Love/Hate with the Outlets

We just had a new outlet mall open nearby. Correction – a new “premium” outlet mall. Let me explain the difference between the premium outlet and the average run-of-the-mill outlet: price. Sure, there are high-end designer stores occupying this outlet – Michael Kors, Coach, Kate Spade, Prada, BCBG, etc. – but there are also higher-than-mall prices here. Case in point: the Michael Kors jacket I bought at TJ Maxx can be had at the outlet store for, get this, $50 more than I spent on it. No thanks.

Still, I love outlets because you can find things you wanted but missed in the stores. For instance, I picked up this straw handbag – a total spur-of-the-moment buy – at the Guess outlet store.

I paid too much. It was $50. On eBay, similar ones are going for $30. However, I got the color I wanted, which is a rosy pink, and it was the last rosy pink one in the store. I literally grabbed it off the mannequin.

In general, I look elsewhere for bargains. Outlets have not proven to me yet that they can save me money. But I’ll still look, hoping…



June 6, 2008. bargains, handbags. 1 comment.

Bargains in the Preppy Stores

Now’s the time to start your search. Typically, summer sales begin a bit later around here, but there are always clearances. You’d be surprised where you’ll find them, too. Case in point – I took my daughter to American Eagle Outfitters and found two tops for myself. This one fits within all the rules I try to follow – it has an a-line shape to it, which hides any imperfections, and the color is great. And it cost $19.95 on sale.

Normally I steer away from the preppy stores as they cater to a much younger crowd, but a discerning eye can locate some very appropriate, very nice things.

What are some of your finds?

June 1, 2008. bargains, clothes. Leave a comment.

New Year, New Stuff

Thank God for post-holiday sales and paychecks! The Christmas crunch definitely slowed my purchases, but I managed to score some nice gifts at both Guess and Armani Exchange. But the motherlode was at TJMaxx in January. There I found a Michael Kors black jacket that’s just amazing. Better yet, it didn’t cost $154, but rather a cool $39.99. Even the outlet store couldn’t sell it for that!


February 10, 2008. bargains, clothes. Leave a comment.

Most Wonderful Time

There hasn’t been much room for fashion purchases this month, though I admit that most on my list are getting clothing. Naturally, the sales never coincide with my bank account, so I’ve been unable to buy even a pair of socks for myself. That’s a good thing, actually, for this is the time of giving, not hoarding for oneself. 🙂

But oh, January! I love January. And it’s not because the spring clothing hits the racks mere seconds after the last ornament is taken down – no, that’s just a sign that our very favorite time of year is here. SALE TIME!!

See, those winter clothes, which in my neck of the woods are still very much in demand, are now pushed to the back of the stores on unkempt racks. Ladies, those racks are teeming with bargains. Some of my favorite sale racks – Banana Republic, United Color of Benetton, Gap, Target, TJ Maxx and even Lord & Taylor. Banana Republic for the upscale stuff you’d never buy thanks to the price tag, UCB for the same reason, Gap for basics, Target for their funky clothing (they’ve come a long way in the fashion world – check ’em out), TJ Maxx because hey, designer stuff on a dime, and Lord & Taylor, for where else can you score Michael Kors and other designer duds for around $30?

Another favorite – J Crew. They have a great online sale year-round, but winter is especially nice. I love their sweaters and I admit I don’t own a single one yet, but I’ve worn a pair of cargo capris from there to death. I think their image of relaxed Nantucket chic is also great for winter.

What are your favorites? Where do you score incredible deals?

December 19, 2007. bargains, clothes. Leave a comment.

Spot the Bargain

Here’s a fun weblog – has a regular test of your bargain-shopping prowess. Showing two similar items, your mission is to choose the higher-priced one. I was able to choose four out of five correctly. The beauty of the site is it links the photos to sites where you can buy the items.

How well did you do?

November 9, 2007. bargains, clothes, cool websites. Leave a comment.

Shoes! Lots of Shoes!

Can you get great shoes for under $50? Dang skippy you can! Here are a few I just scored recently on eBay:

Anne Klein peep-toe pumps

Anne Klein tweed peep-toes

The heel’s waaaay up there, but who can resist a shoe for $29?

October 27, 2007. bargains, shoes. Leave a comment.

The Search for the Handbag

I had a good summer. There were plenty of handbags to choose from, and I alternated between hobos and satchels.

Then came fall. Thanks to the largest mall on the east coast being next door, I thought I’d have an easy time of it. HA! After two hours, I was ready to give up. I wanted a unique bag – not something you’d see anyone else carrying. It didn’t have to be a particular size, but it had to be different.

 Thank God for Baker’s Shoes! I walked in on a whim, figuring I’ll juimg_0365.jpgst buy shoes instead. There on the shelf was any number of great choices! I chose this one – and it cost me a whopping $31 with tax. It’s bigger than I usually carry, but on a recent vacation, I was able to pack a ton of electronics power cords and even a book for the flight.

Whaddya think?

October 26, 2007. bargains, handbags. Leave a comment.

Fashion for the Rest of Us

I’ll admit it – I’m a closet fashionista (pun intended). I subscribe to Bazaar and Lucky and at one time, even Vogue. I love clothes. But I don’t have a Bazaar, Vogue or Lucky budget. I’ve never spent more than $50 on shoes. I’ve never paid $100 for any item beyond my wedding dress (which was Versace, by the way – a girl’s gotta know when to splurge!). And yet I have designer clothes up the wazzoo.

 See, I’m a bargain shopper. I’m the woman who bypasses the expensive racks in Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor and heads straight for the sale racks. I’m a frequent shopper at TJMaxx, despite having my CC number stolen there last year (luckily, it wasn’t used by anyone other than me, which was bad enough). I live for eBay shoes. I will dig to the bottom of any sale bin without shame. I get enough compliments on my wardrobe to spur me deeper into the bargain bins.

That’s what this blog is about – looking fantastic on a bargain.  I will share with you my bargain finds, and the can’t-pass-up items. Let’s talk shoes. While we’re at it, let’s talk makeup and jeans and jackets and jewelry. If you put it on you or use it to look fabulous, it’s fair game!

October 26, 2007. bargains, clothes. Leave a comment.

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