Friday, November 19, 2010

The Hunt.

A couple of months ago I assisted a very talented NY stylist on the TJMaxx Holiday Shoot. This was the first week that I saw our work up in stores and it feels like a dream come true. That's why I would like to tell you why I love the hunt.

TJMaxx falls into a category of beloved stores for me and my family. Loehmanns, Marshalls, Fliene's Basement, and Nordstrom Rack finish out the category. (I would add Home Goods to this list but our focus is clothes and accessories here.) At these amazing stores you can find a treasured wardrobe investment piece for half the price. **Bonus: More parking, no food court smells, no santa exhibit, and you can also grab a great french soap for your home on the way out.

When you treasure hunt in these stores you need to follow a few rules: be patient, stay focused, leave time, bring a list, and have a clear head. Also put a snack in your purse if you must. You have to be willing to dig and be able to edit your finds. You must also feel comfortable leaving the store empty handed. Otherwise, please see the warning below.

Your list should include the items you are searching for to fill the holes in your wardrobe. Do not stray from the list. Also, know your designers. You don't have to plaster the designer names across your chest but these brand names will help you discern the quality of an item and quickly set your item apart from the disposable clothing category (also found at these stores). The treasure in these stores are the high quality items found hiding in between the blouse with the crooked seams and the plaid pants that not even Giselle should be wearing. It's called a hunt for a reason.

Here are some of my favorite treasures found in the ongoing bargain store hunt:

Charcoal Grey D&G Cape (TJMaxx Runway Collection)- How cool is the lipstick and high heel lining!

Black satin Calvin Klein Blazer (TJMaxx)- Darts in the perfect waist accentuating place, tags still on waiting for the holiday season.
My Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Statement Necklace (Nordstrom Rack)
Silk floral Yumi Kim Blouse (Nordstrom Rack)
Black Theory mini skirt with box pleats (Marshalls)

My favorite Loeffler Randall rain boots (TJMaxx $49.99!)- Gotta love that narrow feminine toe! Most rain boots have a blocky toe box.

Style Goddesses Beware: Marshalls Dementia, Loehmanns Dementia... you get the idea. These conditions are the only known side effects of the hunt. As I said, when you walk into these stores you need to follow a few rules. If you can't follow all the rules, you should not start the hunt. Without rules, the (fill in bargain store name here) Dementia will set in. Like a casino, there are no clocks in these stores and the easy listening satellite radio can lull you into thinking you need a particular item in your life. Unfortunately, hours later you will find yourself pulling things out of an ugly plastic bag in your home. You will wonder how they made it there, what you were thinking, and when you have time to drive back to the store to give these items back. Remember, instant gratification has an evil side. Step away from the "so ugly it's cute" bulky sweater with pink leopard spots (my most recent dementia purchase and return) and hunt by the rules.

Now tell me about your recent treasure hunt. What is the best deal you found and where?

Treat everyday like you are on the runway.

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