Shopping tips from the pros

Go well-fed for energy, and wear clothes you can whip on and off quickly as you try on items.

Wear things in your wardrobe you need to match.

Always try it on. Sizes have varied over the decades, and items can stretch or shrink.

Be flexible. Don’t go with an itemized list. Look instead at general areas (sweaters, hats) and see what you find.

Run your hand over the tops of sweater racks to find hidden cashmere or silk.

Know retail prices: A $7 designer shirt is a bargain, a $7 Old Navy shirt is not.

Check for working zippers, buttons and pockets; inspect seams and cuffs.

Learn to sew buttons, turn up hems and do minor repairs. If you have to take your find to the tailor, it’s not really a bargain.

Avoid bedbugs: Always launder clothes immediately in hot water or dry clean, and vacuum furniture thoroughly.

Consignment stores are often run by one person; they sometimes don’t open on schedule.

Bring gloves and strong arms to Goodwill (by-the-pound) Outlet, and leave wrist jewelry at home to avoid losing it in the bins.