How to survive the black friday sales

There’s no doubt that Black Friday is the day when you have to put on your savvy shopper hat and hunt for the best deals around the city. There is also no better time to treat yourself with those pair of designer boots or the sequin dress you just couldn’t splurge on before.

The annual sales event, which officially begins the Friday following the American Thanksgiving Day, is a phenomenal one. It used to be that Canadians had to have across the border sales envy, but, luckily, the unofficial sales date and its festivities have crossed the border and expanded to the Canadian market.

Whether you are after a new outfit for that Christmas party at the office or looking for last minute bargain holiday gifts, chances of getting a good deal are everywhere. To help you get through the chaos and take advantage of the great prices, we’ve prepared a few strategies here that will make your shopping more enjoyable and productive.

Credit: Eaton Centre

Make a list

Get inspired by browsing online or brick and mortar stores and write down a list of possible gifts (including ones you want for yourself!). You can also make a list of the people you want to give gifts to along with their hobbies or interests. You can never go wrong with classic gift choices, which will probably be on sale, like candles, silk eye masks, coffee table ornaments, or boxes of chocolates.

Credit: The private life of a girl

Set a budget

Set a realistic budget. With sales ads everywhere, it can be very easy to get carried away if you don’t set your limits. A strict plan will help you fight the urge to buy something just because it’s on sale. Be prepared. Think of it as a mission — no distractions!

Credit: Vogue Brazil

Rise Early

Keep in mind that this isn’t just a single day event. Many retail and online stores extend their sale dates. You can take a breather here and there, or you can start early and track or compare prices between stores. Amazon’s already started its Black Friday deals and Indigo’s announced their pre-Black Friday sales.

Credit: Allure

Go Online

If you can’t take the day off on the illustrious Friday, don’t worry — retailers often offer the same discounts online. Shopping online would actually let you avoid the inevitable in-store shopping madness. Join the pre-6am traffic of online sales and shop when you want, where you want!

Credit: Elle

Be social

Get social and share and read others’ tips on the best deals. People are surprisingly nice and share locations and how-tos for deals you’d otherwise miss out on. Also, check your gram, Facebook, and Twitter often for by-the-hour deals and special offers. Be kind and share the good info with your friend!

Credit: Mikael Jansson


Shop All Weekend: Black Friday Menswear Sales & Releases

I don’t know when it exactly happened, but over the years, Black Friday has morphed into an event that has spawned campouts and long line-ups, from what used to be a day of deals that was generally known for electronic deals has changed into a deal that is worthy to be marked on your calendar, if you follow the menswear scene. Many brands have caught on the Black Friday hype and begun to offer not only great deals for a limited time, but are also releasing specific products that fall between Black Friday to Cyber Monday. We rounded up some of the best menswear drops and sales that will be taking place this Black Friday.

Best Online Deal

Band Of Outsiders


Not too long ago, Band Of Outsiders was one of the most sought after brands in menswear. After a long successful run, Scott Sternberg’s company shockingly filed for bankruptcy and closed its doors, which left many fans of the cool preppy aesthetic brand at a loss. It’s not all bad news for fans of Band, as the brand is making a one-day revival through online retailer Filene’s Basement. The retailer will sell the remaining stock of Band of Outsiders at 50 percent off. To sweeten the pot even more, the online retailer is gifting an additional 25 percent off on top of the already reduced price for three days, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This might be your last chance to ever get your hands on some Band gear, so be ready to be in front of your computer come Friday.

Best Local Deal 

Sydney’s Toronto

Sydney’s, one of the local Toronto menswear boutique, is giving you a really good excuse to skip the malls this Black Friday, and come to their Queen West boutique instead. The store which stocks some of menswear’s most coveted brands is starting their Black Friday sale early by offering 50 percent off on selected merchandise in store. If you’re tired of purchasing fast fashion, and looking for well made menswear pieces at a discounted price, it would not be a bad idea to stop off at Sydney’s for Black Friday.

All Other Black Friday Online Sales

The beauty of Black Friday in 2015 are how good the deals are online. Brands are not waiting until Cyber Monday to begin the markdowns online. Both GQ, and Highsnobiety both have a great list that is still being updated of all the great deals to be had today.

Sneaker Releases

Puma Blaze of Glory Black R968 Friday Pack

Some brands like to take Black Friday literally and incorporate the colour Black into their designs for their Friday drops. The best Black Friday inspired designed sneaker has to go to Puma this year. The brand is releasing two of their most iconic footwear silhouettes, the R968 and the Blaze of Glory in all black with contrasting black and white soles. Both the R968 and the Blaze of Glory will be available at select Puma retailers starting today.

Where To Buy: Livestock

OG Air Jordan 1s

Air Jordan releases are a big deal: they normally sell-out in record time from the excitable mobs who have been in those long line ups and campouts. To start the holiday shopping season, the Jordan brand is releasing a pair of Jordans so clean, that it will be hard to not pass up on. The original Air Jordan 1 are getting a black and white color combination that features a black leather upper with a contrasting white sole and tonal laces. I guarantee you these Jordans won’t last long, so be prepared to either stand in line or be at your computer come Cyber Monday.

Where To Buy: Capsule Toronto

Here Comes The Holidays: Marina’s Wishlist

As Black Friday creeps closer and closer, it reminds us that the holidays are upon us. I’m a simple woman, really; I like being comfortable, happy, and relaxed. That is why my wishlist includes some key pieces that I need in my life that will optimize my relaxation during this busy season.

Oct - Amoray Sweater

1) I have loved Club Monaco before I understood what it was. My mum used to dress me in the classic Club Monaco sweaters when I was little and it was the first brand I remembered longing for. That hasn’t changed, and this season, they have produced a collection of classics that you can effortlessly layer that I can’t wait to get my hands on, including the Amoray Nep Cashmere Sweater.


2) Whether it is incense, candles, or smudging sage in my apartment, my housemates can attest that I am obsessed with making my home smell earthy and clean. That is why I have had my eyes on the DayNa Decker Atelier Candle Set from ANI+WREN. Each soy wax candle has a distinct soothing scent, so you can change the feeling of your home dependent on your mood.


3) What is more important than sleep? The answer is nothing. You spend about 1/3 of your life sleeping, so you better make sure that you are having the best time possible. My holiday has come a little early, as I have already got a couple of the new Dormeo Evolution Dream Memory Foam Pillow for myself. You’re thinking “pillows”, but yes, pillows are so important. Between all the running around I do in a day, when I hit my bed, I want to have ultimate comfort and support, and that is what the Octaspring technology does. It has a combination of plush, memory foam to support your head, and ecosprings to give added support to your neck and shoulders. If you’re going to get anything off this list for certain, start with these.


4) I have really started to pay attention to my well-being, and that includes taking the time to power down and be still.  My secret getaway in the city is at the Miraj Hammam Spa at the Shangri-La, indulging in their Hammam and Gommage treatment. Upon arrival, you are greeted by the lovely staff, who encourages you to spend the day enjoying the facilities, including my personal favourite, the relaxation room, where one is transported to a temple of calm. The treatment begins in the high intensity steam chamber, which rids your body of all unwanted toxins while purifying yourself, before enjoying a full body Gommage, with eucalyptus infused black Moroccan soaps and warm oils. It’s an experience like none other, which leaves you glowing from head to toe.


5) I live in a beautiful heritage building with ancient hardwood floors, and when our Toronto winter hits, those floors become the bane of my existence. Lucky for me, I’ve found Sanuk, a brand of footwear with a similar mantra as Novella: made for the community, by the community. Created by yogis, surfers and dreamers, the Siena collection has a tribal outer shell, with a soft fuzzy interior, that Sanuk says is like walking on clouds. Yes please.


6) Finally, as a freelance writer, I am always on the go, whether it is across Toronto, or across the continent, so I need a reliable bag to carry my laptop and essentially my life. The Harmonist Shopperbackpack by Bench is the epitome of what I need in a bag. It’s beautifully designed, from the sleek black frame, to the functional backpack to crossbody to shoulder bag straps, to the spacious interior with secret compartments. Whether I’m running to catch a plane or the streetcar, this bag will always be with me and that makes everything ok.

Happy Holidays – MK

Our favourite Black Friday deals in Toronto

Ladies, gentlemen — it’s that time. Arm yourselves with wads of cash and comfy shoes (with which to trod over the weaker shoppers), because Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost upon us. Nov. 27 and 30, the Days of the Deals, promise to be fruitful as f*ck as a ton of our favourite local boutiques have announced some pretty enticing sales. Here are the ones you absolutely cannot miss.

Image courtesy of Jenny Bird
Image courtesy of Jenny Bird

Preloved: From Thursday, Nov. 26 at 5:00 p.m. to Monday, Nov. 30 at midnight, you can get 50% off everything at and free shipping across North America. Bonus: every purchase over $100 will receive a pair of Betty mitts (behold the cuteness of said mittens here).

Halfwits: Toronto brand Halfwits is giving you 30% off store-wide on Friday, Nov. 27 for 24 hours straight. Now’s the time to snag their uber-cosy “Close Ties” hoodie for the holidays…

Jenny Bird: On Monday, Nov. 30 the Jenny Bird webstore will offer a 30% discount across the site, including an additional 30% off sale items.

Pai Skincare: Okay, it’s not a local boutique, but this cult British beauty brand recently landed in Toronto and its website is hosting an irresistible Black Friday sale: From Thursday, Nov. 26 at 9:00 a.m. to Monday, Nov. 30 at midnight, when you buy a Pai Starter Kit you’ll receive the brand’s best-selling Treatment Mask, Eye Cream and Gentle Exfoliator for free.

Tiger of Sweden: Only at their Canadian flagship store at Queen and Ossington, it’s BOGO 50% off from Friday, Nov. 27 to Sunday, Nov. 29. And there’s more: subsequent items will receive 25% off (some exceptions may apply).

Jean Machine: From Thursday, Nov. 26 to Monday, Nov. 30, Jean Machine has a lot going on both in-store and online. Stop by the store to take advantage of the BOGO 50% everything deal, and/or to get 30% off all tops and outerwear. Online, it’s 25% off all bottoms and 30% off all tops and outerwear. ALSO: only on Friday, customers who shop in-store before 11 a.m. can buy one, get one 60% off everything.

Consonant Skincare: On Monday, Nov. 30, Consonant Skincare is offering 20% off all products (kits included) online, in store and over the phone at 416-925-2955.