Clearance Clothing Haul - June 2013 | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

19 June, 2013 Clearance Clothing Haul - June 2013

Today I'll be talking a bit about my most recent online clothing purchases, but first help me out and imagine this scenario to get into the right frame of mind:

You're living in a quiet north side neighborhood in Chicago. All of a sudden it's a sweaty-as-balls summer and you realize that most of your warm weather clothing doesn't fit or is worn out or just generally making you feel like you look worn out. You don't have a huge budget to spend on new clothes and accessories, but thankfully there's a rather sizeable Target store nearby - a reliable choice for budget clothing, since their basic stuff is pretty cute and affordable, and you can often find a fun piece or two in your size on the clearance rack. After a couple hours of leisurely browsing in a nice-n-roomy air conditioned store, you walk away with some new duds feeling like a million bucks, even though you probably spent less than $100. Sounds pretty good, right?

Flash-forward a few years. Imagine you're now living in Brooklyn, which has nearly as many residents as Chicago but crammed into half the space, all of whom are vying for the same deals in a store that's also half the size as your old Chicago haunt. It's another sweaty-as-balls summer, so you decide to check out your new local Target for some deals, only to discover... well... you're sorry you even bothered to leave the house. I think this user photo on Yelp says it all.

Now, that's not to say that it's impossible to find anything good there, but the extreme crowds certainly make it a more challenging (and stressful) experience. Rather than gear up to fight the crowds or fall into a pit of new clothingless despair, I decided to check out Target's website instead to see if there were any amazing deals to be found.

Good news... there are! They routinely offer discounts on their regular apparel, plus they even have a dedicated clearance section. If you're anything like me, you go to whatever section is appropriate for your needs (women's, juniors', clearance etc.) and immediately filter the prices by low to high to see what comes up. You also have the ability to filter by size/style/color/etc on the Target website, which makes it even easier to hunt for deals that you can actually use. I went through and added everything that looked good to my cart, realized that I didn't need twelve new pairs of shoes, and edited my selections to a far more reasonable list, pictured here:

Just to summarize, that's three new dresses, two pairs of shoes, a cardigan, a belt, and a handbag for a total of $88.37 shipped. Not too shabby! But how did the stuff look in person?

Well, first off, I still haven't received the racerback dress. They *did* send me an email letting me know it  was back-ordered until July, and asked if I'd rather approve the later delivery date or cancel. I'm glad they bother to send e-mails like that, because clothing limbo isn't a good place to be. I approved it for the later date, so hopefully it does show up by then and looks nice! Everything else arrived intact and in good time. Overall I'm pleased with my purchases. Here are some more pics, along with my thoughts:

Odell ballet flats in black - originally $14.99, marked down to $10.48.

A simple, classic ballet flat with a nice shimmer. These have a bit of tread on the bottom, but aren't exactly superb in the arch support department, so I'll probably stick some insoles in them. They're very lightweight and don't pinch or anything like that, so I think they'll be great for everyday wear or casual walks around the neighborhood. They're not ultra-sturdy, so I probably wouldn't wear them for heavy-duty walking (but why would anybody go hiking in ballet flats?) These could definitely work in an office environment too. I ordered them in a 9 and found them to be true to size.

Kasey boots in cognac - originally $29.99, marked down to $14.98.

Super-cute slouchy faux leather boots with flair! I also got these in a 9, and found them to be a bit tighter than the flats (especially in the toe area), but I'd say they still fit me comfortably. If you plan on wearing these with thick socks I'd order a size up, and I'm not sure these would be very comfortable for somebody with wide feet, but for my medium-width feet they're OK. Somehow the tassels don't look as nice as the photo on the website, but I still like 'em.

Merona skinny belt in pink - originally $12.99, marked down to $4.54.

I got this skinny belt with the intention of wearing it around my "woman waist" (AKA natural waist) and the large was a perfect fit for my 33" waist. This particular "pink" was more of a purplish color than a true pink, but that's how it looked on the website so that's what I was expecting. Just a tip about shopping for belts on the Target website... I couldn't find a belt size chart anywhere, and it seems like some of the different styles have different lengths so a single size chart is probably pointless anyway. But if you're wondering how long a particular belt is, just select a size from the drop-down menu on the product page and check under "item details" lower on the page - it should list the length there. If you choose a different size, that area will update with the new length. That's how I was able to figure out the correct size to buy!

Xhilaration short-sleeve fit & flare dress in black -
originally $24.99,marked down to $14.98. Pictured
with my new skinny belt!

Ugh, this is a terrible photo. Sorry about that. I really like the dress though... the material is thicker than some of the cheap jersey dresses you often find at discount stores, and depending on how you accessorize I think this could work in an office or casual environment. My only complaint about this garment is that it ran a little big for me. My current measurements are 41"-33"-43", and according to their juniors' size chart the closest size to that is a 15, so I ordered the dress in XL. Unfortunately it's a bit roomy everywhere... the style is open and loose on the bottom, but it still felt "big" around my torso if that makes sense. I will be keeping it though, because I think if I went a size down it wouldn't sit right on my stupidly large chest, so I'll keep it in this size and just belt it. In any case, I'd recommend ordering this based on your bust size as opposed to your waist/hip size, since it is fairly roomy in the lower half.

Xhilaration mesh skater dress in yellow -
originally $24.99, marked down to $8.74.

I also ordered this in an XL based on the size chart, and ran into the same fitting problems as the other dress. I guess they just aren't designed for my body type, lol. I have an American Apparel sash that's approximately the same color as the grey accents on this dress, so I'll probably just belt it with that so it looks a little less loose. One other comment about this dress - this is a rather thin jersey material, and the fabric is a light color, so it's a little bit see-through! Not a big deal for me, as I usually wear bike shorts or leggings under dresses like this, but something to consider if you're thinking of buying one. I actually really like the lightness of the material on this one, because that means I'll be more comfortable this summer. :P

Prabal Gurung for Target colorblock cardigan in Dresden
blue - originally $32.99, marked down to $11.54.

I love, love LOVE the colors on this one. I ordered an XL even though I usually wear a L in women's sizes because I wanted something oversized, and this fits the bill nicely. It's long, soft, and really lightweight, which makes it really great for summer. I think I might wear it with my new yellow dress because I love pairing heinously bright colors together.

And last but not least...

Mossimo Jesmyn tote in green - originally $24.99,
marked down to $12.24.

More Jesmyn goodness.

This tote was definitely my favorite piece out of the whole haul. The big strap is adjustable, meaning that I can wear it over my shoulder or cross-body. Yay! My crappy photos don't really do it justice but it's a really nice and deep shade of green, and it's ENORMOUS. I got it to use as a carryall "personal item" on flights and it's the perfect size for that - much bigger than your average purse, but not too huge to fit under the seat. It also has some inner pockets, so one could use this as an everyday purse if they had a ton of crap to haul around. It seems as if this is already sold out on the website, but if they bring this stye back I highly recommend it. From the color I'm guessing this was originally a fall item, so maybe if you're lucky they'll bring it back next fall in some new colors? Even if not, there are some other really cute tote-type purses on Target's website, so it's worth checking out their accessories section in addition to the clothing.

So, was my clearance shopping experience better than pawing through scraps at my local Brooklyn store? Let's consider some of the important factors:

Shipping speed: Obviously ordering stuff off the internet isn't going to be as quick as walking into a shop and getting something right then and there, but it wasn't too bad. I ordered my stuff with "standard" shipping (free on $50+ orders) on June 10th and received all of my items (other than the back-ordered dress) on June 14th. Not too bad at all. Part of my order was sent via UPS Ground and part of it was sent through UPS SurePost (meaning the final delivery is made by the USPS), if that sort of thing interests you.

Selection: Not everything I liked on the site was available in my size, but as you can see I found several things. This is good in comparison to the clearance rack at my local store, which is usually picked so clean that I'd be lucky to even find a pair of neon orange hotpants in my size. Another advantage to shopping from home is that I don't have weird strangers lurking behind me, waiting for the second that I put the garment I'm looking at back on the rack so they can grab it (yes, that really happens and it's weird). YMMV depending on where you shop, of course. Also, did you know that some of the offerings on are not available in-store? All the more incentive to shop online - variety is a good thing, especially when many of your fellow Brooklynites are shopping at the same Target. Running into a stranger on the subway who is wearing the same dress as you is a little strange.

Value: I was very satisfied with the prices I paid for the stuff I got - the clearance deals were as good (if not better) than anything I could have found rummaging through the sale piles in-store.

Convenience: What could be more convenient than shopping at home in your underpants (or the neon orange hotpants you reluctantly purchased on your last in-person visit to Target)? I didn't have to return anything, but their return policy seems pretty flexible if you end up getting something that doesn't fit - you can either bring the stuff back to any Target store, or ship it back if you're willing to have them take the return postage out of your refund.

So yeah, overall my experience was a good one, and I'll definitely be checking out Target's online clearance section in the future. They also have sales on more current styles from time to time, so it's worth a peek even if you're not a clearance fiend like me.

This blog is relatively new, but if I do have any readers out there tell me: Have you scored any awesome clearance deals from Target lately?

No comments:

Post a Comment