If you want to go back even further, check out my amazing 2015 roundup here.
It's so easy to focus on what went wrong but I'm gonna take a moment to consider what went right.
- My social media channels finally really started to grow. It's a lot of work but it's paying off!
- I partnered with several really great companies - mostly for free stuff but still, it's a start. Got a couple watches, and lots of clothing and beauty products. Life is good.
- Justice found my daughter Ella through me and signed her on to be a Girls With Heart brand ambassador.
- Ava was selected as a Nina Kids shoe fit model and we've scored some amazing shoes from them.
And now, let's have a look at all my pretties of 2016. Most of them are going to be recent finds as sample sale season is always at its best at year's end.
1. Jimmy Choo sample sales are always epic and this last one did not disappoint. Anywhere you can find blinged out $2,000+ shoes for $100, has to go to the top of my list. Feel free to drool over my Kallai swarovski sandals, retail $1,595, Swarovski Whistler heels that retailed for $2,450, and my python Charlize clutch - all for $100 each!! Don't forget my $50 damaged Zoe hobo turned DIY project that I successfully dyed black - see tutorial here.
I scored some amazing Paul Andrew shoes at the sample sale this year as well but it can't officially make my list as I haven't worn a single pair yet. Maybe for Fashion Week...
2. My $1,420 Teri Jon floral lace gown is hands down the most beautiful piece of clothing I've acquired this year. After hunting for something (for what feels like forever) and to finally get it - is just so gratifying. Read more about my dress here.
My honorable mention dress will have to be my $149 H&M Collection kaftan that I found on the sale rack for $30. Seriously worth every penny. I LIVED in it all summer.
3. Chanel at a discount like this almost of unheard of these days, so to find flats for $175 is pretty insane. At this point I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Nordstrom Rack. They got rid of their app which allowed you to scan for penny items (now it's just a guessing game) and less designer items have been showing up at my store. Not sure if they're just not making it out of the backroom or they are spread too thin between even more stores. And their pricing for designer transfers and refub items has gone up which is equally disappointing. That said, I did get these flats for a steal.
I still haven't shared a Marc Jacobs collection bag that I found for a penny. I have it scheduled in an upcoming look :)
Honorable Rack mention is this Elizabeth and James $965 Iris oversized Mongolian lamb fur collared coat that was just under $60 at Clear the Rack.
4. Charlotte Olympia flats for $100 at her sample sale. Need I say more? I dream of finding kitty flats at this price one day.
5. I only teased one of these on Insta recently but here's a look at my new $99 Alice and Olivia Fawn fur coats from the sample rack. the purple was the first thing I grabbed and the black and white is a little skunky but I like the 70s vibe. Did I mention these retail for $1,395 each?
6. I've had my eye on some Alexander Wang bags for a while but I thought they were too heavy and the price was never quite right. This round their sample sale had some great deals including my $950 Diego bucket bag for $150 and the $650 mini Rockie was $175 (I think). The Diego isn't the lightest but it's not too bad. The mini is actually super light and in-line to be styled. Did I mention I got one in red too?
7. This is gonna be a tie between the Marc Jacobs sample sale and the Vera Wang sample sale. Both really good sales with fun, wearable pieces - and mostly 90% off :)
8. I really love my Betsey Johnson velvet booties - seen here and here. I literally dreamed of these shoes before I found them. When Macy's Backstage sent me a giftcard to shop I hoped to find a chunky bootie - a fun trend piece. When I spotted them putting these out I knew I found the one. And they're so insanely comfortable. They retail for $100 but were priced $50. My goal for 2017 is to find an equally amazing bootie like this - but with a lower heel so I can live in them.
9. You know Rebecca Minkoff has to make my list one way or another. No real standout piece this year but LOTS of good ones. I love my new guitar straps from the last sale, but my best bag was probably from last sale, earlier in the year. This $75 fringed Regan from the sample table is oh so beautiful. I did pick up some amazing shoe samples this time for $40 a pop thou.
As long as we're talking about Rebeccas I should give an honorable mention to Rebecca Taylor. With $10 damages at one sale and $10 shoes at the other...she was very good to me this year.
10. I know it's not a find per se - but byChloe had to make it onto this list. Since discovering it I've probably eaten there a dozen times easy. It's delicious, colorful, Kosher vegan food. Don't get me wrong, I eat meat. But I love good food for good prices. This is just that. And it looks pretty.
Linking up as many of these pieces as I could find - and some of them on sale!
As I move away from straight sample sale reports and haul posts, I'm gonna to continue to share my scores integrated into looks that I put together. That's not to say I won't still blog about them, but I want to start doing more video (be it Facebook or Instagram live or YouTube) to document those experiences. My intention was always for LeHoarder to be my fashion journal where I share my style and deals - which is why I disclose what I pay for each item. I can't see myself doing straight style posts because that's not who I am either. For me it's the thrill of the hunt and sharing the find.
I think it's easy for the tall skinny young girls who are gifted designer pieces to look effortlessly chic. Maybe I should say easier LOL. Not everyone has style. To me, fashion is expressing yourself creatively and uniquely. Pretty clothing is just that, pretty clothing, not necessarily fashion or style. My challenge has always been hunting down a crazy deal and putting it together with pieces already in my wardrobe. That and dressing for my shape. I've packed on 30 lbs. this year - the same 30 lbs. that I worked so hard to lose 3 years ago. Like a lot of women I struggle with my weight and eating habits. Add being over 40 and having a few kids - your metabolism changes. Your body changes. I'm not 20 and size 2 anymore. But I honestly believe you can look amazing no matter what number comes up on the scale. And that's what I'm trying to share.
When I first put on a significant amount of weight at 35 with my third pregnancy I didn't know what to wear. I wore shapeless mommy dresses and totally lost my joy. I wore Uggs or Crocs and none of my designer shoes fit anymore - even my feet got bigger. As my kids grew up and I woke up from my baby fugue I started to remember who I was and what I was missing. I had to re-learn how to dress for my new shape and make some changes. I lost a bunch of weight, but more importantly found myself again. The funny thing is I didn't appreciate it. At the time I still felt heavy. Right now I look back to even last year and wish I looked like that again.
This year has been an extremely stressful year due to some family issues that I'd rather not rehash. Conflict is hard. My parents leaving the country and leaving me and some of my siblings to pack up our family home of over 30 years was a trip too. When I get stressed I get migraines and compulsively overeat. It's not an excuse, it's just how I deal. I've decided to try to move forward and take control once again. I used to feel like I could only really express myself when I was a smaller size - when I was bigger it was all about strategic hiding. To some degree it still is, but I'm going to try to forgive myself and just be me - no matter my size.
My wish for 2017 is to be brave. That's the one thing I look back and wish I could change in my youth. I'd get so close and then give up because I was afraid or thought I wasn't good enough. And sometimes I just didn't even try. Age gives you some perspective. I wish I had more confidence then. While it's hard to be in what feels like a young girls game, I know that I can't beat myself up for not trying sooner. At least I'm doing it now. It sometimes feels like an uphill battle but I'm not giving up this time.
BTW, congrats to Brigitte B. on winning my Rebecca Minkoff Cleo glitter wallet giveaway. Good news - I'm giving a second away on my Insta right now! Initially I was going to end it Friday but I'm going to extend it for a few days :)
I planned on adding in my favorite looks of 2016 to my I'll have to save that for another day.
On the sale front it's time to start checking department stores for second cuts and TJ Maxx and Marshalls yellow stickers should be right around the bend! I went this morning because last year the first Thursday of the month was the big day but this morning I found them red stickering. Meaning yellow stickers could be a couple weeks off.
Speaking of yellow stickers I would be remiss in mentioning my $99 Valentino Rockrunner sneakers (RV $745) from the last sale. That was my first viral picture with over 2,000 likes. Okay - we knew this was gonna be more than a top 10 anyway LOL.
I'm a little over the Century 21 sale because now that it's 90% off retail instead of 90% off Century's already discounted prices - I'm probably gonna pass again. It's just not worth it when the goods are so badly manhandled. I can find those prices elsewhere - and with pieces in better condition.
There are a few sample sales coming up but the one I would recommend for next week is the Rachel Zoe blowout sale. Last time I scored my $1,395 studded leather jacket for $109! With prices of up to 95% off, this sale is worth checking out.
1/10-11, 11-7 daily
261 West 36 Street (7-8 Avenues), 2 Fl
Good luck and happy shopping! If I'm feeling better I'll be sure to come out and play!