Is That Sale Really a Bargain?

It was during this past Christmas shopping season when I spotted her.  I left the office and headed to the mall to pick up a few gifts.  I was lucky.  I had extra cash in my Longchamp bag because I was gifted with a fine and dandy Christmas bonus.

The bonus afforded me the pleasure of giving to others without being stressed out over credit card charges.


You KNOW I’m a giver. I couldn’t wait to hit the sales!

As I walked in the direction of my favorite store, J. Crew, I saw a sign with bright red lettering. So festive for the Holidays.  The sign read 50% Off!



You had me at “Sale”!

And as I made my way into the store, with every intention of buying for others, I saw her. She was on a hanger.  A foot away from me.  In her plaid, quilted glory.  The J. Crew Stewart Plaid Lady Jacket.  I walked over.   Breaking into a cold sweat from the overwhelming flush I get every time I see the color “plaid”!  I touched her.  Lightweight. Not wool, this minx of a Lady Jacket, but a natural 100% polyester of the best blend!  The lining—a deep forest green that made the perfect companion to the same green that was blended into the plaid.  I tried her on.  The 8 fit perfectly.  It was a fit that lent itself more to the snug side rather than the loose.  She was a charmer and I looked so “fetch”!!


The Mother of all Lady Jackets. I immediately fell in love–with the jacket!  Look at that plaid. Look at the detail in the trim. This HAD to be mine!

And then I glanced down at the price.  At $228.00 I was a bit taken aback.  I couldn’t justify spending even half of that price—not when my generosity for others was overflowing.

Instead, I made the purchase of a different Lady Jacket.  A black textured one. The fit was much looser but could be worn with a heavier sweater underneath.  At a price point of $198.00 and a coupon for $20.00 off, the price of 79.00 was a more affordable one.


J. Crew has to start placing models who eat a meal on their site.  She needs to eat at least a peanut or seventy! This jacket looks better on a more filled-out body! Like mine!

A short while later, I was armed with gift cards and my own sale item. The Lady Jacket that I liked. I didn’t love it.  Surprisingly enough, I ended up wearing the second choice quite a bit during Christmas and up to the present.


Bad quality pic but here’s the black Lady Jacket on me.   It’s so chic and Channel-ee. Mr. Karl would even agree that it looks elegant!

 I love blazers. I also love Chanel-inspired jackets.  But here’s the thing. I cannot afford the real deal.  I’m not wealthy. And so, I look for a similar style at a sale price.  That sale price could be a bargain.  And sometimes when I make a purchase of an item on sale, it turns out not to be the great bargain I thought it would be.

Back to the Stewart Plaid Lady Jacket.  A few days after Christmas I received an email from my best friend, J. Crew.  I was instructed to open the email to discover new sale items!  Lo and behold, the Stewart Plaid Lady Jacket was on sale.  The sale price was $159.99.  Oh. It gets better.  The was an additional 50% off that sale price. Final price $79.50.  My fingers never worked faster!

Unfortunately, at that early hour of the morning, 8 AM to be exact, there was a glitch with the J. Crew site and I was unable to order.  I walked into the office sulking.  A few hours later, I decided to try my luck again. The glitch was fixed but the jacket was no longer available in my size.

I was so upset that I went to twitter to the J. Crew’s customer service, @jcrew_help.  It pays to tweet your painful heart out. Didn’t the good folks at @jcrew_help find the jacket in my size.

I made the purchase, I received the jacket and I’m absolutely in love with it and will be wearing it for a long, long time!


I’m so in love with this jacket! Here it is all dressed down for Saturday errands! It’s so perfect!

This sale priced-jacket turned out to be a great bargain for me.  Due to the fact it isn’t wool, and it is lightweight means I get to wear her in the Winter, Spring and Fall.  I’ll allow her to air out during the heat of the summer!


My two Lady Jackets!  The sale purchases ended up being great bargains!  Both will be worn often! Both ARE being worn often!

Sales are great events and if you shop them wisely, you will make great investments. It pays to think out a purchase!  When we travel, oftentimes I’m in Paris during the “Soldes” and don’t think I don’t take advantage of that!


If you plan to travel overseas, you will luck out if you coincide with the “Soldes”.  The prices and bargains are not to be believed!

I have another sale item that turned out to be the bargain of the century.  I’ve written about it before but I’ll revisit.  My Longchamp le Pliage weekender/duffle bag—the best deal ever at Charles de Gaulle airport a couple of years ago.  43 euros.  I’m pretty sure it was marked down that low because of the color. A creamy white.  But I don’t care.  I welcome dirt and filth to adhere to any item of luggage that I have because nobody will make an attempt to steal my shit!  I cannot begin to tell you how many flights, how many weekend trips that trusty bag has been on.


The cream colored bag is the one I got for practically nothing at CDG airport in Paris. I was also lucky enough to be traveling during the sales!  This holds a ton of stuff and I don’t have to check it in!! Best. Bargain. Ever!

It was the deal of the century.

I have a couple of duds too.  J. Crew recently added a Tippi Turtleneck to their line of lightweight sweaters.  The sweater, when new, looks great. The length is wonderful—especially for me who is long waisted.  I loved it so much that purchased three of them at a great sale price.

Then I washed one of the turtlenecks. And it shrunk a bit. In length. I wouldn’t have minded if it shrunk in width—I like a snug fit. But length—unh unh.  Shrinkage of just a half-inch in length is bad for me.  My choices of wearing this shrunken sweater are now limited; making the sale price no bargain. In addition, I’ll have to dry clean the others, making the price per wear higher.


The sale price on these Tippi Turtlenecks turned out not to be a great bargain after all. Can you see how much the black sweater shrunk in length. I was so upset but I learned a lesson!

I have another recent sale item in my possession. Donna of “Grandlakestyle” on Instagram brought this beauty to my attention.  It’s one of those super cozy, toasty, wintery sweaters that is perfect for lounging at home, or a casual day at the office or for running errands.  Total?  $19.99 from the J. Jill site.  It’s adorable.  For the price, this is a sweater that’ll be worn winter after winter and during the Christmas season—and it isn’t ugly!


This sweater is so stinkin’ adorable!  And it is comfy and cozy to boot!


I wore this just hangin’ around the house. It’s so warm too! It was a great deal at $19.99 which included shipping!

My other prized possession of this season is the J. Crew Factory version of the infamous Schoolboy Blazer.  My plaid passion.  It was half off of the sale price of $89.99. The construction is excellent and not shoddy at all.  The fabric is heavy and this is just as good as the original J. Crew Schoolboy Blazer.  It is a great item to have! And was worth every penny of the $45.00 I ended up spending on this!


My little plaid Schoolboy!


I’m a sucker for contrasting detail like this red fabric around the collar.  It makes me love popping it!


Isn’t it adorable?  I love a blazer with jeans because it gives a polished look!

Old Navy has a wicked T Shirt dress that I’ve written and raved about. Damn! It’s on sale for $12.97 now.  I have a Large and even with my weight loss the Large still fits although I notice it is looking a bit looser.  The dress was a huge bargain at $15.00 and I hope this little gem is brought back for next summer’s season.  I have two in black, two in gray and one in blue and trust me, this is a dress that has been and will continue to be worn many, many times over.

Photo on the left. I took my pajama bottoms and sweatshirt off just to show you how this looks. The top is getting a bit loose but even with a substantial weight loss, the L fits very well!  Photo on the right is from earlier in the fall layered with a denim jacket, scarf tights and boots. It’s a versatile three-season dress and you can’t beat the price. I’ve washed these dresses tons of times and no shrinkage. I air dry!

ON t shirt dresses

These dresses have also been traveling with me for two years now.  They pack very well!

Old Navy also made a killer T-shirt that was five bucks.  The length and fit were perfect and when I found out the shirt was discontinued, I hoarded!  It’s still a bargain!

Fitted Tee in the bag

I still have some that haven’t been worn or opened. I LOVE these tees!

I don’t buy clothing at full price. Never. I will stalk an item until it is on a special sale or until it is marked down.

In France, I load up on beauty items and skin care.  All at sale or bargain prices.


My mecca of all things discounted beauty and skincare! On the corner of Rue Bonaparte and Rue du Four. The best corner in Paris!

Many of the items in our home were purchased during sales (with the exception of the overpriced Ethan Allen sofa that I can’t stand looking at).


All of these items were well-thought out and frugal spending choices.  That sofa?  It’s a Cindy Crawford sofa and it has held up better than the Ethan Allen one!  Sometimes the pricier version isn’t always the best!

How’s about you? You go after the sales or not?  How do you shop?  Do you have some great deals you want to share?  I’m nosy and need to know!

WAIT!! Before I end this post!! Last night Jimmy Fallon returned from the Golden Globes to do the first Tonight Show back. HE THANKED MY ROMAN ON-AIR!!  The link is below.  Get past the commercial and watch the first minute of his monologue. He runs up to Roman and hugs him!  I wish I had been there–better yet, it’s good I wasn’t–I would have embarrassed my son!

You like “Sale-ing?”  Because writing this post made me think of the song “Sailing” by Christopher Cross. 1979.  I loved that song!!


About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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23 Responses to Is That Sale Really a Bargain?

  1. Great post! I love your jackets. I’m a big thrift store shopper myself. Not being at my ideal size, I haven’t bought anything lately. I have way too much stuff as it is. For now I will live vicariously through you and your great deals! LOL!

    • Catherine says:

      That’s why thrift shops are so great! They are the perfect shopping place for the times when you are “in-between” sizes! I miss my thrift shopping in New Jersey. The Philadelphia Main Line thrift shops suck. Overpriced Lilly Pulitzer frocks that aren’t bargains. I will gladly let you live vicariously through me and my deals!! XOXOXOXXO!!!

  2. Momcat says:

    I have been lusting after a Longchamps bag for a long time but was thrown off by the price…you see I wanted a leather one and I wanted the Cody which was about 700.00CDN. I was convinced it wasn’t going to happen…ever. On Black Friday I was checking the sales because BF is now a thang in Canada! For some reason I got on the chichi Holt Renfrew web sight and thought to check out the hand bags….low and behold there was Miss Cody, in the sought after( by me) black lamb and dark red suede 50% off!!!!! Ok, ok I’ll admit it was a first world bargain but I plan to have it forever.. I am not rich by any means …but you rarely see the Longchamps leather on sale and I had to act…all to say I won’t be retiring until I’m ninety..
    I know what you mean about duds too. I have two pair of high heeled leather boots that retailed for over 200.00 a pair. Both were on sale at liquidation for 35.00… I grabbed them. They languish at the back of my closet. Oh they fit great and look fab but I have had no occasion to wear them..I’ll give them away.
    BTW you look smashing in that plaid lady jacket…I adore that style!
    On another ( low) note we are all up here shaking our heads over what the hell is going to happen south of the 49th over the next four years. We watched Mr. Obama’s farewell speech last night and the comedy of Mr.T today, truly from the sublime to the ridiculous. i hope somehow it all works out.

    • Catherine says:

      Wiat! Momcat!! Black Friday is big in PARIS!!! In Paris!! I almost shit a brick when I saw Black Friday signs over there!! I also forgot to mention–see that cream Longchamp bag? Well, the tan leather one in front of it–I got it on sale at Nordies Anniversary sale for $257. I LOVE those bags because they look better with age!
      I’m so glad that you are liking my plaid jacket. LOL. One of my girlfriends purchased it after she saw it on my IG!! WE can be twins now!!
      Oh god. I’m working on a not-funny blog post now about the idiot who will be president. I’m sickened…..XOXOXOXO!!!

  3. Susan D says:

    Love your jackets, sadly this style does not suit my figure at all. I wish you well to wear them. Your sales in the US are much better than ours in the UK – half price and then another 50 per cent off – bargain heaven! I also try not to buy anything at full price, but that was so much easier when I worked and was around the shops every day. Internet shopping is not the same for me, I like to see, handle and try first, and if you have to pay for delivery and/or returns the bargain element is not the same.
    I don’t know where your weight is because you always look so tall and slim in your photographs. My diet is going well – 3-1/2 lbs in week one. I don’t expect such a good loss tomorrow when I go for my weigh in, but I’m so encouraged and not miserable, as my Slimming World diet allows you so much free food that I haven’t been at all hungry. Hope you’re back on track with yours.
    Tried to watch the link to the TONIGHT Show, but it wouldn’t work over here.
    Susan D

    • Catherine says:

      Whoa! Susan!!! Your diet is going EXTREMELY well. I’m almost back to my pre-Christmas weight. I meant to write about it in tonight’s post but I’m ready to post one about my being labeled a “liberal” because I didn’t vote for that man. XOXOXOXO!!!

  4. hipchick66 says:

    I love your love of plaid, and your amazing jackets! You even got me intô jackets, and I have a few now. Don’t get much chance to wear them, but someday! That’s so cool about Jimmy and Roman, but it won’t let me view on my ipad, so I’ll try to find another way!
    As for sales, I got a few great puffer vests and jackets from the Old Navy clearance. $12 each!!! Oh and a few tops and sweaters too!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Lori! Oh. Plaid is my favorite color. I’m waiting for another pair of plaid pants to come in the mail that I ordered for half price!! Ohh..try to watch the video on your home computer. I was so excited!!! ANd it was nice for him to be recognized–its the second time Jimmy mentioned Roman!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  5. That black jacket does look Chanel-esque. So glad you bought the plaid one too – they are both forever keepers.

  6. Yvonne Gray says:

    So exciting and cool to see Roman on the telly. You must have fallen off the couch when you were watching the show. I do 99% of my shopping on-line and have found some amazing bargains. My best bargain at the shops here (and Washington is not really a shopping city that I have experienced) is from Nordstrom Rack – even though we failed to qualify for a store card!!! Just before Christmas I found an entire rack of men’s Vince items which must have just come in. Bought my son great shirts, trousers and jumpers at absolute bargain prices. I lost my sunglasses and two days later went looking for them in Nordstrom and nearly every item had gone. I got the feeling I had first bite of the cherry. Also found an unpriced silk Equipment shirt which turned out to be $34 and bought for my daughter.

    I really like all your jackets especially the plaid.I thought you were going to play Rod Stewart Sailing but love Christopher Cross. He was very popular in Aus during late seventies and Peter Allen has a writing credit on Arthurs’s Theme.

    We are off tomorrow to Madrid and Paris. We were very excited to be in the US for Inauguration Week however it does not hold the appeal it did when we arrived. R has a conference so we decided to “get out of town”. I think the French sales start next week!!! Really looking forward to wandering around and visiting the Louvre and Prado (Madrid). I will be going to the Pharmacie on Rue Bonaparte (great part of Paris and we love Rue Jacob) and have been rereading your blog on Paris for inspiration.

    • Catherine says:

      Yvonne! YOU ARE GOING TO BE IN PARIS DURING THE SOLDES!!! OMG! Get over to Sophie Sacs on Rue de Rennes and check out the Nat et Nin bags…and check out the Repetto ballet flats. There is a Repetto shop across from City Pharma! OMG. I wish I was going with you. Take pics!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Is Nordstrom Rack not great?? I bought two pairs of AG Jeans there ( I should have had them in this post) and they were both less than $60.00. NR has the greatest buys!!
      Oh..You have no idea how great it was to watch Roman. It was a total surprise. I didn’t see it till the next day when Oona told me to watch it. I was crazed!!
      Gotta go post my next post!! Oh..stock up on the Caudalie stuff at City Pharma!!!!! XXOXOXO!!!

  7. JulietC says:

    I wish had your abilities for sales and shopping in general – the few times I have attempted the sales in the UK (no real bargains) I either come out with a grey tee shirt (to add to the millions of grey tee shirts I already own in the full gamut of greys, but somehow forget), black brogues or navy knitting yarn…. My wardrobe is full of grey tee shirts, black brogues and I have loads of stuff knitted in navy yarn. The daughter on the other hand is like a silent assassin of the sales rack – she is 5 foot 8 and very, very slim so she gets the sizes no one else can fit and wow is she good at putting things together and finding stuff. Still I am determined to break the grey tee shirt obsession – maybe go a little wild and come home with a navy one – who knows!!!)

    Cant access the video of your boy in Scotland but well done him (particularly on the very clever and very fabulous choice of a mother). You are looking mighty fine in your jackets – it was in the best interests of J.Crew to find you that jacket – who else is going to wear it as well, that jacket needed a fabulous forever home and it got one! Think of it as re-homing a pound puppy type benevolence and therefore you have done a good and gracious deed

  8. Anna says:

    I love your fabulous taste. I used to be quite the sales shopper, but now I am struggling with the balance of buying what I love and not what is kinda sorta right, but on sale.

  9. angela ambrose says:

    So you may think you know who I voted and now you feed into the division of a friendship because of that. I found you picture disturbing ? Did you ever think that I had just had a friend who lost her grandson on the beach like that in Florida recently….not only that Cathy I have some age and wisdom on you and in case no one has informed you, YES we have freedom of speech but big mouths get people in trouble….. And by the way unless you are moving to another country which if I were you I’d start promoting. HE is your President. Oh an another thing I’ve seen your Rants long enough on my feed about how horrible the GOP is and isn’t this what the Gop did to the Liberals..? Making fun bullying prez Obama ? . What a lack of Faith you have along with all the others to not be able to see the forest thru the tress . Your politics along with your possy of People’s what ever you want to call them , supporters , can make you feel better now because you had to unfriend someone who was being unruly on your post. .? Go ahead Miss political GURU. In other words Catherine you can dish it out but you cannot take it. So you right away unfriend me because I flat out told you and your people’s To go away And I would not keep arguing. Like a bunch of Bully’s?? And you people that are looking for trouble and looking for arguments . Better think about where your going to live because your not going to be able to nor are you prepared for what is to come. Should really Listion to reason and get your supplies in order….. Oh an another thing…. Before you Unfriended me you should of maybe private messaged me . Or been a little more diplomatic than what Went down on your posts….and you would know I had a friend who,lost a. Baby recently from drowning on beach. W t f Cathy I mean I know I mean nothing to you.. But I really didn’t think It wasn’t okay to disagree with you and your following..ugh Blessings to you to Angela

    • Juliet says:

      In what way is this related to a blog post on shopping and giving some great sales advice? As for respectful – try following your own advice as you maybe come across as a little angry. Writing a blog and posting it is like inviting someone in to your home – the opinions of the blogger are her right (as indeed are yours – if they are on your blog), this sort of response does not seem appropriate and if you really don’t like the blog you might be better off reading something else

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