Tips for successful July sale shopping

successful July sale shopping

Happy Thursday, friends!  As I say often, July is one of the best times to shop….so let’s discuss tips for successful July sale shopping.

Today’s post is a little bit of what I have learned the past 13 years, and a little bit from Betty Halbreich, personal stylist for over 50 years for Bergdorf Goodman.

I want you to be fully prepared for successful July sale shopping….successful?  How would I define successful July sale shopping?

That would be keeping all you purchased because the pieces are perfect additions to your wardrobe.  Therefore, there are no returns.

I want your cost per wear to be low, and your smiles big whenever you stand before the mirror in a newly found treasure that you love.

So, let’s get this party started and focus solely on successful July sale shopping.


successful July sale shopping

In her book, Secrets of a Fashion Therapist, Betty begins a sale shopping discussion this way:

“The problem arises when you get caught up in the pursuit of the almighty bargain that you forget to take into account little things like your size, the colors you like (and don’t), what you already own and what style suit you.”

She calls it…..SALE BRAIN.

successful July sale shopping

And the enticements are difficult to resist.

I went shopping on July 4, and there were 50%, 60%, 75% sales everywhere.

Emails practically jump off the page as a loud carnival barker motioning “right this way, ladies”, you do not want to miss this. 

Betty offers these tips for successful July sale shopping:

  1. Do not use end-of-season sales to stock up on basic, untrendy items. 
  2. Use the sale as a way to pick up a trend without spending a fortune.
  3. An item that is stained or damaged beyond compare is not a bargain.
  4. “Be careful about shopping the sale rack for your wardrobe’s core investment pieces.  These are things you will wear a lot, and you don’t want to feel like you settled for the wrong color or slightly different style than what you really want.”
  5. Don’t buy anything unless you truly love it….this holds true whether there is a sale or not.

I introduced everyone to Betty in Monday’s post, LIFESTYLE INSPIRATION:  BETTY HALBREICH AT 95.


successful July sale shopping

I love shopping July sales and I believe I have a good track record of finding pieces that are great wardrobe additions.

I do have a little advantage in that I can usually add a birthday coupon to the sale prices…and that always helps to lower the cost per wear.

However, here is what I always keep in mind:

  1. I need a plan…just heading out without a plan can easily lead to unsuccessful sale shopping and returns.
  2. In order to develop the plan, I must walk into my closet and take a little inventory of what is there already,  If you cannot easily see what is in your wardrobe, then start with cleaning ….clean the closet before you go anywhere.
  3. Once you have reminded yourself of what you already own, then answer this question, “Do I have any wardrobe needs that sale shopping might fill?”  For me, I am looking for clothing with better fit (now that I am losing weight), and for statement pieces with better fit.  Some of my kimonos, tunics and ponchos just swallow me.  I also desire to pick up a couple of causal fun looks for my cruise to Alaska.
  4. I do consider cost per wear.  I am not going to purchase anything at this point in my life unless I can use it for multiple purposes. Life is precious and there is no more time to allow pieces to wear once or twice and sit there.
  5. Trust me, sale shopping is much, much easier if you know what you want to say with your clothing.  Do you have style adjectives?  I always ask in the dressing room, does this say I am polished, creative, approachable, joyful and current.   If it does not speak those five adjectives then that garment is staying on the rack. For me, the adjective “polished” says the clothing fits well.  So many things I currently own are now too big….and not polished.  It also says the outfit works well together.
  6. My adjective “current” is where I dress to be youthful (not young) and hopefully keeps me from looking frumpy.

One way to look current, is to be aware of the trend colors for the next season.

Let’s take a peek at what will be on trend…..

successful July sale shopping

The trend colors for Fall and Winter should be in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in July, so it is good to know which ones are your best colors.

On this page you are looking at the Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report for Fall 2023 and Winter 2024.  

successful July sale shopping

See the color HOT FUDGE…that is the same as Eileen Fisher’s Espresso….a very dark brown, but not black.

The color above called ECLIPSE is also a deep, deep blue and not black. 

Which means in the trend neutrals here, you don’t see black.  (Though I am certain that, as always, black will be around and appropriate for women to wear.  It is a classic for some of you.)

All of these are colors that you will mostly see brands featuring in fashion and in home decor.

successful July sale shopping

Again, if you want to be current this fall, then look for these colors to wear that are in your best color palette.

Here are a few of my initial picks in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  I will be going to the store on July 13 and can report back what I laid eyes on at that time.

Until then, there are some items here you may want to flag…..(Note:  I often pickup a few Christmas presents during this sale.  So I shop it for more than me!)

I hope these tips for successful July sale shopping have helped you and perhaps have you thinking.

Please ask any questions or make any comments you like….I like to have this discussion before we dive heavy into the seasonal clearance sales.  

Oh yes…and Talbots Red Door Sale is on as of today!!

Tomorrow, I will take you shopping with me…and you can see what I chose to try on when I got to the sale racks.

Now, make sure that you……………………….


By Pamela Lutrell

I appreciate your support of this blog by shopping with my SHOPPING LINKS, and if you don’t see the retailer you need for anything, just send me an email and I will see if I have a link or if there is a sale you are looking for!

Email is

Recent requests have been for SHEEC NO-SHOW FOOTWEAR and Bombas…and Tuckernuck …just click the name and you will be there.

I am here to assist you with any gift ideas as well, and hope you will consider shopping gifts with these links!  AND your home purchases!

I know many like to make Home Depot purchases online and then drive to the store to pick them up.  You can still use my HOME DEPOT link to do that.

A special thank you to everyone who does this to offer your support of the blog!!  It makes a difference and keeps me here.


successful July sale shopping


  1. Great tips! Luckily for me I was at cook/outs this weekend and never got near any retail stores other than food stores to buy ingredients for these cookouts. I might have been one of these people with Sale Brain. Lol. I could envision that!
    Good advice here, certainly!

  2. I hope to help us become smart shoppers…but still shopping for what we need in our wardrobes. Thanks Paulette. We all have suffered sale brain at some point in our lives.

  3. Looks like it’s still black, blue and white for the winter colours. The rose violet might work but it is my 94 year old mother’s colour and I prefer not to be asked if we are sisters. LOL. A question for you is whether buying the sales is cheaper than getting your clothes altered to your new size, especially the ponchos and kimonos? I realize it is always nice to have some new things but you have such beautiful ones. Are you changing what you wear as a topper as you loose weight?

  4. A great question and actually one I have researched here locally. The seamstress I trust the most is really comparable to the sales. She just recently did an Eileen Fisher jacket for me. It just depends on the garment. She seems to make sense for me on the higher end pieces, but many things are cheaper in July and can be purchased new. Yes, I am changing some of what I wear as a topper as I lose weight. I am wearing more fitted pieces and can now go more often without a third piece. I have sold and continue to sell a lot of clothing on ebay in the shop of a friend. That way I get a little money for the clothing I no longer desire to wear. Since I know the seamstress prices and I trust her then I can compare when out and about. Thanks for asking Linda.

  5. Thanks for the good reminders when shopping. I am drawn to a few items in your carousel today: the pointy loafers (sadly not offered in wide), that eye-poppingly beautiful long green coat (oh, my!), and the perfect color “balsam” of the little sweater vest. I will be on the lookout for more items offered in this gorgeous blue-green shade, which is a big favorite with me. Going to tackle a closet clean-out session this weekend. Last week I purged four bags and one box of items from my linen and towel closet and cubbies.

  6. I believe that too many shoppers look at the price tag and buy some items just because it’s so drastically reduced. Those of us who fall into the main group of shoppers i.e. average build and size have a more difficult time shopping sales than those on either end of the size charts. Especially women who are very small can usually make a killing at sales because there are so few shoppers that have shopped those sizes thus leaving more abundance for the sale rack, and there are fewer shoppers shopping those sizes in the sales racks. Bonus for them!
    I have never been a good sales shopper–I think I lack the patience. And then stores, eager to rid themselves of the inventory cram racks full. Other shoppers don’t help by pulling items out and then replacing them helter-skelter after they change their mind while perusing another rack. The result is merchandise that is messy looking on the hanger and therefore unappealing. I envy women who have the patience and eye to overlook all that.

  7. Good for you, Connie! I am trying to do the same think. Finally cleaned my office this week!

  8. I understand what you are saying with some of the retailers. I am avoiding many of those right now. But, I like the challenge of going out to see what I can find. It does patience, but sometimes can be lots of fun. Just have a plan and a focus and stick to it. Thanks Carol.

  9. Great tips from you and Betty. Since autumn is my season , I am usually done with summer and looking forward to September, which is my birthday (discount) month. Thank you for posting the Pantene colors. They are a good reminder. Looking forward to seeing what you may post for NAS.

  10. I can not believe that Sam Edelman Stand Collar Coat……I have two “coats” that look almost exactly like that one, a red and a black. I purchased them about 15 years ago at Parisian! Mine are wool with dull brass buttons. Guess I’ll have to bring them back out and wear them! Living in Michigan I always found wearing these jackets as blazers to be toasty during the winter. Happy you showed this since I can now bring them back out; I’m “shopping my closet.”

  11. Thanks for the great tips. In the past I’ve neglected to check my closet and make a plan. Luckily the duplicate items tended to be the classic, non-trendy items I wear every day and having a spare is not a bad option which is why I question Betty’s first tip which is “Do not use end-of-season sales to stock up on basic, untrendy items.” I’m rarely tempted by trendy items. I’ve learned that they usually just hang in the closet until they wind up in the donation box. I shopped a couple sales over the weekend. The first yielded denim shorts, a denim skort (love), a tee in my favorite burnt sienna and an olive linen shirt–all can be worn well into fall. Using two coupons with the sale price brought the items down to nearly half price. I spent a half hour in the 2nd store and the 40% off everything couldn’t tempt me as there was nothing that checked both my style and color boxes. And thank you for the color preview. Burn sienna is probably my favorite color and its around quite a bit now. Kohlrabi is gorgeous & I’ll be on the lookout for that as well as Red Dahlia.

  12. I look forward to going out there…I have an appointment and plan to use it for us all. Thanks Deborah.

  13. You are welcome, Kathie. I must confess that I have used July sales to purchase basics in the past…especially when I discovered I am really an autumn palette and not a winter. I replaced my whites for cream and my blacks for navy. I also use these sales to pick up some things for Mr. B…like good quality tee shirts.

  14. I think the situation you describe used to be true but no longer feel that way. I am 5′ 2.5″ and slender, and I can say as a fact that Nordstrom does not carry petites in its stores. I also cannot make a killing at stores like Talbots, which carries lots of Petites, because other small women shop there. You may see size 4s and size 2s left on the racks, but as a 4P, I find the 4s generally too large. The grass may appear to be greener, but it isn’t always the case.

  15. Thanks for all the color info as well as tips. I just LOVE all the shades of red. Reds are tricky for me, but I am actually looking forward to purchasing a few things. That deep blue (almost black) is gorgeous too. I hate closet cleaning but respect your advice and the process. It’s an end-of-season chore for me.

  16. thanks for the good shopping tips today, really like your black and white outfit you have on and was hoping you could give some information on it, thanks

  17. Huh. I’ve had my best luck in sales buying basic items, including my one Eileen Fisher wool sweater that I’ve worn to death. At the moment, I don’t like the trends (super oversized, flowery, prairie, ruffles, huge sleeves), so I’m not tempted by her strategy. I’m at my lowest weight in about 4 years, so many things in my closet I couldn’t wear now fit. But they are whatever was in style four years ago. This isn’t as bad as it sounds, because I never liked or bought the trends then, such as cut out shoulders. It’s more the line of the clothing than the fabric or colors that feel a bit dated. I don’t want to shop yet, because I’m clearly between sizes, but all my jeans that currently fit are tapered and close-fitting. That will be first on my list. When I do buy, I feel it’s a great chance to get a more curated wardrobe. I’ve been tweaking my style adjectives in anticipation, and I’ve added polished to mine too, mostly so I don’t veer too sporty. I applaud your decision to sell your clothes. When mine are too big, I’m getting rid of them too. I’ve vowed not to go back!

  18. Hi Janet, it is actually navy blue and is from my closet. Nothing I can link to…so sorry.

  19. Congratulations on losing weight! I have only lost 4 pounds. And none of it is in my waist! Those colors are not in my palette as a cool summer. So I will continue to shop in my closet. My new sale area rug arrived yesterday from Wayfair and we both love it! Just in time for our 30 year anniversary Saturday!

  20. Hi Sydney, Happy Anniversary! Wow…you got the rug order quickly and I am so glad you like it. Thank you so much for shopping with my links.

  21. I just got back from a quick run to the mall and mostly what I saw on the Eileen Fisher rack were pieces I would call basics. As I said earlier, I have definitely shopped basics in sales. I wanted to make sure I mentioned all of Betty’s recommendations, but I clearly have charted my own path too.

  22. The upcoming colors are short on shades of blue.

    I have a long list of things I’ve purchased that didn’t work and went to Goodwill before their time and I try to run down that list before making purchases.
    I don’t have a great memory, but my recall for dud purchases is amazingly good. I believe the saying is that ‘history doesn’t repeat itself, but sometimes it rhymes.’

  23. In all honesty; I have never been too concerned about color trends unless they are a neutral as otherwise prefer to choose what suits me. Also, I feel being a hobby sewer has also assisted in my choices in garments as to what I consider ‘a sale’ and that what isn’t. Now with that being said; I therefore have more tendency to source red stickers in accessories when I am shopping sales. For example based on a reduction in price and need; rather than conventional flats recently purchased a pair of unique multi-colored embroidered espadrilles that will work with my current wardrobe plus also a neutral colored – leather – quilted handbag that is best described as trending but IMHO has appreciated versatility in design, offering a three-in-one styling. (Has a plain cross-body and a quilted puff braided shoulder strap with both being removable and can also be used as clutch bag.) -Brenda-

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