Tag Archive for 'Shopping'

Shopportunities!

Shopportunities!A Shopportunity is a shopping opportunity.  A good deal.  One of those deals that makes you think that tomorrow or 6 months from now I’ll regret not having purchased this dress, pair of shoes, handbag , you fill in the blank.   A shopurtunity equals beautiful clothes that fit you well at a fraction of the retail price. It’s not a shopurtunity if the price is right but you don’t love the look or the fit. Remember to keep this little nugget in mind as you hit the racks or the online sales. Our economy has taken a turn for the worst, but the economic downturn is a fashionista’s paradise.  

Yes, I know it’s Spring, almost Summer, but now is the best time to get great deals on things like furs, cashmere and leather boots because designers and stores are trying to get rid of inventory to make room for their warm weather merchandise. Right now, buying a pair of snakeskin boots when you’re thinking about those reasonably priced JCrew t-straps seems incongruous. But, when you’re at the store ask yourself , “When November hits will I regret not having gotten those boots?” Right now they’re a steal for $125.  This Fall, a similar pair might be as much as $775.  Think about it …  

So, while you’re surfing the net or doing a little window shopping, don’t forget to look for the shopurtunities!

Net-A-Porter on the Cheap

Outnet.comNet-A-Porter has beautiful clothes, no doubt about it. The prices, however, just about take your breath away. So what were the Net-A-Porter powers-that-be to do in the era of the Recessionista? Create an outlet store of course! The Outnet, an offshoot of Net-A-Porter – think Saks Off5th and Neiman’s Last Call – recently opened it’s portal on the world wide web. Free returns are a bonus; the prices may still cause a mild arrhythmia, but they are 30%-70% off the retail price.  A shopping tip for those of you not yet hip to the outlet store shuffle, a lot of the items are going to be a few seasons old so shop with purpose by looking for classic pieces that will stand the test of time.  If you’re still trying to figure out how to afford your first pair of Louboutins, this may be a site to bookmark. Just like any other outlet store, it’s likely that there will be frequent markdowns for slow moving merchandise.  Viva la outlet!

How To Be Enduringly Chic

ChicJackie O. Catherine Deneuve. Kate Moss. Iman – they all have that certain je ne sais quois. No matter the moment, dressed up or dressed down, these women are all enduringly chic. What is it about them? Essentially, they’re all classic dressers who can make a white t-shirt and jeans look like a million bucks. What do they know that you don’t? They know that when building a wardrobe, it’s important to invest in quality pieces that will be long lasting. Shopping for the thrill of the deal can be intoxicating, but the high wears off when January’s steal of the month still has the tags on it in September. Additionally, deciding that you will never spend more than a certain dollar amount on one item, may mean that you limit yourself from buying some truly great pieces that will stand the test of time and take your wardrobe from good to great. Focus on fit and quality over price. 

To create an enduringly chic wardrobe, you need to:

(i) Build a great foundation with classics;

(ii) Invest in an array of shoes and boots to help to dress up or dress down an outfit; and

(iii) Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!

Before you go to the store, do a little shopping in your closet to help you figure out what you really need versus what you’ve decided you would like to have. Shoe shopping is a great way to illustrate my point. How many times have you found a great pair of shoes, worn them to death and wished you’d bought a second pair? If you find a pair you like, let me repeat this, if you find a pair you like (unless it’s a classic for the maker and you know they’re going to issue it next year), buy 2 pairs. It may seem like a lot up front, but I promise you this will save you a lot of headache on the backend. Shoes are an accessory and accessories can make or break your outfit!

The Art of the Sample Sale

I know, we’re in a recsession and no one’s shopping.  The economy is tanking and everyone is doing his or her part to save money by staying away from the stores. Got it.  But, on the off chance that more than a few folks are trying to maximize on the economy’s effect on the retail industry, take note.  Sample sales continue to flourish, both in Manhattan and online for those of you who dont have the pleasure of living on our lovely isle.  Ever go to a sample sale and wonder why you wasted your time? Lied to your boss? Skipped lunch?  Finally got around to logging into Hautelook.com  or Gilt.com only to find that the 1 item you really wanted has “SOLD OUT” emblazoned across it?  Here’s the truth, and if cornered any fashionista worth her weight in Prada will tell you the same, there’s a definite art to sample sale shopping …. Go early.  I know, the sale is going to run for 3 days so what’s the big deal, right?  If you really want that Hermes scarf, Missoni dress, or Kooba bag you’ve got to play the game by the unwritten set of rules.

  1. Go early.  If the sale begins at 10 am.  Get there no later than 9:30 to cue up.  Diehards will be there at 8:45 or 9 am at the latest to ensure they get what they’ve come for.  Bring something to read and be cognizant of friends meeting up with you – depending on the sale (Tory Burch or Kate Spade for example) a cat fight may ensue if folks feel that your friend is cutting the line.  If it’s an online sale, set a reminder for yourself so that you’re signing onto the site just a few minutes before the sale is slated to begin.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the brand’s merchandise.  Know what is, or was, in the stores.  This way, once the sale begins, it’s just a matter of locating your item rather than browsing through racks or pages online.  Trust me, while you browse others are making a beeline for the items they’ve already identified.  This is a sure way to walk out of a sale empty-handed and dejected. 
  3. Remember, lots of sample sale places don’t have individual dressing rooms if they have a changing area at all.  Wear your nice underwear … enuf said …. and wear clothes that are easy to get in and out of to make trying stuff on easier.  
  4. Pay attention to the fine print.  Some sales are final, some take cash only, some will only accept credit cards (and certain ones at that) …. Online sales usually permit returns but instead of getting your money back, your account will be credited once the shipping costs are deducted.
  5. And lastly, and most importantly, don’t buy something for the sake of buying something.  There’s nothing wrong with a little retail therapy every now and again, but if you don’t see what you came for  and/or if you dont find something that makes your heart sing – back away from the racks … Go home or back to work and try again next time, ‘cuz you know what, there will absolutely be a next time.

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!