt so good not buying, I kind of wanted to extend the feel-good factor for a little longer. I also wanted my first purchase to be really enjoyable experience in a shop I liked

So last weekend I ambled over to the Egg sale, to see if anything came remotely within range of my price point. If it didn’t I knew at least I’d be inspired by the beautiful merchandising.

Sat waiting for me on the sale rack was an Arts & Science waistcoat I’d seen and loved in a number of previous Egg sales, priced too high to even think about. However, it was clearly priced at a ‘lets get rid of this’ amount this time, still high, but justifiable with my new rules and I had a small stash of eBay/Portobello sale cash I’d collected over the year. It was as if the clothes fairy had arranged a reward-buy.

Egg autumn collection, now on sale

It is stupidly simple, lightweight and unbelievably soft (it’s made of double face cashmere) and works like a style-catalyst over my silk shirt collection, adding warmth, wearability and elegance in one artful stroke. Just putting it on is a joy. So that, dear reader, was my first buy for a year. I almost skipped down Kinnerton Street when I left.

Maureen Doherty Image via New York Times

All my Egg clothes I’ve bought over the years (obvs from the sale) have been amazingly long lasting; timeless but not boring, so I’ll easily wear this 30 times. FYI there’s a good article on the founder Maureen Doherty and the value of ‘slow’ clothes (ones that don’t need replacing every season) here.

I’ve always been a sucker for a sale bargain and so when that Me+Em sweater I told you about last year went into mark-down, I knew that would be a great buy. I went into the brand’s small Elizabeth Street store (after Egg, so feeling high with success) to check it out IRL. It didn’t disappoint; super soft merino and cashmere mix (only 10% cashmere but it feels like more) feels great on the skin and that detachable neck is such a good idea, it gives you two sweater-looks for one. I bought the black /cream. It’s a wide, boxy fit, so best worn with a nipped in waist or a more slim-line bottom half so you don’t look like a sack from top to toe.

While we’re on the store, I need to mention that the staff were great. They took care of an elderly shopper with such care and kindness, she was clearly a regular, it made me realize just why we’ll never lose shops from the high street. A good store makes shopping fun, so it was a double whammy to spend money in a place I felt appreciated me.

I also LOVED the 70s vibe of the mustard-ochre cord cut-offs, and snapped them up – I think they’ve sold out now, but more sale stuff here if you’re interested- – as I know they will add a shot of much needed colour to by wardrobe.  I absolutely adore corduroy, a misunderstood fabric and was sad I’d missed the trend this winter (although it shows little sign of abating).  They also go brilliantly with my Christian Loubouton black and tan zebra print boots, which are lovely but remained mostly unworn in the eight years I’ve owned them.

Having got to know my wardrobe really well over the last twelve months, I’ve got a few clothes and shoes I don’t wear because I’ve not got much to wear them with, so new purchases are all about liberating these clothes and allowing them to shine again.

Phew. Quite a haul, but all new code-compliant. What’ve you been buying in the sale?


  • Sarah says:

    Not boring, fascinating to hear how your shopping psyche has changed. Enjoy!

  • Claire B says:

    I love your posts about this, please don’t stop! Feeling guilty because I’ve bought more than usual in the sales this year I’ve now made the decision to leave my card at home and just take a small amount of cash when I next go for a “browse”, just to make sure it really is a browse!

  • Amanda says:

    Good to hear you’re not too bored! And Claire, just ask yourself those questions…will you wear it 30 times or more? have you got something like it already? If you’re absolutely happy with those code-compliant purchases you wont feel so guilty.! Ax

  • Ellen says:

    I loved being along on this journey, so please continue to share what you buy and why. I have been very careful on my spending for years since my income was uneven. It does end up being hard to make the decision to buy something – which makes one more thoughtful. I have to chime in on corduroy! I love it and think it really should be more available as an alternative to denim. I long for wide wale corduroy. Someone please brng this back!

  • Sue says:

    Reading about your year and resumption of clothes buying is not in the least boring, for me anyway. Please keep on writing about it. I love Egg, had not seen it before and wonder if it is obviously beautiful in real life? I used to wear a lot of Shirin Guild and it had the same sort of look, maybe? Afraid that most of my purchases nowadays are in the sales, due to non existent funds.One day they will all leave school and university.

  • mary says:

    I didn’t get around to congratulating you on completing your year-long ban on buying new clothes so I thought I would take the opportunity here to congratulate you, your posts regarding this were very inspiring xo

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