11.25.2011

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 digging through piles upon piles of RED Valentino 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 See by Chloe Convertible Cuff High Heel 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 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. 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 Sam Edelman’s Portney Pumps in Leopard?

Life Lessons I spotted it just a few short days ago. Halston Heritage’s Halter Long Dress. 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 Alina Tee, flat boots in a fashion like Pour La Victoire's Marne Flat Boots, and cross-body bags such as mark’s Get A Handle On It 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 You may not have found that decadent Boy. by Band of Outsiders Cropped Double Breasted 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 Chateau Fringe Hobo 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 Hunter Boots Deacon Lace Up Flat Boots amongst the section which caters to sizes eight through ten. We know it's 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 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 for the pictures.
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30 comments

MM said...

Lovely post and pictures!! And I absolutely adore this playlist!

Have a wonderful weekend, honey!

xoxoxo

yiqin; said...

great post <3

BALLET NEWS said...

LOVED your pics - thank you

ellie said...

What a perfect BLACK FRIDAY article. Love the playlist!

lucy and sarah said...

Oh..so great! I love this. Cool quote too.

Couture Carrie said...

Awesome advice and playlist, darling!
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

xoxox,
CC

Paislea Elyse said...

ahhhh!! i love this!! and it's so [mostly] true about men being clueless... my fiance, however is pretty decent in the shopping realm. he is always patient and gives me his opinion... it's fun to shop with him... unless he's hungry ;)

i hope you had a happy thanksgiving!!

allisterbee.blogspot.com

janettaylor said...

What a perfect post, darling Erika! :)

Natasha H. said...

These tips are surefire winners when it comes to hitting sale racks. I hope you had a really nice Thanksgiving, and the homeless shelter was a sad situation, but I definitely learned from it.

Oh to Be a Muse said...

i love a good sale rack myself. this is why i enjoy shopping online so much--so much easier to find all the items on sale without the crowd!

Mary Jo at TrustYourStyle said...

I have no doubt that you will get some great stuff at the sales--I have been so out of control with my wardrobe buying that I really have to stop...soon. Hoping you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Erika and I will be in touch as soon as my nail polish is ready.

xoxo Mary Jo

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

I'd bet you'd be SO FUN to shop Black Friday with!

P.S. I'm hosting TWO giveaways! An Earth to Alice giveaway and a Chickey Designs giveaway. Don't forget to enter!

Ayanna Michelle said...

LOL, this is great! We all need to be reminded of these things before we hit the stores and return home like a defeated Rebecca from Confessions of a Shopaholic. Love this post!

Quench Fab

Grace said...

Great advice, especially about a budget! So many people overindulge during a sale.

About Last Weekend said...

Totally agree with all your tips. In fact I try not to shop in sales as I always end up with things that aren't quite right. Also am keeping away from the ball gowny stuff - its the jeans, leggings and cardies i spend my life in!!!

Sara said...

This really was a great post Erika, I think you need to start your own online magazine or something. I loved all the tips, everything was realistic and the playlist rocks.

Josie said...

Erika, this is PERFECTION. Everything is so true. I constantly have to remind myself that I'm not in fact a premiere-attending movie star when I shop. It's rough.
xo Josie
www.winksmilestyle.com

Rick said...

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

That's a really great quote. From a guy's perspective, it's really cool to pick something out without her help that she really likes.

In terms of Black Friday shopping, this guy stayed home. It was pretty crazy out there!

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, Erika! Love the pics, post and playlist! :)

Rick

cecylia said...

ooh i love your advice about the differnet brands- yes shopping should be a terrific experience for everyone!
Come follow my blog darling! xx
http://cecylia.com

Wonder Woman said...

Hahaha. I LOVE all of the quotes in this post!

http://wonderwomanrises.blogspot.com

Jessi Haish said...

good quotes and AWESOME playlist!

Fashion Tales.... said...

Great post! I tend to shop pretty much the same these days: within budget, and year round, lol! & love online shopping.

Nadia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sherin said...

Fabulous tips for sale shopping. Shopping your closet is always such a great idea. I tend to make a list before I head out, so I know exactly what I want/need.

shooting star said...

aah..SALES shopping..its brutual, fun, and daunting at the same time!!

http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.com/

Lee Oliveira said...

Madonna has always been on my Iphone.. hahaha
lee

Elle Sees said...

i have so few dresses, like maybe 4 total.

Clare said...

You always scout the best photos. And your playlists NEVER disappoint!

Meenakshi said...

I have been a fan of your blog for a while now but never too the time to comment. Beautifully written post- chic words, practical words!

Bostonista said...

Awesome post!
Great tips and truths :)

xo

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