40 + Style

A Fashion Field Guide: Frugality and Fashion

Can you be both frugal and fashionable? I think so. Perhaps you may not be a trend leader, but for many of us whom live outside of NYC and LA, that is OK. Metro-Detroit in the house! Woot woot! Most of us can’t drop $700 + for a pair of shoes or $1,000 + for a handbag. I made a quick jaunt through Neiman Marcus yesterday and found a lovely frock for a mere $1,200. On sale. I am not the 1%. So, how do you accomplish this task?

The first thing you need to do is sign up for emails from your favorite stores. You want to be notified of sales, right? Be the first to know so you can get the best selection and find your size. I hate nothing worse than perusing the J. Crew sale area and only finding sizes 00 or 14. Blergh. The vultures descend quickly, so keep informed.

Another benefit of signing up for emails is receiving coupons. Gap, Gap Outlet and J. Crew Factory frequently do this. I don’t tend to shop at Gap Outlet for myself, but I do for my kids.  J. Crew Factory is another story…

J. Crew Factory tends to have 50% off the entire store whenever there is a holiday and sometimes just because. Plus they send emails with coupons. Save an extra 10%? Don’t mind if I do! They frequently send out coupons to save an extra 20% off of $125. Sometimes you can combine those with the 50% off and some can’t. Just depends.

I got one of those glorious emails notifying me of 50% off the whole store plus they sent a coupon for an extra 10% off because I am a VIP. I’m sure everyone who gets the emails are VIPs. I’m not special. I used the opportunity to pick up a few staples and the necklace I’ve had on my wish list, which was sold out the last time I was in the store. The amounts listed on the pictures are the final prices I paid.

Frugal Fashion

Top left: J. Crew Factory Clare Cardigan original price $49.50
Top right: J. Crew Factory Winnie Pant original price $72.50
Bottom left: J. Crew Factory Oxford Popover (I actually bought white, but they didn’t have a picture.) original price $62.50
Bottom right: J. Crew Factory Gold-Plated Chain-link Necklace original price $59.50

How’s the quality of J. Crew Factory? Most of it is solid. Some items are spotty, but I just don’t buy those. Generally, stuff holds up. I can’t find any discernible difference in the Winnie Pant from Factory compared to the regular store, except the regular store tends to have more fun colors.

Another way to save cashola on the items you like is to compare the website to the regular store.  Sometimes they have different promotions going on.  Gap does this all the time.  What I have found is if there is something NEW that you want that isn’t on sale in the actual store, check the website because they frequently run promotions for 25%, 30% or 35% off regularly priced items.  Shipping is free for any order $50 and up, so always order two different sizes of the item you want and then just return the one that doesn’t fit in the store.  Never pay for shipping.

Something else you need to do is start an Ebates account if you haven’t already and always start your online shopping with them to get cash back for your online purchases.  That one is just a total duh.  Duh…  Do it.  You are already shopping online, so why wouldn’t you get cash back for doing it?  Am I right?

Yes.  I am right.

Have a great and stay classy!