how to survive black friday.

My Black Friday shopping list.

Black Friday is only a few days away and the thought of long lines, impossible parking, and pushy people is already stressing me out.  And with stores opening earlier (Thanksgiving = Black Thursday?), I can only imagine the mayhem that awaits.  Besides vowing to never partake in midnight madness again, I have a few tips that will make Black Friday shopping both bearable and successful.

1. Go with a game plan.
It’s all about the logistics!  When everybody’s out trying to capitalize on the same deals as you, time management is key.  If there is more than one mall in the area, figure out which location has the stores that will fit the most of your needs or decide which one is worth going to first.  Find out when stores are opening and decide how willing you are to get up early.

2. Make a shopping list.
Having an idea of the items you want and need will help you make efficient use of your time and resist impulsive buys.  If you’re shopping for yourself, choose items that are missing from your wardrobe.   If you’re doing holiday shopping for others, find items that are tailored to your loved ones’ interests and preferences.

Personally, my list includes: a dress for holiday parties, a black clutch with gold hardware, cranberry-colored pants, a navy peacoat, leopard loafers, a faux-fur neck warmer, and cateye sunglasses.  I don’t plan on getting it all, but I do plan on sticking to my list!

3. Do your research.
Now that you have your list, do a little reconnaissance.  Check online to figure out which stores carry the stuff you need.  Take note of the regular retail price and compare items between other stores.  Don’t forget to find out the store’s early bird specials, because a lot of discounts decrease after a certain time in the day.

4. Dress the part.
When the big day comes, dress for comfort and utility.  Wear something versatile (i.e. leggings, sweaters, spaghetti straps, flats) that’s easy to take off and back put on, or works when kept on when the lines to the fitting room are out of control.  Most importantly: bring along a crossbody bag (or a really nice bf!) to keep your hands free.

5. Be patient!
Remember that Black Friday sales are meant to activate the impulsive shopper in you and sometimes these “deals” aren’t as good as other end-of-season sales.  So if you find something that you don’t absolutely need, hold out for bigger markdowns later down the road.  And don’t forget: Cyber Monday is only three days away!

etsy finds.

When I’m feeling uninspired by the usual store-bought goods, I turn to Etsy for a refreshingly unique perspective.  It’s an online marketplace of art, antiques, and pretty much anything else you can imagine, but my favorite items are generally handcrafted and wearable.  From jewelry to bags and even iPhone cases, there’s sure to be something you can’t find at your local mall.

1. Spike the Punch Neon Hand-Painted Crystal Necklace — $36
2. Boubo Velvet Fleece Infinity Scarf — $36
3. Homako Sensu Necklace — $59
4. Ocean Pearl Bags Chevron Clutch — $25
5. Amelie Jewelry Ribbon Wrapped Bracelet — $14

winter maxi.

h&m dress; f21 vest + ring; rebecca minkoff bag; topshop belt; low luv + juicy couture bracelet; nicole sandals

My friend Sarah can rock a maxi dress like no other (think tall, blonde, gorg).  I, on the other hand, have to be super selective in finding a dress that doesn’t swallow me whole.  So when Sarah told me that maxi dresses don’t work in the winter, I set out to prove her wrong.

Granted, I use the term “winter” loosely, considering we live in Arizona. Nevertheless, the challenge inspired me to adapt a conventionally summertime dress for cooler weathers.  Layers are the obvious key to this transition and while I’m still sleeveless in November (75°F yesterday), a chunky cardigan or sweater would work just as well.  Love ya Sarah!