Archive for the 'Shopping Tips' Category

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Walkin’ On Sunshine | Kork-Ease

I’m on my feet a lot.  I run around the city meeting clients and I stroll the avenues looking for great finds and new trends; all of which involve a great deal of walking. I’ve been on a quest for comfortable yet good-looking shoes for about 3 years now.  I discovered Kork-Ease wedge sandals about two years ago on a fine Spring day while shopping with a client.  We were on 34th Street in a shoe store looking for shoes to match an evening gown she’d just purchased.  It had been a long day. I was tired and my dogs were sho ’nuff barkin’.  I looked up from my client’s feet and saw a suburban mom who was very well put together in a kind-of JCrew meets Martha Stewart kind of way. She had on these really cool patent leather kelly green wedge sandals.  They looked sooooo comfortable! As I was wistfully eyeing her shoes, she made a beeline over to me with a pair of sparkly heels in hand to ask my opinion. Interestingly, I get that a lot.  I wasn’t doing anything overtly “stylist-like”, I like to think that I look more stylish than most and one stylish person to another kind of karma was going on.  Anyway, she showed me the shoes and a picture of her daughter’s prom dress.  She wanted to know if I thought they’d work together. She’d made a great choice and I told her so.

Then, I pounced!  I told her that I hoped her daughter knew how lucky she was to have a stylish mom she could trust to buy her prom shoes while she was off at soccer practice.  And then, I went in for the kill (now, what you must understand about me is that I would have found out about those patent leather green wedges before that lady left the store if it killed me, client shopping trip or not – that knowledge was going to have long lasting benefits not only for me, but for many) and inquired about her sandals.  She laughed and said, “They’re the most comfortable shoe I own. I have them in every color.  They’re a re-issue from a sandal that was really popular when I was in my 20s called Korkeeze.”  I filed the name in my mental rolodex and went back to my client.

A few days later, my husband and I were leaving dinner on our way to the theater when I saw a woman, my age this time, with what I knew had to be a pair of those Korkeeze sandals (I didn’t know the proper spelling at the time).  I stopped and asked her about them, she swore they were the most comfortable shoes she’d ever owned. Clearly, I was brain dead after my client shopping excursion because although my feet were throbbing when I got home, I promptly forgot all about Googling those sandals!  But, not this time.  I got home, sat down at the computer and bought myself a pair of Ava’s in black patent leather.  They arrived just in time for a weekend trip to Miami.  I put them on and felt like I was walkin’ on sunshine.  Soccer Mom was right, they were sooooo comfortable!  And, they looked really cool in a hipster meets Palm Beach kind of way.  The best part?  They gave me a little height – I’m short with hips so I need a heel to help balance my proportions out – but at no cost to my comfort.  Remember my stylish friend Mia?  She saw me with my Ava’s on and promptly went out and bought a pair.

Believe it or not, Kork-Ease, is the original platform wedge sandal that all the hipsters were wearing back in the day.  The first pair were created in Brooklyn in 1953 and they’re been immortalized in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Landmark Shoe Collection.  An honor only bestowed to 25 styles of footwear. The best wedge known to womankind.  I kid you not.

[Prices range from $90-$135, from left to right: Bette, Bette, Shannon, Myrna, Shannon and Ava]

[A-8]

I say Tunic, You say TuNix!

Tunics are all the rage.  They have been and they continue to be.  Meet our new sponsor – TuNix!  TuNix is the brainchild of Ashley Reiser.  Ashley’s a commercial real estate banker by trade, but when her husband landed a fab new job overseas, she jumped at the chance to live abroad and try her hand at entrepreneurship.  Et voila!  TuNix was born.  Ashley knew nothing about manufacturing clothing when she started her company a few years ago, but she’s a quick study.  She did her due diligence, talked to people in the industry and ended up creating a line of clothing that is comfortable yet casually elegant.  Her goal was to provide the modern woman with stylishly functional clothes. What makes TuNix unique is that their tunics come in 4 different styles – collared or collarless, hip-length and mini-dress – the silhouette is flattering for all body types. TuNix range in size from XS – XL.  And the great thing? TuNix is having a sale, prices are $49 -$110.

JT – Are you calling dibs on the TuNix pictured?

Skinny Jeans v. Jeggings, Part 2

Thank you soooo much for all of your comments on last week’s post, Skinny Jeans vs. Jeggings!  Usually, I try to respond to all of the comments and emails I receive, but there were so many that I thought another post was merited.  In general, folks have not bought into the skinny silhouette craze of the moment.  Some of you were concerned that you might be too large or too thin to pull off this look.  Others believe it’s just a fad and why fix what ain’t broke. All valid points and concerns.

So, who are skinny jeans and jeggings for?  Honestly, they’re for whoever decides they want to wear them.  One reader said that she initially thought this was one of those trends that was going to have to pass her by because she’s plus-sized.  She got up the courage, bought a pair, wore them out and people started asking her if she’d lost weight.  Like I said last week, it’s all about the illusion.  Skinny jeans and jeggings have lyra or spandex in them (which like good shapewear) will suck you in in all of the right places.  Another reader wanted to know if skinny jeans might make her already thin frame look thinner.  The answer is: Yes, they probably will.  So, if you’re not interested in looking any smaller than you already are, the skinny silhouette may not be right for you. [Just a side note here, as hard as it may be to believe, regardless of size and shape each and everyone of us - myself included - has body image issues. That's a whole 'nother posting, but I just wanted to put that out there.]

And then there was the group who wanted to know what exactly to wear with this new skinny silhouette.  My response?  Although the silhouette has changed, what you wear with skinny jeans or jeggings is really the same as what you’d wear with your bootcut jeans.  A long wrap cardigan, a cool tank or t-shirt, tunics and funky sweaters with a pair of ballet flats or a cool pair of heels, a piece of interesting jewelry and a  a to die for handbag or clutch and you’re good to go.

For my bootcut girls, keep rockin’ em!  If you like ‘em, I love ‘em!  For those of you on the fence, try on a pair of skinny jeans or jeggings and see what you think.  Who knows, you might fall in love all over again.

From left to right: Splendid wrap cardigan, $59.99; James Perse t-shirt, $50; Cj Joy Jegging -$110; Kimono sleeve sweater, $39; L.A.M.B. Bootie, $169.46 ; NYD’s Boot Cut Jeans- $98Crystal & Metal Spikes Pendant, $124.95; Kooba Studded Satchel, $645; Embroidered Tunic, $9.95; Kenneth Cole REACTION Ballet Flat, $60; Rebecca Minkoff Clutch, $330 ; Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Straight Leg – $88.

[A-13]

Skinny Jeans vs. Jeggings

After a recent couples trip to Las Vegas, my sister called to tell me that she’d bought her first pair of skinny jeans.  I know, shopping in Vegas?  But what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas  . . . Anyway, so glad she moved from  boot cut to skinny! But, what about these jeggings you keep hearing about?  What’s the difference?  Is there one?  I must admit, I love my skinny jeans but now I’m smitten by the jeggings craze.

Skinny jeans are just that, skinny.  They’re totally in right now, skinny is the silhouette of the moment.  Jeggings just take skinny to the next level.  Jeggings are simply jeans + leggings.  What I love about jeggings is that you get all the comfort of leggings, but none of the casualness that plagues leggings.  Jeggings may seem like the province of the young and rail thin, but think again.  If you’re not a toothpick and you often do all sorts of maneuvers to get your jeans up over your thighs (if you’ve ever had to do a squat to get a pair of jeans on you fall into this camp), believe it or not jeggings may be for you.  Why? Because jegging fabric is much more forgiving than the denim used to make skinny jeans (jeggings have 5 -7% lyrca/spandex compared to 1-3% in skinny jeans).  And, believe it or not, the Denim gods are smiling on those of us with butts, hips and thighs – jeggings actually have a higher waist which can help to give a more flattering slimming effect.  (Hint: They suck you in in all the right places).

Ready to give jeggings a try?  Check out Cookie Johnson’s new line. Yes,  Cookie Johnson, Magic Johnson’s wife.  She started her denim line, Cj, because she couldn’t find a pair of jeans with a perfect fit (i.e., no calestentics required and properly covers her B,H & Ts).  What’s cool about Cj’s is that the back of the waistband is lined with silk, no more rough material rubbing against your backside, the back comes up higher than most designer jeans but the front are still low-rise and the back pockets are smaller than the size of your fist which helps to minimize the derriere.  And the best thing?  They range in size from 2 – 18.  Oprah swears that they’re the best jeans for real women with curves. Cj Joy Jegging -$110.

Not into jeggings, but ready to go skinny minny?  Cj has a skinny pair for you, Cj Faith jeans – $112 (pictured below left), and so does Not Your Daughter’s Jeans. NYD Jeans come with a special Lift Tuck technology that they swear will make you a full size smaller.  Hey, I’m all about illusions! Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Straight Leg – $88 (pictured below right).

And if this skinny nonsense is offending your sensabilities and you’re a true boot cut girl, here are a few pair of classic boot cut jeans that will look good on just about everyone.  Cj’s Grace Boot Cut Jean – $112, NYD’s Boot Cut Jeans- $98 and Paige Premium Denim’s Laurel Canyon Jean -$179.

The most important thing to remember when buying a pair of jeans is that the darker the denim, the slimmer you will look.  Just a little tip from me to you.  But, I LOVE crisp white jeans in the Summertime!  I also love to hear from you, please take a moment to tell me which brand of denim is your favorite and why.

[A-6]

The Price of Happiness

How much is too much to spend on a handbag? A pair of shoes? A dress?  A suit?  . . . We all have different thresholds based on our own incomes, lifestyles and paradigms. That said, regardless of your income-bracket, it’s sometimes difficult to justify spending what seems like an ungodly amount of money on a pair of shoes(my ungodly amount might be different from yours and yours might be different from your best friend’s, but you get my point here).  However, all of us engage in a little Retail Therapy from time-to-time.  Feeling a little down, frustrated because you have to work the weekend yet again, wading your way through a horrible break-up? It happens to all of us.  Before you know it, your fingers just start dancing all over the keyboard as you participate on that conference call and peruse Zappos, Amazonor Bluefly to find your “fix”; you know, that item that once you have  it in your possession will make you feel soooooooo much better!  A little retail therapy never hurt anyone and it’s certainly helped keep the economy afloat, but how many of those purchases have really given you more than a momentary high?

There’s a FAB pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on, but they’re really really expensive.  So, you pass on them and buy 3 other items that you like but don’t love. Duh!?!?!?!  You coulda had the FAB pair of shoes and been really happy.  Your high would come back each time you wear them!  Instead, you’ve got 3 new items that in all likelihood are going to be relegated to the back of the closet or to The Salvation Army once the shine of having something new wanes.

Lesson learned here?  We ultimately end up spending more money not buying that expensive handbag, pair of shoes, or beautiful suit because we buy to fill the void we feel by not having the item we really wanted.  Sounds crazy, right? Maybe so. Pay attention as you clean out your closet this Spring, what are you purging?  Rarely is it those coveted items that you treated yourself to (unless one’s gone beyond its shelf-life), it’s the things you bought instead of that coveted item.

I’m not advocating that you go out and spend a paycheck on a handbag.  Far from it.  My point here is, think about your Rate of Return and spend wisely rather than spending to spend.  There’s always a first time, but to date, I’ve never regretted purchasing something I really really wanted.  Spending the money is always hard for me but each time I pull out my YSL Tribute shoes, for example, they take my breath away. On the other hand, when I purge my closet each season and get rid of those filler items the regret is palpable.

[image courtesy of Chanel]

The Virtues of Stylish Workout Gear

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If working out on a regular basis is one of your New Year’s resolutions, you’re not alone.  Every January, gym memberships peek as people come off of their holiday highs hoping to drop a few lbs before swimsuit season hits again.  Making the resolution is easy, following through on it is the challenge.

Crazy as this may sound, I always feel better about dragging myself out of bed to walk to the gym on dark cold mornings if I know that, while I may be a tad bit out of shape, my workout clothes are slammin’!  (For the record, James, my instructor at Physique 57, said I was his best-dressed student, what he was too nice to say is that I’m probably the least coordinated!  But I digress).  Working out in old t-shirts and ratty sweats doesn’t do it for me.  Some might argue that it doesn’t matter what you workout in just as long as you workout.  Agreed.  All I’m saying is that it’s much easier to get myself to the gym if I’m in workout gear that makes me feel good.

Workout clothes don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg – although I have seen some pretty FAB gear that I’ve just had to walk away from before I convinced myself that I would be able to run longer and faster on the treadmill if I wore it.  Now, I can be a little cheap when it comes to work out clothes; this is an area where I’m definitely looking for a bargain.  Truth be told, I’ve purchased my fair share of workout clothes from Equinox because in my haste to get there, I left a vital piece at home (um, shorts for example).  So, to balance those pricey purchases, I shop for workout gear at my favorite discount stores - Marshall’sTJ Maxx and Target. Black is slimming, or so they say, so much of my workout wardrobe consists of black items with pops of color here and there. This also makes it very easy to get dressed while I’m half asleep because just about everything goes together so I don’t have to put thought into looking good, I just have to get to the gym.  And if I fall off the wagon, I don’t feel badly about having wasted money on expensive workout clothes . . .

Now, if none of this is your cup of tea, our friends on the other side of the pond conducted a study found shopping to be healthy exercise – we burn 5 calories for every minute of shopping (who knew?!?!).  So, rather than go to the gym, grab your purse and your best shopping bud and head to the nearest mall to burn off those extra lbs!

[image from WellSphere]

My Stylish Valentine . . .

JHill Design, Mary Green Sleep Mask, Bona Drag, Baked by Melissa, Memoire Liquid

Let LOVE rule this Valentine’s Day and celebrate your loved ones, or yourself, with something a little different from the norm this year.  It’s always wonderful to receive flowers and chocolates, but here are some Valentine’s Day gift ideas to knock the socks off of your beloved (or to treat yourself with!):

For the JetSetter A customized print, or a set of beautifully designed notecards, from JHill Design’s Places I’ve Never Been series is sure to be a hit for the jetsetter in your life or anyone with a wanderlust for travel.  Places I’ve Never Been is a collection of drawings by graphic designer Jennifer Hill of JHill Design.  The fanciful patterns are inspired by her imaginary vacations to far off places.  Cost:  $18 – $100.

For Sleeping Beauty Waking up in a room full of sunshine is a wonderful thing if you are: (1) not hung over; (2) fully awake or (3) on vacation in paradise and not hung over. Glaring bright light, just like a baby’s cries waking you up in the morning, can set your nerves on edge.  Mary Green’s sleep masks to the rescue.  I am partial to The Breakfast at Tiffany’s eye mask, Audrey Hepburn’s eye mask just makes me smile. But, if you’re looking for something with a little less flash she’s got you covered (literally and figuratively).  Cost:  $13 – $35.

For the Girl Who Has Everything These studded ballet flats are  great to kick around the house in, perfect to wear through TSA and on long flights; she has everything – trust me, she’ll figure out how to make the most of these funky little ballet slippers from Bona Drag.  Cost:  $48.

For The Girl Who Loves Sweets Mini-cupcakes from Baked by Melissa.  Mmmm … mmm… good!  Shower her with bite-sized bits of love.  They’re the size of a quarter and the flavors are scrumptious – mint chocolate chip, cinnamon, red velvet, tie-dye, chocolate cookie dough, peanut butter cup, peanut butter & jelly, s’mores and cookies & cream – her sweet tooth will be satisfied. Stop by either her SoHo or Union Square locales. Minimum purchase is 3.  Cost: 3 for $3, 6 for $5.25 and 12 for $10 and so on.

For the Girl Obsessed with Fragrance Is your sweetheart so unique that she deserves her own fragrance custom blended for her and only her?  If so, Memoire Liquide is the answer.  The specialists at the Memoire Liquide Boutique, located at Henri Bendel’s in New York, Bloomingdale’s at 59th Street in New York and Studio at Fred Segal in Santa Monica, will create a fragrance, lotion or bath oil based on her favorite notes creating a scent that focuses on who she is and what she’s all about.  Cost:  $30.

[images courtesy of JHill Designs, Mary Green, Bona Drag, Cupcakes Take the Cake, Memoire Liquide & JHill Design]

The British Are Coming!

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I admit it.  I’m an Anglophile.  I’m a sucker for a British accent.  I love The Tudors (between Phillipa Gregory and Wikipedia, there’s not much I don’t know about King Henry VIII); Are You Being Served, Keeping Up Appearances, As Time Goes By, Rosemary and Thyme, and just about anything on Masterpiece Theater are always on my DVR; I rarely make it to the movies, but I just saw The Young Victoria; and I’m totally smitten with many of the London High Street shops.   And believe it or not, one of my new favorite stores really is TopShop – great value for money, definitely on trend and just so British it makes my heart flutter.  And then of course there’s the online store As Seen On Screen a.k.a. ASOS whose mission is to provide John Q. Public with clothes similar to the styles seen on celebrities. (They just added a line called Curve for plus-size women which is pretty fab).

Strolling down Lincoln Road last weekend in Miami, I stumbled upon another great British find – AllSaints Spitafields.  Apparently, I missed their boutique in Bloomies; I’m not mad that I’m late to the party though.  The fantastic opera coat on display when I walked in the door took my breath away.  As I weaved my way through the racks, I swooned over a few dresses, sweaters, jackets and leggings.

AllSaints is high-end high street Brit brand known for its sophisticated cuts, edgy yet pared-down aesthetics and muted tones.  Definitely hip, decidedly downtown – my kind of store!  Imagine my elation when I read that AllSaints Spitafields will be opening in SoHo in April.  If April can’t get here fast enough for you and if you’re not in Miami or Los Angeles, check out their online store.  And for a peek at what’s to come, check out  one self-proclaimed global shopper’s review of one of their London outposts at Haute World.

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[image from AllSaints Spitafields]

New Year, New You! (part 2)

sartorialist1

To go from Hit Or Miss to Glamazon, you gotta love just about everything in your closet.  May sound strange, but it’s true.  To get to this point, you’ve go to figure out what your personal style is, plain and simple.  Here’s the thing about personal style – it’s just that, personal.  To get to the point where you love everything in your closet and the way it looks on you, you’ve got to do some work.  It’s worth the time and effort, but it will take some time and effort.

Elevate Your Style Quotient – Morphing Into A Glamazon

The first step is to figure out which styles and shapes are most flattering to your shape.

  • For example, if you have a bit of a pouch, form-fitting dresses, tops and sweaters while definitely in this season (and most if we’re perfectly honest) are not necessarily going to be your go-to items.  Shapewear can help you minimize a pouch no doubt, but shapewear may not be something you want to wear on a daily basis.  More flattering cuts would be A-line dresses, kimono-like blouses and tops or possibly even a wrap dress depending on the cut of the dress.
  • What’s tricky about this first step is two-fold:  (1) Sometimes it’s hard to be honest with yourself and (2) Figuring out what looks good is more than a notion.  Ask a trusted friend to come over and try on a few outfits to get his or her honest opinion.  Or, go to a department store and enlist the help of a salesperson as you try on some of the latest trends.  IGIGI has a great shape calculator that can help you determine the best styles for your figure.
  • As you try to determine what shapes are most flattering, remember that very few of us have the bodies clothing manufacturers are cutting for.  Don’t despair, just make your tailor your new BFF and have your clothes altered to a perfect fit.  Small waist and a bit of junk in your trunk?  Buy slacks and jeans to accomodate your junk and then have the waist taken in.  Volia! A perfect fit in no time.

A great wardrobe is made up of quality classic pieces.

  • You’ve got a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.  You must be crazy, right? No.  Most of us make the mistake of buying what’s “IN” rather than building a wardrobe of classics that can transcend trends or incorporate trends.  Integrate trends into your wardrobe by buying one “IN” item or a few accessories each season as you grow or re-vamp your wardrobe.
  • Make sure your closet is stocked with The Classic 8:  (1) A dark suit; (2) A crisp white shirt; (3) A black wool or cashmere turtleneck; (4) A LBD; (5) A pair of dark jeans; (6) A trench coat; (7) A good pair of classic black heels; and (8) One item that makes your heart leap – an amazing coat like the woman pictured above, a FAB purse, or possibly a beautiful watch. Believe it or not, you have at least 2 weeks worth of outfits if you have just these 8 items.
  • Find designers and stores in your price range who make clothes that fit you well.

Morphing into A Glamour Goddess

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Glamour Goddesses come in all shapes and sizes.  Sara Jessica Parker is Glamazon, but dont get it twisted, so is your colleague who is always well-put together and polished or the mom at drop-off who looks like she stepped out of a JCrew catalogue or right off of the page of the NYTimes SundayStyles.  A Glamour Goddess isn’t defined as someone whose exploits are chronicled on Page 6 (although, she may very well be); she’s simply someone who wears her clothes confidently.  This is easy for her to do because she loves everything in her closet; now getting dressed in the mornings or for an evening out on the town is easy.  She injects her personal style by choosing jewelry, handbags, scarves, totebags, shoes and belts that take her basic underlying wardrobe from classic to chic.

The Glamour Goddess in you is dying to come out, take the time this year to help her emerge!  I know Jada would . . .

[image from The Sartorialist]

Buckle Up!

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While visions of sugar plums are dancing in the heads of others, I’m craving another one of Ann Lansing‘s belts, the buckle and strap combo are so retro – you know you had a belt from Pappagallo – but Annie’s creativity gives them  just the right amount of edge!  I’m hoping Santa leaves me a new one for Christmas.  To insure Santa leaves one of Annie’s belts under the tree for you, pick up one for yourself at Ann Lansing’s holiday trunk show this Saturday if you’re in New York.

WHERE: The Lancome Boutique, 201 Columbus Avenue (@69th Street), 212.362.4858

WHEN: This Saturday, December 19th, 4-8pm

WHY: Her belts are unique, fun to wear and 10% of each belt purchase will benefit Memorial Sloan Kettering.  Plus, if you buy a belt and then want to buy some makeup, you’ll get 10% off of all Lancome purchases.  Oh, and there will be free goodies, champagne and hors d’oeurves.  Sounds like a great way to kick-off the holidays!

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[images from Ann Lansing Design]

Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Take Your Pick

What is it about Thanksgiving that puts Americans in the mood for shopping? Shopping the day after Thanksgiving on Black Friday is as ingrained in us as the watching the Superbowl on the  1st Sunday in February.  And this year is no exception.  Black Friday falls on November 27th this year and it is the official kick-off of the holiday shopping season!

The term Black Friday was coined in Philadelphia by the Philadelphia Police Department in reference to the massive traffic jams and overcrowded sidewalks on the day after Thanksgiving. While often touted as the busiest shopping day of the year, retailers’ profits don’t always match the long lines snaked around their stores and parking lots.

This year, however, some of the big box stores have already begun to offer their Black Friday deals in anticipation of trumping one another.  Sears began it’s Black Friday sales in October – go figure.  It’s not clear if this pre-emptive move got folks in the store spending money or not, it’s too soon to tell.  Target has been advertising that it’s Black Friday deals will be lower than ever and allows shoppers to sign up on line for shopping reminders.

2009 Black Friday Special Deals

This year look for travel deals, particularly in the form of vacation packages from various airlines and hotel chains.  The doorbusters are the same as usual – 52″ TVs and laptops at major savings from stores like BestBuy, WalMart, KMart, you know the usual suspects.  If you’re looking for deals on higher end brand items, check to see if the Simon Outlet Mall closest to you opens at midnight on Thanksgiving.  If so, take a nap after dinner and plan to get there by 11pm at the latest to find a parking space and queue up for some of the best deals you’re going to find during the holiday season.

Cyber Monday

However, if the crowds and all the drama are too much for you, not to worry, Cyber Monday was created just for you!  You can bypass the Black Friday sales entirely and wait until you’re back in your office on Monday to kick-off your holiday shopping spree from your computer with no lines, hassle, or stress. Cyber Monday is to Black Friday what yin is to yang. So, if the stress of Thanksgiving dinner is all you can handle this weekend, no worries. There will be deals galore on Cyber Monday.  Check out sites like CouponCabin and RetailMeNot to find out about even more special offers and bargains before you let your fingers do the typing.

 

 

 

Holiday Shopping Tips:

  • Know your budget;
  • Create a list of who you’re buying gifts for, how much you plan to spend on each recipient, and what you’d like to get for each one;
  • Come up with a shopping strategy so that you maximize your time at the mall or online;
  • Keep your list with you while shopping so that you can check off your purchases as you go; and
  • Keep all of your holiday receipts in the same envelope.  And, remember to ask for gift receipts.

Happy Shopping!

What’s In a Name?

High end designers are designing for the masses.  Thought you’d never be able to afford a pair of Jimmy Choos?  Guess again.  Do you love Anna Sui but not her prices? What about Temperley of London? Alexander McQueen? Jill Sander? Kate Moss? …  It’s a bandwagon just about anyone who’s anyone in the design world is jumping on.  Target and H&M are at the forefront of this movement, but it’s a party many are likely to attend.  And why not?  Consumer dollars are more precious than ever, why should a designer restrict him or herself to only a fraction of that money when offering clothes at a variety of price levels insures money in the bank and not just a layout in Harpers Bazaar? Cha-ching!!!!

Target was definitely the leader of this trend – Do you remember Swell by Cynthia Rowley and Ilene Rosenberg?  Great comforter and sheet sets for your dorm room or the stylish teen?  CR now has a line of home goods at Target called Whim.  Liz Lange’s maternity duds available at prices that you don’t have to be an UES (Upper East Side) mom to  afford?  Or Michael Graves’ beautiful kitchen appliances and do-dads that even made the folks at Alessi salivate?  Then Target threw the gauntlet down when it hit us with its Go International line featuring emerging designers. Target has had partnerships with everyone from Luella Bartley to Thakoon.  Not to mention Target’s accessories collaborations with designers like Devi Kroell and Erickson-Beamon.  And now, their Designer Collaborations available for a limited time and featuring established designers who draw inspiration from a muse or creative elements – think Anna Sui and Gossip Girl.

And then there’s H&M (f.k.a. Hennes & Mauritz), the Swedish conglomerate focused on fashion domination with 1,800 stores in 34 countries who’s goal is to bring its customers fashion and quality at the best price.  Their designer collaborations began 5 years ago with the father of haute couture, Karl Lagerfeld and as recently as a few weeks ago Jimmy Choo’s line for H&M was revealed.

Everyone’s in the game – Christian Siriano the winner of Project Runway 4 is designing for Payless and even Earnest Sewn, the Manhattan denim company, is collaborating with designers like Van Cleef & Arpels, Repetto, Trovata and knitwear designer Victor Glemaud.

Other stores have bought into the concept too, look for designer collaborations at Uniqlo (Jill Sander), TopShop (Christoper Kane) , Walmart (Miley Cyrus & Max Azria)

With all of these designer duds available at a fraction of the cost, you too can be stylishly FABulous at a fraction of the price!