I have an unholy love for Banana Republic. Actually, if you were to go through my closet you would find a pretty solid trifecta of BR, JCrew and BCBG.
BR I love because their clothes are good quality and fit me really well. They sell petites but they're not super tiny petites made to fit first graders which is how a lot are. I'm a small person but I'm not skinny. Just the facts.
JCrew I love because it is absolute preppy perfection and I'm pretty darn preppy. I've been obsessed with bracelets for well over a year now but I like them small and stackable which JCrew seems to understand. As for their clothes their pants and I don't get along but their shirts and dresses are amazing.
BCBG is one stop shopping for evening wear. I believe pretty strongly in buying dresses before you need them because as soon as you have an event to attend you will never find the right dress for it if looking last minute. However, if you find the perfect dress before you need it, buy it and eventually you will. I promise. And BCBG dresses are AMAZING and fit so well (at least, when I'm a size 6. I'm not allowed to buy any in a size 10 so I wouldn't know about double digit fit. It's just a personal rule.)
The issues with my love of these three stores are that none of them are cheap and I'm not exactly rolling in extra cash. I mean, how could I be when the bun eats her weight in pellets daily? (She's supposed to have her food measured out but I travel for work and it's not happening so in another year or so she will probably be the perfect size for a new ottoman which is actually pretty great, I'm really into multitasking).
The great thing about these three stores is they ALL have great sales if you stalk them properly. Take for instance this dress from Banana Republic:
I tried this on two or three months ago and fell in love immediately. I've had an obsession with all things white, especially clothes, since the womb and make it lace-like and I'm ugly-crying in the corner of a dressing room like a five year old because it's $100 and I can't take it home RIGHT THEN. Usually when this happens I try to rationalize and decide if I really can't live without it or if I can wait. Of course, I can never live without it but I force myself to wait anyway because my willpower and masochism are legendary. After I make the decision to wait I begin the stalking process. I will go back to the store every few weeks to see if it's on sale yet and will visit the website of whatever it is that I want and when it finally goes on sale I rejoice! Or I sob when I miss out on it. I missed out on the perfect pair of Anne Klein nude heels three years ago because I waited too long and I'm still in therapy about it. (Also, if you want to know how I have so much time to stalk clothing the truth is when you travel for work you have a lot of free time in random cities where you don't know anyone. Some days. Other days you roll into your hotel at midnight and have to leave it at 6am the next day with a keyboard imprinted in your face from when you passed out on your laptop at 2am trying to write your trip reports. It's a glamorous life, I tell ya.)
So here's how it went down with this dress: I tried it on when it was full price a few months ago and when I happened to have a 30% off coupon for a regular priced item that day but I felt like $70 was still too much (I did convince a long distance friend to buy it though after I posted a pic on Twitter which meant I have spent two months seething in jealousy). Instead of buying it right then I checked when I went into the mall periodically and after two months I finally found it in the clearance section online for $79.99 last weekend with an extra 20% off sale prices and free shipping, bringing it to $63.99. That still wasn't that low but as I had really wanted it for two months I decided to just buy it and not wear it and see if it would go lower. Well lo and behold last night all the sale items were an extra 40% in store so I went to the mall and guess what?? They had one! In my size! (And by "my size" I mean a size smaller than I actually am because I like to torture myself). So I snatched it up for a whopping $47.99 which is less than 50% off. I don't usually like to spend that much on dresses that are for daily wear but I really wanted it and I'm in love with it. Funny thing is the one I ordered online still isn't at my house yet but I am returning it as soon as it arrives to get my $16.00 back and that's how it's done.
This may be my first post about my shopping "kills" (as my mom calls them since I learned how to be frugal from her and my grandma which makes this a time honored family tradition) but I promise it will not be my last. One of these days I will post about the $118 Ann Taylor watercolor skirt that I wanted more than life itself and ended up scoring for $12. No joke. Extreme couponing has no place in my life because I'd rather focus on clothes than food.
(Also, this dress is still online (although only in size L) with an extra 40% so if you need one too you should get it while you can! It's available in navy and white here.)