How to save $2,500 in 3 hours or less

(Or how to spend $375 in the same amount of time. It’s all about perspective, really.)

Not too long ago, I was lamenting about how I was so uninspired about shopping. My only purchase during the post-Christmas sales was a plastic container for storing muffins. And maybe some hair ties. And get this —

They weren’t even on sale.

Well, one absolutely amazing sample sale later, and I am happy to report that I have made significant progress. Enormous strides… leaps, even!

It happened about 2 weeks ago, and on that sunny Thursday afternoon, I bought (wait for it………):

  • 7 Jigsaw/David Lawrence dresses @ $40 each, usually between $279 and $399 RRP
  • 3 Jigsaw skirts @ $25 each, usually between $179 and $199 RRP
  • 1 David Lawrence blouse @ $20 each, usually $149 RRP

The sale was held by Webster Holdings around their HQ in Waterloo, so Marcs samples were also available but I didn’t manage to pick any up.  No insider info about when the next sale is on, I’m afraid…

Also unfortunately, as with all sample sales there can be casualties. In this case, a parking ticket (not mine, but hopefully the cops will forget to process it!) and some missing fabric.

Can you spot which of the items I bought has a chunk of material missing?

Jigsaw floral watercolor dress

Jigsaw floral pleated dress

Jigsaw Purple textured floral skirt

Jigsaw blue tiger print dress

David Lawrence white silk shirt with black trim

Jigsaw Purple spot dress

Jigsaw ethnic print dress

Jigsaw Renaissance floral dress

Jigsaw Orange white crosshatch full skirt

David Lawrence Kelly green bow front dress

Jigsaw oriental print full skirt

(Answer: It’s this one.)

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Choices, choices, choices (and a review of J.Crew skirts)

The thing about shopping online is that your exposed to a lot of choice. That’s definitely one of the perks for me, because the search for a perfect tan saddle bag (or insert desired item) can seem endless when you’re looking in person. And it’s just so inefficient, with needing to walk in and out of shops, driving in and out of shopping centres? Really, so last century.

But what to do when you’re not looking for the perfect one, but just something you like and more than one catches your eye?

Sometimes you just gotta buy ’em all.

This is the story of how I ended up with 4 new skirts from J.Crew in the space of around 2 weeks.

J Crew skirts

After comparing my new goodies with the 2 I bought while in the US, I realised something odd: they all fit perfectly but ranged from a size 2 to a 6P (US sizing).  Weird, no?

Ok, perhaps that’s a little misleading — of course I knew I had ordered different sizes, and of course I did so purposely after looking at reviews and the like.  Here are some tips so that you too can hopefully order the right size on the first go:

  • I’d say a regular 4 in J.Crew translates to a AU8-10 for Country Road, Witchery, Saba etc.
  • The No. 2 pencil skirt, both the cotton and wool versions, for some reason runs large even for J.Crew sizing, so I would size down again
  • The cut of the Sterling Skirt is supposedly A-line but is really only 1-2cm wider than the No. 2 pencil skirt on each side at the hem
  • Go one size up if you’re getting a petite size, e.g. a regular size 2 is similar to a 4P.  In fact, I could tell no difference between the 2 and 4P for the No. 2 pencil skirt

But at the end of the day, sometimes you’ve just got to take the leap.  If it helps, even though J.Crew has gotten rid of their free shipping and free returns to Australia option (i.e. risk-free shopping), shipping now is only a flat rate of $10.  Really, isn’t that just 3 coffees in the grand scheme of things?  And returns are still free!

 

Slightly scented nails

In continuing to keep my nails decent and clothed (i.e. not naked), I tried out a couple of new colors — Essie’s Jumpin Junkaroo (the medium rosy pink) and Revlon’s Cotton Candy (the paler pink, also a scented polish).

Nail polish essie jumpin junkaroo revlon scented cotton candy

Both colors have a nice shimmer, but were a tiny bit streaky.  Jumpin Junkaroo has a jelly finish, which always looks great in other people’s swatches, but I find it not very pigmented and a little difficult to work with.  I only did 2 coats here, but probably could have done with a third.

On the scented polishes front, I really have no idea how they work, but that tiny bit of Cotton Candy had me sniffing my nails all day at work today.  It smelt so yum, I just wanted to lick it!  Luckily everyone was getting over the Monday morning blues, so I’m pretty sure nobody noticed… my sniffing that is, not the licking.  Which, just to be clear, did not happen.

No more naked nails

Sometime in December, I think I lost a part of myself. Specifically, I lost my shopping mojo because in the post-Christmas or Boxing Day sales all I remember buying (in person) was cake making utensils… scary stuff.  I barely even recognise myself (or at least my credit card statement) anymore.

Even scarier, I spent almost a whole month with naked nails, which is something that hasn’t happened in over two years! Creators of Homeland and your super intense episodes that don’t allow for multitasking: I blame you.

Since it’s a new year though, I managed to break the unintended ban and tried out a new China Glaze bottle I picked up at ProNail Supply in Bankstown.

It’s a warm medium pink creme which I surprisingly do not have a lot of, and the formula is great and opaque in 2 coats (see pics below).  I also used it as inspiration for my Summer Friday outfit today:

China Glaze - Lap of Luxury swatch

Swatch in natural light:

China Glaze - Lap of Luxury swatch

Swatch in direct sunlight:

China Glaze - Lap of Luxury swatch

Next order of business: get my shopping mojo back!

Cyber Monday Sales 2012

I’ve been lamenting to anyone who will listen that I’m rather underwhelmed by this year’s Black Friday sales. Le sigh and le big sad face. After an exciting order of two bags from Shopbop last Wednesday, I’ve been in a state of indecision and nothing’s really inspired me to click that “submit order” button. Main issue? The deals just weren’t quite at the level that I remembered from last year.

Luckily, Cyber Monday is here!  And I’m happy to report that stores are giving something just a little extra than they did at the Black Friday sales (but some just changed their codes).

Most of these are one day offers and only valid with US shipping:

Codes: 

  • Origins – $10 off orders of $25 plus free shipping with code TENOFF
  • J. Crew – still 25% off everything with the code MONDAY
  • J. Crew Factory – was 40% off everything, now 50% off everything with the code YOURGIFT
  • Loft – was 40% off everything (then 40% off selected items only), now 50% off everything with the code TODAYONLY
  • Ann Taylor – was 40% everything… still 40% off everything with the code MONDAY
  • Banana Republic, GAP, Old Navy – was 25% off storewide, now 30% off storewide with the code CYBER
  • Piperlime – still 20% off with the code CYBER
  • Urban Outfitters – $15 off $75 with the code SUPERCYBER

No code necessary:

My favorite of the bunch is this Kate Spade tote (was $425, now $199).  The only way this could be better if it was half the size!

A good friend also alerted me to a Chloe Marcie bag – small in nubuck leather which is newly marked down from $1,895 to $1,136 on Nordstrom… tempting, but I’m still holding out for the mini version!

Net-A-Porter (US Site): Sale on Now!

Technically I could’ve updated yesterday’s post, but this kind of needed a post of its own.

So normally I get Net-A-Porter sales notifications a bit late.  Maybe a few hours after it starts, sometimes a whole day.  And if you’re familiar with the world of online sales frenzy, a few hours is like a lifetime (half joking, maybe).

This time around, I was prepared.  I created a wishlist. I lurked. I checked my wish list throughout the day, and it paid off because before any emails or even before it was announced on the homepage, I discovered that some of my wish list items had been marked down!!!!!! I felt like I had beat the system!!

…except I couldn’t find anything to buy.  I considered this Mulberry Small Bayswater which is down to $945 (reduced by 30%).

I ooh’ed over this small Chloe Paraty.  It’s 40% down to $1077 (and I preened because I bought it in black last year at around the same price).

I aaah’ed over these Mulberry patent heels, reduced by 40% to $300.

At this point I realised I was probably just attracted to the colour orange and should not make any sudden purchasing decisions.  Another site in the “to be revisited” list.

P.S. Shipping to Australia is $55 from the US site.

Thanksgiving & Black Friday Sales 2012

My absolute favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, which may sound weird as we don’t celebrate it here in Australia.  The end of November brings joy and happiness a-plenty, because it is followed by the Biggest Shopping Day of the Year in the US and, by extension through the world wide web, the rest of the world as well.

Unfortunately it also breeds a bit of silly behavior — case in point: today I turned down dinner with a good friend with the response “Um I can’t!! Black Friday sales have started and I must go home and shop!!!!!! Raincheck?”

(Number of exclamation marks are as per original text.)

(She seemed to understand.)

Anyway, after several hours of scouring the beginnings of the sale, I thought I’d report back with my favorite finds.  Unfortunately most of the deals I like are US shipping only, so I’m still working on the logistics and whether it’s worth going through a mail forwarder this time around…

Of course there are plenty more sales going on, and I might add them as I go along.  Or I might not.  You know, could be too busy shopping. 😉

****

Added 22 November 2012

Shopbop – Spend $250, save 20%; Spend $500, save $25%, Spend $1000, save 30%; Spend $1500, save 35% with code BIGEVENT12. Offer ends November 26.  Free worldwide shipping.

I’d say shopbop has the best deal at the moment because it’s a sitewide discount, but things are selling out likely crazy so I hope you have a wishlist ready to go!  Tip: if something is sold out, it might just be reserved in someone else’s cart.  Check back in half an hour and it might be yours!

I was eyeing these turquoise Salvatore Ferragamo Varina flats literally 2 hours before the sale started, and by the time I woke up the next morning to see the sale notification, my size had already sold out.  Oh well.  It’s probably for the best — my red pair is still in its box in pristine condition.

Anthropologie – extra 25% of sale. Ends November 25. $25 flat rate shipping to Australia.

My wishlist items are already out of stock, so I’m holding out to see if anything else goes on sale.  I have this pleated skirt in the “maybe” list.

Last Call by Neiman Marcus – extra 40% off sale.  Ends November 22.  US shipping only — international orders can be placed by phone, but no information about shipping costs.

These Chloe sunglasses are down to $71.40, and I’m tempted to snap them up even though I already have a similar pair!  It’s always good to have a back up, no?

J. Crew: 25% off your entire purchase with code COLOR25; free shipping on $150+. Ends November 25.  US shipping only, as the promo doesn’t apply to the Australian site.

J. Crew Factory: 40% off everything, and extra 15% off when spending $100+, with code GIVEANDGET.  Ends November 25.  US shipping only.

Been eyeing the Copley Saddlebag for the longest time, but I recently acquired a butterscotch colored saddle bag so it’s probably a bit early for a neon persimmon version as well.  Not to mention 2 even more recently acquired bags which are yet to arrive….!

Madewell – 25% off everything with the code TREAT. Ends November 26.  US shipping only.

I really like J. Crew’s more casual cool sister, and their silk shirts are always nice to wear.  I have last year’s version of this solid silk boyshirt.

Loft – 40% off everything with the code ENJOY. Offer is on for a “limited time”. US shipping only.

Ann Taylor – 40% off full-price items and 25% off sale items, use the code THANKS.  Again, offer is on for a “limited time”. US shipping only.

Sparkly block heels!  I’ve been planning on the DIY for months now, but maybe I should just buy a ready-made pair?

 

Added 23 November 2012

SSENSE – markdowns and free worldwide shipping with code FREESHIPWW.  Limited time only.

A Proenza Schouler PS11 for US$1365… to buy or not to buy? I decided to not buy, or at least wait until I boosted the non “cross body bag wth structured shape and a flap” part of my bag collection.

Beautybay – 20% of your purchase with free international shipping, no code needed.  Black Friday (Nov 23) offer only.  Seems to be a good place to pick up Nails Inc polish for £7.96, or Parlux hairdryer for £52.45.

Saks Fifth Avenue – General markdowns, plus $10.95 USD Express Shipping to Hong Kong and Australia on orders of $250 USD or more with code: HOLIDAY1. Ends November 26.

Barneys New York – Sale on now, plus complimentary international shipping on orders of $200 or more. Limited time only.

How cute is this Alexander Wang Rockie Duffle bag, was $725 and now $439?

Neiman Marcus – further 20% off sale, ends November 24. $19.95 express shipping to selected countries.

Flannels Fashion – 20% off full price stock with the code GIFT20, exclusions apply. Shipping to Australia is £45.  I haven’t bought anything from here myself, but it says advertised prices include VAT, and they’ll take off the VAT when sending to Australia.

Urban Outfitters – general markdowns.  Shipping to Australia is $5, with free shipping for orders over $50.

While it’s not really my style, how interesting is this stingray clutch?

 

Benefit Cosmetics – up to 3 free gifts with order: spend $30 and get free BADgal lash mascara mini; $60 and also get a FREEdeluxe the porefessional mini; spend $90 and also get a deluxesugarbomb mini.  Enter STAYCATION at checkout.  Offer valid through November 25.

Revolve clothing – Spend and save offer, valid to November 26.  Shipping to Australia is $10, or free for orders over $100.

Banana Republic – 40% off your purchase with the code BRFRIDAY, valid November 23 only.  Ships to Australia using FiftyOne Global, which is generally weight-based.

Piperlime – 20% off storewide with the code ME. Ends November 26.  Same umbrella as Banana Republic and Gap, so you can combined the order to save (maybe) on shipping

Gap – 20% off purchase with the code GAPGIFT.  Ends November 23.