Sunday Style: Pardon My French! (Otherwise Known as J Crew on a Budget)
Yes, my darling, today’s outfit is all J Crew. I am not bragging but I did not pay a lot for these items that I am wearing. Today I am sharing some things that I do to get the most bang for my buck when it comes to shopping at J Crew.
I see so many people on Instagram wearing J Crew and love the way they style their items. J Crew is known for their high quality “preppy” style clothing. Their catalogs have models dressed perfectly for all occasions and they make wearing their clothing look like it makes life so much more worthwhile. Don’t get tricked into thinking that if you don’t wear a certain brand that you are not good enough! This is not an image that I like to portray. I am human and have imperfections just like everyone else but I do enjoy wearing fun and fashionable clothing at a discounted price.
I also, like everyone else, get sucked in seeing all of the stores’ new arrivals. With fall coming, it is especially easy to run out and buy all of the new things that I see that remind me of my favorite season. I have visions of waking up and drinking my coffee while browsing the catalog on my lap. I then take the catalog to the store with my Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand and ask them to dress me in the outfits that I love. In my bag that I take home will be a sea of dark green, navy, camel and maroon. Wake up! Like most of you, I am on a budget and am not independently wealthy so I have to wait for the sales to arrive.
Tip One: Be patient. Pin things that you like on Pinterest. I then wait for a sale and purchase an item (or two) that I really like and think I will wear a lot. Remember the cost per wear that I talk about? A high quality item is worth paying more for if you will be able to wear it a lot. Let’s face it. Some of the items are things that can be purchased anywhere. I don’t necessarily need a name brand for the look to work for me but I am really a sucker for a good print and those can’t be found just anywhere.
If you wait long enough, sales can be major! I am extremely thrifty and hate paying full price for anything. I don’t mind waiting for the item I really like and then wearing it only a few times in the season. I know that I will have it the next year and be able to wear it more then, If you really love it, it will be worth the wait.
I got this sweatshirt for $15 as opposed to the full price of $65 because I waited for a sale and it was an additional 50% off. Why wouldn’t I be able to wear this more-not just in summer? I live in MI for crying out loud so it was a no-brainer for me.
Tip two: Look for “dupes” at other stores. You see this blouse I am wearing today? I did purchase it from J Crew (on major sale) but Kohl’s had a similar one that was long-sleeved for a fraction of the cost of this J Crew one (if you paid full price). I saw several people took their blouses from Kohl’s to the tailor and had the sleeves cut off to look exactly like this J Crew one.
I also love to look for statement jewelry pieces on sites like Groopdealz or Sassy Steals or look for boutiques on Instagram and follow them to see when they have sales. A lot of the time you can get nice jewelry for a low cost. I will warn you though when it comes to jewelry: you get what you pay for.
Tip three: I only recently discovered the pleasure of having a Very Personal Stylist (VPS) at J Crew. It was recommended to me to try this since they are able to find items that are hard to find and they are able to put notes on your account (like allowing you to return a final sale item). I thought that since I didn’t spend a lot of money there, I didn’t qualify to have one. Not the case at all. If you shop online, you can actually click the button and sign up for one right then and there.
Perfect example: I wanted the hibiscus floral top (pictured below) and saw that it was on sale in stores. I followed my own advice and waited for it to go on sale but then of course, couldn’t find my size. I asked in store for them to see if it was available in my size and they called and said it wasn’t. I was out of luck. Until I saw it go on sale in my size online at a more expensive price. I emailed my VPS and asked them to order it for me for the in-store price. They were able to order it in my size, give me the discount and sent it to me for free. I paid only $20 for this blouse that was originally $88. It pays to wait! I will definitely wear this into the fall since I love the orange and navy colors in it.
Tip Four: Shop J Crew Factory. If you follow your own advice like me and wait for an item to go on sale and then totally miss out on it, chances are you will find it the following year at the Factory store. I have noticed that it’s a gamble, but a lot of times I am able to find something in the same print that I loved earlier for a lesser amount. Sometimes I even like the styles at the Factory store better! They also have amazing sales and you can sign up for the emails so that you will be the first to get notified of the New Arrivals and special promotions. Beware though this can be tempting (see the beginning of this post)!
Make sure that if you shop at the Factory store that you check to see if the outlet mall has any coupons to use as well. I was recently able to use a coupon on top of a sale and got a great deal on a pair of earrings. They were already 40% off on sale and then I was able to use a 20% off one item coupon on top of that.
Tip Five: Get a J Crew credit card. Now, I am not telling you to go into debt to buy clothes but I do want you to know though that they have a great rewards program for earning points. I know a lot of people do not like credit cards, but if you like to shop there, it is worth it to get paid for shopping! You can also make a purchase and then pay your bill right online so you don’t carry a balance on the card. I just got a rewards card in the mail that I plan on combining with a sale for ultimate discounts.
Tip Six: Shop Poshmark or other thrift sites for hard to find items. I recently missed out on the punk floral scarf and still wanted it so I thought I would look on Poshmark for it. I was able to locate it for a reasonable price and I used my Poshmark money in my account to buy it. You will be surprised at what you will find on there. Sometimes, I see prices that are very high and I know to like it but not to run out and purchase it until the price is lower. A lot of times, the seller puts a price on it but is willing to negotiate. Don’t be afraid to ask for a lower price or meet in the middle so it’s a win-win for both of you!
Tip Seven: If all else fails, always ask for gift cards for special occasions! You can use them at both the retail and factory stores as well as online. I got one for Mother’s Day and bought this skirt below that I had my eye on for a while. It was 50% off that week and I used my gift card and ended up even having money left over on it. What a deal!
So that’s how I shop J Crew on a budget. I hope you have learned a few things and go out and try some of them for yourself! There might even be other things that people do to save money but these are the things that I have tried so far and have been successful. It really is amazing what kind of deals you can get when you are patient and do your homework!
Here are a few more pictures from today's outfit:
Thanks for reading and following along with me!