Friday, August 25, 2017

Lilly After Party Sale 2017: Tips, Tricks, & more!

The time has finally come...... it's the best time of the year, yup better then Christmas, it's the Lilly After Party Sale! I'm sure you've seen the 100 other blogposts about the sale, but this one is coming to you unsponsored and with my personal experience and advice for killing the Lilly sale! My last year's post goes into extensive detail as well, and it's still relevant, so be sure to check that post out at the end of this one! So, without further a do, here are my tips to successfully conquer the Lilly After Party Sale! 

Step 1: Set up an account. This is crucial. There is nothing worse then being unprepared (in my mind) and if you don't have an account set up you will be unprepared. So, if you don't have an account create one right now!! Create an account and fill in all of your information including a credit card on file. This makes checking out so much easier, and less stressful. There is nothing worse then stumbling over your credit card and frantically typing in your shipping address. Skip the stress and simply put your items in your cart checkout and go. 

Tip: Keep your credit card that you have on file handy. I believe you still have to put in your security code at checkout. Unless you're a shopaholic like myself and have it memorized you'll want it handy. 

Step 2: Set those alarms. No joke there is a line seconds within you clicking that refresh button. So be ready. If you're trying to get in the moment the sale starts wake up early, have your devices ready, and you'll be golden. I start refreshing my page over and over about 10 min before it's supposed to go live, just in case it starts early. If that isn't working I get ready to refresh right at the "scheduled" time. 

Tip: Use multiple devices! Use your computer, phone, tablet, your mom's computer, do whatever ya gotta do! Obviously if you are just looking for a few casual pieces you don't have to be this intense. But, sometimes if you have multiple devices at once one will load faster then the other. So that does come in handy! 

Step 3: Create a game plan. Before each Lilly sale I usually take inventory of the pieces I already have to decide what I want to purchase. Last year I mainly focused on casual dresses. Some years I focused on skorts and traditional shift dresses. Decide what you really need. Don't just buy to buy. If you do you'll end up with cute pieces, but you may have something similar or you just don't have a need for the items. If you really want to get fancy, look around on Lilly's website beforehand and decide what silhouettes you like or specific style names. For example if you know you like the ______ short, look for that specific style name when your shopping in the sale. 

Tip: Right down how many Lilly items you have on a piece of paper and keep it with you! Then you can remember what you have and what you need. 

Step 4: Be patient. There are thousands of other people doing the exact same thing you are doing. As much as I love to rampage on Twitter about the sale, let's be real there is going to be a line, it's going to take a while to get in. But, it's so worth it. This is your chance to get Lilly goods on major discount, and it only happens twice a year. So, be patient and understand there will be glitches. 

Step 5: YOUR IN!!!!! It's go time girls. This is where your plan comes in, go for the key pieces you're looking for. For example, if you want an Elsa top, a dress, and a pop-over. Start with the Elsa top because those ALWAYS sell the quickest. Then go for the pop-over then a dress. There always seem to be a million dresses to choose from. So, if you're not to picky about the dress style or print that can usually wait till you're about to check out. Just think strategically once you get into the site. It's VERY overwhelming to look at all the items at once. Break up your browsing by categories so you can actually look at the items. The sea of prints all on one page can be very confusing, so double check you are getting prints you really like! 

Tip: This is where your planning comes in, stick with a plan. Or just have a free for all, you do you. But, I'm a planner girl so I always like having a plan :)

Tip: Know your size!! If you are a new Lilly customer read up on reviews and measure yourself so you can pick the best size. Lilly After Party Sale purchases are final sale so once ya buy there is not returns or exchanges. You can always sell items on a swap page, but you'd obviously rather keep your goodies for yourself! So, just know your size in dresses, bottoms, and tops. 

Step 6: Now it's time to checkout. If you know you have items that are popular items in your cart, check out in multiple transactions. It's free shipping so you can have 10 separate orders if you really wanted to. If you will DIE without a certain piece get it in the cart and checkout asap. Then you know you at least got your must-have item. 

Tip: Visit a Lilly store if you can! Sometimes they have items that aren't on the website. Also, you can try on pieces which is always helpful. 

Step 7: Come back for more. This year the sale is THREE WHOLE DAYS. Holy smokes pray for my wallet. In past years they have released new items on each day, so check back each day for more goodies. Obviously the first day is the main event, but clearly Lilly is trying to throw us for a loop with putting the sale so late, so something tells me they will be dropping new products throughout all three days. I like to check in on things through my Lilly app throughout the day. 

Some new things to highlight.... Lilly is doing something new this year by having a pre-shopping event at their stores at 3pm the Sunday before the sale. You bet your bottom I'll be shopping at the Oakbrook location on Sunday! So, if you have the luxury of having a Lilly store I have a feeling it will be worth the visit! Word is that you can even purchase from the pre-sale event so you know I'm down. Also, the fact that the sale is 3 days instead of 2 is something new so I'm interested to see if they bring anything new to the sale in that aspect. 

Now, here are a few of my favorite recent Lilly looks....... 

My graduation look for my convocation is for sure a favorite! It's made from Lilly's traditional shift dress fabric, but has a super cool unique shape and a great tie detail on the back. 

I'm a sucker for Lilly's elephant prints. This is one of four elephant themed dresses I have from them. This is also my favorite style dress from them. Any of their three quarter sleeve cotton dresses are PERFECT for everyday wear. I wear them all the time during the summer. Throw on a jean jacket, Jack Rogers, and some pearl studs and you are good to go. 

I also love more unique pieces from Lilly like this two piece pineapple set and this neoprene scuba style dress. Both of these pieces have great Lilly DNA but with modern young twists. 

Previous After Party Sale posts: 

I am so excited to shop this years sale! The anticipation has been killing me (I see your marketing strategy Lilly, I see it), so I am so excited to get shopping. What pieces are you hoping to pick up? I'm looking for tops and maybe some fun unique pieces. 
Let me know in the comments! Happy shopping! 

Friday, August 11, 2017

College Diaries: How to survive recruitment, from a sorority alum

It's almost that time of year..... sorority recruitment. That means singing songs, wearing matching outfits, and talking about yourself are back in style. Well, only in college. 

Sorority recruitment, rush, whatever you wish to call it is when women go through the recruitment process to join a sorority. At Iowa State recruitment in the fall is known as Primary Recruitment. But, every school calls it something different, and treats the process differently. As a sorority alum, I'm going to give you my tips and tricks on how to survive sorority recruitment. 

*NOTE: EVERY school is different and treats the recruitment process different. These are my tips and tricks based on my experience alone. Everyone's experience is different and I believe there is a chapter out there for everyone! So, take this with a grain of salt and try and put it into persepctive for your specific school and Greek system. 

  1. Be yourself | Don't be anyone BUT yourself! If you aren't yourself I guarantee you WILL end up in the wrong chapter. Acting like something your not just to get into the "cool" or "popular" house is a big no no. Number one, appearances can be deceiving. Just because it may seem like the cool sorority to be in, doesn't mean it's right for you. Number two, you want to end up in a chapter with girls like you! If you act like someone or something your not you will end up in a chapter like whoever you're acting like. So, do yourself a favor and just be yourself! The right chapter will accept you even if you are a major goofball (I am a major goofball and found a chapter that accepted me so no worries, goofballs unite). 
  2. You don't have to agree with your friends | Luckily when I went through recruitment I only had two good friends who were going through the process as well. But, if your going to the same school with all of your BFFs and you listen to all of the chapters they like it can be overwhelming. My philosophy, that worked out well, was to keep my opinions to myself and to just go with my gut. If you start picking chapters your friends like, just because they like them, you may end up not finding the best chapter for you. Be selfish and think about yourself! Think about what chapters you liked during each round and make your selections based on your opinions, not on what your friends are picking. Trust me, even if you and your friends end up in different chapters you can all still be friends. It's actually really fun to have friends in different chapters! So don't sweat it if you don't 100% agree with your friends and like all the same chapters. 
  3. Act natural | This goes along with being yourself, but act like you would act on any other day. Just because it is recruitment you shouldn't act or talk any differently! 
  4. Don't be nervous! | This leads me to.... don't be nervous! Trust me the girls on the other side are just as nervous if not MORE nervous then you! They are worried about keeping the conversation going, asking good questions, and getting to know you. So, no worries, keep calm and carry on because recruitment should be fun on nerve racking. 

WHAT TO WEAR: Every school has different outfit requirements for each day. But, my overarching advice is to wear what you normally wear. If you want to buy new outfits for recruitment, go for it! I certainly did (no shame). However, don't feel like you need to go buy all new preppy clothes or clothes you've seen girls from your high school wear to sorority parties just to join a sorority. Every girl in every sorority has their own personal style that is unique to them. I wear Lilly Pulitzer all the time, but not every girl in my house did. So, don't stress to much about your outfits! Wear what makes you comfortable! Because if you aren't comfortable in what your wearing, it's gonna be hard to focus on anything else. If you're looking for specific outfit ideas or you have questions please feel free to leave them in the comments below! I also have a post from bag in the day on what I wore to recruitment and my outfit ideas from back then! 

Throughout my college years I've done a TON of sorority recruitment posts. Here are some throwbacks to old posts.... 

What are your tips and tricks for sorority recruitment? Leave them in the comments! 

Friday, August 4, 2017

New York City Snapshots

Welcome to New York! Just kidding, I'm long gone from my trip to New York City with work, but I wanted to take some time to share my trip and some fun things I was able to do while in the city. First things first, I went to New York for a tradeshow for my job as Brand Manager at Barbour. Check out my last post for more details on my new job! So, although I was working for my entire time in the city I was still able to meet up with a good friend from my study abroad, head to the met, shop on 7th Ave and a few other fun things. 

One night I had a good chunk of time off so I headed out on my own to explore. Major tip: Don't be afraid to explore by yourself! Whether your studying abroad or just in a new city and your friends don't want to go or can't go, head off on your own. WARNING: I don't suggest doing this late at night or anything that might be dangerous. But, NYC, in particular, always had people outside. Especially in the areas I was in, which were pretty touristy. So, I never felt unsafe even being out by myself. 

My main adventure I wanted to accomplish was to go to the Met Commes Des Garcon exhibit (a post on that to come), and visit a few major Gossip Girl spots. I hit the Met Steps (naturally), the fountain near the Plaza, Bergdorfs, and the Henri Bendel flagship store. I even found some super nice girls to snap my picture on the met steps (see above). 

The Henri Bendel flagship was on my major to-do list. Luckily, they were having there HUGE summer sale while I was there. I ended up picking up a mini jetsetter bag and two bracelets. I love my large jetsetter bag, but I was hoping to get a smaller one soon. There was a great tan color on sale so I knew I had to snatch it. I even got it monogrammed in the store! 

I also found the Victoria's Secret exhibit on the top floor of there 7th Avenue store. It has a TON of the Victoria's Secret fashion show looks on display. I'm not a big VS fan, but I love there fashion shows. It was amazing to see all of the gem work and garments up close. And man are they sparkly! 

I was able to pick up a few fun things to eat along the way. Unfortunately most of my suggestions were for places way far south compared to Midtown (which was where I was staying). I didn't feel like taking the treck all the way down there for just a short dinner. So I opted to find places closer to where I was instead. But, I got to go to Milk, which I knew is a very popular dessert place in the city. I also got to treat myself to my favorite cupcakes from Baked by Melissa. Not to forget, while we were driving to a work dinner we saw the premiere red carpet for Dunkirk! No Harry Style's sightings sadly, but it was still cool! 

My hotel was super close to Radio City Music Hall along with Rockefeller center. I took a visit there to stop at the J. Crew and have dinner. 


That was a quick re-cap of my visit to NYC! I was so happy to have been able to not only have some time to explore the city on my own, but also a great week of work while in the city. 
What are your favorite spots in NYC? Let me know in the comments below!