17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Shop 'Til You Drop

Now is the time to go shopping for formal wear, fancy shoes and sparkly accessories for next year’s cocktail parties. Go this weekend. Leave the kids with dad, take the credit card (not that I am an advocate for consumer debt, I just like to get the miles and pay off the card at the end of every month) a friend (if you have one) and hit the stores. Everyone is having sales from Target to Saks Fifth Avenue. Whatever your budget is, you are bound to find a great deal on items for your next cocktail party.

Here are a few tips for a successful shopping trip:

1. Take an inventory of things you already have in your wardrobe.

2. Don’t get distracted – make a list of what you will be looking for and do not break from it. Your list could include : sparkly earrings, fancy black shoes, black dress, embellished shrug or shawl, evening bag (think completely opposite of the enormous, milk stained mommy bag you usually carry).

3. Promise yourself that you will NOT buy anything for the children or anything that would find its place in your kitchen. This will just waste precious personal shopping time. We need to FOCUS here people.

3. If you hate shopping for clothes, just focus on accessories and shoes.

4. If you think/hope you will be a different size come the next cocktail party, again, focus on accessories and shoes.

5. Do not buy something just because it is CHEAP. You need to be able to see yourself wearing it and liking it. “Cheap” items that never get worn, aren’t very cheap if you figure out cost per wear.

6. Be prepared to dig through piles of randomness and racks of miscellaneous. The holiday sale product will not be nicely merchandised and easy to look through.

7. Stick a granola bar and a bottle of water in your bag. Shopping hungry causes crankiness and usually results in bad purchasing decisions. It will also give you the added stretgth you will need to do the digging.

8. Have fun and don’t stress. If you come home with nothing, just count it as a little “me” time and think about the money you just saved for your next shopping trip!

P.S. If you already have a plethora of cocktail attire and accessories in your closet, now is also a great time to pick up outerwear for the whole family (coats, hats, mittens, scarfs) at rock bottom prices.


  • This is so funny! My girlfriends and I just got back from a shopping trip where I got:
    black strappy heels
    black velvet blazer
    black dangly earrings
    plum sequined sweater

    And all of it for less than $50!!
    posted by Blogger Laura W at 1/20/2006 03:48:00 PM  

  • Alright, that's it. Fine. I'll go shopping. Twist my arm, force me to do it.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 1/20/2006 06:15:00 PM  

  • Carrie, your stamina when it comes to shopping is truly amazing. At 9 months pregnant you lasted 4 plus hours with me, when I was ready to give up after 2. A little holla to your granola bar/water advice. I have been in that situation too many times.
    Also, an important lesson I have learned from you. Just b/c an article of clothing is beautiful, wellmade gorgeous on the rack, does not mean YOU are going to look good in it. I have tried to make a vow to only purchase things that are flattering to my figure and that I feel good in, and that has made a big difference. Fashion Maven strikes again.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 1/20/2006 06:26:00 PM  

  • Will you go shopping with me? I need someone like you to help me sort through piles. I hate doing that.
    posted by Blogger The Wiz at 1/21/2006 12:40:00 PM  

  • Also, if you live in San Diego and your entire outerwear needs for the immediate future are met by a denim jacket (which you already have), now is a good time to find wetsuits for the kids.
    posted by Blogger Kaimi at 1/21/2006 04:36:00 PM  

  • Ohhhhh sure, rub it in Kaimi. Okay, so it was a balmy 55 degrees in Vermont today, but unfortunately that's an unseasonable HIGH here, as opposed to a LOW for you SoCal softies.
    posted by Blogger marian at 1/21/2006 05:48:00 PM  

  • Laura w -- you are so with me and the fashion bargain calendar!

    the wiz -- if you lived in the LA area I would go with you in a heartbeat. I love bartering personal shopping service for just about anything!

    Kage -- I can shop circles around just about anyone, 9 months pregnant or not. What can I say, it's gift.

    Kaimi -- thanks for the So Cal wetsuit tip. I have been struggling to keep myself from buying the girls new winter coats for next year. I love coats! I guess I will have to switch to swimsuits.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 1/22/2006 07:40:00 PM  

  • Marian,

    If you'd like, I can elaborate on how I was running around in shorts and a t-shirt yesterday, and thinking how hot it was. :)

    But just think, you get the joy of running into the house to a hot cup of cocoa. There's joy in that, after all.

    That joy cancels out, say, 5% (or maybe 10%) of the pain of unbundling three sopping wet, shivering, freezing children, creating an entryway Mount Everest out of wet soggy winterwear, and knowing that you've got four more months of the same routine. :P


    The best part of coming from New York to San Diego has been that the kids (and the adults) are quite happy with weather that the longtime locals find unbearably chilly. The kids are perfectly happy to go to the beach in December (temperature 55 or 60), but the beaches are totally uncrowded, and the wetsuits and bodyboards are dirt cheap, because the locals find that to be too cold.
    posted by Blogger Kaimi at 1/22/2006 10:35:00 PM  

  • I want to go to a party. My new belly is starting to stick out, but maybe I'll do a little shopping to save for next year. Something to look forward to. Not a lot of coctail parties in the ski town mountains of Colorado though, I miss NYC for the going out events. I can dress up for church though.
    posted by Blogger Brandolyn at 1/23/2006 02:09:00 PM  

  • I went to Express today and invested in a great pair of "basic" black pants. They looked good on me, they were cheap ($5 - part of the holiday line and being tossed out to make room for spring) and they are a good basic. Nothing sexy or extra special about them, but a smart purchase nonetheless.

    But it would have been more fun if you had been shopping with me!
    posted by Blogger chloe at 1/25/2006 09:42:00 PM  

  • I miss shopping. I've been repeating clothes every week. I'm just too busy with our business, that's why. I'm taking care of the business' cash advance loans. Well, it's not much of a hassle, but I want to focus. I envy the employees who've been getting their cash advances this month. They have the time to do shopping and all that. I wish I'll have the time to do so soon.
    posted by Blogger John at 12/08/2010 06:47:00 PM  

  • Wonderful idea to create such things like that.Amazing!!
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