Tips for Shopping January Sales and More Readers’ Style

Pamela Lutrell at Chico's

I have approached the January sales a little differently this year and wanted to offer a few tips.  This is the one jacket I have purchased so far.  It is from Chico’s and was $27! Not bad! I liked it because I could wear it all year long…with many colors…and it is a flattering design.  The sleeves to go long or shorter.  There are so many things I can do with a jacket like this and at that price…the cost per wear will be quite low.  At Chico’s, make sure you are Passport Members to save even more and always get free shipping.

Pamela Lutrell Shops January sales at Chicos

The top outfit includes my Soft Surroundings black denim; JJill knit top; Rockport boots and a Brighton necklace I found at a re-sale special event.  The beauty of this jacket in my wardrobe is that I see it with so many different things I already own.  The second look is with a white Traveler’s knit top from Chico’s; brown Eileen Fisher pants from Dillards; and Aerosole Mules from Nordstrom Rack.  The second necklace was $9 from a Chico’s sale a couple of years ago.  

Pamela Lutrell in Chico's Jewelry

Pamela Lutrell in Aerosole Mules

I decided to go all silver jewelry to keep the neutral, classic feel of these styles.  The tabs on the side are silver as well.  I realize there are people who think wearing all silver or all gold is aging.  I just happen to disagree.  I believe it has more to do with the style of the garments than with the matching jewelry.  I will enjoy mixing many types of jewelry pieces with this jacket….have a red necklace that will be with it soon!

Pamela Lutrell in Chico'sPamela Lutrell on wearing all silver

When I went shopping recently, I knew I was looking for shorter jackets and new colors not currently in my wardrobe.  We will be warming up in San Antonio soon, so I was not looking for anymore winter clothes.  I tried on a lot to only leave with one piece, and here are my tips for the January sales:

  1. Know what you want to say with your clothing before your go and stick to those messages.
  2. Know the gaps in your current wardrobe that you would like to fill.
  3. Know how much longer you will be in “warmer weather clothing”
  4. Be willing to try on different sizes and not limit yourself to just one.  I went into Chico’s as a 3 Regular, but found one jacket that looked best on me as a 2 Petite. It was an oversized style and fit me better in the smaller size.  I am still thinking about it though…it is not on sale.  When adding special statement pieces to your closet, ask yourself how many times you think you will wear it and what your Cost Per Wear might be.  If it is high, then leave it there.
  5. January is a great time to upgrade a coat or boots during the sales.  Consider if you own a staple that needs an upgrade.  We will discuss the value of the pointed toe boot this week.

Here are some of the looks I tried on at Chico’s.  The first jacket is the one I sized down:

Pamela Lutrell in smaller blue jacket at Chicos

Pamela Lutrell in Chicos January Styles

I tried this one on because of this display…see, they do make a difference…and the pants are on sale.  I liked the outfit, but did not want to make this investment at this time.  It is cute though.

Pamela Lutrell shops San Antonio Chicos
Pamela Lutrell in Chico's Leopard Jacket on sale

I really liked the last jacket, but I have so much animal print that I do not need one more and I was determined to look for shorter and not longer jackets. So, it stayed behind.  I really stuck to what I was looking for and that resulted in a $27 purchase that I am pleased with.  It is really easy to get excited about all that is on sale, so just keep to your style adjectives and wardrobe needs and you should be fine!  Here is a slideshow some of the Chico’s pieces I saw and tried on:

Pamela Lutrell in $27 Chico's jacket

Yesterday, the Would You Wear it mannequins were from Chico’s, as a few of you pointed out.  The only piece I would consider wearing in that display would be the pink sweater top.  The rest do not meet my style adjectives.  There was a time that necklace would have gone home with me, but it is too heavy for me now.  Perhaps if the other pieces were styled differently I would have been tempted to try them on when I was there.  

This week a few of my past Chico’s purchases, read about why the adjectives help me,  advice for a reader’s request, and a special What to Wear Post.  Hope you will be joining in!  Has anyone else had success at the January sales!  Please share….then go to…

Another Reader’s Style Adjectives

Today, I have a slideshow for Christine, who wants to tell the world that she is creative, vibrant, confident, approachable and chic.  You sound like such a fun woman, Christine!  Here is a slideshow for you and women like Christine!


Answering Jill’s Question

Jill asked last week how I keep things from wrinkling without ironing.  I rarely iron and my dryer and I are best friends in the mornings or when I prepare work outfits the night before.  The jacket I bought here at Chico’s was very wrinkled when I brought it home…living on the sale racks has fatigued it a bit with wrinkling.  I use the REFRESH button on my dryer and this product…which I like and Downy has a similar one that I like as well.  Anyone else want to offer advice for Jill?

Pamela Lutrell reviews Bounce Dryer Sheets


By Pamela Lutrell


  1. I do like the color of your jacket! Also like the way you can roll the sleeves with the buckle. That’s a fun touch compared with the traditional button. Excellent tips for shopping. I agree about trying various sizes. This happens to me often at Talbots. We can’t see oourselves as a single size. Sizes vary even in a single brand. Right now I’m not in need of any winter clothes either.

  2. Thanks Karen. This also happens to me with Eileen Fisher garments. Sometimes I am an XL and sometimes a M!

  3. I love those chain print pants on you!! They look great. I would love to wear them but I tried them and they did not look good at all. I tried on the blue brocade jacket at Chico’s the other day and I love it. I like my usual size of 1P in it, I did not think it was too big for me because I liked how it is designed to be sort of a “swing” jacket. Anyway, waiting for the next Chico’s sale to grab it!

  4. I just love these patterned pants and shorter top on you! My favorites today!

    Your advice, though, is spot on as always. I too approach January sales with an open mind, maybe not always an open wallet. My question to myself: would I buy this at full price?

  5. I love your new Chico’s jacket on you! The shorter length is very flattering, and it’s a great neutral color. What a find at $27! Excellent shopping tips for January sales! I too am trying to resist winter items I don’t need, however I just picked up some great accessories and black velvet jeans at the J Jill sale.

  6. Thanks for doing my style adjectives on Friday. You were so spot on that I actually -own- pieces that are very similar. One thing I really like is that when you do these adjectives, you include prints. I am print shy (and most don’t fit my style goals), but the squiggly lines you used for me were really interesting and something to try. I love your new jacket, and love your pointing out cost per wear. I don’t think the chain pants would get enough wear, because they are very memorable, and maybe could only be worn with black to avid being clownish. Thank you so much for reminding me of this important principle. Too often, I buy something that I like, but don’t love, and something that is not versatile enough, just because it’s on sale. That is probably my worst fashion mistake.

  7. I would submit…we all have made that mistake too often. That is why if I use the adjectives to guide me, I am less likely to bring something home and say WHAT WAS I THINKING???? Thanks Linda!

  8. Wonderful find Pamela and feel that due to its simplistic cut and neutral color you will most likely get a lot of wear out of it. (Do like the black top and the chain-print pants on you.) As for wearing all silver or gold ages you; I agree with you that t doesn’t, as IMHO combining different finishes (of either) can be just as fashion forward. i.e.: Hammered, antiqued, brushed, polished etc.

    Re sales; excellent tips however I do admit I’m a bit of a ‘garment stalker’ (☺) so appreciate ‘wish lists’ that many websites offer as will track an item to see if /when it goes on sale particularly if its out of my price range. For example; as it was time to replace my winter ‘coats’ (not jackets) I purchased two (one dress/one casual) for almost at half price which I was pleased about since I don’t wear coats that often and/or unless there is a drastic drop in temperature.
    P.S.: We have at least another eight weeks of winter where I live.

  9. That jacket looked good on you and what a great price! Thanks for the reminder that it is important to remember what your wardrobe needs are when shopping a sale. It is very easy to get excited at the end of a season sale and just buy an item because it is a good deal. I live in Arlington, Texas and like you I am having warmer weather, so I don’t need any more winter clothes. So glad I found your blog.

  10. I had never thought about cost per wear until I was shopping with a friend and we were admiring a pair of shoes. She turned them over to see the price and commented “I don’t think I’ll live long enough to get my money’s worth”! Great buy on your topper from Chicos!

  11. Thanks, Carolyn. As I get “older” cost per wear has become a bigger consideration!

  12. Those chain link pants really did look good on you with that black sweater. You looked slimmer and quite chic…better than the model on your scroll!

  13. Love your jacket with the sleeves rolled up. Classes. I also liked the chain linked pants and black top. I would like all of these pieces. You looked lovely in the outfits.

  14. P.S. I just checked and those pants are a great price on sale! I have similar ones from Chicos that are smaller links and don’t find them limiting at all. I wear them with a gold lurex sweater set, a black sweater, a golden tee and black blazer with a large black necklace and also with a long black tunic and gold chains. Pam, order them online now! You are just too fabulous in them….I am a bit of a shopper’s enabler 🙂

  15. Thanks for doing my adjectives today! Love the slide show, which is spot on, especially geometric patterns, vibrant colours and the silhouettes. Love your new jacket with the adjustable sleeves. I like 3/4 length sleeves to show off bracelets, but it is nice to have the flexibility to change. Just curious – what colour would you call your jacket? Cream! Ecru?

  16. So glad you liked it, Christine! I think this jacket is more of a tan or even camel.

  17. Love your slide show on my sister Christine’s adjectives — spot on!!!! Your advice about cost-per-wear is great to keep in mind – thanks for all your useful tips 🙂

  18. I was just looking at Chico’s online and the chain print pants are on sale for 39.99! I have the chain print dress and I love it but the pants made me look so stumpy… probably because I am 5 feet tall and the pants do not come in Petite sizes. I do have the black and white plaid pants and I love them and get compliments every time!

  19. Anyone can click on the chain pants that I have in the middle of my post and go there to order them. It is a great price. Thanks Frances.

  20. Chico’s is having an online sale today and I just bought a dress and a velvet top for $19.99 each–less my 5% member discount! I just finished a serious edit of all the clothes in my closets and drawers so I knew what I needed to look for. 🙂 The dress is a swirly print in navy and white with 3/4 sleeves. It’s a knit so it should travel well and I’m planning to take it with me when I go to Commissioning Week at Annapolis in late May, The other purchase was more “impulse” but the 3/4 sleeved drape neck velvet top is just my style and I already have a pencil skirt from the same Travelor’s line. I love to buy lassic pieces that I can wear for years.

  21. I think you look fabulous in more fitted jackets &the slacks & black top are perfect.
    I don’t usually wear dusters but the Nordstrom Rack geometric just spoke to me $300+ on sale for $50+ but then I realized I’m not in the office anymore…killed me to pass it up.
    I did just purchase a faux black fur stadium coat @ JCrew & a blue wool blazer at Talbots at good prices

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