Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Night Fun in Alexandria

Along with the Old Town tree lighting ceremony, some of the stores in the King St. vicinity will be staying open a bit later, and some of those shops will be offering special deals ce soir!

Of primary interest, Diva Boutique (which I absolutely love) has knocked 10% off everything and an additional 30% off all sale items. Since the ladies at Diva think of everything, they are also having refreshments and will be open until 8:00 p.m. What better to end a long work week than with a little R&R: Retail and Refreshments, if you will :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

New to You and New to Me!

A high-end consignment store with parking, a website, and a blog--what more could a shopper ask for?! I had heard excellent things about New to You - The Chic Boutique ; however, I was really hooked when I read the section on their site that discussed the labels they liked, might like, and didn't like. Not only did I fully concur, but it was done oh so cleverly! I liked what I saw and continued to peruse their site only to discover that they had a blog as well. As a fellow blogette, there's truly nothing better than discovering a new fashion blog. All that being said, I couldn't wait to check out the actual store! Thanks to the Google Maps feature on my handy new HTC Mogul I had no problem finding the place, and there was a free parking lot in the back: the only thing better than free parking, is valet, but I'm pretty happy as long as it's free and easy.

Moving on to the matter at hand: the store itself! If you haven't gathered from my previous entries, nothing makes me happier than a well-organized, non-cluttered, consignment/vintage store; I like the feeling that the people at the shop have really put thought into the pieces that they're selling. I am happy to declare that New to You was a perfect example of this! There was a great selection of clothes, shoes, and bags that were in good condition and reasonably priced (their website does a much better job of describing the brands they carry than I ever could). They also had some snazzy Hermès scarfs and some rather handsome Pucci ties (excellent for headbands and/or belts). Everything was nicely organized and displayed, so you didn't feel overwhelmed and claustrophobic. The girls working there were wonderful and the shopping experience overall was quite pleasant! I definitely look forward to going back there, and with Christmas right around the corner it's a great place to pick up some unique designer gifts for a fraction of their original price. Of course, it's also a fantastic place to go look for a dress, shoes, accessories, etc. for all of those upcoming Holiday parties :)

So that's"New to You."

What's "new to me", is the aforementioned Mogul (Mo, if you will). In addition to managing my life for me, it is also equipped with one of those fancy digital cameras! The truth is, I have yet to join the millennium and purchase a digital camera, which is why this site is rather naked. Hopefully, since I have "Mo" now and actually have figured out how to use it (thanks to the help of my trusty life assistant) I will finally be able to spruce things up around here!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

D.C. Tax-Free Shopping and Black Friday

Being the sale-loving gal that I am, you would think that I would live for Black Friday. To tell the truth, last year was the first time I've ever done the whole crazy, waiting in line at 3:00 a.m. business. True, there are some amazing deals to be had if you're willing to stand in line for hours on end (it's not just waiting for the store to open either; checkout lines are even worse!), but perhaps it's not my cup of tea because it's not really a clothes/accessories kind of event. If you simply must brave the masses, I urge you to do your research first. Go through all the local papers for all the stores to find out who has what. Once you find the item you desire, make sure you know everything about that product so you don't get duped and get the one that isn't on sale. The thought of waiting in line for hours on end and getting the black TV, when only the grey ones are on sale makes me nauseous. To all of you that venture out: Good Luck!

All in all, I prefer to think of Black Friday as the kickoff to a sale-filled Holiday shopping season. I mean there are so many holiday parties, and you don't want to be photographed in the same thing twice (even if it is just going on facebook and not the cover of US Weekly)! Oh yeah, and I guess there's something about buying presents for other people as well. Regardless, no one wants to get stuck paying full price for something.

I find the best way to monitor Holiday Sales (other than reading my blog, obviously) is to sign up for email lists. I know some people are quite averse to "junk mail" but being informed that Neiman Marcus has marked down items up to 80% off AND has Free Shipping, is hardly what I call "junk."

Another way to help save money (and by save, I mean stash for the next must-have item) is to take advantage of Tax-Free Shopping!!! I love the feeling of getting up to the cash register and actually having an item be the price it says on the tag :) See below for details!
DC Sales Tax Holiday
Monday 11-19-2007 2:41pm ET
WASHINGTON - Holiday shopping will be a little bit lighter on the wallet starting Friday.

The District's next sales tax holiday starts then, until Sunday, Dec. 2.

The holiday exempts specific items under $100 from the city's 5.75 percent sales tax. The eligible items include clothes, shoes and accessories.

The rules say that the tax exemption applies to each eligible item no matter how many items a customer buys on the same bill.

It can also apply to layaway sales if the buyer and seller begin the layaway agreement during the tax holiday, or if the customer makes the final payment on the layaway item during the holiday.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Weekend Recap

I really got around this past weekend. I scouted out the Cusp sale at both the Georgetown and Tysons locations, I managed to cross several stores off the list of places I've been wanting to check out, and made it to Arundel Mills and C-Mart on Sunday! Since I have so much to share, I may be a tease and spread my findings over several posts.

Depending on what you're in the market for, the Cusp sale is rather hit or miss. If you're looking for jeans, it is definitely worth going tonight or tomorrow (the sale ends tomorrow). There were a decent number of Joe's, Seven's, and True Religion jeans for around $100, which is not bad at all considering their original prices of almost $200! After the jeans, the second best selection was of T-Bags tops and dresses for around $90ish. Other than that, there was a smattering of dresses, tops, etc. from Milly, Trina Turk, and some others; however, I'm still on shopping probation, so I went home empty-handed.

C-Mart is always quite the adventure, because you really have no idea what you're going to find. Given the discombobulated racks, you have to have somewhat of a shopping system unless you want to spend all day there. For instance, I started with the shoes: Ferragamo, Cole Haan, Delman, Kate Spade, Coach, Hollywould, Betsy Johnson, and none of them in my size (did I mention they were almost all under $100?). In a futile attempt at organization some of the clothing racks have the names of the boutiques the liquidations came from: this is only somewhat helpful since many of the stores are not local and you have to look through the clothes to figure out if it's from a decent place or not. Amongst those racks you can find some great pieces. What you have to keep in mind, though, is that while some of the prices still seem high, if you saw that same skirt at the actual boutique marked down that much, you'd be ecstatic! For instance, I saw a See by Chloé skirt for around $80 (and immediately scoffed "I'm not paying that much for a skirt from C-Mart"): the original tag was well over $500. My roommate had the same reaction to this really cute blazer, so I guess it just comes down to how you look at things and how badly you want/need the particular item.

I promise I'll post again soon to share what I found at the other places I visited last weekend!

P.S. I do believe I just saw an email about Neiman Marcus' First Call Sale, which means Sale Season is fast-approaching!!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Saleless Season is Ending!

Summer sales have ended and it's still a few more weeks 'til the Black Friday sales and an eternity 'til post-Christmas sales; what ever is a girl to do?! Obviously, the sensible thing would be to lay low and save money for the big sales, but it's really not feasible to expect a girl to go a month or more without a snazzy new purchase.

It's probably noticeable from my postings that I've been taking this off-season time to scout out consignment and vintage stores. While I love that, I'm also dying to dig through the sale racks in an attempt to find that Milly dress from last season that knocks off about 10lbs (and only pay a small portion of the original price, of course).

Last weekend, the roomie and I spent an unmentionable amount of time at Tysons I and II finding the final touches for our Halloween ensembles. Sadly, I do not have a lot to report in the bargain department, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

There is a good several week period when absolutely NOTHING is on sale. I am thrilled to announce that we have move passed that and are moving full steam ahead into Sale Season!

Neimans had a couple of racks (mostly odd pieces that aren't going anywhere fast), Saks also had a couple racks (some o.k. things), but most were only 30-40% off.

Obviously I'm saving the best news for last! Cusp (that lovely little contemporary branch of NM) is having a big sale TODAY through November 10. They're advertising 40-65% original prices!!! I do not not think my closet, nor my bank account are quite prepared for the consequences...

So, enough of that 10% off garbage. Prices over half off; now, that's what I call a real sale!