In general, it feels really good to be prepared. So, imagine Girl Scout-level preparedness for shopping the upcoming holiday sale frenzy. Style expert Lilliana Vazquez is about to take you there, with her insider tips for tackling Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all the tempting seasonal sales with sanity, savings, and zero FOMO.
You probably know Lilliana from her appearances on The Meredith Vieira Show, The TODAY Show, or E! News. She’s also the author of The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style; it’s safe to say she’s an expert-level shopper. “I will definitely take part in the big sales this year,” says Lilliana. “I jump at any chance to get a great deal or double-up on discounts—because I love to save money.” Yes, please! We’ll have what she’s having. Advance planning required, but it’s so, so worth it. Her tips:
1. Get digitally connected. First thing’s first: make sure you have the inside scoop on your favorite brands, because many give sneak peeks of discounts and limited edition items via email blasts and social postings. How can you plan if you don’t know the deals? And it has to be said: there are some really awesome shopping events happening at Clinique this season. Sign up here for the newsletter and look forward to 20% off your $65 order. No code needed.
2. Take time, make a list (for them). There’s a difference between knowing you should make a list and actually doing it. Take 30 minutes to map out exactly what you want to buy for holiday gifts. With it, you’ll navigate sales like a laser beam—and be less likely to get sucked in by the thrill of the deal.
3. Take time, make a list (for you). This time of year, temperatures start to dip—suddenly, you’ll need the lush moisturizer that you couldn’t imagine buying last month. Take a few extra minutes to assess your beauty and fashion needs. Write. It. Down.
4. Go with a team. If you're heading to the mall, you'll need all hands on deck. Examine everyone’s lists before you shop, pinpoint any overlap, then divide and conquer. Even if you only do this for checkout—one person waits in line while the other grabs the last few items—you could easily save yourselves an hour.
5. Do online purchase, in-store pick-up. Check whether your destination retailer is honoring this system during The Sales. If so, you’ll deal with a separate section of the store and a lot less people. Plus, you get to combine the comfort of browsing online with the instant gratification of on-site shopping. Hello, efficiency.
6. Wear a hands-free outfit. You already know to wear clothes that easily slip off and on to streamline the fitting room process; but the more pockets you have, the better—you won’t need to carry a handbag. Or worry about that handbag while you’re shopping!
7. Shop the “doorbusters”—maybe. The extra-super-bonus discounts that retailers offer at the crazy hours (late night, early morning) might only be worth it if you’re buying multiple items at one location. So do the math before you wake up your household at 4 AM.
8. Park far away. There's no doubt that you'll have to battle the masses and wait in long lines when you're inside a shopping center. But the exit lane from the parking garage is one you can skip! Simply park far from the doors or elevator bank and closer to the parking lot exit. The walk to the store while you’re still fresh will also give you a sweet endorphin rush for happy shopping.
Photograpy: Lauren Dougherty