Savvy Shopping

I finally finished writing this post on the plane last week.  My friends are always asking about how I find deals when shopping.  It’s been on my To-Do list for months… {Warning!  This is a text heavy post!}
ASOS Revive Sequin Dress | {here}

When I grew up, our family lived very modestly.  Both of parents immigrated to the US, and they worked hard to provide for me and my brothers.   We had necessities and little, if any, luxuries.  Their mantra was “Do well in school” so we could live a better life and their hard work would pay off.

Because of our frugal lifestyle, my mom taught me to be a resourceful shopper.  We would shop once a year before school.  She found wonderful sales at Foley’s {before they became Macy’s} to get more for our money.  And occasionally, we would hit the neighborhood garage sales.  One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!  I also got hand-me-down clothes from my cousins and some of my mother’s friends.

Zoe Chicco Love Necklace | {here}

Because I never wore the trends {those clothes were too expensive}, I had to be creative with my clothes and outfits.  The outcome was not always the greatest, but I was experimenting with fashion even back then!  I was inspired by my beautiful mom – I loved to watch her put on makeup and get dressed.  She wasn’t afraid to be unique.  We would also watch CNN Style with Elsa Klensch. {Thanks for reminding me about her Kim!}

As years have passed, my shopping habits have changed.  One thing that hasn’t, though, is my love for sales.  It is very difficult for me to buy anything at retail price.  I would say 99% of my wardrobe was bought on sale.  Something that I am still working on is buying something that I want/need at retail price instead of buying something just because it is on sale or inexpensive.  {Mr. S often asks me if I need those ten $10 shirts or if I should have bought the one $100 shirt that I really wanted.  He is my voice of reason.}

Felix Rey Kissy Face Basket Clutch | {here}

So… I wanted to share some shopping knowledge with you so your designer duds can be bought on a budget.  There are deals to be found everywhere, from Walmart to Neiman Marcus.  You just need to know where to look and what to look for.

Find out schedules!  That sounds silly, but you can get the best selection if you are there first.  The early bird gets the worm.  For example, Tuesday is a special day for specific retailers – that is when Anthropologie list new sales in “Fresh Cuts” and Tuesday Morning gets new shipments.  My favorite Marshalls would get a truck delivery on Mondays.  NM Last Call gets a major shipment from Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman in the Fall.

Sign up for emails or mailing lists.  I have a separate email account for store subscriptions and shopping online.  Many times, you will be notified when a sale is going to start or retailers will send loyalty coupons.  This always helps to cut some dollars off the receipt!

Get to know a sales associate.  Many retailers like Macy’s, Nordstroms, Saks Fifth Avenue, or Neiman Marcus will have pre-sales.  Your sales associate can be your shopping “godfairy” – they know what is going to be on sale and can “pre-sale” it for you.  Usually, your store credit card will be charged and you can pick up the item on the first day of the sale.  This way, you get first dibs on sale items!  :)

Keep a list!  {This is something I am still working on.}  Every season, you can go through your wardrobe and decide what needs to go and what items you need to get.  If you can stay focused when shopping, then you won’t be overwhelmed when going into places like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Ross, or NM Last Call when wading through sales racks.

It’s okay to spend a little more on quality pieces especially if they are well constructed or made of natural fibers like silk, wool, or leather.  You just have to decide what “a little more” is worth to you.  In school, $50 was the max I would spend on a quality item.

Use the internet for a resource!  There are many discount online retailers like Bluefly, Yoox, The Outnet, and Overstock.  Additionally, there are membership online retailers that sell retail brands on sale for certain amounts of time.  For example, NOir jewelry would be on sale for 2 days at Gilt.com.  Gilt, Rue La La, Haute Look, Ideeli, and Beyond the Rack the retailers that I know of today!  {Email me at styleofsamantha@gmail.com if you need an invite to any of these websites.}

These two websites are fantastic if you are looking for a specific item on sale:  Followsales.com and shopstyle.com are wonderful for finding specific items on sale.

Additionally, specific blogs like The Chloe Conspiracy post sales and deals everyday.

Shop consignment shops, estate sales, or garage sales {if you are comfortable with previously worn items}.  I have quite a few couture items from the afore mentioned.  I got this vintage Oscar de la Renta dress and this Escada jacket for $18 at a consignment store.  This Yves Saint Laurent jacket was $30 at an estate sale.  I’ve heard of someone finding an Hermes scarf for $5 at a garage sale and a Chanel bag for $20 at Goodwill!  I know those are diamonds in a rough but it doesn’t hurt to check out local shops if you’ve heard they are reputable.

Last, but not least, make money while shopping!  You can sign up for an ebates account and receive a percentage back of what you spend.  Now, that’s my kind of shopping.

Miu Miu Leopard and Glitter Slingbacks | {here}

Hope all of this information was helpful and didn’t overload you!  Let me know if you have any other savvy shopping tips! 

P.S. I’m a very visual person so I had to add some picures of fun things I found while online shopping!

P.P.S.  I am STILL out of town and have been keeping busy with family issues.  Thank you guys for all the support!  xo

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6 thoughts on “Savvy Shopping

  1. Get me a $20 Chanel handbag stat!!!

    You are a savvy shopaholic! I dont bother shopping much for clothes and stuff…because :-

    a) I’ve put on weight which is a tad depressing
    b) Everything is so freakin expensive in Australia
    c) I dont have a proper job yet so I can only spend on beauty products or clothes…so I chose the former because of my beauty blog…le sigh

    And ooh, I saw that sparkly dress on Karen Cheng the other day…you know the Aussie blogger…

    Anyway, love your blog, as always :D

  2. Just found your blog (how did it take me so long?!) and I adore this post! I have a similar story growing up and I think it makes me more appreciative of the items I already have in my closet as well as more thoughtful when shopping. I rarely buy anything full price. It may take a little more work and some waiting…but it’s worth it!
    BTW, you have a new follower :-)

    XO – Marion

  3. Sam, I can relate to your experience. The first generation immigrants have it tough and the second has a far more comfortable life. I’m like you. Most of my garments are purchased during sales. There’s only a few pieces here and there which were purchased at retail price but these are rare and far in between. Even my Hermes shawls and jewelry came from the sales in Paris.

  4. I am the same! I buy most of my stuff on sale and I totally agree when you’re able to buy stuff at a fraction of retail, it’s hard to pay full price. I do most of my shopping online in Australia as stuff is so expensive here. I LOVE that dress and I wish I saw it sooner!

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