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Belle’s Columbus Day Sale Shopping Rules

It’s Columbus Day, and that means sales, sales for days.  Below are a few of my favorites stores and pieces to pick up on sale, followed by some of my best sale shopping tips.  Because it’s not a deal if you never wear what you bought.

Piperlime is offering 20-percent-off fall must-haves with code FALL20.  Much of what is on sale is leftovers from summer, but there are some lovely pieces for this season.  This Tinley Road sweater in a mix of black and white caught my eye.  I also like this navy top with piped cuffs, which would look great with these black AG jeans.

The soul of a Piperlime sale is always the shoes.  So don’t miss them.  I found these gorgeous Loeffler Randall pumps in black with white spots, also with a comfy 3″ heel.

Banana Republic has some great staples on sale, 40-percent-off with code BRWEEKEND.  I like this long Merino wool sweater, and this cowl-neck sweater dress.  But this Hematite-bead necklace caught my eye, so I bought two to layer.

Ann Taylor is also offering 40-percent-off.  I bought this rib-sleeve wrap sweater to wear under blazers (complementary necklines are my favorite).  I also purchased this grey cape with leather pockets and trim.  I also picked up this black-and-white confetti top to wear with my black business suit.

Other shops having sales include J.Crew (30%-off with code WEEKENDPLANS), LOFT (50%-off select fall styles with code EXPLORE), and Diane von Furstenberg (25%-off sale styles).


Show me the woman who doesn’t love a good holiday-weekend sale?  But just because it’s discounted is no reason to lose your cool. We’ve all made the mistake of grabbing the “great deal” that we regret later.  Here are my five rules of sale shopping:

1. If it’s a designer name, ask yourself one question: “Would I still love it if the tag said Banana Republic?”  More than once, I’ve purchased a sale-priced item with a designer label only to watch it gather dust in my closet for weeks or months.  No one can see the label but you, you need to love it regardless.

2. Sizing is everything.  Always try it on.  A deal is not a deal if it doesn’t fit.  A little big (even a lot big) is fixable with alterations, a little tight is another story.

A lot of women will buy a slightly small sale-priced item because they’re going to “lose that five pounds anyway.” Take it from someone who knows, do not base your clothing purchases on your diet plan.  I have been staring at the Antonio Berardi dress I bought at an NYC sample sale for three years.  It’s still five pounds too small.

3. The most you’ll ever love it is in the store. If you can’t decide whether you like it in the dressing room, you shouldn’t buy it.    An item you’re ‘meh’ about in the dressing room is an item that’s destined for the Goodwill pile in short order.

4. Never buy a trendy item at the end of the season.  That crop top was hot in July, but now it’s October, of course it’s 70-percent-off.  Save your money for clothes you can wear now or classic pieces that you can wear next summer without looking out of style.

5. A deal is only a deal if you can afford it.  Racking up skeins of credit card debt is not chic.  If I can pay an item off in two billing cycles, I’ll buy it. (I’ll sometimes go for three if something is really special, but short-term payoffs only.)  However, if your credit cards are building up a balance, it’s time to ask where your priorities are.



  1. Tasha says:

    This is really great advice!

    October 14, 2014/Reply
  2. Valerie says:

    So true on the rules of sale shopping. The dress I’ve gotten the most compliments on lately is a Banana Republic fit-and-flare dress. Women have asked: is that DvF? Black Halo? Rebecca Minkoff? I’ve realized that good fabric + good fit = looks like an expensive item. And if a designer item has neither of those things, it looks very cheap (unlike the resulting credit card bill).

    October 14, 2014/Reply
  3. Anna says:

    That was always the best thing about living in Florida; stuff that’s going out of season everywhere else is still wearable in the Sunshine State. That, and not having to have practically a second wardrobe for the colder months.

    October 14, 2014/Reply