Whoever said white shouldn’t be worn after Labor Day was wildly mistaken. Christmas and white goes together like peanut butter and jelly. A white Christmas cannot be complete without snow, and of course a fluffy teddy coat from (dare I say) Walmart. Yes, WALMART. I had my boyfriend’s formal and wore a red two piece skirt/tube top from Nasty Gal. While super cute, and very fitting for the holiday, it was strapless and I am always cold. I went to look for a jacket that would go well with our holiday theme that we wanted and when I saw this white “sleep coat” I knew it was meant to be. I did find it in the pajama section, but I think it looks just like all of the coats that have been selling out of Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Macys, etc. It doesn’t have a zipper, which is unfortunate, but honestly it’s so warm and looks great over everything. I wore it over a crew-neck sweater as well, and it still looked stylish.
*In case you were wondering, my boyfriend’s lovely jacket and tie are also from Walmart.
I didn’t jump on the joggers train right away. Honestly I really wasn’t about them, nor was I a fan of men wearing them either. Why would I want to wear “skinny” sweatpants? Then I started watching too much youtube (specifically Maggie Macdonald) & I dragged my boyfriend to the mall to get myself a pair. I picked up a mint green adidas pair just to try them out. Now I never change out of them. I don’t follow a lot of celebrities on Instagram, but Hannah Zeile was rocking a pair of maroon velour joggers on a ferris wheel. I decided that I needed them. I’m not one to spend $70 dollars on a pair of sweatpants, but I persuaded myself into buying them (because I had a discount). Spending $70 dollars on a pair of sweatpants deserves a post on how to rock them in public without looking like I rolled out of bed.
About three months ago, I decided that I am going to be one of those style queen moms. The kind of mom that other kids wish their mom could dress like. The person whose outfits look super expensive, but when they remember that I’m a teacher they question how I could afford it. “So how can you afford this lifestyle?” One might ask.
This is the type of lifestyle that seems like it might cost a lot of money, but being someone that has been dedicated to finding my style since I was younger, I have picked up some tips and tricks in order to make it seem like I spend a lot of money on my attire, but really I just shop smart especially when it comes to staying on trend, and wearing designer/high end brands.
Where to Shop
The where is super important. When looking for items that are high end or name brand I stick to a few stores. Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, and Outlet Stores are where I find myself searching for quality pieces at low prices.
When shopping at Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Nordstrom Rack I have to prepare myself for the mess I am about to encounter. These stores have loads of items from clothing to accessories to random knick knacks. I do a lot of searching through racks which is time consuming but usually worth it. Things to look out for are signs that say “Designer Brands” or “Currently On Trend”. These racks are usually in the front of the store, and are more organized than the rest of the store. If I have the time, I find myself on an adventure to find the best items for the best prices. I’ve found Levi’s for 4 dollars on the clearance rack, and Free People dresses for $25, along with many other items that I would have never purchased at retail price. My favorite part is when I pay and the receipt tells me how much money I saved.
The Outlets are a different type of adventure. Each brand usually has their store. Tanger Outlet specifically has coupon books that can be purchased for ten dollars or less that have discounts for almost every store. Some stores have new arrivals on sale for a limited amount of time so I can find what’s new for the season at a price I can afford. They also have last season stuff on sale usually, which I sometimes pick up to mix with new pieces or save for the following year.
Sometimes when I find an item in a store that I know I can’t afford I will take a picture of the tag and search for the item on their website when I get home. I will copy the exact name of the item and put it into Google to search for other stores that might be selling the same product. These is a great way to see what stores might be having a sale and where I might want to try shopping at instead. I also will decide where to buy an item from depending on where I might have a coupon. I use the browser app Honey or I just save up discount codes to use when I actually want an item.
Signing up for Newsletters
I subscribe to many online stores. Mostly accidentally, and then my email gets flooded with unwanted emails, but every so often I receive glorious gifts in the form of coupons or money off! Some stores offer free memberships (I don’t pay for anything) and by signing up I get special promotions, or early bird discounts. For example, I signed up to be a member for Calvin Klein online. Because of this, every two hundred dollars I spend (over time not at once) I get twenty dollars off a purchase that I can use when I choose. They also let you submit older receipts and you can count that money towards your two hundred dollars as well. Urban Outfitters members get five dollar discounts when they get 100% on their rewards for shopping at their stores and entering contests as well. One of the best things that stores having my emails is that when I leave items in my cart for a period of time, sometimes I get an email with a discount of 10-15% off. I also get coupons for my birthday and even half birthday sometimes. I might as well be rewarded for the money I spend.
While looking expensive might seem like a luxury, I think I do a great job of looking my best on a budget. Though these tips may seem time consuming when I want something right away, I know the wait will pay off in the long run.