By Cindy Weber-Cleary
Updated Jan 06, 2016 @ 8:00 pm
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So, the holidays are over and you may be concerned about your budget. Your impulse is to pull back—but this is the time to take advantage of all the clearance sales. I know, it’s counterintuitive, but if you can zero in on things that you will need in the future—whether it’s this season or the next or even the one after that!—you can score some amazing bargains.

The most important thing to consider is what you will need going forward. For example, since the weather in the Northeast has only recently gotten cold, now is the time to buy the best coat you can afford!

Invest in a Coat

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Shop the pieces: 1. Stella McCartney coat, $891 (originally $2,229); 2. Isabel Marant coat, $770 (originally $1,100); 3. Y-3 coat, $455 (originally $910); 4. Lanvin coat, $2,472 (originally $4,945);

Invest in Boots

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This is also a great time to shop for boots. Earlier in the fall, I started looking for a low-heeled ankle boot to wear with pants, but I wasn’t willing to spend. This morning, I came across a pair of Manolo Blahniks in my size at 70-percent off. The trick is to search by size in the sale offerings.

Shop the pieces: 1. Manolo Blahnik boots, $679 (originally $1,695); 2. J. Crew boots, $140 (originally $238); 3. Aquatalia boots, $368 (originally $525); 4. Aquazzura boots, $699 (originally $1,395);

Invest in Eveningwear

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Another opportunity at this time of year is eveningwear. Perhaps you don't have any black-tie affairs or dressy cocktail parties coming up, but if you ever have to dress for these kinds of occasions, this is a good time to shop. Gowns and cocktail dresses don’t seem to change that dramatically from year-to-year. Beautiful fabrics and classic cuts can last a very long time … but try shopping for a special occasion under duress and forget about it!

Shop the pieces: 1. Victoria Beckham dress, $1,078 (originally $2,157); 2. Needle and Thread skirt, $231 (originally $330); 3. No. 21 top, $482 (originally $803); 4. DAY Birger et Mikkelsen dress, $340 (originally $485);

For more of Cindy's age-wise style advice, visit Appré

Only you know how you spend your time and how you dress. The less you think about trends and the more you focus on your real-life needs, the better you can take advantage of current mark-downs. But always leave a little room for serendipity. If you come across something that you love at half-off and don’t know where you will wear it, I say, give yourself a pass and have faith that you will find the opportunity some day soon.

Shop the items pictured at top: Marc Jacobs dress, $1,102 (originally $1,838); Barneys New York ankle boots, $239 (originally $595); Michael Kors Collection coat, $1,049 (originally $3,495);