What I’m Wearing: Black Friday

Black Friday is my favorite holiday. It’s all of my favorite things in one day: amazing leftovers of all the best comfort foods; quality time with my mom; and TONS OF SHOPPING. It’s not so much about what I come home with, though. For me, it’s more about just being at all the stores with the masses of people trying to get their deals on. When deciding what to wear while interacting with those masses, I have to be very strategic. This typically leaves me with two options.

Serious Shopper

The “Serious Shopper” says, “I’m here to shop, not get selected to appear on a street style blog.” This is what I’d wear if I mean business on Black Friday.

black friday - old navy liquid leggings | whatlindseylikes

These pants (Old Navy’s Liquid Leggings) will be comfortable for the hours of leg movement I’ll be racking up. They’ll stretch right along with me as I reach across the racks to grab that last sweater in my size. When digging through the pyramid of boxes that is the Macy’s home appliances section, they’ll allow me to twist and maneuver over stacks of griddles so I can grab that blender. They’ll also wick away any sweat that develops as I’m power-walking from one end of the mall to the other carrying both the griddle and blender. Just kidding. I always park my car close to the Macy’s entrance on Black Friday so I can drop that stuff off, THEN power-walk to the other side of the mall. I love that these pants are slightly more interesting than my regular yoga/athletic pants — the faux leather makes it look like I almost tried to be fashionable.

black friday - inc sweatshirt | whatlindseylikes

 

This zip-up sweatshirt (Macy’s INC Asymmetrical Zip-Front Sweatshirt — another option is this cute cardigan from ModCloth) will be enough to keep me warm for the short jaunt between my car and the mall entrance. I have several pullover sweatshirts from Victoria’s Secret that I LOVE, but pullover isn’t a good option if there’s a chance I’ll be trying on lots of shirts. And if I’m wearing this outfit, I at least intend to try on a lot of shirts. The zip-up sweatshirt provides an easy-off-easy-on process in the dressing room. The asymmetrical zipper adds another element of “I kind of tried.” I think it’s lightweight enough to not cause me to overheat while power-walking. Plus, it’s long enough to cover my bum in the leggings from Old Navy.

Clearly I’m concerned about overheating on Black Friday. Seriously, it’s like I’m going through menopause ALL THE TIME. Moving on.

most comfortable shoes - dr scholls jamie | whatlindseylikes

These shoes (Dr. Scholl’s Jamie) are my favorite shoes ever. I actually get more compliments on these shoes than any pair of more fashionably acceptable shoes I own. They have an awesome, cushiony support that keep my feet comfortable for the miles of walking I intend to do. While they have laces, the laces are just for show – these are slip-ons! Does the fact that I’m super excited about slip-on shoes make me really old? Between that and the statement about menopause, you are probably getting some insight to the way my life works. Oh well. These shoes are another easy-off-easy-on item. If lots of clearance shoes or pants make their way into my line of sight, I need to be ready to try them on, and I don’t want a difficult pair of shoes holding me back.

Leisurely Shopper

My “Leisurely Shopper” is all about enjoying the experience. This is what I’d wear if I wasn’t on a shopping mission.

black friday - levis leggings | whatlindseylikes

These pants (Levi’s Perfectly Slimming Pull-on Pants/Leggings) are comfortable. While they do have an elastic waist (seriously, I want all my pants to have an elastic waist), they weren’t really made for all the bending and twisting a serious Black Friday shopper needs. They’re cute and comfortable, but probably not meant for six hours of shopping. Also, they’re jeans, so they won’t wick away sweat. These were made for a leisurely walk from one store to the next; a slow journey around the mall as opposed to a race from one end to the other.

black friday - jcrew gingham | whatlindseylikes

Because this outfit calls for a more leisurely attitude, I went with a button-down shirt (J. Crew has a million adorable button-downs — I liked this gingham, but there were five or six I really wanted). This shirt is actually super comfortable, and it works for any situations where I want to try on 18 shirts in the dressing room, but looks slightly more pulled together. Black Friday is all about versatility. If I want to try on 18 shirts, I need to be ready. While this shirt might not be as warm as the hoodie from the other outfit or quite as soft, I can still roll the sleeves down when I have to run from my car to the mall, then roll them up once I’m in the store and my body temperature has adjusted.

black friday - lucca vest | whatlindseylikes

And since I rarely leave home without a vest…this vest (Lulu’s Lucca Couture Military Grade Jacket — a little pricey) is a great option for Black Friday shopping because I can store all my purse essentials in my pockets and keep my hands free for holding shopping bags or potential purchases. While all my favorite shopping purses are lightweight and crossbody, they can still be somewhat in the way if you’re really focused on shopping. Maybe I’m being too picky.

black friday - riding boots | whatlindseylikesI love my riding boots, but they were certainly not made for walking. Nor were they made for easy-off-easy-on applications. These boots (Merona’s Kasia — other options include Bare Traps’ Selina and Ralph Lauren’s Jacqui Chain) would only be chosen if I have no intention of trying on multiple pairs of pants or shoes.

It’s too soon for me to know what I’ll wear. So far, I only have one thing on my Black Friday wishlist. I need to figure out what gifts I’m planning to buy so I have an idea of how serious I need to be.

Do you have a go-to Black Friday or marathon-shopping outfit? Or at least one essential item you take on all your shopping trips?

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What I Want: Neutral Purses

Sorry for the lack of posts lately! Summers in Minnesota are far too short, so I’ve been doing my best to take advantage of all the warmth possible. More importantly, I purchased a car in April that wiped out my shopping fund. So for now, the only things I’ll be writing about are wishlist items. First thing on my list: a neutral purse.

As you may remember from Black Friday/Christmas 2013, I bought several awesome Fossil bags. While I absolutely love them, they lean a little more on the bold side of styling. Don’t get me wrong, the colors/patterns are great. But there are days I want something completely safe and neutral.

What I want: Fossil Explorer Tote

What it costs: $238

fossil-explorer

What I love about this purse — besides the color — is that I could slip all my paperwork in from the office. I think I could even fit my laptop in here. It’s still a slim purse, but would carry all the things I need. I have a few fun and work-related trips coming up over the next couple months — I feel like this would look really good slung over my shoulder while hanging out in the San Fransisco airport, don’t you? 🙂

When I read the reviews on Macy’s website, most people were complaining about the cross-body strap being made of fabric instead of leather. A few people also mentioned the bag was a little heavy. There’s quite a bit of hardware, so I could see that being true.

What I want: Fossil Erin Tote

What is costs: $198 (on sale at Macy’s for $148)

erin-tote2

Yes, this is identical to the black/white bag I got for Christmas. But it’s such an awesome bag for work. It fits all my work stuff, but stays streamlined so it doesn’t look like I’m carrying everything I own in it. I removed the cross-body strap and just use the short handles (which fit over my shoulder). In the past, I carried super sized totes that would hold notebooks, folders, paperwork, my laptop, a couple magazines and my lunch. Did I need to carry all those things? No, but my bag was big enough so I felt like I should. This bag stops that. I can carry everything I need, but I’m not tempted to cram a bunch of other stuff in.

People didn’t really complain about this purse. Apparently it’s very popular with the mom crowd. Who knew?

What I want: Fossil Erin Small Top Zip

What it costs: $98

erin-small-zip

I LOVE this bag. I have two in the exact same style, but in bright orange and the same black/white print as the Erin Tote I got for Christmas. This bag is my go-to for all-day shopping excursions (or anything that’s going to last all day). I can fit everything I need in it without experiencing any neck/back pain at the end of the day. It’s so slim and compact. I love that the purse sits on my front hip where I can see it, but I can be hands free the whole time I’m shopping. I don’t have to adjust it on my shoulder or try to do any kind of acrobatic balancing act while holding it and whatever I’m perusing in the store.

The biggest complaint other purchasers had was in regard to the cross-body strap not being adjustable. The bag sits right at or a little below my hip, which feels comfortable to me, but might line-up differently if you aren’t 5’4″ like me.

What I Bought: One Coat Too Many

crew1

What I bought: J. Crew colorblock funnelneck coat

full-length-tahari

What I bought: Tahari double-breasted wool-blend faux-leather coat

I need your help. I bought two winter coats this weekend in my Black Friday frenzy, but I can only keep one. Which one should I keep?

I’ve wanted the colorblock coat from J. Crew for two months now. I love how bright and fun it is. However, I don’t love the price. When J. Crew had its storewide sale over the weekend, I decided this was my chance (other than waiting until the end of the season).

In an attempt to get the J. Crew coat off my mind, I tried on nearly every coat at Macy’s. I found this Tahari, and really liked it. I also liked the price: It was already on sale, plus an additional sale on top of that.

Let’s compare.

Price: The J. Crew coat, even with the Black Friday sale, is still more expensive than I’d like it to be. The Tahari was a reasonable price — it’s a little more than $100 cheaper than the J. Crew jacket.

Color: I love the red, navy and heather grey in the J. Crew coat, and I love colorblocking. In the pictures I took, the red isn’t as vibrant as it is in person — think bright tomato red (not orange tomato; really red tomato). I think it’s really eye-catching and fun. When I showed it to Dan, all he said was, “Well, it’s….patriotic.” I think that’s a thumbs down from him.

crew3

The Tahari coat is described as “mink.” It’s definitely more understated than the J. Crew. Since I’m pretty pale, I’m not sure mink is the best color for my skin tone.

Special details: The Tahari’s sleeves are like a faux leather fabric. I haven’t decided if I like that or not. It’s something different, I guess.

sleeve

I also love the collar.

collar

It’s kind of folded over and adds some visual interest. I have the option to unbutton it, which creates a more asymmetrical look. Not sure anyone else would like that look, but I do.

The collar on the J. Crew coat is actually really annoying if I zip it all the way up — it’s really stiff and hits my chin/throat. I don’t think I’d ever wear it all the way zipped anyway, so maybe that’s not a real concern. Here’s a pic from J. Crew’s site — doesn’t that collar look annoying?

jcrew-neck

This pic does a better job of showing the vibrancy of the red color, at least.

Warmth: I haven’t tested either jacket, but the Tahari feels heavier, so I’m assuming it would be warmer.

I like how both look — I think the J. Crew jacket is more fun, but the Tahari is more professional (but not in a stuffy way). Any thoughts?

What I Bought: Black Friday Purse

crossbody

What I bought: Fossil “Erin leather small top zip crossbody” purse (Macy’s)

What I paid: $44 (it was already on sale, then an additional 25% off as part of Macy’s Black Friday sale)

I have two go-to purses for shopping: a black crossbody bag and a brown crossbody bag. I love crossbody bags because I prefer to have both hands readily available for picking up potential purchases and I hate trying to keep my purse on my shoulder.

Last Christmas, my mom bought me this black Fossil crossbody bag that I’ve been using almost every day since. It has brown details, so if I am too lazy to transfer its contents to a brown bag, it’ll still “go” with that kind of outfit. I also love that I can fit almost everything I could ever need in the purse. Here’s a snapshot of what’s in my purse:

purse-contents1

Instead of packing what I will really need, I pack what I will need if all my shopping nightmares happen at the same time.

Michael Kors wristlet: This holds all my credit cards, cash, coupons and my ID.

Pen: Who doesn’t need a pen?

Bobby pins: I have enough bobby pins here for a fancy updo halfway through my shopping excursion. I have no idea why I pack so many.

Eucerin hand lotion: My hands get disgustingly dry, so I need lotion.

Facial tissue: In case the air is cranked and my nose starts to run.

Hand sanitizer: I typically shop at Mall of America. There shouldn’t be any need for further explanation.

Two lipsticks: I maybe wear lipstick once a week — I have no idea why I would need two colors in my purse when I’m shopping. Yet here it is.

Chapstick: I go a little crazy if I’m out and realize I don’t have chapstick with me.

Bandaid variety pack: I’ve gotten blisters from new shoes and paper cuts from shoe boxes — bandaids are a must-have.

Medicine: Cough drops and Excedrin Migraine. The air in shopping malls is usually a little dry for me, which makes my throat hurt. And just being around the general public is typically enough to give me a migraine. Best to be prepared.

The purse itself is fairly heavy, but the weight nearly doubles once I add all these items. Within half an hour, I notice discomfort in my back and tension in my neck and shoulders. I try switching the bag from one side to the other, or adjusting the shoulder strap length so I can carry it with my hand instead. None of these solutions is a long-term help, however.

When I was doing a little after-dinner shopping on Thanksgiving night, I came across the small Fossil purse in the clearance area at Macy’s. There are several zippered pouches, perfect for the actual essentials: chapstick, cell phone, coupons, credit cards/cash, ID, mini bottle of hand lotion, Kleenex tissue, car keys.

The purse itself was extremely lightweight, and I liked the pop of color. Since it was already on sale…and an additional 25% off…and the checkout line was short…and I was carrying a door-buster memory foam pillow…I decided to buy it.

I used it all day yesterday during my true Black Friday shopping and it was great. It was practically weightless and I had ZERO discomfort in my neck, back, shoulders. I’m in love.

I’m sure all the other serious shoppers out there have been using a super small crossbody bag for years — not sure what took me so long to join the party.