I'm a Careful Sale Shopper—These Are the 5 Items I Buy and Skip

·4 min read

As much as I love a good sale (and strive to not pay full price for as much as I possibly can), I consider them to be a blessing and a curse. Sale-induced anxiety is real, and I think it's safe to say that we've all made impulse purchases before as a result of it. I know I have, but I've figured out what types of items to avoid—the ones I end up regretting.

Getting caught up in the urgency and excitement of a sale does not make for clear-headed shopping, so I'm here to provide a little guidance, with the help of a sale expert: Michael Bonebright, consumer analyst with DealNews. With Nordstrom's big Anniversary Sale having just arrived, I asked him for his advice on what to buy and what to avoid from sales, the Nordstrom sale specifically.

As far as what to buy goes, he recommended current-season staples, elaborating "While there will be deals on many items, the Nordstrom Anniversary sale will be the best place to find deals on recently released styles—apparel and shoes that won't otherwise see significant discounts until next season. It's the one place you can get great deals on fall fashions before you even need them. Keep this sale in mind for sweaters, boots, and other cold-weather accessories." And his advice on what to avoid is luxury accessories. He said, "There are some good options in the sale if you're looking to pad out your work wardrobe (especially Salvatore Ferragamo menswear), but the big labels like Prada and Gucci only have sunglasses in the sale—hardly worth your time."

Keep scrolling to shop current-season staples, as well as a few more items I recommend shopping, and find out what else I avoid ordering from sales.

BUY: Current-Season Staples
SKIP: Luxury Accessories

While discounted luxury accessories may be in short supply during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, there are plenty of current-season basics to choose from, and they're likely to go back to their original price once the sale ends.

Shop current-season staples:

Nike Essential Shorts ($29)

Zella Live in High Waist Leggings ($38)

Nordstrom Moonlight Luxe Comfort Layer Long Sleeve T-Shirt ($16)

Vince Camuto Afelia Knee High Boot ($149)

Open Edit Pinstripe Double Breasted Blazer ($45)

Open Edit Wide Leg Pants ($29)

Bb Dakota by Steve Madden Faux Leather Blazer ($59)

BUY: Brands I've Already Tried/Own
SKIP: Anything Final Sale

Even if returns are accepted during a sale, if I end up needed to exchange an item for a different size, there's a good chance it'll be out of stock by then. Sticking to brands I already know and love increases the likelihood that I won't need to make a return or exchange.

Open Edit Ribbed Button-Up Cardigan ($39)

Free People Be Free Tie Dye Oversize Long Sleeve T-Shirt ($38)

Good American Good Legs Chewed Hem Skinny Jeans ($99)

Madewell Oversize Jean Jacket ($79)

BUY: Jeans and Shoes
SKIP: Cheap, Trendy Items

Sales are a great time to take advantage of investing in everyday items for less. I always find there to be a plethora of denim and footwear to choose from during big sales, so that's usually what goes into my cart first.

Shop everyday jeans and shoes:

Paige Natasha Water Resistant Chelsea Boots ($250)

Adidas Sleek Leather Sneaker ($50)

Vince Ordell Flats ($180)

Shop tried-and-true brands:

Paige Hoxton High Waist Ankle Ultra Skinny Jeans ($125)

Levi's 501® High Waist Straight Leg Jeans ($59)

Hudson Jeans Barbara High Waist Ankle Super Skinny Jeans ($99)

AG The Legging Ankle Super Skinny Jeans ($149)

Wit & Wisdom Ab-Solution Distressed Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans ($54)

BUY: Beauty Products I've Tried/Have Had My Eye On
SKIP: Beauty Products I'm Not Familiar With

I'm often tempted to buy whatever fun beauty products are a good deal, but the smarter choice is to select ones that you already have in your routine or that have been on your radar via recommendations and/or research.

Shop tried-and-true beauty products:

Stila Stay All Day® Eyeliner Set ($32)

Kiehl's Since 1851 Midnight Recovery Concentrate Face Oil ($83)

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Set ($90)

T3 Fit Compact Hair Dryer ($90)

Briogeo Healthy Hair Wonders Set ($49)

Malin+Goetz Jumbo Rum Body Wash ($50)

BUY: Activewear and Lingerie
SKIP: Last Season's Leftovers

Activewear is mostly pretty seasonless and trendless (as is a lot of lingerie), so sale season is a great time to stock up. On the other hand, I've learned to resist the allure of last season's trends and "It" pieces. Chances are, you're not going to want to wear them when that season (i.e. next summer) comes back around.

Shop activewear and lingerie:

Zella Live in High Waist Leggings ($38)

Additional sizes available here.

Nike Sportswear Quarter Zip Pullover ($48)

Natori Dynamic Contour Underwire Sports Bra ($48)

Natori Rose Dream Custom Coverage Underwire Bra ($47)

Wacoal How Perfect No-Wire Contour Bra ($42)

Spanx® Bra-Llelujah! Unlined Bralette ($32)

Chantelle Lingerie Soft Stretch Seamless Hipster Panties ($15)

Next, The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Is Epic—You Won't Regret These Affordable Items

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

Read More from Who What Wear