Black Friday 2017: 5 Editor-Approved Shopping Tips for Avoiding Buyer's Remorse

Photographer: Craig McDean
Stylist: Alex White

Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be overwhelming for even the most experienced shoppers, so we've recruited W's editors to reveal the best holiday shopping tips they've learned throughout the years. Here, 5 rules to remember for Black Friday 2017:

1. Have a Mission, and Stick With It

It's easy to make a regrettable impulse purchase during a sale, so decide what you want in advance and make sure not to diverge from the plan. “I had a bad habit at sample sales or on Black Friday of buying something I don’t really love just because it’s a ‘good deal,’” says W’s Fashion Director Rickie De Sole. “In light of that, I find it’s always best to stick to the staples--buying that classic The Row knit that I can’t justify at full price, for example.”

Senior Accessories Editor Nora Milch relates. “Unfortunately, my dad hasn’t discovered the joys of online shopping yet,” she explains. “Every Black Friday he drags me with him through the crowds and traffic to help him buy a new suit at Nordstrom. There’s nothing I hate more than a crowded store, but it has turned into a bit of a tradition that I’ve grown to enjoy.” This year, she’ll be on the lookout for a plaid sports jacket to update her father’s closet. Once the suit is in hand, the mission has been accomplished.

2. Buy Something You've Always Wanted

You won't have buyer's remorse if you buy a specific item that you've been after for a while. On Senior Digital Fashion Editor Caroline Grosso's list? A bag from Building Block. “They make handbags in unexpected shapes, and I've been thinking about buying their cylindrical ‘Drum’ bag for several months," she says. "I think I’m going to snap one up this Black Friday.”

On the prowl for Black Friday specials. 'Paper Bag Princess,' photographed by Craig McDean, styled by Alex White, W Magazine September 2009.

Photographer: Craig McDean
Stylist: Alex White

3. Know When To Call It Quits

“One year, my dad and I went to a mall on Long Island at midnight to get a TV from Best Buy. We saw a huge line outside the store,” Taylor Ford, W’s Associate Director of Social Media, remembers. “We decided to just keep driving and we got pancakes instead.”

Ford is not the only editor to opt out of the midnight madness. After being a Black Friday devotee for years, Fashion Assistant Christy Key decided to call it quits, too. “Every year, my cousin and I would stay up all night together to go Black Friday shopping— It was our favorite Thanksgiving tradition, until we were almost trampled,” she explains. “This year, some of my favorite shops are running their Cyber Monday sales on Black Friday. Now we’ll stick to online shopping in the safety of our own homes.” (For those wanting to get a head start on holiday shopping, there are a handful of Black Friday deals that start on early--score new gadgets at Dell and HP, stock up on coffee table books from Barnes & Noble, and treat yourself to clothing and accessories on without leaving home.)

Don't shop 'til you drop this Black Friday. 'Paper Bag Princess,' photographed by Craig McDean and styled by Alex White, W Magazine September 2009.

Photographer: Craig McDean
Stylist: Alex White

4. Shop Small Business Saturday

“I always avoid going to big stores on Black Friday—stores are crowded, and it’s too difficult to avoid making regrettable impulse purchases,” says Sarah Leon, W’s Digital Editorial Director. “Instead, I do my shopping on Small Business Saturday! A few years ago, I bought one of my favorite pieces—a vintage Dior trench—at Duo, a boutique in the East Village. Not only did I feel great about the fact that the coat was 30% off, but it was also nice to support an independently owned business.”

“I usually spend Thanksgiving outside of the city, upstate,” adds Senior Social Media Manager Samantha Andriano. “On Black Friday, I won’t go near a mall. I prefer scouting out smaller, local boutiques because they’ll be participating in the price-slashing circus without the crowds.” Jewelry Editor Grace Fuller agrees. This year, she plans to visit the boutique I Pezzi Dipinti, in New York's SoHo neighborhood. “They have the perfect shawl in stock right now,” she explains.

5. Be Generous

Another way to avoid buyer’s remorse on Black Friday is to focus on others – it is, after all, the season of giving. “I once found a clutch for 50% off and bought one for my sister and my mother for Christmas,” de Sole adds. “But I ended up buying one for myself, too – so much for savings!”

Check out the rest of our gift guides for all women, your [kids), and a the best jewels of the season.

Watch: All Aboard! The Holiday Shopping Train Is Leaving the Station