fall & winter staples – tops

Hi there ūüôā

My wardrobe is super simple… lots of solids, a few simple prints and mostly pieces I can mix and match. This is sometimes referred to as a capsule wardrobe. Not familiar with this term?¬†PINTEREST is your FRIEND.

This is the first of a three-part series on fall/winter staples for casual days. In this post, we focus on tops. Next will be bottoms, then a final post with everything else (accessories, shoes, scarfs)! All the pieces mentioned below are super accessible. You can go high-end or low-end, based on your personal preferences and/or budget Рthe end result will be EXACTLY the same!

PSA: I don’t spend a lot of money on clothes. Handbags and accessories, now that’s a different story! #pickyourpoison #unlessyouarerich

The key to looking chic is to keep it simple. The fewer colors you wear, the more chic you look! #facts  Find a piece you like and buy in multiple colors!

 

(pictures not my own)

Long sleeve shirts. I always purchase these from Banana Republic. They come in many colors; but, my staples are white, gray and black. Add in a white long-sleeve shirt with black horizontal stripes to your list as well as corresponding short sleeve plain shirts.

Boyfriend shirts.¬†For, um… layers! (who wears coats anymore??) You only need two: one camouflage and one jean material. For camouflage, check¬†Nordstrom¬†or Express. My jean shirt is from Target – I wanted plain jean shirt, no fading, no embellishments, no buttons… sigh; but, you can find these anywhere (Macy’s). If you want to be a little more fancy, add a red buffalo check shirt – this one is men’s (couldn’t find a women’s version online).

One button black blazer. This is a must have! Wear it on top of the shirts described above or over a graphic t-shirt for an extra snazzy look. J. Crew

 

 

 

 

 

Puffer vest from The North Face. In the absence of a coat this piece really does need to work and will last you a VERY longtime! J. Crew also has some nice ones.

 

 

 

 

That’s it y’all!¬†You won’t find me in much more than these pieces on the weekends.

Stay tuned for my next post – fall/winter staples – bottoms!

 

Friends & Family Purchasing Strategy

I’m going to make this short and sweet. Let’s start with a couple of facts:

The strategy I will explain below¬†only works if Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s have the exact same product available¬†at time of purchase¬†(includes sizes, colors, etc.).

Here’s how it works:

  1. Find an item you want to purchase (DUH!).
  2. Add the item to your cart on Bloomingdale’s website and apply the promotion code to be sure it’s applicable.
  3. Purchase the item from Nordstrom online and note your order #.
  4. Call Nordstrom customer service, give them your order # and ask for a price match. Tell them the competitor and promotion code you used.
  5. The customer service rep will confirm the promotion on the competitor’s website.
  6. Your order total will be adjusted/reduced.
  7. Wait for your credit to appear on your statement (usually 2-3 business days).

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-11-13-51-amSo what does this mean?¬†When it’s Friends & Family at Bloomingdale’s or Macy’s or Lord & Taylor or Dillard’s, it’s also Friends & Family at Nordstrom!¬†Use this approach with ALL competitors, large and small! #shoppingqueen #winning #thatisall

Amazon Dash

Amazon is amazing. If you don’t have a Prime membership (2-day shipping, music, movies) you are missing out!!! The online retailer is not launching a new product call Amazon dash. To keep this very simple, brands like Tide, Glad¬†and others are making little wi-fi enabled “buttons” that you place around your home in the typical places you use these products. When you see that you’re running low you simply tap the button and an order is placed for that product for you (in the exact configuration you initially setup) and of course there’s ¬†built-in interaction with the Amazon app on your smart phone.

Each Dash button will run you $4.99. Here’s what the buttons look like.

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From the picture above, I use ALL of those brands¬†except for Bounty (I’ma Viva paper towel kind of girl). For the brands that you are absolutely in love with and WILL NOT CHANGE NO MATTER what I can see this being useful. At the moment the Dash buttons are very limited but I’m sure with time, more retailers will sign on.

I asked Amazon what would happen if a child, or a pet, or a fully grown human being were to press a Dash Button multiple times. It turns out Dash Buttons only respond to the “first press” until your order has shipped and arrived. The Verge

db_how_it_worksDash¬†is a great alternative for people who may not be comfortable with the Amazon¬†Subscribe & Save feature¬†(though I’m sticking with that). There’s also Amazon’s Echo, the wifi enabled “Google search” type of advice that I told you about HERE. You can see what Amazon is doing is making it easier for you to buy things because yes, that’s it’s business model and how it makes money. The easier it is for you to order, the ore money they make, hence all the innovation they are introducing.

If you’re a fan of these retailers, you can check out all the dash buttons here.¬†WATCH Dash in action.

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Dash_PlaceIt_category_05_US_900x400

Black Friday in July

jtz6iw9r5fksj4kr0eluGet ready to shop until you drop on July 15th! Last week, Amazon announced plans to hold Amazon Prime Day.¬†“Prime members can shop exclusive deals from electronics, toys, video games, movies, clothing, patio, lawn and garden, sports and outdoor items and more.”¬†Amazon’s Prime membership costs $99/year but has lots of benefits, described here and they even offer a free 30-day ¬†trial¬†for the service in case you want to “try before you buy”. I’ve told you before about the benefits of automating purchases of mundane items like toilet paper, laundry detergent, deodorant etc. to simplify your life (see¬†Amazon Subscribe & Save). Now is as good a time as any to get in on the action! Think of this day as Black Friday in July (it also includes free shipping), mainly because¬†Wal-Mart is also joining the party and is introducing thousands of exclusive discounts for online purchases on the very same day.

So here’s a tip¬†if you’re not into Amazon… take FULL advantage of Wal-Marts price match policy ANY DAY of the year, including on Amazon Prime Day. The policy can be found on the retailer’s website, guarantee here. You have a few options:

  1. Contact Wal-Mart customer care at 1-800-966-6546 before you make your purchase online
  2. Drag yourself into the store and show the cashier¬†the sales price on Amazon’s website
  3. Purchase your item in-store, or online as normal, then use Wal-Mart’s Savings Catcher app and wait for¬†the price to be matched¬†(Savings Catcher).¬†If you are buying a large item it’s always a good idea to take screen shots (item #, price) to have proof, just in case this process fails.

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 6.50.17 PMI play this¬†price matching card¬†ALL THE TIME and literally just got $50 refunded to me¬†this morning from Anthropologie and J. Crew because of a little diligence (see also Price Match). This is the reason I typically buy things I want, even if they are not on sale. More likely than not, the item will go on sale – no need to wait until¬†then as your size/color may not be available. I also ALWAYS setup price alerts on the Shop Style app (iOS, ¬†Android) at ALL¬†stores offering the exact same item so that I don’t have to keep checking each website to¬†see if the price has changed. If you do not have this app, GET IT NOW!!!

Happy shopping! (video below)

Here are a few of the other items Amazon is teasing:

  • Fire TV Stick $15 off
  • Kindle, $30 off
  • Fire HD 7, $60 off
  • Fire HD 7 Kids Edition, $60 off
  • 40-inch 1080p LED TV, $115
  • A “brand-name 32-inch Smart HDTV” for under $200
  • 50-inch 4K TV bundle, under $1000
  • Bose headphones at the lowest price ever on Amazon
  • Over 50% off two Nikon COOLPIX cameras
  • “Highly rated” binoculars, under $120
  • Two security camera-kits, $279.99
  • K’NEX 2-in-1 Ferris Wheel Building Set (Amazon Exclusive), $35.99
  • K’NEX Crossfire Chaos Roller Coaster Building Set (Amazon Exclusive), $23.99
  • Playskool Heroes Transformers Rescue Bots Optimus Prime Figure (Amazon Exclusive), $9.99
  • iRobot Roomba Pet Vacuum Cleaning Robot, under $300
  • Husqvarna mower, under $300
  • 40 lightning deals on DVDs up to 75% off
  • Up to 50% off any of the Harry Potter books
  • Save more than 70% on the Divergent Series Complete Box Set of books
  • Save up to 70% on select kitchen products from top brands like Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Foodsaver and Thermos
  • Save up to 50% on select tools for the DIY auto enthusiast
  • Connected Car and Scan Tool products starting at 60% off
  • Road-trip-ready automotive products starting at 50% off
  • Save more than 50% on Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain
  • 30 percent off some clothing, shoes, jewelry, and watches
  • 60 percent off Amazon Elements Baby Wipes with code ELEMENTS60
  • Free luxury beauty sample box with $50 purchase of luxury beauty products, with promo code LUXSAMPLES
  • Buy an Amazon.com Gift Card multipack, get $10 in Amazon.com promotional credit
  • 25% bonus Amazon Coins when you buy 5,000 or 10,000 Amazon Coins

Amazon Subscribe & Save

I’m all for life hacks – those are the things people invent, make up or just do, to get rid of mundane tasks in their lives. One extreme example,¬†wearing the same outfit everyday, was made famous by the late Apple CEO & billionaire Steve Jobs, adopted by Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and was recently reported on as a trend by The New York Times (for men and women). I¬†also¬†heard a scaled back version of this very same concept from one of the¬†CIO’s at my company: He went out and purchased 10 sets of the exact same (color) socks and wears the same one¬†everyday. He also took brown completely out of his wardrobe and wears only black & gray as his base colors (reduces the need to own and maintain different color shoes, belts, etc). His morning complexity is now greatly reduced!

Amazon-SS

I’ve told you before¬†that one life hack I implemented in my own life¬†is to not pay any bills (my bills do get paid¬†…¬†it’s all just automated). Well, I have another tip for you today! Amazon’s Subscribe & Save¬†is just what is says:¬†you pick an item that you use A LOT, like one you use everyday and can’t live without – and tell Amazon to automatically send¬†it to you at the¬†interval you specify (i.e. 4 weeks, 5 weeks, whatever works for you!). You will get discounts¬†up to¬†15%¬†off each order! As an added bonus, they have even have¬†coupons specifically for products that offer the subscribe & save feature. (some product’s aren’t setup for Subscribe & Save)

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 7.04.53 AMCan you think of any products that may¬†fit this category? How about toilet tissue??¬†Soap? Deodorant? Toothpaste? Lotion? Why even spend time thinking about these things?¬†Automate this part of your life!!! … Set It and Forget It! In fact, an article from one of the blogs I read daily inspired this post and listed the following 10 things to order automatically: pet food, dishwasher tablets, diapers/wipes, coffee pods, toilet paper, cooking oils, vitamins, furnace filters (serves as a great reminder), shampoo/conditioner and cat litter.¬†The hardest part is figuring out what frequency to pick for¬†each item. Amazon shows you the most common frequency selected by customers (i.e. every 3 weeks) but keep in mind, this will vary by household. I would air on the side of caution with this selection and pick the next highest one (4 weeks in this case). And always remember, you can change the frequency at any time. If you’re nervous about this, start small and then ramp up as you get more comfortable with the program. You may, for example, decide to start out with one extremely basic item, like toilet paper and see how that goes.

So of course, there may be times that local stores like Sams, Costco, Wal-Mart, Target may have these items cheaper, and/or on special as reported here; BUT; ask yourself these questions: How long do you spend looking for and identifying these deals? When you do find a deal/sale, how much are you actually saving? How much gas do you need to use traveling to/from these places? Is this worth your time? Or would you rather spend your valuable time thinking about or doing something more productive???

Happy Subscribing & Saving! ~Bri

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