IT’S the most wonderful time of the year and, by default, Christmas is also the most stressful and expensive time of the year.
But it could be worse. For in a desperate attempt to loosen our grip on our wallets, shops have jumped the gun on the Boxing Day sales and rolled out the bargains, discounts and money-off deals way before Santa has even had a chance to wonder where he left the reindeer, the red jacket and well-thumbed map of the world.
With some shops offering as much as 50 per cent off, there are certainly bargains to be had.
To save your shoe leather and stress levels, we’ve rounded up the pick of the current high street bargains of all prices.
GIFTS FOR HER CLOTHES
Cashmere squeals “luxury” but no need to spend over the odds. While a simple roll-neck sweater at Edinburgh-based cashmere queen Belinda Robertson’s New Town shop will set you back upwards of £300, her Cashmere Barn at Fenton Barns Retail Village in East Lothian offers fluffy goodies reduced by up to 75 per cent. Prices start from just a tenner and a beret, normally £48, sells for £25.
Kakao by K in Thistle Street is holding a Secret Santa sale on Sunday, with 20 per cent off Christmas party dresses.
Meloosha in Alva Street has a Christmas clearance with certain stock reduced by 50 per cent. Arkangel and Felon in William Street has also launched its pre-Christmas sale, with discounts across its range of designer brands.
Debenhams’ Christmas Extravaganza is on until Sunday with up to 30 per cent off women’s clothes, including knitwear and coats. Laura Ashley also has 30 per cent off its entire range until Sunday. Bargains include a wool and cashmere duffle coat from £125 to £87.50 and striking Sputnik print wrap dress from £80 down to £28.
Corniche in St Mary’s Street is award- winning designer heaven. Check its online store for details, www.corniche.org.uk.
Capes are “in” this winter. Miss Dixiebelle in Brunstfield Place has cut the price of woolly capes down from £115 to £99 and is offering a 20 per cent discount on vintage hairstyling for Evening News readers until Hogmanay.
For winter warmers, Tiso in Rose Street and Commercial Street has launched a pre-Christmas sale which includes a Mountain Hardwear Downtown Women’s Dolomite jacket now £180, saving you £40.
Meanwhile, George at Asda has slashed prices on items in its womenswear range, including chunky sweaters and lace-up flat shoes, both now half-price at £7. Tesco has up to 50 per cent off some of its clothing items.
BURST THE PURSE: Max out the credit card on a slinky beaded dress by Jenny Packham at Jane Davidson, below right. Covered with sparkling sequins and skimming the floor, it’s a stunner but it will cost you nearly £3000. Finish it off with a pair of glittering Jimmy Shoo Aimee heels from Pam Jenkins in Thistle Street for £435.
Snap up two pairs of La Senza pyjamas, below left, for just £25 – normally £30 each – for the two. The retailer also has 30 per cent off its luxury bras and knickers, plus 30 per cent off luxury nightwear, bringing the price of its Colour Block robe and chemise from £28 down to £19.60.
La Senza also has three-for-two offers across a range of fun gifts including socks, keyrings, hats and eye masks. Meanwhile, undies specialist Boudiche in Dundas Street is running its final Knickers Night next Wednesday (5.30pm-8pm), with discounts of up to 80 per cent on designer names like Elle Macpherson, Stella McCartney and La Perla.
BURST THE PURSE: Go wild for a Lascivious Silk Belle Bra and Suspender Brief at £142 and £82 from Odyssey Boutique in William Street.
High Street shoe retailer Clarks kicked off sales season early with up to 50 per cent off shoes and some handbags. Pick up the black or brown leather Tiara Beauty shoulder bag, down from £79.99 to £49.99.
Meanwhile, House of Fraser has Biba vintage frame bags, were £145 now £101.50, and an eye-catching Wilbur & Gussie small envelope clutch bag, pink and black, was £140 now £112.
BURST THE PURSE: Pam Jenkins in Thistle Street has a Christian Louboutin Penny Messenger bag in Pony, £975.
GIFTS FOR HIM MENSWEAR
Moss Bros has already kicked off its winter sale. Ties start at a tenner and suits from £99.
Corniche in Jeffrey Street has cut the price of some Comme des Garcons shirts, certain Nigel Cabourn jackets, trousers and knitwear, and a range of other designers.
Burton has up to 40 per cent off selected stock in shop and online until December 14. Bargains include jackets from £28 and knitwear from £17.
Try Slaters in George Street for bargain offers on men’s shirts – short-sleeved shirts normally £19 each, two for £35 – and an entire suit package of jacket, trousers, tie, shirt and shoes for £75.
Conte of Florence in Jeffrey Street stocks Italian designer sportswear casuals – ideal for the yachtsman, skier and golfer. Sale now on with polo shirts reduced from £90 to £63 and jackets from around £171 reduced to £120.
Tiso in Rose Street and Commercial Street has £15 off a Rab Neutrino Endurance Men’s Beluga jacket, now £215.
Go Outdoors in West Harbour Road, Granton, has cut prices on some jackets by 66 per cent, with a men’s three-in-one waterproof fleece now £19.99, down from £60.
For football fans, Hibs have three-for-two offers on football kit, training, leisurewear and accessories at its Easter Road shop. At Tynecastle, spend £50 and get £10 gift voucher, £100 and get £25 voucher. There’s also up to 70 per cent off selected items and training wear.
BURST THE PURSE: Go slightly bonkers and pick up a bright orange Nigel Cabourn parka coat for £2095 at Corniche.
Debenhams has 30 per cent off items across the store, including Osborne black enamel stripe cufflinks, far right, were £20 now £12.
Shoe shop Clarks’ sale includes its Transmit Code briefcase, chunky enough for all his work essentials. Now reduced from £99.99 to £49.99.
For his laptop, Debenhams’ Red Herring black quilted laptop sleeve is reduced from £25 to £17.50. BHS, also running a pre-Christmas sale, has a Brass Monkeys hat and scarf set to keep out the chill, £12 down to £8.40, and for your own Homer Simpson, novelty Homer slippers are now £9.60, down from £12.
BURST THE PURSE: Hamilton and Inches will keep him up to the minute with a Chanel J12 Chromatic 38mm automatic wristwatch priced £3950.
If he’s a handyman, B&Q has a third off its Bosch 18v Combi Drill, reducing it from £149.98 to £95. He’ll need a workbench to go with it, and the Black and Decker Dual Height Portable Workbench is reduced from £69.98 to £48.98.
Homebase, meanwhile, has up to 50 per cent off selected power tools and Wickes has a buy one, get one free offer on its 15.6v Cordless Drill Driver, priced £39.06.
Smooth guys might appreciate a Philips Aqua Touch Electric Shaver, from Boots, normally £99.99, now £49.99.
For the DIY hairdresser, the VO5 HC-120-GB Special Edition Hair Clipper has dropped from £59.99 to £24.99 at branches of Comet.
If they’re into art, Carson Clark Gallery at Canongate is running a 20-30 per cent discount sale on some stock.
BHS has slashed prices across the store. For the big kid, get him a red Ferrari, remote control of course, down from £100 to £50, above right.
Make sure they don’t get lost with a TomTom Via 120 SatNav from PC World, normally £259.99, now £129.
BURST THE PURSE: The Braun Series 7-790cc-3 Cleana and Renew electric foil shaver is among the most expensive of its kind. Yet even it’s reduced, down from £299.99 to £199.97, at Boots with the option to claim a free mobile shaver.
JEWELLERY and ACCESSORIES
Polish off the credit cards for a trip to designer jewellery store Laing Boutique in Frederick Street for its three-day pre-Christmas sale from tomorrow. Prices start at just £15, with up to 50 per cent off brands including Mancini, Argent of London, Tresor Paris, Michael Kors, Baccarat and TW Steel.
Treats include a Belleza amethyst, onyx and silver cocktail ring, was £175 now £87.50, right, and Tresor Paris drop earrings, £79 down to £63.20, top right.
H Samuel has cut the price of women’s watches in its Guess watch range. Look out for the chunky silver band with Guess diamante detail, reduced from £135 to £74.99, and a pretty pink and diamante round faced timepiece, £139 down to £109.
Debenham’s has pounds off J by Jasper Conran gent’s silver bracelet watch, right, was £80 now £64. Meanwhile, members-only jewellers Macintyres in Frederick Street is selling a funky Candy Bling range of bracelets at knockdown prices. A full bracelet would normally cost £75, now £41.50 (plus VAT). The smaller three ball bracelet is reduced from £29.95 to £16.60 (plus VAT). To register, bring proof of employment.
Historic Connections in High Street sells traditionally-styled Celtic jewellery, cufflinks, hip flasks and quaichs. Sale is now on with discounts of up to 20 per cent on certain items.
BURST THE PURSE: Macintyres in Frederick Street has slashed the price of its stunning 2.05 carat diamond solitaire, below, from a whopping £39,995 to £18,500 (plus VAT).
FRAGRANCE, SKINCARE and PAMPERING
Buy any two Clinique products at Harvey Nichols and grab a Bonus Time gift set of travel-sized luxury items for free.
Head to Boots where Calvin Klein perfumes are currently on offer with reductions of up to 50 per cent. Boots’ Star Gift of the week – offer changes every week – is an overnight bag stuffed with four full-size FCUK products, normally £45 but this week reduced to £22.
For sweet-smelling bargains, the Scottish Soap Company in High Street has launched a closing down sale with prices of soaps, body washes and fragrances slashed. Alternatively, snap up bargains from Laura Ashley – 30 per cent off means its Pink Petals Body Wash and Lotion are each reduced from £15 to £10.50.
Debenham has price reductions on many of its fragrances this weekend. For him, check out Hugo Just Different EDT Gift Set, above, £37 to £31.45.
Pure Spa in Lothian Road has cut the price of a men’s deep tissue massage and Elemis grooming kit to £80, saving £12. For the ladies, the Elemis facial and Elemis anti-ageing collection is on offer at £100, a saving of £27.
BURST THE PURSE: Crème de la Mer is about as luxurious as it gets. Its Luxury Essentials set features Crème de la Mer cream, regenerating serum and eye concentrate, £305. Available at Jenners.
Boots has a range of beauty electrical products on special offer. Grab a Mark Hill RAW Zebra patterned hairdryer at Boots at less than half price, normally £59,99, now £34.99. The Oral B Professional Care 3000 electric toothbrush is down from £99.99 to £49.99. Oral B toothbrushes are also half price at Superdrug.
Head to Lidl on Monday for an Olympus VR325 digital camera for £99, or a Silvercrest HD Pocket Camcorder, £84.99 to £69.99.
Sound and vision specialists James-Morrow Home Entertainment in Home Street is selling a Bose Soundlink wireless speaker system at £259, below. Evening News readers who purchase the system qualify for 20 per cent off any Bose headphones.
Comet has deals on fizzy drinks machine SodaStream, now £29.99, saving £30. For the wine lover, a Proline electric corkscrew set is now £4.99, saving a fiver.
BURST THE PURSE: Love coffee? John Lewis has a top-of-the-range Meile Barista Bean to Cup coffee machine for £1095. As it’s Christmas, the shop will even throw in a free set of cappuccino cups.
TV and COMPUTING
Get ready for the Christmas repeats with a new 19-inch HD Ready LCD television for £89.99 at Aldi.
Keep taking the tablets – another “in” gift for Christmas. Among the cheapest in town can be found at Comet, where £129 buys you the IT Works 7ins tablet. The store also has the Motorola 10ins Xoom tablet, down from £479.99 to £329.99.
Branches of Dixons are selling a HP Pavilion DV6-6B50sa 15.6ins Laptop with 6GB memory and Beats Audio, reduced from £799,99 to £599.99.
PC World is offering savings of £230.99 on a Lenovo Ideapad 15.6ins laptop, down to £399.
For the gamer, Game has an Xbox bundle of Xbox 360 250GB with remote control, three months Xbox Live subscription, Forza Motorsport 4 game and choice of either Battlefield 3, Fifa 2012 or Need for Speed: The Run, all for £199.99
BURST THE PURSE: Panasonic 65ins 3D television at Comet, now £3995, reduced from £4079.98.
FOOD AND DRINK
For coffee, tea and hot chocolate lovers, Whittard of Chelsea is offering three for two on its Christmas gift ranges which includes tea pots, mugs and hampers.
Lidl is currently selling Comte De Brismand Champagne – voted Best Buy by Which? magazine – for £12.99 a bottle, saving £2. Just £1.99 will buy you a 500g cured pork loin joint with mixed pepper or honey and mustard topping, reduced from £3.99.
Snap up a 70cl bottle of Drambuie in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose throughout December for £18.99, a £5 saving.
Tesco has reduced the price of its Finest Christmas Puddings from £10 to £5 and its Finest Chablis, was £9.99 now £6.
BURST THE PURSE: How does a £2850 bottle of Bowmore White malt whisky to wash down your Christmas pudding sound? Or a cheeky Chateau Margaux 1982, a snip at £1275? Both at Harvey Nichols.