Avoid The Trauma Of Sale Shopping By Doing It Online

Yesterday I went to Westfield for the sales for the first time ever with a mission to be frivolous. It was not frivolous. It was carnage. I queued for half an hour for Pinkberry, and then had a panic attack and sat on the floor.
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Olivia Singer
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Yesterday I went to Westfield for the sales for the first time ever with a mission to be frivolous. It was not frivolous. It was carnage. I queued for half an hour for Pinkberry, and then had a panic attack and sat on the floor.

I don't know what has happened to me - instead of spending Christmas time between vomiting up as a result of a spectacular combination of booze, withdrawals and bulimia, I am volunteering again at Crisis, pretty much the best festive decision I've ever made. This means that I'm hanging out in Stratford, somewhere I avoided all the way through the Olympic regeneration and the new shopping centre being built - despite the fact it is about ten minutes from my house.

So, in an effort to recognise myself through a haze of holier-than-thou charity work, yesterday I went to Westfield for the sales for the first time ever, before I went to work, with a mission to be frivolous. It was not frivolous. It was carnage. I queued for half an hour for Pinkberry, and then had a panic attack and sat on the floor.

It turns out that without an ample supply of benzos, I am not made for the sales and everything looks disgusting and cheap and it's all in piles on the floor and nothing is in my size.

This does not happen online. I am in bed right now, having a cigarette and devoting my day to finding you (me) my favourite bargains that you do not even need to leave your house for.

Lorna set, £135, Agent Provocateur.

Lorna set, £135, Agent Provocateur.

My number one favourite sale is, every year, Agent Provocateur. I know that their sizing sucks - I cannot believe that I am a 32C by anyone's standards - and it is as expensive as hell, but as if anything is hotter than the Lorna set that I ordered this morning. Two pairs of undies, a bra and a suspender belt for £135? Fucking amazing. Also, they have latex stockings for really cheap. If you don't already have a pair, I feel you should. I'm not even sure why.

If you want a coat that you can put over the top of your undies, so that you can do that thing that girls always seem to do in movies (pornos) where they turn up with nothing on underneath, I recommend this one, available at Topshop.

Premium Longline Boyfriend Coat, £85, Topshop.

Premium Longline Boyfriend Coat, £85, Topshop.

Less than half price, are you kidding me? This one is amazing in real life, it's alpaca-y and fluffy and a perfect oversized fit. Also, it's less than half price. Topshop coat sales are my second favourite part of post-Christmas reductions.

Phoebe and I were discussing our favourite sales mere moments ago, and I was singing the praises of Liberty. If you aren't in London and able to make it to the real-life store, which is the only sale I feel is actually worth the drama, they have some key pieces online. One of my favourites is this Acne dress. 

Burgundy Lucille Raglan Dress, Acne, £180, Liberty.

Burgundy Lucille Raglan Dress, Acne, £180, Liberty.

I know that it's expensive but I feel like sales are a time when you can afford(ish) stuff that you ordinarily would never be able to buy and the perfect time to pick up investment staples. I'd rather buy one underwear set or one dress every season than fifty crappy Primark polyblends that are going to look like shit after I've worn them once, let alone washed them.

Next up is my favourite new jewellery designer du jour, Kyle Hopkins. I found Kyle at LFW SS13 showcases and have been watching him closely ever since I saw that some of his pieces feature women with diamonds for boobs and vaginas.

Venus Silver Stud Earrings, £56, Kyle Hopkins, ASOS.

Venus Silver Stud Earrings, £56, Kyle Hopkins, ASOS.

He's a rad feminist whose handmade jewellery reflects a love of women and design, is going into Liberty next season and is going to do wonderful things. Get earrings on the cheap whilst you can. 

Finally, it's all about neon accents for SS/13, and here's how to do it on the cheap(er) side of things. I am a big fan of Jonathan Saunders' lean and structural aesthetics and I adore angora, so this is my dream jumper for spring.

Abbey Angora Sweater with Short Sleeves, £154.50, Jonathan Saunders, ASOS.

Abbey Angora Sweater with Short Sleeves, £154.50, Jonathan Saunders, ASOS.

The best way I find to sale shop is to pick out good pieces that are either always going to be on-trend or are a season ahead - so saturated colours, sheer fabrics, print contrasts and luxe-y sportswear are my favourites for SS/13 and this jumper fits right in. Until I can afford seasonal Dolce & Gabanna (seriously, I'm dying over the past two collections), I am navigating how to work with what I have. And if that means online shopping post-season, every season, I'm down.

Have you found anything particularly magical in the sales? What are your favourite sales, online or in real life? Don't hide your light under a bushel or something, share!

Olivia is bargain hunting on Twitter @oliviasinger