Tips to Keep Your Shopping on Track During Sale Season

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Beginning Black Friday week through January clearance sales, its a workout just trying to hold onto your wallet and not buy every little thing you see on sale. At least that’s how I explain my brief absence in the gym *grimace face.

There are so. many. clearance sales going on right now with retailers tempting you with deep discounts so as to clear their shelves of merchandise and potentially clutter up your own. But we’re not going to let them! At least, not without forming a plan first…

I’ve put together shopping tips to help you navigate the sales and stay on track with both your budget and your style. And help you avoid adding more things to get rid of this spring when you’re no longer sale-drunk and ready to get rid of everything but your skivvies.

One: Look at what you own.
Devote as little or as much time to this as you’d like, but just be sure to get a good idea of what’s in your closet before walking out the door to shop.

This will do a couple things…It will dampen impulse buys because you laid eyes on the 4 leopard sweaters you already own (I’m looking at you, Elizabeth). And it will give you a clear direction of what you need especially if you’re passing a lot of pants but not a lot of sweaters or button up tops. One more thing it will do is show you how much room you have in your closet. If you’re already packed this will hopefully motivate you not to buy anything just because it’s on sale.

Two: Set boundaries.
Setting a budget is good, but take it one step further and carry that budget in cash. This will give you a tangible amount to spend and again help you avoid buying things just because they’re on sale.

Set a time frame for yourself as well. This is one of my favorite things to do because I can take forever making decisions sometimes, so the thrill of having a set time helps me become a hard-core decision maker. It really makes it into a game, which is fun and I always walk away with fewer impulse buys.

Take a friend! We all have friends we shop with that we know are going to get us to spend money – DON’T TAKE THAT FRIEND. Instead take the one that’s going to be realistic with you and ask the hard questions…”Do you REALLY need the sweater with the kitty cat floating in space??”

And remember the tried and true Walk Away Rule. If you walk away and you still think about it, go back. But if the item is forgotten the minute you spot pretzel bites then you didn’t really want it anyway.

Three: Know what to avoid…
Go into this knowing what your vices are. Mine? Black pants. Last count 17 pairs is what I own? SO knowing this and my love for leopard, anything I pick up in those categories have to go through a real strict process.

Again, take the sale goggles off and really look at something you’re wanting. Does it look cheap? Has it been tried on multiple times and look like it? Be sure you’re not drunk on the price scribbled in red pen and actually NEED what it is you’re holding.

Watch for overly trendy items. A cut or pattern that was super hot this season may not be by the time fall/winter rolls around next year.

Four: Know what to look for…
Basics like boots, blazers, jackets, button downs – those are all good items to load up on when they’re on sale this time of year. They’re usually high ticket items and if you get them at a quality store, they’ll last you a long, long time. So in your perusal of your closet in step number one look for anything that needs to be replaced/updated and shop for that.

Don’t be afraid to look for out of season items. Make sure they fit your style and fill a need and if so – go for it! You’ll love yourself when it comes time to switch over.

Whether you’re sale shopping or not, it’s always good to shop with these two things in mind that are really the basics for good style: does the item help you convey the message you want to send and does it make you feel good about yourself?

Sales going on:
Altar’d State: Extra 30% off sale (this discount will go even deeper, so look around now then if there’s something you’re on the fence about, check back later). This is a great place to stock up on jewelry!

Banana Republic: Extra 60% off sale styles and 40% off regular-priced items. The best place to get basics like good pants and button down shirts, sweaters, blazers (my favorite blazer came from them). If you need items for work – this is the place!

J Crew: 50% off sale items. Great place to get pieces for the holidays next year or (a swing in the opposite direction) items for your summer wardrobe.

Fiore Boutique: They are moving in the mall so they are having a moving sale with 70% off everything in the store! Start buying Christmas gifts for next year!

Dillard’s: They’re having a great sale on coats and boots and also a really good clearance event going on so check that out.

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Tips on How to Plan All Your Christmas Outfits

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Tis the season to be gorgeous, fa la la la la la la la la.

This past Saturday, I carved out some time to try on clothes. While there were several moments when I wondered if I was truly being productive, the fact that I’m now into December and not having to give a second thought to what I’m going to wear to the three big events I have this week says a resounding YES. Yes I WAS being productive.

Your calendar may not be jammed packed with fancy parties, but it may have a friendly get together or two, and to avoid any and all stress it’s really good to pre-plan what you’re going to wear.

I have a small rotation of sequined items that I go through this time of year, but my goal every year is to wear them in a fresh way. Which is also why taking time to play around with what’s in your closet is a good thing – it gives you time to be creative.

Another bonus? It will save you money. I’m trying my darndest not to spend a lot of money on clothes (especially with a baby bump) and the more I can creatively use what’s in my closet the better.

Pull out and play with what you’ve got! And when you get stuck, hop on Pinterest and search for the piece you’re struggling with. Say it’s a sequin pencil skirt you don’t know how to look fresh – then search “Sequin pencil skirt outfit” and look at the results! Keep in mind, you don’t have to directly copy anything you see if you don’t want. But take a look instead at the silhouette that’s going on in the picture. Is the skirt mostly paired with tight tops or big voluminous sweaters? If it is a big sweater, what do you have in your closet that mimics the shape?

This is my thought process as I go through and test each outfit idea. It’s so fun to see and use what you’ve already got. And if you find that you are missing something, no worries! Now you know exactly what you need, or at least have a clearer picture of what holes you need to fill for a fabulous holiday season of outfits!

Oh and if you need any ideas on where to spend your clothing cash, here are some fabulous outfit ideas from White House Black Market and Banana Republic in West Town Mall. Also, be sure to listen as I go through each piece and give alternate styling ideas…

More tips on getting dressed this Christmas season!

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Styling Tips for Christmas Party Attire

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I could get dressed for a Christmas party every day of the week.

Plotting out my Christmas season outfits is high on the list of my favorite things to do this time of year. Mainly because I could dress like I’m going to a Christmas party every day. Sparkle, velvet and sequins aren’t just right up my alley, they’re what my alley is made of.

So let’s dive in with some styling tips…

1. Choose one area to highlight with sequins.

The nice thing about buying something that’s sparkly is you can let it be the star of the show! Whether it’s a blazer, pants, a dress or a top, let that one piece be the focus and leave everything else simple.

The only exception to this rule is if the piece isn’t fully made of sequins or sparkles. Especially if it’s, for example, a top with sequin sleeves, you can bring in more sparkle troops if that’s the case because it’s not an over abundance.

2. Balance out the fancy with the not so fancy.

One of the funnest things about this time of year is taking a piece and changing it from fancy to not so fancy with a few tweaks here and there.

For example, if you’ve got a very fancy blazer, wear it with some jeans and a funny Christmas graphic tee! Or take a cocktail dress and tone it down with a blazer and some booties. So many possibilities!

3. When it comes to jewelry, less is more.

If you’ve already got a lot going on with your outfit, do yourself a favor and leave the house without a lot of jewels. It’s just more comfortable that way.

The exception to this rule would be you’re wearing all black velvet jumpsuit or really anything velvety because I can’t help but add some major bling to that smooth mammer jammer. But even still, if you’re going with sparkly earrings, don’t do a necklace and visa versa.

It’s rare that I say don’t do a bracelet unless your arm often catches on fire. Otherwise go for it.

If you’ll notice in the above picture, it’s the only piece of jewelry I’m sporting because the dress is so sparkly!!

PS: that dress came from Garage in West Town Mall

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The Perfect Handbag for the Season

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You’re going to want an extra shoulder.

So you read my last blog about the importance of carrying a good bag and you’re in! But now what?

You know I’m not a big proponent of following trends just because they’re trendy, so in this week’s segment on 10 News This Morning, I talked about how you can incorporate the trends while still keeping within the “classic” lines.

I mean some of the purses that came down fashion show runways were a little ridiculous (saw one that was a can of tomato soup. No soup for me, thanks). Let’s go for looking fresh yet maintaining a classic style – all the while incorporating details that fit both you and your lifestyle.

And if you need to, look at your current bag and think what you’d want to change/keep about it and go from there.

Personally? I’m going to need all these bags from Coach and Vera Bradley at West Town Mall soooo I’m gonna need to add another side hustle. No big deal, just a small non-time consuming side project that makes me millions.

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How to Style Your Fall Family Pictures

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If you think that I’m exaggerating when I say, I squeal and dance a little bit every time I see a pumpkin or hear a fall reference, you are wrong.

In fact, “squeal” and “a little bit” are under exaggerations.

In the long list of delicious autumn-related things we get to breathe in, eat up, see, wear and do in the coming months, taking family fall pictures is one of them.

I want to help you style your fall family photo shoot my letting you in on my thought process as I put our look together.

Start with one piece.

Minimize the daunting feeling of making multiple people look good, by starting with just one thing. Sometimes it’s what I want Jackson to wear, or it’s something I want to wear.

Either way, having that one piece to build off of really helps lay the ground work for all of the looks.

For our Christmas card picture from last year, I wanted Jackson in that red jacket. So I built out from there – adding texture and pattern with mine and Dayton’s looks.

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Build so that your looks are like Lego’s – they interlock.

Notice in all of these pictures each of our outfits share an element the other one has.

Above – Jackson, Dayton and I all have an element of black and white (mine in the bracelet). Jackson also has a pop of color (which you can’t see on the tongue of his shoes) but it’s one that corresponds with my orange.

Below – Dayton has a chambray shirt that goes with the stripe in Jackson’s shirt. Jackson has on white which goes with my white. Dayton’s black shorts corresponds with my black stripes and Jackson’s khakis are a nice neutral addition that still flows while adding variation. (Bonus – his shoes are stripes to echo the pattern).

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Throw in patterns.

This is my biggest tip of all. Looking back on our family pictures, my favorite thing about our looks are the patterns and how good they look on camera.

Anyone else ever notice that game show contestants are always wearing solid colors? Unless you’re immediately leaving your family portrait to appear on Family Feud, leave the solids at home.

Patterns look great on camera and give your look more depth and visual interest.

Also, a photographer friend once told me that white is a no no, and all black gets lost in the shadows.

Go for patterns.

I hope this helps take the stress out of your family pictures! Feel free to email me if you have any questions! elizabeth@thespiff.com

Need a good family photographer? Check out this girl! She’s talented and fun and will do a great job of capturing your family in photos you’ll love forever – I mean it!

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