Hello fellow adults!  Do the words Back To School Sale cause you to full body shudder? Is it because you’re not a tween and you have no reason whatsoever to shop a Back To School sale?  Well, I used to think exactly like you do … UNTIL I realized the following:

  • Kids and tweens aren’t the only ones heading back to school.  People of all ages go back to school.
  • It’s not just kids and tweens items on sale.  You’ll find deals in just about every department  ~ such as mens suits, TVs & electronics and homegoods. Hmmm … I don’t know any kids wearing mens suits to school nor do I know any tweens/teens who want to cough up their summer job earnings to purchase the family a new cuisinart. #JustSayin
  • And if you don’t want to shop at your local mall during BTS sales because you fear you’re going to have to wrestle a 15 year old for the same pair of levis, just do what I do and shop first thing in the morning when the stores open (weekends, too). I find that at this time the stores are freshly stocked and neatly organized … and many tweens have either officially started school or haven’t yet and are still asleep and/or snapchatting.

If I was in charge of BTS sales, I would change the name to The SALES because these sales offer some of the best deals of the year to score the last of the summer items for practically nothing, as well as treat yourself to new fall arrivals big discounts.  And what’s better than that?  Am I right, girlfriends?

It’s not always often that I get to give a little local love but one of my local shopping malls, Cottonwood Mall, offered me the experience of shopping their BTS Sales.  Additionally, they gifted me with a $250 gift certificate to see what outfits I could pull together will all the discounts their stores are offering.

So I invited local fashion designer Dara of Hopeless + Cause Atelier to join me on my quest and to throw a designer eye on what I would be selecting.  I reminded her I was working within a $250 budget, I wanted multiple uses out of my choices and I wanted to select items that are currently in the stores.

OK ~ so here’s how it all shook out:

I’ve been wanting the oh-so-trendy bomber jacket for a while now and olive is the perfect color. I embellished it with an iron-on patch and crystal pins (also trending) and paired it with a fab lace top, jeggings and RED lace-up flats.

Outfit Details: Forever 21 olive bomber jacket – $20 | Maurices dark jeggings – $13.50 | Maurices pin set – $9.37 | EXPRESS lace up lace top – $69.90 | EXPRESS lace up flat – $49.90 | EXPRESS  I came to break hearts patch – $4.90 | my own sunnies, necklace and earrings.

I’m pretty pleased with how this outfit turned out.  All of these items can be worn in a variety of ways.


Next, I wore the same lace top (which BTW, this top was more than 20% of my entire budget but I wanted it so … ) with the same jeggings and added olive cage booties.

Totally different look ~ I’m ready for a cocktail.

Outfit Details: Forever 21 olive bomber jacket – $20 | Maurices dark jeggings – $13.50 | Maurices pin set – $9.37 | EXPRESS lace up lace top – $69.90 |  EXPRESS I came to break hearts patch – $4.90 | Payless olive cage booties – $29.99 | Payless Christian Siriano crossbody bag – $15 | my own earrings and bracelets.

Lastly, I wore the same jeggings with the red lace up flats and

added the perfect boatneck tee and tote.

Outfit Details: Maurices dark jeggings – $13.50 | EXPRESS lace up flats – $49.90 | Old Navy red boatneck top – $14.94 | Old Navy classic tote – $34.94 | my own sunnies, watch, earrings and trench coat.

I can guarantee you that I will wear all of these items multiple times this fall season. Now that’s good shopping!


Some secrets and tips that I used:

  • I checked out the mall’s directory and determined my course of action.
  • I surfed the stores websites prior to shopping so that I could get a sense of what they were offering and what I might like to purchase so as to save time once I got there.
  • I downloaded and used two great apps; RetailMeNot and Shopular. A Shopular code gave me $15 off of my entire purchase at EXPRESS and a RetailMeNot gave me an additional 20% off non-sale items at Maurices, which I applied to the pins.
  • I shared with whomever assisted me at each store that I was trying to create great, interchangeable outfits but was working within a budget. Forever 21 informed me that purple tickets in their store always offer the best pricing, (my bomber jacket was normally priced at $28 – purple tag $20) Old Navy tipped me off that for every $25 I spend, I get $10 in super cash back to use for future purchases and Payless gave me $10 off my purchase by using an instore coupon I would not have known about had I not chatted up what I was doing.

And so … when it was all said and done, how much did I actually spend?

$250.79!    BOOM.  🙂


*** Thank you Cottonwood Mall for kindly sponsoring this post and providing such a pleasant shopping experience.  Back To School sales are still in full force, everyone.  Why not take advantage of them?