Sifting Through The Year-End Sales

Theory houndstooth and Vince burgundy wool coats on sale. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Anyone else here old enough to remember when nothing ever went on sale until after Christmas? Now it seems that it’s just one big sale after another from Black Friday until New Year’s Day (and beyond). I’ll admit, I have a bit of “sale fatigue.” I’ve been working my way through the year-end sales, and while there’s a lot background noise, I’ve come across a few things worth a look.

Above, winter coats on sale: Left | Right

As always, I advise against buying anything just because it’s deeply discounted. You’ll end up with a flock of closet orphans that way, and won’t really save money in the long run. My litmus test is whether I would have been tempted to buy the item at full price. If the answer is “not even close,” then I’ll keep walking, nothing to see here.

When The Year-End Sales Are Worth The Effort…

Eileen Fisher grey merino wool v-neck cardigan. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

But if you’re looking for something specific, it’s probably as good a time as any to get a reduced price. A lightweight cardigan in a neutral color has the potential to be a wardrobe workhorse. The one above is marked down substantially. (Eileen Fisher currently has all sale items discounted an extra 30% now through January 2.)

Eileen Fisher linen dress, white with black stripes. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

If there’s a warm-weather destination or cruise in your travel plans, here’s a great little throw-on-and-go linen dress that can take you from poolside to dinner with a change of accessories. (And at the sale price, it’s well under $100!)

Everlane navy/white polka dot blouse on sale. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Everlane is having a Choose What You Pay event, and one of the items included is this cute polka dot blouse.

Everlane Day Boots in bronze metallic on sale. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

And these bronze ankle boots (which are VERY comfortable!) have just been added to the sale. (Other colors too…) See how I styled mine HERE.

Fleurette camel colored wool coat on sale. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This coat in camel-colored Loro Piana wool fabric is an investment for sure, but it’s a classic coat that you’ll wear year after year. Sizes are limited…if you’re size 12-16, you’re in luck! (At least as of this writing.) Other colors offered too, with broader size availability.

J.Crew collarless Juliette wool sweater blazer in burgundy on sale. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

My much-loved collarless sweater blazer from J.Crew in this burgundy color (see how I wore it here) is an additional 50% off the sale price with code BIGGERSALE. And it’s still available in sizes xx-Small to 3x!

Trademark Harriet croc-effect bag in chocolate with blue shoulder strap. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’ve been drooling over this bag since I first spotted it a few months ago. It’s now 50% off!

Via Spiga weather-resistant white western bootie. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

If your footwear wardrobe could still use a pair of weather-resistant ankle boots, these are now 40% off (and available in other colors if off-white isn’t your thing). Here’s how I wore mine

This black cashmere scarf has embedded Swarovski crystals for extra sparkle. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Through today only, you can save 20% off all collections at Black UK, including this lovely scarf with Swarovski crystals.

Tips For Shopping Big Sales Effectively

With so many markdowns now, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or distracted by shiny objects (“fun” items with limited wearability, or deep discounts on something you’d never otherwise consider).

  • Make a list! What are you shopping for? Prioritize from most specific (e.g. navy cashmere cardigan) to more general (e.g. pants).
  • Use the retailer’s website filter function. Once you hit that massive SALE landing page, use the filter buttons (usually on the top or left-hand side) to narrow down your search by item type, size, color, price, brand, etc.
  • Multiply your odds. Unless an item is final sale, don’t be afraid to order multiple sizes if you’re unsure of the fit.
  • Be sure of the return policy. Some retailers have a more generous return window than others.
  • Don’t settle. If the color doesn’t do you any favors, or the fit isn’t right (and the item can’t be altered), or if the quality seems lacking, pass it up. A low price isn’t a good value if what you’re buying won’t hold up or if you won’t wear it.

Year-End Sales Worth A Peek…

AnthropologieWinter Tag Sale with extra 30% off sale items.

Black UKChristmas Event, 20% off all collections

Bloomingdalessavings of up to 75% through 1/6/19.

Chico’sSemi-Annual Sale, up to 70% off

EverlaneChoose What You Pay event

J.Crewextra 50% off sale styles with code BIGGERSALE

Lands’ Endsale items up to 65% off, plus 40% off full-priced styles. Code SNOWMAN, pin 2469

Neiman MarcusAfter-Christmas Sale, up to 60% off

Net-a-Porterup to 70% off

NordstromHalf-Yearly Sale, up to 50% off.

Talbot’sRed Hanger Sale, extra 40% off markdowns.

Stay in touch.

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9 Comments

  1. Mo
    December 27, 2018 / 7:09 am

    Thanks Susan, for alerting us to the collarless sweater jacket on sale at J.Crew. I first noticed it on your blog last year and I did purchase it in camel. Get lots of wear from this versatile piece. Now, I just ordered it in burgundy. Love it and your blog. Full of common sense and good style.

    Wishing you and your family, all good things in the year ahead.

  2. Cynthia Freed
    December 27, 2018 / 7:25 am

    Susan,
    I just want to thank you for the numerous great fashion ideas you give us.
    I have purchased many of them and have started to refine my wardrobe so that it can be more versatile.
    Also, I have a 50 year old single daughter who does a great deal of traveling with friends. She is most difficult to buy for as she can afford to purchase anything she really needs or wants. I used many of your travel ideas for her Christmas gifts this year…blue tooth travel speaker, leather monogrammed bedside trinket tray, cashmere gloves and pom pom hat, cashmere travel wrap, wine skins…she loved all of them and has now started following you, too.
    This summer she took her niece, my 15 year old granddaughter Elizabeth, for a week long visit to Paris and the Loire Valley. They had a most wonderful trip and Elizabeth brings up some aspect of the trip whenever they are together.
    Again, thank you so much for your blog. I love it and look forward to each and every email from you.

  3. audball
    December 27, 2018 / 10:10 am

    Thank you, Susan and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

    Great round-up of sales. One thing worth mentioning regarding Everlane is that they are now implementing a return policy called Happy Returns, whereby a customer can return on-line purchases in-store, even if you don’t have an Everlane brick and mortar store nearby. They have teamed up with some local neighborhood stores, who will receive your items (in original packaging and unaltered). You receive your full refund immediately and do not need to create an online request or pack up the item! I was pleasantly surprised to hear about this, as it’s one of the reason why I don’t order more frequently from them.

  4. Carole
    December 27, 2018 / 11:44 am

    Thank you for always showing such great pieces to add to my wardrobe. I’ve been one that shopped sales and bought things that just hang and take up space in my closet. You’ve helped me to be more conservative and buy clothes that are workhorses. I ordered the burgundy jacket because I loved it when you wore it on your blog. I could not get the hyperlink to work for the way you wore it as I wanted to refresh my memory. Thanks again!

    • Susan B
      December 27, 2018 / 11:52 am

      Thanks for letting me know. Something went wonky with the links but I’ve fixed. You can see the complete outfit here: Burgundy cardigan

  5. December 28, 2018 / 6:00 am

    Merry Christmas, Susan. Yes, I agree on one-big-sale between Black Friday and after Christmas. I popped over here to see if you mentioned the Everlane booties. I was just looking at the bronze ones and wanted to double check your opinion of them. My foot tends to run wide, but it sounds as if the leather is soft enough that it *may* accommodate them. I’m also going to order the Everlane red wide leg cropped pants, I’ve been eyeing those for awhile. I couldn’t agree more on buying something only because it’s deeply discounted.

    • Susan B
      December 28, 2018 / 6:07 am

      Hi Kimberly, my foot is a little wide through the toes and I have a high instep, but I find these perfectly comfortable. The leather is quite soft!

  6. Deborah
    December 29, 2018 / 10:56 am

    I really enjoy your writing, Susan. You create real narrative.
    Just a quick question—do you ever explore clothing options—especially knits from either Joah Brown or Brown Allen?

    • Susan B
      December 29, 2018 / 12:21 pm

      Hi Deborah, thanks! I’m not familiar with either of those brands.

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