Black Friday For Dummies
Issue   |   Wed, 11/16/2011 - 02:45

Thanksgiving is coming up and in terms of shopping, this means one very important day: Black Friday. Traditionally the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday is a time where everyone is out in droves hunting for the best deal. Some people, however, are better than dealing with this shopping madness than others. Infamous for creating long lines and all-night waits in front of stores, Black Friday can either be a great gift or a time to avoid.

For those of you planning to stay at home and enjoy (or lament, in some cases) Thanksgiving leftovers, look forward to a lazy, comfortable day. However, for those planning to brave the crowds, here are a few bits of advice if you’re looking to increase your closet size.

Plan out ahead of time
Plan out how much you want to spend and what you want to spend it on. There is little time and plenty to get during Black Friday, so it’s always a good idea to make a list of what to buy and even where to buy it from to prevent yourself from just wandering. A day like this is one of the best times to stock your closet with some essential items that you usually might be reluctant to purchase. Pieces like a classic leather jacket or that one great bag might be a bit more affordable on this special Friday. Even if they aren’t, Black Friday still remains a great time to stock your closet up with jeans, shirts and jackets at lower prices. Whatever it is you need, write it all out to stay organized.

Check out ads before
The internet is filled with ads for the 2011 Black Friday sales. Just Google “Black Friday 2011” and an endless stream of links will turn up. Still needing that one winter coat to keep you warm as temperatures descend? This might be the perfect time to get a thick down coat at a reduced price with ads you can find online. No matter what it is you’re looking for, a little research can go a long way.

Compare prices
Almost all large department stores have Black Friday sales, and many comparable stores all start lowering prices to keep up with each other. If you’re really searching for the best deal, it’s always best to compare prices. When buying in larger bulks or for higher-priced items, this might be a good idea to help stretch your wallet out.

Get there early
This doesn’t mean you have to get there at midnight or even the day before to wait in outrageous lines. However, many stores have “early bird specials” that end at around noon, but offer even larger discounts. Rather than sleep in, get up earlier in the morning to make it to the stores by eight or nine to have an ample amount of time to browse the shops and all your options for the day. A few extra hours could make all the difference.

Go online
Not looking forward to the crowds? There are many people that feel the same, and now you don’t have to with the many online shopping sites that have become popular in recent years. It’s not just Amazon and eBay that offer coupons and special deals — the online sites of many of your favorite stores also compete for customers and the deals often extend even past Black Friday itself. If a mob of shoppers isn’t on your list of post-Thanksgiving wishes, stay at home in a comfy chair with a hot drink and shop online instead.

With the change in seasons, the next few weeks are the time to stock up your closet if you’re missing out on some winter essentials, and Black Friday is a perfect time to do so without completely exhausting your budget. Regardless of what you choose to do on Nov. 25 this year, whether it be recovering from a food coma or getting ready for a frenzied stampede, enjoy Thanksgiving and our comfortably long one-week break!

Whether for casual, every-day or more formal events, there are several different ways to layer for the winter. In anticipation of the shopping season that is soon to come, here are three sample outfits to act as some inspiration as we approach one of the busiest times of year to shop.

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