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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Part 4: champagne lifestyle on a beer budget

I guess it always seems like I'm buying clothes. It took about a week for the campus mail workers to know my name. But seriously, it's not all clothes. 99% of the time it's beads or promotional items for my business Devin Ashton Designs. Ok, well I still do get a lot of clothes. But here's how and why and how I make every penny count.

Clothes

If you know me even slightly you know this is my biggest downfall in life. I consider clothes an investment which isn't necessarily the best way of thinking for my bank account. The thing about me is I research clothing SO much before I buy it. Here's some tricks that I've accumulated over my years of becoming a devoted shopaholic. 
  1. Ebay is your undiscovered love. 90% of all clothes online at that cute boutique's website are listed on ebay from the original manufacturer/wholesale outlet. So what does that mean for you? You're cutting out an extra channel of distribution- aka cheaper. By like A LOT. I got some palazzo pants listed on a boutique site for $55 off of ebay for $20. SAME EXACT ONES. It isn't easy to find the stuff- you have to dig. You have to come up with vague but at the same time specific descriptions of what you're trying to find. & sometimes saving a few bucks isn't worth it, but to me $30 is. I searched "palazzo pants" and went through 20 pages of search results. I found them quickly at the beginning but they were listed by the same boutique so that was less than helpful. The sort by "lowest to highest" can usually be helpful. Ebay is great for getting products for costumes as well... I'm being a gum ball machine for halloween this year & needed a red body con dress.. $7 on ebay. The pom poms for the gum balls? $4 for 160. (priced from $5 for 50 at Michael's). So what I'm saying is avoid going to retail store locations and shopping with BOUTIQUE brands online. Ebay is also a great place to get Lilly Pulitzer WITH TAGS on it. I got a $338 Lilly dress (pictured at bottom) for senior convocation last year for $88 on Ebay- new with tags on it. What happens is that stores that sell Lilly can't sell everything and end up listing on Ebay to avoid loosing what they paid for the dress originally. 
  2. Marshall's is THE greatest. Love. I live here. It also makes you really cheap and you can't believe you ever paid more than $19.99 for a shirt. I scored my senior homecoming dress at Marshall's during a summer sale- it was $20. Priced at the original retailer for $150. (The shoes I wore to homecoming I got at a rack room shoes sale- buy one get one $10. I got black pumps and the pink sequin STEVE MADDEN $120 heels both for $20..... okay seriously probably best deal ever. Also I'm obsessed with Steve Madden but never pay retail it is always on sale and available at Ross, Marshall's, Gabe's, & ESPECIALLY Burlington Coat Factory.) Sorry for the sidebar, good deals make me so excited.
  3. Why would you ever go to a real J. Crew like that concept confuses me. I have lots of J. Crew secrets. Pretty sure it's ever preppy girl's dream... I'll share a few! First of the outlet store has an online site so what the heck... go to it. THEY'RE HAVING A 25% OFF SALE RIGHT NOW. Wait for the outlet to have sales. I just got a quilted vest for $60 during their sale last week. Yeah $60. I know. Anyways, THEY TAKE STUDENT DISCOUNTS IN THE OUTLET STORES AKA ADDITIONAL 10% OFF (but sadly not online). That's right... on top of the sale. If you aren't in college & one of your parent's is a teacher they also do teacher discounts! Bottom line is J. CREW IS AMAZING. The quality and fit of their clothes is unparalleled. & splurge if you want but save when you can. Also, never go on Ebay for J.Crew vests. They only have the sold out ones & they are SO marked up it's insane. I watched the herringbone vest sell on Ebay for $500 on average last year- they restocked this fall (because they aren't stupid it was a best seller and people were willing to pay $500 for it... it's supply and demand) so they restocked it & it was at outlets too. Got it for full price but hey full price is better than $500. So use your head....... by the way the material isn't tweed on the herringbone vest it was actually quite depressing but nonetheless still my favorite fall piece of clothing I own.
  4. If you don't thrift & go goodwilling (yeah that's a verb now) who are you? The hands down best places for flannels. I got a tory burch shirt at goodwill (picture 3) for $4. LL. Bean flannel? $1.50 (literally 10 girls on my hall have already borrowed it & are obsessed.) I also got a legit tennis skirt for $1.50 that has become my go to skirt.. & tons of compliments when I wear it so #winning. Go beyond goodwill! Forage is an awesome thrifting store in Frederickburg. It's a little more pricey but I got an Ella Moss shirt ($150-$180 at Bloomingdale's) for $30. 
  5. Google promo codes. If you are shopping online google promo codes for that specific company. You could get free shipping or 20% off you never know what's going on that you haven't heard about! It's completely legal too so there's that added bonus. Google search ex: "promo codes for forever 21"
  6. If you're military go on base & go to the PX. The don't charge tax so it's nice for big purchases. They have rainbows, victoria secret perfume/makeup, Coach, Michael Kors, Dooney & Bourke & so many name brands it's ridiculous. They have an awesome array of jewelry too. Also great for saving money grocery shopping! You need a valid military ID to get on base. Also always ask for military discounts. Ralph Lauren takes 10% off and many other stores do as well. Here's a pretty great list of them. Regal movie theaters gives a discount too! (I've taken full advantage of it). 
  7. Make an email for a new offer. It's simple. For example Tobi gives 50% off for new users... I've already given them my email so I make a new email get my 50% off and then delete it once my order comes in the mail. NOT before because they send confirmation info!
  8. Apps/Websites that save my life.
    • Bauble Bar (cutest jewelry ever)
    • Twice (consignment store app) I actually prefer the website though!
    • RueLaLa (discount app) I've had limited success here but I did score some rare embellished jack rogers once soooo.. you have to be on top of your game to get their stuff & it sells out FAST.
    • HauteLook (app [GET THE APP]run by Nordstrom THEY CURRENTLY HAVE LA FEMME PROM DRESSES ON THERE ALL UNDER $200)
    • Poshmark (resale app aka get the app it's way easier)
    • Vinted (resale app aka get the app it's way easier- I sold both my prom dresses and $700 worth of old clothes on here this summer, Krissy & Sarah both did too! It's super easy.)
    • J. Crew Factory as previously stated
    • Shop goodwill (goodwill has a website for their fancier stuff like lilly & kate spade & tory burch.. let's just say my mom & I are borderline obsessed.. you have to pay a lot in shipping and handling but I got a free people $98 shirt with the tags on it for $15)
    • Online Shoes- they let you pay your shoes over the course of 3-5 months if you want.. aka payment plan for expensive shoes aka my lifeline. I got 20% off my wallabees and am on the 3 month payment plan- it doesn't cost you anything extra either..... that's a game changer. Right now if you spend $80 or more you get 20% off!!!
    • Groupon- (coupon app) if you don't have it get it. PS your mom will love it too!
Here's a list for student discounts with a valid college ID.

So in the end be a smart consumer. Marketing is made to entice you & make you buy. Know that, know the tricks, & research them. After all it's your money. & trust me once it's your money you'll want to know you're getting the best deal possible. 

Best wishes
xo
Dev





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