LINCOLN SQUARE — Target's Lilly Pulitzer collection goes on sale Sunday — here's how to nab the preppy floral print shift dress of your dreams.
Below you'll find tips from shopping pros and, as a veteran of the Jason Wu War, I have my own combat stories to share.
Patty Wetli explains why this sale is a big deal:
To score your very own Pulitzer prize, be it a headband or set of porcelain plates, here's what you should do before Sunday. (I'll get to game-day strategy below.)
1. Commit the look book to memory: There are 250 items for sale in this collection, including clothing, accessories, barware, home decor, cosmetics and toddler clothes. Prices range from $2 to $150. (Biggest bang for your buck: 24 bobby pins for $5.)
The look book (click here) is your best friend when it comes to separating the can't-live-without from the destined-for-the-discount-bin. Pay particular attention to items that are available online only — hint: all of the plus-sized clothing.
That being said, What We Learned From Wu: Look books, like Internet dating profiles, can be deceiving. The quality of a fabric or heck, even the type of fabric, can be nearly impossible to determine from a website image. Colors could be brighter or duller. It's entirely possible you'll fall out of love upon actual sight.
2. Develop a buddy system: If you're planning on shopping in-store, recruit a gal pal or two for a tag-team effort. Unlike previous designer collections, the Pulitzer products won't be grouped in a single area but instead will be spread throughout the store with like-minded merchandise — i.e., jewelry with jewelry, home goods with home goods.
Share your must-have lists and divide and conquer.
That being said, What We Learned From Wu: Your husband may be your soul mate but, at least in my case, he won't know a romper from a cover-up or a clutch from a tote. You'd be better off pairing up with another random singleton.
3. Sign up for early checkout: If you're planning to shop online, do NOT wait until you're ready to click "purchase" before creating a Target account online. Do it NOW. Pre-save your shipping and payment information in order to expedite transactions. No joke, in the time it takes you to type in your address, the items in your cart could get swiped by someone else.
Okay, now that preliminaries are out of the way, here's how to tackle P-Day.
If you're shopping in-store:
1. Get there early. Allegedly the Lilly Pulitzer collection is on sale through May 31. HAHAHAHAHA!
Stores are holding to their regular hours, but your fellow shoppers won't be. Seriously, if your nearest Target opens at 8 a.m. Sunday, the very cutest items — the stuff you want the most — will have disappeared from the racks and shelves by 8:05 a.m. You don't need to camp out overnight but you do need to be in line, and there will be a line, before the doors open. Like maybe an hour early.
2. Smash and grab. Nice girls finish with empty carts.
Unfortunately, Target promotes what we can only call fashion gluttony by refusing to limit the number of items a person can purchase in-store.
What We Learned From Wu: If your strategy is to cherry-pick only those items you want the most in the size you actually wear, well that's mighty noble of you. Meanwhile, the woman next to you just swept an entire shelf of sandals into her cart, 99 percent of which she plans to sell eBay. You really want that charm bracelet? Be prepared to play dirty.
3. Stalk the fitting room. This is the single biggest lesson We Learned From Wu and the only reason I'm still on speaking terms with Target.
If there's a clothing item you had your heart set on, say a certain navy dress with pleated skirt, and it's nowhere to be found on the rack, head to the fitting room. There's a decent chance someone tried it on and left it in the reject pile. Lilly Pulitzer's heirs will rejoice along with you.
If you're shopping online:
1. Get caffeinated. Target won't specify when items go live online — "Very early" is all they'll say — but several outlets are reporting the bewitching hour will be somewhere between midnight and 2 a.m. Central time.
Super pro tip: Once items are available online, you'll be able to click on the "find item in store" function. Since not every item will be stocked at every store, this could prove a huge advantage for brick-and-mortar shoppers.
2. Pull the trigger. If there's a particular item that you covet above all else and you're lucky enough to click it into your cart, buy it immediately. Especially if it's a shift dress, which are expected to sell out quickly. Repeat: Do not continue casually perusing all 250 items. She who hesitates will wind up with a $2 Pulitzer-print nail file consolation prize.
Note, online shoppers will be limited to five of any one item.
Last but not least: As you step out Monday feeling all Jackie O. in your Lilly Pulitzer dress accessorized with Lilly Pulitzer scarf, Lilly Pulitzer espadrilles and Lilly Pulitzer straw bag, pay no attention to the Old Money Mean Girls who think you've turned their high-class brand into white trash.
Haters gonna hate. Shake it off and know that they paid $180 for their non-Target Lilly.
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