Brown Thomas, Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway Usually offers between 10 to 50 percent on everything excluding cosmetics and the cruise collections. Look out for coloured dots on labels and corresponding posters throughout the store which will indicate price reductions on various fashion items/lines. Discounts up to 75 percent are available towards the end of the sale. Frugal fashion lovers should consider this their first port of call if considering purchasing investment pieces such as quality leather bags, luxury coats and beautiful shoes. Labels include Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Miu Miu, Lulu Guinness, Dolce & Gabbana, Stella McCartney, PPQ, Rag & Bone, Richard Ruiz, Ghost and Moschino.
FRIIS & CO
Good news for all thrifty shoppers. There never was a better year to hit the sales with a bang, with all stores dropping their prices in a bid to ride out the recession. Kim Curley has the definitive guide to some of the best buys around the country
Clerys, O’Connell Street, Dublin 1 The first stop for savvy shoppers as every year Clerys offers the first 100 lucky customers a
Arnotts, Henry Street, Dublin 1 Discounts start from 20 to 70 percent. Impulse women’s department will have reductions off Custo Barcelona, Diesel, Firetrap, Fornarina, French Connection, Miss Sixty and Ted Baker. The contemporary and classic department offers further reductions on Tara Jarmon, Stella Forest, Fran & Jane, Yoana Baraschi, Anglomania by Vivienne Westwood, Max & Co, Gerry Weber, Jaeger and Ischiko. A wide range of reductions will also be available on accessories with handbags by Kipling, Misha Barton, Coccinelle; scarves by Pucci, DKNY and Fendi to name a few. There will be great discounts on shoes including Gabor, KG, Ted Baker, Ugg Australia and Hunter wellington boots. Don’t forget to look in the Arnotts bargain basement for year-round savings on textiles, home wares and clothing.
complimentary full Irish breakfast at its rooftop restaurant. Discounts of to 50 percent off ladies brands including Turnover, Minute, Steilmann, Kaliko, Mexx, Planet, Traffic, Danimac and Bianca lines with further reductions available at Oasis, Miss Selfridge, Topshop, Karen Millen, Warehouse, Wallis, Sisley, Benetton and Esprit concessions. Further reductions on a selection of hosiery, scarves, handbags and jewellery by the popular Danish brand Pilgrim.
Debenhams, nationwide, www.debenhams.com Expect to find generous discounts in all departments. For those who like designer clobber at prudent prices, this store offers the largest selection of diffusion lines. Look out for affordable fashions by John Rocha, BDL by Ben De Lisi, Jasper Conran, Butterfly by Matthew Williamson, Betty Jackson and Star by Julien McDonald. To complete that party outfit, look out for great discounts on a selection of evening wear, shoes, hats, accessories and lingerie.
Kildare Village, Nurney Road, Kildare Perfect for picking up luxury items at pocketfriendly prices. Outlets include Clarks, LK Bennett, Bally, Regine, Monsoon, Karen Millen, Reiss, Coast, Nike, Reebok, Levis, Polo Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Myla, Thomas Pink, Le Creuset, Molton Brown, Petit Bateau and the recently opened All Saints. Look out for discounted scented candles from Kenneth Turner and lingerie from Myla. McElhinneys, Ballybofey, County Donegal Between 25 to 50 percent off throughout the ladies’, men’s and children’s fashion; also footwear, accessories, sport and home-ware departments. Top labels include Gerry Weber, Edel MacBride, Sandwich, Stills, Lauren Vidal, Betty Barclay, Bianca, Michael H, Quin & Donnelly, Libra, Fenn Wright & Manson, Avoca, Roxy, Quiksilver and many more. Bargain buys include handbags and luggage from Guess, Radley, Tula, Kipling, Jane Shilton and Samsonite. Shaws, www.shaws.ie A one-stop family shop with reductions available at the ladies’ department which has great brands like Alex and Co, CC, Libra, Michael H, Paco, B Young, Dash and Windsmoor collections. More reductions off lingerie by Triumph, Playtex, Ballet and Lapel. Reductions continue in the shoe department which includes Clarks, Echo and Dubarry. Sales are also taking place at Topman, Topshop, Principles, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins, Warehouse, Bay, Evans and Adams Kids concessions.
SALES TALES “Me and sales have a love-hate relationship. I’m a bargain hunter at heart so although the sales are a perfect opportunity to pick up new wardrobe items, I tend to be seduced by crop-top T-shirts which are two sizes too small or ripped tartan trousers that I saw on Agyness Deyn, just because they’re €5. Tartan trousers do not a model make. There’s a reason they’re €5 of course, but then all reason goes out the window when I’m in a sales frenzy. The best thing about the January sales is that as Ireland is in a permanent state of autumn, we can benefit from winter stock all year round. “The first place I head for during the sales are the shoe departments. Shoes tend to date more slowly, sizes can’t be debated (they either fit you or they don’t) and any I’ve bought in sales I’ve worn to death. I picked up a great pair of L’Autre Chose boots two years ago for half price at €175 and they’re still going strong. I also look for great accessories and essentials but if I’m really determined to buy an outfit, I’ll check out the brands I’ve always wanted but can never afford. This year I’ll be heading to the Manoush and Touch Luxe rails in BT2 for great knitwear, Noa Noa for basics in beautiful colours and fabrics and I always keep my eyes peeled for Malene Birger’s designs. Topshop’s two-for-one sale is a great incentive and for more designer buys I’ll be going to Dolls boutique in Dublin for the Alex Monroe jewellery. Tippe Canoe in Limerick has really unique things that I’ve been eyeing up all season and I’ll definitely be picking up some of the over-knee socks in Dublin’s Potrero Hill.” Alexia McInerney, Prudence fashion editor
SALES TALES “During sale season I shop both at the opening and the final clearance! It’s best for me to shop alone with no distractions. I’m like a hit man; I identify my target, swoop in and buy. Planning means you get what you really wanted rather than picking up what everyone else didn’t want. My favourite thing about sales is being able to afford designer shoes but the one thing I dislike is the crowds and the way they stick tatty clothes from the previous season out to bulk up the rails. “I remember being dragged around the Arnotts Christmas sale every year religiously by my mother. One year she bought me black leather, fur-lined boots for a tenner and gave the bag to my brother to mind and he lost it! There was murder and he had to use his Christmas money to buy me a new pair. One time I had my eye on this floor-length dress from Zara but my hands were full of bags so I couldn’t get it. I dashed to the car and when I got back, there was a girl walking around the shop with it in her hand. I left the store and came back about six times and she was still walking aimlessly around the shop floor with my dress. Eventually I went back but she and the dress were gone. I even checked the fitting room. However, fate was on my side and several days later I was back in the shop and there it was. I don’t know where the girl had hidden it but it was now reduced to €50, saving me an extra €125. Now when I go to the sales I tend to buy quality rather than quantity. I’ve enough clothes, so when I buy something it has to be something that I have really fallen for and really want! If I feel I can’t leave the shop without it, I tend to buy it. Roxanne Parker, fashion stylist
Boutiques Aria, Naas, Co Kildare Starts: mid-December Discount: Between 30 to 50 percent throughout the boutique. Look out for limitededition watches by Issey Miyake exclusive to Aria with a 30 percent discount and the musthave, high-waist flare jeans by Australian brand 18th Amendment, were €220, now €154. Aria also stocks a selection of designs by Sonia Fortuna, Malene Birger, Joanne Hynes, Leighlee and Custo Barcelona. Aura, Sandymount, Dublin 4 Starts: December 27th Discount: 40 to 50 percent off all brands including Lutz, Vandenvos, Cacharel, Yohji Yamamoto, Jorando, Pucci and Missoni accessories.
Costume, Castle Market, Dublin 2 Starts: December 27th Discount: Between 20 to 50 percent throughout the store, brands include Temperley, Barbara Bui, Anna Sui, Tufi Duek, Collette Dinnegan, Jonathan Saunders and Hoss Intropia. Cherche Midi, Drury Street, Dublin 2; Main Street, Blackrock, Co Dublin Starts: December 27th Discount: Starting at 20 percent. Cherche Midi is a haven for shoe addicts stocking a variety of hats, gloves, umbrellas along with shoes and boots for both ladies and little ones. You can find a selection of shoes from Barbara Bui, Giorgio Armani, Jil Sander and bags from Vivienne Westwood and Gianfranco Ferre. Chica, Westbury Mall, Dublin 2 Starts: December 29th at 12 noon Discount: Between 30 to 50 percent in-store and online. Labels include Totem, Sika, Lulu & Red, Pilar Ruiz, Tuvanam and Ugo Zaldi. A popular celebrity haunt you can expect to find everything from classic coats to glam party dresses.
Buffalo, Exchequer Street, Dublin 2 and at Awear, Henry Street, Dublin 1 Starts: December 27th Discount: 30 to 50 percent discount on selected shoes and handbags. Labels include Buffalo’s own collection, Fly London, Park Lane, Love from Australia, Hello Kitty plus bags from Cocktail and Octopus. FORNARINA
Cornucopia, 6 Lower Market Street, Ennis, Co Clare. Starts: December 27th Discount: Between 20 to 50 percent with clothing from French Connection, Vila, Skunkfunk, Pepe, Lipsy, Tommy Hilfiger, Naf Naf, Great Plains and a selection of shoes by Voom, Morgan, Logo 69 and Miss Sixty.
Cinders Shoes, Dublin, Galway and Newbridge Starts: December 27th Discount: Starting at 25 percent discount with 50 percent off selected lines. Brands include Tommy Hilfiger, Carmen Poveda, K&S, Sachelle, 24 Hours, Bruno Premi and Ted Baker. Cyan Boutique, 22 Swan Centre, Rathmines, Dublin 6 Starts: mid-December Discount: Starting at 30 percent throughout the store with designs from Tara Jarmon, Fornarina, Quiksilver and Roxy. Devine, Maynooth Co Kildare; Malahide Co Dublin Starts: December 28th Discount: Up to 50 percent discount off shoes and clothing such as Red by Valentino, New York label Alice & Trixie, See by Chloe, Lulu & Red, Rock May, St. Martin’s, S’nob, Almost Famous, Kate & Ava plus cool Icelandic brand Andersen & Lauth. Bargains include 50 percent off a selection of JMG dresses and coats from Almost Famous.
The Design Centre, Powerscourt Townhouse, Dublin 2 Starts: December 27th Discount: 20 to 50 percent off most autumn/winter stock. Watch for handbags from Pauric Sweeney, fashion by John Rocha, Jasmine
Di Milo, Preen, Kenzo and Synan O’Mahony. Good discounts include the John Rocha sleeveless wool coat with puff-sleeve detail on sale from €759 to €379.50. If you’re looking for a little black number, the Preen black ‘cross-pleat’ draped dress will be reduced from €869 to €434.50; also a silk Kenzo purple, short-sleeved kimono dress was €839 has been reduced to €419.50, perfect for spring. Jasmine Di Milo’s silk sailor dress available in cream and silver is reduced from €1,000 to €500. Eden Boutique, 3 Market Square, Dundalk Starts: December 29th Discount: Between 30 to 50 percent off selected autumn/winter stock. Brands include John Rocha, Betty Jackson, Tracey Reiss, See by Chloe, Paul & Joe Sister, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, Maje, Baum und Pferdgarten, Orla Kiely, A Common Thread, Odd Molly, Antik Batik, Edun, Hand Written by Tanya Sourn and shoes by Betty Jackson and Jackson Twin. Elaine Curtis, 122 Tullow Street, Carlow Starts: December 27th Discount: Starting at 50 percent. The John Rocha black sequinned bomber was €995, now 50 percent off; Rupert Sanderson black and gold, patent dancing shoes were €595, also reduced by 50 percent. Other labels include Malene Birger, Cacharel, Kenzo, Rada, Sonya Rykiel, Goya Goya and Ritzou.
Frock, 3 Selskar Street, Wexford Starts: December 27th Discount: Up to 55 percent off selected items with 50 percent off winter coats and party dresses. If you like good quality clothes with great design Frock stock a selection of Scandinavian designs from Fin, Stella Nova, Mette Møller, Odd Molly, Stories by Rikkemai, and Okker Gokker for toddlers! Other labels include Orla Kiely and Paige jeans.
Fifi Belle, Unit 28, Naas Town Centre, Sallins Road, Naas, Co Kildare Starts: December 29th Discount: Starting at 20 percent. Shoes for larger feet, Fifi Belle has a selection of boots and heels from size eight to 11 by exclusive designer Sue Comma Bonnie. Best buys include a black satin, kitten-heel slingback with bow detail, they were €160, now €80; purple suede boots as seen on Off the Rails Live, were €385, now reduced by 50 percent; pumps with green flower, were €190, now also 50 percent off. You can find a range of quirky tights and pretty headpieces, perfect for putting that finishing touch to any outfit. The Green Room, 10 McLynn’s Terrace, Pearse Road, Sligo Starts: mid-December Discount: Starting at 25 percent with greater reductions toward the end of December. Labels include Fenn Wright & Manson, Nougat, Hoss Intropia, Stills, Inwear and Part Two. Look out for inexpensive, quirky flower headpieces originally €45 with a further 30 percent off, the perfect prudent accessory for a spring party. Other bargain buys include a short purple taffeta dress by Bernshaw, reduced from €355 to €215. Imasa Lifestyle, O’Connell Street, Limerick Starts: December 27th Discount: Starting at 50 percent throughout the store. Classic black Lorenda fitted coat with double-zip detail by Malene Birger, reduced from €449 to €229.50. The shop also stocks, Traffic, People, Fornarina, Fairly, Fever, St Tropez, SOS Jeans, Faird and Religion. The shop hosts a three-day special in January offering customers a €100 sales voucher if they spend €100 on any new spring/summer stock. Dates are to be confirmed. Inka Shoes, 14B French Church St Cork Starts: mid-December Discount: Between 20 to 50 percent with collections from Camper, Chie Mihara, Hard Hearted Harlot and quirky Japanese brand Japonika, exclusive to Inka. A selection of bags will also be reduced including styles by French designer Catherine Parra.
SALES TALES “I used to be one of those sales shoppers who always ended up with bags full of clothes that I never intend to wear, tags still on, sizes too big or small and the clothes just plain unsightly. Why? Because I got caught in the sales frenzy only to come home and realise that the cardigan is two sizes too big, those jeans would never suit my body shape and I would never have bought that dress had it not been slashed by 75 percent. “Now I have set myself some rules to get the job done properly. Rule number one: just because the top is cheaper than it used to be doesn’t mean you need it. I ask myself if the item was selling on full-price would I buy it? It’s the recession after all, money is tight and so is space. So, rule number two: get your priorities in order and queue up early for that one shop that you want to get the most from. It’s the shop that has sizes to fit and the most covetable items on your wish list. Get in there early because all the good stuff and the right sizes fly out the door! Last year, I wandered into Topshop a few days after the sales had started only to find a really cool blazer I had my eye on was slashed to half price, but was only available in sizes 12-14. The rest of the stock had sold out. Last but not least, I always check the return policies which leads me to rule number three. Shops have varying return and exchange policies especially on sale items. If you don’t have time to use fitting rooms to check if an item fits, make sure you can always bring it back or exchange it for something else. Arsheen Qasim, web blogger, www.fashionfilosofy.com
Kilkenny, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kerry and Tipperary Starts: December 27th Discount: 20 to 70 percent. The biggest bargains will be found on clothing, handbags and accessories. Reductions have already started with 30 percent off winter coats, 30 percent off Guess, 20 percent off Aideen Bodkin, N&C Kilkenny, selected Quin & Donnelly, Orla Kiely and Mischa bags. 31
Kohl, 19 Duke Street, Drogheda, Co Louth and CHQ, Dublin 1 Starts: December 27th Discount: 30 percent off clothing and accessories by leading Irish designers Helen James, Sian Jacobs, Joanne Hynes, Orla Kiely and MoMuse. Other labels include Schumacher, Humanoid, Stella Forest, Erotokritos, Ginger & Smart, Malene Birger and Marc Bouwer evening wear. Macabees, 26 New Street, County Kerry Starts: December 29th Discount: Up to 50 percent off selected items with greater discounts toward the end of the sale. Brands include Tara Jarmon, Hoss Intropia, Homeless and Kenzo. Madison, Upper Abbeygate Street, Galway Starts: mid-December Discount: Between 30 to 70 percent throughout the store. Labels include Enjoy, Voom, Nathalie Chaize, Pink Soda, Shecanko, Fee G, Pocket Venus plus Kate and Ava. Misamu, 2 Brighton Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18 Starts: December 27th Discount: Between 30 to 50 percent off all stock. One to watch, a blazer by Karl Lagerfeld originally €539 reduced to €269. A showstopping, all-over-sequinned dress available in black or blue by Italian label Pinko, reduced from €369 to €184. Antik Batik Sigma Dress in silver was €449 now €225, the silk Pyrus Vogel-print dress which was €169 is now €85. The black lace Rebecca Taylor Runway dress is reduced from €399 to €209 or if you fancy a dress in the colour of the season, the purple Belle & Bunty dress was €299, half price at €149. Muse, Waterford Starts: December 27th Discount: 30 to 50 percent off international designer brands such as Antik Batik, Day Birger & Mikkelsen, Sass & Bide, Rutzou, Ginger & Smart, Ella Moss and Sienna Miller’s brand
BELLE AND BUNTY
“I love Christmas but dread the sales which are a necessary part of the festive season. Being a fashion stylist, I’ve been scouting around the boutiques and high-street stores all season, so the last thing I want to see is the same old stock piled up into boxes or hung up on to special discount rails. I want to see new and fresh stock that screams spring/summer 2009! Some people get over excited and start pulling clothes from everywhere turning the shop floor into chaos which makes it very hard to have a good look in peace. Yes, you guessed it correctly, I hate the sales. “However, when I do shop in sales, I look for key pieces such as a good classic-cut coat, a nice cashmere jumper, a white or black fitted shirt, nice jewellery pieces or quirky designer shoes. On a few occasions I’ve strolled around shoe shops on the last few days of the sales and picked up some greatly reduced, gorgeous looking pairs. Alternatively, I find out what the up-and-coming trends or colours are for the next season and source those items in the sales so I can get the most wear out of them. “If I want big bargains, I check out designer boutiques and designer department stores first as during the sales that’s the only time most of us can afford a Prada shirt or Chloë top. I try not to buy on impulse otherwise everything will end up in my local charity shop!” Sonja Mohlich, fashion stylist, www.styleguide.ie
KATE AND AVA
2812; jeans by Cheap Monday and Earnest Sewn. Bargain buys include Hoss Intropia evening wear; look out for a 1920s-style, black and gold, silkembellished dress, reduced from €600 to €300. Further discounts are available on shoes from French Sole and Malene Birger along with Mawi and CC Sky accessories. Pagan, 48 Upper Abbeygate Street, Galway Starts: December 27th Discount: 30 percent off accessories, a further 50 percent off clothing including brands such as Snob, Skunk Funk and Nymph. Rococco, Cork, Dublin and Galway Starts: December 27th at 10am Discount: 25 to 50 percent. Labels include Piezak, Lulu & Red, Hoss Intropia, Homeless, Touche Luxe; 25 percent off the velvet, handembroidered, three-quarter length coats by the French designer Carol Fakiel, original price €695. A good selection of leather bags is also available with 25 percent off. Ruby, 1 Ivy Terrace, Tralee, Co Kerry Starts: December 27th Discount: 50 to 70 percent off clothing by Sticky Fingers, Ritzou, American Vintage, Metalicus, Nicolangela, Sinead Robinson, Kate and Ava, Fee G plus 25 percent discount off jewellery by Ali Nash. Best buys include quality cotton basics from American Vintage and silk dresses by Nicolangela reduced by 50 percent. Samui, 17 Drawbridge Street, Cork Starts: December 27th Discount: From 30 percent off including clothing by High, Transit, Lavender by Vera Wang and Rick Owens. Suzan Belle, 41 Kieran Street, Kilkenny Starts: December 27th Discount: Between 30 to 50 percent with clothing from Vivienne Tam, Twin Set, Nocturne, Anna Sui, Andersen & Lauth, Humanoid, Sarah Arnett and Alice Ritter. Watch for 40 percent off timeless cashmere cardis by Irish Designer Sian Jacobs. Urban Outfitters, Dublin 2 and Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 16 Starts: December 29th Discount: Discounts of 30 to 50 percent. You can find funky logo Tshirts, accessories, hats, vintage bags and clothing, coffee-table books and unusual household goods. Brands include Lux, See by Chloe, Sonia Rykiel, Anglomania by Vivienne Westwood, Cheap Monday, Paul & Joe Sister, Carhartt, Nylon, Full Circle and more.
HIGH-STREET STORES The high street has been in sale mode for some time now with most starting on December 27th, conveniently a Saturday! If you missed out on Next’s early-bird 5am start, don’t worry as most high-street discounts get bigger as the weeks go by. Extra incentives include Topshop’s renowned two-forone sale and extra-savvy shoppers will be going straight for the designer gear. Peter O’Brien at Awear, Kate Moss at Topshop, Giles Deacon at New Look,
Comme des Garcons at H&M and Olivia Morris at Faith. Rest your feet at a hotel without denting your shopping budget as if you spend over €50 in Heatons, you’ll receive a €100 gift voucher for hotels all over Ireland. Don’t forget to check out your favourite high-street stores’ website too – with the added bonus of a strong exchange rate combined with the discounted price, you can expect double savings.
COMME DES GARCONS AT H&M
OLIVIA MORRIS AT FAITH
SALES TALES “In theory I love sales and for years I used to buy lots of stuff but much of it turned out to be either rubbish, clothes I didn’t want or random items which didn’t go with anything I had in my wardrobe. “Thankfully, with age and experience, I got sense on the sales front; I still shop at sales but now I tend to go when I’m in the mood and spend a few hours. This way I buy things I actually like and take the time to try them on (hence have to be in fitting-on mood), I often buy jackets and skirts or trousers together so there’s co-ordination and I’m more likely to actually wear the clothes. Then sales shopping is not so random or spontaneous and the returns are significantly reduced. “I particularly like the Debenhams sale; I love Betty Jackson, John Rocha and Jasper Conran and you can get some great value if you wait until there’s 70 percent off everything. I like department stores because you can buy everything there, including bits and pieces like bags and shoes, gloves etc - and you can have a coffee without leaving the shop. “I like going to Brown Thomas near the end of the sale in case I can pick up some designers pieces at pocket-money prices. I can’t wait for this year’s sales, with the recession in full swing the reductions will be massive in January which will suit all us recessionistas very well indeed.” Annette O’Meara, Prudence editor