Tag Archive for 'Holiday Shopping Tips'

Looking Your Best This Holiday Season

Is your calendar literally filled with engagements from now until the beginning of the year?  In addition to coming up with a stash of hostess gifts, you’ve got to figure out what you’re going to wear to each holiday dinner party, office party, drinks with friends, tree trimming party and of course to the big events themselves.  Godforbid if you’ve got a formal or two to go to as well!

There’s no time like the present to start recycling the goodies you’ve got stashed away in your closet.  Now, if you’re related to the Rockerfellers and can afford to go out and buy a few key pieces to spice up your holiday wardrobe, by all means please do and just pass this posting along to one of your less well-off friends!  If however, you’re trying to figure out how to do it all (holiday travel, shopping and party-going) with limited funds, here are some tips for looking your best this season without breaking the bank.  It’s simple, Shop In Your Closet (or your friend’s if yours is low on sparkly items). It’s all about looking like you spent a fortune when you haven’t spent a dime.

Dressing for the Holidays a la Your Closet:

  • Locate the following items and put them on your bed: (1) LBD; (2) Black wool slacks; (3) Black cardigan; (4) Black turtleneck.
  • Go through your shawls and pull out the black one of course and any festive looking shawls you may have. Put these on the bed too.
  • Now, pull out the jewelry box and locate your most sparkly items – necklaces, cocktail rings, bracelets – everything that’s too much for work, you know those pieces you’ve been saving for the right moment or the ones that someone gave you and you just weren’t sure what to wear them with. Lay the pieces on your bed.
  • Go through your stash of clutch bags and pull out the black one and any sparkly ones you have. These go on the bed too.
  • The same goes for your heels – pull out your black dressy heels (peu de soie is fine, the everyday work ones are not) and any glammy shiny heels you own (the more color, sparkle, sequins or feathers the better!). Yup, on the floor next to the bed.
  • Now, go back to your basics listed in the first bullet point and begin to mix and match your outfits.  Nothing needs to be matchy-matchy.  Your foundation is basic black which is sleek, slimming and sophisticated.  Your accessories regardless of how you combine them will dress up your basics and help to get you in the holiday spirit.  And remember, it’s the holidays so it’s ok to go a little over the top.
  • Once you’ve matched your outfits, think about what you are going to wear to which events so that the day or evening of you’ve got nothing to do but make sure the items are clean and get dressed.
  • Finishing touches – If time permits, and your budget allows, stop by H&M, Ann Taylor, Aldo, Forever21, JCrew, TopShop, Claire’s or some other such store and buy a sparkly headband, hair clip or a fun feather number just to take things to the next level.
  • Top it all off with your regular wool coat (this is where one of those colorful shawls can be helpful in transforming your everyday coat to a little bit something more) or if you’ve got a fur or a fun fur (whichever is your preference) now is the time to show us what you got!

Have fun this holiday season!  Eat, drink and be merry.

Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Take Your Pick

What is it about Thanksgiving that puts Americans in the mood for shopping? Shopping the day after Thanksgiving on Black Friday is as ingrained in us as the watching the Superbowl on the  1st Sunday in February.  And this year is no exception.  Black Friday falls on November 27th this year and it is the official kick-off of the holiday shopping season!

The term Black Friday was coined in Philadelphia by the Philadelphia Police Department in reference to the massive traffic jams and overcrowded sidewalks on the day after Thanksgiving. While often touted as the busiest shopping day of the year, retailers’ profits don’t always match the long lines snaked around their stores and parking lots.

This year, however, some of the big box stores have already begun to offer their Black Friday deals in anticipation of trumping one another.  Sears began it’s Black Friday sales in October – go figure.  It’s not clear if this pre-emptive move got folks in the store spending money or not, it’s too soon to tell.  Target has been advertising that it’s Black Friday deals will be lower than ever and allows shoppers to sign up on line for shopping reminders.

2009 Black Friday Special Deals

This year look for travel deals, particularly in the form of vacation packages from various airlines and hotel chains.  The doorbusters are the same as usual – 52″ TVs and laptops at major savings from stores like BestBuy, WalMart, KMart, you know the usual suspects.  If you’re looking for deals on higher end brand items, check to see if the Simon Outlet Mall closest to you opens at midnight on Thanksgiving.  If so, take a nap after dinner and plan to get there by 11pm at the latest to find a parking space and queue up for some of the best deals you’re going to find during the holiday season.

Cyber Monday

However, if the crowds and all the drama are too much for you, not to worry, Cyber Monday was created just for you!  You can bypass the Black Friday sales entirely and wait until you’re back in your office on Monday to kick-off your holiday shopping spree from your computer with no lines, hassle, or stress. Cyber Monday is to Black Friday what yin is to yang. So, if the stress of Thanksgiving dinner is all you can handle this weekend, no worries. There will be deals galore on Cyber Monday.  Check out sites like CouponCabin and RetailMeNot to find out about even more special offers and bargains before you let your fingers do the typing.

 

 

 

Holiday Shopping Tips:

  • Know your budget;
  • Create a list of who you’re buying gifts for, how much you plan to spend on each recipient, and what you’d like to get for each one;
  • Come up with a shopping strategy so that you maximize your time at the mall or online;
  • Keep your list with you while shopping so that you can check off your purchases as you go; and
  • Keep all of your holiday receipts in the same envelope.  And, remember to ask for gift receipts.

Happy Shopping!

Ready. Set. Go – Let the Holiday Shopping Begin! (Online that is with Cyber Monday)

Black Friday.  Is the crowded mall parking lot enough to make you want to turn your car around and head home?  Do you find yourself questioning your sanity as you fight for that last pair of cashmere gloves that would’ve been great for Aunt Kay if that old lady hadn’t snatched them out of your hand? 

 

Growing up I LOVED shopping on Black Friday, it was tradition in my family that all of the women (girls included) spent the day at the mall (which usually meant 2 or 3 malls).  At the tender age of 18 months, my niece Jada, claimed her birthright and became a full-fledged member of our shopping ritual.  However, braving the madness on the Friday after Thanksgiving isn’t for the faint of heart.  It seems that lots of folks were bypassing the Black Friday sales entirely and waiting until back in their offices on Monday to kick-off their holiday shopping sprees from their computers with no lines, hassle, or stress.  Great minds think alike; this Black Friday bypass is now known as Cyber Monday.  Cyber Monday is to Black Friday what  yin is to yang.  So, if the stress of Thanksgiving dinner is all you can handle this weekend, no worries.  There will be deals galore on Cyber Monday.  Check out sites like CouponCabin.com to find out about even more special offers and bargains before you let your fingers do the typing.

 

A few holiday shopping tips:

1. Create a budget

2. Determine who you’re buying gifts for, how much you plan to spend on each recipient, and what you’d like to get for each one.  A hard to please individual?  A power toothbrush is a great idea because it’s something most people wont buy for themselves.  I like Oral-B’s Triumph with Smart Guide, www.oralb.com.

3. Come up with a shopping strategy so that you maximize your time at the mall or online.

4. Keep you list with you while shopping so that you can check off your purchases as you go.

5. Keep track of your spending and receipts.  Remember to ask for gift receipts.

 

Happy Shopping!