Want, Lust, Must Have: YSL Small Sac Du Jour

YSL Small Sac Du JourYves Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane Small Sac du Jour, $2,750, originally from F/W 2014 collection

Saving up for this bad boy has forced me to modify how I shop. Putting away the same portion of my paycheck week after week makes the final purchase a treat that I know I’m expecting — a planned-for surprise, if you will. Watching that monetary amount grow and grow demonstrates my perseverance to myself, showing my inner shopaholic that if you hold out for something that’s timeless and you covet so dearly, the trendy pieces that catch your eye for a minute or two become less and less appealing as you start to notice your triggers. Mine are plaid, exceptional fabrics, interesting silhouettes, and uniqueness…but the deal breaker? Knowing that other people will have it. I crave pieces with a rebel-rock aesthetic, but classic enough to outstand a one-season wear.

While in LA earlier this month, my coworker and I popped into the Chanel store on Rodeo Drive to satisfy our eyecandy temptations. I’ve been in love with the Chanel Boy Bag since it came out in their F/W 2013 collection, but seeing it on nearly 8 out of every 10 women in LA was an extreme turnoff (aside from the $4,000+ price tag). Sure, I saw my YSL on a few shoulders, but a minuscule number by comparison. Same goes for most other designer pieces I crave — uniquely classic designs that a few people have, but not so blown up as a fad would merit.

This will be my first luxury designer bag I pay full ticket for out of my own pocket — others have been gifts from friends in the industry (Burberry Crush from last Christmas) or just amazing steals at discount stores (hello, Furla croc tote a la Nordstrom Rack in 2013). The hefty price tag has forced me to rethink how i shop so i could actually put aside a consistent amount to grow a “Shopping Fund,” if you will. Instead of blowing $50 on rather disposable pieces from H&M or Urban Outfitters, I’ve been keeping my spending to an absolute minimum — no new clothing purchases since AUGUST. That may be normal for many of you, but it took a LOT of self control and spending restraint to get me this far in the “fund”. I had made a few “key-pieces” purchases in August to refresh my Fall wardrobe, but I’ve been a good girl ever since 0:)

What about you ladies? Has there been a designer piece that you’ve wanted so badly you changed your shopping/spending habits to make it a reality purchase?
I’d love to hear about it in the comments section!

European v. American: Differently managed wardrobes

You might be thinking, “Wait, people manage their wardrobes?” Well, yes, yes they do. You do too, you just don’t realize it. You may not think your spending habits reflect your country of origin, but it speaks more about your consumption patterns than you think. The two mindsets are quite different:

the European way vs. the American way      |     Quality vs. Quantity

It’s said that Europeans have the consumption habits of buying a few select high-ticket pieces per year to incorporate into their basic wardrobe, whereas Americans tend to buy numerous low-ticket items multiple times a year to have a plentiful wardrobe. Americans are known to adorn themselves with name brands, linking the concept to status-symbols; Europeans clothe themselves in well-designed pieces knowing the brands simply from the designs, no logos needed. Americans are very focused on self-expression and tapping into trends while Europeans are said to value the quality of a garment and the longevity that it can have in their wardrobe’s lifetime.

It’s sometimes horrifying better, to view it like this:

1 blouse ($300)     +     1 coat ($700)     +     1 pair of heels ($200+)      =      $1200+
European shopping mindset

3 t-shirts ($12 each), 2 pairs of jeans ($30 each), 2 flip flops ($5 each), 1 hoodie ($40)= $146
American

A few questions for you to ponder:

∞  Which do you think you follow: the European or American mindset?
∞  How do you view your closet? I.e. Curator or hoarder?
∞  What type of shopper are you? I.e. planner, impulsive, etc.?

 

Shopping Tip #6: Never Pay Full Price

Growing up in suburbia and attending college in D.C. offered slews of stores out of my price range. In high school I had the advantage of working a part-time job at TJ Maxx to support my closet. Now, while in college, my schedule has been filled with internships instead of a paying job. This has allowed me to acquire a new skill set: finding deals when girlfriends thought it couldn’t be done. Going to school in our nation’s capital is fun, but boy is it expensive! Add to that my expensive particular taste in clothing and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Over the years I’ve picked up a few habits that have helped me be able to still buy the clothes I love at the price-points I’ve fallen in love with. I’m always floored when I talk to women and they say they payed full price for an item; many a time I find the same designer at a discounted store for a fraction of the price they said. To ensure that you never pay full price, here are a few tidbits to consider:

1. Get that frequent shopper card

Unfortunately, not all cards are created equal. Some are credit/debit cards while others are actual frequent-shopper cards. To feed my particular shopping habits I have a Sephora Beauty Insider card, a Nordstrom Rack debit card, and a Loehmann’s Gold Rewards card. You’d think that after working in the TJX Corporation for 3 years I’d have a TJ Maxx credit card, but I don’t. My mom does. One other I’d offer for consideration: a Macy’s credit card. Agreed, credit cards can get crazy out of control (notice how I don’t have any listed?) but Macy’s in particular is very beneficial as it offers discounts exclusively to card members (again, my mom has one, ha!). For more information on each card click on their names above.

2. Shop at high-end discount stores

May sound like an oxymoron, but they’re chock full of gold!! I always prefer to do this in-person, but if you absolutely insist on doing this online, you’ll want to check out these sites:

3. See it in-store, find it on Ebay or Amazon

Though it may have been an issue in the past, both Ebay and Amazon have amped up their authentication processes to ensure that knock offs are no longer on their sites. I have found designer denim in department stores and checked on Ebay to find the exact same pair in my size for $20-60 cheaper (plus in a wash I like better!).

4. Use Online Tricks of the Trade

The online tools from this article will help you master finding steals online if you don’t have the time or patience to go from store to store. Not everyone enjoys shopping in-person; it’s a sport that can easily instill disappointment, tiredness, and wishing you’d just stayed home. For those men and women, online shopping is your best bet.

 

Always remember:

Shop smart, shop confidently :)

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Shopping Tip #5: Online Tricks of the Trade

If you’re upset because you missed the slew of holiday sales, are frustrated that you didn’t get what you wanted this past holiday season, or you’re just getting a jump start on resort wear / Spring attire, I’m sure you’ve realized: online shopping is now your best friend. Whether you have limited time to shop or you live in an area that doesn’t offer many retail stores that tickle your fancy, e-commerce can broaden your horizons. From designers you’ve never heard of to styles your town has never seen, the glorious land of Internet Shopping has helped (or plagued) women for years. Online shopping isn’t just simply shopping online. It allows you to bounce from site to site to hunt for a deal, whereas doing the same while shopping in person takes hours bouncing from store to store.You’re able to save time (theoretically) and money after a little practice.

Price hunting online is a skill to acquire. But it can easily be achieved with the help of a few particular websites. Everyone has their favorites, but here are a few of mine:

∞  ShopStyle: Browse top name brands on the site itself, or click on SALEAlerts where you’re able to 1. Enter your email address, 2. Designate which brands you care about most, and 3. Choose the frequency of which you would like to receive sale alert emails: multiple times daily, daily, or weekly. It all depends: How much do you like to shop? Or, even better: How full does your inbox get on a daily basis?

∞  Shop It To Me: 1. Designate your favorite brands, 2. Choose your size, 3. Let the Shop It To Me team do their work! As your chosen brands begin to put items on sale, you will receive email notifications about items that are actually in your size! This page gives you the full low down about their system. NOTE: Again, make sure you set the frequency that you would like to receive emails: daily, weekly, or twice weekly.

∞  Hukkster: The rookie on the scene, I fell in love with Hukkster and the Hukking team almost instantly. After signing in with either Facebook or Gmail, you’re able to drag their “Hukk It” button to live up in your browser bar. As you’re online shopping, click the button: your item is now saved to your “Hukks” in your account. Once the item goes on sale you will receive an email notification telling you so! Maybe it was out of your price range at full price, but sale price is on point ;) Since the site was launched fairly recently (2012, I believe) not all sites are fully enabled (i.e. You’re able to designate desired color & size on Victoriassecret.com, but not on Nordstrom.com). Nearly all items are Hukk-able, but some offer further specification for what you’re looking for. I love this because my inbox is ALWAYS too full—this tells me about the items I actually want to buy, not just the brands I like. What’s not to love about that? (Stay tuned, I’ll be tweeting updates about more available sites as I see them!)


Another glorious trick to knocking off a few additional dollars to most of your online purchases: Online Couponing! I have finagled my way into getting 1. Free shipping, 2. Employee discounts (once, accidentally!), and 3. 10% off or more. While some people may be loyalists to a particular site for this, I simply type into Google such phrases as “[store name] coupon code” or “[store name] discount code.” Within seconds a slew of sites come up. NOTE: Not all coupon codes are created equal. Many are expired, but after quickly clicking and skimming the first 3-4 search results often times at least one of them works. Consistent sites that pop up are:

 

And remember ladies:

Shop smart, Shop confidently :)

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Shopping Tip #4: Clean Out Your Closet

With the holiday season looming ahead, I thought this would be something you ladies might want to start thinking about. Since the holidays always mean shopping, gifts, and giving, we seem to always acquire new clothing during these upcoming weeks. May it be from falling into the “one gift for you, one gift for me” trap, trading clothes with girlfriends as they’ve cleaned out their closets, or maybe you’ve splurged on a few extra Fall wardrobe pieces. Bottom line: it’s time to weed out the clothes you don’t want/like/need anymore and make room for potential new items.

I am one of those women who curates their closet. If I haven’t worn something new within a certain time frame, there’s a good chance I simply won’t ever wear it. Or, if I am not as fond about a garment when looking through last season’s clothes I will put it aside for donation to the Salvation Army. If I won’t enjoy it any more, someone else will. In finding out my own weird nuances about my closet, I’ve figured out some very handy tips that I think every woman will benefit from.

1. Keep all receipts paper-clipped to the tags until you actually remove the tags to wear the garment.

This will save time when looking for the receipt, and it will also catch your eye each time you’re in your closet. If you see the bulky paper receipt flowing down the sleeve of an unworn blouse enough times you will be more inclined to either rip the tags off and wear it, or realize that you have no idea why you bought the item in the first place. This exercise is a great way to realize which items cause you buyer’s remorse so you can consciously avoid making similar purchases in the future.

2. If you have not worn the garment after 2+months of owning—return it.

If you haven’t been concocting ways to wear that new blazer or pair of shoes, you’re not as in love with it as you thought you were the first moment you saw it. In-store displays and digital photography on websites can do wonders to entice shoppers to buy items they don’t really need. If you haven’t rushed to put it on yet, let it simmer in your closet for a few weeks. If you’re still not in love with it, back to the store it goes!

3. If you own items you have not reached for in 6+months—donate it.

Obviously seasons change within the course of 6 months, but if you don’t even reach for a particular garment within a Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter cycle then really ask yourself if you’re going to wear it again. If it sits in your closet for any longer than 6-7 months, donate it to someone who will get good wear out of it. If you really think your tastes will change back in that garment’s favor, hold on to it in a separate pile. But if it doesn’t even cross your mind for an outfit, give it away.

4. If you own items that you say “after I lose those 5lbs…”—donate it.

If the item didn’t fit you when you bought it, it won’t fit the more it sits in your closet. If you’ve owned it for a while and are anticipating a weight-loss to help you fit into something again be realistic with yourself: how long have you been telling yourself you were going to lose 5lbs? How long have you owned the garment? If the time frame is similar donate the item to someone who will actually fit into it. Or, use this as a wake-up call to finally take it to the tailor’s.

This will keep your wardrobe lean and up-to-date with your style. Who wants to go shopping now? ;)

 

 

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