In fact, we’ve enlisted the savvy locals behind three of our favorite D.C. blogs to create a one-of-a-kind survival guide to help you face Black Friday, head on (even if you weren't camped out at the doors at 5 a.m.). From making your plan of attack to choosing the best shops (and snack spots), our team of experts dished their tricks for conquering the day — and winning. Click through for strategies, tips, and real-life stories from the gals (and guy) behind A Loyal Love, The Spendicate, and Necessary & Proper. Heed their clever advice, and you'll have the smartest, least stressful mother of all shopping days.
Who she is: Tammy, A Loyal Love
Black Friday usually means a lot of people, a lot of sales, and a lot of stress. How do you tackle the day?
"I definitely need a plan. I make two lists — one of the stores I want to check out based on their advertised sales, and one of the people I want to buy gifts for. I also set a budget per person and an overall budget for myself."
What’s the best neighborhood in the area to hit on Black Friday? Best shop to visit?
"Georgetown. It has it all — local boutiques like Hu's Wear, and popular stores like H&M and Zara."
For those who don’t want to venture outside and deal with the craziness, what’s your favorite online destination for great holiday deals?
"I've already found some great gifts on Fab.com, and am looking forward to seeing what they feature for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Be sure to check out your favorite brands on all the social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) for special deals and discount codes. Last year, Net-A-Porter had a 50% off sale on it's Facebook page."
Speaking of craziness, any tips for not getting too caught up in the shopping frenzy?
"Don't buy stuff you can't afford just because it's on sale! This goes back to having a plan and a budget. Though I know from experience how easy it is to get caught up — so hang on to those receipts just in case."
What’s your biggest Black Friday regret?
"My biggest Black Friday regret — not taking home a gorgeous pair of nude Miu Miu mary-jane heels. They were the very last pair at Saks, in my size, and marked down to $200 from $1000. $200 is still a lot to pay for a pair of shoes, so I convinced myself to let them go. To this day, I still think about those beauties. They're the shoes that got away."
What about malls and outlet stores? A Do or a Don’t, and why?
"I would only go to the mall or outlets if you already shop there regularly and you know they're going to have deals on items you want. Otherwise, the crowds, traffic, and digging for treasures can be frustrating."
Any last words of advice for eager shoppers?
"Have fun! Get some friends together, make a day of it, and include brunch and cocktails. Dress comfortably and pack some snacks in your purse."
Photos: Courtesy of A Loyal Love, Georgetown BID
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