5 Tips to Finding Great Bargains on Clothes

So many of you have commented on what great prices I find when shopping. I thought it would be fun to share some of my techniques with all of you! The only thing better than finding items you love is finding them on sale!

The dress below was a huge bargain at only $6!! (Check out a recap of bargains I found below my 5 tips!)

 

5. Hunt for the best price – If you know you are seeking a specific item always start by hunting for the best price. I do this by checking sales flyers and looking the item up online. Polyvore has a great shopping feature where you can type in an item and it will bring up links to buy that item from a whole bunch of websites. For instance, if you search “black pumps” you will get a list showing hundreds of black pumps sold on hundreds of different websites. Once you have that list you can select a price range. Start with the lowest price range. Chances are pretty good you will find just what you were looking for at a low price.

4. Use the sort by price options on websites – When shopping online I always use the filters which allow me to view items by price. I make sure they get sorted beginning with the lowest price. This comes in handy because then you don’t spot a fantastic expensive item from the start. Let’s be honest, when that happens, nothing else seems good enough. Once I have my items sorted I set a price point for myself. For example, if I knew I needed a new white button up shirt and didn’t want to spend more than $20 on it I make myself stop looking once I reach the $20 items. If that website doesn’t have anything I like in the right price range I move on to another website. The great thing about the internet is you don’t have to worry about driving from one store to another digging through racks. Type in a quick web address and you’re browsing a whole new selection!

3. Join FREE rewards clubs (DO NOT open credit cards!) – Many stores have jumped on the rewards club bandwagon. Rewards clubs offer you bonuses for shopping at their store. You may earn points or receive special coupons based on your purchases. For example, I have an American Eagle Rewards card. Every time I shop at American Eagle or Aerie I earn points. Every 3 months I am sent an email letting me know how many points I have earned. 100 points saves you 15%, 200 saves 20%. 350 saves 30%, and 500+ saves 40%. Aerie has a special bonus that for every 5 bras you purchase you get one free (no limit on how long it takes!). They also send you a 15% off coupon for your birthday.

Some other great free store rewards programs I have are Sephora’s Beauty Insider card and DSW’s Reward card.

**Make sure that you clarify that you are not signing up for a credit card. Many stores call their credit cards a reward program or club. Having too many credit cards open can lead to many problems down the road. The only exception is if you have a specific store that you shop at so regularly that it would be a major advantage to have the card. Rewards cards associated with credit cards often require hundreds of dollars in purchases before you even begin receiving rewards. If you should sign up for a store credit card make sure you pay it off every month. The interest rates are incredibly high. If you have to pay interest you really are not saving at all.

2. Shop Outlet Malls – I find some of my best savings at outlet malls. Outlet stores offer fabulous deals not offered in their regular stores. Stores like Banana Republic and The LOFT offer exclusive clothing at their outlet stores. I have yet to walk into an outlet store that is not running a huge sale. For example, the last time I went to The LOFT Outlet everything  in the store was 40% off. The other great thing about the outlets is that they often have coupon books available in their office. Tanger Outlets offer special coupon books to AAA Insurance holders as well. All you need to do is show them your card. The outlet stores themselves often run promotions for AAA members as well.

And last but certainly not least…

1. Shop Clearance First!!! – Whenever I go shopping I head straight for the clearance racks first both in store and online. So many of my favorite outfits came from clearance racks. There is nothing wrong with these clothes, they are simply marked down to make room for new styles. Shopping clearance online is even more fun than shopping clearance in stores because stores tend to have all sizes in stock. I often find myself not even browsing regular priced items when I shop online simply because I find everything I was looking for in the clearance section.

Bonus Tip for online shopping – NEVER check out until you have googled promotional codes or coupons for the store. Almost all stores that have a place to enter a coupon code have a promotion running at all times. I try my hardest to never pay for shipping online as well. Searching for coupons often results in free shipping. The $5 here and $7 there can really add up.

Here are some items I got at great prices!

 

Ann Taylor Sweater: $12 after savings!

Express Pencil Skirt: Last one only $20 off Mannequin!

ModCloth Dress: Only $12.99 on clearance!

LOFT Outlet (only available in store): Shirt $9.99 on Clearance/Shorts $14.99 on Clearance

Banana Republic Outlet (only available in stores) Top only $9.99 on Clearance

Forever21 Dress with Belt only $14.80

Banana Republic Outlet (only available in stores) Top only $12.97 on Clearance

LOFT Outlet (only available in stores) dress only $12.77

How do you save money? Do you have any store rewards cards you couldn’t live without?

Mindy

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Seafoam and Petals

I thought I would switch things up today with a “Dream Closet” outfit I created on Polyvore.

Sea Foam and Petals

MICHAEL Michael Kors printed shirt, $120 / Hudson Jeans bootcut jeans, $310 / Miss Sixty platform heels / Chloé tote handbag / Gold bangle / Janis By Janis Savitt clear crystal earrings / OPI nailpolish
In a dream world we would all have endless bank accounts and be able to buy all of the beautiful clothing we wanted. Alas, I certainly do not, so the outfits in my closet are formed on a budget. Don’t get me wrong, I am very fortunate, but I will have to start making a lot more money before you find a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes in my closet (Unless you’re reading and would like to give me a pair Mr. Louboutin!) 😉
I find myself being a huge fan of trends but never really trying them out in real life. The mint trend is a perfect example. Right now I don’t own any mint colored clothing. This polyvore set is my attempt at incorporating it without going overboard.
If I had this outfit it’d be perfect for transitioning in and out of summer. It has the summer color palette and the warmth of the jeans for slightly cooler weather.
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! 🙂
Mindy

My $6 Dress!

Hello Lovely Readers!

I love a bargain! This dress is one of my best deals! Last summer I was shopping at Kohl’s when I saw these bright blue and green hues popping out of the clearance rack. The dress was marked as a few sizes too big for me but I decided to try it on anyway; it looked like it would fit me well enough.

Mindy Kohl's Dress

Dress: Kohl’s (last season) similar

Shoes: Jessica Simpson

Pearls: Handmade gift from an aunt

Earrings: Lia Sophia

I was so excited when I tried it on and it was the perfect fit! The dress even came with the black belt to cinch it at the waist. I don’t remember the original price however, needless to say, the $6 price I paid was a complete bargain! In this previous post, Flouncy Floral, I shared another one of my bargain purchases at Kohl’s.

Are you a bargain shopper like I am? What was your best find? Where do you find the best bargains?

Thank you for reading today! 🙂

Mindy

LFF’s top 10 Closet Essentials – Numbers 10-6

To help you get to know me and my style more I thought I would kick off the blog with my top 10 closet essentials. To avoid having far too long a post I have the first 5 Closet Essentials today and the last 5 will be posted soon! You will see that some of the numbers call for more than one of the items because they are such important essentials that one of those items simply would not be enough! Versatility plays a huge role in my selection of my top 10 closet essentials. I can’t live without these items because I use them all the time! Below each item you’ll find links to three different items; the first a bargain (great item, low price), the second a treat (great item, higher price), and a third item (fabulous item, price wayout of my range!).

Feel free to comment below and let me know what you think!

10. Perfect Fit Dark Wash Jeans

Jeans are timeless. I have yet to meet a woman who does not own at least one pair. Most own several. I myself have quite a collection built up! However, if there is one style of jeans I could not live without are my dark wash jeans. Dark wash jeans are extremely versatile. I love to wear mine for a night out. They also work great for casual Friday at the office. Dark wash jeans act as a neutral. You can pair them with any color. Those tricky light blue tops (you know, practically the same color as your average jeans?) match dark wash jeans without trouble. Sweaters, button up tops, tank tops, blouses, blazers, you name it! They all go perfectly with dark wash jeans, making them an excellent closet foundation.

J Brand Denim dark wash jeans from net-a-porter.

Bargain: White House Black Market

Treat: net-a-porter

Only in my Dreams: Nordstrom

9. Black Pumps

Black pumps. Dress them up. Dress them down. Wear them with jeans, dresses, skirts, dress pants, even shorts! Black pumps are a classic look and they pair with so many things. My pumps are always front and center in my closet. Whenever I’m in a rush to get out the door and don’t have the time to mull over coordinating colorful shoes with my outfit, I throw on my pumps.

Christian Louboutin pumps from net-a-porter.

Bargain: Vince Camuto

Treat: Macy’s

Only in my Dreams: net-a-porter

8. Comfortable but Cute Ballet Flats

As much as I love my heels, there are always those occasions when heels just simply won’t do… a busy day at work, a long afternoon shopping, a family gathering. Sensible footwear can still be cute! A pair of black flats with a simple but cute pattern or a tiny bit of “bling” makes for a versatile and comfortable pair of footwear. Having a comfortable but cute pair of ballet flats ensures you will always look adorable even when you are comfortable!

River Island Ballet Flats from Asos.

Bargain: asos

Treat: Toms

Only in my Dreams: Saks Fifth Avenue

7. Many Colorful Lace Trim Camisoles

I wear a camisole under almost everything I wear (spare most dresses, although sometimes, they are a wonderful makeshift slip). So why am I specifying “lace trim”? Well, a lot of times, camisoles peak out from underneath a top. I like to have a coordinating (not matching) color of lace peaking out when that happens. When a regular camisole shows from underneath a top, it looks like a wardrobe malfunction; like the clothes don’t fit. With a lace trim, it adds a little more visual interest. It makes it look like you planned for the lace to peak out. Ultimately, it adds a simple touch of class to an outfit while sparing the embarrassment of a wardrobe malfunction.

Eileen Lace Trim Tank from Calypso St. Barth.

Bargain: Buckle

Treat: Calypso St. Barth

Only in my Dreams: Style Bop

6. Knee High Boots

By the end of August in New England I am itching for fall. Don’t get me wrong, I adore summer, however, once I see the boot displays in stores I cannot wait to throw mine on! My fall uniform always includes an awesome pair of knee high boots. I have both brown and black pairs. They are neutrals so having at least one of either black or brown boots would be great. I just cannot resist buying a new pair. I love pairing my boots with a pair of skinny jeans tucked into the boots and a cozy sweater. The streamlined look of a boot makes them look dressy while still being extremely comfortable. I even wear my black boots to work with a pair of straight leg black pants. Knee high boots are definitely an item I cannot live without!

Annie Shoes Rancho Boot from Endless.

Bargain: Endless

Treat: Endless

Only in my Dreams: Far Fetch

I hope you’ve enjoyed the list so far! What do you think will be in my top 5? What would be in your top 10 closet essentials? Let me know what you think! Stay tuned for the second half of the list!