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


Tried and tested- holiday party outfit (anything but a dress)

As we get closer to the holiday season, we find ourselves looking for the prefect glam outfit to go with the holiday spirit. Normally, we associate the festive season with the Little Black Dress and, sure, there is no doubt that the LBD will always be a safe choice. But what if we feel the urge to pull off something bold and experiment with colors and textures. I believe the LBD deserves a little break once in a while. So I decided to find creative ways of putting together an outfit with ensembles that feature anything but a dress. Whether it’s a fancy jumpsuit, a metallic pleated skirt, or a tuxedo-inspired look, the following 5 pieces will not only get you into the festive mood, but also let you shine at any holiday cocktail parties.

Glitz and glam

Shiny pieces and metallics define the holiday season. They can definitely function as the ultimate neutral at any holiday party. For a festive punch, I opted for a pair of bold pants with a luxurious damask jacquard prints, which evoke a sophisticated feel. I paired it with a silky blouse with a metallic sheen and ruffle details along the neck and sleeves. This statement piece adds a touch of glam and gives a feminine twist to the holiday dress code.

Blouse and pants: Alice And Olivia (Nordstrom)

The velvet suit

This menswear-inspired look offers and alternative way to mix things up. Simply trade in your classic tuxedo suit with a velvet one. I chose this set because the shimmering kimono-like jacket paired with matching pants keep everything sleek and sexy. Velvet is my favorite formal fabric during the holiday season because it provides a warm sense of luxury. For those that fear an all-velvet look, you can break things up with a silky top, a contrasting texture.

Jacket and pants: Zara

The ultimate jumpsuit

I always feel drawn to jumpsuits for some reason. The overall is an unexpected option when you need to look instantly put-together on casual days. It’s not only an easy to wear piece, but also one appropriate for special events. Choose a tailored and formal-esque jumpsuit — look for a balanced fit and avoid silhouettes that are too baggy. I love the idea of a monochrome jumpsuit that can flatter any body type. So I chose this burgundy piece and paired it with a statement necklace and a tailored coat with subtly metallic details.

Jumpsuit and coat: COS

Rise and shine

Metallic skirts can be the go-to perfect option once the holiday party season is in full swing. You can wear it during the day in the office and at a cocktail party after work. Simply by switching to stiletto and adding a furry or a snakeskin clutch, you can elevate the look. I love how the shine factor is mixed with other textures and unexpected combinations. A black top with little frills was the first thing popped into my head. It’s delicate and feminine. Plus, you can layer it with a cool leather jacket for an edgy twist.

Skirt and top: BP (Nordstrom)

Fairy tale story

A maxi tulle skirt is a great substitute for a traditional dress. The luxurious fabric creates a fairy tale look and will help you stand out in a crowd. There are so many options when it comes to tulle. For a full glam effect, you can pair the voluminous skirt with an embellished or sequins top. For a classy look, pair it with a basic blouse an a statement accessory. I paired the tulle here with a silk fabric with dotted mesh and lace details, and finished the look with red pumps.

Skirt and top: MassimoDutti

One Month One Style: Pure Sheer

Get ready to show off a hint of skin as this season — as was Spring 2016 — is all about sheer. On the runway, see-through fabrics ranged from the mild to daring. Givenchy, Dior, Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang, and others introduced their interpretations of how to play with transparency and peekaboo cuts, and all of them have different ways to inject the trend into our lives.

The good news is that the holiday party season offers a great excuse to play with feminine appearances and to reveal a little skin. Therefore, we chose to feature sheer for the month of December. Sheer details can add sweetness and sexuality to your appearance — it all depends on how you wear it. Ahead, we break down how to incorporate the sheer trend during the festive season.

Photo Credit: Harpers Bazaar

When in Doubt, Wear Black

Embellished sheer can give your party outfit an instant upgrade, whether it is a dress, sleeves on a shirt, or a skirt. In order to increase the dramatic effect, consider wearing black from head to toe. Keeping your layers monochrome is definitely a great way to turn heads while playing it safe. Not only is it incredibly elongating, the sheer will bring your sex appeal to a new level. Evoke you flirty side by wearing a mid-length, black skirt with sheer panel details, or choose the romantic approach with a floor length dress and some flashed skin.

Photo: Vera Wang

Sheer Overlays

Obviously one of the season’s essentials is layering, so here comes the fresh take. The biggest cities in the fashion scene, such as New York and London, have proven that layering sheer is an innovative way to play with transparency. So let your imagination run wild with each piece of sheer that slowly build up a unique outfit like a petal. The holiday season is the perfect time to elevate your creativity level, by mixing the lightweight fabric with different see-through garments or with basic silhouettes that will evoke your coolness. Other than that, it’s much easier to control the amount of skin you are willing to reveal. Being brave or conservative, it’s all in your hands.

Photo: Mother of Pearl

Lingerie Out

If you have no issue revealing the beauty of the body, you will probably love this trend that’s coming on strong once again this season. Lingerie-inspired slip dresses and sheer nightshirts that leave nothing to the imagination were hitting the runways and were sending us a clear message: You have to let go of all your inhibitions and rely on your sexy undergarment to speak for you. Attending a fancy New Year’s party? Don’t hesitate to give a glam treatment to your chiffon shirt with a black bra or a slip for extra coverage. Our suggestion is to pick a loose-fit top that will inject more sophistication into the boudoir trend.

Photo: Sharon Wauchob

Don’t Mesh with the Lady

Mesh is another way to evoke your fashion forward-thinking attitude. When it comes to mesh, the peekaboo effect is more futuristic with its gothic-meets-punk vibe. Mesh details can appear as part of the design or as a panel, like in a boxy dress or at the button of the skirt. On the catwalk we spotted the sporty, see-through fabric in a variety of forms, but with the same purpose — showcasing just the right amount of skin for a striking bold look. You can have fun with the trend by incorporating vibrant hues or metallics into the outfit for a modern twist.

Photo: Anthony Vaccarello

I See Through You

If you are fearful of overexposure, there is another way to show off your fashionista wild side. A transparent piece of outerwear will give you an innovative attitude that can match perfectly with any evening look. From a ladylike jacket to futuristic trenches or bomber jackets, you can find the style that fits your needs. The good news is that this piece can take you into spring. Choosing a translucent silk outerwear in a pastel shade can highlight your stylish outfit underneath and provide you with a nonchalant cool-yet-sweet vibe. This is the ultimate way to play with transparency while making a statement.

Photo: Stella McCartney

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The hunt for the perfect party dress during the holiday season can take lots of efforts, mentally and physically. It can get somewhat stressful, trying to find the time to spoil yourself with a new dress (or more…), while taking care of shopping for gifts, attending parties, or planning parties for your own friends and family.

For most of us, it’s the busiest time of the year, so to make things easy for you, I went on a pilgrimage to Nordstrom, searching for the one of a kind dress that will hang off the body just the right way, make one feel special from head to toe. Like in a fairy tale, I used three magic words: fancy, comfortable, and confident. And they were the key to finding a dress’s way into my heart and hopefully into my budget, too. To help you see through the festive period, here are some of the options for the endless parties you are bound to attend.

The LBD Update

You can never go wrong with the little black dress, this is one of the wardrobe essentials that always does the trick. The key is to glam up your LBD so it will look festive and fun. Either dig through your own accessories for some golden assembles that resemble the Christmas and New Year’s eve spirit or find a dress with dedicated metallic details that gives it a glamorous touch. These two dresses are a great way to kick off the party season: Just swap out flats for heels and choose a statement clutch before making your fashionable entrance.

Dresses: Ted Baker

Rock the Ruffles

Here is another playful take on the little black dress — ruffles and frills. They are two of the biggest trends this season and will add drama and elegance to your outfit in a charming way. And that what makes an ultimate evening look. Afraid of looking too tacky? Opt for a structured lace dress or slip on an off-the-shoulder dress that embraces your inner femininity. Pair it with classic heels and minimal jewelry for a sophisticated appearance.

Dress: Cinq à Sept

Shine Bright

Turn up the fun factor with a shiny material that defines the holiday season: Sequins! For all the fashionistas out there, this is the perfect time to get out of your comfort zone and dress up big time with one statement piece that scream pure fun. I chose this colorful wrap dress because it’s a perfect match for parties. For starters, simply pair the exotic texture with a chunky cardigan or leather sports jacket and avoid wearing it with stilettos.

Dress: Kate Spade

Dare to Wear Pink

Even though red is the signal that the holiday season is upon us, in my opinion pink is the refreshing version of red. Since holiday fashion is all about celebrating the joy of life, I choose fuchsia as the best candidate for the season. Beside the fact that pink has been a dominant colour on the Fall/Winter 2016-2017 catwalk, there is something about this colour that speaks of a desire for the carefree days of childhood. I picked this easy breezy dress because I love how it’s full of movement. It’s a perfect piece that can take you from day to night and it can easily accommodate accessories depending on the event you are aiming for. To give it an edgy touch, pair it with ankle boots and solid colour tights.

Dress: Kate Spade

The Funky Way

If you consider yourself as a fashion forward girl, this dress might be the ideal dress for you. While browsing the women’s department, this dress immediately caught my eyesThe structured party dress, in an hourglass silhouette, with lipstick & mascara cosmetics prints is a good reason to jump out of bed for a night out. Just put on your dancing dress and get into the celebratory mood. There’s a truth to the statement that fashion doesn’t need to take itself too seriously and this is the proof that a sense of humour never hurt anybody, even when it comes to high-end fashion.

Dress: Alice + Olivia

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