Thursday, December 13, 2007

Treats at Treat Ce Soir!

A glass of wine in one hand and a heap of fabulous designer clothes in the other, what more could a girl ask for? Perhaps for said heap o' clothes to be significantly marked down? Consider it done!

Tonight from 5-9 Treat in Alexandria will be open for business and welcoming weary shoppers with a glass of wine. I believe this sounds like a fantastic opportunity to do some much-needed holiday shopping for, well, myself, and to help the ladies of Treat celebrate local, women-owned businesses.

Thanks in advance to the ladies of Treat and NEW (Network of Entrepreneurial Women)!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Pucci at TJ Maxx?!?!

Pucci at TJ Maxx. I never thought it would happen. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the TJ Maxx at Tyson's Corner headed for the Runway section, only to be distracted by a familiar pattern amidst the handbags. Upon further inspection I discovered adorable medium-sized, canvas Pucci bags in really cute patterns from last year! The one pattern I was very fond of the first time around (a lovely combination of browns and blues), and I liked it just as much hanging in front of me at TJ Maxx. The bags were under $150, and let's just say I would love to see one in my stocking :)

P.S. Also worth noting were some very jaunty Juicy bags for under $100 and HoneyDew underpinnings for a mere $2.99!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Night Fun in Alexandria

Along with the Old Town tree lighting ceremony, some of the stores in the King St. vicinity will be staying open a bit later, and some of those shops will be offering special deals ce soir!

Of primary interest, Diva Boutique (which I absolutely love) has knocked 10% off everything and an additional 30% off all sale items. Since the ladies at Diva think of everything, they are also having refreshments and will be open until 8:00 p.m. What better to end a long work week than with a little R&R: Retail and Refreshments, if you will :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

New to You and New to Me!

A high-end consignment store with parking, a website, and a blog--what more could a shopper ask for?! I had heard excellent things about New to You - The Chic Boutique ; however, I was really hooked when I read the section on their site that discussed the labels they liked, might like, and didn't like. Not only did I fully concur, but it was done oh so cleverly! I liked what I saw and continued to peruse their site only to discover that they had a blog as well. As a fellow blogette, there's truly nothing better than discovering a new fashion blog. All that being said, I couldn't wait to check out the actual store! Thanks to the Google Maps feature on my handy new HTC Mogul I had no problem finding the place, and there was a free parking lot in the back: the only thing better than free parking, is valet, but I'm pretty happy as long as it's free and easy.

Moving on to the matter at hand: the store itself! If you haven't gathered from my previous entries, nothing makes me happier than a well-organized, non-cluttered, consignment/vintage store; I like the feeling that the people at the shop have really put thought into the pieces that they're selling. I am happy to declare that New to You was a perfect example of this! There was a great selection of clothes, shoes, and bags that were in good condition and reasonably priced (their website does a much better job of describing the brands they carry than I ever could). They also had some snazzy Hermès scarfs and some rather handsome Pucci ties (excellent for headbands and/or belts). Everything was nicely organized and displayed, so you didn't feel overwhelmed and claustrophobic. The girls working there were wonderful and the shopping experience overall was quite pleasant! I definitely look forward to going back there, and with Christmas right around the corner it's a great place to pick up some unique designer gifts for a fraction of their original price. Of course, it's also a fantastic place to go look for a dress, shoes, accessories, etc. for all of those upcoming Holiday parties :)

So that's"New to You."

What's "new to me", is the aforementioned Mogul (Mo, if you will). In addition to managing my life for me, it is also equipped with one of those fancy digital cameras! The truth is, I have yet to join the millennium and purchase a digital camera, which is why this site is rather naked. Hopefully, since I have "Mo" now and actually have figured out how to use it (thanks to the help of my trusty life assistant) I will finally be able to spruce things up around here!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

D.C. Tax-Free Shopping and Black Friday

Being the sale-loving gal that I am, you would think that I would live for Black Friday. To tell the truth, last year was the first time I've ever done the whole crazy, waiting in line at 3:00 a.m. business. True, there are some amazing deals to be had if you're willing to stand in line for hours on end (it's not just waiting for the store to open either; checkout lines are even worse!), but perhaps it's not my cup of tea because it's not really a clothes/accessories kind of event. If you simply must brave the masses, I urge you to do your research first. Go through all the local papers for all the stores to find out who has what. Once you find the item you desire, make sure you know everything about that product so you don't get duped and get the one that isn't on sale. The thought of waiting in line for hours on end and getting the black TV, when only the grey ones are on sale makes me nauseous. To all of you that venture out: Good Luck!

All in all, I prefer to think of Black Friday as the kickoff to a sale-filled Holiday shopping season. I mean there are so many holiday parties, and you don't want to be photographed in the same thing twice (even if it is just going on facebook and not the cover of US Weekly)! Oh yeah, and I guess there's something about buying presents for other people as well. Regardless, no one wants to get stuck paying full price for something.

I find the best way to monitor Holiday Sales (other than reading my blog, obviously) is to sign up for email lists. I know some people are quite averse to "junk mail" but being informed that Neiman Marcus has marked down items up to 80% off AND has Free Shipping, is hardly what I call "junk."

Another way to help save money (and by save, I mean stash for the next must-have item) is to take advantage of Tax-Free Shopping!!! I love the feeling of getting up to the cash register and actually having an item be the price it says on the tag :) See below for details!
DC Sales Tax Holiday
Monday 11-19-2007 2:41pm ET
WASHINGTON - Holiday shopping will be a little bit lighter on the wallet starting Friday.

The District's next sales tax holiday starts then, until Sunday, Dec. 2.

The holiday exempts specific items under $100 from the city's 5.75 percent sales tax. The eligible items include clothes, shoes and accessories.

The rules say that the tax exemption applies to each eligible item no matter how many items a customer buys on the same bill.

It can also apply to layaway sales if the buyer and seller begin the layaway agreement during the tax holiday, or if the customer makes the final payment on the layaway item during the holiday.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Weekend Recap

I really got around this past weekend. I scouted out the Cusp sale at both the Georgetown and Tysons locations, I managed to cross several stores off the list of places I've been wanting to check out, and made it to Arundel Mills and C-Mart on Sunday! Since I have so much to share, I may be a tease and spread my findings over several posts.

Depending on what you're in the market for, the Cusp sale is rather hit or miss. If you're looking for jeans, it is definitely worth going tonight or tomorrow (the sale ends tomorrow). There were a decent number of Joe's, Seven's, and True Religion jeans for around $100, which is not bad at all considering their original prices of almost $200! After the jeans, the second best selection was of T-Bags tops and dresses for around $90ish. Other than that, there was a smattering of dresses, tops, etc. from Milly, Trina Turk, and some others; however, I'm still on shopping probation, so I went home empty-handed.

C-Mart is always quite the adventure, because you really have no idea what you're going to find. Given the discombobulated racks, you have to have somewhat of a shopping system unless you want to spend all day there. For instance, I started with the shoes: Ferragamo, Cole Haan, Delman, Kate Spade, Coach, Hollywould, Betsy Johnson, and none of them in my size (did I mention they were almost all under $100?). In a futile attempt at organization some of the clothing racks have the names of the boutiques the liquidations came from: this is only somewhat helpful since many of the stores are not local and you have to look through the clothes to figure out if it's from a decent place or not. Amongst those racks you can find some great pieces. What you have to keep in mind, though, is that while some of the prices still seem high, if you saw that same skirt at the actual boutique marked down that much, you'd be ecstatic! For instance, I saw a See by Chloé skirt for around $80 (and immediately scoffed "I'm not paying that much for a skirt from C-Mart"): the original tag was well over $500. My roommate had the same reaction to this really cute blazer, so I guess it just comes down to how you look at things and how badly you want/need the particular item.

I promise I'll post again soon to share what I found at the other places I visited last weekend!

P.S. I do believe I just saw an email about Neiman Marcus' First Call Sale, which means Sale Season is fast-approaching!!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Saleless Season is Ending!

Summer sales have ended and it's still a few more weeks 'til the Black Friday sales and an eternity 'til post-Christmas sales; what ever is a girl to do?! Obviously, the sensible thing would be to lay low and save money for the big sales, but it's really not feasible to expect a girl to go a month or more without a snazzy new purchase.

It's probably noticeable from my postings that I've been taking this off-season time to scout out consignment and vintage stores. While I love that, I'm also dying to dig through the sale racks in an attempt to find that Milly dress from last season that knocks off about 10lbs (and only pay a small portion of the original price, of course).

Last weekend, the roomie and I spent an unmentionable amount of time at Tysons I and II finding the final touches for our Halloween ensembles. Sadly, I do not have a lot to report in the bargain department, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

There is a good several week period when absolutely NOTHING is on sale. I am thrilled to announce that we have move passed that and are moving full steam ahead into Sale Season!

Neimans had a couple of racks (mostly odd pieces that aren't going anywhere fast), Saks also had a couple racks (some o.k. things), but most were only 30-40% off.

Obviously I'm saving the best news for last! Cusp (that lovely little contemporary branch of NM) is having a big sale TODAY through November 10. They're advertising 40-65% original prices!!! I do not not think my closet, nor my bank account are quite prepared for the consequences...

So, enough of that 10% off garbage. Prices over half off; now, that's what I call a real sale!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Weekend Recap

It seems like every day I hear about a new boutique, consignment shop, vintage store, etc. that I can't wait to scour! Often, though, I hear about a place that sounds amazing only to forget the name of the store or where it's located. Too many places were slipping through the cracks, so I started keeping a notebook of places I wanted to checkout. I include the name, address, phone number, website, hours, and any other info I deem necessary and I highly recommend doing the same; I don't know how I survived without it! I hope to check out at least one new store (window shopping only, I swear) a weekend and report my findings. This weekend, however, I managed to knock two off the list.

I don't spend a lot of time in Alexandria, so I'm not familiar with the stores in that vicinity. Recently I heard of two very intriguing stores, though, and decided it was worth an outing to Old Town!

The first store I visited was Treat. Personally, I'm very envious of my friends in NY that are blocks away from all those amazing sample sales. The girls behind Treat must have read my mind; Treat is a sample sale boutique! You may figure that since the items are from sample sales that the store is filled with 0's, 2's and size 5 shoes. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they carried a wide variety of clothing and shoe sizes. In addition, they had multiple sizes in some of the pieces, which was also very exciting. The website claims they have 1/2 priced Chloe bags and they do! I saw a Chloe bag for around $600 with my own two eyes; you know I could never lie about something like that. They also carried Marc Jacobs, Tracy Reese, Theory, Joie, and Nanette Lepore just to name a few. Things are spaciously arranged, so you do not feel overwhlemed having to dig through piles of stuff, like you might at an actual sample sale. The store is a great concept and definitley worth a visit!

My next stop was a mere hop, skip, and jump away: Diva Boutique. Within 2 minutes of walking into the store, I was informed that everything was 10% off (it was their birthday) and clearance items were an additional 50% off. I also almost immediately found this great grey D&G dress, that I had to pry myself away from; needless to say, things were off to a good start. The store is in a former town house and every nook and cranny has something in it. In addition to a great selection of clothes (Chanel, Armani, Tocca, Tory Burch, and more!) they also had an entire wall of handbags (I noticed several Kate Spade bags) and a decent selection of shoes. It's also worth noting the fabulous decor in every room; everything is fun and girly, making for a great shopping experience.

My favorite thing about places like Treat and Diva Boutique, is that they are constantly getting in new pieces! Department stores only get new things a few times a year and most of the time you keep seeing the same items over and over again. The beauty of consignment-type stores is that you always have an excuse to visit, because they'll always have something new!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Weekend Recap

Due to budgetary constraints and a new knitting project, I did not do quite as much research as intended this weekend. But nonetheless, I did do a little exploring.

Shoes by Lara
I had heard from a shopping buddy that this was a place I just had to check out; after viewing her finds, I was sold. I visited the store on 14th St, NW and was rather skeptical at first. When you walk in, you have to go downstairs to get to the shoes. At first I saw many many boxes of nothing terribly exciting. My friend quickly grabbed my arm and guided me to "the back wall." The back wall is 50% off all shoes AND that's where the good stuff is hiding. The shoes in the rest of the store are what you might find at a mid-level department store, and they're not any cheaper. On the 50% off wall, though, you'll find Stuart Weitzman, Betsy Johnson, French Sole, Delman, Sigerson Morrison, and Roberto Cavalli, just to name a few. Apparently the turnover is high, so it's a good place to drop by on a regular basis to see what's in stock. One of the best things about this store is there are 4 of them! So, I mean, if you don't find something at one location, you can simply check out one of the others. Who am I kidding: go to all of them, all the time! However, if you wear a size 8 you should probably steer clear or at least go at your own risk, because I may have to fight you for those really cute quilted French Sole's...

While in the vicinity, I felt it my duty to go to Filene's to see what they had to offer. The one downtown was overhauled recently and is quite nice now. Just to give some quick highlights...Upstairs they still had some of those wonderful Missoni scarves, that I previously wrote about and they had a large selection Spanx footless pantyhose for 50% off! Moving onward and downward, in the basement there were not really any shoes that caught my eyes except for a snazzy snakeskin pair of Sam Edelman t-bar flats for $60 that were really hard to leave behind. It gets better. Lurking in the racks of clothing from Barney's was this amazing giraffe-print, Valentino, wool cape. Sadly, it was still almost $1,000 a.k.a. not in my budget. There were some affordable pieces in the Barney's section, so it's definitley worth a look.

All in all, it was a productive weekend, and I can't wait to scope out the other Shoes by Lara locations to see what they have in stock!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Check Out My New Logo!!!

Thanks to my dear, very talented friend Katie I now have a snazzy logo for my blog!!! Check back on Monday for updates, because I plan on doing quite a bit of "research" over the weekend :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wine So Cheap, You Can Buy the Cheese to Go With It!

Sometimes even buying highly-discounted designer pieces can leave you with rather limited funds for those little extras like groceries and, more importantly, wine. Some may say that you need to make trade offs: you either shop or you drink. What's the fun in that? If you can't go out or have parties at your place, what are you going to do with all those lovely outfits you've purchased?! On the flip side, if you're socializing you have to have the appropriate ensembles; it's truly quite the quandary. While Happy Hour specials offer some relief, they're not always feasible for those of us that work late. We've all walked into the wine store and tried to find a cheap bottle of wine that doesn't come in a box and doesn't taste like a combination of vinegar and fingernail polish remover. A trusty beverage shop (especially one that runs regular sales!) with knowledgeable employees is a good place to start; however, those are not always easy to come across, and they also do not always have the really cheap stuff.

Thanks to the lovely folks at the New York they have come up with a list of 10 wines under $10 that are palatable. I would sift through the descriptions and write down the ones that appeal to you, so you can find them the next time you're out beverage shopping.

If you have REALLY gone overboard on the shopping, or you're going to need multiple bottles, $10 may still be too much to shell out. Those cunning folks over at Radar took wine tasting to a whole new low [price] by doing the best wines under $4!!! I know, I know, it sounds too good to be true, but it is! I have been a long time fan of the "2 buck chuck," but I can't wait to sample some of the $1.99 varieties. When I think about how much wine I drink...if I started cutting back from $15.99 bottles to $1.99 ones...I wonder how long would it take me to save enough for that eggplant Balenciaga bag...

If you, like me, have not sampled the wines in the lists above I think it's an excellent excuse to host a wine and cheese party. With the money you save on wine, you can go buy yourself a new outfit; it's like they're giving you shopping money!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Saks Beauty Event

Being the practical girl that I am, I try and hold off on buying beauty products until the bi-annual Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue Beauty Event. My logic is that if you have to buy sensible things like shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer anyway, you may as well wait until you can get something free with them! Over the past 4 years I have it perfectly timed, so my Frederic Fekkai will last me until the next beauty event; it's a very precise science.

I was a negligent blogger and failed to post about the Neiman's Beauty Event a couple of weeks ago, but I'll do my best to make up (no pun intended) for it! If you're not familiar with the ins and outs of how to get the most free goodies for the fewest purchases, allow me to guide you...

First thing's first: when is it? The Saks event started on October 4 and runs through October 13 in stores, BUT it's good online 'til October 14. If you're buying online, just be sure to enter REELBEAUTY in the code box at checkout, so you get your gifts.

The basic concept of a Beauty Event is you spend a set amount of money ($100 for Saks) and in return you get a lovely tote filled with everything from wrinkle creams and perfume samples to eyeshadows and mini mascaras. What many people don't realize, is there are other free gifts if you know where to look. Here are a couple of tips before you set off on your beauty bonanza!

1. Don't buy, just to buy: this is how people end up with drawers full of unused lipsticks and eye shadows. As I mentioned earlier, I look at Beauty Events as a time to stock up on things I need and use on a daily basis; however, there's nothing wrong with buying a fun lip gloss from time to time. Plan out your shopping list in advance; this is extremely important if you're going to the store. It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement and the pretty colors, so stick to your list: don't be thwarted!

2. Don't think the gifts stop with the goodie bag! Most individual brands have specials as well, but you have to really look through these to get the good ones. A lot of the brands require you to spend a specified amount to get the free gifts, but for the Saks Event both Dior and Kiehl's are offering free gifts with ANY purchase. If you look on the Saks website, you will not see these offers. I discovered them the good old-fashioned way; the catalog! If there is a particular GWP (gift with purchase) you have your heart set on, I would either call the store first or order via telephone to make sure it's in stock and you actually get it!

Finally, if you don't know what to do with your new tote bag I highly recommend using it for grocery shopping! Wouldn't you much rather carry a stylish Saks tote than an ugly plastic bag?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Weekend Recap

This weekend there were some things old and something new. I checked out the Vintage Trunk Show at Project 4 on Friday and I finally made it to the new Bloomies on Sunday.

Some Things Old...
Last week when I found out about the Trunk Show, I really wasn't sure what to expect; I was braced for the worst and hoping for the best. Friday after work I rushed home, grabbed a few trusty shopping buddies, and we were off to U St. ! When we arrived at the gallery there were ample mojitos, champagne, and other delightful cocktails, so things were off to a promising start. There was one main rack of clothes, a smaller rack with coats and then a display of shoes and another of handbags, hats, and scarves. A quick glance at the clothing and one could spot some lovely dresses, but with vintage things it's always the question of "is this thing actually going to fit me?" I ventured off into one of the changing rooms with an armful of dresses, a cocktail, and a fully loaded bank card. Several of the dresses looked quite nice, but a mustard colored wool dress from the 50's (complete with a leopard belt) was the obvious choice. Needless to say, I was quite excited!!!

Several girls were milling about "modeling" some of the dresses, but the atmosphere was light and fun like a bunch of girls going through their grandmothers' closets finding each new dress more fun than the last. I found out that Uesa Goods provided the vintage pieces and had an upstairs room fully stocked to replenish the racks as needed. Since the trunk show was all weekend that meant that Saturday and Sunday were prime shopping days as well! It took every ounce of restraint for me to not go back...

Something New...
I had heard good things about the new Bloomingdale's in Chevy Chase, but obviously I had to go see for myself. Everything is nice and new and shiny and wonderful, but more importantly the selection is quite impressive! More than anything, though, I was excited by the large contemporary section. It's organized primarily by designer/brand, with the jeans having their own section and let's just say they definitely needed a section all to themselves! The store was very spacious and the layout made everything easy to navigate. Low racks and few walls also make it easy to spot your shopping buddy across the store eyeing a jaunty ensemble , allowing you to intervene and save you both some embarrassment. I did not purchase anything on this visit, but I'm anxiously awaiting their sales!!!

All in all I'd say I was relatively well-behaved this weekend; at least in terms of shopping...

Friday, September 28, 2007

More on Bloomingale's, Chevy Chase!

If you didn't make it to the grand opening festivities, fret not! There are still a ton of special events going on throughout the month of October. The events range from special gifts with purchases to designer appearances to a cup of Godiva cocoa to enjoy while shopping. I still haven't been able to go checkout the new store, but I have every intention of making it there this weekend and giving a full report on Monday!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Project 4 Gallery, Vintage Trunk Show

Pucci, Chanel, champagne--need I say more? September 28-30, Project 4 Gallery on U St. will be hosting a vintage trunk show entitled "The Vintage Project." More details for the event can be found on the Washington Post site. Tomorrow night is the cocktail reception and fashion show, with some of the proceeds from sales going to charity. I don't know how pricey the pieces will run, but nonetheless it's still always fun to look. While I'm not sure what all "The Vintage Project" will entail, I do know that there's nothing I love more than vintage fashion and free champagne!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bloomingdale's Chevy Chase

I've been watching the construction of the new Bloomingale's for some time now, and apparently the much-anticipated grand opening is this weekend!

In case that's not incentive enough to go can sign up for the Special Preview Event tomorrow night, and you'll receive a $25 gift card!!! Did I mention that not only do you get a gift card, but your shopping buddy does as well?! Sorry if I seem a tad excited, but what's better than a new store to explore and essentially being given money?

I just found out about this today or I would have posted about it much sooner. Sorry for the late notice, but hurry and sign up today for some serious trouble tomorrow night :).

For those of you that can't make the special preview night tomorrow, I'll scout things out and give a full review on Thursday. Yay Bloomies!!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Foundation Garments

The best of outfits can be completely ruined if you're not wearing the proper pieces underneath. While I am not going to delve into the depths of women's lingerie, I do want to take the time to sing the praises of Spanx; a product line that has salvaged many a rather snug ensemble. Also, it is necessary to note that wearing Spanx has nothing to do with being fat. Sara Blakely, the esteemed inventress, is very thin; the whole idea is to create a smooth look underneath your lovely clothes. While out shopping, a very common phrase amongst my friends is "this looks great, but with Spanx under it, of course!"

In my opinion Spanx are truly a girl's best friend. We should all thank Sara Blakely for coming up with a product that is slimming, comfortable, and doesn't make you feel like you're wearing your grandmother's girdle. The story about how Spanx started is pretty neat, so you should definitely read up while perusing the website. If you're not familiar with the line and feel overwhelmed, I will give you a crash course on my favorite products and some tips on where to find them at a discount!

Power Panties
The original Spanx are reminiscent of the granny panties sported by Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jone's Diary. However, don't laugh, they are good at their job. An updated version has recently come out called girl shorts and don't come down as far on your thigh. These are highly recommended if you're wearing something shorter and don't want someone to accidentally see that power panties are the reason you're looking oh so slim.

I detest pantyhose: they're a pain to get on, you're afraid of running them, the waist is always too high and then it starts to roll down, and they're just an all-around hassle! However, in many workplaces and in colder months they're a necessity. Thankfully, Spanx hosiery is just a amazing as the power panties. Yes, they're a tad on the pricey side, BUT they don't run as easily as normal hose so they last much, much longer. Another huge plus is the waist band. I'm short waisted, so with most hose I can pretty much pull them up to my neck and then they roll into a nice inner tube-like band around my waist. Spanx, on the other hand, hit at a perfect level and they don't budge!

Spanx has your normal every day selection of tights with the wonderful features of all Spanx hosiery. This year, however, they also have several very snazzy patterend tights to choose from. My favorites, though, are the 2-sided tights. Being the money savvy girl that I am (or attempt to be), these reversible tights are like getting 2 for the price of 1! I can't get away from this section without mentioning the footless tights, otherwise known as leggings. I admit, I'm guilty, I love them.

The articles I've mentioned above are merely some of the ones that I am familiar with, but I have yet to find a Spanx product that has let me down!

Now, let's chat cheap. Spanx are rather pricey (but worth every penny); however, occasionally you can find them at a discount. Loehman's probably has the best selection, but you are still rather limited in styles, colors, and sizes. Off 5th usually has a couple of slips or body shapers, but I've never seen more than a handful. All in all, Spanx are one of the few cases where I think it is best to just go ahead and buy whatever you need at full price. It pains me to say that, but it's true...

Fret not,though, I'm not going to leave you on a pricey note! Occasionally certain organizations will run specials with the Spanx website where you get a discount and a portion of the purchase goes to charity! It just so happens that the Junior League of Washington is running a special during the month of October: see below for details.

"During October, SPANX is again offering Junior League members a special limited-time 25% discount on the company's entire product line and the opportunity to earn $5 per order for JLW. Select your purchases at . When you are ready to place your order, enter JLW's unique code, " Washington ," into the promotion code box found on the last page of checkout and a 25% discount will be applied. For each order placed using this special online promotional code of "Washington," SPANX will donate $5 back to JLW. Last year, JLW was the number one League in orders placed and received $1,400!"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bridesmaid Dresses

Bridesmaid dresses: for years those two words have conjured up dreadful images of ruffles, puffed sleeves, and dyeable shoes. A lot of progress has been made over the years and brides seem to be more sensible. Many brides-to-be are even giving their bridesmaids the option of picking out their own dress; isn't that fantastic! Well, it is and it isn't. True, you may be able to find something you can actually wear more than once (and to something other than a costume party/tacky prom); however, where does one even begin to shop for one! Most of us single girls have not spent a lot of time perusing various bridal stores, and some of them can be rather intimidating if you don't have a rock on your finger. Depending on the parameters the bride-to-be has set, there are actually a lot of places to look. In addition, some of the traditional bridal stores may have some decent options; either way be sure to bring a shopping buddy, because it is a truly entertaining experience.

With several of my dear friends getting married this year, I've spent a lot of time at Priscilla of Boston and learned a lot about dress shopping. I hope to help those of you that feel lost, overwhelmed, and frustrated to find a dress that works: one that's cute, cheap, and makes the future Mrs. happy.

While the spring Wedding Season is still many months away, if you've been asked to be part of the bridal party you have started (or need to start) shopping for your dress. Many stores suggest allowing around three months to get the order placed and get your alterations done. As I have said before, do not underestimate the importance of alterations. Formal dresses tend to run small, so it's often best to up a couple of sizes and have a seamstress nip it and tuck it to suit your body. I have also recently learned that several retailers only take orders and don't actually carry any of the dresses for you to try on. Now the useful part; I'll go through store by store and share my new-found knowledge.

Priscilla of Boston
Personally, this probably would have been one of the last places I looked for a bridesmaid dress. I would have thought that it would have been super pricey and, quite frankly, I would have been far too terrified to walk in there with a naked left ring finger. I was quite wrong! While accompanying a friend wedding dress hunting, I discovered that they carried several different labels of bridesmaid dress and most of them were cute and surprisingly cheap. Most of the dresses were under $250 with many under $200, and if the bride purchases her dress there you get a discount on bridesmaid dresses. There was an excellent selection of dresses with lots of color options and many had different sashes and other accent pieces that could be ordered in different colors. Another huge plus is that you can actually try the dresses on and see how they fit. Oh and it's worth mentioning that the store was not nearly as scary as I thought it would be. To be perfectly honest, I would go back and get a dress there for a cocktail party or black tie event.

I remember when J.Crew started carrying bridesmaid dresses. Many a young lady were thrilled that should her friend ever get married, she could just go to trusty '0le J.Crew! I'm sad to say that I have not been impressed. Yes, most of the dresses are re-wearable; and they should be! You may be lucky enough to find one that matches your bride's color swatch, but otherwise the dresses go from around $200 to over $400. I can't fathom paying over $400 for a bridesmaid dress. It is also worth mentioning that they do not carry these dresses in the stores, so you have to blindly order them. When it comes to dresses, I greatly prefer being able to try them on; they all fit so differently and you never know what size to get.

Ann Taylor
This section is going to be a bit sparse, because I have not had a lot of experience with their wedding collection. However, from what I can tell the selection of dresses can vary greatly by season. I looked several months ago and there were only two; I just looked now and there are two whole pages! The dresses are much more reasonably priced than J. Crew and there is that familiarity with the store that can be reassuring. Like J. Crew these are not generally carried in stores, but since they are not terribly pricey you can probably afford to actually get the alteration (at J. Crew after spending $400 you'll be taping hemlines with duct tape!).

Probably the biggest selection you'll find online; however, some of these dresses are actually in stores but some are online only. If you click on the dress it specifies its online vs. actual store availability. The prices cover a broad spectrum and if you're lucky enough to find one on sale you can possibly snag one for under $100. That right there makes looking through all 9 pages of dresses (some rather hideous) worthwhile. The color choices here can be rather limited, though, since some are just normal dresses that they have flagged as being bridesmaid-compatible.

David's Bridal
It wouldn't be much of a post if I didn't mention David's Bridal (I bet you've all got that "you'll love David's Bridal" song stuck in your head now), but I saved this for last since this would probably be my last resort. It's not that I'm snobby and don't want to go to a warehouse of sorts; warehouses generally mean deals and I LOVE that. I was honestly scarred by the whole experience. I went with a friend who had to get a specific dress from there. The place was overwhelming, the service was atrocious (Springfield, VA), the dresses were poorly made (the one my friend got looks like it's been through a war zone), and they were expensive! I think it was the cost for the poor quality that shocked me the most. The bridesmaid dresses are around $130-$200 and that is before you pay $50 for hemming alone. There were some cute dresses and they did have a good selection of colors and styles. Oh and don't think this is a last minute resort, because they need at least three months. Unless you find one on sale or you can't find a certain color anywhere else, I would probably avoid this place; you won't love David's Bridal.

The places I've listed about are just the big targets to hit; other good places are the formal sections of department stores, the prom section if the season's right, vintage stores could land you an awesome piece, and if all else fails you (or a friend that can sew) can make your own!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Weekend Recap

This weekend while strolling around Capitol Hill, I finally got to check out the new vintage store that opened called Remix; it was amazing! Vintage stores can totally be hit or miss, depending on the pieces the owner has selected. Many stores tend to be filled with mediocre pieces and the whole experience ends up being too overwhelming (it basically feels like being in an over-priced Goodwill). This is definitely not the case at Remix! There were so many amazing things that I don't know where to begin: the clothes, the bags, the jewelry, the hats, the coats...

The coats deserve mention of their own. I did not purchase one this time, but I have every intention of going back. Swing coats are especially big this year, and what better than an authentic one! Many of the coats were 100% cashmere, in great condition, and under $200. Now, I just need to decide what color I desperately need.

There are many reasons I love vintage pieces, but high on that list is the unique factor. Nothing is worse than seeing tons of people in your beloved VonFurstenberg dress, but what's a girl to do?! Well, aside from making your own clothes vintage pieces are a GREAT option. Just keep in mind that the sizing can vary quite a bit, so don't feel bad about going up 4 sizes.

It's not always necessary to be out shopping to find something new and exciting. I ran into my neighbor over the weekend and she had the cutest pair of slides on! I immediately commented on how much I like them, which led to a conversation about how they give your feet and workout and are super affordable. They're called Oka B's and you can find them online. She was wearing a brown pair of the Madison's with a gold ribbon; perfect for fall! And to top it all off there are two eyelets across the toe part so you can switch the ribbons out as your heart desires!

Friday, September 7, 2007


I absolutely LOVE Goodwill (maybe even more than Gabe's!). However, it is perhaps one of the most daunting of digs because some days you're just sorting through someone's smelly old t-shirts. On the flip side, there's the possibility of finding a "vintage" Lacoste polo for a whopping $2.50! If that's not motivation to roll up your sleeves and start digging, then you're a lost cause.

Goodwill is a gold mine for finding "vintage" pieces;I keep putting vintage in quotes because not all items are necessarily vintage. It's just that I have been to plenty of so-called vintage stores that were basically a refined Goodwill charging $50 for the same aforementioned Lacoste polo.

For those of you that have never shopped at Goodwill, it's time for you to get broken in piece by piece.

Polos: Lacoste, Burberry, Ralph Lauren--the best place to look for polos is in the men's section. Just be careful not to buy a size XXXL men's polo if you're normally a women's Small/Medium.

Sweaters: Once again the men's section seems to be the best place to start looking. The key thing to remember when buying Goodwill sweaters is to look for ones that are made from natural fibers such as cotton or wool. Also, be sure to look for moth holes; some may be easily repaired, but others aren't worth it.

Truly Vintage Concert T's: Now this may not be up everyone's alley, but if you like those old Queen, Journey, REO Speedwagon t-shirts (and you don't want to buy the $45 replicas) then look no further than Goodwill. It is kind of like looking for a needle in a haystack, but finding that metallic screen printed Queen Bohemian Rhapsody shirt is totally worth it.

Skirts, Suits,Dresses: When sorting through these racks I generally go for vintage shapes/styles instead of designer labels. That's not to say you can't find designer pieces, but sometimes an 80's Escada suit is better left untouched. These are generally pieces that you'll want to try on since the sizes can vary so much. Keep in mind what's "in" for the upcoming season and you may just find the perfect black pencil skirt for $5. Also remember that when you're paying such a nominal price, it's definitely worth your money to look at an item and see how it could be altered for an updated look. This can be as simple as taking the hem up on a skirt by a few inches.

Furs: I sometimes think it's surprising the amount of furs you'll find at Goodwill, but some of them are quite nice (especially after a good cleaning) and rather affordable. Paying $50 for a mink stole is not bad considering what they normally cost. In addition, many people that are not keen on wearing furs find vintage pieces more socially acceptable. All in all, you get a cheap fur that's not affecting the current supply/demand chain of furs sold in stores and it's probably got a great history to it (feel free to use your imagination here).

Accessories: While I have never had success with handbags, belts, or shoes, I have found some lovely scarves! These will probably cost you about $1; 100% silk might be $2. This is another area where I don't look for labels; I look for colors and patterns that I like. I am still optimistic, though, that one of these days I'll find a Pucci scarf with my name on it :)

So, if you're on the edge of your chair googling to find the nearest Goodwill, figuring out when you have time to make the journey, I have something to satiate your appetite. I've recently discovered that Goodwill has an online auction! I can't say that I've had a lot of time to explore this, but I did type in Jimmy Choo the one day and a pair of shoes (not my size) popped up for $60!

You should be set now; don't get discouraged if you don't find any clothes. There's always the housewares, record albums, etc. that can be quite intriguing as well!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

U St./Dog Days/Tax Free Shopping

When one's not concerned about "Back-to-School"shopping, it's easy to forget that many states (and the District) have certain dates where you can shop Tax Free! I know it doesn't seem like a lot of money off, but trust me; the tax on all those purchases adds up quickly.

In addition to last weekend being tax free, there was also this sidewalk sale (and other assorted events) taking place in the U St. vicinity as part of Dog Days of DC. Each store had different specials that were anything from 50% off summer clothing to a shoe store offering buy one pair, tell a joke, get the second pair free (my mother offered the following joke: What do you call a cow with no legs? Gound Beef).

I haven't really mentioned U St. shopping before since it's not really a place I'd go to find super, amazing deals. However, I LOVE many of the stores in that area. I really like finding different, unique clothes and accessories and there is no shortage of that on U St!

This weekend, I found amazing pieces on sale at three must-shop stores: Nana, Shoefly, and MooJoo Ken.

Nana is a clothing store that sells a few pieces of jewelry, some handbags, and some vintage clothes in addition to regular clothing. They carry some great, hard to find labels as well. This weekend I became the proud owner of a skirt that was made from a vintage trench coat; how fabulous is that?! AND it was 50% off. Almost everything, except for the fall pieces, was marked down 50-70%. I did some research on the trench skirt; it's a label out of Canada called Preloved that takes vintage pieces and turns them into completely different articles of clothing. Needless to say, I'm obsessed.

Shoefly's selection reminds me a lot of what you might find at Kitson in L.A., but better. This weekend they had tons of shoes for only $20 or $30 and Havaianas for only $10!

MooJoo Ken is not only a store, but it's the label on a great line of shoes and handbags that the owner designs. The styles are named after various streets and landmarks in D.C., which is quite nifty. I found the cutest pair of flats named after the beltway and it wasn't just a generic print on the shoes, oh no, it was highways with little cars driving on them. I couldn't possibly leave the store without them (p.s. I love cars almost as much as shoes). They were a mere 20% off, but for an up and coming local designer it was the least I could do to help the cause.

U St. is a great place to peruse and be sure to mark your calendars for next year's sidewalk sale. Also, you simply must stop by CakeLove and pick up a delicious cupcake; I mean shopping burns a lot of calories, right?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Last Call, Final Clearnce, It's Sale Season!!!

Most of the time when you hear last call, it's a bad thing (i.e. when you really just need one more martini). However, when you see you see an email pop-up in your inbox from Neiman Marcus that says "Last Call" you know that it's that time of year. . .

First things first: you must instantly start calculating how much you really need certain luxuries like cable, water, groceries, etc., so you know how much money you have to invest. Next, you need a POA (plan of attack); sales can be extremely overwhelming and you'd hate to passout while shopping and have someone else grab that $100 must-have Diane VonFurstenberg dress. Finally, dress in something comfortable that is easy to get on and off, so you can easily shophop from dressing room to dressing room. I feel it is my responsibility to act as your safari guide and help you survive the wilderness (have you seen the way some people get over the last pair of $150 Manolos?). Now, it's time to forumlate the aforementioned POA.

For those in the D.C. area, Tysons Corner Center (I and II) is going to allow you to cover the most territory in the shortest amount of time. Personally, I would start at Tysons II because I have found the Neimans and Saks sales will get you the most shopping bags for your(what was formerly known as rent) money. The other big department stores like Nordstrom, Macys, Bloomingdales, and Lord & Taylor have big sales as well, but the margin of savings isn't the same and thus not as exciting.

When approaching a sale rack there are a few things to keep in mind.

$Know what you have in your closet and what pieces/colors you would like to have; it helps to have some guidance as to what racks you need to scour first, so you don't waste time looking through a bunch of jeans when your closet is seriously lacking in the dress department.

$$If you're an experienced shopper you know what brands/designers you really like. Some stores will sort sales racks in this manner, which can save a lot of time; however, since many of the items are so cheap it doesn't hurt to branch out and try something new, especially if something happens to catch your eye.

$$$Always at least skim through all the sizes; people get a little crazy when things are over 40% off and everything gets jumbled up (my success story of the season came from the Size 11 shoe aisle, when I'm normally an amazing pair of patent leather Gucci heels for under $200!). Also, don't forget that clothing can be altered and it may be worth it depending on the markdown. BUT, as I have mentioned before DO NOT squeeze into something that is too small just because it's cheap.

Now that you're ready to feign sick and leave work early, here's my last bit of advice. Take a trusty shopping buddy along; it's always helpful to have a second opinion to tell you that you really don't need that sparkly sequin Tory Burch dress that weighs 15lbs. Also, it's kind of fun to laugh at some of the really awful high-end designer pieces that you know why they are on sale and people might think you're crazy if you're laughing hysterically alone. Make sure that your pal can keep up, though, or else he/she may get abandoned in a heap of last season's Juicy pants.

Good Luck!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Whether you're avoiding the sun, the paparazzi, or trying to rob a bank (a la the Barbie Bandits) sunglasses serve many purposes in addition to being stylish. Sure, you can pick up some cheap ones at the local dollar store, but there is just something about an absurdly expensive pair of sunglasses that makes you feel like you could take on the world. However, they are also easily misplaced, forgotten, or sat on. What could possibly be worse than having someones fat butt crush your $300 treasure (other than your own fat butt crushing them)? Allow me to explain how you can ease the pain by picking up everything from Gucci to Oliver People's for well under $100!

This part can be short and sweet since the havens for cheap, designer sunglasses are the same places where you can find many of my other favorite deals. Talk about one-stop shopping at it's finest! To keep you on the edge of your desk chair, I'll start from the less exciting deals and build up to the grand finale.

C-Mart- This is the one place I haven't mentioned previously. I will give C-Mart a full review at a later date, but it's basically a clothes/furniture warehouse. There are definitley some good finds there, but be prepared to make a day of it. Apparently they just got a big shipment of sunglasses including, but not limited to: Gucci, Dior, Versace, YSL, Kate Spade, and Juicy Couture. I have not made the treck to examine these in person, but from what I gathered from the advertisment they are marked down around 50% which places most of them at about $150. While that is definitley much better than paying full price, you can do better.

Off 5th-Normally there's a pretty decent selection at most of the stores. The sunglasses are priced around $70. If you are on the Off 5th mailing list there are ALWAYS coupons being sent out, so that can help knock the price down by up to another 30%. I would say the biggest plus to buying them here, is that you can actually get the matching case (make sure you ask at checkout, since they keep them in the back).

TJ Maxx/Marshalls-My first pair of designer sunglasses came from Marshalls. They were dark grey Dolce & Gabbana and cost me a mere $20. I think back then the stores hadn't caught on to what they had in stock. More recently though, I picked up an amazing pair of black Armani glasses for my grandmother for $40, which still is not too shabby. A secret to finding the good stuff: most of the sunglass displays are tall and generally have a bunch of sunglasses piled on top that I am too short to reach. One day while shopping with one of my taller friends, we were quite sad not to find anything good and then she started looking through the ones on top. Come to find out that's where they were hiding...

Last Call-If you hadn't picked up on it yet, I LOVE Last Call. So this is it...the best sunglass deal I have EVER come across. As I mentioned earlier, I adore Oliver People's sunglasses. Sadly, they cost approximately one arm and one leg. In a weak, foolish moment I actually broke down and bought a pair at full price (in my defense it was a Spend Some, Get Some day at Saks so I did get a gift card); I figured I would never find a pair on sale and I just had to have some. Once I had the black ones, I decided I needed brown ones as well. Oh I found a pair I liked; they cost one arm, one leg, and an ear (about $400). I had come to terms with the fact I would have to live without brown Oliver Peoples until one day while at Last Call, they had some sunglasses on top of an island in the jewelry display. My roommate and I did a doubletake and were shocked to find that Oliver Peoples were at the outlet store! Even more surprising was that the frames weren't in terribly odd colors or shapes; they even had some brown ones very close to what I was pining for. Well, because nothing is ever as good as it looks, we figured that they still probably cost well over $100. The surprises kept coming though! I had a sales girl give me a pair to try on (that I was instantly obsessed with), I asked the price having braced myself for bad news... low and behold they were only $35!!! Can you even find sunglasses at Target that cheap?! Needless to say, that probably goes down as one of my best finds.

With all this talk of sunglasses, I think I'm going to don mine and go enjoy some sunshine!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Designer Denim

"Seven Jeans, True Religion, I say no, but..." Even Fergie Ferg knows good designer jeans! There's really nothing quite like a pair of well-fitted, designer jeans. Not only can they make you look fantastic, but they can be dressed up or down with very little effort. The only problem is a good pair of jeans sports a price tag of $100+++; they get quite pricey, very quickly. For instance, as much as I had to have them, there was no way that I was going to pay around$200 for a pair of this season's hottest Siwy skinny jeans! Oh wait, I didn't, I only paid $60 for them...

Designer Denim is possibly one of the easiest items to find at a discount. If you know the right places to look you can find a wide variety of brands, styles, washes and sizes. You may not be able to find what you're looking for every time, but if you pick up a pair here and there for between $40-60 you'll find that you have a nice collection of designer jeans and you've saved yourself a lot of money. You can hardly even find jeans at any old store in the mall for that cheap! To make this easy, I'll just make a list of stores, the brands they tend to carry, and possibly some handy pointers. Whatever you do though, DO NOT squeeze into something that is too small just because it's cheap; the muffin man is not your friend...

Marshalls/TJ Maxx-Blue Cult, Seven for All Mankind, AG, Citizens of Humanity, Paper Denim and Cloth (The tricky thing with these places is that you may only find a couple of pairs and they're usually hidden amongst the Junior jeans. It is especially frustrating if the only pairs you're finding are a size 25 that you can barely fit your arm into.)

Gabrielle Brothers-Seven for All Mankind, True Religion, Blue Cult (If you really look you can find normal TR's, but a lot of them look like they were over-distressed. Some of them may need a zipper replaced or a seam stitched, but when you're paying $40 for something that's over $170 what's a few extra dollars to have them fixed.)

Off 5th/Last Call-Siwy, Seven for All Mankind, AG, Citizens of Humanity, Rock & Republic, Antik (Those are the ones that you normally see at the outlets, but I've never really had any good jean finds at outlets; they're usually still priced around $100 which is cheaper than normal but more than I prefer to pay. However, Off 5th has tons of Seven's, so if you NEED a pair and don't mind paying that much, it's a good go-to.)

Neiman Marcus/Saks 5th Avenue: the Sale Racks-All of the brands mentioned above, but you can also find Paige, Chip and Pepper, Habitual, and others that the stores normally carry. A NM sale rack just so happens to be where I found my $60 Siwy Hannah Jeans! Sale racks at department stores can be a Gold Mine; however, sales are generally seasonal so it's not something that is always going to be there.

There are also numerous online sites that will run pretty good sales on jeans, but there's a reason I haven't mentioned them. Jeans can be tricky, even when it's a designer you've worn before. Unless you've tried the EXACT style on in a store, I'd be wary about buying jeans online...

If you've never worn designer jeans before, you are probably going to have to try on a few different brands before you figure out which one fits you best. Check out the websites though, because many of the brands will tell you what body-shape they cater towards. It may seem a lot easier to just go to the Gap and grab the good old standard bootcut, but trust me...when you find the right pair of designer jeans you (and everyone else) will see that is is well worth the effort!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mother's Day

With so many ad's out about "the perfect gift for Mom" where does one begin? How about those diamond earrings from Jared the Galleria of Jewelers or something straight from the heart from Shaw's Jewelers; I know...what about Alase laser hair removal! Let's be honest, those ad's you hear on the radio are far from helpful. I mean, you may as well just get Mom a car from Eastern Motor's while you're at it.

Mother's Day gifts are a tough want to get something nice, something memorable, something she'll like, but not expensive. It's also a plus if you get something that's somewhat original. I also like the idea of a gift that she'll be able to have for awhile. Gift certificates to spas, salons, etc. are nice, but when they're used up there's really nothing to show for it.

All that being said, I still haven't bought anything for my mother yet! However, I do have a plan of attack...keep in mind, though, that everyone's mom is different and what my mother may like, yours may hate.

The first place I plan on scouring is Annie Creamcheese in Georgetown. It's an excellent vintage store that has tons of designer pieces (I found an incredible Pucci dress from the 70's there)! So, I'm thinking of finding some little deisgner accessory like a coinpurse or something similar. There are so many treasures there, though, so who knows what I'll find!

My next stop is Filene's Basement (the new one that opened by Tyson's). This is the perfect place to find really nice silk scarves. Most Filene's have a pretty good selection, of big, rectangular designer scarves for around $60; you can find Gucci, Missoni, Moschino, YSL, etc. In addition the last time I was at Filene's they had smaller, square Missoni scarves (perfect for headbands) that had been around $100 for only $15! Now if that isn't a great gift idea, I dont know what is. Plus, that's cheap enough you can pick one up for yourself while you're at it...

I really like the concept of a nice scarf as a gift. There are so many different varieties, they're pretty, they last for ages, and they're versatile! As I mentioned earlier, though, just make sure you get something that Mom will actually like; it doesn't matter if you just forked over several paychecks for something from Mervis Diamond Importers...if she doesn't like it, it's not a good gift.

Happy Mother's Day and Happy Mother's Day Shopping!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Outlet Malls

Outlet Malls: guaranteed place to find a bargain, right? True, I've found some a-mazing pieces; however, it's also easy to get duped by the theory that because it's at an outlet it's a deal. I'm sure this will be the first of many times I discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of outlet shopping, so consider this a crash course.

For those of you that reside in the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, you are within an hour or two of some excellent outlets. Leesburg Corner, Potomac Mills, Arundel Mills--three of my favorite places to invest my paycheck. While each of those have their own unique attributes, there are a few underlying principles to keep in mind while shopping at any outlet mall.

First, certain outlets base prices are better than others. For example, the Burberry store at the Leesburg outlet offers prices that are 50% less than their base! This is incredible if you're looking to purchase that timeless Burberry trench that normally sells for almost $1,000. At other stores, though, the outlet prices may actually be more than what you pay if you found that item on the sale rack at the actual store.

Speaking of sale racks...this is the first place I head in any store, outlets included. Off 5th (the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet) and Last Call (the Neiman Marcus outlet) always have TONS of stuff that's marked down from the outlet price, which has already been marked down from the store price. Not to gloat, but over the weekend I found maybe the best deal I've come across at Last Call (Arundel Mills). Alas, it was not something I purchased for myself, but it's better to give than receive, right? Anyways, as I was looking through the final sale rack I stumbled across a silk, Armani, bubble skirt that, according to the orignial tag, had been $1,295 marked down to....are you sitting down...$79.99!!! I couldn't believe my eyes; I kept looking at the skirt thinking there had to be something seriously wrong, but I found nothing! Being the wonderful daughter that I am, I of course thought of my mother (ok, so it wasn't my size), clutched the skirt dearly, and headed to the cash register. I'm such a good child...

Another thing to look for are the coupons that many outlet stores send out quite frequently. Off 5th is especially good for this; they routinely send out 20-30% off cards and they also give you a "Gas Money" card that is good for $10 off your next purchase of $50 or more. Last Call offers 5% off your entire purchase if you use a Neiman Marcus card; not a lot, but every little bit counts.

Now that you're all jealous over my current find, I've given you enough of a road map to head out and start scouring for your own treasures. However, it's important to not get discouraged if you don't find that $150 pair of Manolos the first time out. Sometimes you come back empty handed and others you're toting home an Armani skirt :)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Lounge Wear

The weather forecast for the District of Columbia is gross with a 30% chance of miserable. This morning as I was in bed listening to the rain, work clothes were the last thing I wanted to adorn. On rainy days there's really nothing better than lying on the sofa watching the recently released 90210 Season 1 DVD's in your finest loungewear. Seriously, shed the PJ's; that can be the one productive thing you do all day...

Loungewear is one of my favorite types of clothing. If you get the right items you can compose an ensemble that's comfy, flattering, and stylish. An outfit that feels like you're wearing PJ's, yet is appropriate to wear in public; it just doesn't get much better than that!

I love Juicy with Primp coming in a very close second; I'm especially keen on their T's with the sparkly rhinestones! However, there is absolutely no way I can justify spending $80+ on what are, essentially, sweatpants. Fret not, you can still have your Juicy and Primp and afford it too.

Have you ever heard of a place called Gabrielle Brother's (Gabe's)? For those in the DC area, the closest one is in Winchester, VA, and well worth the trek. Gabe's is a warehouse-type store that sells clothing and much much more, but in all fairness Gabe's deserves it's own post so you'll have to wait to find out more. Chances are if you have heard of Gabe's it was probably in reference to someone looking through clothing and finding pants with one leg, shirts with holes, and dresses with stains. Amidst all the one-legged pants, though, are Juicy pants (both velour and terry) for a mere $10!

While not as exciting/scary as Gabe's, TJ Maxx is a great place to find Primp (they occasionally have Juicy, but it's still not as cheap as Gabe's). You have to look in the new Runway section that select TJ's have, but it's well worth it since the Primp pants are marked down to $30. You can also find Primp at Filene's Basement, Loehman's, and the sale racks at Neimans and Saks, but they are still usually over $50 there.

I think it's supposed to be pretty this weekend and what better to do than take a nice drive down Route 50 (stopping in Middleburg for some cookies at The Upper Crust) or I-66 and check out Gabe's to stock up on loungewear for the rainy days to come!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hello Gorgeous!

Between outlets, designer discount chains, bargain websites, and let's not forget a good old-fashioned department store sale, wherever does a girl begin! It's very easy to become hypnotized by a 50% sign and next thing you know you're coming home with bags of stuff that you'll never wear..."But it was SUCH a Good Deal!" The truth of the matter is, it's not a good deal if it's going to just take up valuable closet space.

I'm here to share some of my favorite treasure troves, provide guidance, answer questions, and recap my own shopping adventures.

To get things started I'd like to share one of the most incredible websites ever created This site helps save some of that valuable office time that accidentally gets spent online shopping. Basically you go through and put in your size ranges, select your favorite brands/designers, and then how often you would like to receive an email from them (trust me, you want it daily). Whatever program the site uses scans through numerous websites and selects the clothing and accessories that match the data you entered upon registration. It gets better...from the email you can send the item to a friend for their approval or you can just go ahead and click on the picture and buy away; and this is all from the comfort of your email account!