How to survive the SALES with a little help from John Lewis

While we all love a bargain, it's much harder to love the experience of heading into town on Boxing Day to fight the crowds and stand in the queues to pick it out. If the idea of shopping in the sales brings makes you feel hotter under the collar than a microwave mince pie - then take heart, we're here to help. Or rather, the professional souls at John Lewis are.

This festive season, personal shoppers at the well-loved department store will be helping guide panicking women through the time of year when most bargains are to be had – but when so many of us always seem to emerge with little more than ill-advised paisley print dress or a boob tube with the sequins falling off (or is that just me?)

To help show me how to make the most of the sales, rather than wasting my money on impulse buys or stay at home and miss all the bargains for fear of ill-mannered crowds - is the knowlegable and more than delightful personal shopper; Letara. She has a tried and tested formula for making the most of the sales, and today she's patiently talking me through the process.

‘Tell me the gaps in your wardrobe, or what you could do with stocking up on and we’ll take it from there’ Letara says, sensibly.

I have to confess I own hardly any smart daywear – what you could wear to a smart meeting or job interview for example, and there's also the fact that all my jeans are very scruffy and need replacing.

‘It’s best to use the sales as an opportunity to get things that are expensive the rest of the year and also opt for items that are classic rather than on-trend.’

A black leather jacket is an investment you’ll never regret, like this one from Reiss – and the leather is beautifully soft and supple.

It's the perfect opportunity to re-vamp your basics – like skinny jeans and Breton-style tops or plain colour knitwear, since they are not the sort of pieces that will date or go out of fashion.

Surely everyone knows the terrible sinking feeling that can descend, post-sales, when you've impulsively blown your budget on something you'll probably never wear, but which seduced you due to a heavily discounted price. Letara's advice, should you be tempted to splash out on something unwisely in the sales is to; 'remember - however much you'll save by buying it - you'll save even more by not buying it!' (Especially if it is something gross). Phew! A good point well made.

So that's it! Simply plan what you really need beforehand and stick to it, even in the face of impulses. Oh and one last item; shoes. These Pied a terre riding boots are the sort of staple you’ll end up reaching for every weekend. And these sparkly stilettos by Carvela – well, because you can never have too many sparkly high heels can you?

John Lewis sale starts on Christmas Eve online or December 27th in store and discounts will vary up to 70% off prices seen on here.

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