Wednesday, November 4, 2015

After months and months of teasers, sneak peeks, one of the greatest H&M collab’ campaigns of all times and yet, a major runway show in New York, the Balmain x H&M collection has now finally touched base in the motherland and will be available to shop as of November 5th within a few H&M stores across Canada as well as online, worldwide.

Now, I know H&M’s designer partnerships launches always are the craziest times of the year and getting your hand on THAT particular piece you’ve been drooling over for the past 6 months can become quite an obsession yet, still very challenging. I’ve been myself a strong supporter of the movement ever since the infamous Versace x H&M collaboration a few years back and with time, if there is one thing I witnessed so far it’s that, shopping those exclusive collections always is ultra-competitive. So competitive that you may need, as a matter of fact, a good shopping strategy to go through the whole process ever-so smoothly. Happy to share with you my Girl’s Guide to Shopping Balmain x H&M !

Oh, and for one last sneaky peek at what's going to be in store for you guys tomorrow morning, make sure to check out my Instagram, Twitter feed and Snapchat profile tonight as of 7:00 PM (Eastern Time) as I will be (finally!) previewing the collection in exclusivity with the lovely team of H&M ! More to come...

1) Make a Top 10 List

I build up a mental list of everything I’d be interested in getting myself before every major shopping spree. Usually, I try to keep it down to my Top 10, this way, I don’t go overboard, confusing wants, needs and just plain “useless-but-so-pretty” ;) At this time, I don’t really take under consideration prices as we’ll get down to that in the following steps; basically, anything that would make me happy and could be of a great use is welcome on that list ! To make up my mind, I also like to review lookbooks or stocklists, when available, so I can see the bigger picture when it comes to purchasing statement pieces likes boots, coats and eveningwear. Basics, including tees, underwear, socks and bottom pieces generally come up on a needs vs. wants base. Check out my Balmain x H&M Top 10 list down below…


2) Evaluate Your Wants vs. Needs

Once you're satisfied with your list, take the time to go through every single item, one by one, and ask yourself: Is that a want or a need ? Then, prioritize your needs over your wants until you top off your allowed budget and if you have some extra pocket money left (you'd have been quite good already!), add on those pieces you don't need urgently but would still enjoy very much owning in your closet ;) This way, you'll end up happy about your purchases and won't have second thoughts nor regrets !

3) Fix Yourself a Budget

Speaking of budget, every good serial shopper will tell you that shopping without a pre-fixed budget can be a pretty bad idea… If you want to operate some damage control on your bank account, I recommend fixing yourself a reasonable budget, keeping in mind to include taxes. Then, take a 10-15% chunk off that initial amount that will act as a buffer on your wallet, preventing you to go too overboard with last-minute coups de coeur !

It goes without saying, do respect your budget once at the store ;)

4) Figure Out When and Where You're Going to Shop

In store

I will never mention this enough, as the designer collections are usually very popular, there are a few things to keep in mind for a great shopping experience, in-store… First check out H&M's Store Locator page to find the location closest to you that will stock the collection. To all my Canadians gals, I've got you covered on this one:

Metropolis at Metrotown

Rockland Centre
St. Catherine St. West at Peel St.

Bloor Street West
Toronto Eaton Centre
Yorkdale Shopping Centre

The Pacific Centre

Then, keep in mind that doors will open at 8:00 AM (local time) and that you may want to get there a little early to secure your spot in the queue among the first costumers. I'm insisting on this point because like they did with the Alexander Wang collaboration, H&M will hand out coloured bracelets to the first 420 people in line; 14 colours with one for each group of 30 customers, to be precise. Your colour will determine when it will be your time to shop in the designer collection area. 

Each group will have 10 minutes to shop. There will be 5 minutes between each group for re-stocking. Also, the bracelets are only for customers shopping the Balmain x H&M collection so if you are not in the first 420, you can still shop in the store as the bracelet system only applies to the designer collaboration. After the last group is done shopping, H&M will open the designer collection area to all customers !


The collection will go live at 8:00 AM (Eastern Time) on, so my tip is to do your timezone math and set a calendar alert ;) For the best chance at actually getting what you put in your cart, be sure to set up an account on in advance and remember to save your shipping and billing details so your checkout goes smoothly, quick and easy ! Online shopping regulars will agree with me on this one, the last step will SAVE YOUR LIFE !

5) Keep in Mind the Purchase Restrictions

Very often, if you are planning on getting up bright and early on November 5th to go and join the queue to shop the collection at 8:00 AM precisely, you might end up with some friends or family commisioning you to make a purchase or two on their behalf. Happens to me every year, I must admit ;) To avoid any type of confusion, dissapointment or troubles at cashwrap, keep in mind that to allow as many customers as possible to buy from the Balmain x H&M collection, H&M will be limiting purchases to no more than two items per product. The way I understand it is that, when it comes to shoes and garments, you will most likely have to choose two different sizes if purchasing the same pieces twice. As for accessories, if there is no sizing involved, you'll be allowed to purchase up to two, top. 

This applies to all items in the collection.

6) Get Familiar With the Return Policy

So you arrived extra early to make sure to secure yourself a spot in the queue among the 420 first customers. You're in  ! Somehow, when it's time to browse the collection, try on a few sizes and, pick and choose what you ultimately want to buy, the frenesy around a brand new, exclusive collection on a Thursday morning can definitely become overwelhming and starts getting on your nerves. If you're not feeling like waiting around for a changing room or to get in line at cashwrap for God knows how long, you can always pick up the pieces you might be interested in (remember, no more than two per item!), purchase everything and try it on/make up your mind quietly at home. It is indeed a great thing that returns from the designer collections are now accepted within the next 7 days. 

Be careful though, items must be returned to THE STORE OF ORIGINAL PURCHASE with YOUR ORIGINAL RECIEPT. Items must also be UNWORN/UNUSED with TAGS ATTACHED. Lastly, I would assume that, just like in every other store, earrings and underwear may not be returned for hygienic reasons, of course !

Photo credits: Shanita Sims©

Have an amazing time shopping the new Balmain x H&M collection everyone ! Let me know what you got yourselves in the comment box down below ;)

The post GIRL'S GUIDE TO SHOPPING H&M x BALMAIN appeared first on PBTH **

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