I went for an impromptu trip to Primark yesterday afternoon because I needed a power bank before my phone died – apparently theirs come with some charge in them already but I’m yet to prove that’s the case.
(When it's so bright you're wearing sunglasses indoors aka never)
I got wholly distracted because Primark is full of
a) pretty things and
b) absolute bargains!
I’m lucky because in Manchester we have a truly epic Primark! Without even glancing at homeware, menswear or the underwear/nightwear sections I managed to lose a solid hour trawling the rails.
That’s actually my first Primark hack – time. But more on that later.
I came away with a bag bulging with bargains.
For a mere £57.50 I walked away with:
2 pairs of boots
A Disney sweatshirt
A super snuggly scarf/snood
A pair of real leather gloves
6 pairs of socks – and not the basic black kind!
2 pairs of sunglasses
3 belts, including a Gucci dupe (yes you read that right!)
A faux fur headband
Yeah, I can’t quite believe it either.
But almost every time I get a compliment on an item of clothing it’s always something cheap and 9/10 times it’s from Primark.
Tip #1 - Markdowns
Fashion trends move on so quickly these days that I’m a big advocate for budget high street stores when it comes to picking up those key trend-led pieces. Retail is SO competitive now that at the end of each season there are huge sales held in a bid to be the one store that pulls in those of us who are not only fashion conscious, but financially conscious too.
This is when I do 99% of my shopping.
If you head into Primark and see a few things you fancy but it’s still a week til payday then take a photo and leave without purchasing. Though you do have to be quick to get some of the best bits in Primark – I missed out on that gorgeous corduroy, shearling lined bomber jacket that everyone is rocking right now – most often I find my favourite pieces are in markdowns a week or so later.
Could be a sign of my bad taste, but if you’re reading this then I assume you like my sense of style so you’re going to want to do the same!
(Awesome boots for £6? Check! Glittery pink socks for £2.50? Check!
Motivational book to snuggle up with on a lazy Saturday? Check!)
Tip #2 – You do you
Trends may come and go, but items that suit you will always be in style so my first tip is to be true to your own personal aesthetic. This is why I find a lot of stuff I like is marked down in Primark – my style sits a little outside of the norm – but these are usually the pieces people compliment the most. My guess is it’s the items with no hanger appeal or the ones that people simply don’t know what to pair them with so be brave and take a chance on the sale sections. Your dream wide leg trouser or over-sized shirt could be waiting in amongst that chaos.
And trust your instincts!
Tip #3 - Time
Generally I’ve found that stores refresh their stock no less than once every 6 weeks, with new lines landing at least once per week, so ALWAYS revisit when you have chance. They do adhoc reductions to make way for new lines.
This is possibly the most important tip so far because shopping in Primark takes time and patience. They are big stores, even the ones in small towns, and you can cover some serious miles browsing in one.
I find mid-week afternoons are best as they’ve had time to get that days’ delivery out but you’ve not got the war zone that is Primark on a Saturday. Lunch breaks are NOT long enough for a browse not matter how much you wish they were. Head to H&M on your lunch instead.
(Super cute outfit flat lay - grand total = £11.50. Just add those gold ankle boots and skinny
jeans for an adorable Sunday brunch outfit. Oh and did you spot the Gucci dupe?! Heart eyes!)
Tip #4 – Don’t have a game plan
I never EVER purchase in Primark if I’m looking for something specific. It’s just the way of the world. Go with an open mind and a budget otherwise you’ll make your bank account cry.
I always have a general idea of the things I need in my wardrobe and if you find what you’re looking for then you’re winning (and please share your secret!!!). What I knew I needed when I walked through those doors yesterday was a plain black polo neck jumper (mine have both been over worn and over washed) and a pair of pleather trousers (because I’ve eaten too many Stroopwafels recently and am neglecting the gym).
As you can see, I didn’t get either of those BUT I did add two fabulous pairs of boots to my wardrobe and the best sweatshirt I’ve seen in there for a long time. So I feel like I’m winning too!
Tip #5 – Buy off-season
So you’re in Primark, you’ve spotted a load of markdowns and you’re trawling through the rails with an open mind and no specific end goal...
Congratulations, you are a fully-fledged bargain hunter!
The best way to get ultimate value for money is to buy off-season. Channel those super organised Mums who buy next year’s Christmas cards in the January sales. Well, maybe not that organised, but don’t overlook the sunglasses in the middle of November.
1 – There’s always sunny winter days where you can whip them out early.
2 – You’ll have a pair ready and waiting in the wings when our ‘summer’ inevitably happens for one short-but-sweet weekend in April before summer accessories have hit the shops.
(Gold boots = £6, Sunglasses = £1, Leather gloves = £7,
Mustard snood = £4, Socks, pack of two £2.50)
I could talk all afternoon about how to spot a bargain but I’ll call it quits at 5 tips for today. Want to keep you coming back for more, don’t I?!
What’s the best Primark bargain you’ve ever found? Comment below!