Everything We Bought on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

But what on earth did you get?

12.01.17

Sale season, sale season, the best time of the year! Overwhelming? Absolutely. Capable of tricking you into believing you need things that you absolutely don’t? Of course! But isn’t that the magic of a dollar spent, not saved? Here we wait the whole of two months (LOL) for winter product to go on sale and then just in time for the season to rear its head, boom: there it is, 40, 50, 60% off and yours for the taking. Will you wear those white square toe flats? Probably not. But they were 60% off and then an additional 30% off with a coupon you received by digital mail, so, you know, you did it. You had to! I get it.

If I sound like an enabler, that’s no doubt because I am. Phase One of sale season is typically when I begin stock the F up on tissue turtlenecks (they’re $19!) and high-waist denim, sequins and sparkly-ass tights to anticipatorily (not a recognized word according to Merriam, I know, but this is my blog post, so it stays) pair with the vast trench coats and blazers and wool over-things that have gone on sale, but will indubitably be cheaper by this time next month, when I usually plan to scoop them up like a seagull selecting its feed. Not this year, though! This year, I watch as delightful dresses (!) and sassy pants and really great sweaters paradoxically remain expensive, but also get cheaper from the inside of an ivory tower, locked with a key marked “Pregnant” while I dress in the same blue neoprene pants and striped t-shirt day in and out, trying with the sum of my might to decorate my earsmy wristsmy head and my feet with the conviction of a Counting Crows fan at Jones Beach.

So, please, for my sake, get some shit! It would really mean a lot to me. And if you need a bit of inspiration, here’s a list of things acquired (and a couple of justifications for opting out, bla bla bla) by some of the mighty members of team Man Repeller.


Amelia, Head of Creative, also the unofficial worst lunch orderer on Mott Street

Item: Everlane’s cream oversize cable knit turtleneck; $130 before, $130 after (no sale)

Was it an impulse purchase or have you been waiting to buy it? I’ve been waiting to buy it since I got an email about it — and it’s not on sale — but something about the fact that everyone was in BUY BUY BUY mode made me go for it.

How will you wear it? I want to wear it with workout leggings, camp socks, hair in a ponytail with a ribbon, a blanket over me, Chet Baker playing (always is in the best version scenarios of myself) and a drawing pad in hand. In reality I will wear it while running around in leggings all day, maybe take a nap in it, wake up, realize I’m late for something that involves other people, pull on jeans and those black Ganni kitten heels then run out the door like C-YA! (Then run back in like oh shit I forgot a coat, hope I packed my keys.)

Edith, Photographer and resident employee who claims she has never experienced stress

Item: Drunk Elephant’s Sukari baby facial; $80 for a full bottle every other day of the year, $25 for a mini bottle on Cyber Monday

Was it an impulse purchase or have you been waiting to buy it? I didn’t cave on any Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals for myself (I bought something for my boyfriend but I cannot reveal what it was!) until I got an email about this promotion. I’ve been wanting to try this product for a year-ish but couldn’t commit to anything larger than a sample size, so I’m excited to give it a whirl in the name of self-improvement.

Elizabeth, Market Assistant and holder of blonde hair

Item: Two sets of Brooklinen classic core sheets; $258 pre-sale, $200 post-sale (spend over $200, get $50 off)

Was it an impulse purchase or have you been waiting to buy it? I needed new sheets and knew that would be my Black Friday purchase but had never noticed Brooklinen on sale before. Two sets of sheets for $200 is actually really good (right?).

Harling, Fashion Editor and lady of leisure in green satin mules

Item: Sea cotton ruffle shirt; $345 pre-sale, $172 post-sale

Was it an impulse purchase or have you been waiting to buy it? Impulse — induced by a sale promotion Moda Operandi was running. But I already had an existing site credit and persistent desire to look like Little Jane Birkin on the Prairie.

How will you wear it? I would like to pair it with raw denim and patent leather pilgrim loafers and maybe some pearl earrings. I hope I encounter plenty of doilies so I can ask people who wore it best.

Jasmin, Senior Account Strategist with a great (and real!) British accent

Item: A polka dot dress from H&M; $59.99 pre sale, $39.99 post-sale (and free shipping!)

Was it an impulse purchase or have you been waiting to buy it? Totally impulse! There were four hours until Black Friday ended and I was perusing MR in bed as I do and Harling Ross caught me with her curated picks.

How will you wear it? I’ve recently rekindled my love for dresses and boots so I’ll be wearing this with patent leather boots and a chunky sweater around my shoulders.

Erica, Managing Editor and conspiracy theorist

Item: 3×1 tabby striped flared jeans; $245 pre-sale, $149 post-sale

Was it an impulse purchase or have you been waiting buy them? I’d been stalking them for a while and eventually talked myself out of it until I checked back a few weeks ago and saw there was only one pair left in my size. Then Harling’s Moda sale post happened. Still, I pushed it out of my mind, but couldn’t resist sneaking a peek on Black Friday because I was full and bored. The single pair was still there and further discounted so I bought them. Originally, I planned to buy winter boots for my Black Friday/Cyber Monday splurge but it’s 60 degrees in NY so I’m content with the last minute decision to treat myself to kick flares instead.

How do you plan to wear them? I’m most looking forward to pairing them with this Haim tee and my leopard-print smoking slippers WHILE listening to the Haim song referenced on the aforementioned tee. Oh, and sunglasses.

Ashley, Social Media Editor and big fan of New York pickles

Item: A white sweatshirt from Aritzia; $85 pre-sale, $42 post-sale

Was it an impulse purchase or have you been waiting to buy it? Impulse purchase

How will you wear it? A lot of my sweatshirts are getting ratty and I thought a crisp white one would look put together when I just wanted to be cozy. I haven’t lived anywhere cold in five years and I’m using that as an excuse to buy things a lot lately.

Louisiana, Photo Assistant and very generous giver of pineapple treats

Item: Ganni Ridgewood Coat; $315 pre-sale, $220 post-sale and then an additional 20% off for Black Friday, making it $176

Was it an impulse purchase or have you been waiting to buy it? I’ve been eyeing it for a while but was always putting in then removing it from my cart, questioning whether I really needed it. I didn’t want anything else so I just decided to go ahead and do it on Black Friday because FOMO and 20% off.

How you plan to wear it? I think I’m going to wear them with a pair of wide legged pants and a turtleneck sweater? We’ll see.

Also, I got some chewed up bubble gum slime from Etsy for $10 (down from $15), which was kind of an impulse purchase, but also not thanks to my late night slime video watching spirals. I can’t wait to make my own.

Patty, Head of Partnerships and model citizen

Item: Shhh Silk silk pillowcases ($129 pre-sale; $99 post-sale); and a five-class pack from Overthrow New York Boxing Club ($165 pre-sale, $119 post-sale)

Were these impulse purchases or have you been waiting to buy them? An informed but quick decision on both. My friend invited me to take the boxing class with her on Sunday and sold it hard with the deal. I checked the expiration terms — agreeable — and had a hankering I would like boxing. Glad I went for it; I’m still sore three days later, but the good kind. Haley recommended silk pillowcases a long time ago and I’ve been slowly upgrading my bedding. The long weekend gave me time to consider what I wanted next, and it was silk pillowcases.

How do you plan to use the items in question? The silk pillowcases are for me dipping a toe into the deep end of bed-indulgence before potentially cannonballing in with a king mattress. I should also admit I bought a king-sized emerald green velvet and cotton bedspread last month…so maybe I’m more like waist-deep. I plan to use the boxing classes to balance out yoga, which has been my primary workout of choice for years. Lover and fighter, what can I say.

Myself, founder, enabler and questionable handler of money

Item: Manolo Blahnik leopard print mules, $695 pre-sale, $417 post sale PLUS an additional 30% off, so $292

Was it an impulse purchase or have you been waiting to buy them? The answer to your question, Leandra, is two-fold. While it was an impulse purchase in that I did not have my heart explicitly set on them to acquire on Cyber Monday, I have had my eye on some version of them for at least the past year and a half. You might remember a satin pair that I was gifted last holiday season. You might not. That’s okay. Anyway, when I noticed that I could now have them for $292 and that they would fit me regardless of what my waistline looked like, I decided to go for it.

How do you plan to wear them? Ugh, I’m so glad you asked because I’m wearing them right now and wore them yesterday and will probably wear them tomorrow! Yesterday I wore them with the neoprene pants I mentioned in this story’s intro (go back and read it if you missed it, it is truly stunning literature) and a size XL tartan plaid Polo button down. Today I’m wearing them with the same neoprene pants, and a red and blue striped t-shirt that is layered under a white henley. I also have two gold necklaces on and a pair of dramatic pearl earrings that are definitely fake. Tomorrow, I think I will wear them with gray Outdoor Voices leggings and a light blue and purple striped cashmere turtleneck. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest! And a merry Hanukkah to you.

And for those who opted out, says Kate, “I’m in the midst of both downsizing and trying to be more intentional with time and money, so I didn’t buy anything, but I’m not sure I’m pleased about it. Overall I’m happy I didn’t spend money but I think ultimately I just traded anxieties — usually I lose a couple hours scouring The Outnet or Yoox for pieces I love and J. Crew to restock basics, and then I remember more sites I want to check and have to go through the full sale to make sure I don’t miss something amazing. Instead, I got that time back but know there are things I’ll be buying in the next month that I could have saved money on. In general, though, I don’t wait for Black Friday/Cyber Monday to buy things. I use it to find deeply discounted luxury pieces I couldn’t have bought otherwise but love.”

From Nikki, our director of ad operations, “Some of the MR articles I love the most are the ones about slow fashion, capsule wardrobes, and just having less clothes. I’ve been shifting over to less shopping and buying higher quality/investment pieces when I do. I don’t think I’ll ever get down to 15 garments, but am trying to see how little I can own and what I really need.

“Specifically for Black Friday, I love REI’s #OptOutside campaign and started a new family tradition of being outdoors for the holiday. But overall, I was motivated from reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, my boyfriend moving into my studio apartment resulting in a loss of a closet, and just trying to be more green.”

Illustration by Allen Saalburg/Conde Nast via Getty Images; collaged by Emily Zirimis.

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  • Rebekah Jane

    One item each? Oh, I might have done a tad more than that…

    *bank account bursts into tears*

    • Natasha

      Right there with you
      *passes the tissues*

  • I could have written Nikki’s response myself, it’s so aligned with my current philosophy and living situation (right down to boyfriend in a studio apartment), and yet here I am waiting on cyber Monday packages to arrive. 😬 It’s so easy to justify “practical” boots, made in Italy, 40% off, free 3-day Fedex. (Damn you, Rag & Bone.)

    Since promo codes were pervasive this year, the trick for me was shopping for things I already needed so I got the thrill of the deal without adding items to languish in my (now shared) closet. It probably won’t be as fun to open a Target package with a bathmat discounted 15%, or a box full of vitamins that I already take, but at least I know it will be used and save me cash and boring errand time in the longer term. Fingers crossed.

    • Nikki Bent

      Oh heyyyyyy! Very aligned indeed! I had the same tactic 🙂 but ended up not buying anything on Black Friday / Cyber Monday because the items on my list were on sale the week before. I think a few retailers were trying to get ahead of Black Friday.

  • Caroline Christianson

    Slept on those leopard Ganni kitten heels and now sold out ughhhhhhhhhh

  • Eva Skewes

    I bought more than expected, but the majority are things I was planning to buy in January, so I figured I’d get a discount where I could. Also gifts! The only clothes items I bought were a pair of leather gloves because my current ones are falling apart and needsupply discounts only come around every so often . . .

  • Caved and finally bought a Brooklinen lightweight down comforter on sale and its HEAVEN. Plus it came with a large, free scented candle that is really nice.

  • ladybirda

    Leandra, I wish I had told you to get some Cosabella nursing bras when they were having their 20% off Black Friday discount. They are reasonably priced anyway, I just stocked up on some replacement bralettes for when my little bird finally…decides…to wean. That was my only clothing purchase aside from a Chloe cardigan that Elyse Walker finally put on sale, and I snagged the last one in my size. It was still stupid expensive though but I luurve it. Skincare on the other hand….Space NK and Sephora and Bloomingdales and Stila all had amazing promotions in the span of a week. I don’t need to buy beauty products for at least a year.

  • Beatriz Medeiros

    I bought two courses – an online one about digital marketing (for R$20! That’s like US$ 7 or something) and a regular one about branding. Ah! And Vichy sunscreen I really needed for half the price.
    Felt really professional, grown up and responsible, golden stars blink for me now.

  • Claire

    what about Haley?!

    • Natalie Smith

      I feel like Haley never actually purchases things with money, but rather trades goods and services for the items she requires, like a vagabond from the olden times.

      • Natalie Smith

        (Haley if you’re reading this I love u)

        • Haley Nahman

          Love u back and it’s all tru

          Didn’t buy a thing for black friday and didnt have a noble reason beyond “i fear spending money”

      • Julia

        LOL

  • Cynthia Schoonover

    It just so happened that everything I’d been eyeing for sometime was on sale and/or had free shipping. I have never bought this many things for myself in a long time, but sales and free shipping justified it.

  • Amy L Campbell

    Erica those PANTS

  • Kate

    Amelia what size did you get in the Everlane sweater?!? LOL JW we’re similar heights, etc. and I’ve never purchased from Everlane. THANKS ILY

  • Caddiewoodlawn

    I bought 5 pairs of underwear and a bra for 50 dollars (originally 100, 50% off) at The Gap, and they haven’t come yet. Harrumph! I always use back friday to buy clothes for my husband, because he’s not a big shopper and hates spending money on clothes, so when I can get good deals I jump on them.

  • Sarah

    I read somewhere that the US spent 1 billion more this year than last, and the overall total was eye-watering. Echoing Nikki so strongly. Please write about your capsule wardrobe challenges!

  • Jamie

    STELLAR COLLAGING JOB EMILY. I’ve clicked on this article three times now to see it fully again.

  • Megan

    Kate, I can definitely relate! I’m feeling like I missed out on better prices on items I’ll eventually buy anyway. Maybe it’s just a version of fomo? Will have to track my purchases and see but will undoubtedly remember this feeling next year.

  • Basil

    For me, I got a jumper because it’s fricking freezing all of a sudden and I was at the end of pregnancy and just wanted something different. Also got my baby girl a cardigan with a faux fur collar, thus setting her up at a very early age, to looking fabulous

  • Cléo Charpantier

    who’s the last quote from?