2.28.2010

Style Secrets: Success at the Sale Rack

“When women are depressed they eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It’s a whole different way of thinking.”
Elayne Boosler

Never mind the niceties, my loves; they are getting us nowhere fast. Sometimes it is best to be blunt; to speak our minds and unleash our candid sides. And the honest truth when it comes to shopping is that boys are completely clueless.

It is the male mind’s presumption that shopping is a simple hobby, a pleasurable way to spend a Saturday afternoon; and it most certainly can be. But when it comes to the technicalities of shopping a sale, all gratification is cast to the wayside. The uncomplicated truth is that the moment the SALE sign appears in shop windows, stores turn into a brutal battlefield; one that involves lining up in single-file formation outside of Barney’s at the crack of dawn, fighting your way in and out of dressing rooms, and even digging through piles upon piles of Haute Hippie Silk Drawstring Pants hoping against all hope that a size Medium will suddenly materialize and bring victory to your shopping spree – all behaviors synonymous with that seen by soldiers on the front line.

Darlings, finding success at the sale rack does not start the moment you enter the store; rather, it requires preparation for days prior to the sale to ensure that you know exactly what you’re aiming to score during those few adrenaline-pumping hours. Sure, you may still have to stalk the brunette who snagged the last size six pair of Jeffrey Campbell Potion Ankle Boots, keeping your fingers crossed that she’ll change her mind about the purchase, and leave the prize within your reach; and there’s no doubt that you will emerge from the wreckage with a few bumps and bruises courtesy of feisty fashionistas on a mission identical to yours. If you abide by these rules, however, you will unquestionably emerge triumphant. Would I lie to you?

Shop the Closet Kitty cats, the sale may not be starting for another two days, but I insist, you’re going shopping right this very minute…in your own closet, that is.

The problem with sales is that everything is so much more affordable than normal, that we feel compelled to stock up on anything that catches our eye. The difficulty with this is, oftentimes, we already own large quantities of the identical item, we just don’t realize it; hence the reason why going shopping in your closet beforehand, as a means of taking inventory, is essential before you so much as begin putting together your I-desperately-need-to-find-it-today-or-else-my-wardrobe-will-be-forever-incomplete list.

“The quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her.”
Marcelene Cox

Let’s take a gander, shall we? In your shoe collection lie a full six pairs of black heels; you are the proud owner of three clutches, all showcasing sparkling silver sequins; and it appears that there are no less than four LBD’s peeking out from behind a jumble of dress shirts that could truly do with a good ironing right about now. Dolls, please understand I’m not passing judgment here – simply illustrating the facts. Yes, these are classic pieces that every girl should be in possession of – in moderation, of course. Your mission during the next sale is to steer clear of items you already own, and look for new bits that will spruce up your wardrobe, as opposed to collecting dust in a drawer full of duplicates. After all, who needs another pair of black pumps, when you could go wild with a pair of Alexander Wang’s Natasha Choked Pumps in Leopard?

Life Lessons I spotted it just a few short days ago. Haute Hippie’s Sequin Tulle Gown. Now, I wanted nothing more than to whip out my AmEx and charge what I like to think of as the crème de la crème of evening gowns, but I stopped myself – much to my chagrin, of course. Why? It doesn’t fit into my current situation.

When shopping the sale racks, it is of the utmost importance to evaluate your present lifestyle before buying items that cost an arm and a leg – even when deeply discounted – and may spend the next few years locked away in the back of your closet, never offered the chance to see the light of day.

“If men liked shopping they’d call it research.”
Cynthia Nelms

Cocktail dresses are perfect for a highfalutin socialite who spends at least four nights a week at chic soirees, but for the girl on the go who most frequently finds herself styled in leggings and oversized sweaters, it is best to forgo the displays devoted to eveningwear, no matter how much they call your name, and seek out pieces more applicable to your lifestyle. It is better to splurge on something that will be worn countless times, than to merely buy a form of frippery that thrills you, yet is seen only by your very own reflection in your bedroom mirror.

Apropos Apparel It’s no surprise that we all want to look our best when headed out for a day of shopping; after all, we want to be looked upon as serious shoppers, and not mistreated by salespeople a la Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. But I digress; one does not need to be dressed to the nines when seeking success at the sale rack. You simply want to choose a style which makes you look comfortably put together, yet ensures resilience so that you can not only try things on quickly, but contort yourself into tiny spaces in order to snag out-of-reach garments – which, believe me, you will be forced to resort to at some point during your little outing.

Your go-to look, if you hadn’t already guessed, is leggings, slightly slouchy short sleeve tees like KAIN Label’s Pocket Tee, flat boots in a fashion like Golden Goose’s Charlye Pull On Boot with Instep Strap, and cross-body bags such as mark’s Biker Bag. Ballerina flats are also an option, but only if you plan on wearing them with socks, or remember to bring a pair of socks with you – you never know when you’ll find a pair of shoes that you desperately want to try on, but are unable to because you left your socks at home!

“Shopping is a woman thing. It's a contact sport like football. Women enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death, and the ecstasy of the purchase.”
Erma Bombeck

I Spy With My Little Eye Kitty cats, you may not have found that decadent LaROK Safari Sophisticate Blazer in your desired size, but do not give up hope! Elsa Schiaparelli once said “Women dress alike all over the world: they dress to be annoying to other women.” The same way of thinking can be attributed to shopping for clothes.

Let’s be honest here, darlings, females can be catty, especially when it comes to fashion. We will, at times, purposely carry the very last Rebecca Minkoff Love Letter Satchel around a store until we leave, knowing full well that we won’t be buying it, just to make sure someone else cannot scoop it up right before our eyes; we are also guilty of tucking the last size six pair of Frye Veronica Slouch Boots amongst the section which caters to sizes eight through ten. We know its wrong; but sometimes we simply cannot help ourselves from committing such acts of label lust.

With that in mind, however, it is your responsibility to play Sherlock Holmes, and search every possible nook and cranny for your desired item. You may come up empty-handed; but, chances are, you will hit the jackpot, and leave the store with a smug smile plastered on your face!

“A bargain is something you can't use at a price you can't resist.”
Franklin P. Jones

Excess Denied The word budget is synonymous with a slow and painful form of torture for the girl looking to buy herself something fabulous; but it is essential to put one in place before you step even a single toe inside that store, if only just to save you from a major headache in the long run.

Sales are the perfect time to let yourself go a little too wild in terms of spending given all of the half-off signs plastered within a ten-foot radius of your person; but they can also be misleading. Yes, the items are on sale; but indulging in too many of them can easily place you in the poorhouse in five seconds flat! Have an idea of what you’re searching for, and how much you’re willing to spend in mind before the big day, and shop accordingly. Remember my loves, there will be other sales, and other items that will tickle your fancy in the future – don’t get caught up in this one alone!

For Your Listening Pleasure Darlings, I realize that you are probably a bit stressed just thinking about your impending tango with the sale rack. The main thing you can do right now is clear your mind, and listen to a few songs that will put you in the mood to shop ‘til you drop, and kick your fashion up a notch; thus, a playlist to satisfy your stylish side. Happy listening, my loves!

“I always say shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist.”
Tammy Faye Bakker

Fashion - David Bowie
Shopping for Clothes - The Coasters
Vogue - Madonna
Lagerfeld Lady - Fritz Helder & The Phantoms
Dedicated Follower of Fashion - The Kinks
Boys and Girls - Souvenir D'Italie
Glamorous - Fergie
Harajuku Girls - Gwen Stefani
Red Dress - Sugababes
A Perfect Lie - The Engine Room

“If I don't stop shopping, I'll end up a bag lady; a Fendi bag lady, but a bag lady...”
Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City



Fashionably yours!


Thanks to We ♥ It and Tumblr for the pictures.


Don't forget to enter the Time After Time Orient Automatic Watch Giveaway for your chance to win a watch from Orient Watch USA.
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86 comments

COCAMIA said...

LOL! I love your shopping playlist! Brilliant...xo

mom & son said...

Good morning, sweetie!

That's so true! I agree, I love to shop when I am
depress and later on I realize why I spend too much money. LOL!

I love your new layout by the way.

Live It Orange said...

Thank you for your comment dear! You have got an amazing blog and I happen to love your notion about life pretty much! So have you bought any stripe top yet?

Sam

meraldia said...

LOL, Elayne Boosler's quote is sooooo right!

CC said...

This is such a great post. Thanks to you, I am now sale-ready. *bring it on, TopShop!* =D
Xx

The Style Revolution said...

Great read! I loved it and can certainly relate to wanting to buy something beautiful that does not fit into my lifestyle. Im a casual chick but love to rockout my wears!

Great song list too!!!

xoxoxo

Tracy

Hope said...

I love these tips! And I agree with dressing comfortably....it's much easier to browse around and snag good deals!

http://cupcakesofsilk.blogspot.com/

tess said...

some great quotes here, love the one about men calling shopping research if they actually enjoyed it haha

sale racks can be too tempting, but if you give in you end up with a closet full of dresses you'll never wear

daisychain said...

Love this post, and I LOVE browsing sale racks!

nookie said...

great tips dear!

Pearl Westwood said...

Fun post and oh so true, sales do bring out the devil in us all ;-)

Sarah said...

This is very very true. I try and stay away from sales because I always end up getting things that I never ever wear again. I have found a few gems but I always think about it carefully now.

http://thefrontcover.blogspot.com

monica said...

wise wise words that i'll keep in mind as i navigate the overwhelming shopping scene of china...altho budgeting will be a difficult concept as i just spotted a tweed jkt with a studded lambskin collar that is both calling my words and not budget conscious

Jessica said...

These are fabulous tips for shopping any time - not just sale time! I also urge women to try on a size up and a size down when sale shopping. So, you can't find the size 6? Maybe that size 8 will fit. Labels cut things differently all the time. No need to be discouraged!

Diane said...

this was a great read :)

Aury said...

Such an amazing article darling. I absolutely adored all the little quotes and your music choices as well. I love the idea of having a shopping soundtrack and shall go explore your choices now.

Jacqueline said...

This was one of my favorite posts. I am guilty of getting things I don't really need when they are on sale! xo

www.FashionSnag.com

zupu said...

Fabulous post darling!!! I just went shopping on friday with my dear friend and bought a dark blue trench coat & ballerinas, red shirt, black cardigan and a mini skirt! Can't wait to see all the other things for summer! And the weather to get warmer too of course :)

English Rose ♥ said...

Another amazing post Erika, I loved this from start to finish. You write so well and I love the extra details such as the photos, playlists and quotes.

We have to go shopping together sometime darling!

Stay safe and chic ma chérie,
English Rose x
http://iamanenglishrose.blogspot.com

Maddy said...

I personally avoid sales at all cost! Of course I love sale prices, but I hate the mall crowds and fitting room chaos. I try to take advantage of the sales online, in the comfort of my living room :o) I also find that if I go to the actual store, I'll leave with something I don't actually need, just for the sake of buying something. Online shopping eliminates that problem, at least for me :)

Leah said...

I plead guilty. I love your tips... the shop your closet to begin with is very true.

Happy Sunday Erika! xoxo

Mimi said...

I love these budget friendly tips! Sale racks are full of hidden treasures just waiting to be found! Have a great week!

Sara Lynn said...

lol I love you subtle sarcasm! I love that you posted this, because i am supposed to go to the mall today! :)

I am glad that I read this before I left, although, I wish that I did check up on some stores sales beforehand. :P

Erin said...

Love the soundtrack for shopping! I think all Mika songs put me in the mood for shopping!

Luinae said...

Wow! So many good tips!

GraceFace said...

Sales.
Quite possibly my favourite word ever.
Aside from cupcakes, that is.

Lottie said...

this is brilliant!

Nubiasnonsense said...

lol very funny and cute.. great tips, I agree you have to prep days before I dont think everyone is aware of that

Margaux. said...

great post!

ellie said...

Love the quotes! cool playlist too. Oh, those new pumps..dazzling. Actually, I'd rather shop for shoes than anything else.

Josie said...

My absolute favorite post so far -- sales are my absolute fave things ever. LOVED this post, and your playlist is fab :)
xxoo Josie
http://winksmilestyle.blogspot.com

Jen said...

Oh Erika - I love this post so very much! I am terribly guilty of stocking up on classic pieces when they're reduced - I have so many plain grey t-shirts and pairs of black tights, it's a little obscene.

I'm also awfully embarrassed to admit I'll scoop pretty things into my basket so other people can't have them, then change my mind and hide them away somewhere else. I blame the sales entirely. :)

Nikolett said...

Ah, such a great post and I love the quote at the top haha :) I don't have the money at all for shopping lately, so I'm doing that "shopping in my closet" by trying to find items of clothing I own that I haven't worn in a while ... kind of makes it feel brand new hehe. And I love your little playlist, too. Hope you've had a great weekend and thanks for the tips!

Oh, and thanks for the compliments about the 'Ask Nikolett' section ... I'm really glad you like it :)

Cindy Whitehead said...

You always do the best posts (I know I have said this before) but you do! Graet quotes, pix and ideas! Going shopping (in my closet) right now!! (-:

Robyn said...

Another great post, madame! I ALWAYS take stock of my own closet before going shopping... I usually even make a physical list of the holes in my closet so that I can know the difference between "need" and "want" in the heat of my shopping-sale-frenzied passion!

Robyn
chichisaysrobyn.blogspot.com

Fashion Court said...

oh my gosh, i love that quote! i shop to cheer myself up :p haha

ps: come enter the alice in wonderland giveaway on my blog! xo

SabinePsynopsis said...

OMG, the sales are upon us? Perfect preparation advise. Bring out the inner lionness! (I do love shopping so...)

Sherin said...

Fabulous advice! All too many times I've bought items just because they were on sale, instead of needing them, and they lie in my closet for ages, unworn.
And I've never looked in every corner for hidden items! I can't wait to try that one.

The Pink Tutu said...

What a great post full of fabulous tips!! I need to put these into action :)

ediot said...

hi dear. youre clever and i love your writing! plus i love shopping. so this was so perfect for me! i hope you had an great weekend. and oh. twenty8twelve is fabolousness in its simplicity. but i do love their summercollection more.. ah how i long for summerclothes..


xx ediot

jjparks said...

“I always say shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist.”

This is exactly how I justify being a proud supporter of retail therapy. :)

jjparks.wordpress.com

Dancing Branflake said...

yes yes and yes! I just bought something at Banana Republic because I was shocked at how cheap it was, even though I knew I would never buy it. The same day I bought something else and then this morning I realized I have almost the exact same thing in my closet already. Thank goodness for return policies because when things go on sale all logic goes out the window. Just ask my mom who bought ten pounds of beef jerky at Costco just because she had a coupon.

K said...

lol I haven't done any serious shopping for a while. The last time I was on the prowl would have been Black Friday with my friend. We checked out the online ads ahead of time, mapped our route (which had to be re-routed), and rushed to get there early. We walked away quite happy.

Jessica said...

Great post, my thoughts exactly! I love shopping for the sole reason of the thrill of the hunt. Anyone can buy whats on the mannequin, I'm a good shopper bc I consistently find amazing stuff at great deals.

PS loving the quotes! And of course SATC quotes are always amazing to live by haha!

Charlie ♥ said...

hahaa, this whole post makes me think of confessions of a shopaholic :)



VAMPIRES-AND-CARDIGANS.BLOGSPOT.COM



x

J. said...

You're so good! I need to shop my closet more often!

Lily Johnson said...

I just love your blog girl. Nice post as usual.

Lily Johnson said...

I just love your blog girl. Nice post as usual.

Marz said...

Amazing post! The love the thrill of shopping in a store during sale times, but I find that my patience has been waring thin with crowds so I just go online for most of my purchases though. I like how you mentioned that the things we buy must fit into our lifestyle. I've been caught in the trap of buying things for a yacht, a prom, or a cocktail party when none of those things seems to be occurring any time soon! Thank God for returns though!

Jaime said...

Great playlist! :) I love that Carrie quote you end w/ too.

Emily said...

great post! this is exactly what I need right now, I need help with how to add some surprises to my repetitive wardrobe :)

R. said...

What an informative post — and true, too! I cannot tell you how many times I have gone shopping in the most inappropriate outfit and later regretted it. Thanks for your knowledge! xo

Jen said...

haha i love the quote you ended with from sex and the city :) this is one of your best posts yet! i'm always a victim to the sale rack and picking up as much as i can. your first word of advice was your best...that we should really shop our own closet first :)

Rick said...

Erika,
I can honestly say reading this was an eye-opener. You are right... Most men have no idea sales could be that rough lol

the "L" spot said...

oh that quote is true in so many ways!

Terence Sambo said...

Ur so right, d first thing to do is prepare.....u always have very informative and educating posts :o]

thesydneygirl said...

sales can be so frustrating haha some great points there :)
have a great week! x

Sarah @ Pandora's Box said...

Oh man I so agree about wearing comfortable clothes when you shop! It's a necessity. I remember I wore LACE UP BOOTS once and I wanted to just say fuck my shoes and shop barefoot! PS, this was a fantastic post!

la petite fashionista said...

i am a sale FIEND. few things excite me more than a really good bargain! I need to practice the "Shop your closet" step more often-- this weekend I rediscovered a whole rubbermaid bin of spring clothes I had stashed up in my closet in october!

wonderfelle said...

ahh excellent thoughts my dear, i must confess i'm a horrible sale shopper (as confirmed by the excess of unworn cocktail dresses in my closet - all purchased b/c they were on sale...) and unfortunately suffer from the "if it's on sale i can buy too" disease... oops. but your playlist is perfection :)

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

So very true dear! I have definitely been guilty of this and am trying to be more disciplined - don't look at the retail and just think about if it has a lasting place in my closet. Oh and my closet has a lot going to Goodwill so I'm not trying to shop the sales rack that much!

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Fabulous tips! I wish I could go shopping with you...sigh. It would obviously be quite fabulous. :)

Treacle said...

Absolutely brilliant article! This should be published in a magazine.

P.S. I wear the necklace I won in your giveaway all the time! Just posted another photo of me using it for a date night outfit--http://twitpic.com/15zp72

Rachel Scarlet said...

Erika darling! This is a genius post!! I say "Ay!" to the shopping advise and scenarios. Oh you make me wanna shop :X

P.S. Thanks for the comment. Just that God has worked so much in my life I feel that it is great if I could just share about it.

XOXO

Schnappy said...

Hi! Very cute photos! And last dress is beautiful! :)

Brenda evans said...

thanks :) btw i've just linked u, link back please
shoesandmuffins.blogspot.com

coolboy said...

hi cafe did u miss me i know u miss me alot , b'cos i miss you haha

:))

http://101smiles.blogspot.com/

naveen said...

hi how are u how was ur day

Hannah ♥ said...

I loveeee sale shopping but sometimes find it all a bit overwhelming, so thanks for the tips sweetie :)

LONDON--ROSE.BLOGSPOT.COM

xx

pixelhazard said...

Taking inventory? what a great idea- it may mean less shopper's guilt. Love that first quote

pixelhazard said...

Taking inventory? what a great idea- it may mean less shopper's guilt. Love that first quote

Scientific Housewife said...

Great tips, nothing is more fun than getting dressed up and shopping!

Bored and Crafty said...

Interestingly, my boyfriend shops when he's depressed. Haha.

Great tips. Will try to follow :D

Spicy Candy said...

OMG! what a great post, this reminds me of when Katya and I were in a mission to get the best out of Urban Outfitters during black friday! we got together at 12am, got to the store at 12:30am, "treasured hunt" for 3 hours
than we stood in line to check out for another 2 hours! PAINFUL!! but worth it since i did walked out w my Jimmy Campbel wedges and a bunch of other stuff for less than $70!! we do this every year! hahahha ps: and of course i love your playlist ;)

girlontheave said...

those are some very true and well-written wise words:) and a great quote too!

bananas. said...

You are like a therapist specializing in shopping. I lovee all your tidbits and advice.

Maria said...

This is so wonderful!

Mademoiselle Frou-Frou said...

LOL! i love how you compare shopping a sale to being Sherlock HOlmes...it's so true!
i have such bad luck with shopping the sale racks that i usually avoid them all together. however sale shopping is so easy online!
xoxo alison

sara said...

absolutely love all the quotes you find!! can't get enough!

http://goldandcitrus.com/blogs/blog

Tamanna A. Shaikh said...

Erika, I agree with every bullet of this post! You've put it so correctly. I'm just like that when it comes to shopping, trying to balance things out you know. A little indulgence is okay but we have to delineate some aspects. And I love the playlist!! Perfect to go with the shopping! :) Oh and where do you get such quotes from!! Loved each one of them here, especially: If men liked shopping, they'd call it research!! Haha so true! Can't wait to tell it to my bf! :) xoxo

Iva said...

Erika, you always have such beautiful, informative posts!!! KEEP THEM COMING!! Happy Monday and Happy March lovely lady!!!

OceanDreams said...

What a wonderful post - I have been trying hard to keep my budget under wraps and this definitely helps!

Alice said...

I agree, sales are dangerous as you tend to buy something just because it is cheap, so I try to avoid them. But this year I decided to give it a go.I was so lucky, I managed to fill in a lot of gaps in my wardrobe for the fraction of the price and I wear everything I bought all the time!

Rachel said...

You know you've made me want to go shopping now, right? :)
That Haute Hippie gown is absolutely gorgeous. And I'm loving those Alexander Wang pumps!

Kristin said...

Fabulous advice. I've forgotten stockings while shoe shopping and then tried to wear my new heels with tights only to have them slip!

le petit bonbon. said...

omggg! i love the list!!!!

& this quote!!!

“When women are depressed they eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It’s a whole different way of thinking.”
Elayne Boosler

soooo cute & useful ;)

xxoo

http://lepetitbonbonblog.blogspot.com/

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