payin' less & gettin' more
If you're an athlete, you don't go into a game without a strategy. Similarly, if you're human, you don't go into a clothing store without a strategy either. You shouldn't at least.
Think of yourself as a LION *DJ Khaled voice* who's hunting a gazelle. Gosh, that's sad. Okay, okay, think of yourself as a spider waiting to catch a fly! Now that's less painful.
My point is that planning your shopping is just as important as swiping your card at the register.
Planning. Oh how I love that word. Mozart to my ears. Or Drake. Or Beyonce. Your pick.
Tips and tricks for your next shopping trip a.k.a.
the smartest shopping trip you’ll make.
Marshalls. TJ Maxx. Ross.
I mean what can be better? Stores that resell expensive brands in good condition for less money. Whoever came up with that, thank you.
Each individual store has different products, hence, it's crucial to identify the best off-price retailer in your area. The “treasure” store will most likely be located in a wealthier neighborhood. For example, in Richmond, VA the best Marshalls is on the West End. I mean, earlier this year, they had VALENTINO shoes in stock. Too bad I didn't have an extra $500 in my pocket. Come on.
Visit the off-price retailers often, to scout out brands that are sold there. Usually all of the 3 mentioned above will have Michael Kors, Lucky Brand, and Jones New York. Sometimes, unusual shipments of Free People, Urban Outfitters, and Zara might come in. Which means? You gotta watch out, my dear spider.
If a product is in an off-price store, doesn’t mean you have to pay its starting price. I really recommend keeping an eye on your favorite pair of shoes for a week or two. Most likely, it’ll go on sale and the price will drop about $10 or so. Hey, that’s a Chick-fil-a meal.
SALE. SALE. SALE.
I’m not going to make that joke, saying: “Oh it’s my favorite four-letter word”. Clothing brands really should cut that out. I’d rather go with “LOVE” instead. Less inappropriate, huh?
I’m getting way too far off topic here.
ANYWAY, it’s pretty simple: learn about your favorite stores. When do they have sales? How long do they last?
I’m pretty obsessed with Zara. Aren’t we all? They run sales mid-season, usually right before the biggest designers in the fashion world are about to release their next collection. The sale lasts several weeks, and if you wait long enough (like I did), you’ll buy good quality jeans, a pair of boots, a pair of flats, and a top ALL for $50. Didn’t I tell you I’m good at this stuff?
Hey, Macklemore! Can we go thrift shopping?
The answer is: yes! You can and should go thrift shopping.
Wherever you live, never underestimate the power of research. Find the best thrift shops in town and get a feel for their target audience.
Marketing terms - I’m SO cool (*hasn’t taken ONE marketing class yet).
Figure out if the store appeals to younger people or maybe more so to people who are older. Once you do, you’ll know exactly where you’re headed.
For all my Richmonders out there: Ashby and Clementine in Carytown as well as Rumors on Broad Street near VCU Barnes & Noble are my top picks.
Give yourself time. Thrift shops usually have LOTS of things to browse through. So take a deep breath. I promise it will be easier than going through Forever21 sale section racks.
Most importantly: get rid of the stigma that associates thrift shop clothes with being too old. It’s really not true. Trust me, I’ve been to lots of them. They’re more like a box of chocolates - you never know what you’re gonna get.
Drive yourself to an outlet store.
Really, do it. It’s so worth it. Even if you live an hour or two away.
I gotta admit it though, things at outlets are sometimes expensive, even when discounted. As a result, it’s best to take that long, excruciating trip when you’re in a search of a one quality item.
A bag, pair of shoes, a watch, or a coat. I would definitely not drive to an outlet with the means of casual shopping for jeans, tops, and skirts. ONLY big purchases. Cuz you know I aint got no money for that type of life.
The bottom line.
You’re an extremely smart young lady/guy and you should use those smarts to get yourself looking FIRE on a budget!
Don’t get me wrong, I certainly buy things that aren’t on sale or at an off-price retailer - very rarely though. But I still do. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Some pieces are worth spending on.
I guess that’s what I’m trying to say. Always ask yourself: Can I get this cheaper somewhere else? If the answer is yes, drop everything and GO GO GO! If no, swipe or insert your chip card below.
Oh, and always:
GO GET’EM GIRL!
by Anastasia Postolati