The Smartest Time to Shop for Everything

The best and worst months to buy clothing.

We can't predict exactly when that item you're eyeing will go on sale, but we have a pretty good guess. Check out our month-by-month guide to when to shop for what, and mark your calendars to score the best deals on jeans, sunglasses, lingerie, and more.

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January—February

We're ready for you, perfect suede coat. 

Winter Coats: When temperatures drop, it's best to rely on the coat that's already in your closet until after New Year's Day. Since most people tend to buy winter coats ahead of December, prices dip in January and February, when it's still cold enough to merit one.

Suits: January is usually the slowest month for suit sales, so menswear stores will lower prices to lure shoppers in.

Suede Wayfind Jacket, $350, madewell.com.

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March

Hey, cute little carry-on. 

Luggage: Upgrade your travel style in March, when brands are trying to get rid of old inventory in order to make room for new models and styles. Sounds like an excuse to book an early spring vacation if we ever heard one!

What are you doing in March? Rolling Check-In Bag, $725, filson.com.

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April

Today's splurge could be next spring's sale score. 

Raincoats: April showers bring May flowers, which means that retailers have a limited time to get raincoats off their racks before the sun comes out in late spring. So, raincoats are discounted when you need them the most—all the more reason to treat yourself to a new one!

Thrift Store Shopping: Take advantage of the fact that everyone is cleaning out their closets to make room for spring clothes, and hit up your local Buffalo Exchange or Goodwill.

Sneakers: As the weather gets warmer, runners hit the pavement again, and sporting goods stores start to roll out the sneaker promotions.

Cotton Trench Coat by A.P.C., $660, mytheresa.com.

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May

There's no #fitspo like cute workout gear.

Activewear: Just before summer officially begins, gyms start to tout their "get in shape for the beach" campaigns (OK), and active brands follow suit with discounts on workout gear (now we're listening).

Stretch-Jersey Sports Bra by P.E. Nation, $100, net-a-porter.com

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June

Mark your calendars: summer is the time to refresh your underwear drawer. 

Lingerie: The best month to buy lingerie isn't February, right after Valentine's Day, it's June. This is when Victoria's Secret rolls out its Semi-Annual Sale. AE by American Eagle, Macy's, and Figleaves are just a few of the other retailers who also traditionally unveil promotions around this time.

Soft Bra by Clo Kali, $55, brooklynfoxlingerie.com.

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July

Even more appealing at a discount.

Sandals: Late July is when discounts on summer styles really start to amp up. Now's the time to think ahead and buy sandals for next year—you still have a good month or so to break them in.

Pax Shoe, $112 (from $280), oaknyc.com

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August

Swimwear shopping: dive in. 

Swimsuits: As stores make room for fall styles, poolside attire has to go—which means you can get that swimsuit you've been eyeing at a discount, with enough opportunities to wear it before Labor Day.

The Alexandra, $158, solidandstriped.com

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September

Only nine more months 'til these can be ours...

Sunglasses: While most people don't think of scouting for shades in the fall, sunglasses are heavily discounted once summer is over. Not to mention, the very real threat of snow glare is right around the corner—ultraviolet rays bouncing off of white powder can be even more dangerous than summer sunshine! So be sure to shield your eyes with a trendy new pair.

Ally by Kate Young for Tura, $295, needsupply.com

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October

We'll be back for you. 

Jeans: Denim sales skyrocket in September, during the back to school shopping rush. But in October, when students have been back in school for a month, prices on jeans plummet.

Relax Crop Destroy Jeans by Re/Done, $280, otteny.com.

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November

Just stay there until November, OK?

Boots: You won't find snow boots on sale in November, but this is when flimsier fall styles go through their first major round of markdowns. Wait it out until Black Friday or Cyber Monday and you could score a pair of designer ankle boots for a fraction of their retail price.

Pajamas: Lots of people give pajama sets as holiday gifts, which is why stores start offering special deals on them around Thanksgiving.

Hologram Stars Boot by Valentino, $1,095, barneys.com

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