Pop-Up Anticipation!

One of my favorite sales of the year is coming up in less than two weeks!
The annual 5-day Splash of Pink pop-up at the Tanger Outlets in Westbrook, CT starts on Wednesday August 16th at 9:00AM.

Some tips of advise from previous years:

*Get there early, VERY early (especially on the weekends).  The line will start forming a few hours prior to the opening time.  It’s better to be waiting at the beginning of the line and get to enter the store first, than arriving late and watching others through the window shop while you wait to be let in.  The employees will only let a certain number in at a time – but it still seems crowded once you enter!

*Come prepared.  I mean, black Friday prepared. It’s not uncommon to see women sipping on their morning coffees and eating breakfast in line.  And, I’ve seen a portable chair or two – just make sure you’re with someone who will bring it back to the car for you when it’s your turn to enter. Trust me, your boyfriend/husband will NOT be the only one dragged along (there’s a nice ledge they all sit on as they watch the shopping madness and hold mile-high piles of potential purchases)

*Grab fast.   It is First Come, First Served – and sizes & styles are very limited.   So if you see something you love, grab it.  If you turn around or walk away, it might be gone for good.  Items are re-stocked throughout the weekend, but shoppers never know which items will be re-stocked or when the re-stock takes place.  With that being said, make sure you try it on, because all sales ARE final.  Which brings me to my next tip….

*Wear “conservative” undergarments.  The dressing room consists of one giant curtain.  Basically, you find a spot right next to someone else to strip down and try on items.  You’re sharing mirrors in one massive mob of women. And it may sound far fetched now, but if someone sees you trying on an item that they LOVE, they may “stalk” you to see if you’re going to give it up as you leave the fitting room.
(And, I don’t use the term stalk lightly.  Last year, I had a teenage girl and her mom eyeing my every move as I contemplated between a size S and size M of the TuskInSun t-shirt dress.  They watched me try each size on, commenting on the fit, and trying to convince me to choose the M even though it was way too big!  Unfortunately for her, I ended up snatching the S).

*Just have fun! Pop-up sales can be hectic, but when you find an item you love, they are totally worth it! Since Lilly rarely goes on sale, this one is not to be missed!

Just in case you didn’t receive a postcard in the mail, I posted a photo of it below! Please be sure to read the details, they only take certain payment options (no checks), and remember sales are final, so make your selections wisely!

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If you’ve been to this pop-up in the past, I’d love to hear your experiences, advise & tips – please share in the comments section!

Till next time, get ready!
(And be sure to check back after the sale to get a peak at my findings!

Then and Now:

Days can go by so quickly when schedules get hectic: between sleep, work, fitness, social activities, cooking, eating and cleaning, 24 hours passes in the blink of an eye.  But, when you add 365 days together, so much more can happen!

I think back to a year ago, when I was flying to Florida to take a week-long road trip with my fiancé (now husband) up to Connecticut.  A year later, our wedding and honeymoon are behind us, and that road trip seems like such a distant memory.

But I still remember enough to tell you about it:

We took a lot of breaks on our 1000mile road trip, to explore new areas and sight see.  After stopping in Savannah, Georgia for lunch and a trolley tour, we made our way to Charleston, South Carolina.  Besides the bought of ghost activity in the Barksdale House Bed & Breakfast (still spooks me!), we loved the area.  We found a strip of stores and restaurants within walking distance of our B&B and definitely took advantage of strolling around to stretch our legs.

Not only did I pick up a pair of Pink Tusk-In-Sun elephant shorts at Lilly Pulitzer (which were sold out in my size everywhere else at the time!), Kate Spade was also having their annual Work.Play.Sale!  I had a ball trying on piles of clothes in their beautifully wallpapered fitting room adorned with velour bow-shaped pillows and inspirational quotes on the mirrors.

At this point our wedding was 10 months away – but by now you should know I plan ahead! (Way ahead!)  As I contemplated between a few dresses, I decided on the cream colored fit&flare Tanner dress – knowing it would be perfect for our rehearsal dinner.  It’s a comfortable blend of cotton & silk that can be dressed up or down.

The (original) price was a little hefty: $448.  BUT: the sale price slashed that in half to $224.  Calculate the additional 30% off… down to $156.80! That’s 65% off!!

What comes around goes around – it’s a year later and the Work.Play.Sale is BACK at Kate Spade until July 5th!  Check our their website or a local store to receive an additional 30% off their already-reduced sale items!

And a year later… The reveal out of the garment bag:

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‘Till next time!

Unbelievable Dress Deals!

My posts have been far and few between lately – autumn is an extremely busy season! Anyway, even though I haven’t had much time to shop, my eye caught some amazing dress deals at Nordstrom Rack a few days ago.  I inspected the dresses and could not find anything wrong with them – just shocking price tags.

I literally could not believe some of these markdowns –

The very best deal in my opinion?
A $898 Cobalt lace ML for $68.  That’s about 92% off!

Normally in stores we see Michael, by Michael Kors.  It’s not often we see the real Michael Kors Collection, with dresses running up to $20,000 a piece.  This dress in particular was $1,575 and marked down three times to $119.90.
That’s a 92% savings!

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How about this beautiful blue Carmen Marc Valvo for 85% off!
It was $495 and dropped to $76.48!

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There was this $595 Thia for $144.97 – more than 75% off!

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More from Thia – a $1,095 gown for $359.97 (67% off):

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and a $1,295 gown for $169.97 (87% off)!

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There was also a super cute Burberry dress, retailing for $1,295
and marked down to $409.97 – a 68% savings!

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I’m sure if I kept browsing through the racks, I would have found more amazing deals, but the store was about to close!
If these dresses are still around during a “Clear the Rack” sale, you’ll get an additional 25% off on top of the already-incredible deals –
but I’m sure they’ll sell fast!

‘Till next time, always aim for the best, and realize you can afford it!

Why would your rent when you can buy for less?

As I was deciding what to write about a few things crossed my mind, like Tax-Free Week.  But then I started wondering, why do people bother with the hassle of renting dresses, when they can buy and own them for almost the same price?

RentTheRunway: the website where you rent an item of clothing or accessory for 4-7 days, and then return it.  I can think of one reason to use this site – you live in a studio apartment in the City and don’t have a closet.  If you don’t fit that description – then I would definitely steer clear of RentTheRunway.

While I’ve never actually rented from the RentTheRunway (and never will), I have browsed it quite a few time.  While I understand the concept, I just don’t understand why anyone would use this site to rent clothes for four days when they can own the same exact product.  Maybe you’re thinking, “Some of these are $1,000+ dresses that I can’t afford.”  Well, yeah there are some $1,000 dresses (original price!).  But they are also most likely on sale at Saks, Bloomingdales or Neiman for just slightly higher, the same or even lower than the rental price.

Lets take a look at a few examples from some of my favorite dress designers (dress photos below):
ML Monique Lhuillier & Carmen Marc Valvo

Example #1:
A gorgeous cobalt blue ML Monique Lhuillier sheath which originally retailed for $398 can be rented on RentTheRunway for $75 (4 day rental) or $120 (8 day rental). 
The dress is actually selling for $398 at Bloomingdales.
The same exact dress is currently on sale at Lord&Taylor for $298.50, free shipping, free returns, plus an additional 20% off with code SUMMER, bringing it to $238.  But, that’s not cheap enough.  Keep looking.
Guess what, the same exact dress is on sale at Saks Fifth Avenue (online) for $148.06, free shipping, free returns – almost every size is still available too.  If you sign up for e-mails you get an additional 10% off bringing it to $133.26 to OWN – plus if you shop with your discover credit card through Saks on shop discover, you’ll get an additional 10% cashback bonus toward your credit statement.  So if you’re doing the 8 day rental, wouldn’t you rather own this dress, for only $13 more!  Don’t need it right away? Wait until Saks has an additional 25% or 30% off their sale items, it’ll be even CHEAPER than renting for 8 days.

Example #2
A long flow-y Coral “Ella” Toga Neckline Gown by Carmen Marc Valvo that originally retails for $1,075 can be rented for $160 (4 day rental) or $256 (8 day rental)
Saks wins again.  Same exact dress = $266 to own in either the coral color or royal blue.  Use that 10% coupon from signing up for e-mail bringing it to $239.40 and it’s CHEAPER than renting for 8 days.

(I could go on and on.  There are plenty more examples with Kay Unger, Teri Jon, Badgley Mischka, Kate Spade, ect.)

 

 Another reason I don’t understand RentTheRunway:
Normally, when I buy a dress or jumpsuit I need it altered in some way to fit perfectly: taken in through the waist, shortened, or taken up in the shoulders.  Unless you are 6′ tall or going to wear 4″ heals, don’t count on a maxi dress, ball gown or jumpsuit from RentTheRunway fitting you.
And since you don’t own the item – you can’t alter it anyway.  Plus, who wants to deal with making sure the mailman delivers it on time and making sure it gets back to the company by your deadline!  If you don’t even see it until the day you wear it, or one day before how do you know what shoes & accessories work well?

At least if you buy a dress from a department store and it doesn’t fit, or if you don’t end up wearing it, you can simply return it for a refund.  If that dress you rented doesn’t fit you, or if you end up not wearing it, you’ve lost your expensive rental fee!  Next time you consider renting – take the time to check a few websites and find it on sale – for cheaper than the renal fee.

Only end up wearing the designer dress once?  Bring it to an upscale consignment shop (such as Second Time Around) or sell it on e-bay or Tradesy.  You’ll most likely be able to sell it for the sale price that you paid.
(If you keep the original tags, that helps the resale value when selling!)

Dress for success (and savings)!

So I lost count of the compliments I received on my dress today.  I think it’s pretty cute too, but I’m biased since I bought it! Anyway, thought I’d clue you in on my little secret – I got an amazing deal on it (would you think any different by now)?!

Last time I was in Orlando, I had about an hour to kill so I headed to Dillard’s! They were having a huge sale and I went directly to the endless racks of dresses – all marked 50% off the sale price – time to browse.  This particular location seemed to be going out of business, but the sale has been going on for months and they apparently keep getting new merchandise – I just decided to call it a mystery sale and not ask any questions.

After heading to the dressing room, I ended up with this Eliza J. shift with jewels and a gold zipper:

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Dresses in this style are basically my go to: comfortable, easy care and stylish! So the purchase was a no-brainer! (And yes, my pony started off centered…. my hair is just way too heavy and my head is lopsided!)

The outcome? $25.90 from $148 – 83% off! (Half off the lowest ticketed price)

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‘Till next time! Stay stylish 🙂