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BorderStyle: 6 Shopping Tips for Black Friday

by Borderstan.com November 23, 2011 at 10:30 am 0

Khelan Bhatia, Black Friday shopping tips

Khelan Bhatia has a warning about those “special versions of normal fare” you’ll encounter at some stores on Friday.

From Khelan Bhatia. You can follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB or email him at [email protected]

Hiya, Borderstanis. Can you believe Thanksgiving is almost upon us? While most people live to gorge on turkey, stuffing and mashed potatos on the day itself, I (unsurprisingly) spend most of the day mentally and physcially preparing for the midnight sales on Black Friday.

In other words, Tryptophan is out and espressos and copious amounts of five-hour energies are in. It also helps to get in some exercise the days leading up to the mad, mad sales. A brisk jog usually works best. And if you can get a run on a course that has large, people-sized obstacles, you’ll be incredibly prepared for the insanity that awaits you.

Black Friday (and Saturday) post-Thanksgiving shopping is not for the feint of heart! Not up for it at the big stores and malls? Shop locally in the neighborhood this Friday and Saturday. New to Borderstan and not sure where to start? Just start walking: The local business corridors on Connecticut Avenue, P Street, 17th Street, 18th Street and 14th Street, U Street and 9th Street NW are full of great local businesses.

This week many of us, like yours truly, are heading home to the ‘burbs where we were weaned as wee fashion victims in our adolescence. (Yes, I owned three pairs of Z Cavariccis. No, I will not share those pics). Not sure about you, but a trip to suburbia usually means a trip to the outlet malls.

Now, folks can get a little nutty and lose all common sense when heading to the outlets. I’ve seen it; I’ve experienced it; I’ve probably run over a few pedestrians to get that 38-chest Ted Baker suit that was only $200. Below, you’ll find a few tips that’ll help all of us “Keep Calm and Carry On.” BTW, this advice is as much for me as it is for you.

6 Tips for Black Friday

  1. Prioritize. Before heading out, think about what you really need to purchase and don’t let the flashy lights hypnotize you to buy something you’ll never wear. This isn’t Vegas, people.
  2. Amortize. Remember to mentally amortize. A bargain is only as good as how likely and often you’ll wear the article of clothing. For example, the pair of skinny Ralph Lauren Double RL jeans I got for $45 is a fantastic deal; the leather jacket I got from Theory for $200 isn’t so great ’cause guess what? I don’t normally wear leather jackets.
  3. Pass on “Specials.” Some of the outlet versions of stores like J.Crew and Banana Republic carry special versions of their normal fare. So, you’re not really buying a less expensive version of their normal ouevre; you’re likely buying a misshapen shirt or pair of slacks that isn’t fit for the human body. Be sure to look at the tags before you purchase the article(s) in question. If it looks dissimilar to the labels you see at their regular stores, I’d recommend not shelling out your hard-earned cash.
  4. Avoid Queues. Some outlet stores get so busy, they have a queue, velvet rope and a judgy bouncer determining whether you’re worthy or not. Seriously folks, this isn’t the newest bar opening on 14th Street, it’s the damn Coach outlet in Katy, Texas. You’re too stylish to wait in a line.
  5. Hydrate. Keep hydrated. Seriously, keep a bottle of water with you at all times.
  6. Have Fun. Remember, it’s fashion.

That’s it for me this week. Enjoy Turkey Day and Black Friday!

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