How to Shop Smart, Lesson 1

Forever 21 Vest (splurge version here) | J. Crew Tank | J. Crew Skirt (similar here and here) | Steve Madden Flats | Kendra Scott Necklace and Earrings | Kate Spade White and Gold Bangles | Loren Hope Cuff | OPI Nail Polish

Lesson 1: My momma told me "you better shop around".

(Cue this song)

But really.

There are a few occasions when it's best to buy it when you see it, but for the most part, it is best to play the field. So hustle on, you playa! (sorry, I couldn't resist).

For example, I had been eyeing this TopShop vest ever since my friend Lauren wore it on Lolo Mag this past fall. I just couldn't bring myself to pay that much for something I wasn't sure how long would be in style; however, having a long torso, I am always looking for items to accentuate my length and I needed it in my closet asap. About a month or two ago, I stumbled on this piece and couldn't believe it. It is basically the same as the Topshop version, but for a fraction of the price. I paid under $25, but it looks and feels like I paid at least $50. By seeing what else was available, I basically saved $100. So, how did I do it?

1) Google is my best friend. Not Bing, not Yahoo. Google. If I'm having trouble finding something at my go-to stores or just need more options, this is my first resort. Just make sure to search with key words. For this piece, I searched "black, long vest". It seems simple, but a lot of people don't know how to maximize their search. Just cut the clutter and be specific.

2) Search Pinterest. Pinterest is such a neat platform. It's a mix of social media +a search engine, which makes it super unique. Remember to only use key words when searching here as well. It's sometimes not as reliable, as some photos can lead to dead-end links, but if you search via blogger boards and retailers, you should be led right to product. (You can follow me on Pinterest here!)

3) ShopStyle. This is mainly used by bloggers, but even if you aren't one, I encourage you to get it! You are able to search for super generic or very specific items and can even put in how much you want to spend. You are also able to pin straight from the platform or "like" it and it saves for you...kind of like a mini wish list.

4) RetailMeNot. I often forget about this, but my boyfriend is so good about searching their site before making a purchase. They are a data base filled with coupons. Some codes are outdated, but you never know how much you can save unless you try!

So, how do you shop around?

Tune in Monday for lesson 2! It won't be listed Friday, as I am doing my traditional Feature Friday post. Come back and see what awesome brand I'm showcasing this round on Southern Elle Style Shop Share...here's a hint: it's a little bit on the wild side ;) Happy Hump Day!

P.S. it's Wednesday, which means it's Link Up Day! Link up with me and my blogger friends; just be sure to visit a few of the amazing ones that are listed!

An InLinkz Link-up

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