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Currently wearing Salt Water sandals in gold. They are true to size (in the ‘big kids’ sizing) and also come in baby/toddler/kid sizing! Gold is my favorite! At some point I also ordered them in red but never wore them so I sold them. I’ve had them for 3 years and they still look pretty new. I’m not sure how inventory is right now, but in prior years, the coveted colors quickly sell out as the weather gets warmer.

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DwellStudio Zebra pillow, babygap floral bear (similar), Gap Kids fur hat (similar for baby)

We went to Gap today with the intent to return, but ended up picking some odds and ends (’tis the season to buy baby presents!). It helps that there is a 50% off almost everything early Black Friday promotion (which a lot of places seem to be doing) and GapCash promotion going on. (This sale ends Sunday night. If you’re not a cardholder, it’s 40% off. You can always wait for next week if you miss it.) I really like teddy bears with no embellishments and babyGap has four styles: floral, plaid, rainbow stripes, and marled. Sadly there are no measurements online (note to Gap, please add measurements!) so I waited for an in-store visit. They are roughly 8 inches high. I also ended up getting this fur hat from the girls’ department. Surprisingly the L/XL size fit.

Old Navy has a 40% off sale online with code BIGDEAL. Some exclusions apply and it also ends today.
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Image source: Piperlime

My friend was IMing me last night on how she can’t stop shopping – the sales, free shipping just lure you in, especially when it’s freezing outside. I have a few things on my non-existent list, but am trying to be good since the Black Friday/Cyber Monday mania is about to unleash itself. I can’t guarantee that those sales will beat whatever sales are going on right now, but if you need a kick to get started on your holiday shopping, or shopping for yourself, here you go:

Ending tonight:

Ending tomorrow Sunday night:

  • 25% off $50+ at Shu Uemura with code SHUVIP. Expires midnight ET. I’m a big fan of their brushes, purple powder, and the super natural looking eyebrow pencil.

Ending Thursday:

  • $25 off $200+ at Uniqlo with code GET25. Expires midnight ET. Online only.

Ending Saturday:

P.S. Since my girlfriends and I had an email going on about rugs, I need to mention RugsUSA! I got a striped rug and sheepskin rugs from them a while back (link). The site is not known for having the best service, but I can live with that given the discounts (and credit card protection). The current discount is 60-75% off, but I expect it to creep up to a solid 75% for Cyber Monday. Two thumbs up to the quality. You can google any rug for additional reviews or peruse their Instagram for more inspiration. If you need to make a return, keep the packaging and research printing your own shipping label as it can be much cheaper.

Image source: Brooks Brothers

Previously featured in this not so continuous series.

The last time I ordered the Gap classic leather sandals, the United States Postal Service royally screwed up. Gap just restocked these in all sizes and colors. Just in time for the 40% off sale! I really like the simple, clean lines. I don’t expect them to last forever, but they’re a good buy for the sale price. I’ll consider a visit to the cobbler if they are worth it!

Now through tomorrow, June 17 midnight ET, use THANKS for 40% off at Gap and Banana Republic and 30% off at Old Navy. Code SHOPFAST gets you 25% off at Piperlime through noon PT. If you have yet to sign-up for a brand’s mailing list, typically that code is stackable with the above codes. All sites have some exclusions (boo!).

If you’re into cashback, MrRebates has 5% off for Gap at press time. Since it’s one cart for all of the sites, I typically look up which Gap Inc. brand has the highest cashback and checkout from there. (Tell ’em irenelikes at gmail dot com sent you!) I’m a long time user of eBates, but I’ll take 5% over 2% any day!

Image source: Gap

I love this pintucked trapeze top. Despite the lackluster rating, the price was right (<$15 during a promotion) and there were many positive reviews to balance out the negative. I’ve found that many  negative reviews on apparel websites aren’t due to quality but sizing — most reviewers are too lazy to try on another size before slapping on a low rating.

As an avid Gap shopper, I ordered it in XS, S, PXS, and PS. I am near the petites cutoff and found the petite to be shorter than desired, so I opted to keep the XS and S. For some reason, I liked the white in S and the navy in XS, but the differences are pretty negligible if you can only find one of the sizes. The airy rayon/cotton blend is perfect for sweltering temperatures (I speak from experience) and/or buffets. Pair it with a slim bottom to offset the volume. I might try belting it one day. Since I’m very picky when it comes to prints (fear of print fatigue), I did not try the print version of the top.

Through tomorrow, September 4, you can get 40% off Gap clearance (not to be confused with the rest of the sale items), including this top!

Of course online reviews are helpful, but one must always consider who the reviewers are – typical suburban housewife, city slicker, etc. On Gap.com, you don’t run into the same factors as on Yelp (where I may dig deeper into the reviewer – elite? all negative reviews? comments with no support?) but when someone raves about an Old Navy super casual dress being perfect for a wedding, you think twice.

Over the years, Gap has remained one of my favorite brands. As an American brand, it’s managed to continue to appeal to the fashion forward crowd while appeasing its conservative audience which will always expect to find their classic chinos, jeans, and tees.

Don’t stop churning out trendy items, Gap (and in case you forgot, re-read this post on Gap’s Fall collection)! Another brand with a similar issue is J.Crew. See what CEO Mickey had to say about that.

Read Part I here.

Gap has extended their Friends and Family 30% off sale through Monday. Use code GAPFRIENDS for 30% off and don’t forget eBates! Gap has 2% back and Piperlime has 7% back. I’m experimenting with checking out through Piperlime… 

I always look forward to the Spring collections. It usually means the return of 100% cotton clothing at Old Navy and Gap. I loved Gap’s shirtdresses from last Spring. Sifting through the overabundance of shirtdresses for this season, these are my favorites. All of them come in tall lengths. Pair it with a thin belt, strappy sandals, a straw hat, and a casual purse and you’re ready to go!

Striped pintuck dress ; Gingham tie-waist shirtdress; Embroidered pintuck dress

It’s important to find dresses that are breathable 100% cotton and not viscose or polyester in anticipation of the steamy summer days. I also like these other non-shirtdresses, but I regret to inform that the one on the left is polyester (I swear it used to say cotton!).
Printed short sleeve tunic dress; Gap slub drop waist dress

Image source: Gap

Baggu has gotten so popular since I went to my first sample sale 2+ years ago. I’m still processing what I got at the last sale after standing 1+ hour in the cold ill-dressed, so let’s talk about custom Baggu bags. More forthcoming than most brands, Baggu has a special tumblr, just for their collabs!

These are my fave. See the rest here.

(Image source: Baggu, West Elm, Gap, MOMA)

(1) Baggu for Gap. Custom duck bags. I think these are in-store only. When I saw them in the store last spring, I thought Gap was ripping off Baggu. I’m glad they weren’t!
(2) I <3 NY. Iconic logo. Perfect as a tourist gift.
(3) Baggu for J.Crew. Their first vertical stripe in candy pink. I wish this designs came in the baby size.
(4) Baggu for West Elm. The duck bag looks like a dirt magnet to me. The latex dipped bottom looks like an ideal situation for the germophobic.
(5) Baggu for J.Crew. Anchor print. So prepster.