Smarter Shopping

05 Sep 2013
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Ever bought an item you loved in the shop but hated at home? It’s time to get what you really want, says Penny Fray



These days, it’s no figure of speech to say that you shop until you drop. The act of getting dressed to impress snooty sales girls, finding a parking space without succumbing to road rage and even just rummaging for pieces you can afford, is enough to cause anyone to keel over.
But since when did spending become such a chore? My advice? Get strategic.
Tactic one – arm yourself with knowledge before you hit the shops. Read through Y’s lifestyle pages, research the Internet and contact the stores in question – that way you’ll know what’s new, what’s in stock and what price you should be paying.
September marks the new season so beware of buying one-hit wonders. And as any shopaholic knows, there are a handful of high-street items that become so over exposed at this time of year that it’s best to stay clear of them. Avoid picking up the soon-to- be-everywhere buy by understanding that these pieces are almost always positioned at the front, right-hand side of the store. Plus, if an item has already been featured in an advertising campaign, it’s inevitably going to be a hit. You’ve been warned.
One of the best tips I ever got from a personal shopper is to do the scrunch test to find out about a garment’s quality. If a gentle squeeze causes the item to crease then it’s bound to look scruffy after a few hours of wear. Also, be savvy to tricks of the trade like flattering lighting and slimming mirrors that lure you into buying what probably doesn’t suit you. When possible, leave the changing room in search of natural light on the shop floor.
Get more out of your favourite stores by signing up to loyalty cards, becoming a Facebook fan, FourSquaring the location and tweeting your feedback. Your influence matters and retailers will often reward your social media activities with discounts, offers and exclusive invitations. Oh, and don’t forget the old adage that it’s not what you know, but who you know. Be friendly with sales assistants and you’ll reap the rewards in terms of discounts and new discoveries. I once got an extra 25 per cent off a designer dress that was already on sale because the cashier unexpectedly offered his staff discount to me. All it took was a smile.
Finally, timing is everything. Plan your visit so it coincides with new deliveries, sales and events. If you want to avoid the crowds, try going early on the weekend.

shopping-Luna-Mini
Y LOVES…Face Changers
We never thought cleansers would cause such a stir – but both men and women are describing the new Luna Mini as revolutionary. So what’s all the fuss about? Well, not only does this clever little device look funky but also it’s technologically designed to exfoliate, clean and stimulate cell renewal, leaving skin looking vibrant and refreshed. It may be a little on the expensive side at RO65 but can you really put a price tag on better skin? Go to foreo.com for details.

Y SHOPS

gallery-muzzar They may look fab on Omani men, but there is a lot more to the muzzar than meets the eye,
finds JOE GILL

Muzzars, the traditional finely woven turban worn by Omani men, are not simply decorative – they say a lot about who you are
and where you’re from.
In the same way that the khanjar or walking stick carries social symbolism, a muzzar worn in a certain way tells you something important about the man. All white and tightly bound, for example, tells you that the wearer is a man of religion. The white and red pattern typical of Sohar – where the muzzar is worn long – is similar to the style of keffiyeh worn north of the border. In Salalah, however, muzzars are sometimes worn over the shoulder rather than on the head. The whole thing is a minefield – and that’s before you start delving into the current trends.
The Al Sahil Al Fidh store in SABCO Centre sells a large variety of muzzars, including the distinctive dark purple traditionally associated with members of the royal family, as well as other popular designs.
According to the shop manager, all of them are woven by hand in Kashmir and they are only sold in Oman, where the unique turban is worn. However, Chinese manufacturers are now getting in on the act, producing the muzzar by machine and threatening the traditional hand-woven variety from Kashmir.
In recent years it’s become fashionable, from the royal court downwards, to colour match the muzzar with the dishdasha, hizam (khanjar belt), sandals or walking stick.
They may be traditional, but even the muzzar moves with the times.
SPONSORED BY SABCO COMMERCIAL CENTRE


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