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It's sale time, and, who among us doesn't love a sale? But I'm suggesting some due diligence before we head out in search of bargains.

There is a fashion adage that says we could get rid of 80 percent of what's in our closet. Horrifying, right? But when you stop and think about it, you'll probably nod your head in agreement. We tend to wear the same few pieces over and over - hopefully, in different combinations.

So especially at sale time, when low prices are so darn tempting, let's make sure we don't add to the closet clutter.

1. Think hard; take inventory. What piece(s) was missing from this season's wardrobe? Were you always wishing you had a pretty blouse to dress up those white jeans? Maybe, you're missing that go-to dress that fits the bill whether it's a cocktail party or a funeral. Make it a personal mission to find that missing piece at a price.

2. Buy outfits. Don't assume you'll find something to match that sale Technicolor skirt. (I could tell you stories.)

3. Check peripheral sizes. The No. 1 reason something hits the sale rack? It fits differently than it's sized! Believe me, a small can fit like a large and vice versa. Eyeball the piece - does it look like it has a chance of fitting? Haul it into the dressing room. You may be in for a big (and cheap) surprise.

4. Look for nonseasonal fabrics. Technological advances in fabric manufacturing result in many garments that can be worn year round. This should always be a factor when you are considering the price of a garment. Is it still expensive at sale time? Amortize the wearings!

5. Something doesn't fit perfectly? At these prices you can afford a nip and a tuck. (Your seamstress is your best friend.)

6. Is it worthy? In this world of fast fashion, bargains are everywhere. Or, are they? Lots of stores buy cheap to sell cheap. Seasonal sales at your neighborhood boutiques feature their regular merchandise at a fraction of the original retail. Yes, it's on sale, but quality still counts.

7. Get sales help. Sale racks tend not to be the most attractive, and they get messed up faster than sales associates can straighten them. Also some things just don't have what we call "hanger appeal." But once you get them on: Whoa baby! It's the job of sales associates to know these things.

8. Never buy anything you don't love. The most important tip of all.

(Might have to get rid of 80-percent of what's in your closet?)

Happy, thoughtful sale shopping.

Have a fashion question? Email Faye at faye@fayescustserv.com. Faye's has locations in Mequon and Brookfield. For more information, visit www.fayes123.com.

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