Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Shopping Tips- Part 2

I meant for these to be back to back posts, but I was at an company softball game at 6:20 and we won (which was literally a miracle) and then we had to play again at 8:40 but the game was delayed until 9:30 and by the time I got home, showered and took care of the dog blogging just wasn't happening. But here is the second half of my shopping tips! Hope they help you keep the spending low and your wardrobe glamorous!

7.       Sign up for those annoying emails
I started using my blog account email as my shopping email account. Whenever I would log onto a new store’s site, more often than not they ask you to create a log in, or sign up for emails. A lot of the time it comes with a coupon incentive- 10% off, 20% off, free shipping on your first order etc. Shop first and if you find something then sign up for the email and wait for the coupon code. I say shop first because sometimes the coupon code expires L. After the initial sign up, most places email you with promotions, and more incentives to keep buying their products.
Some sites that you should sign up for:
tobi (50% off first purchase!)
Windsor (10% off first purchase)
Last Call Neiman Marcus (they constantly have email sales)
Dorothy Perkins (email exclusive sales)
8.       Put things on hold
Either online or in store- if you’re not POSITIVE about something then put in on hold and wait a day. Or an hour. If you’ve forgotten about it you clearly don’t want/need it. If you  haven’t and you’ve look other places but can’t get the item out of your head then make the purchase. The worst thing is not getting something and regretting it. the second worst is getting something you never wear and have it turn into a waste of money and closet space.
9.       Try eBay, Etsy, Amazon and Polyvore
When looking for a specific item I can’t get my hands on, I go to my four fall-back websites. I’ve been able to find pretty much any item I was looking for. Although they aren’t always in my price range when I find them at least I found them! eBay, Etsy and Amazon all have sellers that sell new and sellers that sell used and some that do both. And the best part- you can usually find a cheaper price on things than directly from the company site. Make sure you read the reviews on everything tho! Polyvore is a great new tool I’ve used because it’s basically google for clothes. You can search and the site brings back everything that matches that description from a ton of different websites (see also: Wanelo) and you can filter the search based on price.
10.   Go to the sale/ clearance first
I know it’s difficult because the sale and/or clearance rack is always at the back so you walk by everything else first. But try and put on blinders and focus on your destination. It’s totally worth it. You can find great stuff on those racks for a lot cheaper than on the regular racks and by the time you’re done with the sales racks you may be satisfied enough to head straight to the check out and then to the door!
11.   Outlets!
Outlet versions of stores are wayyy dangerous. (cough cough J. Crew Factory Store) because the discounts are CRAZY. Even if the closest outlet stores are a bit of a drive it is worth is because you can fill your closet for the same amount of money that you could spend on a outfit for a night out at the regular retail store. A lot of times there are also items that are discountinued so if you saw something that you couln’dt find in-store, the outlet is a great second chance for you to find that special item!
12.   Shop out of season
In-store this is a bit harder. But many online stores have inventory up year round. This means around the 4th of july when all you’re thinking about is BBQ and sundresses, you should also be thinking “fall boots!” check out stores and online right after the season is over. You can normally find awesome deals. So now that fall is around the corner, those sundresses that are still on the racks have got to go! And that means discounts and deals for you!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Shopping Tips- Part 1

I said in my previous post I would make my next post "where, when and how to shop for cheap stuff but look awesome" so here it is! I actually came up with 12 so I'm splitting in into 2 posts. There was too much text for my liking.

1.       Take some time to look at fashion blogs/pinterest.
This is a double edge sword because doing so makes me want to shop but it also gives me ton of new ideas and ways to wear clothes I already have. Mixing patterns has been a big trend lately and when other people do it you get to see how it looks before you go out in public looking like a fool. It has helped me double my wardrobe (again, because I end up shopping) but mostly because I find new ways to wear things I already own. Follow me on Pinterest here.
Here are just a few of my favorite blogs-
Sequins and Stilettos
Twenties Girl Style
Lilly's Style
What She Wore 365
J's Everyday Fashion

2.       Make Marshalls and T.J. Maxx your best friends
I loveee both these stores. I can confidently say at least half the things in my closet (shoes included) are from one or the other. What I love about these stores is that they have well known name brands AND random companies too. I always start with the brands I recognize but then I come across something AWESOME and it’s a name I don’t recognize but that only means it’s even cheaper!

3.       Don’t be afraid to look through consignment/second hand shops
There are probably a ton of places around your area that sell second hand clothes. I know it can seem sketchy but the first time you go in one and find a pair of True Religion jeans for $20 (found!) with the original tags on them or vintage Manolos that are still in their box for $80 (super jealous of my girlfriend who found those) you’ll get over it. Plato’s Closet is a chain consignment store that I’ve had awesome luck in from CT to St. Louis! I’ve sold clothes at various consignment stores and honestly they are almost always overly picky. They don’t want anything that looks old or worn out. If it weirds you out that someone else was wearing the clothes wash it when you get home and think about it this way- those brand new J. Crew shorts you just bought were probably tried on by someone before you bought them. And they were still $55.
4.       Think basic
This is getting harder since patterns are everywhere but try and keep your purchases neutral; and I don’t necessarily mean neutral colors. Things like blouses, dark skinny jeans can be worn almost all season, any season and in a bunch of different contexts. Another tip: have at least 3 white v-neck tees that are comfy, and a few steps up from the Hanes tagless ones from Target (which I have a million of) they are the EASIEST item to dress up or down and they pretty much go with everything you could own. And I say have 3 because once you have them you’ll be surprised how often you reach for them.
Here are my favorite basics:

My Favorite Basics

5.       Plan outfits as you shop
The only time I go out with a shopping list is when I go grocery shopping and even then I never stick to it so having a shopping list for the mall is a joke. What I DO try and keep in mind though, is what I want to accomplish. Usually I have a few specific things I will keep my eye out for but I always find something new that I “need.” When those items come up I try and think about my closet, or other things I would be willing to purchase in order to wear a certain item. If there aren’t many things you can wear it with then check the price. If you love it and it’s cheap- get it. Life is short. But if it’s not worth the cash put it back. You’ll find something else that you’ll fall in love with in the nexk rack.
6.       Coupons/discount codes
I do a lot of online shopping and what I typicall do right before I check out is google “_(name of store)_ coupon codes” and you’d be surprised how often things come up! If you’re planning on shopping the old fashioned way google “printable coupons” and now (since technology is outrageous) even if you don’t have a printer, you can usually bring the coupons up on your phone and they can scan the barcode right there!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Latest Purchase- Quilted Crossbody

So this post may or may not be another one where I told you what I bought over the last weekend. If you're asking how I am always buying things and am somehow not broke, I'll let you in on a secret: I'm mostly broke, and I'm a discount fiend. In fact I think I will make my next post "where, when and how to shop for cheap stuff but look awesome." Perf.

I'm focusing on one particular item that I bought over the weekend and am SO glad I did. Quick background story- I go to Boston to hang out with my best friend and run this 5k. I find out my girlfriend that I went to school with who is super fabulous and works for Kiss 108 (radio station) is going to be working a Booze Cruise that Saturday night. So Friday night we go to Marshalls to find a white tank to run in and I find this AMAZING Calvin Klein cross body. It's $60 which I realize is a great deal but I decided to put it on hold. Saturday comes and we run and get back and get cleaned up and we're getting short on time when I realize I NEED this bag. So in a torrential downpour we rush to Marshalls, get the bag and I am grateful and fabulous the rest of the night!

Here is the bag, and the outfit I wore it with. And also my darling best friend.


Here are some similar ones with varying price ranges-

Black Quilted Bags