HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
New York Fashion Week is officially over, and now it’s time to focus on a different event: Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re enjoying a night with your girls, celebrating with someone special, or just looking to have fun this Friday, you need to look great! Still trying to decide what to wear for your Valentine’s Day plans? Don’t worry! I’ve got some wardrobe inspiration for you!
No matter what Valentine’s Day festivities you’re partaking in, if you stick to a fun, flirty, and feminine look with colors of the holiday, you will nail your Valentine’s Day outfit this year! Not an ultra-girly girl? Not into purple, red, and pink? You can never go wrong with black. It’s sexy, slimming, and timeless. Check out this inspiration board I created on Polyvore, and head over to my Polyvore page to shop the looks!
This post is mainly for my Mad Town ladies, however I want to use this post to illustrate my philosophy that you should never pay full price for anything.
You don’t have to sacrifice style to buy clothes on a budget. You can still build a wardrobe of name brands and designers without breaking the bank. It just requires a little effort to get a big reward. In the past I’ve given you tips like shopping members only sites such as Hautelook and Rue La La, and recently I highlighted how shopping consignment is a great option. Dedicating the time, effort, and patience to finding a good deal can be tough, particularly if there’s a specific item you’re looking for. I am always looking for a great sale because I refuse to pay full retail for anything. Ever. I’ve worked in both wholesale and retail settings, and I know how much retailers mark up items. If you knew too, you would never pay full price for anything either! The minimum markdown at which I will buy an item is 30%. Anything less than that is a mind game. If you see a 10% off sale, turn the other way. You’re hardly going to save anything, but some people will see the word “sale” and pounce.
All this rambling brings me to an amazing sale for ladies in the Madison area. Many of you around the U.S. are probably familiar with the online retail powerhouse Shopbop. What you probably didn’t know is that the brand originated from a small brick and mortar store in Madison, Wisconsin called Bop, which is still in its original location near the heart of downtown Madison. Bop carries a variety of the same full price apparel found on Shopbop. However, for the ladies of Mad Town, Bop is also an island of “misfit apparel” from the Shopbop site. The back right corner of the store is dedicated to worn, damaged, and defective merchandise returned to Shopbop at a fraction of the retail price. The upstairs is also a haven for good deals. The stairs themselves are always lined with discounted shoes and handbags and the racks runneth over with marked down apparel.
As if this weren’t good enough, twice a year the boutique holds a super sale: the Winter Maxwell Street Sale with select styles 30-90% off. Yes, this is one of those sales where girls line up outside the door well before the doors open, and it is a complete free for all once you enter the store. There is also a limit to the number of ladies than can shop that sale at a given time, so others are left in the cold (literally) and allowed to enter in a one-in-one-out exclusive club type manner. This type of frenzy is the reason I typically do most of my shopping online, but this particular sale is worth the chaos. I am going to show you why with 6 items for a serious deal!
SPLENDID BOUCLE SWEATSHIRT
Sale Price: $25.00
This item is currently available at Saks Fifth Avenue for the full retail price, $98.00
JOIE MOSELLE SWEATER
Sale Price: $50.00
This item is currently on sale at Nordstrom at 40% off for $154.80
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG GADIE TOP
Sale Price: $50.00
This item is out of stock but was last on sale at Revolve Clothing for $155.00
SALVATORE FERRAGAMO VARA LOW HEEL PUMPS
Retail Price: $450.00
Sale Price: $150.00
I could not find this exact pair, but the same style and color are currently available at Shopbop for the full retail price, $450.00
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG CADENCE STUDDED LOAFERS
Retail Price: $298.00
Sale Price: $50.00
This item is currently on sale at Shopbop at 50% off for $149.00
MILLY DEMI OVERSIZED CLUTCH
Retail Price: $375.00
Sale Price: $50.00
This item appears to be sold out at all online retailers I can find, but it was last seen at Shopbop for the full retail price, $375.00
The total retail value of this merchandise is $1,777.00, and the total savings is $1,402.00!!
ATTN MEN: If you haven’t yet, it’s time to start shopping for Valentine’s Day. Why not give a gift that gives back to you? The gift of lingerie. Ladies love it and so do you. Sounds like a win-win. But lingerie can be expensive (welcome to the world of women’s apparel), so you’ve got to start shopping now to snag a good deal. Well, today I’ve got one for you: the Hanky Panky event on Rue La La. Need a little help deciding what look is best for that special lady in your life? Don’t worry, I’ve got some suggestions for you! But, you better hurry! This event ends Sunday, February 2, and sizes and styles are selling out quickly!
For more suggestions on Valentines Day gifts, check back next week for my Valentines Day Gift Guide for Gals and Guys!
BABYDOLLS and CHEMISES
Got a girl with a booty? I recommend the Bliss Pink Lace Babydoll + G-String Set.
Got a more busty lady? I suggest the Red Lace Chemise.
Each are available at the Rue La La event for just $49.90!
BRAS + PANTIES
Both thong sets are on sale for just $35.90 at the Rue La La event, and you can buy the Pink Kitten Bra for $35.90 or the Mosaic Print Bralette for $25.90!
New Year, New Spin on my Deal of the Day: This year, in addition to alerting you to awesome deals you just can’t pass up, I’m going to give you tips on how to get a deal every time you shop. Today, I’m going to start by sharing 4 sites where you can always snag a deal. As you may have noticed my resolution for the New Year is to make small changes to create a big impact. So, I urge you to make a small change to your routine to save big! All it takes is a little pre-planning for you to take advantage of some stellar deals.
Ladies, we all need beauty products, and when we’re running low on our favorite foundation or must-have moisturizer, our first impulse is to swing by the mall on the way home from work and restock at any cost. Let me tell you, you’re missing out! One of the best changes I’ve made in my beauty routine is buying beauty online. There are lots of benefits to buying beauty online including FREE samples, rewards points, and other online exclusives and incentives all without paying any extra for shipping and with the convenience of never making an extra trip to the store. Four of my favorite beauty sites to buy from are Sephora, Ulta, Bobbi Brown, and Bumble and Bumble. Each one of these sites offers FREE samples with every order and FREE shipping with every order over a certain minimum in addition to a NEW exclusive or incentive each week.
Ulta and Sephora are both meccas for any beauty essential you could possibly need. Ulta typically offers FREE shipping on orders over $50 and 3 FREE samples with every order, either fragrance, skincare, or a variety pack. Sephora also regularly offers FREE shipping for orders over $50 and 3 FREE samples. However, they provide a bit more customization with their samples by letting you select 3 samples of your choice from a selection of 12 products. The deals at Sephora don’t stop there! Become a Beauty Insider to accrue points toward FREE products and take advantage of an additional promotion at checkout with every order.
Two of my favorite beauty brands always have amazing incentives to order online. Both Bobbi Brown and Bumble and Bumble offer FREE samples and FREE shipping with every order. These sites change their online exclusives weekly and sometimes daily. Right now, Bobbi Brown is offering FREE Shipping and a choice of 2 FREE winter skincare duos on orders over just $30! And today Bumble and Bumble is offering 3 FREE minis and FREE shipping on orders over just $25, plus 2 additional FREE samples on orders over $50! As if you needed another reason to shop these brands, each of these sites offers yet another ultra convenient incentive: an auto-replenish feature!
So, here’s the first tip: don’t wait until your beauty necessities are completely gone to think about restocking. Take a little time to plan ahead. When you notice your signature scent or everyday eyeliner is beginning to run low, start to scour the sites daily to seek out the samples that best suit you and your beauty routine. Maybe you’ll find a sample of a product you already use and love. This could be prefect for traveling or slipping in your purse for a night on the town. Maybe you’ll find a sample of a product you’ve wanted to try. What better way to test drive a new product before investing in a full size container? When you see the samples you like, you’ll be ready to place your order! Next, don’t be deterred by minimum order amounts to gain FREE shipping. Beauty products are expensive, so it’s likely that just one will allow you to meet the minimum required for FREE shipping. If not, follow my second tip: try to stock up on multiple products in one order. This tip also requires a little planning and forethought, but it will help you avoid shipping costs and it’s easy to do on sites like Sephora and Ulta where you can order for your hair, skin, and nails all in one place!
I cannot believe this cold is still bringing me down. Last night I attempted to rally because I’m developing a serious case of cabin fever, and today total bleh again! Urgh, I know some of you out there feel my pain. So, for those of you tied to the tissue box like me, I’m in for a night of more TV and more social media surfing. Hopefully I’ve got some videos that will brighten your evening in bed. Click the links to watch!
P.S. Who is going to celebrate with me out on the town when I rid myself of this freaking sickness? I’m already dreaming of a cocktail dress and an actual cocktail. Cold, cold, go away!
Megan Hess Illustration: On the desk: My cover illustration for Kirstie Clements new book: Tongue in Chic. When I was working on the cover I couldn’t put the manuscript down! It’s so funny and it’s the perfect read if you love all the inner workings of the fashion industry! There’s also a very cute animated trailer for the book WATCH HERE
P.S. Sorry for being a super nerdy former English major, but this play is one of my all-time faves!