If you knew me as a kid - okay probably even through my early years in New York - you would know that I was never the most independent person. You would also know that, up until a few years ago, I was petrified of the phone. Oh what the hell, I'll admit it, there were A LOT of things I felt uncomfortable doing. But living in New York helped me get over that, and fast: this city will eat you alive if you don't have the proper armor. Aside from learning to embrace the telephone, I have become the queen of trying almost anything, especially when it comes to getting my way with fashion. My motto is: It never hurts to ask.
Let me elaborate by way of a little life anecdote: one concerning my infatuation with belts, studs, and long walks on beautiful summer days. It all started with one of the many blogs I read. I spotted a wonderful BCBG Belt pictured on a blogger, and was immediately seduced by it's amazingness. After checking on-line, however, I realized it was $128. While I am willing to spend $128 on many things (shoes, dresses, anything more expensive on sale), that price for a belt is, in my humble opinion, completely and utterly absurd. I quickly tossed the idea of the belt into the trash, and moved on.
Later in the summer however, I was at a bar in the West Village, and spotted a girl wearing the belt. I was so envious. I wanted it, I coveted it, but couldn't bear the thought of spending so much on it. As I lamented to my friend, she let me know that BCBG was having a sale. Although their website did not show the belt discounted, one beautiful summer afternoon, I decided to stop inside my neighborhood outpost to do a little investigating. To my surprise and delight, there was one black studded belt left in the 70% off bin. I snatched it up. It was too big, but I assumed my shoe guy could make the appropriate adjustments. I left the store, extremely excited by my new $40 purchase.
Once out of the store with my "FINAL SALE" stamped receipt, I started to get a little nervous. What if the shoe guy couldn't make it smaller? Did I just spend $40 on a useless item? Then I thought: Sure it says final sale, but if I can find the belt in a smaller size at another store, how could they not make the exchange? As a seasoned New York shopper, I knew all the other BCBG locations, and was ready to take a nice tour of the city. First stop was the Madison Avenue boutique. No luck there. I continued my search, trekking my way down 5th Avenue, and peeked inside the shop across from the public library.
Lo and behold, there it was, like an oasis in the desert: one last belt, size Medium. It fit perfectly. I seized it in excitement, and took it to the register:
Me: "Hi, I have a question. I purchased this belt on sale at the store uptown. It's a large and a bit too big. I know it's final sale, but I was hoping, that since your belt in a medium is the same item, that I could exchange it for the smaller size."
Salesgirl, incredulously: "This belt isn't on sale."
Me, confused: "Well here is the receipt. The woman checked a binder and it definitely said 70% off."
Salesgirl: "The brown one is on sale, not the black one. Let me check." She flips through a binder of SKUs, not sure what she is looking for. "I can't seem to find anything." She calls over the manager and explains my situation. The manager agrees to make the exchange. Triumph.
So there I was with a belt in my size, 70% off, that was apparently not on sale. Even to this day (and do not think I do not check from time to time!), it has never gone on sale. It is a life lesson all fashion obsessed girls on a budget should know: It is EASY to ask, and you may just get the deal of a lifetime.