Lilly Ladies, it’s almost go time!

If you’ve spent any time at all on Instagram this week and follow the fashionistas of the world, you know there’s been one big trending topic: the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale. Lilly fans live for this sale; this precious moment that comes only but twice a year. Lilly rarely goes on sale and even when it does, the steep discounts are few and far between and finding your size sometimes seems impossible. But not when it comes to the After Party Sale.

There is no better time to purchase that shift dress you’ve been eyeing or that popover Santa forgot to bring you. Almost all of the clothes I wore on a recent holiday trip to Southwest Florida were purchased the last time around during the August sale and the savings were, in the words of our president elect, HUGE.

Here are a few quick tips to take into consideration if you’re planning to join in on the party:

  • Set-up your Lilly account tonight: make sure you’re logged into the account and ready to go. The sale starts promptly at 8:00 a.m. ET. Ladies from around the globe will be logging on at that time, causing a site traffic overload; don’t be discouraged if you get put into the entry queue (which will probably happen). It’ll be worth the wait.
  • Get a gameplan: Some items like the popovers will go fast, so the object of the game is to know what you want ahead of time. Just because an item is in your cart does not guarantee it will be available when you go to purchase, so don’t waste time pursing the site. If you identify the items you want beforehand you can simply find them and buy them quickly. You can always go back for more later once your “must haves” have been purchased.
  • Be size wise: All sales are final so make sure you know your size in advance. Not sure what one is right for you? Run to your nearest Lilly tonight and try on the styles you are eyeing!
  • Define a budget: trust me when I say it’s easy to go a little crazy with this sale (I’m speaking for a friend…). As hard as it is, set a limit for yourself. Just because you love it does not mean you need it.
  • Have fun!

Below are some of the fantastic deals I picked up during the last sale for some inspiration. Happy shopping, ladies! Here’s the official FAQ if you need more deets: https://www.lillypulitzer.com/content.jsp?pageName=salefaq

Neveah One Shoulder Top / Originally $54 / After Party Price $19

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Calissa Sleeveless Double V-Neck Dress / Originally $178 / After Party Sale Price $59

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Tybee Sleeveless Romper / Originally $158 / After Party Sale Price $54

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Elsa Top – So A Peeling / Originally $158 / After Party Sale $69

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Sorority Recruitment Style Reenactment

I’m channeling back to the sorority days at USC with this ensemble. Back in college, I basically lived in everything pink and green and given that recruitment is getting started on campuses across the country, it only seems fitting.

These adorable Lilly shorts were purchased on clearance and Belk for just $42. Labor Day is always a great opportunity to score summer styles at steep discounted rates, so start stashing that spending money aside now.

The top was a Charming Charlie Spring item that I was able to pick up in July for just $10. Both the necklace and bag were also #CCstyle finds. The bag is the perfect size to carry around your life and never seems to get dirty despite the white color.

I decided to play down the style with a pair of white Keds, but the outfit could be a tad more formal with a nice pair of sandals or white wedges.

Major retailers are in the midst of summer markdowns but if you’re patient, they’ll only get better in the coming weeks. A bunch of states also offered Tax Free shopping this past weekend, but there are still a few coming down the pipeline like Connecticut and Maryland. Maybe it’s worth making the trip;)shortsPicshorts

Freedom, fireworks & fashion

One of the genes passed down from my beautiful momma is a love for all things navy. Fortunately, the trait comes in handy this time of year because I’m never short on patriotic pairings.

At first glance, this tunic looks red, white and blue, right? It’s not, but with a few accessories and a dose of American pride, the eye will see what it wants. The red lining is actually a bright fuchsia! It was just $29.99 at T.J. Maxx. The necklace was on clearance from Charming Charlie’s and the earrings came from Wal-mart at a cost of $3. The cream-colored bag is the most expensive item at $34, but I couldn’t resist when it came to my doorstep via StitchFix!

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Another outfit brought to you by T.J. Maxx. This anchor and lobster tank was under $20 and the linen shorts were just about $30. The shoes are by far the best part – red Cole Haan boat shoes for $29 at Costco and retailing at upwards of $50! The cooler was a clearance rack Marshalls find at the price of $12.

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I repurposed the festive shawl from Memorial Day, this time pairing it with red instead of blue. The nail polish was Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel and if you’ve ever tried it, you know how the name came about.

Hope y’all had a happy holiday with your favorite people!

xoxo

Shopping my own Closet

In anticipation of a move a few years back, I boxed up most of my life, including fall and winter clothes aside from a few staples and backed them away at my parents’ house.  Eventually, I forgot about all of the boxes and added to my cold seasonal wardrobe with new clothes (and more new clothes).

We had been storing the clothes at a second home that my parents own and just recently got word that it will be rented out, so it was time for me to finally move “out,” which meant going through everything and either keeping, donating, or chucking the items in storage.  Much to my surprise, I uncovered four huge bins of fall and winter clothes – items I had completely forgotten about over the past few years.

Going through the buckets felt like I was shopping in my own closet – being reunited with some of my favorite pieces and coming across items that still bore tags.  With all these “new” items back in my possession, I decided one way to curb the shopping habit (esp. during this holiday season when I’m constantly in the stores) would be to rediscover gems I already own.  So, starting today, I’m trying with all of my might to turn to clothes I already have instead of buying new clothes for the rest of the winter.  Let’s see how long this lasts!  I was able to get rid of bags full of clothes that will be donated, but I still have way too much clothing and there’s no sense buying new when I have perfectly good old!

Have you ever made it a point to “shop” your own closet instead of going to the store to buy things?

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I bought this Polo sweater a few years back from the Polo outlet store. You can get some great deals on sweaters there if you wait until the holidays are over – typically Jan. or Feb. when the store is trying to make room for the Spring collection. I paired it with a gingham button-up purchased at TJ Maxx for $19.99.

Return of the shoulda been returned

While I feel most in my element when wearing a sundress, I have to admit I’m glad to welcome back the season of leggings.  They are just so comfortable and with the right pairing, can be appropriate for both work and play.

For today’s ensemble I mixed a little old with a little new.  The Cynthia Rowley top was found at Marshall’s (priced at $19, retailed at $29).  The print has the slightest blend of blush and tan, lined with black.

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I bought the jacket at the beginning of last spring and after bringing it home, decided I just wasn’t in love with it.  I threw it in my trunk to return on my next trip to T.J. Maxx.  But, I am the absolute worst at returning things.  The intention is always there, but the memory is not.  So, needless to say I was a bit surprised to find the jacket when cleaning out my trunk and more surprised to find that I actually love it now.  Guess it was just meant to be! It’s a Max Jeans jacket, priced at $49 and retailed at $120.

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The leggings are Lauren Conrad for Kohls.  I’ve had them for two seasons now and even after much overuse, they’ve stood the test of time and are still in perfect condition.  I’d highly recommend her leggings but don’t jump to make the purchase; they often drop down to 50% off retail and then you can use a site like Retail Me Not to get an additional percentage off (card holders get even steeper discounts).  I bought the booties last year at Ross for just $19.99 and have seen them there on this shelves again this season!  The hat and necklace are both from H&M.

Do you have any pieces like the jacket that are a dual-threat, suitable for both spring and fall?

Grey Street

I instantly felt a twinge of regret for wishing away the summer heat over the weekend after the nighttime temperatures dipped into the 40’s. But, as someone who dresses for the season instead of the weather, at least my wardrobe is finally temperature appropriate.

I usually shy away from scarves because I find the accessory to be unflattering for my body type.  However, with cold days upon us and blanket scarves abound in the stores, this is one occasion when it’s acceptable to choose brains over beauty.

Most blanket scarves I’ve seen range from $24 and up.  This gem was just $12 at Ross and there was a huge assortment of colors to choose from.  I paired it with this cozy long-sleeve shirt from T.J. Maxx – just $16.99 (retails for $36).  The jeans (which are a little too baggy this season thanks to the intense Kayla Itsines workout regime) were only $20 last season at Target. That’s a great spot to find basic comfy denim.  The boots were only $24 at Marshall’s, in comparison to the full retail price of $50.

I’ll admit I was at a loss on how to style a blanket scarf because they are HUGE! When in doubt, I turn to YouTube and found the blog Extra Petite to be a helpful how-to resource.

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My coat could only come off for a few minutes in this frigid air, just long enough to snap the shot. Despite living in the South, winter coats are my downfall. At last count, I had 80 jackets but it’s so easy to forget about them when they’re packed away so I keep adding to the collection. The newest addition is this light gray Jessica Simpson coat. It was only $69 at T.J. Maxx (retails for $140).

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The sleeves are the best part. The coat has slots for your thumbs to keep hands warm, especially during the early part of the cold season when you’re not quite ready to break out the gloves.

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The color of the scarf pairs well with the coat but there’s also a hood in case things get really chilly.

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Can’t wait to share more fall fashion finds with you all soon!

Another Notch on my Belk: Killer Deals on Jessica Simpson, Tahari, Cynthia Rowley and more

Over the past few months I’ve significantly cut back on shopping because I’m in the process of finding a home (stillll waiting for the right one to come along).  While I slip every now and then, I’ve been able to avoid any major splurges.  Until I entered the doors of Belk; I’ve got a serious love-hate relationship with that place.  Even though I spent a little more than I planned, I walked out with almost $700 is savings, so that’s a win-win in my book!

Here are some of the amazing deals I scored, all for under $200!

This Tahari dress, originally $138, picked up for $27.60 (after getting an additional 20% off for opening a credit card which is also probably something I should not do while home searching!). Paired it with an adorable statement necklace from Wal-mart for just $5.

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Found this Jessica Simpson dress, originally $128, for $25.60.  Paired it with a birthday gift jewelry set from my parents and a pair of shoes I haven’t wore in years but had to because the color matched so perfectly.

hotpink1hotpink2This lace CeCe by Cynthia Steffe dress, which I saw at Nordstrom earlier in the season, was the best deal by far.  Retailed at $148, I brought this gem home for just $14.80.

lace1lace2With football season right around the corner, it’s time to start stocking up on tailgating dress.  Garnet and black hues dominate my wardrobe during the fall.  Got this Kensie dress, retailed at $99, for just $9.59.  Here it is at Nordstrom “on sale” for $39.

gamecockI’ve been looking for a kimono that was flattering to my body type for a while and found the perfect one in this Jessica Simpson style.  At an MSRP rate of $69, I found this one for only $13.60 and matched it with a pair of Cynthia Rowley shorts for $11.60 (originally $59).  I found the Michael Kors bag a few months ago at Ross for just $89 and this outfit is the perfect reason to finally break it in.

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Saving the best for last, I am absolutely obsessed with this Jessica Simpson maxi.  Originally priced at $148, I purchased the dress for just $29.60.  The picture does not do it justice.

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The sales clerk told me another major markdown is expected at the end of this month so while I’m be doing my best to keep my distance, I’d highly recommend stopping by if you have a Belk in your area!

Red, white and ooh lala

One of the genes I inherited from my mom is a love of Navy blue.  No matter how hard she tries to add new colors to her wardrobe, anytime you open up her closet you’re still bound to drown in a sea of Navy.  Luckily, the family default color comes in handy two weekends a year – Memorial Day and Fourth of July.

Naturally, everything I’ve packed for the long weekend boasts a blend of three colors: red, white & blue.

workTaking a professional approach to Patriotism for the last day of work, I chose a classic Anne Klein dress that I purchased at Ross two years ago.  While I’m embarrassed to admit it probably bears resemblance to something in my mom’s closet, it is SO comfortable.  I can’t remember the exact price but know it was under $20.

prepThe focus of Friday’s outfit is a sweet red dress I found on the clearance rack at Charming Charlie.  Originally $30, it was marked down to $14.99 and then slashed in half – $7.50 for a dress that mimics expensive southern brand Mud Pie (who did actually make the big hat – gotta splurge every now and then).  The Navy shoes, retailed at $40, were only $19.99 at Ross.

redwhiteblueFourth of July means it’s time to go all out in our country’s colors.  This comfy Enfocus Studio dress was found at Ross for $9.99.  It’s not an expensive brand to begin with, but still, at that price, you can’t go wrong with something you’ll only wear once a year.

causalIt’s rare to catch me in something other than a dress during the summer months. For this weekend’s anomaly, I paired crown & ivy (Belk’s signature brand) shorts with a simple tank, a Charming Charlie fedora and Sperry Top-siders I found at Ross for under $40.  For a day on the go, something to carry items is a must.  I’ll admit I was hesitant to give into the backpack style because I hated them as a kid but man do I love this thing.  Retailed at $120, I picked up the bag at Ross for just $19.99.

Black, Blue and Gas Station Accessories(?!)

Money can’t buy love, but it can buy cute clothes and accessories that we adore.  But, just because you have the money to buy the perfect outfit doesn’t mean you should spend it all.  My motto is more is more: I’d rather buy three outfits, and the accessories to go along with them, than one expensive dress for the same price.

A perfect example of deal searching is today’s OOTD.  Spice up a classic black and white look with a little color.

I found this simple striped dress at Maurice’s marked down to FIVE dollars (originally $30).  It’s nothing fancy on its own, but can be easily enhanced with some simple color popping.  My mom found the cobalt blue purse and watch at a GAS STATION, both for under $15.  Goes to show cute style can be found anywhere.  I paired the dress with Jessica Simpson wedges for $24 (retailed at $49) from Ross.  The final touch was a necklace and earring set from my go-to accessory spot, Charming Charlie.  An entire outfit for just a tad over $50.IMG_2992

Wedding Wear

As a late 20-something (milking every bit of that phrase for the next 350+days), weddings are a frequent occurrence – especially this time of year.  That means a combo of all things I love: celebrating the beginning of my friends’ next chapter in life, ID’ing the perfect dress to fit the occasion and finding only the best deal on the attire.

Over the weekend I watched two of my very best friends exchange vows along the bank of the York River.  The only thing more beautiful than the scenic view was the love between these two.  With a beach theme and primary color of orange, coral seemed like the perfect color complement and that meant I FINALLY got to break out one of my best all-time buys.

During Belk’s season-end sale (one of the most prime times to lock in killer deals on last-season spring/summer dresses), I found this beautiful Trina Turk coral lace dress, lined with a nude underlay. Retailing for $298, the dress was reduced to $138, then $70 – and because of the sale, an extra 50% off.  Just THIRTY-FIVE DOLLARS for an amazing designer dress.  I paired the dress with a turquoise drop necklace, earrings and bracelet from Charming Charlie.

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