Being thrifty comes naturally for Lilliana Vazquez. From a young age, her mother taught her how to comb the racks at Sears in search of the same looks her school friends were splurging on at Neiman Marcus.
“My mom wanted me to have all those nice things, but she’s no sucker; there was no way she was going to pay full price,” writes Vasquez in her new book The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style, in which the New York City–based mexicana and puertorriqueña doles out advice for dressing fabulously on a budget.
As a bonus, here she shares her spending savvy on snagging the best online bargains—just in time for the holidays.
When is a sale a great deal?
I don’t buy anything at full retail. A 20-percent-off sale is just a throwaway—they’re not slashing prices. For me a real sale starts at 30 percent and higher. Especially around the holidays, everyone is aggressively marking down, so if it starts at 20 percent off, in a few weeks it will be 30, 40 or 50 percent off.
How do you find deals online?
I use an aggregator like ShopItToMe.com. Look for favorite brands that you can’t afford at retail. When those brands go on sale, I get an e-mail—that way I’m not hunting down deals. What’s great about ShopItToMe is they have online retail partners like Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom, and those bigger retailers can be more aggressive with markdowns.