• emsteinbrink

What I Bought & Avoided during Black Friday Sales



If you're anything like me, this time of year is extremely tempting when it comes to shopping for yourself. It's hard for me not to want to snatch up every good deal, and get sucked into the "get it now or never" marketing. And folks, I was a marketer for most of my career, so I know every tactic in the book. But somehow, they still suck me in. Here's what I avoided - and what I bought - during the holiday sales...


What I Avoided

  • Sweaters: Believe me, I'm tempted by all the sweater deals! But the thought of another sweater that I don't have room to store is not worth the money I'd save. I tend to gravitate towards the same sweater style all the time (mock neck or turtleneck styles in neutral colors are my jam!), so do I really need one more that is just slightly different than what I already have? If I'm going to buy one, it had better be something unique that isn't like anything else I already own. Truth be told, I have a fair isle sweater in my cart that I have been debating, which is something I don't currently own and have always wanted. CAVEAT: Be sure to read my note about buying sweaters in my "What I bought" list below...

  • Jeans: I am all set on jeans, and while it's tempting to add just one more pair to my wardrobe, it's not a priority or a need. That said, if you need to stock up or replace, this is an excellent time to do it. Note, if you are looking to restock, this is the time of year that lighter or cropped styles typically go on major discount. While these may be thought of as summer or spring denim, you can style them just as easily for Fall and Winter!

  • Holiday Attire: While it's hard to resist that sparkly jumpsuit or a tartan plaid blazer (swoon!!), I know all too well that my holiday attire is already well stocked. All I really gotta do is shop my closet! And, if I'm completely honest, I don't have that many holiday events to go to this year, so I can only wear so many.


What I Bought

  • Items from my Wardrobe Checklist: I create a wardrobe checklist for myself every season to hep me stay grounded (more on how I create one below under How To Stay Grounded), which includes a list of items I need or want to add to my wardrobe. This beautiful slip dress was one of those wish list items I have been eying for months, and although it may seem like a summery purchase, I've got plenty of ideas for styling this in the Fall and Winter. Once it went on sale, I grabbed it! I also had a green bag on my wishlist for Fall, as well as a more casual pair of black vegan leather pants that I plan to wear with nearly everything this Fall and Winter!

  • Wardrobe Staples: What better time than to add to your wardrobe with items that will last you for years! This cozy cream turtleneck from Banana Republic was exactly what I was hoping for, and something I didn't have in my wardrobe. While I advocated against buying sweaters, a great item to snag this time of year is luxury materials, like cashmere, which always goes on sale as they are amazing gift ideas.

  • Replacements: My White Puma classic sneakers are a wardrobe staple for me, and mine are completely worn out after 4 years of use, so it was time for new. (Note, a cobbler couldn't have even saved them, although that's typically what I advocate for!) I also needed to replace my favorite pair of plaid PJ's after they shrunk in the wash. (Eeck!) I had been looking for a couple years and was thrilled to find this amazing style in the sweetest color. I was elated to learn these are so much softer and wash better than my last pair!

  • Hair & Beauty Products: I need to buy them anyway, so why not get them on major discount!

  • Undergarment Restocks: I took this chance to snag another t-shirt bra at a 40% discount, which I wear almost daily and needs to be replaced after a year. (BTW, for petite frames with smaller chests, The Little Bra Company is your place!) I also stocked up on my favorite stay in place undies from Soma.

  • Coats & Winter Accessories: Coats are an amazing place to save big this time of year. I took advantage of a Cyber Monday deal on this J. Crew classic wool coat which I will be able to own and love for many years to come. In years past, I have gotten really amazing deals on wool or cashmere scarfs and leather gloves, like these. My favorite brands to shop for coats include Mango and J. Crew.

  • A (small) splurge - Okay, they got me on one tiny splurge with this satin headband. (See similar style here) Headbands have been on repeat in my wardrobe for about a year, and this one will be perfect with my Fall and Winter outfits.



How to Stay Grounded

If you're wondering how on earth I am able to resist all the temptations, it really comes down to getting intentional and rational. Something retailers don't want you to do this time of year. Retailers are counting on you being swept up in a good deal and buying on a whim, purely on emotion. But, what mindless shopping gets you is an overstuffed closet, an overcharged credit card, and guilt when you find those unworn items you bought a year later with tags still on them.


One of the ways I get intentional is that I create a wardrobe checklist for myself every season, writing down all the things I want or need to add to my wardrobe for that upcoming season. Learn more about how I create a wardrobe checklist (and why I hate googling generic checklists!)


The second part of intentional shopping is to stay grounded by asking yourself some questions while you shop. These questions will help to snap you out of your emotional high and back to reality.


To avoid these feelings of shame, guilt and regret when you splurge, here are my favorite questions to ask to stay grounded:

  1. Do I have this item - or something similar at home?

  2. Am I buying this because I WANT it or NEED it?

  3. Am I doing it as retail therapy?

  4. Am I only buying it because I love snagging a deal?

  5. Does this fit my lifestyle? (aka, Do you have somewhere you can wear this…. soon.)

  6. Can I wear it in multiple ways? (My 3 ways rules! See an example in this Instagram post.)

  7. Is there something in my closet right now I can wear this with? (If you you have to buy something else to complete the outfit, that's a huge red flag!)

  8. Is this an investment piece or trendy? (Will determine how much you’re willing to spend)

  9. Do I really love it? (Like, reeeeeally love it.)

  10. Is it on my wardrobe wish list? (I create these for myself quarterly to keep me on track)

  11. Does it flatter my body? (Or do I have to sit or stand in a particular way for it to look good?)

  12. Do I feel confident when I wear it?


So tell me, what things did you succumb to during the holiday sales? And drop me a note to let me know if this list was helpful!



How I can help


Building a wardrobe you love - and wear on repeat - is not always easy. I started my styling business because I wanted to show women how to create a closet with intention that is used, instead of one that collects dust or causes guilt and shame. And, I wanted to help women select pieces that align with their personal style and flatter their body as it is. Having a closet you love and feel good in is the biggest confidence boost you can give to yourself. Whether that's a one-time style need like finding a killer outfit for a work or personal event, a complete overhaul of your closet, or looking camera-confident for a photo shoot. I do the work, so you can sit back and focus on whatever else needs your attention! I also work virtually, allowing me to work with any woman, no matter where you're located. Learn more about my styling services, and if it's right for you by booking a free (virtual!) 30-minute style consult with me.



Want more from me?


Follow me on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn for daily style inspiration.


Or, sign up for my weekly style newsletter to be the first to get my style tips, outfit inspiration and ways to elevate your style.

58 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All