The sales always stress me out.

Every January and July (or should that be June and December now – they’re getting earlier every year) I make a personal promise to myself that I will not, under any circumstance, go shopping anywhere that’s sporting big red signs in the window.

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It’s not that I’m adverse to a bargain (quite the reverse in fact) it’s just that I cannot abide the idea of shopping in cramped little aisles with another 20 shoppers – many with attitudes akin to a hungry polar bear – just to buy a top with £15 off.

Life, I always reason to myself, is just too short to subject yourself to such a stressful experience.

It’s a silly mantra though, and I know that. As friends and family parade their “I can’t believe you found that half price” bargains in front of me, I realise that I’ve made a mistake.

The sales, with their giant red signs, enticing percentage off stickers and tantalising red pen marks, are the place where sartorial dreams come true.

So in the spirit of joining in with the rest of the crowd I decided, for one day only, to brave the sales this year. Well, sort of. I went to three shops, but it’s a start.

Was I surprised with what I found? Not particularly. The same rude (sorry folks, but it’s true) customers were still there shouting at the red-faced shop assistants.

Just an FYI, but if you are the person audibly huffing and saying “this is ridiculous” under your breath (but loud enough for the entire shop to hear) just because there’s a queue at the till (God forbid) then you fall into the category above.

Sales are busy, if you don’t like that then here’s a tip: don’t go to them.

The same squashed rails of clothes, cramped layout and messy changing rooms were there too, but then the sales are the sales – you have to expect all that.

This time, to avoid submerging myself wholly into the chaos, I went with a plan. It was this: I would only buy what I was looking for. Cardigans and sensible shoes, if you must ask.

The plan worked (well, if you don’t count that embellished top I picked up last week). I bought a chic grey cardigan and a pair of winter boots, both from Hobbs and both with hefty discounts.

Thrilled? Absolutely. Convert to the sales? Well, we’ll see.