Archive | January, 2009

Samples will do me in.

30 Jan

I must blog about how much I dearly love sample sales. There is nothing so exhilarating as getting a 90% discount on coat, a pair of $500 boots for $45, or a t-shirt that should have originally been $10 anyway but had a retail mark up of 1500% for no good reason.

There are of course the traditional brick and mortar sample sales as well. In New York, we’re blessed because they happen daily, sometimes top secret and sometimes highly publicized.  But they’re there if you want to find them. These warehouses are packed tightly with racks upon racks of the season’s over-stock from some of the world’s most sought after designers.  I will go. And if I can’t go, I will send a friend, who I trust, with impeccable taste (i.e. my friend Teresa), to shop for me.

You can check out sites like Racked.com or TopButton.com to find out when and where sales happen (again, mostly in NY and LA but sometimes other big cities). You can also scour NYMag.com for sale information as well. I tend to walk a lot in Manhattan and sometimes I walk right into one identified only by an 8 1/2 x 11″ sheet of paper that says, “Marc Jacobs sample sale, 2nd floor” in blue sharpie.

If you don’t have access to the real-life versions, there are a few signature sites that offer truly amazing online sample sales (and I literally have an order a week coming into my office). My favorites: GiltGroup.com, HauteLook.com and RueLaLa.com.  Everyday at 11 am and 12 pm ET, the sales start showcasing a new designer, and a countdown clock that details just how few precious minutes I have to throw things into my virtual cart before some other obsessed-maniacal-fashionista-turned-monster gets my cashmere wrap sweater in royal purple with sequins at the collar ticks back the seconds. It’s insanity I tell you. The only glitch, you have to either be invited by a current member or sign up for a wait list. But if you can access them, you’re golden! Brands like Ella Moss, Beyond Yoga, Marc Jacobs, Free People, Alice + Olivia, Citizens, True Religion, and Walter. Then the heavy hitters: Vera Wang, Zac Posen, Judith Ripka, Botkier, Prada, and Hermes…oh, the list continues and my head spins.

Is the economy bad? Hell yes. This is why sample sales are so crucial. You’re getting a realistic price for the clothes you love. I say take advantage of this. Get online. Get to the sales. Shop the samples and look good even when the state of our country’s economy sucks.  It can’t all be doom and gloom.

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Things I love

24 Jan

My sister sent me a message saying that it’s been nearly four months since I last posted. And prior to that, someone questioned if I even had a right to blog since I hadn’t written in so long. I get the message.  So I’m writing now.

I don’t have a specific topic in mind. Rather, I’d like to just post on the stuff I love.

ITEM #1 I LOVE: the color navy blue.

I heart navy blue. It’s my new BF (best friend, for those who don’t spend much time in the IM/Text world).  It’s my fabulous alternative to black and gray. It’s my neutral to go with any pink, purple, cream, brown, stripe, dot, green or orange. It’s my dark for the days I want to look more lean. It’s my transient color for every season. Navy is my new black. I even wear it with black because I don’t fear dark on dark.

When you think black, think Navy Blue for:

Accessories: a wallet or hand bag

Trousers: they can be your new basic black pant

Coats: they go with every color in your closet – it’s your neutral coat for the chilliest of winters

Shoes: I mean, navy shoes with chocolate brown trousers or hot skinny jeans, does it get better? (PS – skinny jeans with super high heels means even us girls with thicker thighs look long and lean…and still girly-curvy)

ITEM #2 I LOVE: PONCHOS (AKA WRAPS, CAPES, AND ANY OF THESE WITH A HOOD)

Ponchos are a savvy alternative to a thick coat when the temps are mild. They come in so many colors, styles, and fabrics which make them a standout jewel in your closet.  Throw over a cotton turtleneck, a thin cashmere sweater or even a t-shirt (no one will know) and don’t even bother taking it off during the day. It acts as your top.

Here are some of my faves:

Big, thick stripes. Throw this berry colored number over your favorite pair of black pants, dark denim, or even light khakis and you’re comfortable, warm, and sporting an easy-peasy splash of color in your outfit

Embellished, ready for evening: This gorgeous, charcoal poncho with the lacy-loopy border is begging to be worn out on the town.  Put on a pencil skirt and knee-high boots or put on a tissue thin white tank (extra long) over sleek black pants with peep toe heels.  Think big hoop earrings and big silver rings.  And if you want to tone it down, put it over a simple shift dress as a point of interest for an office ensemble.

Poncho as a coat: This is great way to rid yourself of the wool coat in more milder climates or those lucky NY days when we hit 50+ in the winter.  Simple heather gray is fine, but put on a brightly-colored kerchief around your neck and a matching bangle and you’re toasty on your commute, in your office, or in that freezing meat-locker of a movie theatre.
ITEM #3 I LOVE: CROSS-STRAP BAGS

I’m thinking forget those gi-mundo hand bags with heavy leather and metal work fit for a high-rise welder (I love you Marc Jacobs, but sometimes your bags weigh me down). How about a sleek, flush-to-the-body messenger or envelope bag?  Throw a truncated version of a wallet (i.e. a zippy change purse with your ID, debit card, metro card, and a couple $20’s) your mobile of choice, lip gloss and your keys, secure it across your body and you’ve got hands free chic.

My personal picks are:

Envelope Bag: You don’t have to go designer, but you can go basic black and thin.

Envelope Bag #2: How about a little rock star in your life?

Flat, Messenger-type bag: Do it in color

Weave It and Go: Beaten-in brown goes with all

ITEM #4 I LOVE: DARK NAILS.

I’m over that pale, non-color, natural, white-ish look. Go dark. Go hot.  I like straight black. But there are a ton of classy, all-appropriate, dark and uber-Euro looking polishes to suit all needs.  It’s winter; go dark! (And a tip that’s obligatory–do not wear these colors on long nails. They must be short to avoid looking like a h…well you know what I’m getting at. Don’t say I didn’t warn you)

A little purple you like? Try OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark

Feeling a bit blue? OPI’s Russian Navy is subtlely sparkly and deep

Chocolate Addiction: It’s all about Essie’s Chocolate Kisses

Very, very vamp if you’re feeling seductive: MAC’s Vintage Vamp is your best bet

And those, dear sister, are the things I love.