The Summer Sales

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Hi, I’m Kay!

I’m an English teacher and today we’re talking about the summer sales

Okay, I’ll own up – I just can’t resist the summer sales! I’m not sure why. I’m definitely not a shopaholic, but there’s something about the summer sales…perhaps it’s the bright summer colours in the shop windows, which make window shopping such a pleasure…or maybe it’s a subliminal message sent out by the striped dresses and shirts with seashell and anchor motifs all screaming, ‘Holiday time! Sun-drenched beaches! Turquoise waters! Grilled seafood! Piña coladas!

Have a look around first

Well, whatever the attraction is, I´m off on a shopping spree as soon as the stores start slashing their prices. But I don’t just rush out and start spending money left, right and centre. No, I always have a plan. For a couple of weeks beforehand, I shop around, but I don’t actually buy anything. I look at what’s in the shops. Sometimes I even try on some items of clothing or pairs of shoes and make a mental note of the ones I’d really like to have if the prices come down enough.

While there are some fashion labels that I like, I don’t have very rigid ideas and am happy to buy own brands if I see something that suits me. I know that some people only go for designer labels, but I have to say that I think they can be a bit of a rip-off at times. I don’t want to be a killjoy, but when you look at where they’re manufactured, it often turns out to be someplace where, at best, the workers are paid very little in comparison with the price of the finished product, and at worst, they may be produced in real sweatshops that pay people a pittance or even use child labour.

like-minded friends!

Be that as it may, I still think a bit of retail therapy – shopping for fun and relaxation – is quite permissible from time to time. And, believe me, it’s best enjoyed in the company of like-minded friends. What you really need is someone who is also prepared to shop till they drop. You need someone who will egg you on, not hold you back.

You don’t want someone who purses their lips, frowns disapprovingly and asks you if you’re sure you really need another beige handbag seeing as how you have six at home already! No, you need a kindred spirit, a co-conspirator, someone who will say, ‘Yes, that neon pink blouse looks great on you! In fact, so does the luminous orange one. Oh, and look at that electric blue one! Why don’t you get them all? After all, they’re half-price!

trying on shoes

Well, perhaps I’m exaggerating a little, but it’s certainly true that it’s easy to get carried away in all the excitement. On occasion, you realise that the item you thought was such a snip somehow isn’t quite so convincing when you look at yourself again in the mirror at home. After a few early disasters, I made it a rule never to buy anything in the sales which would have to be altered radically to fit me properly.

I must say, though, that I rarely make a mistake with shoes, because I was lucky enough to have an aunt and uncle in the shoe trade. They told me that you should always try shoes on late in the day so that your feet are swollen to their maximum size. And never, ever to buy a pair of shoes that pinch you anywhere in the mistaken belief that they will somehow magically soften with use – they won’t!

Anyway, there are lots of bargains to be had and no time to waste, so best foot forward and happy shopping!


Now try and find the following in the text. The questions are in the same order as they are in the text.

  1. a phrasal verb which means to admit the truth
  2. a phrasal verb which means to look at all the options before buying something
  3. a collocation which refers to products specially produced for a specific store and bearing their name
  4. an informal expression for something that is grossly overpriced
  5. a noun referring to a person who deliberately spoils the enjoyment of others
  6. a phrase meaning to pay a very small or inadequate sum of money
  7. a phrase meaning despite that
  8. a three-part informal conjunction meaning since
  9. a phrasal verb that means to lose self-control
  10. an informal word meaning a bargain

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