Today's Everyday Fashion: Secrets of Shopping at Banana Republic

Since everyone has been asking how I get such great deals at Banana Republic, and much of today's outfit is from there, I am spilling my deal-scoring secrets today! My tips:

1. Buy in-store. Proceed with caution when shopping online. 95% of the time, the price is much higher online, even if you have a coupon. Almost all of my great deals were found in the store. 
2. Don't miss the day-after-Christmas sale. This sale is amazing, I never miss it. This is where I scored many of my crazy good deals including the nude pumps I wear all the time for $20, a silk shirt for $15, a dress for $50. By far the best way to get a great deal.
3. Look for the "sale" signs that are NOT in the sale section. That means there are too many left to fit in the sale section, and are often the lowest prices in the store. 
4.  "Figure out the retail cycle." I do this with tons of stores I visit, but I try to figure out where they are in the process of putting out new stuff and marking down old stuff. The day when new merchandise hits stores is usually when they mark things down crazy low. Such as yesterday's pants. When I visited the store, they had just put out new stock so ALL the sale pants were marked down to $14.
5. Try to predict future markdowns when there are multiples. I had my eye on a purple cardigan for a couple weeks. They had 20 left in my size that were $30. I took a gamble, came back the next week, and they were marked down to $15. Score!
6. Sign up for the credit card. Most retail credit cards are a waste of time, but Banana/Gap gives you awesome rewards and coupons. This is another way I stay so savvy about shopping at those stores.
7. Explore your options. Find something amazing in the sale section, but it's not your size? You can have them ship you the correct size from another store. If you have the credit card the shipping is free. If not they charge you for shipping but could still be worth it if you found a great deal.
8. Acknowledge regional differences. I lived in Boston for 4 years, and while I was able to score the occasional $10 shirt, it seems like there are much better deals here in Orlando. All the more reason to go shopping while you are on vacation!
9. Stay smart about outlet shopping. Clothing at the Banana Republic Outlet (and many other retail outlet stores including J.Crew) are made specifically for the outlet stores and are NOT the same quality or style. They are often made by a totally different company, and even if the item looks identical the material is different. I'm not cautioning you from outlet shopping altogether, but I think it's important to be a smart consumer and know what you are paying for!

Occasion: Work
Inspiration photo: J.Crew
Cardigan: LOFT, $20
Shirt: Banana Republic, $17
Belt: Banana Republic, $30
Skirt: Banana Republic, $35
Shoes: Chinese Laundry/Piperlime, $34
Necklace: Banana Republic, $20
Charm: c/o Stella & Dot, $19
Watch: Michael Kors, family gift
Bracelet: Forever 21, $10