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Wednesday, March 30, 2011


          There is no need to buy at Walmart and/or buy cheap clothing that will fall apart. The important thing is to know quality and not have to pay full price. If there is a great pair of flip flops or sports bra at Walmart and they are quality then buy it. But those that feel that they have to get cheap clothing and a lot of it at a "deal" in the end might not be getting a deal. If you never wear it or it falls apart after you buy it then it is not worth the money. However there are a lot of places like FCUK (French Connection UK) that are very expensive but yet they are cheaply made (aka Euro-trashy yet basically overpaid Walmart items). So the first tip to be a  savvy glamazon is to know quality and not be lured by quantity.

         I highly recommend the book The Lucky Shopping Manual: Building and Improving your Wardrobe piece by piece by Kim France and Andrea Linett. I have the 2003 book with a different bag on the front that I actually bought on a clearance rack for probably no more than $7.00-$12.00. In the back it also has great shopping resources divided by state which may or not apply to current stores since my copy was published in 2003. The book I highly recommend because it talks about fit, best fit for your shape, staples for your wardrobe, bad combos and ways to mix/match your clothing correctly. When you are on a budget it helps to see how you can create many different outfits and how to get out of a style rut. The book is also FILLED with pictures and examples. It helps to show where you are lacking in the wardrobe.

        For an example on page 14 of the 2003 edition it says "You are totally covered if you have: 2 all-season work skirts, 1 day-to-night skirt (dress it up or down), 2 summer work skirts, 1 denim skirt, 2 summer weekend skirts. If you never wear pants add: a summer evening skirt, a winter evening skirt and a leather or suede skirt." So if you wear pants you should only have about 8 quality and versatile skirts. Knowing this you can think do I really need that skirt? If you do not have those items then you can think it is an investment to get these great skirts or whatever your wardrobe is lacking. Then you realize you are building a wardrobe and to evaluate your wardrobe before you shop. When you evaluate your wardrobe every season you can see what you should donate, throw out, invest in sending to the cleaner and keep. That is Waste-not-want-not-chic!

        If you like a store like Lord & Taylor it is most beneficial to sign up and receive emails from them. If you like a store sign up to receive emails and you might receive incentives or sales not given to the general public. Lord & Taylor sends me incredible coupons and the people that work at Lord and Taylor's if you go there often you can figure out who is the best saleswoman/salesman.

       When I lived in Massachusetts I would go to the Braintree, MA Store. I still love that store! I was a young twenty-something and a business woman that required lots of new business wear. I had this one great woman I would work with. I would get these coupons through emails and through the mail that would be like save $15 on purchase of $100 or more. You could use these coupons until they expired. She would separate my items into $100 dollars that way I would save even more money. I ended up putting down a couple hundred for these office staples (I had to get a whole new wardrobe for the office) and it was during a great sale but I saved money plus the sales items.

       If I went to another person I might have just gotten off $15.00 dollars and spent $500.00 instead of  saving  $15.00 on every $100.00 I spent. Here I saved money and I did not even alter my shopping but I did get more bang for my buck. Coupons are great for Glamazons and you can still be that clothing horse and be thrifty! If you save your money and buy for the season or for a big new wardrobe it benefits both you and the sales person. I had after a couple of seasons a very good friendship with the saleswoman and I helped her with her sales goals. If I arrived and I did not have the coupon she would give me her copy because we had rapport.

         It just helps to show the coupons, be polite and just talk about how excited you are for the new job or whatever. Another tip is to dress up and be presentable. Be polite always with sales people and be genuine about it. Do not try on everything and leave the fitting rooms a mess or you will lose a friend with major benefits.  Lord and Taylor also always has sales in between seasons and you can stock up on closet staples for less. If you can last a season with that old jacket maybe wait for the expensive jacket to go on sale or shop for one in between seasons. You just have to evaluate if you need the item or if you are going to actually wear it.

         If you like the store then it is beneficial to sign up for their FREE membership cards (I would not recommend getting a credit card because why pay interest on a purchase when you can use cash/debit cards/pay pal and get the points without interest). I signed up for the Talbots red door rewards card and for my birthday month for one day in store/Internet I get 10% off my purchase. I also get bonus rewards after spending a certain amount of money. I do the same for DSW shoes and for buying things I would already buy I get gift certificates and emails with free shipping codes/coupon codes.

        There are also fabulous sites where you can get deep discounts on hair salons, spas and to die for purchases. My beloved site which pays you basically to use their links to shop is Ebates. For an example through Ebates I can save 4% if I shop online at Lord and Taylors. I recommend logging onto Ebates before you shop online and see if your desired store is on ebates. Quick examples of sites on Ebates: Nordstroms, Crate and Barrel, CB2, and philosophy.

        I recommend going through Ebates then to check Ebay to see if there are even deeper discounts on items. You get between 1% to 5% back currently just for going through Ebates. But of course you need to be aware of who is selling the item and if they have experience/good feedback skill. You have to be aware of quality and be aware that some sellers might try to sell you fake merchandise. But in general I have had possitive experience with Ebay and I always pay through Paypal. Maybe your favorite shoes from last season (or even this season) broke and you have yet to find one in your size in the stores. Check Ebay and you probably will find it on sale with free shipping if you are lucky. Ebay is the BEST place to go for after Christmas when people do not have sales receipts from the gifts they received that they might not have liked but want to resell it. Sometimes they do not even realize what the item is worth and you can get a legal steal! I got a Wusthof knife set for $50 less than what was advertised on Crate and Barrel with FREE SHIPPING! That was a good deal on quality!

       Another diva rush is GROUPON and LIVING SOCIAL which you need to subscribe to but give you timed deals for local businesses. Groupon actually is one with Ebates and you go through the Ebates site and you can get a percentage back thus saving more on the items. I got a $15 Ebay card for $7 which was limited to one and you get an email with the certificate. So when I want to redeem the Ebay card I am going to go through Ebates and get an additional 1%-5% off plus Ebay sometimes gives you a percentage back as well. You have to stack your savings to truly be a Waste-Not-Want-Not-Glamazon.

       I was looking for a new place to cut my hair and it is expensive to get your hair cut in Stamford, CT. I tried twice with this woman at this very fancy place in town but who was after tips (to her and to the woman that washed my hair) $100 and she butchered my hair, twice. She did not listen and just was not good. I ended up the next day looking like David Bowie instead of the picture. I mean yes I do not expect to walk out looking like a model but I did not ask for a $100.00 she-mullet. Also she was saying horrible things about my fine but thick hair which is actually really good hair. They were just rude and incompetent: which I find a horrible customer service mix.

       So I had been going back home to Massachusetts to a woman that has been cutting my hair for years. I go to Lida at Color Me Up Salon.  I adore her she is quick, fun to talk to and she knows my hair. I always look like a Million dollars and my hair cut only cost $55.00 plus tip and she would always fit me in. This is a reason being nice and establishing a good relationship helps.  I always make sure to tell her how much I love her hair cuts (which is true) and if it was a last minute appointment I tip her accordingly.

       But I have not been able to go 3.5 hours to my parents house to get my hair cut. I happened to get this link for a new hair salon and I just came back from a really good haircut from Ryan John Salon  and with a deal through Living Social. I got the Keratin treatment AND a hair cut for only $75 which was a savings of $150. Also it promises to save me time when I blow dry my hair AND I do not have to straight iron my hair. However I did need to get sulfate free shampoo and I got there the MoroccanOil , MoroccanOil Moisture Repair Shampoo and conditioner beauty kit for $75. You can use any sulfate free shampoo however I was going into a midnight shift last night and I wanted to make sure I did not just undo a very expensive treatment. Also I knew that the kit was expensive and I saved $10.00.  Currently I am looking at Amazon.com and I am looking for Moroccan oil shampoos in larger size that are eligible for the free shipping through Amazon.com.

     So for not much of an investment I got to try out a new salon, got to try the Keratin treatment, save time on my hair (it can take 1.5 hours to 2 hours to blow dry and straighten my hair now it takes about 30 minutes) and it was worth it. Now I have been introduced to Ryan John Salon and I did not have a bad haircut. If there was an issue with my hair cut (which there was not) I could just go onto another Groupon or Living Social deal for a local hair cut next time. Sure my next haircut might be expensive but at least I did not try out the salon for full price! But actually I probably will pay what it genuinely costs to get my hair cut in the Fairfield area.

     Another way to save money on hair cuts is to not always go to the main seat at the hair salon. Call up and ask the range of costs for the hair cut and get the lowest priced stylist. This can save you a ton of money and they are not students so you will not get a $100 she-mullet like I did. If there is an issue then you often can get it fixed by he head chair if you complain (and it would be justified if you got a she-mullet like I got once in Stamford). If you are trying out new hair salons it also helps to call and see the price range of hair cuts. It is done over the phone so you never have to meet the people or fear looking cheap (you will just sound cheap, just kidding). Ask around to local hair salons and get the best price. Otherwise they are going to try to fit you into the chair that costs the most. Look at their websites they might have coupons, deal and you can check out their photos of the place and their photo gallery of work. Also ask local friends and google "reviews of ________" and make sure you are not in line for an expensive bad hair cut.

    Another way to get deals on spa treatments is to try going to schools for Cosmetologists and massage therapist. You will be able to save a lot of money and you help students. Sometimes it is a good use of money and sometimes there is a level of risks. But often if you get bad results the teacher can help fix it or often the teachers are there to observe so there is less risk of getting purple hair by accident. So if it is not in your budget to go to the Spas, Hair Salons you do not need to go to Borics, get a flowbee nor do you need to do without. I would recommend looking online for general reviews of these schools and trying at first the least damaging treatments. I would not do hair coloring first and opt for a hair cut on your first visit. Nor would I do any sort of waxing until you view how clean the place is, how good the students are and that way you do not get burnt.

    When I purchase things online and there is a store that is close by I always try to see if I can have the item shipped to the store. You can often also do that in the store if there is an item that you like but they are out of the size at the store. They will send the item from the store that has it in stock to the store (or to your house at extra cost).  Often you can save money on the item if you ship it to the local store and then if you do not like the item you save yourself money on the shipping/return shipping. I do this if I am buying a heavy item like a fridge, furniture or a printer at local stores like Best Buy / Crate and Barrel (I also go through ebates and get 1% return on my money) and often you can save a lot of money/time. Sales people like assisting you with this because they can get a commission on it so everyone can win in the end.

     But if you live far away from the store then always google the store or google coupons/codes for the store. I have gotten 10% off at Anthropologie and free shipping and they never send out coupons. I always do this before I make a purchase and as well as seeing if there is one posted on Ebates. Also check to see online if there is a free shipping if you purchase a minimum purchase. Buying one more shirt that you love could save you money and basically pay for the shipping. Buying the minimum purchase during sales for free shipping is the best way to save on shipping. Only a fool does not take advantage. However do not just buy the minimum without checking out if it is worth pay an extra $20.00 when shipping is just $4.95 for the shipping of the items. Experiment before you checkout and you can save yourself a lot of money.

     A lot of people recommend Outlets to save money. Some Outlets are just inferior products, irregular sized, stained, refurbished or are just not not quality items. Outlets are hit and miss. I find that the Crate and Barrel online Outlets is great because it is last season items or they still have quality items. I also like the LL Bean Outlet because it is Quality items on sale. The Gap Store's Outlet I found was just cheaply made clothing under the Gap Store name I compare it to the Supermarket Generic named items. So this is not the best option but if you are close to the outlet try it out. So go into the Outlets with a sound mind and do not buy the item unless it fits you well, you will wear it and it is of quality. Also before you go to the Outlet make sure to shop them online to see if there are any coupons or if there are any upcoming sales. Also try subscribing to the outlet stores before you go so you can get coupons.

     Another site that I love is Etsy. You can find some chic vintage, handmade, supplies and save a lot of money. You could find wonderful furniture that is local that is made out of quality materials but are cheaper than buying it at expensive stores. You could take a $100.00 piece of furniture, invest in new knobs and then have it painted (or paint it for yourself) so that it fits your style for far less than getting it in stores new. Etsy is that local garage sale/estate sale that is at your finger tips.

     One seller for art that I highly recommend for a Glamazon is Peggy Wolf Designs because she is just fabulous and does high fashion designs that are so girlie! She was featured on Secrets of a Stylist and other magazines. Her 8 X 10's start off at $20 plus $3 shipping to the states. She is also very polite and gave me advice on selling on Etsy. This way you can get art that is not cookie cutter, get to see artist you might never view and you can choose to benefit local artist.

From Peggy Wolf Designs on Etsy  http://www.etsy.com/listing/52905528/print-its-showtime-baby-8x10

From Peggy Wolf Designs on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/listing/50261749/print-in-the-kitchen-8x10

     Another thing that I love about Etsy is that you can have the option to find local crafters/artist/furniture makers and etc and support them. Also that means that you can save on shipping or even pick up heavy items like furniture. You can also get vintage finds and save money but get quality. It is sort of like a flea market vibe without having to go out. Also if you had a hobby but just do not have the time you can sell your supplies or if you are just starting out in a hobby you can get discounted supplies.

    I really like the show 9 by design with Robert Novogratz and Cortney Novogratz because they use materials in interesting way but I do not have NY that close to me and taking stuff on the train is hard. So using Etsy helps me find cool ideas that I got from the show like old letters from a highway or movie theatre billboard and all the Etsy members are cool that I have worked with. If you have a project idea just ask an Etsy member if they can help you gather those with their connections.

     Another great way to get high quality items is to actually is to go wealthy neighborhoods before trash days and to colleges at the end of each semester with a truck. You can get a lot of quality items for free. At my high school foreign exchange students and those that do not live close by might have bought wonderful items but they cannot ship it back home. At the end of the year there were tons of great stuff outside of the dumpsters and outside of the schools. You can find furniture, organizers, clothing and you name it!

   I got a couple of organizer items that were barely used for free and I still use them 10 years later. People throw out wonderful items especially the rich and they might have your taste. You do not even have to dumpster dive they might just be outside the house or location. Sometimes the items are scratched but with some investment you could spend $100 on paint or even less and get great items thus saving you lots of money. Another free way to get high quality items is to have friends either that were in your size or are your size and have a clothing exchange. You might no longer like this skirt but your friend might love it and trade it for a bracelet that you like. It is also fun to do that with jewelry, accessories and shoes.

    Estate sales, pawn shops, goodwill,  flea markets and garage sales are great for the same reason. At these outlets they are great because you can negotiate and you can find great grandma quality things for way less. You can even get items and post them on Ebay/Etsy and make money towards a high quality splurge. You might also find some vintage finds that are of value but the seller does not realize and thus you have saved a lot of money. I recommend trying neighborhoods that are close to wealthy neighborhoods rather than those that are not that wealthy because usually the items are rather new or even last season and a better selection.
    A little research can save you money which adds up! The money saved can help pay for those little un-necessities and spa treatments that are not on sale. To quote my Anne Taintor ID case  "Frugal is such an ugly word."


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