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With all this snow today I am trying nothing more than to think warm thoughts. What better way to warm up and be excited than to start planning Spring/Summer shopping?! Hey, it’s never too early to prepare how you’re going to update your summer wardrobe and be ready for it when that sun starts to shine! Below are a few tips on month-to-month store merchandising to help you get ahead of the shopping curve this coming season.

JANUARY: Fading out the Winter Merchandise

Upside: If you are a bargain hunter this is your favorite month, aside from August, to shop. That adorable pea-coat and glitzy holiday dress you couldn’t afford at the beginning of the season are now deeply discounted, and you can now justify why you have-to-have it. With stores trying to push out their winter merch you will see many steals, but be choosy- you don’t want to spend all your money on past-season clothing.

Downside: Stores will seem pretty empty without seeing much replenishment this month. Few new items will trickle in to keep you shopping, but hold off on looking for fresh inspiration just yet.

Shop Smart: Don’t buy frivolous items simply because they are on sale. Think of what you own and what would add depth to your wardrobe to either a.) be a timeless addition that won’t seem “out of style” next year or b.) act as a transitional piece for spring.

FEBRUARY: Spring Sneak Preview

Overview: February issues of fashion magazines are the 2nd most important of the year; September being the 1st. New Spring inspiration and trends will be hitting the stores in correspondence to this. Lighter fabrics, cardis and more in-between-merchandise will be showcased to help you bridge your wardrobe, along with swimwear, shorts and tanks you don’t feel quite ready to buy. Opt for layering pieces and airy, light scarves to replace heavy sweaters and wool accessories. Add color (especially this spring!) to stimulate your mood and enliven your dark, drab winter look.

MARCH/APRIL: Heating Up

Upside: Spring is in full-bloom in the retail world. Stores have set all their newest collections of the season and are fully stocked in color and size. You will find the best assortment of offerings so prepare to see the stores also filled with shoppers. Therefor, if you pass up on something you like, you could be at risk to see it sell out.

Downside: New Arrivals come with Full-Price Tickets. Don’t expect to hit the stores receiving deals and steals on product of the new season.

Shop Smart: Assess your Spring/Summer wardrobe. Decide what doesn’t fit, what got overwashed/overworn, and what is way out of style by now. DONATE THEM! Or better yet, host a clothing swap with your friends. (Wine, cheese and hand-me-downs, Yes please!) Pick out staple pieces you could expand on for multiple looks. Remember these staple pieces when you are out shopping so you look for specific colors/styles that will match. This will help you feel more prepared when you walk into a store filled with new looks, colors and styles that seem overwhelming. If you go in knowing what you need, you can find just that, and can fuse this with the current trends. Before you walk away, buy yourself at least one thing that catches your eye that you didn’t already have on your I-need list. We all need a new favorite thing to wear each season!

May/June: Feeling the heat

Overview: By now spring clothing has made an impact and more and the remainder of summery items are coming out. Many colleges students are out of school, and retailers are struggling to find the balance between busy rainy days and not-so-much sunny beach days. You probably don’t need anymore summer clothes, but you’re still in the shopping mindframe.

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