Holiday season sale strategies

Black blazer, blue plaid shirt, burgundy pants — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Blue plaid flannel shirt fall outfit — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Fall outfit with Frye Melissa Button tall boots — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Blazer blazer outfit with burgundy pants — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

'Tis the season of sale after sale after sale... It's exhausting trying to keep up with all of the sales, amirite?!

I tend to go overboard around this time of year (I will try not to go overboard this year, but it's too soon to tell at this point if I will stick to that statement). There are SO many sales that it's easy to get caught up in the idea of getting a good deal, whether or not you need whatever you're buying. I've learned from my mistakes and now go into this season with a bit of a game plan. Here are my tips for coming out of the holiday sale season on top:

  1. Go into it with lists / Everyone says this, but it really does help. If you're shopping for yourself, make a list of everything you "need" versus the things you want. Focus on the needs first and wants second (perhaps ask for the wants for Christmas or Hannukah). If you're shopping for other people, jot down a few ideas, including where you can buy those items, and stick to looking at only the retailers you're interested in purchasing from.
  2. Make a budget and stick to it / It's easy to buy everything just because it's a good deal. Don't let yourself get sucked into that mindset; if you spend $100 more than you planned, it doesn't really matter if you saved $200! You still spent the $100 you weren't planning on spending. 
  3. Read reviews / If I'm buying from a brand that I haven't had experience with, I do as much research as I can into sizing or quality prior to making the purchase in order to lessen or eliminate the possibility of making returns or just making bad purchases in general. On a related note, review retailers' return policies so you're not stuck with any bad purchases!
  4. Watch sales in advance (or search Google for previous sales) / If you receive promotional emails from the retailers on your list, keep track of the sales they've been running in the past couple of months to get an idea of what their "best" deal is. If you do not already receive promotional emails, find out as much as you can about their best sales. Search Google! Bloggers usually write about big sales if the retailer is well-known and those posts will come up in search results. Sometimes, Black Friday isn't when retailers have the best deals, so you can hold out until a bit later snag what you are looking for at the best price.

Note that in general, this is my strategy throughout the year as well when shopping for myself. I keep track of the clothing items I plan to buy in a note on my phone and then pay attention when those sale emails come around. Usually the best sales occur around holidays, i.e. Presidents Day in February. From watching sales, for example, I know to wait until J.Crew Factory is running at least 50% off before buying from them. I do the same thing with LOFT. If I find myself not shopping at a specific retailer as much, I'll unsubscribe from those emails so they don't clutter up my inbox. If you can cross people off your list before the holiday season hits by shopping throughout the year, that's even better!

Speaking of sales, the blazer I'm wearing in today's post is 40% off at Nordstrom and still available in other colors. I don't usually buy multiples anymore (I used to be terrible about collecting multiples!), but I caved and bought it in another color because I love this one so much. It's simple enough that I don't think it will be obvious that they are the same brand. ;)

The combination of this blue plaid shirt with the burgundy pants is an outfit I'd been wanting to wear and feature here for a while. I kept the look grounded and season-appropriate with the blazer and black tall boots, though I also think it would have worked with my brown tall boots and no blazer (or a different layer—maybe my army green utility jacket?) for a different vibe!


OUTFIT DETAILS

Olivia Moon blazer / exact (on sale!)
Madewell shirt / old; similar from Nordstrom or similar by Roxy (last seen here)
Madewell pants / old; similar by J Brand
Frye boots / new version (last seen here)
Dior Addict Lip Glow in pink / exact

Grana reviews: Silk bomber, cashmere textured sweater, cashmere joggers

It's been a few months since my last Grana review! I had some credit burning a hole in my proverbial wallet (thank you to everyone that has used my referral link!), so I decided to treat myself to some new cashmere goodies. I also reviewed my newest silk bomber jacket, which I purchased in a size up from my first bomber.

If you are new to the brand and sign up using my referral link, you get 10% off your first order (and I get a credit). Grana's shipping has changed since I last reviewed their items. If you are located in the U.S., 5-9 day shipping is $8 (or free if you spend $75), and 2-day express shipping is $15 (or free if you spent $150). Taxes and duties are included if you spend up to $800. It takes about 1-2 days to ship orders. DHL still ships the majority of their orders, though I did have FedEx ship one of my orders. They do require a signature to leave the package. Returns cost $8 or are free if you plan to exchange (they will refund you in store credit to purchase the new size/color). I've been getting USPS return labels in my packages, but there is a longer processing time now if you do plan to return (about two weeks).

For sizing reference, I am typically a size XS/0 at J.Crew, Madewell, LOFT, Anthropologie, Gap, and Banana Republic. I wear a size 4-6 in H&M and its sister stores (depending on the item). For stores that use juniors sizing, such as Forever 21 and ModCloth, I am usually a size small. My Uniqlo and Everlane size is either XS or small (again, depending on the item). Like Everlane, Grana includes garment measurements for each item. Browse all my Everlane and Grana reviews here.

Grana 'Silk Bomber' in soft olive — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Silk Bomber (soft olive, size S)

You may remember that I received the black silk bomber from Grana at the beginning of the year for the purpose of a review. I got that bomber in size XS but it's just a little bit too snug on my shoulders (and subsequently, the arms are a bit short). When they released the bomber in this gorgeous olive, I decided to give it a try in the size small for comparison. Even though I prefer the shorter length of the size XS, I love fit of the size small. It's comfortable in the body and the arms are long enough. It's also a gorgeous color! I did find the pockets to be easier to open up than the ones on my black jacket. If you're looking to buy it yourself, I'd size up for sleeve length (and/or if you have broad shoulders) unless you would rather have the cropped length of the smaller size. So far, I wore mine in a sporty outfit with a baseball cap and sneakers.

Grana's measurements: bust 42.1", neck width 6.3", length 21.1", sleeve length 27.6"
My measurements: bust 40.5", neck width 5", length 21.75", sleeve length 28"

Grana 'Cashmere Textured Sweater' in light heather grey — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Cashmere Textured Sweater (light heather grey, size XS)

This was definitely an impulse purchase. I was browsing the site when I went to order my cashmere joggers (below) and came across this beauty. I'm all about Operation: Wear Only the Coziest Sweaters right now and I thought this would be a welcome addition. I didn't realize how much I would fall in love with this sweater. It's the softest sweater I own, and that's saying a lot because I just got Everlane's waffle knit cashmere sweater, too. It's so soft. I could wear it every day! If there's one sweater you buy this winter, make it this one. You won't be disappointed.

I ended up with a size XS since it fits a bit oversized. The hem is slightly swingy, and I love the balloon sleeves, surprisingly. The knit is loose so it's a bit see-through, but I usually wear a slim top underneath for additional warmth and so I can wear my sweaters a few times between washes (Uniqlo's HEATTECH collection is my go-to). The length is perfect on me, and the sleeves are long enough to go over my wrists (always a plus when you have long arms, haha). I love the interesting pattern, too. I can't say enough good things about this sweater! I hope it doesn't pill up too much.

Grana's measurements: bust 39", length 23.2", sleeve length 22"
My measurements: bust 40.5", length 23", sleeve length 24"

Grana 'Cashmere Joggers' in light heather grey — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Cashmere Joggers (light heather grey, size S)

I ordered these joggers purely for fun. Everlane released their own cashmere sweatsuit (sweatshirt and joggers), and I knew Grana also made cashmere joggers, so I decided to splurge on a pair. I had a hard time deciding between size XS and size small but ultimately decided on the small because I didn't want them to be too tight. I love them! The cashmere is not as soft as my textured sweater or my cashmere boyfriend cardigan (reviewed here), but it's still nice. They're not too warm which is something I was worried about. I can still comfortably wear them and cozy up in a blanket without overheating. The side pockets are a nice touch. I found them to be slightly see through (you can kind of see the bottom of my top tucked above my butt in the last photo). They do stretch out with wear, especially around the knees, but I'm not surprised about that. I don't plan to wear these out of the house so it doesn't bother me. I have to say that the one thing I would change is the side tag...it's so itchy! It seems like you wouldn't notice it if you wore boy shorts under but it's still annoying to be able to only wear one type of underwear. I'm seriously considering cutting the itchy tag off (but often the cut edge is still itchy...). 

Grana's measurements: waist 27.6", hips 35.4", inseam 26.6"
My measurements: waist 26.5", hips 35", inseam 26.75", front rise 9.75"

If you found these reviews helpful and are new to Grana, please consider making an account with my referral link. You get 10% off your first order with the link! I would appreciate it so much. :) 

More Grana reviews:


Pima v-neck tee, denim boyfriend shirt, Turkish denim high-rise cropped skinny jeans
Silk bomber, silk sleeveless shirt dress, flannel shirt dress
Silk cashmere tank, cashmere boyfriend cardigan, pima joggers, pima waffle crewneck
Pima box tee, denim A-line skirt, Italian Sensitive underwear
Pima modal tank, silk shell, silk shorts
Pima modal tank, silk tank, silk shorts + return process

Don't read the last page

Army green jacket outfit with blush pink sweater — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Fall outfit with army green utility jacket — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Everlane cashmere sweater fall outfit — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Fall outfit with navy Charlotte Olympia 'Kitty' flats — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Charlotte Olympia 'Kitty' flats in navy — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Ummmm, so... I can't not talk about the fact that Taylor Swift just released her sixth studio album last Friday called reputation. I've been a fan since the days of Tim McGraw over 10 years ago, and though I thoroughly enjoyed country Taylor, I'm in love with pop Taylor! And, since we are only about three months apart in age, it's been fun to "grow up" with her and have music that fits each stage of life so far. This album includes a multitude of (true) love songs, which is perfect for me right now. :)

Currently, my top three favorites (in no particular order) are Call It What You Want, I Did Something Bad, and Getaway Car, but I also love King of my Heart and This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things. There is not a song I hate, though! To say I'm excited for the tour next year is a huge understatement. I'm just hoping I can get tickets to the show closest to me and possibly go to a second show if the ticket prices aren't outrageous (though unfortunately this might be the case since it's a stadium-only tour).

I don't want to make this whole post about Taylor (because I definitely could go on and on, haha), but I did want to mention that her performance of New Year's Day on Jimmy Fallon on Monday was beautiful. You should watch it if you haven't already (and read about why it was so touching).

Anyway, here's another recent work outfit. It was surprisingly nice enough out to just need this light utility jacket, though the cashmere sweater did add extra warmth. Army green and blush pink made an appearance—surprise, surprise. ;) I felt like wearing my 'Kitty' flats with this look, so that's what I did; the navy paired with the dark denim helps to give the illusion of long legs even though they aren't! These jeans are slightly too long on me, as evidenced by the bunching at my ankles, but I decided to leave them bunched for this look... I'm torn on whether I like this look again, but I've been seeing it come up recently (versus the straight skinny leg, which I could have achieved by folding the hem under like I usually do). Thoughts on the bunchy skinny leg?


OUTFIT DETAILS

Madewell jacket / old; similar
Everlane sweater / exact style
Madewell jeans / old; similar
Charlotte Olympia flats c/o Shopbop / exact from SSENSE (last seen here)
Dior Addict Lip Glow in pink / exact

Title lyrics & currently playing: New Year's Day by Taylor Swift