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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There’s No Place Like Home(stead) for the Holidays

You’d think the awe and wonder of a vacation destination would diminish a bit after three visits but it’s just the opposite with the Omni Homestead Resort. Nestled into the scenic mountains of Hot Springs, Virginia, is a magnificent 250-year-old structure that boasts a rich history and impressive roster of past visitors, including 23 U.S. presidents.

The drive up the mountainous terrain can be a bit daunting, but any knots in your stomach will disappear as soon as you begin to see the outline of the resort above the hill. I’ve only visited during the month of December and though I have no doubt the place would look beautiful any time of year, there are few locations in the world that get me in the holiday spirit quite like the Homestead. Guests are greeted by the friendly staff and as soon as the doors opened, you’ll be instantly immersed into a winter wonderland. The fire-place filled Great Hall is adorned with a massive live Christmas tree, anchored by boxes of wrapped presents (if only they were real and filled with shoes!).

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With endless activities and top-notch amenities, the Homestead is the perfect destination for any occasion – a family vacation, girls’ getaway or romantic weekend. Guests can take a wagon ride through the mountains, shoot skeet and shotguns, golf, horseback ride and much more. If you’re the type of person who can’t sit still on vacation, look into the Unlimited Activities package but if you want to only do one-or-two things, piece meal is the way to go. Make sure to save time (and room in your belly) for afternoon tea and cake, served each day.

It can be hard to relax in the hustle of the holidays, so my mom and I took a day to do absolutely nothing but be spoiled in the spa. With any 50-minute service you’ll have access to the aqua terminal suite that has four stations including saunas and scented chill showers. I was a little skeptical of the ice shower but it was seriously awesome when followed-up by the hot chair and sauna. Pure relaxation!

It’s definitely not cheap to eat on the resort but if you’re feeling fancy, do one dinner in the Main Dining Room for an elegant setting – and bring your dancing shoes! Plan ahead though during winter months as this room is only open on weekends. There are several awesome local restaurants nearby and accessible via shuttle like Lindsay’s Roost Bar and Grill and Country Café. Or, hop in your car and up the road a short bit to Cucci’s for pizza or the Waterwheel for a more elegant, yet rustic experience. The latter is about 10 minutes away in Warm Springs but well worth the trip – there is a wine cellar where guests can select their bottle of wine for the evening or to take back to the resort (even half-finished bottles from dinner thanks to Virginia’s corking rule!).

My 76-year-old father is not impressed by many things in life, and the fact that by the third day he said the place was “starting to grow on him,” means that you’ve all got to get to the Homestead and experience it for yourself!

What places have you visited that just put you right into the holiday sprint?

Here are the details on my outfits from the trip!

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This Tommy Hilfiger dress is perfect for the holidays and at a price of $19.99 from Ross, it was a no-brainer, despite my attempts to not shop for myself this holiday season. The Aldo boots are also from Ross.

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img_1887Seemed like the ideal place to take the tags off of this $25 winter white Jessica Simpson coat.

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Nighttime was for lounging up by the fireplace, with a after-dinner cocktail, PJs and conversations with my momma. These Vermont Store fannel pajamas are the absolute best.

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img_1932This cold shoulder top is from Target and the jeans, which are some of the most comfortable I’ve ever had, came from Old Navy.

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To say I love this velvet-embellished dress is an understatement. Picked it up on post-winter clearance last season at Dillard’s for just $35!

 

Orange you glad the week is almost over?

This Jessica Simpson dress is named Cherry Cherry but the only connection I can draw is that of a non-ripe version of the fruit and even that’s a stretch. It’s a spot-on shade of orange for any Auburn or UVA fan, and pairs perfectly with colors equally as vibrant. I opted to tone it down with navy.

Retailing at $89, this dress was picked up at Ross for just $29. My office is located right around the bend from Ross, TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, so needless to say I usually try to eat lunch at my desk to avoid the temptation of a mid-day shopping adventure. On this particular day, I failed. But at least it was a good deal!

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The necklace and earring set are a few years old but tend to be one of my frequent go-to combos because of the versatility of the color.

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The bracelet came from a Today Show Steals and Deals a few years back but again, always seems to be something I gravitate back toward. The clutch is a recent purchase from Charming Charlie.

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The flats, also found at Ross, were only $12 and felt worn-in immediately. Super comfy and ease to slip on and off. On a side note, please pay no attention to the weird coloring of my feet. It was my attempt at Jergens Natural Glow Tanning – great product but not such a valiant effort on my part to blend it in. Lesson learned. Have y’all ever tried it? Would love to know the secret to better blending!

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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.

Heavy Metal

Today is one of those weird, warm fall days where you’re not quite sure whether to wear a dress or bundle up in a cozy sweater.  The Wear What Where October Style Challenge was enough to convince me to go with the latter.  The theme is Metallic Miss and I had the perfect necklace for the occasion.

Starting with this statement necklace as the focal point (as pretty as it is, I swear it adds 10 lbs.), I built out an outfit that accents the shimmery hues.  I purchased the necklace at Nordstrom Rack for $19.99, which is a steal for something so intricate in design.

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I found this sweater last fall at T.J. Maxx and it is easily one of my favorites, minus the itchy wool.  It was around $30, which is honestly more than I would normally spend on a sweater but also a fraction of what it would have cost in a department store.  The jeans were only $10 during T.J. Maxx’s end of season markdowns last year. Shopping hack: T.J. Maxx is offering free shipping right now if you sign up for their newsletter.

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The booties are beauties.  Retailed at $129, I picked up these Jessica Simpson taupe fringe booties at Marshalls for just $49.

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Though the temperature is supposed to rise throughout the day, it started off chilly, giving me an opportunity to break out this stunning new wool coat.  Another T.J. Maxx find, the coat was purchased for just $49 (retailed at $72).  I saw a woman trying it on and basically stalked her until she bought it down.  Have y’all ever done that before?!  It might have been slightly creepy but well worth it: )

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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?