This past Monday Lilly Pulitzer had their annual New Year Cheer sale. Hurray! Today Im showing off my picks and discussing strategy. Here's my haul:
With the exception of one top I'm meh on I was very pleased with my shopping experience. I missed out on a cashmere madison cardigan for $99 but life goes on. Here's my items to give you an idea of lilly pricing vs sale prices:
Santana Sweater Dress
Originally $208 Sale Price $79
I really like Lilly sweater dresses. They are a little short for my taste but I can wear with leggings without them being pants. This one is gold and navy and I will wear with a grayish blue button down underneath, leggings and boots. I like that this dress can be dressed up or down.
Original Price $128 Sale Price $49
I just love peplum, lightweight sweaters, and the periwinkle color. This one also has button down the back, it's very cute! This will be perfect for Memphis early spring weather.
Emma top in Bait and Switch
Original Price $118 Sale Price $44
I've loved this print since it came out last August. In my opinion it's a print better suited for spring than fall so I didn't want to pay full price only to hold onto it for a while before wearing. This top is interesting because its a tshirt with the print on a silk panel. It's a bit casual for my taste but very comfortable and it ran very big. I paired with a cardigan.
Original Price $238 Sale Price $69
This dress is from spring 2013, the further the season the bigger the discount. This is the one item I bought without an intended use. Someone please have a party in April, ok? It's even more beautiful in person. My sister is already trying to borrow it - lucky for her she has some kate spade glitter loafers I'm dying to try.
Original Price $99 Sale Price $29
I actually got this in pink but couldn't get a clear picture. This is my one meh purchase. I got because I have a similar top from target that I love but it only came in black or navy. This is odd because usually I would buy something at a discount retailer bc it reminded me of something at Lilly, not the other way around. I'm meh on it because it runs huge and there's too much fabric in the boob area, this can be covered with a Murfee but annoying. I really want to know how they got it to look right on the model.
Kat Kitten Heels
Original Price $198 Sale Price $89
Lilly shoes are very well made ( so are Kate Spade) so the sale price was great for me. This is embarrassing but quite frankly I weigh too much for cheap shoes, I wear them out easily and they're not supportive. Right now I HAVE to wear expensive shoes. My poor lilly gold wedges look so beat up from excessive wear. You'd be surprised how neutral gold shoes are. Plus these have a low heel, great for someone 5'10 like me.
Bow Tie Earrings
Original Price $38 Sale Price $29
I should have just bought these on cyber Monday when they would have come with the matching bracelet, ring and a shopper tote as GWPs, plus a keychain with $2 gift wrap. Remember this next holiday season, a great way to get a lilly gift set for you lilly loving loved one, or yourself. I wound up with all those GWPs anyway so obviously I wanted the matching earrings, even if the sale price was not that great.
Painted Ornament in Loopy
Original Price $48 Sale Price $24
I love elephants and have a few lilly ornaments. Next year I'd like to do a pink tabletop lilly tree.
All of these items came from corporate Lilly. I had an issue at check out with the email address not accepting so I had to call customer service, they were very helpful and sweet but I lost two items during this time, the madison cardigan and beckett dress in tropez blue. This Beckett was my #1 ranked item so I was super sad to miss. But the bf saw my disappointment and found it on eBay for only $10 more than the lilly sale price, sold!
Original Price $108 Sale Price $49 , eBay price $59
Yay, this completes my beckett collection and I now have all 5. This dress is super comfortable and versatile. It was especially nice in Memphis early fall when it's still super hot but fall styles are "in". I wear with a Murfee, leggings and boots. The bf wants me to wear as a more traditional dress, we'll see.
So this year I don't plan on buying lilly at full price. With a little patience it's not hard to find it discounted. So I set aside some Christmas money for this sale knowing it might be a few months before I get anything new. The lilly sales can be very dramatic - this was the first one in a long time the site didn't crash. Stuff sells very quickly so you have to have a strategy. So here's my advice that you won't see as the official tips on the Lilly blog:
1. Know what you want before the sale. This means making your wish list when each collection comes out. Keep an eye out for a good deals as time moves on, read the online reviews for fit advice and adjust your list as necessary
2. Pre shop.
Leading up to the two big online sales lilly removes this from the main site, but if you google them you can find their pages and listed as final sale, no prices though : ( search for everything on your list and make sure it will be in the sale. When the sale goes live you don't have time to waste looking for things that aren't there
3. Once you have your list, rank it.
I had 3 tiers. Tier 1 things I will buy in the sale if available tier 2 things that I will buy only if the discount is good enough tier 3 things I'm interested in only if a chunk of my tier 1 items are not available and / or tier 2 items are too pricey
4. Have backups. Figure out which signature stores have your top items in your size in inventory. Their sale prices are almost always higher but that's a decision you have to make. For me $10 was not worth the disappointment if the Beckett when it's a style I wear A LOT. However, if I really wanted to I could have gotten that Madison, for $189. I get that it's cashmere but that just didn't seem like a deal to me. For someone else it might have been (it was, because my size is no longer in stock at that store)
5. This is not the time for event specific must have items.
Ugh, I find it really annoying when girls are DISO ( desperately in search of) a sold out dress for their bridesmaids. Your wedding / engagement party / important event is worth full price if you have your heart set on a specific style. Be flexible or pony up.
6. Expect the unexpected.
The site may crash, it's impossible to get everything you want, some items may be canceled. As the lilly people say, shift happens. Remember that lilly is a business out to make money, the sales clear inventory for the next season so if what you want doesn't make it to you sorry, they had it available for months at full price if it was that important.
7. Keep calm and shop on.
Going off tip 6, you would not believe the hateful things people post on the lilly Facebook page during the sale. Yes, it was sad to miss an item or when one was canceled last year but I was not entitled to those things so not getting them was the luck of the draw. The lilly sale prices aren't THAT great, especially compared to similar items available in the marketplace so even if someone can afford to buy a sweater at sale price they're still paying a lot more than the average sweater buying consumer. If you are buying lilly clothes, sale or not, your life is pretty damn good, don't forget it.
8. Check your credit card statement. Duplicate charges have happened. Stay on that ASAP.
9. Call customer service if there's an error.
This year a plastic tote was accidently listed as a canvas one, lilly acknowledged the error and accepted returns of the plastic ones. Some people also accidently got duplicates. It's also nice to see if someone wants it - at no financial loss to you - on the resell pages, since chances are its sold out. But that's your call.
10. Beware of resellers!
Some people buy tons at the sales and resell on eBay. If you don't mind paying more for a DISO item then go for it. In general I try not to buy from resellers because it only encourages them to go in and gobble up sale items. Just know when you see someone with a lot of brand new lilly items for sale there was probably a better price to be had.
The next big sale will be the warehouse sale in June, but that's in person only. The next online sale is Endless Summer Sale, TBA but usually mid August. Until then, have fun drooling over the next collections - based on sneak peaks I've seen they look GOOD!