If there is one thing that is guaranteed to make me break out into hives, it is the three ring circus that is the Boxing Day sales and the thought of joining the masses in the mad grab for bargains in the big Department stores. Frankly, I'd prefer to pay full price than deal with the crush of humanity sent wild by the lure of $10 off a t-shirt.

I used to work in retail, many years ago, when I was a University student. So I was able to witness first hand how ridiculous the situation was. Firstly, way back in The Dark Ages when I was a student, the post-Christmas sales started on January 2nd. The week after Christmas was absolutely dead as a doornail in terms of sales. We would have dribbles of people returning unwanted Christmas gifts, and would have plenty of time to prepare the store for the sale. Now, the sales assistants are frantically marking down items on Christmas Eve, and often staying back later after the store finally closes to get it ready for the 7am start of the Boxing Day sales.

Secondly, it was interesting to watch the phenomenon of people snatching and grabbing merchandise that was not especially well discounted. Much of it would be returned a couple of days later when the buyer would come to their senses and realise that it wasn't such a bargain.

I prefer to have a lazy Boxing Day - watching the test match on the tv, lying around in pjs, eating left overs and generally spending a quiet day with the children. But I have to say, I'm not immune to the online sales, and my email inbox has been bombarded with offers and reminders (which I delete without opening, but still, you do see that they're there).

Over the past few days, I've had a bit of a click around cyberspace looking at the possibilities. As the websites I tend to use are in the Northern Hemisphere, it means I have to think about what I might like to wear next Winter, and shop accordingly. Most of what I've nearly bought but decided against has been thanks to the good influence of bloggers like Fifi and DaniBP, who are very strategic with the wardrobe purchases and are what I'd describe as Thoughtful Buyers. There was this dress from Goat on the Matches website but in Navy.


I had thought it might be a good day/ evening dress in Winter, as it was made from wool crepe. But I was put off by the poly lining and the plastic belt buckle. It was $380 Australian, so I hesitated... and then it sold out. Probably no great loss. I'm not sure I really need more dresses for going out in. I don't get to go out a lot....I really need more everyday at home type clothes.

But I only came to that conclusion after I had perused the pretty dress section of the Netaporter sales. The US site is on their final markdowns, and by comparing the Australian/Asian site, the UK site and the US site I found that this beautiful Lela Rose dress was cheapest on the US site (by almost $1000 ?!)


At $580 it is a good buy (for Lela Rose - the original price on the Australian site is $2800) - the fabric is absolutely beautiful, and I know that the fit of her dresses is perfection. But I really don't need another going- out- to- a- cocktail- party type dress, and I have two other Lela Rose dresses purchased in the sales a year ago that I haven't yet worn (one is not my fault - I had earmarked it for a cousin's wedding, but he called the marriage off a month before the big day). So it's still on the website (if you're interested....)

So I thought about what I actually needed for next Winter. A new short winter coat, jackets, casual skirts, suede knee high low heeled boots, and a pair of black patent mid height heels to replace a pair of Ralph Lauren's I used to wear to work and bought in 2001. Those shoes have stood the test of time, but they look a little shabby now - for one, they don't have the original heels, as I snapped one off walking to the tram on my way home from work on Collins Street in Melbourne, which meant I did an awkward hoppity shuffle all the way home from the tram stop. End result was the cobbler putting on different heels, which were fine... but they've definitely had their time and been worn to death.

I've got a pair of very high heeled black patent Bally shoes, and wear them all the time (I find patent goes with everything and can look dressy for evening or works for day) but I'm a bit over the really high heels. It's hard to find a pair of decent mid height heels - everything has huge platforms and long spiky heels makes you look like you have hoofs, or are auditioning for a starring role in the local pole dancing club. So my one purchase in the sales so far are these:


Dolce & Gabanna black patent slingbacks with a low-ish heel and pointy toe (via Netaporter's Australian site). Not so exciting as a pretty dress, but they fill a hole in my wardrobe.

So I'll try to forget about the other things I've been looking at (I still have to get those Collette Dinnigan dresses off lay-by this month). But these were things I considered...


Max Mara coat in Raspberry via Matches. It's reduced, but is still expensive...



Smythson's Antonia bag - as seen on DaniBP, I do love the shagreen clasp and it reminds me of something my grandmother would have carried in the 50's. But as I still need to lug things like children's drink bottles/ spare undies/ sick bags/ wipes and other glamorous things in my bag, it's probably a bit small for my daily needs.



Smythson's Eliot collection small tote would fit a bit more in it, but I'm not sure I'd get so much use out of a blue bag.

So, not a lot of sale shopping for me so far. How are you going with the online/ instore temptation?

31 comments:

  1. You are right - sales have gotten out of hand. But then again I feel everything is on sale all the time even so the word sale doesn't have the same weight for me I am afraid...I know what you mean about poly lining on Goat - when I wear my pandora dresses sometimes i feel the effects of the material. Max Mara lasts but do you need a coat like that in Adelaide? How about a cardijacket instead? those slingbacks are nice but the one thing about Dolce is I find their toe a bit too pointy - i have a calf boot from them and everytime i wear it at least one person comments on how pointy they are...The eliot bag is nice but does it have a shoulder sling - nothing worse than a bag without the shoulder option! I am not buying anything this sale. If anything i am looking forward to an edit. PS I hope your cousin is ok about the wedding thing? One must try and see the positive side of it somehow...Happy new year Heidi xx

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    1. I agree- there are sales all the time. I'm not sure why people feel the need to stampede on Boxing Day?!
      The coat think is tricky - I can get away without a coat in Adelaide, although I did wear my navy peacoat a bit last year. But when I go to Melbourne, I do need a coat, and the only one I have left is full length Max Mara, which doesn't work with jeans or more casual stuff. I won't buy it unless it gets reduced a fair bit more. I thought the Dolce's might work as my leopard print ones are also Dolce and were current season, so thought the toe would likely be the same. Fingers crossed they do. Otherwise I'll send them back. I've kept shoes bought online that I've been a bit iffy about and regretted it later as I don't wear them nearly enough. Funnily enough, I don't usually use a shoulder bag! Mine are all handled ones which I loop over my arm. But I do when I travel to a big city (like to have a cross body option) and only have one bag. But I'm not really a bag person, they're so expensive I can't bring myself to part with the money for an 'investment' bag. Although I wouldn't say no if someone gave me the Hermes Jypsiere bag - practical and chic (and eye wateringly expensive) xx

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    2. What a negative Noreen you are. Re-read your post, nothing but whinging
      " those sling backs are nice but....." No coulda woulda, they are nice, period
      Love those shoes Heidi, a smart classic shoe with tasteful heel height, and no they are not too pointy from my view, they are a good well thought out purchase. I say make your wardrobe and shoe selections work hard for you and I am sure you will get a lot of compliments, excellent choice, enjoy.

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    3. I don't think CSW meant any harm anon! Sometimes things written in haste don't come out as you mean them. But thank you for your comment - I'm hopeful I'll get another 12 years out of this pair, like my last black heels and this is the sort of item that is worth stumping a bit of money up for judging by how much I wear my more uncomfortable Bally's. xx

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    4. I read CSW's post and thought how helpful it was, it's the sort of thing a friend would say to you if you were swithering over a few things.

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    5. I'm also wondering if CSW's were current season or a few back - they could've changed the toe shape... and funnily enough the ones I'm sending to the bin have a very elongated toe (which was very new back in 2001!)

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    6. You got a point Anon - I did sound a bit whingey!
      Sorry Heidi - hope you didn't take it any other way than just trying to be helpful comparing notes is all :) Yes the Dolce boots were 2007ish so a bit dated in any case! PS I love the jypsiere as well xx

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  2. I'm wondering if our shopping brain is connected over the many miles they separate us as I've been debating over that Lela Rose dress myself!! In the end I didn't buy it either but isn't it so pretty, I only know of that designer from you and the silk linings have lured me in... there was a grey jacquard Lela Rose that I loved on Net-A but it sold off very early in the sale.
    I love my Antonia handbag and these days I am using it as my regular handbag, it does have good space and is such a classic frame handbag, your grandmother would have loved it. Not sure about holding nappies, definitely holds a change but maybe not a sippy cup! It does have 3 compartments. Well I love Smythson, I also have a clutch and MrBP has a wallet (he had a beautiful monogrammed iphone case but lost it, probably in some kind of checking-the-sports-scores moment!)
    I think you had a good instinct in avoiding the dress with the poly lining, that's just never going to be comfortable. I love looking at sales and of course I get really excited for the Brora sale end of January... you might want to check their frock section for things you could wear at home with the children... sturdy fabrics! Which are needed I know!
    Thanks for the kind mentions in your post Heidi! xox!

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    1. You should buy it! You'd love all her beautiful detailing and fabrics. I do love that bag of yours. I think if I were a few years down the track with children a little older I wouldn't need such a large day bag, but I lug the world around with me at the moment, so it would only get an airing on occasion. Smythson things are so beautifully detailed, and I like that they are quietly luxurious.
      I shall check out the Brora sale. I try to buy local merino wool items from Cable Melbourne for sweaters and cardigans to support our local industry, but their jackets and skirts might be good additions to my wardrobe as you say. xx

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    2. Dani you are more ladylike than I am, my tall Antonia is becoming my bad buy, I think I've used it three ties, I just rarely dress that formally but it is beautiful.

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  3. Hi Heidi, Happy Holidays! I just finished going through your latest renovation post, and wow! It looks fantastic! I am quite envious that your kids have an entire wall covered in metallic blackboard paint - sure to occupy their attention for a very long time. (My kids have pretty much destroyed the walls in our house - we are planning to repaint the whole house in the New Year!).

    I think your D & G shoes are an excellent purchase and you will get plenty of wear out of them. Let us know if you get a bag from Smythson! I love the little details in their bags, and the lack of obvious bling.

    In the past, I was part of the stampede of shoppers on Boxing Day, but now, I have a lot less patience for that sort of thing. Plus, I have learned that, more often than not, I end up with duds when I buy stuff during sale season. Nowadays, I try to be much more careful, and I never buy anything that is final sale. I bought a dress from J. Crew and a sweater from Club Monaco for myself, and both purchases were done online. I only ventured into the Gap to buy a down-filled winter jacket for my son in the next size up (I always try to stock up on larger sizes on key items like jackets and shoes when they go on sale).

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    1. Thanks Louise! I'm hoping once the playroom is fully functioning that the children will contain all mess and damage to that room. Fingers crossed!
      I think you're quite right about buying duds in sales. It's so easy to get carried away with the discount, when in reality you wouldn't have bought it in the first place. Sales are great for kids clothes though, and I tend to do the same as you and put things away for the next year. Although my children are now becoming quite picky about what they wear, so I have to consult them as well. Plus they wear a uniform to school, so that cuts down on the amount of clothes they need now as well. xx

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  4. I can never look at Oscar de la R on the outnet without thinking of YOU!!!! xxx

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    1. I do love a bit of Oscar... but that stuff is so expensive this time around. I'm sure it was cheaper last time (plus the aussie dollar was a lot stronger). And I'm just not looking at it as I'm trying to stay strong and not buy another dress!!! xx

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  5. Those shoes look to be a good buy, hopefully when they turn up they will make your heart sing. Anyway, if you don't like them you can always return.
    Never been one for a Boxing Day sale, but do love going to the movies! This year The Railway Man, incredibly moving. Of course, Colin Firth is always fabulous (sigh).
    Sales online or in store are a bit like gambling, you get just enough wins to keep you shopping!
    The renovations look fantastic, love the floor. I am no expert but people seem to make the mistake of choosing light coloured, hard surfaces which are noisy and hard to keep clean.
    Happy New Year Heidi!

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    1. Sadly they're going back Claire! Oh well... on to the next thing.
      I never get to go to the movies, I'd say I see maybe 1 or 2 a year? Love a Colin Firth movie though.
      Agree with you about floors - light floors look dirty pretty easily. I've tried to choose flooring throughout the house that is realistic to what its going to get thrown at it...and doesn't need to be vacuumed/ mopped every day. Happy New Year! xx

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  6. Dear Heidi
    (Early) Happy New Year! And Happy Shopping! Love looking at all your sale option assessments. You're such a clever and careful shopper! If that raspberry Max Mara goes down enough, can just see you wearing it. Would work really well with pants and jeans. Already very smart but to dress up further you could wear Dolce leopards. Strangely enough also love the sandals the model is wearing in that coat pic. Definitely not practical for running family around, probably suitable only for tottering from car to restaurant/cocktail bar, but they look fabulous.
    Mums and handbags. DIL does exactly the same as you, crams her large bags with all kinds of things for family, including bottled water and then gets so disappointed when the handles/straps break. A few months ago a bag she'd had only a few weeks gave up under the load. She's recently bought a fabulous new bright pink one and now loads that. Have tried to talk her into buying a large strong smart tote to carry alongside her handbag for all the family stuff but she's not convinced.
    On Boxing Day we had to take back one of our Christmas presents, a queen doona to exchange for king, before the pattern sold out in the sale. We passed Mimco boutique (you might remember I have a weakness) and there was a long, long queue to enter. They said at least 30 minutes. So we moved on. No way consider waiting 30 minutes to get into a shop.
    So great you have the Collette Dinnigans to look forward to when they come off layby! Best wishes, Pammie xx

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    1. Happy New Year Pammie! I'm still so sad I couldn't afford that leopard print coat I tried on. Sigh. Maybe in my next life?! I usually carry the nappy bag around (which is nice and leather, but still...), but I've just this year started to use my bags again as I'm not having to carry quite so much around. That nappy bag used to give me a bad back it was so heavy! I sympathise with your DIL!
      Boxing Day sales are the pits. I just don't care enough about the discount to line up, the Mimco 30 minute line up would have done me in! I won't do the same for a concert either, and I was apoplectic over having to queue for 1.5 hours for tickets to my daughter's end of year ballet concert. I told the ballet school what I thought about the way they manage the tickets... xx

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    2. Heidi, That leopard print coat was amazing and really suited you. Have you checked out whether it might have gone on sale? - Though I imagine even on sale it's still going to be kind of astronomical! But do you have a wedding anniversary coming up? Would be a great present, if your husband didn't collapse at the price ticket!
      Our little girlies are way past nappies now so there's no way DIL would carry anything that looked like a nappy bag. But I didn't mean a nappy bag. For casual gear, even a French market basket could be possible for the drink bottles, cardies, spare sets of clothes etc. But it's not her thing. For Christmas we bought the girls each a hot pink Samsonite cabin bag (amongst other things), the four wheeler kind. Tres grown-up! They were so thrilled as they've reached the age now when they often go away for weekends, sleepovers, holidays in Q'ld and they like to pack their own things and look after them. Particularly the 7 year old who's meticulously neat and organised and so carefully selects all her outfits.
      Must go, my Julia Child Quiche a la Tomate, nicoise is just out of the oven and cooling and almost ready to be taken to friends' New Years Eve dinner for first course. Have had Q'ld cousins and their families here nearly all day so hope I last the distance. Have a great evening! Pammie xx

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  7. I like the term 'thoughtful shopper' and like to think I am. I joined in on the Boxing Day madness, but it was okay, as I had a double pram to pave my way through the crowds :) Enjoy the rest of the break with your family Heidi x

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    1. Double prams do have their uses sometimes - although shopping with children is equally awful, so I applaud your fortitude in doing both the sales and shopping with children at the same time. Hope you're enjoying your hols too xx

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  8. I agree with you Heidi, I avoid sales like the plague. It seems there are always items on sale somewhere and the discounts are nowhere near the same amount as they were years ago. Love your shoe purchase!

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    1. The shoes have turned out to be a dud! So sad. But I'll try again! I heard a statistic about 75,000 towels sold or something - crazy! You can get discounted towels most of the year now, I totally agree with you about the discounts not being the same on the 'big' sales. xx

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  9. I like the sling backs //do you know in all my 50 plus years I've never had a pair ..maybe 2014 is the year.

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    1. sadly the slingbacks have not worked out - major toe cleavage. Horrible! I do like slingbacks though, and you should def. get a pair if you've never owned any. They're very versatile! xx

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  10. Is your Boxing Day sales like our Thanksgiving sales? I think it's ridiculous when our *after* Thanksgiving sales are starting on Thanksgiving day and Cyber Monday sales are starting on Sunday, etc. More and more sales are eating into the holiday time that should be spent with family and friends, I think that's sad, and in addition difficult on the sales staff as you described.

    I've been combing through my closets over the past couple weeks while taking a break from work and it's been a sobering experience, I seriously do not need anything else added to my wardrobe. I'm slowly but certainly swearing off my addiction to shopping sales and giving a shrug to all the sale emails in my inbox, at least 99.9% of them. Ignoring 100% of the instore promotions since I do not shop in person except maybe once a decade. ;)

    Happy new year, Heidi!

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    1. Happy New Year Tiffany Rose! I think the boxing day sales are our equivalent of the Black Friday sales. I think the 'creep' of the sales earlier and earlier is awful too. The period between Christmas and New Year is very quiet in Australia - most people take their Summer holidays over early January, and we have a lot of public holidays between Christmas and New Year- Boxing Day is one, and the day after as well for us here in Adelaide. So I think it changes things so much to have everyone queueing up to grab bargains at 7am instead of the quiet and down time that boxing day used to be about. I've been finding that a lot of the things in the sales are not things that I actually need - the colours are funny, the cuts are slightly wrong... all the wardrobe staples type stuff are what I'm trying to target, but with not much success so far! xx

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  11. I'm sitting down with a cup of tea watching a blizzard outside whilst catching up with your last three posts Heidi. I've had a very different Christmas from you (read cold) in Colorado. The last of my husband's family left yesterday so I've not been on line at all in the last two weeks (save for some New Year's Day online purchases). Quite blissful.
    The extension looks amazing. What a lot of work you have had to do with Christmas and all that cleaning an unpacking. I especially love the wallpaper in your daughter's room. The playroom looks like it will be fantastic too. You have created a fantastic family living area.
    What a fantastic photo of your children by your Dad's Christmas tree - his house is incredible. We also cut our own down. You can get a permit here for $8 and go to designated forest areas and pick your tree. We did a campfire, had hot chocolate and marshmallows whilst my husband, brother in law and I snow-shoed up the hill, picked our tree, cut it down and dragged it back to the car.
    I love the Lela Rose dress with the leopard shoes. And the one that you are eyeing up on NAP. My husband bought me a Lela Rose dress (my first) for Christmas. Not much use for it here in Co, but it is lovingly hanging in my wardrobe and I shall enjoy wearing it in London. It is really well made. Mine is more of a work one than a party dress so I should get a lot of use out of it.
    I agree totally about the sales shopping. Nightmare. I prefer to go for NAP/Matches/Outnet and try on at home. As I mentioned above, I did get a few things in the sales online: Outnet had an extra 20% for New Year's Day so I snapped up two Giambattista Valli dresses which I know you would love (both for work but also would work for evenings out, etc). I agree with your comment on the Oscar dresses btw - last year I got two in the NAP sale and they are not as discounted this year.
    Happy New Year! x

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    1. Happy New Year Charlotte! I wish you had a blog, so I could see your sale purchases! I'm sure you'll be so happy with the Lela Rose dress, they really are some of the best constructed and tailored dresses I own. Interesting too that you think the Oscar is more expensive this time around... I actually checked last night on my outnet account to see what I originally paid for them, and they are definitely more expensive this time around. Plus the Australian dollar has dropped quite a bit in the past few months, which means the dresses are about another $400 more than they were earlier this year for me.
      Your Christmas sounds lovely, and it's always so nice to be offline for a while.... it's amazing how much more time you have in your day! And as you work, there's so much of that tied up in spending time on computers, Colorado must be heaven by comparison - I find the snow so peaceful and relaxing with the muffling of noise. So glad you hear you've had a lovely break xxx

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    2. Thanks Heidi. I agree on the snow muffling the noise. Perfect antidote to London!
      Here are links to the dresses:
      http://www.theoutnet.com/product/423610
      http://www.theoutnet.com/product/423638
      I hope that works as they are both sold out now. If not I will email you the jpegs.
      x

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    3. Oh I love them both! Can't believe what a great bargain you got too with the extra 20% off. Fingers crossed they fit well, and I'm sure you'll get a lot of use out of the - quite glamorous for work! Will be an easy transition if you're heading out afterwards for drinks or dinner xx

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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