Thanksgiving is here! And then comes tomorrow — the Black Friday craziness. As much as I love shopping, finding great deals, etc., the madness of Black Friday can feel all too overwhelming. Yes, even for someone who shops for a living! One strategy I use when my clients ask me for Black Friday recommendations is this: buy what you need. When I say “need” I don’t necessarily mean clothing, shoes or accessories that are utilitarian like snow boots  or a rain jacket. That’s a different list. When I say a Black Friday need, I  mean those pieces that will be worth their weight in gold in terms of:

– Cost-per-wear, like work wear staples that stay in your closet for years to come.

– The pop-and-polish factor. Think the great purse that elevates any outfit you wear.

– The joy they bring. For example, those sparkly party pumps that just make you smile when you wear them on date night.

These are not impulse buys. They are things you may have been waiting to go on sale because you know you would be investing a little more.

1. The Bag

A great everyday bag can finish a look, add color, texture and interest, and even elevate the simplest outfit. Even though the handbag and accessories industry is the fastest growing in the luxury goods market, I find our clients still balk at the high price of handbags. It’s often tough for most people to stomach hundreds and hundreds of dollars — or more — in a bag.  So Black Friday sales are a great time to go bag hunting.

The specifics

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Whenever I carry my Foley & Corinna mid-city tote, people stop me and ask where I got my purse. I am all about investing in a good purse — particularly a good everyday tote. It doesn’t have to be crazy expensive, but I do think a little more spent on a handbag can make a difference in your overall professional look.  This one is a go-to in my book. When it is full size,  it fits my laptop. It also folds over into an oversize clutch. I have used it in two fashion shows as last-minute props — it’s that good.

And now it’s on sale — along with a slew of other fabulous clutches, shoulder bags and more.

3. The Statement Shoe

I usually wait to buy going-out shoes. They aren’t shoes I wear everyday so I am always reluctant to spend an arm and a leg on them. But  we all need those special pieces that when we put them on we feel — bam! I know when I have a fancy night out, they will add the wattage I need.

The specifics

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Rebecca Minkoff Raz Heel. Just the right amount of sexy, rocker chic that I can do with jeans, a simple LBD or black cigarette pants and turtleneck. If you are shopping locallyThe Shoe Hive in Old Town Alexandria, Va. is offering up to 30 percent off for Black Friday. That means 30 percent off  these Derek Lam beauts!

 4. The Suit

Suits are usually a a tough, expensive wardrobe pill to swallow for my male clients.  In today’s work environment, the suit is not as much of a mainstay as it used to be. Some clients need them more (attorneys for court, consultants presenting to clients, heads of nonprofits for events, etc.) and some  less (graphic designer, real estate agents, etc.). However, I am still a proponent for a good suit — you will always need them for weddings and funerals and job interviews.  We all  know we should invest a bit more on fabric and fit, but it’s tough to make peace with plunking down that much for something that you don’t necessarily wear all the time. For ladies — having a go-to outfit for a job interview is essential.

The specifics

Check out Brooks Brothers, NordstromTed Baker and Hugo Boss for great deals on men’s and women’s suits this weekend. Locally, ladies can check out Betsy Fisher. The boutique will be offering 30 percent off for Black Friday while celebrating 26 years dressing power women in the Nation’s Capitol.

good wife

5. The Coat

Coats can be expensive — particularly nice, dressier ones. So when they go on sale…if you find one that fits well and feels like an elevated classic (has the simplicity that gives it staying power in your closet, but also the modern tailoring and lux appeal that make it feel special), buy it.

The specifics

Nordstrom’s Black Friday sale, again, is hard to beat with its selection and deep discounts.

Personally, though, I have had my eye on A Piece Apart’s Esta Double Breasted Coat in a gorgeous mint. And starting tonight, it will be 30 percent off!



So that’s my roundup for Black Friday. Good luck out there and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!