Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, is upon us! And if you’re not prepared, it’s about time you do so. Listen, we get it — it can be overwhelming. Even as style and beauty editors, we’re overwhelmed, too! Which is why we’re offering up our actual plans for Black Friday shopping right here. So whether you decide to brave the stores early, get comfy on your couch browsing through cyber deals or just want to sit this year out entirely, scroll down for some advice from the pros.
Sharon Kanter, Deputy Style Director
The Overall Strategy: This day is all about prep work. I have found, in my years of searching for deals, that the best ones truly happen on Black Friday. Yes, it’s not all make-believe marketing. It’s true. That’s why I prepare, prepare, prepare by creating a list of “must-haves” and a secondary list of “if the price is too good to be true, get it.” This year, I have Framebridge frames (which never go on sale, but I wrote to the company and they said they are going to have a deal that day), Stuart Weitzman 50/50 boots (this is the year I just get ’em) and toys for my nieces and nephews on my “must-have” list. On my “if the price is too good to be true, get it” list, I created a list of my favorite stores where I know/confirmed my sizing (Theory, BCBG, Intermix, Karen Millen), so I can check each of them out to see what’s best. I’ll start out online, but if I get frustrated or my sizes sell out, I’ll brave one to two stores, max. Anything more than that is overwhelming.
The One Thing I Won’t End the Day Without: Framebridge frames and Stuart Weitzman boots.
My Black Friday Shopping Tip: Prepare your lists and do not deviate from them. That’s when you overbuy and regret it!
Lindy Segal, Style Social Media Editor
The Overall Strategy: Like many of my colleagues, I’m a year-round sale shopper, so on Black Friday I look for sales that have extra incentives, like added discounts and gifts with purchase. For example, I know from years past that Kiehl’s tends to do a pretty great deluxe sample push, so I will definitely be stocking up on some skincare essentials, like the Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 30 and Facial Fuel Eye De-puffer (it’s my secret weapon!), and I know I’ll score some great travel-size bonuses too. The other store I absolutely have to hit up is Target — I’ve never left without a cart full of amazing deals, from shoes to $5 DVDs, and gifts for pretty much everyone I know.
The One Thing I Won’t End the Day Without: At least three coffees and a glass of Pinot Noir. Oh, and those Kiehl’s goods!
My Black Friday Shopping Tip: I know I’m the one who threw out the phrase “gifts with purchase,” but keep your eye on the prize. If it’s not somewhere you normally shop, and they don’t sell something you’re truly looking for, don’t shop there just because they have a deal. Oh, and do try to avoid anything final sale!
Andrea Lavinthal, Style and Beauty Director
The Overall Strategy: I have serious shopping impulse control issues, and with so many stores offering incredible sales this time of year, it was impossible for me to resist buying a few things before Black Friday (looking at you, and your 40 percent off the sale price, Intermix). So being that I’ve already blown a significant portion of my own holiday budget, I’ll be hunting down digital deals (stores are way too stressful for me) on gifts for my friends and family. I have my eye on cashmere sweaters for my mom and sister in law from Saks Off Fifth.
The One Thing I Won’t End the Day Without: Stamps. I have to go to the post office and pick up several sheets for all my holiday cards. It’s the only brick and mortar destination I’m willing to step foot in. And lots of cocktails because I have my high school reunion that night!
My Black Friday Shopping Tip: I created a Pinterest board to house all of the potential gifts I’ve spotted online the past few weeks. I’m going to attempt to focus on just those picks so I don’t wander around the Internet and buy something I don’t actually want.
Alex Apatoff, Deputy Style Director
The Overall Strategy: My strategy is pretty close to Zendaya’s: Don’t go! I tend to buy things I want whenever they’re on sale throughout the year, so I’m usually not too tempted on Black Friday. However, I can never resist doing one quick scan of one of those epic “Every Sale Ever” lists and seeing if there are any stores worth a quick browse.
The One Thing I Won’t End the Day Without: This Madewell dress. I’ve been eyeing it forever and it’s discounted 25 percent from its current sale price, so I’ll finally pull the trigger. It’s also really likely I’ll end up impulse-buying some jewelry on Net-a-Porter since much of the site is majorly discounted right now.
My Black Friday Shopping Tip: Every time I see something I think my family or friends might like (in a magazine, browsing the web, in a store) I snap a pic and file it to a “Gifts” folder in Evernote. On Friday I’ll look up those products to see if any are on sale.
Brittany Talarico, Senior Style Editor
The Overall Strategy: Every year, my mom, sister and I set our alarms for 5 a.m. and make a pact to brave the crowds at our local mall and avail of the amazing deals. We spend most of our time at Nordstrom, always starting with the shoe department before making our way to apparel. Then we stop at Macy’s before moving to the Lord & Taylor coat department (outerwear is up to 60 percent off). Our goal: To be home by noon for leftovers.
The One Thing I Won’t End the Day Without: Red booties. I’m finally going to get the Stuart Weitzman sock-bootie style that Gigi Hadid has convinced me I need. The best part? They’re 40 percent off.
My Black Friday Shopping Tip: If you’re hitting departments stores, ALWAYS start with the shoe department. Sizes sell out fast, and you want to make sure you walk away with those boots you’ve been obsessing over.
Colleen Kratofil, Style Writer-Reporter
The Overall Strategy: For the last few years I’ve been a dedicated Black Friday mall shopper. I drive an hour to the nearest luxury mall, spend hours hitting up my favorite stores and end the day by eating too many Auntie Anne’s pretzels. But this year, I’m being more strategic. Instead of moseying through the mall to sift through every single sale at my favorite stores, I’m only shopping a few items I’ve been saving up for. I’m focusing more on shopping luxe brands that rarely go on sale to get more bang for my buck.
The One Thing I Won’t End the Day Without: I’ve wanted a pair of Good American jeans all year, so I’m planning on snagging one while select styles are 40 percent off. And since most of my favorite mall stores have great sales all year long, I’m going to zero-in on designer finds. First thing on my to-do list is visit modaoperandi.com — select styles are up to 65 percent off!
My Black Friday Shopping Tip: If you plan on spending the entire day in the mall, leave your coat in the car. You’ll probably get overheated schlepping from store to store and carrying your coat gets heavy as you get more shopping bags to haul around.
Tell us: What’s your Black Friday shopping strategy?