31/12/2012 12:23 GMT | Updated 02/03/2013 05:12 GMT

Get Sale Savvy

So Christmas is over for another year and the sales have started. If you got a bit of money for Christmas or have been saving up for the sales, we've got some top tips to make sure you don't waste it on something that will stay at the back of your wardrobe for the next year or so!

First of all, be prepared. Don't lose your normal rational shopping sense and go all Lady GaGa in the sales. Follow our top tips to keep you on the straight and narrow in the sales.

1) Know what you need

Make sure you review your wardrobe before you head out to the shops or sit down to shop online. Have a good clearout of your wardrobe. Put together outfits, look at the quality of your basics, what's missing? What could be replaced? If you've already got five pairs of black jeans, do you really need another?

Make a list of what you are after in the sales. This gives you clarity when the shopping mist comes over you.

2) Build outfits in your head

In the heat of the moment don't just impulse buy because it's a bargain, you've always wanted one or it's the last one in your size. Take some time to think of at least three items that you already own that can go with this new piece. Do you have shoes to go with it and make it a complete outfit? A skirt that costs £5.99 and seems a real bargain, becomes less of one if you need to buy a new top and shoes to go with it!

3) Winter Coats

One item of clothing that we always search for in the sales is a good winter coat or jacket. An item that is always an investment piece; you can get some really good bargains in the sales. Don't go for 'on-trend' styles; forget military or patterns. Go for block colours that you can wear over any outfit and the trench is always a trend that will never go out of fashion. Even though they can still be relatively expensive, if a coat has a good discount it is worth it. Make sure its a coat that will be an asset in your future winters to come.

4) Skirt Styles

We have a feeling there will be a lot of peplums in the sales racks around the high street this season. Made on mass, in all sorts of colours, materials and patterns - peplums will be the one skirt style still available. There is a reason for that; the trend has been and gone. If you are investing in a skirt style for the spring/summer and the rest of the winter - make sure its a sleek pencil skirt. In a colour block, leather, cotton or a print - it's one style that can suit all. Yet again remember to make sure you have tops, blouses and knitwear that can go with your pencil skirt sale bargain!

5) Good Knitwear

Now is the time to really grab a good bargain in the knitwear department. Cashmere and merino wool sweaters, cardigans and wraps can be very expensive. You get what you pay for in the quality stakes, so now is the time to invest in some great pieces at a fraction of the cost. Make sure you go for classic styles and colours; that you can wear from season to season. Good knitwear never goes out of fashion.