Monday, December 21, 2009

Thanks to MS ARSCOTT

Hopefully you have noticed my new look. I love the soft, feminine undertones to the title, and I have MS ARSCOTT to thank. As a fellow blogger and a colleague, MS ARSCOTT is constantly inspiring me with her keen eye and passionate spunk. If you want to be amused, entertained, and inspired, you should follow MS ARSCOTT.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Guest Blogger: The Tale of an Amazing Find

Still not a TJ fan? Read this post from a dear friend, Natalie Anderson, and fellow TJ fanatic. If this doesn't change your mind, I suppose you are hopeless! (Don't forget to checkout the "compared at" price.)

If you’re like me, you have a hard time not picking up a few items for yourself while Christmas shopping for others. I had not considered this risk when my mom sent me to find a “fabulous” purse for her to give my sister for Christmas.

I went straight to my nearby TJ Maxx for their variety of styles and prices. While I found a few great options for my sister, there was one that called my name and I knew I could not give it up!

I found this amazing handbag in the clearance section, marked down to $90 from an original $180 TJ Maxx price. A little google searching after the purchase confirmed that this was a VERY good deal.

Some of you might be thinking I’m selfish for not giving the fabulous purse to my sister, but I can assure you that her personal style and lifestyle do not fit with this beauty. So I’m off the hook for any guilt!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shoulder Service

Even if you are not knee deep in fashion trends, it is probably hard to ignore the overly exaggerated shoulder trend. While I think strong shoulders are amazingly lovely on a woman, the massive 80s shoulder pad throwback and futuristic harsh angles are unrealistic for everyday wear. And they tend to make women look more like a football linebacker versus simply accentuating a sexy female trait.

Here is my real life compromise: bedazzled shoulders.



Obviously accentuating shoulders doesn't always have to entail sparkles, but look for detail around the shoulder area from studding to a contrast knit. Then look for a slight scoop neck that shows off your collar bones. You might as well accentuate another sexy female trait if you are drawing eyes to that area.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Ugg-ly Truth

As of late, I have been agonizing over a fashion situation. I know I am about six years late to the conversation, but I have finally come around to considering the purchase of Uggs. At first encounters, I found Uggs clumsy and anything but feminine. But as the temperature drops and my fashion motivation decreases, the thought of rolling out of bed and throwing on leggings, a cozy flannel shirt, and comfy Uggs is rather tempting.

Before I take the plunge of a $200+ investment (which is a lot for my thrifty self) I need to weigh all sides. For example, has the Ugg phenomenon run its course? And if so, what is their comfy replacement? That is why I am turning to my trusty readers. What do you think I should do? Uggs or no Uggs?!

Picture Source: Cupcakes and Cashmere

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Weather Outside is Frightful

The single good thing about the sub freezing weather san snow is all the fun, cozy outerwear. Right now I am loving my mittens, which I happened to get at this year's War Eagle Craft Fair (craft fairs aren't just for your grandmother). The mittens are made from vintage sweaters and buttons and warmed up inside with a fuzzy fleece.

Don't want to wait until next year's craft fair? Check out this Etsy site with a similar mitten concept.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Guilt Free Shopping

I sometimes need a "me" break during the craziness of the holidays, but since it is the season of giving, I often feel guilty buying items for myself. I have the perfect solution: thrift store shopping. Look at these Frye-like boots I found today at the Springdale Salvation Army. The are real leather, and I love how the person before me has worn out the toes. It makes them look tougher. The best part: they were $10! Definitely guilt free!


I know that so many of you like the idea of thrift store shopping but are painfully afraid to venture on your own. If you need a "me" break this Saturday (December 12), let me know (via the comment section) and I will organize and lead a guided tour through a couple Rogers, AR thrift stores.

Can't get enough ...

...of BIG, embellished belts. I love how retro they look and how they have the ability to add personality to even plain jane tees. Best place to get them? Thrift stores!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Guest Blogger: Fashionable Gifts for Men

I am often asked about men's fashion and then I have to kindly surrender that I know nothing about it. This is proven by all the clothes I buy my husband that are still sitting in his closet with the original tags. So to properly guide you women on men's fashion, I tapped into a man who seems to get it right. Jamie Cornett has a distinct sense of style that seamlessly blends an urban funk with a preppy polish, creating stylish ensembles that are never over the top or masculine compromising.

So here you go ... fashionable gift giving advice for the man in your life from a man who gets it:

Ok ladies, I feel like I need to start off with news you probably don’t want to hear…men don’t like getting clothes for Christmas. It’s not because we don’t trust you to find a pair of jeans or a polo shirt that would look good on us. It is because with each gift that is carefully wrapped and placed beneath the Christmas tree we immediately imagine ourselves rocking out with that new MP3 player, catching YouTube worthy video on our Flip Ultra HD camcorder, or staying cool with Dyson’s new Air Multiplier that we are convinced is inside those boxes. We want the latest gadget for Christmas. When we open that first package only to find another sweater vest we will of course be grateful…on the outside. Inside, however, we are already looking forward to that next box and hoping that whatever is inside either requires batteries or plugs in. I’m going to let you take a peek at my Christmas wish list and hopefully allow you to not only avoid this scenario completely but help you find some clothes that make your guy look great.

Jeans
Everyone knows that jeans are a staple in every guy’s wardrobe. When jeans become a gift they need to have a little more style than the 10 pairs of Levi’s that are already hanging up in the closet. Go for a darker wash and stick to either a straight leg or slim cut. This ensures that they are not overly casual and are perfectly acceptable for jean’s day at work.


Source: Gap

Cardigans
I had trouble with this one at first but you have to believe me. Take note the next time you are watching a primetime sit-com that includes young, professional men in the cast. One of them will be wearing a cardigan. Think Mr. Rogers Neighborhood! You can choose from standard colors like gray and black or if your guy is a little more courageous go out on a limb with purple or blue…and don’t forget about argyle and cable-knit styles. You might initially get a funny look once he realizes he’s holding a cardigan but insist he try it on with a dress shirt underneath and he will realize that it looks great.



Source: Banana Republic

Sneakers
While guys don’t have the obsession with shoes that plagues most females we undoubtedly feel a little better about ourselves when we’re wearing a nice new
pair of sneakers. And they go with everything! You can go super casual with jeans and a t-shirt or high-style when paired with a suit. Here the important thing is that they have something a little different about them. Maybe they are made of patent leather or have an odd mix of color (orange and turquoise perhaps). Some brands to look for are Nike, Diesel, Converse, and Puma.

Source: Puma

Half-zip Sweaters
Go to any office where the dress code is business casual and without question the majority of the guys there will be wearing long sleeve button down dress shirts. These are easy for us to buy on our own. They are either solid or striped and for the most part all look fairly similar. A great way to update this look is to add a half-zip sweater as a top layer. The color or print from the shirt is still visible and you get the added bonus of looking like you put some thought into your appearance. The good thing is that you can buy one or two half-zips and wear them over several of the dress shirts that are already in your closet. Don’t be afraid to branch out color-wise. Shades of blue, green, and purple are good choices. Also make sure the material is thin enough so that over-heating isn’t an issue.

Source: Banana Republic

Ok, there it is…my no-technology-allowed Christmas wish list. One more thing, don’t forget that there is plenty of room in your guy’s stocking to include some guy friendly fashion accessories. A pair of argyle or striped socks, a new brown or black belt, or even a black skinny tie (seriously, I still love the skinny tie) would be a great addition to the chocolate santa, chapstick, and Nerd rope that I usually find in mine.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fashionable Fotos

It is that time where everybody is getting camera ready for their infamous Christmas card pictures. If you are like me, you are left staring at your closet wondering what to wear and likely agonizing over how to guide your significant others, little ones, and maybe even furry ones on how to coordinate (or heaven forbid, match) your outfits.

I reached out to a photographer friend, Kim Lowery, for a little guidance and here is what she said:

Old school answer: Stay away from patterns or stripes. Keep it simple, and try to match or at least coordinate. Avoid whites and other light colors as they compete with light skin tones. Avoid showing very much skin as it can compete with your face which should be the focus of the portrait.

I'll admit, I have given some of that advice in the past, but times have changed. THANK GOD!

Have fun! It's important that your photos reflect you or your family. Don't be afraid to throw on your holiday dress and heels or your tie and blazer. If your session is on a cold day (or even if it's not) wear your winter scarf and gloves. Bring your favorite accessories. Ask your photographer if you have time for one outfit change or at least an accessory change. Try something casual and something formal.

The most important advice I give my clients about their clothing choice is that they need to feel good in what they are wearing. I want them to feel that they look their best and to be comfortable with what they have on.

Take notice of magazines and blogs to find pictures of families or couples who are wearing something you like.

And on one last note, I think it's important for all of us to have classic and timeless pictures of ourselves or our families, but these pictures also represent who you are today or this year. Your pictures will reflect your style during this time of your life, and that is just as important.

I love Kim's last piece of advice. It gives me permission to rock an outfit that best captures my personal style at this very moment. So who cares if my strong-shouldered, sequin jacket paired with thigh-high boots makes me wonder what the heck was I thinking in 10 years, I will at least know I was having fun and embracing the moment. To me that is way more interesting than a classical portrait.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Your Fall/Winter 2009 Wardrobe Checklist from Budget Babe

I just read a great, all-inclusive must have checklist from Budget Babe that covers off on everything from layering tees to jeggings to nail polish color.

You should definitely hop on over and check it out ... especially if you are scratching your head on the heck are jeggings (FYI, they sell them at Walmart).

Click here for the full checklist.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Techno Colored Dreamy Tights

One of the most fascinating things about trends is observing the evolution year by year, season by season. Tights have been a long standing staple in my winter wardrobe. However, this year's variation of tights is no longer just about black, knit, or ribbed. Tights have gone to a whole new colorful level. If you are like me, initially you find this trend extremely intimidating and think "oh it looks so good on her, but I could never pull it off." But after observing several friends who make it look easy, I came up with three options so that anyone can truly pull off colored tights.

Option 1: Go neutral. The easiest way to balance the blanket of color is to ensure the rest of your outfit is in neutral colors and has simple lines. Blacks and grays are the easiest selection and create a really streamlined and sharp look.

Option 2: Stay in the same color family. If you want to throw in another color, look for a monochromatic color that matches your tights, or is at least in the same color family (in this case, her tights and shoes). That makes the color lines flow seamlessly versus creating a harsh color break with a contrasting color.

Option 3: Be colorfully muted. If you choose a colored tight that is more muted (e.g., army green (BTW currently obsessed with this color), plum or navy), you can play with more color combinations. But keep those combinations muted and complementary. For example, this outfit has army green tights (the picture doesn't represent the true color), navy skirt, mustard yellow sweater, and a red-orange belt. The muted colors almost read as neutrals making the combination completely approachable and not overwhelming.

Still nervous? Try a pattern instead of a color. Maybe a little polka-dot or a lace pattern in a black or gray tight. If you are STILL not sold, I will leave you with a provoking style stat (kind of). I read somewhere that colored tights act as a visual slimming element for the legs. So go forth and be colorful.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Your UItimate Fall Closet

If I had all the money in the world, I would do 90% of my clothing and accessory shopping on Shopbop.com. With a highly developed fashion vision, Shopbop has an excellent mix of foundational designers and new, up-and-comers and carefully selects avant-garde pieces and amazing basics. Unfortunately this type of fashion sophistication comes at a price, which is one I can't afford. I often drool over their email blasts that utilize one-of-a-kind pieces to create one-of-a-kind ensembles that feel I have little ability to apply to my less than designer wardrobe. However, their latest email blast details out 14 pieces that every girl should have for the ultimate fall 2009 closet, providing a mirage of on-trend looks. While I doubt I will ever spend $200 on a plaid shirt, I can definitely look for these key pieces at the stores I can afford.


So what are the 14 things?
  • Leather jacket
  • Pocket tee
  • Scarf
  • Flat booties
  • Slouchy skinny jeans
  • Tote purse
  • Jersey dress
  • Chambray button-down
  • Platform booties
  • Flannel shirt
  • Stripped tank
  • Boyfriend jacket
  • Harem pants
  • Cashmere v-neck

A couple things I would add if I was a Shopbop stylist: faux fur vest, a leather, motorcycle vest, jeweled flats, and colored tights.

Visit Shopbop to see all the combinations you can create with a couple updates to your closet.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Scarving

For the past couple of seasons, scarves have been a must inclusion for any wardrobe no matter a person's fashion passion. Scarves have such a style altering power that take a plain look to Bohemian funky or effortless sophistication with a single wrap around the neck. Now that the weather is crisp and cooler, I could wear a scarf almost everyday purely for functional warmth. To ensure my repeat wearings don't make my style predictable, I experiment with how I utilize the scarf. Just in case you didn't know scarves could be so completely versatile, I offer you six ways to wear them (keeping you warm and chic).

Let it hang.

This works with a long rectangular scarf or a more substantial pashmina. The hang gives a sense of effortless sophistication.

Wrap, wrap and fluff, fluff.

This works the best with a rectangular scarf that is either very cozy or has a pattern. This look has the power to give any outfit some attitude.

Single, simple wrap for a cool polish.

Single, simple wrap with a tie in the front.

I think this works best with a patterned scarf because this technique makes the scarf a focal point.


Loop-de-loop.

I routinely get asked how I do this. Fold your scarf in half and thread the scarf's ends through the middle of the fold. I like to do this with a contrasting colored pashima to my blouse. What's great about this look is it easily transitions from a coat to no coat and still adds such a nice touch.

Handkerchief Style.

This is my current fave. Fold a square scarf in half diagnolly. Let the big point of the triangle hang from your neck as you criss cross the other corners behind you, bringing them back to the front to hang. This look has a very Indie essence to it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Office Muses

I am lucky enough to work in an incredibly creative environment that embraces some serious fashion experimentation. Each day I am inspired by the selections my professional peers make. And while not all the girls and I have the same exact style, I love finding the details that I can reapply to my own wardrobe with a unique twist.

Simple colors and streamlined shapes result in a chic polish.

Black and brown can mix and accessories alone can elevate an understated look.

Bare legs with boots can be done tastefully with an edgy sophistication.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Stacy London Says

I had the extreme pleasure of meeting one of my highly esteemed fashion idols, Stacy London from What Not to Wear. If I could have any job, it would take me a second to decide that I want hers. She has the ability to take clothing and make it priceless by dressing women (and some men) the best for their body type, giving them self-esteem and self-confidence that cannot be replicated.

My encounter with her included a couple hugs, kudos on my belt and jacket, and her taking off and putting back on my shoe. But more importantly, it was very interesting to hear her fashion outlook for the fall.
So what are musts for Fall 2009?
  • Something ruffled! She said you can do ruffles on shirts or skirts, but just be aware that ruffles add volume, so put ruffles where you want to accentuate versus minimize.
  • A plaid blouse! Make sure that it isn't too casual. She said it should have a tailored fit with modern, bright colors. She suggested to pair it with a faux fur vest, skinny jeans, and wedged boots. I am dying over this look.
  • Something leather! She recommended to stick to a leather jacket and stray away from leather pants. Black is her color of choice. She recommended to soften the hard look with a sweet, flirty blouse.
  • Something platform! Shoes that is. And the platform can be in a boot, pump, or even a wedge. Just be conscious it doesn't cross the stripper line.
  • Architectural pieces! Especially with dresses. Look specifically for structure and pleating, but again be aware of the added volume this gives. Her fondness for structure did not extend to the shoulders ... she recommend staying away from strong shoulders or shoulder pads.
  • Something velvet! Like in a jacket. But to ensure it doesn't come off as old fashion, go for a modern color like a deep purple.

A couple other things she mentioned were deep florals, Edwardian blouses (high neck), statement necklaces, jackets, lots of black, and mixing patterns, like tweeds or herringbone with plaids.

The best thing about this experience was she was so down-to-earth and approachable. And while her honesty may come across as harsh to some people, it was very apparent that her main objective is giving people self confidence no matter their size, even if it requires a little tough love.


Follow her on Twitter at StacyLondonSays.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Summer and Fall Combined

Everyday I am seeing more and more signs of fall fashion ... richer colors, longer sleeves, more layers. But despite our deepest fashion desires to go full steam ahead with tights, scarves, boots, and sweaters, the reality of the weather forces the transition to be a slow progression versus a total transformation.

Becky captures the subtle seasonal evolution with a light weight, airy skirt that has a rich, bold pattern. The bare legs are reminiscent of the summer but the covered arms beg for fall. The tank allows her to take off her jean jacket if the mercury rises to unanticipated summer temps. And I absolutely love the juxtaposition of the bare legs and the closed-toed flats. The most perfect way to combine cold with hot.


(Skirt - Old Navy, jean jacket - GAP, tank - F21, shoes - Ann Taylor Loft)

And BTW, Becky is so clever. Her skirt is not originally high-waisted. But a small hand sewn stitch on the waist band allows her to tighten and gather the skirt around her middle. It stays hidden because of all the pleats on the top and the fullness on the bottom. Best of all, once the high-waisted trend has run its course, she can just cut the stitch out with no harm done.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Make It Work

In honor of Project Runway's re-emergence tomorrow, let me share some words of wisdom and advice from Tim Gunn on how to create a unique but focused personal style:

"Select your five favorite items from your wardrobe and ask yourself, 'What do these pieces have in common?' Is it color, simplicity of line, or a common fabric? Once you pinpoint what resonates, why not check any potential purchases to see if they share the same criteria?"

Photo source: http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/fashion/stylephile/time_gunn.jpg

Thursday, August 13, 2009

BCBG Final Cut

BCBG Max Azria has recently started a new store format called BCBG Final Cut, and according to the website the store offers "designer mix of former-season favorites and always on trend pieces at fabulous discounts." So in simple terms an outlet store. Lucky us a Final Cut opened August 6th at the Tanger Outlet Mall in Branson, MO. I got to check it out over opening weekend.

Overall assessment: Definitely worth a trip if you are in Branson but not worth going to Branson just for a store visit. The retail space was bare bones with no atmosphere. However, the sales people made-up for what the atmosphere lacked. They were helpful and pleasant, but not pushy. Once clued-in on my name, they always addressed me as such. The merchandise was a hit or miss with both the collection and the price. The great: The dress selection (which is always one of Max Azria's strengths) is amazing with plenty of totally on-trend and sophisticated dresses perfect for any upcoming weddings. The good: I recognized several pieces from just this spring but at a third of the price. The OK: The collection is much too classic for my taste, but perfect for a chic, professional woman. The bad: All the items I wanted were still $80 to $100 ... too much for me to pay at an outlet.

I did get a very funky parachute, navy jacket that I can't wait to wear this fall, and I signed up for their email blasts so I am notified about sales and specials.

If you are not a NWA gal, while researching for this post, I found out that they have an online format of Final Cut. Check it out here and happy shopping!!!!

Picture Source: http://poshglam.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/bcbg-outlet-melrose-51.jpg

Friday, August 7, 2009

Closet Intervention - Part 2

So now that you have purged and organized your closet (or at least thought about it), let's talk how to ideate fantastic outfits. Doing the prep work of creating 10 to 15 well thought out looks removes the stress of getting ready in the morning. Trust me ... this helps set a much better tone for the entire day.

3) Ideating

To get started choose 10 to 15 key pieces that you love or would love to create a look around. The pieces can be anything: pants, skirts, dresses, accessories, etc. Next, seek inspiration! Prior to an ensemble-building session, I get my fashion juices flowing by browsing through my favorite blogs, websites, and of course my trusty Lucky magazine. Don't take the inspiration too literally. Don't look for looks you can completely replicate because you likely won't find any. Instead, look for shapes, colors, and general concepts you can copy.

Once you are good and inspired, take one piece and begin to ideate and create. Think outside the box. Choose things to try that you never would. I made Katie try on three or four things before we found one outfit.

Here are the things I think about when I create outfits: Layer! I love vests, cardigans, and jackets. Layers make an outfit look more purposeful and put together. Use belts! Belts can transform an outfit's shape by taking a frumpy shirt and turning it into a sexy, hourglass look. Go for contrasting colors! I love two bright, off-setting colors that add a punch of intrigue. Seek balance! If you go flowy and voluminous on top, look for slim, streamlined pieces on the bottom (or vice versa). Finally, don't forget to accessorize! Choose layered necklaces or scarves to complete your look.

Once you are satisfied, be sure and take a picture. I use my cell phone, so I can easily browse through my options while standing in my closet.

Now to reveal some of Katie's new looks from her Closet Intervention ...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Closet Intervention - Part 1

Every season I prep for the weather change by purging, organizing, and ideating outfits from my closet. Since fall is teasing us, I thought I could challenge you to conduct a Closet Intervention. I recently helped my friend Katie with her closet and have some tips:

1. Purge!

Create three piles -- 1) Donate, 2) Throw away, and 3) Mend. Become your own worst fashion enemy. I was ruthless with Katie. If it had a hole, was pilly, or she hadn't worn it in a year, I forced her to put it in a pile. Often people hypothesize that I have a huge closet of racks and stacks of clothes. Quite the contrary. It is easier to see unique combinations when you have less to pilfer through.

I know as women we can become emotionally and irrationally attached to things, including clothes. Taking this into consideration, I allowed Katie to keep five "emotional pieces" ... but that was it. What is the point of cluttering up a closet with clothes you don't wear just because it was the shirt you had on when you got your first kiss?

As you are going through all your clothes, make note of what you have and what you need. I had Katie create a wish list of wardrobe must-haves (Katie needed jackets/blazers, a tailored vest, and a good pencil skirt). This will help focus your fall shopping.

2. Organize!

To help see all the wonderful wardrobe options at your fingertips, you need to organize your closet. How you do that is up to you. I prefer to do it by sleeve length and Katie preferred to do it by color.

After organizing, comes the fun part ... But you will have to stay tuned for the next post. I will give you tips on how to create a whole arsenal of outfits and show you some of the outfits Katie now has to pick from.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Danger of Fashion

So a friend of mine clued me into this story, and I felt I had the duty of letting my faithful followers know:

Skinny Jeans Dangerous???

Though skinny look great doctors say they can be dangerous for our health. According to some experts tight might cause a nerve problem called meralgia paresthetica.

Together with high stilettos skinny put great pressure on the femoral cutaneous nerve that runs through the thigh. As a result ladies often feel tingling and burning through the leg.
The affliction has already been named as “tingling thigh syndrome. A woman who developed the one said: It felt really strange - it felt like my leg had gone to sleep.”

However, the condition is not new and has largely appeared in construction workers, pregnant women and obese people; even young, fit women do suffer it sometimes.

Dr. John England of the American Academy of Neurology said: The nerve, in some people, is susceptible to compression. It is a pure sensory nerve - it doesn’t go to muscles or provide strength. Anything that is tight around there could potentially compress the nerve that goes there.”

But before you decide to throw your skinny britches away, remember that the damage is not permanent as it is eliminated as soon as you remove the pressure.

Just don’t wear skinnies all the time, make alterations in your appearance and everything’s going to be all right.




It is going to take a lot more than soon silly nerve damage threats like that for me to toss my skinny jeans. Everyone knows true beauty comes with a price ... and that price is pain.

Pretty sure my toes are going to be deformed by the time I am 40, but even then, I vow to maintain my 3 -5 inch heel wearing habit.

How far would you go to keep your fashionable persona?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fashion Funk

It's official ... and I should have seen it coming because it happens every season ... I am in a fashion funk. The funk starts with early morning frustrations, not wanting to wear anything in my closet, then is proceeded by complete and utter boredom with what the stores are offering. Then as I seek condolences from my trusty fashion blogs and websites, I find all they are talking about is fall clothes. And in 90 degree plus weather, the last thing I want to think about is tall boots, chunky sweaters, wool peacoats, and ribbed tights. So I thought I would look to my small, but hopefully loyal, following. Please, PLEASE help me reclaim my fashion inspiration. What inspires you? What is the one thing you are loving wearing? Anything to help my hopeless style slump...?



Photo source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_t2Y2QMoHtnU/SUlIcubrvxI/AAAAAAAAAMg/rcBfg1gjXaE/s320/bored_frustrated_pink-41.gif

Friday, July 17, 2009

Beauty Test Tube

While fashion is still my one true love, I have been having a recent love affair with beauty products. I love trying new brands, new products, new shades, anything new I can get my hands on. I have recently found the most perfect outlet for my closet obsession...New Beauty's Test Tube. The website claims it is the most unique beauty sampling program and gives you the ability to try all different types of premium beauty products before you buy. For me, the test tube is like the most perfectly executed Christmas stocking, but instead of only one time a year, it comes four times a year. Every three months I receive a package in the mail with literally a tube of beauty products. I pay $35 for each tube and the site claims the tube contains over $150 worth of samples, full size products, and gift cards. I got one yesterday and had so much fun riffling through the teeth whitening gum, body spray, lip gloss, moisturizers, and other facial treatments. I hope my face thanks me later with a wrinkle-less complexion.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Local Sample Sales ... Huh?

While I love the calm, slow pace of a small southern town, one thing I wish we had were big city sample sales. I imagine myself losing my prim and proper demeanor and fighting another budget consious shopper to the death for the 80% marked-down designer shoes that we both happened to find at the same time. In this fantasy, I always come out triumphant and walk out wearing the designer shoes. While in reality, I think my polite southern girl personality would prevail as I watch my enemy strut off with my heels.


Another thing that makes my fantasy completely impossible is the lack of sample sales anywhere outside of a major metropolis. But thanks to several online organizations, sample sales are as close as a computer mouse. Three of my favorites are Ideeli, Gilt Groupe, and Hautelook. This is how it works: They send you a daily email with the day's sample sale. There is a limited time frame and limited quantity and sizes of the deeply discounted, often high end designer products (not just clothes). You can upgrade your membership for a fee and get first dids on the loot (I don't think this is worth it). The slight catch is these are invitation only, so if you have a hankering for sample sales without the cat fights, comment on this post and I will send you an invite. Happy bargain shopping!





I just bought this awesome studded flat sandals (per my previous post) from Ideeli for $54!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Tale of Two Extremes

Extremely high or extremely low. That is the only ways to go these days when choosing your summer sandals.

Flat gladiator sandals have been on the rise for the past three summers as late adopters have slowly come to love this funky footwear. But this summer, the flat sandal trend has morphed into a much more complex array of offerings to include comfy, cuffed flats, caged, intricate flats, colorful huaraches, bedazzled flip flops and of course the never dying gladiators. What I love about these sandals are they are, of course, comfortable, they can dress down a silk dress, dress up a pair of denim shorts and v-neck tee, and no matter what, give any outfit an effortless, edgy attitude.

Mason's - At the major sale the are having right now!

Mason's

Mason's

From the bottom floor, the only place we have to go is up. And this summer, sandals have gone high ... very, VERY high. This winter's craze for platform booties and heels has translated into a plethora of summer selections from raffia wedged espadrilles, dominatrix platform stilettos, and the caged, sky-high platforms. I love these for one very simple, but very important, reason: they make your legs look incredible long and lean. There is no going wrong with that.


Target

Steve Madden from DSW