Although the Summer Sale is somewhat a distant memory and you can barely see past next week, let alone next year and to the January Sales, they do provide me with a bit of a giggle all year round.
Never being very patient and having worked in retail long enough to realise how many times clothes are tried on (and stamped on) before reaching your wardrobe, a sale rail full of clothes seems rather unappealing, despite their £2 price tag. And although I have come across the odd bargain in my few and far between sifting, my relaxed attempts allow me to observe the sale rail and the creatures that frequent them.
There’s that familiar moment where you pretend to go into a shop because you’re interested in the label rather than the reduced rack. You edge closer and closer to the back of the shop, pretending to browse and then act surprised that it exists as you pounce on that £5 leather jacket. Then there’s the moment where you take your items to the till only to be told that they’re not actually on sale. You shuffle awkwardly but buy it anyway, making doubly sure you have the receipt. Then immediately take it back to a different store.
Then there’s the body dysmorphia which occurs during mid-season sales. You are all of a sudden a size 14. A large fits like a glove. You ignore the fact that you are actually a size ten and believe yourself to be up there with the likes of Vivienne Westwood in the sewing stakes. You have stitching abilities beyond your means and ‘taking it in’ or ‘pinning it’ seems trivial in comparison to a ten pounds and too big blouse. Looking back, you end up looking like a pin cushion. Women do, however, gain powers in other areas, if not upholstery, during these times. We are Olympians when it comes to the sale. Forget the summer games, these reduction rummages are more than a work out. Some of my biggest heroes have been discovered in the corner of Topshop, under a pile of clothes, with a trophy in the shape of a size eleven flatform in hand.
There’s also that fabulous moment where you take an already reduced item to the cashier, only to be told that it’s been knocked down even further. You can’t believe your luck but you act cool, calm and collected, as if you would have bought the item for full price anyway.
But it’s not only women who come up trumps.
Dad’s love a sale as much as they love a Waitrose bargain. When mine goes food shopping, he brings back fifteen packs of penguins on a 2 4 1 offer, along with twelve boxes of Capri-suns and a fishing rod. When he comes back from a clothes sale, he has four pairs of the same trousers in various colours and a kettle, just in case. It’s comedy gold.
But the very best thing about sales?
Is that even Primark has one.