How to Shop Like a “Fashion Blogger”
I think the assumption surrounding bloggers is that everything we wear is free or borrowed. If this were the case, I would be dancing from the hilltops! Yes, it’s true, we still have to buy our own clothing –especially when it comes to closet-building essentials for a particular season or for trending items that retailers are not carrying yet.
Like any other start-up, I have to be “smart” about what I buy, where I buy it, and for how much. When I start talking to my friends about blogging, the main concern I hear is, “I loved that Red-Valentino dress you had on, but I am not in a season of life right now where it fits in my budget.” Guess what!? You are not alone, which is why I am going to provide you with a few tricks for finding what you love, at a price you love.
Tips & Tricks to Shopping “Smart”
1) Gain a New Perspective. Most of us are impulse shoppers, meaning we want what we want, when we want it. We wait until the day before the event to figure out what we are wearing, and feel stressed to find something –this is Enemy#1. If you know you have an event coming up in August, start now. Find out what you need to wear and start brainstorming. Also, know ahead of time what you are willing to spend and make a mental note.
2) Download the Shop Style app on your I-Phone. It’s no secret –most bloggers use it! They have one of the largest online databases of women’s clothing and accessories. For instance, you can search for “red dress,” and every single red dress at every online store, department store, basically everywhere, will populate. So, if you are in a retail store and you are about to purchase something, search it in your SS app to make sure you are getting the best price.
You can compare prices, set filters to only search for “under $100,” and arrange by “most popular,” to name a few. Finally, the BEST thing about Shop Style is what is called the “Sale-Alert” function. You can search for your specific item, and then click, “notify me” when it goes on sale. It will send you a text or email immediately, as the item is marked-down.
So, the moral of the story is that if you have an August event, find about 5 outfits that you want, download the Shop Style App, search for them, and put sale alerts on each of them so you can order them once they are marked down. If I am patient, I can get what I want for up to 30-60% off normal retail price.
Patience + Tech Savvy = Get What I Want for a Good Price
More Tips & Tricks to Shopping “Smart”
3) Navigating Retailer Sales. I know this can be confusing, and sometimes you feel like by the time you realize a sale is happening, it is already picked over. Not a good day. Let me explain further:
JULY: Fall items start to trickle into stores and retailers need to make room. The biggest sale in July? Nordstrom Anniversary Sale which runs from July 22-August 7th. If you already have a Nordstrom Card or want to apply, you get dibs on early access, starting July 14th. Now is the time to buy your fall denim, as the markdowns are big!
AUGUST: The FUN is over, haha. No, really. There may be a few spring sale items hanging around, but most of the designer items you want are not on sale at this point. Use this time to save your money and strategize for Labor Day Weekend sale!
SEPTEMBER: Labor Day Sales are huge and most retailers will be doing some kind of mark-down. The week before, do a little research online and put a reminder on your phone! Oh, and I guess I don’t think about this, but if you have kids or are in school, a lot of places like Wal-Mart and Target have back-to-school promotions.
OCTOBER: Many retailers have a “Friends & Family” sale from mid-October/early November. I know ShopBop has a great one, so be on the look-out.
NOVEMBER: Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sales Month! Black Friday is officially on Friday, November 25th, but every year, retailers begin sales earlier and earlier to gain competitive advantage. Don’t worry, I will put a whole post up on Black Friday Sales dates & times prior to time so you don’t have to scramble! In general –fall clothing/shoes prices start to drop as Black Friday approaches (sweaters, coats, handbags, evening dresses, & boots). October is a good time to make a list of fall items you need and do a little research on where you can find them so you don’t have to be too impulsive, come November.
Winter Sales (Time to Shop for Fall Discounts):
DECEMBER: Again, as the season turns, look for fall clothing savings, with steeper markdowns anywhere from 50%-70%. Alos, most retailers are getting huge jewelry inventories, so look out for a much broader selection and price range.
JANUARY: Steepest Fall Clearance (80%), although it might be a little picked over by now and in “Final Clearance” mode. Also, retailers know you are trying to re-commit to your workout plan this time of year. Search for discounted active-wear.
FEBRUARY: Not too much happening…most of the Fall clearance items are “dunzo.” Spring collections are starting to arrive, so have fun browsing!
MARCH: Just like the “jewelry” phenomenon in December, retailers know you want to buy sunglasses in March and are stocking up. Now is the time to buy –huge selection with the most discounts.
MAY: Now is a great time to look for swimwear on sale! If you wait until the Memorial Day Weekend Sale (end of May), you can get major discounts on spring designer & resort apparel. You can also see the Pre-Fall collections online, if you are curious!
–Certain Retailers are always doling out the deals: Bluefly, Nordstrom Rack, Barney’s New York Warehouse Online, YOOX.com, and SAKS OFF 5th. Membership sites such as Rue LA LA and GILT Group have year-round designer sales, which change daily.
–Get Friendly with your Retailer’s Personal Shopper. I have one at every major department store, and get texts with pictures and sales info. before anyone else!
-Don’t be afraid to search 2nd-Hand online stores such as ThredUp.com, & Tradesy. On that note, don’t be shy about emailing your favorite bloggers to see if they would be willing to sell you something directly. I have people email me and I will definitely give a fair, discounted price.
It is much Easier to Impulsively Purchase than to Strategically Plan. I hope this post has made it easier and Good Luck!