- Shop with a friend or family member. Besides the obvious reasons that it’s fun and you’ll get instant objective feedback, I have found that I discover new stores that I wouldn’t normally go into by doing that. When Beth and I hit the outlets this weekend, she dragged me into Ann Taylor, a shop I’ve never set foot in before because I thought it was a little too conservative. Well, two slightly sequined tops later, I had changed my mind.
- When I was shopping in Old Navy with Jamie last Spring, I tried on a sweater that I thought looked fine, but she insisted I should try it on in a medium. It never occurred to me that I might have shrunk a bit. Opinions. Everyone has them, and sometimes it even pays to listen to them. Go figure. :)
- Don’t pigeonhole a store. Old Navy, for the most part, is typically known for their more casual clothing … sweats, t-shirts, hoodies, pajamas … just about as casual as you can get. That top I’m wearing in the picture? With the ruffles along the neckline? Old Navy. $13.49 on sale this weekend. Love the color.
- If you have gift cards, particularly for clothing, seek out the store outlets to make your gift cards really stretch. The necklace (I’m sorry you can’t see it better in the picture) was less than $10 from a J. Crew outlet, and I got a winter coat for $69, regularly priced at $218. I bought my winter coat when I was four sizes bigger and pregnant with Nick, nine years ago. Both pockets had holes in them, and one elbow as well. I normally wouldn’t have looked at J. Crew for a winter coat, and was trying to make it through the season since my sizes are changing too rapidly, but as soon as I saw the steal of a deal, it was too much to resist. And I think after nine years and three holes, not to mention the fact that it’s way too big … well, I’ve gotten all I can out of that coat.
- Need hair accessories? Think kids’ stores. Beth and I happened to wander into Crewcuts, J. Crew’s answer to children’s clothing, to see what they had on sale, and we found great headbands and hairclips there. At a fraction of the cost. The hairclip I’m wearing in this picture, which isn’t especially visible (sorry!) was under two bucks. Love that!
Got shopping tips of your own? I’d love to hear them!
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January 5, 2011, Photo #5
Forgive the terrible picture from my BlackBerry. Due to a last minute change in plans, the kids had to come with me to Zumba. The Wednesday class I only go to in support of The Neighbor Wife and another friend, so I couldn’t miss it since they were both going. I lectured the kids all the way there. And as we walked in. And I got pinkie swears and promises on what we consider good behavior.
They have been asking to come watch a Zumba class basically since I started taking them, and tonight’s venue is a little better suited to kid spectators, so I took a chance. For the first 40 minutes, Madeline sat on the chair, not a peep out of her. It was the cutest thing. When I went over for a water break, she said, “You’re doing a good job, Mom.” Be still my heart. After about forty-five minutes, she started trying to join in, coming up and shaking her tush near me, or holding on to The Neighbor Wife’s leg as she was exercising (extra weight around the ankles is good, yes?). They were so good that they were even invited back. Shocker that.