Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Fear I Have Purchased Something That Won't Fit

I recently won an auction on eBay for a lovely little vintage dress. Here it is.

And here's a closeup.

Cute, right? A little swiss dot thing happening; an awesomely big bow. It reminds me at once of of both a cupcake and a present. And it was $19.99.

But here's the thing: I'm worried that I'll put it on and and it will zip past my waist and call it a day; I think the girls may not fit into it. It was an against-my-better-judgment purchase.

But, you ask, didn't the seller give measurements? Why yes she did. She said the waist was 30 inches and the chest was 30 inches. I am banking on my theory that she was wrong. Who would make a dress with those measurements? That's crazy! And check out the fabric bunching up in the chest area on the closeup above. And it's darted. There's got to be some rack room there--after all, the dress form is not flat chested.

So it will come in the mail, and we shall see, fellow shoppers. For 20 clams, I think it's worth a shot. After all, sometimes that's the fun of eBay. (And one day I'll get around to selling all the cute but not-quite-right items I've accumulated.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Two Fab Vintage Dress Finds on eBay

I recently found two great vintages 50s/60s dresses from the same seller on eBay. I know I really don't need any more dresses, but I couldn't pass these up. And now that they've arrived, these may be my favorite vintage eBay purchases to date. For one, they are both lovely florals--one muted and one bright. Two, they fit perfectly--no hemming required. They are petites, people! And three--$79 total for both (including shipping) in Buy It Now auctions. These dresses look as if they've never been worn--and they didn't even smell musty. (Although I did have them cleaned--one should always bring the vintage to the dry cleaner. And be sure to tell the cleaner clerk that the items are old. Vintage items generally don't have fabric care tags. If you let them know, they will test the fabric before they choose a cleaning method.)

Check out the drapey chiffon bow action going on at the waist of dress number one. So cute and so tummy camouflaging.

And dress number two sings out summer. I'll probably attract butterflies if I wear it outdoors. Good thing Material Girl hates to sweat and spends the summer in the A/C. I've got plenty of cropped cardigans that will go great with this in the arctic zone that is my office.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Shopping in Vegas: My Afternoon with Cheapy, Part 2

After we left the hectic environs of Kenneth Cole, Cheapy and I rounded out our afternoon at the shops of the Venetian with a trip to Banana Republic. The store was bursting with both people and sale items.

I tried a number of things on and ended up buying one black and white silk dress.

I also tried the dress on in orange linen.

These dresses are cute exactly the same. The silk version looks good on me; it drapes very nicely. I hated the dress in linen--it was really awful. Fabric makes such a difference.

Cheapy (who opened a charge to save 20%) bought me the dress and got himself--what else--a blue button down shirt (that looks an awful lot like a dozen other shirts in his closet--blue is his color, however, so I guess one more won't hurt).

After Venetian shopping, the whole Vegas group went to a restaurant in Caesar's Palace for dinner, so I had a chance to take a quick spin through the Vegas Anthropologie--which was huge.

I'd found a dress and a sweater.

When I went to checkout, however, I realized I had no wallet--I had switched from a big bag to a clutch and didn't have so much as a dollar on me. Right then, Cheapy called--he was at the Imperial Palace where there was karaoke going on, and he dislikes karaoke more than he dislikes shopping, so he and his wallet zipped on over. Before he would pony up, however, he had me try on the items I wanted and Mr. 85-blue-shirts-in-his-closet nixed the dress claiming it "looks like all of my other dresses." I liked and, but didn't love it so I let it go--but I'll keep my eye on it in to see if it goes on sale.

Saturday, July 12, 2008 Discount for Lucky Subscribers

If you've gotten your August issue of Lucky: The Magazine About Shopping and Style, turn to the Lucky Breaks section page 162 for a discount code for 25% off at And don't forget to shop endless through Lucky Rewards--you'll get 10% cash back.

Endless is currently having a big summer sale. Coupled with the Lucky Breaks discount, you can get some really sweet deals on footwear and bags. Here's a link to designers shoe deals.

Here are a few on-sale designer sandals that I like--a bone and black platform, a low-heel sandal with a great pattern, a rock star slingback, and a strappy cork platform. (Click on the shoes to link to them on endless).

Friday, July 11, 2008

Shopping in Vegas: My Afternoon with Cheapy

After a morning at the overpriced Canyon Ranch Spa (and lunch at their delicious and very vegetarian friendly cafe), I met up with Cheapy to hit the shops at the Venetian. We only made it to two stores because, despite the fact that he had an OK buzz, Cheapy was not feeling the retail vibe. There were too many people (it was Saturday) and they were harshing his happy-mellow.

Our first stop was Kenneth Cole. (Cheapy hated the music.) I got this pair of shoes that I'm still thinking about taking back. I love the gray leather contrasted with the black woven heel (they also come in a great yellow and beige), but I'm concerned about the comfort level.

I also got a small and super soft leather hobo. It's below in cream, but I got it in gray (which was not offered online). I guess I was in a gray mood--it's a good neutral for summer!

I loved a lot of the bags Kenneth Cole has to offer. The shapes and colors really appeal to me and many many of them are on sale.

For example, this blue bag which almost has the look of denim leather and is soft and slouchy. (It's on sale for $129 from $278.)

This cream and black satchel is clean and simple and soft. (It's on sale for $129 from $248.)

I love this gray and white tote. It looks roomy but not too cumbersome. (Its' on sale for $159 from $338.)

And this silver tote is fancy and shiny, and somehow slouchy and structured simultaneously. (It's on sale for $159 from $318.)

The service in the Las Vegas Kenneth Cole was not exactly stellar, but since I had to wait so long to try on the shoes the sales person gave me a 25% off gift card. If I decide to return the gray wedges, I may us the discount to get this dress (which looked much better and more interesting in person).

Here's a funny Cheapy shopping anecdote. After I finished the whole shoe transaction we headed to the second floor of Kenneth Cole to check out the clearance. Cheapy walks over to me holding this shirt:

I personally think this shirt is kinda cool. I like the dip dye and I love the palette. But for Cheapy to pick it up--I thought someone must have slipped something into his beers. Everything he owns is beige, army green or light blue.

"This looks kinda good. Do you like it? I'm going to try it on," says Cheapy. "Um. O-K. Dressing rooms are that way," I say.

So we go into a dressing room and he puts on the shirt. Then he takes off his sunglasses, and has a mini-freak and rips it off. "Why didn't you tell me it had...colors?"

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Told You I Really Really Wanted Those Cute Nanette Lepore Sandals

My day at the office sorta beat me down which generally leads me down one of two paths: emotionally eating or emotionally shopping. Today I opted for choice number two. (And I might have eaten half a jar of bean dip and a few spoonfuls of peanut butter first. And maybe a chocolate bar.)

I knew the thing that could ultimately make me feel better were these:

Because look how cute they are. Bows. Metallic. Very girly/gladiator. And a nice sturdy heel. They have Material Girl written all over them. But as I mentioned in my last post, they are $350 shoes and Cheapy and I just dropped a lot of cash in Vegas, what with all the eating and shopping and gambling and spa-ing and hotel-paying-for. (The plane tickets were free thanks to earning lots of flight miles by shopping with my AmEx.)

I hoped that if I did some googling I could find the shoes a bit cheaper. And, hurrah, fellow shoppers--I did!

Nordstrom had them for $99 in hot pink suede. But they were sold out. And they were hot pink. And they were suede.

Bloomingdale's had them for $238 in hot pink suede and they were in stock. But they were hot pink. And they were suede.

Then I found them at Neiman Marcus in the olive metallic. They were on sale for $245. But wait--for a limited time they were taking 40% off existing sale prices said the site. Now we're talking! Once in my shopping cart they were $147. Sold. But then the shipping charge of $14.50 popped up in my cart. I'm not used to paying for shoe shipping. I don't like paying for shoe shipping. I knew there had to be a way around that way-too-high shipping fee.

Again I googled--"Neiman Marcus free shipping." I found this page featuring a handy code. I entered it and that $14.50 disappeared. I've tried this trick before, fellow shoppers, and I recommend you do it too--the majority of the time there is a free shipping code floating around on e-tailers websites. Always check this before you check out.

When my Nanette Lepore Bad Girl Sandals (the items in the Nanette Lepore line have terrific names!) show up I'll let you know how they work out. And I'll post more about Vegas shopping tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Shopping in Vegas: Nanette Lepore

After our collective shoe binge at Taryn Rose, my shopping posse did some damage in Nanette Lepore where we found racks and racks of delicious clothes at 50%. All four of my fellow shoppers and I walked out with at least a couple of items.

This shopping experience was great fun--the dressing rooms in the back of the store had a big community mirror area and we could all pop out as we tried things on to model for one another. There was a lot of oohing and ahhhing and "oh-you-have-to-by-that-dress!" There were also several helpful sales associates running about grabbing alternate sizes and colors for us. These are beautiful, well-made clothes, and despite the fact that there were so many different body types happening it was fantastic to see that there was something in Nanette Lepore's line for everyone.

Here's a sampling of our half-off purchases.

In addition to a fab khaki peplum jacket dripping with interesting details, I got the dress below in gray and cream--you all know Material Girl cannot pull off yellow. I fill the dress out quite a bit more than this willowy model and it hits me at the knee.

One fellow shopper got this beauty of a top in black and in white and wore them both before the trip was over. It's so versatile and so pretty and feminine. I love the seafoam version below. (I would have tried this on myself, but I feared it would not properly cover the girls.)

Birthday girl grabbed this dress at the last minute in a green and gold jewel-tone-y version. It was cut like it was made for her and she looked spectacular singing karaoke in it. (I prefer the one she got to this red-brown-beige version, although it's very pretty on the brunette model.)

And no one bought these--but look how cute they are. I want them. I really really want them. (Post Vegas trip, however, is not time to start coveting $350 sandals. Cheapy's head might expode.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Shopping in Vegas: Taryn Rose

I got back from Vegas on Sunday afternoon and I'm just now feeling back to normal and up to blogging--too much drinking, eating, and time-zone changing and not enough sleeping. But hey--if you don't feel like crap after you get back from Vegas you did something wrong. And if you don't have to expand your suitcase when you repack you're either a Tetris packing champion or you didn't take advantage of the amazing shopportunity that is Vegas. (I didn't gamble at all on this trip. If I'm dropping a wad of cash I want something for my closet.)

My favorite place to browse in Vegas are in the shops in Caesar's Palace which was just a quick jaunt across the street from the ultra-lovely Venetian where we were staying. (Note: I just saw an article in The New Yorker that said the guy who owns The Venetian makes one million dollars every hour. For reals, y'all. Can you imagine?)

I wasn't sure how my first Vegas shopping day would go because we were there hanging with a group of people (this was a surprise birthday party trip for my friend) and when we hit Caesar's there were five ladies perusing the stores--but we seemed to be in perfect shopping sync. The first place we collectively purchased was Taryn Rose--where tons of beautiful shoes (and I mean like three quarters of the inventory) were 70% off. Granted these are $400-500 shoes so they still weren't exactly giving them away, but since I didn't have any $500 shoes, it was a good time to snap some up.

I came home with these gunmetal peeptoe wedges. The are comfy and o-so-shiny. (If limber enough, one could check her lipstick in these babies.) I always have a hard time passing up a metallic shoe--but especially when in Vegas where everything is shiny.

One of my shopping companions got these peeptoe maryjanes wedges in the shiny gunmetal. (I actually liked these better than what I got, but they didn't come in my size.) This particular shopper bought three pairs of shoes which was quite the shoe coup--she wears a size twelve and they are few and far between so she tried on everything in stock in her size.

My birthday girl friend, along with pair of smokin high-heeled strappy not-particularly-New-York-friendly sandals, got these drag-queen-tastic gunmetal pumps.

I made a sad discovery when I came home and unpacked. I got a scratch on one of my shoes--a little nick in the shiny--when I wore them out to dinner. So, if my Vegas Taryn Rose shopping companion are reading this, be careful out there!

I've got more to report, so look for more Vegas posts this week.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Filling the Void from Lost eBay Auctions

I'm a pretty successful eBayer. More often than not when I really want an item I win the auction. But here and there I fail. I don't bid high enough and I don't leave myself enough time to up my bid--and the item I covet slips through my fingers. And let me tell you--it's hurts, fellow shoppers.

For example, a few weeks ago I had my eye on this:

It's a vintage Trifari faux pearl stunner of a necklace. My max bid was $61.75 and it went for $77.80 with 10 bids. It was terribly disappointed. (Of course I've got a favorite search on eBay for Trifari pearl necklaces just in case...)

Yesterday I won an auction for a necklace that will somewhat satisfy my need for the above piece which I cannot posses. Here it is:

It's vintage 1960s and is sort of the same idea. Not quite as spectacular, but probably a little more wearable. I'll still watch for the Trifari, but this will make me happy in the meantime. It was $25.

NOTE: That is not my neck in the photo. It's the seller's neck, or the seller's model's neck--a much more mature neck than my own.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Finally Someone Pays Me to Shop! (Plus a Quick Trip to Target)

I got a call from a market research firm the other day. They ask me lots of question about buying hair care products and where I like to shop and whatnot and said they'd call me back in five minutes to tell me if I qualified for any upcoming studies. I figured it would be one of those sit-around-a-table deals where you get free bad dinner and have to spend three hours talking about what you like in plastic shampoo bottles.

Instead they asked if I could meet them at Sephora and talk about my shopping experience there. I was all over that. I took the day off work, got to sleep a little later than usual, and met two market researchers at The Mall. I picked up a few items I was out of as I chatted with the ladies. Then we cruised The Mall, talked about what catches my eye in a window and why I like the Aveda store and hate the Mac store. Then we drove to a nearby CVS, discussed hair products and makeup, and I bought some mousse. It took one hour and they paid me $175 to run my errands and talk about my favorite activity--I hope they call back!

I had some spare time, so I got a pedicure with my birthday girl pal, and stopped in Target on my way to the gym. I had purchases a long white belted Isaac Mizrahi sweater with pretty pearl buttons a couple weeks ago. What was I thinking? Long? White? Belted? I returned it and in approximately seven minutes found two more sweaters, and a dress and a top from the Go line. There was no specific designer attached to the Go items currently in the store (Rogan is winding down and Richard Chai is gearing up), but I liked what they had going on. Lots of flowers and ruffles--and I'm a sucker for both these days.

Here's the dress. It's very fun and vintagey and cute on. Short but not too short, and quite figure flattering. (Cheapy Jr. doesn't care for it, but he's four--what does he know? He's quite the fan of my Chick Flick Cherry toenails, however.)

This is the top I got. It's very similar in style--floral and ruffly--and I probably should have gotten one or the other, but I couldn't decide and I like them both, so now they are both in my closet. Note that both of these items look better in person than they do in these photos. I don't know what it is about the Target website, but they really don't do their clothing justice.

Check out the exposed silver zipper up the back--that was the clincher.

The other items a got were a couple of cropped cardigans. I can't get enough of them for summer. It's hot outside; it's freezing in my office. A mini cardi is the perfect thing to keep the chill off my arms and shoulders and not eclipse my entire summer outfit. They also fit into my bag quite nicely. I must have close to a dozen at this point--a few from Anthropologie, a couple from Old Navy, and four of the exact same one from Target in different colors. Have you all noticed I collect things?