Back to work. Back to school. Back to reality. But first, a quick retail binge to get psyched for the year ahead... funds allowing. 

After coming to terms with the fact that December may have burnt a slight hole in our pockets, it only makes sense that we hit a few sales to replace those burnt pockets with a new pair of mom jeans or two, right?

Right.

Because in the same way that "summer bodies are made in winter", winter wardrobes are bought in summer (on sale). 

READ MORE: We're already shopping the trendiest items in 2019's Pantone colour of the year

Trying on coats and knitwear may not be ideal in January's fiery temperatures, but it will be oh so worth it come June when you're strutting out in that coat you bought at a fraction of its original price. 

So put on that easy-to-take-off summer dress and head to the mall (or your computer) to try on and shop these essential items on sale:

ZARA sale

Only the most talked about sale right now. Zara's discounted prices were already active soon after Christmas with queues even snaking way beyond the store's entrance at Sandton City. 

The Zara sale is the best place to do your winter shopping at the beginning of every year - boots, coats, jeans and statement pieces are some of the most sought after items shoppers wish to purchase here.

We recommend:

Draped neck cardigan with belt, R159 

R159, Zara

Metallic biker jacket, R699

R699, Zara

Two-tone mules, R359

R359, Zara

H&M sale

If it's knitwear for every day of the week that you're looking for, H&M has got you. 

With up to 50% off and dresses going for as little as R149, these are the items we're holding thumbs we'll find discounted at the H&M January sale:

Exaggerated turtlenecks in bold shades:

Chic knee-length coats:

READ MORE: Fashion industry unmasked: why trends are never really new

Woolworths quality sale

This one's a national favourite because it truly lives up to its name. Starting off at 40-50% off and gradually upping the discount ante to 70-80 % over the course of the sale. 

This sale is no joke - I bought my favourite pair of black pants here for R50 in 2016. Yes, R50. 

You might be just as lucky too this month.

We recommend:

Studio W Double Breasted Pinstripe Jacket, R490 

Studio W, R490

Edition striped wrap dress, R399

Edition, R399

READ MORE: What today’s 8 year olds may be wearing when they’re 18

Superbalist sale

Well-known for their weekly specials, it's no surprise that Superbalist would be a popular sale go-to at this time of the year. 

We recommend:

Puma basket platform sneaker, R589

PUMA, R599

Not necessarily a winter item, but who says you can't look cute while it's still warm this season?

Puff sleeve pleated crop top, R149

Superbalist, R149

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