Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Patterns Spotted at the 2018 Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale

Today is the first day of the Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale and last night was their Friends & Family shopping time. Already pictures from the sale are coming in and I wanted to do an update of patterns that I've spotted so far. I wanted to do it as a blog post because I know not everyone follows the Argyle Love Facebook page.

Here's what I've spotted so far -

  • Coral Meadow
  • Paisley Stripes
  • Hearts Pink
  • Snow Lotus
  • Lotus Chevron
  • Winter Berry
  • Berry Burst
  • Playful Penguins Gray
  • Houndstooth Tweed
  • Modern Medley
  • Falling Flowers
  • Falling Flowers Neutral
  • Heirloom Paisley
  • Painted Medallions
  • Rumba
  • Rainforest
  • Santiago
  • Cuban Tiles
  • Cuban Stamps
  • Havana Rose
  • Havana Dots
  • Kiev Paisley
  • Bohemian Blooms
  • Bohemian Chevron
  • Imperial Rose
  • Lilac Tapestry
  • Art Poppies
  • Northern Lights
  • Java Floral
  • Painted Feathers
  • Nomadic Floral
  • Paisley in Paradise
  • Camofloral
  • Alpine Floral
  • Impressionista
  • Marrakesh
  • Lucky You
  • Cheery Blossom
  • African Violet
  • Clementine
  • Plum Crazy

Factory Exclusive Patterns -
  • Tropical Paradise
  • Resort Medallion
  • Bandana Swirl
  • Splash Floral
  • Blanco Bouquet
  • Floral Fiesta
  • Blueberry Blooms
  • Vintage Floral
  • Stamped Paisley
  • Leopard
  • Silhouette Floral
Also spotted - Disney patterns! On Tuesday night, they had items from the Alice in Wonderland line.

I will update this post if I see more patterns.

Friday, April 6, 2018

2018 Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale Wish List

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small amount of compensation which I will then use to buy more Vera. 

I'm making my trip to the Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale next week. The sale is crowded and chaotic, so it helps to go prepared. I like to make a wish list of items to look for first before I attempt to browse the rest of the sale. These are simply the items I am making a priority to look for first before I look at the rest of the tables. Having the list helps me to focus and use my session time wisely. 

Today, I'm sharing with you my Vera Bradley Outlet Sale wish list. I should mention that the outlet sale is pretty much the only time I buy Vera products. I occasionally buy something if I go to the outlet store an hour away a couple times a year and rarely I buy something online if there is a good sale and I have a coupon. That's why I make the most of shopping at the sale.

Carryall Crossbody

I typically purchase a new purse at the sale. For several years it was the Glenna, but last year I decided I had enough and I wanted a crossbody purse that was big enough to use every day. I ended up buying a Carryall Crossbody and if you read my review of my 2017 sale purchases, you know that I love it. This style was retired last year, so this may be my last chance to get another one. I'm hoping for either Havana Rose or Havana Dots or perhaps a solid black. 

Lighten Up Grand Backpack

I've been wanting to get a backpack for few years now, but I always ended up buying other thing instead. This year, I'm making getting a backpack a priority. I use a backpack daily for my summer day camp job, so I need one that can hold a lot of stuff. I'm hoping to get either a Lighten Up Grand Backpack or a Lighten Up Grande Backpack. The Grande has been retired so we'll see if it's available at the sale. Right now I have no preference on pattern. I want a Lighten Up backpack because they seem more durable than the cotton ones and I need something that can handle being outside, on the ground, and in all kinds of weather.

Clamshell Sunglasses Case
Since I do spend a lot of time outside in the summer, I plan to order some prescription sunglasses so I want a case to carry them in that will keep them protected in my backpack. I don't have a preference on pattern yet.

Mini Notebook with Pocket
I always buy a mini notebook, so I'm sure this year will be no different. I like to carry these in my purse for grocery lists and reminders. I'm not so secretly hoping to find one in the penguins pattern. 

Iconic In the Loop Keychain
This is my favorite keychain and I'm so glad that Vera brought it back. I bought one on sale in Playfull Penguins Grey at a local Vera retailer and now I need another one that's a little less winter.

Also on my wishlist? Anything in Playful Penguins! I'm hoping to find some of the items I was not able to buy when the pattern was available. 

Of course, I have other items I'm interested in getting, but unless the price is right, they aren't as important as these items. Check out my wish list on Pinterest to see more of what I'm wishing for!

What's on your Vera Bradley wish list?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Tips for the 2018 Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale

The Vera Bradley event of the year is in 1 week and I cannot wait! The Vera Bradley Annual Outlet sale is held every year in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It's an arena full of handbags and accessories all at a discount price. For me, it's just as good as Christmas!

Basically, once you enter, you grab a big plastic bag and a map and then it's time to shop! My plan is to grab anything I think I might want and stuff it in my bag. Then, when I've browsed everything, I find a spot and sort through what's in my bag. Rejected items are placed in nearby boxes and carts to be restocked by Vera workers.

After making my decisions and any final sweeps around the arena, it's time to pay! There are always tons of registers and the lines usually move pretty quickly.

To prepare for the sale, I try to make a list of styles I want to look at the most. These are the items that I will head to first before taking some time to mosey through the rest of the sale. I'll share my wishlist for the sale soon, so come back to check it out!

Just about every current and retired style of bags and accessories will be at the sale. What's unknown is exactly which patterns will be available. Based on what I've seen at previous years' sales, I can usually make a pretty good prediction of what I'll see. I try to identify which patterns I would most like prior to the sale. This is especially helpful if you are attending the sale with a group. Your friends can help by grabbing things in the pattern you want if you want to split up to shop and then meet back up to sort. (Of course, you'll help out your friends by grabbing what they want.)

I've found that the patterns are mostly ones that have been retired since the previous year's sale as well as some that are going to be retired after the sale. These are often the colors listed as "sale" on the Vera Bradley website The past few years, I have also seen outlet exclusive patterns and QVC exclusive patterns at the sale.

So, what colors do I expect to see at the Sale? I usually say it's a good bet we'll see plenty of the patterns that have been retired since the last sale, but at the 2013 sale, there were lots of new patterns available, so it's really anyone's guess. However, I would not set my hopes on a getting a new pattern and instead be pleasantly surprised if they're available this year.  I believe that most of the available patterns will be retired patterns.

Starting with the colors most recently retired and their coordinating patterns...
Heirloom Paisley
Painted Medallions
Mini Medallions

Those retired last December and November...

Playful Penguins Gray
Playful Penguins Red
Modern Medley
Falling Flowers Neutral

Falling Flowers
Falling Dots
Ditsy Dot
Houndstooth Tweed
Rumba Grid
Havana Rose
Havana Dots

The patterns that retired last August...

Rain Forest
Cuban Tiles
Cuban Stamps
Imperial Rose
Imperial Tile

And finally, the patterns that were retired just after last year's sale...

Kiev Paisley
Bohemian Blooms
Bohemian Chevron
Kiev Swirls
Lilac Tapestry

And since I saw all of the patterns that they retired after the sale last year at the 2017 sale, I'm predicting that we'll also see these patterns at this year's sale...
Winter Berry
Berry Burst
Lilac Medallion
Snow Lotus
Lotus Chevron
Hearts Pink

As in previous years, there will also be older patterns available in select styles, but it's tough to predict just what exactly will be available. Last year I still saw patterns that had been retired before the 2016 sale. Your best bet is to look at the Sale section of the Vera Bradley website to get an idea.
As this is the 35th anniversary of the sale, Vera Bradley has stated that this will be the best year ever for the sale with 300 patterns and colors available. They will also be debuting a new outlet store exclusive pattern at the sale, Vintage Floral. I have a feeling we'll be seen a wide variety of patterns this year!

Retired styles are usually available in all patterns that they were made. Theoretically, you could find a bag in a Spring 2018 pattern, but I've found that anything that new tends to disappear fast. Your best bet of scoring those will happen in the first few sessions on Wednesday.

What about prices? Exact prices won't be known until the sale opens, but looking at previous years' prices can give you an idea of what to expect. Keep in mind, that beginning the second day of the sale, prices may start dropping. Just a few on the second day, then more as the sale goes on. Just keep in mind, the later in the sale you go, the less selection you may have to choose from. I value selection over price, so the second day works well for me.

To help give an idea of prices, I made a chart comparing the prices I could find from sales over the past few years. I'll be updating this as I find out prices from this year's sale. Keep in mind, the prices on the chart are the starting price; I did not include any markdowns that occurred as the sale went on.

This will be my 11th Vera Bradley Outlet Sale and I've picked up a few tips along the way.

  • Parking is $5 and it's cash only, so be sure to have some cash set aside for that.
  • Use a crossbody handbag or a smaller purse. It gets crowded in the arena as you can see from the pictures and believe me, you'll want your hands free to shop!
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. You're going to be on your feet the whole time. Don't wear flip-flops or you risk having your foot stepped on.
  • Bring a snack just in case. In 2016, due to computer issues, we ended up waiting to check out for over 2 hours. I was dying for something to eat since we'd planned to do lunch right after our session. Luckily, Trish being the awesome mom she is, had some fruit snacks in her bag. This year, I'll be prepared!
  • A couple years ago, several readers suggested using a tote or larger bag to hold their shopping. I was buying a tote for my mother-in-law, so I stuffed my other shopping in it and it was awesome. It was much easier to carry than the plastic bag you are given. If you are not going to purchase the tote you use, I would suggest making sure you use one that is well stocked so that you don't take away somebody else's chance at getting that bag.  There are boxes at the registers to put back items you do not want to purchase.
  • Don't ignore the Last Chance tables. They will be crowded when the sessions open because a lot of people head there first. Give it some time and they'll clear out. Believe me, they keep those tables well stocked! Last year, Trish found an awesome backpack for a good deal on one of the last chance tables while we were doing our last sweep of the floor before checking out. 
  • Make sure you register for the sale and bring your ID. There are usually computers set up to register if you haven't already, but you'll have to wait in line. Save time and do it before you arrive. You will not be able to purchase anything without your ID, so make sure you have it! At the checkout, you will either give them the phone number that you registered with or the printed email you receive after registering. 
  • Please don't bring young children! There is no way I'd bring a small child to the sale. It's crowded and you won't enjoy yourself if you have to worry about keeping your child with you at all times. I'm going with my best friend, Tricia, and she is leaving her adorable child at home. He's a great shopper, but she knows that the Outlet Sale is no place for a child that young. I'm so glad I have responsible friends who value the safety of their children.

Don't forget to like the Argyle Love Facebook page and follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I will try to post some Instagram Stories of the experience. I don't use it a lot, but I'll try to do some stories during the sale. (It'll be crazy in there, so no promises!) Also, follow my friend Trish on her Twitter and Instagram. We're shopping together and I'm sure she'll have things to share too!

And finally, remember to have fun! Score some great deals and enjoy being in the company of other Vera Bradley lovers.

Any questions? Leave them in a comment below and I'll try to answer them!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Review of my 2017 Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale Purchases

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small amount of compensation which I will then use to buy more Vera. 

Now that tickets for the 2018 Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale are available for purchase, it's time to start planning. Tickets are available for the first three days of the sale on Ticketmaster. Vera Bradley only charges $5 for the tickets, but Ticketmaster added another $8 in ridiculous fees, so be prepared for that nonsense.

One thing I thought might be helpful for planning is to review the items I purchased at last year's sale. I try to plan and make lists before the sale, but once you're on the sales floor and the pressure of the crowds and time are on you, decision making can be quite frantic. So, now that I've had my items for 9 months, how do I feel about my purchases?

As a reminder, here are the items I purchased at last year's sale.

Let's start with the bags in the left side picture.

Vera Bradley Lighten Up Lunch Cooler - Because I pack my lunch for work and don't always have access to a fridge, I wanted something that would hopefully keep my lunch colder than my Vera Bradley Lunch Sack. I also wanted something that would hold more than the Lunch Sack. I like that the Lunch Cooler does hold more and because it's more structured than the Lunch Sack, it keeps my lunch from getting smashed in my teacher bag (a Vera tote, of course). And while my lunch has never been warm, I don't think it keeps things as cold as my cooler tote does, but that may be because I typically have 3 to 4 hours between packing my lunch and eating it. I'm going to try putting an ice pack in there and I'm sure it will work better.

Vera Bradley Your Turn Smartphone Wristlet  - I bought this to hold my phone, ID, and money for my summer camp job since I don't usually carry a purse. It does do a great job of holding all those and it was handy to carry when I made some grocery store runs for doughnuts before the day started. (Gotta keep the staff happy and sugared up!) During the day, I usually just threw this in whatever bag I was using and kept my phone in my pocket.

Vera Bradley Carryall Crossbody - I really wanted a crossbody bag that I could use for an everyday purse. My beloved Hipster just doesn't hold enough for everyday use. This purse works perfectly. It holds everything I need and isn't too bulky. I have used it a lot since the sale and I'm disappointed that it's been retired. I'm hoping to score another one at this year's sale.

Grand Tote 2.0 - This was a last minute, not on my wishlist decision at the sale. When I heard what a good deal it was, I decided I needed one. I am so glad I did get one because this has gotten a lot of use since the sale. I frequently used it during camp to carry all the stuff I needed for activities to our various sites. I also used it as my pool bag because it holds so much stuff. I even used it at Christmas to carry presents to my mom's house. I just love the Cheery Blossom pattern and wish I owned more in it.

Let's look at the smaller items I picked up in the right side picture.

Colorful Hair Clips - I love these so much and now I can only find them at the Outlet Store. They work really well for holding those small hairs that don't make it into my ponytail or my messy bun. Hopefully, I'll be able to get some new patterns at this year's sale, but I'm not holding my breath. Vera seems to be doing away with the smaller hair accessories.

Vera Bradley Mini Notebook with Pocket - I always buy at least one of these at the sale. They are perfect for carrying in my purse for shopping lists. I actually haven't used this one yet because I haven't even used the one I bought at the 2016 sale yet. But that won't stop me from buying one at this year's sale.

Have Faith Necklace - I've worn this a few times and I really like it. I never plan to buy jewelry at the sale, but I usually wander through since the prices are good and they have some cute stuff. This is the second necklace I've bought and the quality has always been great.

Vera Bradley Flip Flop - I really like the Vera Bradley Flip Flops. They are good quality and thick, so they don't feel like they'll fall apart anytime soon like some flip flops. I always try to buy some at the sale, but usually, the larges are sold out by the time I get there. I was lucky enough to find these flip flops in Midnight Paisley last year, so I bought them even though they weren't the pattern I was hoping for. But black and white goes with just about everything, so they got a lot of wear last summer.

Ruffle Bodysuit - Sadly, I have not had a reason to use this yet.

So there you have it! I think I did pretty well for shopping in such a chaotic environment. Doing my research and having a list going into the sale definitely helped. I already have ideas for this year's sale and can't wait to start my wish list.

If you are interested in learning more about the Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale, here a few of my posts you might find interesting -

My Experience at the 2017 Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale
Tips for the 2017 Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale

And don't forget to check back later for my annual tips post for the 2018 sale. I'll be making predictions about what patterns we'll see at the sale.