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6 Tips for (shamelessly) Finding the Best Deal

9 Feb

I’m of the mindset that paying full price just isn’t acceptable. It may sound a little extreme, but if there is something I really like, I go to great lengths to get it at a discount. My few designer pieces (ahem, Rebecca Minkoff bags) were purchased shamelessly with coupon codes or during deep sales.

Here are my tips for saving money when building your wardrobe.

1)      Find it vintage. Love a specific designer? Look for designer pieces at local vintage, consignment and resale shops. Every once in a while, a beautiful designer top or bag will make its way onto the sales floor at Goodwill. I once found an almost new Burberry scarf at a vintage store for just $30!

2)      Search coupon codes. If you are like me, you loathe shipping charges. Good news – most retailers offer codes for either free shipping or a percentage off. Google the name of the store and “coupon codes”. Sites like Retail Me Not will list current codes and their specific limitations.  I recently saved my boss $400 on registration to an industry conference. Not fashion, but its money in his pocket!

3)      Reward yourself. Be a part of an online rewards program. My favorite is Lucky Magazine Rewards (free to subscribers). I get anywhere from 1-10% back on online purchases. All I have to do is click through the links on their site. They have double and triple cash back bonuses too. The money comes back to you in the form of a Visa gift card, acceptable almost anywhere. I can’t tell you how much money I have saved in iTunes alone!

4)      Sign up for email lists. Yes, it can be a pain to keep track of store emails, but they are often  filled with special deals and savings. You are the first to know about exclusive sales and special discounts. I keep a separate email account specifically for my “deals”.

5)      Browse deal sites. Yes, there are sites out there that specialize in bringing you deals. I frequent sites like hip2save, Slickdeals, and Brad’s Deals. You will find some amazing deals, and much of the content is user generated, making it current and relevant. I turn to these sites first when I’m shopping for a gift.

6)      Knock it off. Love a trend? Buy the “knock-off” version, not the designer. Yes, those YSL tassel pumps look great now, but next season you won’t be able to wear them. Don’t invest in designer unless you can see yourself wearing the piece 1, 5 or even 10 years down the line. The knock-offs are affordable and you won’t feel guilty tossing them (or selling them) at the end of the season.

There are plenty of ways to shop smart. Get the style and pieces you want and end up with a few extra dollars in your pocket.


Inspiration Vacation – Part 2

6 Sep

Happy Labor Day all! I’m taking advantage of this well-timed holiday to make some upgrades to Mock-off, including an updated Celebrity Styles page and a simple new homepage. I have also moved the blog from Blogger over to Word Press. So far the transition has been smooth, so here’s hoping it stays that way!

Because it is a holiday I thought it would be a good time to explore Part 2 of my Inspiration Vacation series. Last time we explored burlap bags, redheads and twinkling lights. Here are some more items that make me smile:

1) Heeled Oxfords – Oxfords are my must-have shoe for Fall. I love, love, love these inexpensive heels from Target. Mix them with wide leg trousers or a skirt with tights and you have a cute, whimsical shoe.

2) Sewing Machines. Growing up both my mother and grandmother were always sewing. My mother has a beautiful old Singer machine that has held together beautifully over the years. My husband bought me a shiny new machine this past Christmas, but I have yet to use it for any projects aside from minor clothing repairs. My goal this Fall: sew some new pillows for the living room.

Older sewing machines are also great home decor accessories. The old industrial look adds a functional antique element to any room.  Imagine this on an old bookshelf:

3) Missoni. Yes, yes. I realize Missoni isn’t exactly an affordable brand. But I can’t help but pine for the brand’s signature colorful stripes and chevron prints.  I found scarves for as little as $13o at Saks Off 5th here in Portland this weekend, which is a steal for this Italian brand. But what I am really coveting is this beautiful  knit cardigan.

Stay Tuned for Part 3 of Inspiration Vacation.
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A mental break

27 Apr
Sometimes I like to take a little break, sit back with my coffee and browse photos that inspire me. Whether they remind me of fashion, home, or my own wonderful life it’s nice to take a sip and think.

Inspired by Me

5 Apr
I love magazines. At last count our household gets 27 subscriptions. Yes, its a lot for our mailbox (and mail carrier) to take, but to me they are essential.

The mags aren’t just a read once or twice, pile on the coffee table and discard in a month type of deal. I use them to breathe a little life into my everyday.

My obsession started when I was 12. I used to cut out words, not pictures, and tape them to the front of my writing notebooks. The words inspired me to write and sparked countless ideas for my short stories. This process continued through college, when I finally transitioned from cutting words to cutting pictures. I created notebooks full of inspiring shots, sorted by mood, color, label, celebrity, trend…anything you could think of. I still keep all of my old notebooks and look through them every once in a while. They help me remember a time in my life when I was full of creativity and vivacity.

My notebooks have now transitioned to wall art. Seasonally I sit down and churn out a mood board. The process is much more organic than it used to be. I simply put up photos that jump out at me. Here is the board I created last weekend and my Winter board:

These boards showcases a wide range of things from my love of books and aviator sunglasses, to my desire to own a home, visit NYC and watch Twilight for hours on end. Each time I look at the board I feel jolted – in a good way. These are pictures and ideas I love to surround myself with.

Do you have a “mood” or “inspiration” board? What sparks your creativity?
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