new arrivals + how-to spring shopping guide [part I}

I am in awe with all the pretty spring colors hitting stores lately!  Just in time for all the snow in the northeast and the tornado/40 degree weather we are getting in the south.  #sarcasm There’s no time like now to prepare and watch for sales to score the best prices on your wish list.  Every week (ok maybe every day…) I add items to either a store’s wish list or just the checkout bag online and watch for what I think the item is “worth.” Below are details on how I shop at my favorite stores! And if you don’t want to read all the hub-bub, click on the pictures below for my favorite new arrivals. 🙂

At Banana Republic and GAP, this means I wait for a sale + sale… normally. If I covet the item and know it will sell out quickly, you can always get 40% off at these stores off full price.  Just wait a day or two. It will happen. Since Old Navy is owned by GAP, I apply the same principles. You can really purchase things for cheap at ON if you are patient (think clearance + sale). However, their “better” items (which are normally only found online) that are $40-60 full price, sell out fast.  Again, if I covet the item…. you can get at least 30% off full price.  Again, wait a couple days. It will happen.

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J. Crew, Ann Taylor, and LOFT – big box stores of better quality – are a little different. In order to get free shipping, you normally have to spend somewhere around $100-125 ($175 for AT!) and rarely is that waived.  Thankfully we have all three stores nearby our home, so if I see a good “flash” sale and only want a couple items, I pop in and buy it in person. However, with my crazy retail pharmacist schedule… in person shopping rarely occurs.  Thus, I apply the “checkout bag” scheme to each store and add all of the items I want into my bag.  Then I wait for the best sale.  AT and LOFT are awesome about flash 40-50% off sales, but they normally only last about 24 hours (or less), so you have to act fast. I actually missed the 50% off sale this past week because I thought it would last longer — and it was gone in hours! 

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J. Crew usually has a good sale about once a month (25-30% off new arrivals). It’s honestly harder to gauge with them. You can certainly get good deals if you wait for a “final sale” price that is usually 40%-50% off the regular/sale price. But, unfortunately all the popular items are long sold out by then. Great staples like the Tippi Sweater are usually always included in their final sale section and can snag your favorite color at a great price. Staples shown below:

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J. Crew Factory is a whole different ball game!  Prices are much more reasonable (although sometimes you have to be careful with quality and size variation) and normally a great sale always comes along. They just released a ton of new arrivals this past week and #omg I’m in love with so many!  You definitely have to play the “checkout bag” game with this store. Prices on items change daily. It’s crazy. I usually consider prices on new arrivals at $30 or less a “good deal.” However, things like tees and plain shorts I normally price at $20 or less a “good deal.” Right now they have 20% off $100, but don’t let that fool you.  I have a pair of shorts “on sale” in my checkout right now at $45…. even with 20% off that leaves them at $36… not a good deal!  Since they are printed and I really love them, I might pay $25-28 for them.  It really is a game.  A waiting game at that.  Patience is definitely a virtue here. 🙂

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Current promotions:

Banana Republic: 40% off various new arrivals, extra 50% off sale items
GAP: $40 off $100, $25 off $75
Old Navy: 30% off online order
J. Crew: 40-50% off final sale items, 30% off winter essentials
J. Crew Factory: 20% off $100

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