The few days after Christmas are my favorite time of the year to go shopping. I feel like the ghost of Christmas is shopping with me as I walk through the mall with the Christmas tree standing strong sans the accompanying holiday music, absence of crowds from patrons already going back to work, and mind-blowing price reductions that you thought would end on the 24th. My mom and I decide to make it an annual affair by going to shopping centers two days after Christmas and moving from store-to-store until we can no longer feel our feet. Previous years have involved traveling to our area’s premium outlets, however, we opted to stay local and go to the infamous South Coast Plaza. The center wasn’t overly crowded, with the exception of Zara where I waited in line to purchase a sweater for close to an hour. The sales that were offered by the stores were largely underwhelming. I was able to pick up a few things, but didn’t do nearly as much damage as I have in the past. I visited stores like Massimo Dutti, Bloomingdale’s, and Nordstrom, but ultimately found a better selection available online.
Topshop ‘Busy Garden’ Floral Print Wrap Midi Skirt
Topshop @ Nordstrom, $31 (originally $68)
I decided to order this skirt when realizing that my wardrobe lacked floral patterns, let alone a mid-length skirt. I liked how the fabric included two separate patterns as well as a slit up the middle, creating an unconventional look. The skirt is a great addition to all of my modern grunge looks and allows me to put all of my plain shirts to good use. The only con I can drum up for this product is the fact that it isn’t the easiest to put on. When reviewing the stock photos, it looked like you could just slip it on. When taking the garment out of its clear packaging, on the other hand, I realized that it’s fastened by two strings that hang from each side of the skirt and a button. You might be able to slide the skirt up if you have a slimmer figure. My hourglass shape, however, nearly led me to believe that the item didn’t fit at all.
Size: 6 US (fits like 2-4)
Topshop Holly Bluebell Floral Shirt
Topshop @ Nordstrom, $29 (originally $58)
Let me just start off by saying that I LOVE this top. This is another floral addition I ordered that has done wonders for my wardrobe. I’ve worn it once, so far, on a warm Saturday with a pair of dark jeans and heels for my mother’s birthday lunch. The fabric is lightweight and compliments the shape of my body perfectly. I also like how the mood is different than the skirt despite also being floral. I get a business-casual feel from this piece, contrasting to the modern grunge spirit of the midi skirt. I haven’t decided yet on its place in my wardrobe because the garment is so well-versed.
Size: 4 US (fits like 0-2)
Gap Funnel Neck Pullover Sweater
Gap, $24 (originally $49)
I wasn’t too sure about this sweater once I got home and saw the fabric in the natural light of my bedroom. The sweater seemed to comply with “athleisure”: a style that I was trying to leave in 2016. This sweater, along with the knitwear from Zara, was going to be added to the collection of things that I would attempt to return to stores. When wearing the piece to a training for my job, however, I realized how much I could dress it up. Don’t get me wrong, this sweater is by all means a wear-everywhere hoodie. I find that because its lines and fit, it could go with any dressy bottom to make your workwear look street-style chic (Kendall Jenner, anyone?). I would pair the hoodie with any pair of leggings, pants, or skirt.
H&M Long Cardigan
H&M, $10 (originally $19)
I think that this cardigan was definitely the best bargain out of all of the items that I picked up during the Christmas sale. It is nearly impossible to find a quality cardigan that is sold at a reasonable price. I refuse to pay $50 for a sweater that’s going to stretch after the first wash (or better yet, when I place it on a hanger). After browsing through most of the inexpensive store and coming up with nothing, I found the rack of long cardigans that were stupidly marked down. The cardigan does stretch slightly when I hang it up, though, that fault is easily dismissed when remembering how warm it is.
Zara Sweater with Side Slits
Zara, $15 (originally $19)
This is another item that was almost placed in my trunk to be taken back to the mall. After only somewhat liking the top when I tried it on, I found more things that I disliked about the sweater than what were appealing. The sweater is so sheer that I can’t get by without wearing a tank top underneath. After much convincing from my mother, however, I realized that the top wasn’t completely horrible. I ended up wearing it on my first day of work for the semester and totally fell in love with it. It’s surprisingly warm and lightweight, making it a staple for a winter closet.
(This item has since been marked down from the date that I purchased it. Check Zara for more information.)
Yves Saint Laurent ‘Mon Paris’ & Versace ‘Bright Crystal’
These fragrances weren’t on sale but I figured I would pick them up while I was in close proximity to Bloomingdale’s (my nearest location is approx. 20 minutes away). I had been meaning to buy both of these perfumes for months but was unable to because of their constant backorder status at Nordstrom. I remember initially smelling Mon Paris in the November issue of Vogue and resisting the urge to rub the page that featured the fragrance on my chest. Bright Crystal was gifted to me as a sample when I spent way too much money at Nordstrom (story for another time). I was instantly addicted to its floral scent that wasn’t overbearing. Mon Paris opts for a sultry floral that’s perfect for nights out. Floral is my favorite scent for a fragrance, which is why I think that I was so drawn to the YSL and Versace fragrances.
The only item that I will be taking back is a down jacket that I ordered from Nordstrom Rack/Hautelook. I always wanted a puffy jacket, but didn’t agree with the price that most were sold at. When I saw that the Joe Fresh jacket was on sale for $27, I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the down jacket family. I soon came to the realization that the comfy jacket was more of a suffocating mechanism that was impossible to function in. Don’t get me wrong, it was comfortable; just immensely impractical.
I think that this shopping trip was successful, for the most part. My goal was to spend no more than $100. Although I went a bit over, the total was still reasonably close to my original budget. I think that anytime you go to the mall and spend less than $200 is a major win.