I had only planned to take my foundation back to exchange it for the correct shade. (After all, later on that night I had to attend Columbus' new monthly event called “Fashion & Fame” at Shadowbox Live and I hadn’t had any rest since 4am.) So the plan was to hit the M.A.C counter and promptly leave.
Ha! You know it never works out like we plan.
A voice in in the back of my head demanded, “Go to H&M and look around. You might find a dress on sale to wear tonight.” So I did.
Initially, nothing was really tickling my fancy. I saw one jacket with chains on the shoulders that was really cool -- but it was also full price, so it went back on the rack fairly quickly. Then I started to make my way to the back where the sale items live. And to my surprise, there were two round racks in the middle with a sign above them that read, “50% off.” BINGO, I had action!
As I begin to survey the racks, I saw the tags with stickers on them that read $20, $15, and $7. I thought to myself, “Hmm these aren’t bad at all.”
Then I looked back up at the sign on the top of the rack. “50% off MARKED DOWN prices.” Whaaat?
I asked the sales lady (just to make sure before I got myself all worked up for nothing), “does this sign mean the prices are ALREADY marked 50% off?” She looked at me, smiled like an angel and said, “oh no, it means 50% off THAT price on the sticker on the tag. So if it says, $7.00, it will be $3.50 at the register.”
I swear I went deaf and blind for a minute! I composed myself, looked back at the tags, and said, “So wayment (that's surprised talk for "wait a minute"). You mean to tell me that all of these dresses are only $3.50?”
She politely reiterated, “Yes ma’am, that’s right.” I immediately started scrolling through everything on the rack like I was a contestant on that old show “Supermarket Sweep,” except this was a new show called “H&M Winter Clearance Sweep,” starring ME, and I had to liberate everything great off that rack!
I swept up all the dresses and every blazer in my size and sashayed merrily to the dressing room, both arms laden with clothes. The dressing room attendant looked at me and, seeing I was obviously ready to shop, uttered a statement that was music to my little ears: “You know we have more clearance items in the back of the store, right?”
My outer voice said, "Oh, great! Thank you!" But my inner voice said, "You’ve got to be sh*ttin' me! You mean to tell me there are more $3.50 dresses back there, too? Have I died and gone to retail heaven?!"
I couldn’t believe that all of this could be happening to me. On this day. At this moment. When I had money to spend!
So of course, I stuffed all the items I grabbed from the first two racks into the oversized H&M mesh shopping bag I picked up in the dressing room and made my way to the back of the store. Low and behold, I found pants, shirts, sweaters, skirts, more blazers, jackets, and more dresses. Pants for $7.50, skirts for $2.50, sweaters for $5.00, the list goes on and the prices continue to drop.
Okay, so at this point I am literally HIGH: My heart is pounding, my pupils are dilated, my hands are shaking, my anxiety is through the roof, and I am floating through the store in a euphoric trance. I can’t hear anything (except for the voices in my head tallying up my total, $2.50+ $7.50+ $10.00+….) and I don’t see anyone else in the store (except for the people who get in my way -- you know the ones who obviously have a death wish). It’s just me, the sale racks, marked down tags, the 50% off signs, and the clothes... Yes people, my name is Simon'e and I am addicted to retail, sales, and all things fashion.
I tried things on, made my selections, and took them to the register. As I slung my oversized shopping bag full of goodies onto the counter, I confessed, “yeah, sh*t just got real. Please don’t judge me.” My high was lingering but it was wearing off.
Until the cashier said my total in so lovely a voice, it must have been given to her by sweet baby Jesus himself!! “That will be $94.16.”
I felt the adrenaline rush back through my entire body. It was a retail orgasm! (And we all know how hard those are to come by -- amIright, ladies?) Proudly, with a smile from here to the runways of Paris, I swiped my card. I took my receipt and slung my huge bag of Winter Clearance greatness over my shoulder as I floated out of the store looking like Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.
After it was all said and done, I walked away with 15 items:
- 6 pairs of pants
- 4 dresses
- 1 sweater
- 2 jackets
- 2 skirts
Here the beauties are:
The moral of this story is: SHOP OFF-SEASON AND SAVE MONEY!
If you have the patience to wait to purchase items between seasons -- at the end of one season, beginning of the next -- you can really get the most for your money. I know what you’re thinking... “Simon'e, I don’t have time to wait until the end of spring to purchase spring clothes. I need them now!” And you’re absolutely right but if that top is marked $39.50 and it will cost you only $3.50 in a couple of months, isn’t that worth the wait? And the best thing about it is that I just got clothes on winter clearance and it is still winter! I can wear them now and even transition some of them into the upcoming seasons.
With that being said:
Happy clearance hunting and may the fashion force be with you!
Here's me with my flushed-cheek, starry-eyed new clothes glow:
And here's the cool fashion event where I wore my new look:
Written by Simon’e Lightfoot