Believe it or not, this was one of my first sample sales. I usually avoid them due to my lack of funds (a girl has to pay rent). However, when my friend Joel told me about it on our way out of pilates, I couldn’t resist taking a peak. I got an amazing new bag and learned a ton about sample sale strategy.
Know when to go
The best times to go to a sample sale are on the first day and the last day. The first day has the best selection while the last day has the lowest prices. I personally prefer to go on the last day because it’s really the only day where these high end items are affordable. Plus you’ll watch the prices go down before your eyes as they keep lowering them throughout the day. If you go on any day that isn’t the first or the last day, you’ll get neither the lowest prices nor the best selection of products so shoot for prime times.
When you walk into a sample sale, it’s easy for your mind to go all over the place. Between all the people running around frantically and the tables piled high with designer deals, it’s hard to focus on finding the best deals for you. Just take a deep breath and focus on going through one table or rack at a time. Don’t move on to the next until you’re done going through the first rack. That way you get a good look at everything.
Only buy if you’re in love
One of the biggest mistakes people make at sample sales is buying things just because. If you love the brand, it’s tempting to buy designer items just because they’re cheap or discounted. I mean who wouldn’t want a Marc Jacobs bag for $50? However, if you wouldn’t pay full price for it, you shouldn’t buy it on sale either because you’re never going to use it. There’s nothing wrong with leaving a sample sale empty handed. So don’t settle for anything less than true love.
Chances are there’s going to be a moment where someone else snags an item that you’re absolutely head over heels for. Accept the loss and move on. You can’t beat yourself up over your first love.
Go at it alone
While you may have gone to the sample sale with friends, there’s no need to remain attached at the hip while searching for deals. You’ll never be able to concentrate if you’re chatting. Separate and talk about your finds over coffee after.
There’s always sample sales coming up in NYC. Find more upcoming sales here.
For me, fashion is serious business. So I put together an ultra sophisticated fall look with some of my favorite pieces from Warby Parker and Express. Then I headed to Williamsburg in Brooklyn for some more Autumn-inspired elegance.
Most of you probably haven’t seen me in glasses before because I’m a part time glasses wearer. I need them to drive and to see things far away. But even if I didn’t need them I would still totally head over to Warby Parker and pick out a pair because their styles are all so cute and classic. The frames that fit me best were Oliver in Whiskey Tortoise. I always feel ultra chic and smart when I wear them.
When it comes to fashion, it’s nearly impossible to find an outfit that’s both elegant and comfortable. Sneakers are handy and effortless, but who says they can’t be elegant and stylish as well? The sneakers and dress trend has really become popular and for a good reason – it looks amazing and feels even better.
For those who are still not sure how to pair up sneakers with dresses and skirts, here are a few easy tips to try.
Make it shine
The best way to make a statement is to keep things simple and emphasize a single thing: such as statement jewelry, lipstick and of course – shoes or sneakers. Wear all black: tights, a skirt, a jacket, a hoodie and a bag and in the end simply wear brightly colored sneakers. That way, the color will pop and you will be elegant, discreet, yet memorable in your extraordinary outfit.
Animal print is awesome!
When wearing animal print, you should be careful not to go over the top. It can be tricky trying to find balance, but there is a foolproof way to wear it nonetheless: pair your animal print sneakers with your skirt and rock it.
This means that your skirt will have to be plain, just as your bag, but your skirt and sneakers will rock! Leopard, tiger, zebra – irrelevant, as long as you like it! Discreet jewelry and a nice pair of sunglasses will complete this chic and wild look.
Casual and elegant
If you’re looking for a way to express both your masculine and feminine side, you can wear a bit bolder version of the dress combined with custom dress shirts borrowed from your boyfriend with simple converse sneakers and see how you can rock this, boyish, yet very elegant look. A plain skirt worn as a dress combined with bright red lipstick and matching sneakers will emphasize your playfulness. In case it gets cold, you can always add tights and a leather jacket to keep you warm and make you look edgy.
LBD and sneakers? Why not!
Wearing your favorite little black dress during the daytime has never been this easy, just put on a pair of simple black sneakers and a bright bag in order not to look too dark. You can pull off this look in your office as well, just remember to wear a cardigan too for a more professional look.
Rocking chiffon like a boss
Wearing chiffon without looking like a bridesmaid is a bit tricky to pull off, but add some edge to it and in the blink of an eye you will look like a biker chick. Wear a maxi chiffon skirt with a plain white shirt, a pair of big, reflective sunglasses, a grab-and-go clutch purse and a pair of black converse sneakers. Add bright lipstick and a messy bun or a casual French plait and you’re ready to own the streets!
Just imagine: having no blisters whatsoever after a long night of partying and getting noticed everywhere for thinking outside the box. Being feminine, stylish and comfortable has never been this easy, so don’t be afraid to experiment with your outfits.
This guest post is by Sophia Smith, a freelance writer from Brisbane, Australia with a huge interest in beauty, makeup, fashion and graphic design. She’s best described as a beauty addict and life lover. She’s also a regular contributor to High Style Life. Find her on Facebook, Twitter and Google +.
When money is tight it may seem like a love of fashion and senses of style have to be abandoned, but here are some smart ideas that show that fashion can be frugal and fabulous at the same time.
Look for online deals
Sign up for email newsletters from retailers. Retailers use these as a form of advertising so they are a great place to find discount vouchers and information about upcoming sales. You can also sign up for a voucher site. Voucher sites such as Couporando give discounts at online or high street retailers like Hush, meaning that the latest trends can be purchased for a fraction of the price.
Shop out of season
This needs some forward thinking and planning, but buying clothes at the wrong time of the year can save money and help you prepare for the next season. Autumn or winter is a perfect time of year to stock up on t-shirts, swimwear and flip flops for the summer holidays, while the sales at the end of the winter season are perfect to purchase a new cosy coat to be stored for the following winter.
Have a clothes swapping party
Instead of throwing out clothes that no longer fit or that have been worn too often, why not invite some friends over and have a clothes swapping party! The saying goes that what is one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure, so that dress which has been lying forgotten in the back of your closet might just be perfect for a friend who has a date this weekend.
Bring and buy
Some great bargains can be found in charity shops, especially if they can be customized or altered. So when you do a good deed and donate clothes you no longer want to the local second hand store, why not stop and take a look around. With some digging, a great fashion item could be waiting there for you!
Don’t forget about supermarkets
Lots of supermarkets now have a wide range of fashion for both women and men and the prices tend to cater to those on a budget. They are especially good for basics such as vests, tops and leggings, which can be mixed with more expensive on trend pieces. You can also find cheap accessories like scarves, statement necklaces or earrings that can be used to make an impact and liven up a basic outfit.
Build a core wardrobe
Use basic items to build a core wardrobe that will give you the most use and versatility. Ensure anything new purchased can be worn with the other items so that it will not be forgotten and lay unworn. This means that several outfits can be put together quickly and easily, and each item will give great value for the money.
Living on a budget doesn’t have to mean giving up a love of fashion. With some planning and some clever purchasing, shopping and looking great can be fun and frugal.