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How to Shop, From a Shopping Director

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When I was in college...

I worked as a sales associate at the Barneys in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, where they used to host the warehouse sale. Twice a year, we would close the regular store, take out all the current merchandise, and replace it with the sale stuff. If you went to it, you remember what a big deal it was. It was where you could feasibly by a pair of designer shoes or a handbag for the price of something at J.Crew.

As employees, we got the best deals. Not because they were offered to us ahead of time, but because we spent the entire first half of the sale hiding the things we wanted to buy — in the rafters, at the bottom of storage closets, in the manager’s office high up on a shelf that no one could reach. The discount was the steepest at the end, and with our employee discount, everything was basically free. I bought a Proenza Schouler PS1 bag for $60, and a pair of Fendi pumps for $50.

That's a very specific example, but the point is, you really never really have to pay retail. There are so many ways to get a deal, no matter where you live. Sign up for store newsletters for the new-customer promo code. Befriend a sales associate and ask them to tell you when a particular thing gets marked down. Shop within days of literally any holiday — Columbus Day, President’s Day — for a special promotion. Go on resale sites. Just wait for things to go on sale, because there’s a really good chance they will. That is the life cycle of retail.

On that note, let's dive into this weekend's three big sales. —Tiffany Yannetta, shopping director

The Online Sales to Shop This Weekend
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This weekend, there are three really great sales in particular worth hitting up, including The Outnet's big November clearance sale (do you have a wedding coming up? Shop this sale.). See all the full details below, but keep in mind that Black Friday and an entire weekend of sales through Cyber Monday is right around the corner.

The Outnet: The Outnet's annual November clearance sale is here! And it runs through November 29th, so you can still shop it over Thanksgiving weekend too. Brands like Stella McCartney, Proenza Schouler, Altuzarra, Oscar de la Renta, and more are marked down to 85% off (shop clothing here and shoes here). Now's a great time to stock up on formal dresses for weddings — this Badgley Mischka satin gown that was originally over $1,000 is only $178, and this cute Carven mini dress is just $103.

Loeffler Randall: Need shoes? Loeffler Randall is offering 30% off select items this weekend. The Astrid Flat Zip Booties are $276; the Delfine Lace-Up Pumps are also $276, and the Carla Ankle-Tie Pumps, pictured above, are $227.

Alternative Apparel: Take 30% off all bags — including the brand's own line and other labels — through Sunday with the code BAGS30. The Basic Cotton Computer Backpack, which is normally $58, is $42, and the Baggu Drawstring Purse in caramel, normally $140, is $98.

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Today's Non-Gift Guide Pick for The Holiday Season
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Who: Judah Mischel
What they do: Executive Director, Camp HASC
What they want: B4 Adventures Slackers Screamin' Water Slide Combo Kit, $119

We have seven children and shopping for gifts is complicated for many reasons. There's the age range of our kids — infants to teenagers — where one thing won't suffice. And then there's the fact that I just can't handle shopping for my teenage daughters; I don't even try. In general, though, I like to buy gifts that have meaning, and this usually involves something with an experience. The best gift you can give a kid is one you can enjoy and experience together. It's the great equalizer.

Last Hanukkah, we bought the kids this giant water slide from Target. After we lit the menorah, I gave the kids a whole talk about "slipping and sliding." Hanukkah is about revealing light within darkness, and so I told them that even if you slip and slide and fall and hit the ground, it can still be okay. It's important to celebrate vulnerability and open up conversations so there's room for mistakes. After some talking, we took them outside, where we had turned the backyard into our own little water park, complete with tiki torches. We set up a kiddie pool at the end of the giant slide for us to land in. In Israel, where we live, the winter is pretty mild, so we were able to enjoy the family gift all night long.


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