Black Friday Shopping Tips from Elle’s Joe Zee and Lucky Magazine

Joe Zee
Photo courtesy of Elle
Joe Zee shares his Black Friday shopping tips.

We’re not gonna lie: The thought of heaping our plates full of juicy turkey, creamy gravy, marshmallow-covered sweet potatoes and possibly a trio of pies on Thanksgiving does have our taste buds watering.

But what really makes us drool? Snagging high-end items at seriously marked-down prices—read: Black Friday!

The busiest shopping day of recent years, according to the National Retail Federation, saw 22 million people scurrying to stores in 2010, and, with some retailers starting their sales at midnight on November 24, you can expect to be in good company as you search for those style steals.

What's your best accessory before you head out? A battle plan. We asked industry insiders for their best Black Friday shopping advice.

So, put down that turkey leg and grab your wallet; a third helping of pumpkin pie can wait. Because, if scoring a drastically reduced designer bag is your mission—this, ladies, is war.

Joe Zee, Creative Director of Elle and host of the Sundance series All on the Line (Appropriately enough, season 2 premieres on Black Friday):

Wear layers and comfortable shoes for running! Now is the time to keep your Louboutins boxed at home!

Don't go shopping on an empty stomach. Bring snacks and water to keep your energy level up.

Bring a friend or shopping buddy—divide and conquer.

Have an agenda and prioritize. Make a list of wants, especially things that Black Friday is known for, like electronics.

Lauren Sherman, Executive Digital Editor at Lucky:

A lot of the department stores open early on Black Friday, so timing is everything. But also think about what you can get online—often, you’ll find the same deals as in the stores. If you’re comfortable with that, it’s worth it, especially if they have free shipping.

It’s really important to layer. Don’t wear your heavy overcoat, even if it’s freezing on Black Friday, because when you’re in the store, you’re just going to want to take it off. Don’t drink a ton of caffeine before you go, because you’ll be sweating like crazy. And you definitely don’t want to wear heels. Wear flats. Cole Haan makes really great ballet flats with Nike technology—that’s a perfect shoe if you still want to look nice.

When things get crazy, stay calm, but be forceful. It’s really important to focus on what you want. Just because a bunch of people are going nuts for a group of handbags doesn’t mean you need one. Prepare beforehand—say, “I want to get a bag. I really want to get five ties for my husband. I really want to get this CD player for my kid.” Don’t just buy stuff because everyone is going nuts for it—that will also allow you to stay away from all the chaos.

Know the store’s sale return policy. Usually these sales are final, but you can almost always do a store exchange. I rarely try things on at a store—the store’s lighting is bad, you’re not really comfortable, you have to make a quick decision. The important thing is making sure you actually want the item.

Happy shopping!