The end of a season is special for two reasons: the new styles are coming out, plus the "older" ones are all going on sale!
I say "older" with quotation marks because, let's face it: they're not really old. In fact, they've barely been on the shelves a few weeks before they're being replaced with something more "current." That means taking advantage of some great end-of-season bargains. So here are some tips on shopping end of season sales.
If you buy something for next year, leave the tags on. If spring is the time that you stock up on coats, boots, and other winter accessories, keep the tags on them till you're ready to wear them. You might find, come next fall or winter, that something isn't fitting properly, and if you want to re-sell the items (through a website or in a garage sale), you'll be able to more easily when you still have the tags.
Plan your shopping trip. Don't just run from store to store, haphazardly scooping up items here and there. Take a good inventory of your current seasonal wardrobe and make a list of things you actually need (versus want).
Check items carefully. Some clothing ends up on clearance racks because it's been damaged (missing a button, broken zipper, etc.), so be sure to inspect anything on special very carefully. If there is something wrong with the item, use it as a leveraging tool to wheel and deal with the sales associate - you could get it for even cheaper!
Forget the trends. A closet full of trends is basically having a closet full of clothing purchases that will be worn for a very short time. Go for more transitional pieces that will easily integrate into your existing wardrobe.
Avoid buying footwear. As tempting as it might be to pick up a plethora of footwear that's on sale, your shoe/boot size is one thing that can change ever-so-slightly over time. While winter boots may be dirt cheap in spring, by the following winter your foot size or shape may be different, and then your bargain purchase is a waste of a purchase.
Don't wait too long. Bargain hunters may hold out for even better deals, only to be left with damaged goods, oddly sized items, and nothing worth shopping for. Take advantage of sales that pop up towards the end of a season, but don't wait too long!