Saturday, August 30, 2008

Necklace Crazy on eBay

I'm a collector. When I get one of something I like, I generally want more. I get in collecting/buying phases: flower pins, vintage kelly bags, sweater clips, mink wraps, Sarah Coventry clip-on earrings. (I'm glad it's never happened with, say, hats).

This week I'm all about necklaces and I've gone on I had a bit of a necklace binge (which has been known to happen every few months).

Here's my deal with necklaces: really bold or rather subtle. (Is there an in between?) My recent purchases included two of each.

In the subtle category, I found two pieces from one seller. First this interesting little gold bubble necklace (BIN for $31) which I find both modern and delicate. (I've been getting more into gold since Donya gave me a great gold necklace for being in her wedding--I'd always been a silver-only gal.)


And also this silver bird/gold nest piece which I think it just so darling (in auction for $16.99). I could do gold or silver earring with this. Don' you love the eggs in the wire nest?


The seller, who calls her line ArtWark, has both an eBay store, and at etsy store and she tells me she'll soon be adding her Fall 2008 line featuring one-of-a-kind locket necklaces. She's got some great pieces (If I wouldn't have shopped so much this week I might have also bought this one), and the prices are really reasonable.

Next up: the bold. First this big mess of chains and stones. I like the colors and the asymmetry. (And I couldn't pass it up at $7.) This necklace, a black tee, jeans, and my awesome bargain of a leather jacket I got last fall and I'm happily out the door.


This one came up in a Trifari favorite search. It's a big, crazy horselike dragon. I've been watching it for weeks and it wasn't selling at $44.75. I emailed the seller to see if she could do any better. I could only get her down to $39, but that was good enough for me. (He'll join my owl and my butterfly in the big-and-odd section of my jewelry tray.)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Vintage Alligator for My Feet

Ever since last year when I browsed exotic skin bags that cost more than my car at Saks in Beverly Hills, I've had a slight obsession with alligator. I watch bags on eBay all the time, but still haven't found the right one at the right price.

The other day, however, I bought these 1950s alligator pumps for $15.50.


Here's the thing: I've never purchased used shoes before. I've browsed shoes in vintage stores. I've admired the uniquely fashionable ladies in Bust magazine in their interesting thrift store pumps. But the thought of it was always a little icky. (Don't even getting me started on rented bowling shoes.)

These alligator pumps were a bit of a late-night impulse purchase. Then I thought, What the hell, I just bought used shoes from someone in Cleveland. But when I opened the box and put them on, all was well. They fit perfectly. They looked so classic. They made me feel like a lady and I'm sure whoever wore them in the past was a lady. While the words are worn off the insoles and the bottoms are worn in, the shoes themselves have nary a flaw. I'm sure they always accompanied darling dresses, nothing too flashy or revealing. They were always worn with nylons. And they were placed with care in a tidy closet at the end of the day.

I'll take good care of them, too--and they will look so cool with my jeans.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Two Dresses: One Vintage, One New

I know I don't need any more dresses. But I actually wear a dress to work most days, I haven't found a skirt I like in ages (besides the one I got at Macy's last Friday), and any day now I'll be cleaning out my closet (I swear).

First off, I returned these gray wedges (purchased in Vegas) to Kenneth Cole. I love the color, but they are really stiff and uncomfortable.
I exchanged them for this dress. It's currently at my tailor (who tells me I have to many dresses) getting the straps shortened. While the dress is mini on this model, it actually hits me below the knee (where do they grow all these giant slim women?). I'm a sucker for anything tiered, and this dress is super soft and comfortable. Overall, just a nice LBD (that's little black dress).

I also picked up this 1960s two-piece outfit (almost-a-dress) from my favorite eBay seller Violetville Vintage. I've really been loving all the lace in the September magazines, and I'm very excited about this outfit. Nude lace over blue is cool and subtle unlike lace in black. There's great detail on the top and skirt where the linen meets the lace, and it's great that I can break these up. The top will be cute with jeans. (The skirt will be hemmed.)


More vintage purchases to report later in the week!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Brand Love: Chie Mihari

I recently popped into Anthropologie and left with the best shoes. My Anthro store used to carry shoes, then didn't for a while, then suddenly did again in an odd shoe-tent sort of thing erected in the middle of the clothing section. Now the shoe-tent is gone and there are stacks of shoe boxes in the sale section, including boxes containing these Chie Mihari sandals, a steal at $89 from $358 (my own photos).


Do you see those straps? Grey, beige, black and three shades of brown: these officially go with everything. And let me tell you, they are the most comfortable heels I've ever had on, and I say that after wearing them both shopping and to the airport.

Of course, I've been watching Chie Mihari on eBay. Here's a link to their collection on Piperlime. I adore these two pairs, as well as the maryjanes.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Friday Afernoon at Macy's: Good Stuff for Fall

Friday was the second-last day of my company's Friday summer hours, which means it was one of my last chances to leave work at 3 o'clock and hit The Mall. My discretionary fund is running low, so I opted for Macy's--even thought I haven't been wild about their selection lately, they were having a sale (as usual).

There was a ton of summer stuff on clearance, but I'm so over summer. I was there prepping for fall. In a couple hours I ended up with four pieces I'm really excited about, all which I can mix and match with each other as well as all sorts of things in my closet.

Of course I can find none of these anywhere online, so please bear with my photos.

My first item is the Reaction by Kenneth Cole metallic linen cropped jacket. It's not nearly as shiny in person as in this photo--the flash gave it added flash. I love the pleating at the neck and sleeves. It reminds me a bit of an Anthropologie jacket my friend Meg had which I loved (and, sadly, was de-metallic-ed by her dry cleaner, I believe). It's a great neutral with a little fancy going for it.


Next I got this Reaction by Kenneth Cole skirt. It's a great shape and length. The waistband really flatters. It's got pockets. And you can't tell in the photos, but it's got faint metallic threads throughout. (I was in a shiny mood on Friday. I'm usually in a shiny mood.) Again, this is a great neutral. I can't wait to wear it with boots, my favorite black Gap tee, and the metallic jacket above.


I also picked up this Nine West someone-tie-dyed-fall cardigan. Can you see the shiny gold snaps? I looks fab with the skirt above (and over the Zeppelin tee I wore to The Mall).


Last is this Michael Kors sweater dress. I got it in black. They only have it in red on the Macy's site, so you have to use your imagination and picture how cute both the cardigan and the metallic jacket would look with it. I've always loved the idea of a sweater dress because--comfy! I've never bought one before because sweater dress generally equals lumpy. The gathers on this one, however, solve that lumpy issue allowing the dress to slightly drift away from the body in the right places in front and back. This is such a versatile item. I've got so many sweaters and jacket in my closet that I can pair with this and boots, but it will also be perfect with just cute shoes and a great necklace.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Preparing for Fall, Thinking About Sweaters

Although it's still the height of summer, the days have been cooler and less himid the last few weeks and I can see the September light at the end of the summer-tunnel. Before I know it, autumn will be here, and that means one thing: sweaters. Cozy, warm wool, cotton and cashmere..I cannot wait to put them on to shield me from cool fall breezes.

I've made my first sweater purchase of the season, a cashmere wrap sweater from Banana Republic, pictured below in coral. I got it in black during last weekend's summer sale at BR. This is a great wardrobe staple--it's thin enough to roll up and carry in my bag, and it's versatile in that it can be wrapped several ways or worn long and drapey in front.


I've decided that each fall I should purchase one sweater I deem spectacular and special. Last year it was this one, an olive green, asymmetrical, boiled wool dream hoodie from Anthropologie. It can be buttoned myriad ways, and kills the need for a scarf under my winter coats. And it's super warm as well as interesting. It may be my favorite item in my closet. (I purchased this full price during a spell of emotional shopping and still refer to it as my I-had-to-lay-off-four-people sweater, but that doesn't make me love it any less.)



This fall, I think I may have found my spectacular sweater, or at least one to put in the running. It's this asymmetrical (do you sense a pattern) wool cardigan with appliqu├ęd flowers bursting from shoulder to hem. I've tried it on in store and it's an excellent fit for me--the slight flare and nipped in waist flatter, and the length is just right. The color, too, is fab. (And I even saw one in my size with a broken button, so perhaps a I could get it discounted.)


I'll keep looking for that grand sweater in which to invest and hope that this one won't sell out too quickly. I must note that the current crop of fall Anthropologie sweaters is fantastic compared to these from last year.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Melissa Shoes for Rainy Summer Days

Many of you know how I feel about my Wonder Woman-esque Tretorn rain boots (which don't seem to be available in red anymore, but are 30% off in six other colors including a go-go-boot white at Shoes.com).


These boots make me love the rain. Bring it on, April! You don't scare me, puddles! These are comfortable and fun and so much better looking than bigger, clunkier, shinier wellies. I can't sport these in the summer months, however. There would be leg sweat. Material Girl is not a fan of leg sweat.

So what's a girl to do for footwear during a humid summer downpour? I don't want to drench my leather shoes, and I don't want to wear cheap rubber flip flops to work.

Well ever since I went boutiquing with my friends in Brooklyn in June and saw Melissa shoes I've been coveting them for those rainy, hot days. If you haven't heard of them, they're an Australian brand made of PVC that are purported to be comfortable, breathable, and smell like bubble gum. They come in an array of styles from flats to heels.

I really like the Melissa mary janes designed by Vivienne Westwood, but at $190 with overseas shipping charges they're just too expensive for giving-the-brand-a-try shoes. (I just saw a worn-a-few-times pair go for $93 on eBay.)



I was up late last weekend surfing for shoes and I found this shoe on the Melissa website.




These green + nude slingbacks are on sale for $79, a more reasonable try-the-brand shoe price. And they're a tad more delicate than the Westwood mary janes. They haven't arrived yet, but when they do I'm hoping for a lovely, steamy thunder storm.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Designer Steals from Real Runway eBay Store

One of my favorite eBay stores (whose items are delivered to my inbox daily via a favorite search) is Real Runway. This seller offers designer clothing, shoes and accessories--and they all start bidding at 99 cents.

I've been watching Real Runway for a while and finally made my first two purchases from the store--and of course they were terrific bargains.

First was this feminine Jovovich Hawk silk blouse featuring touches of lace. I love the shape. It was $32. (JH items generally retail for several hundred dollars.)


I also won the auction for these white patent leather Belle by Sigerson Morrison peeptoe wedges, a steal at $31 (original price: $295). I love white shoes--and will totally wear them after Labor Day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Love My Cute Comfy Clarks

A while back I posted about the surprisingly cute Clarks shoes I ran across on Zappos. As I was getting ready to head to LA, I realized I was in need of some nice looking, comfortable, summer -appropriate shoes that I could wear throughout a 12-hour day at a conference without wanting to saw off my feel. So I ordered a couple pairs of Clarks.


I purchased them from endless, not Zappos, because the red mules were on sale on endless. The gold mini-wedges were cheaper on Amazon, but I needed the free overnight shipping offered on enldess. (I don't know why endless and Amazon have different pricing so often since endless is owned by Amazon.)

I love both of these shoes. I wore the heels through several long days and my feet felt very good. The gold sandals come in several other colors which I recently checked out at the Clarks store in The Mall. This bronzey-gold is the best of the bunch--it's a nice neutral. I've been wearing them like crazy. They've become my go-to weekend shoe, an improvement upon my dirty old flip flops.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Negotiation at the Gap

The day before my recent trip to LA, I fell into the Gap and tried on this little black shift dress.



It fit well and was simple, flattering and terribly comfortable so I wanted it to be my travel-to-LA outfit. I could wear it on the plane and in the cab, then change shoes, accessorize, and wear it to dinner at the hotel.

The trouble was, the only one left in my size was full of schmutz--makeup at the collar, deodorant in several places, dust at the hem. I knew, however, that I could launder all of this out--I'm good with stains. I pointed out the issues to the Gap associate and she gave me 20% off the $58 item. This is something I've done several times before at various stores--it works for missing or broken buttons, tiny tears in seams, etc. If there's an issue, they'll generally give you a discount. Note, however, that if you buy an item discounted as damaged, you usually cannot return it, so be certain it's something you really want and can fix. I knew I'd get a lot of use out of this dress. And, of course, it came out perfect after going through the wash.

I wore the dress to work the other day with one of my latest eBay accessory finds--this quite large, feathery flower pin.


I know--it's very early-Carrie-Bradshaw. But something about it called to me and compelled me to spend 8 bucks on it. Cheapy is not a fan. I got mixed reviews at the office as well. I was in the cubicle of one a female co-workers horning in on her lunch plans with a young, male coworker. He walked in:

Female co-worker: I invited [Material Girl] to lunch with us. Is that cool with you?
Male co-worker, turning to Material Girl: Are you gonna wear that brooch?

I found it quite precious that he used the word "brooch."

We had Mexican food for lunch and I somehow managed not to salsa up my feathers. And mixed reviews or not, I love this pin. The black shift is so plain, and I'm having a hard time finding the right necklace for the boat neckline. It's also not great with cardigans or jackets because the neckline is so high. This pin was the perfect focal point. I wore tiny earring and gold sandal in a very low wedge. I felt happy all day in my clothes.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Happy Day at Old Navy

A few nights ago, Cheapy Junior woke up crying. Reason: A hole in his sock. (The boy hates holes in clothing. It drives him mad when I wear my destroyed jeans.) I went through his sock drawer pair by pair and found that pretty much all of them had holes or were threadbare. So the next day I went to Old Navy to stock up on tiny socks and grab some pants for Cheapy Senior (he loves their loose fit khakis. They're baggy, super soft and inexpensive which is everything Cheapy wants in a pair of pants.)

While I was there I cruised through the women's section. I tried on a the best beige trench, which I was fully prepared to purchase. I liked it a lot but was thinking, I wish this came in black. Then I walked out of the dressing room, and, lo and behold, I found this:


It's not on Old Navy's website, so this is my own photos, so you'll have to do your best to get the idea. (I put it on and tried to take my photo in my full-length mirror, but that was not good.) There's really no sheen to the coat, as it seems so in the photo--but my camera flash did illuminate the details of this trench, which I'm so very excited about.

Notice the slash pockets, the button-down collar and the higher-waisted belt. It fits a petite shopper like myself perfectly--it's the right length, the belt hits in a good spot. It looks nice buttoned up or open. It's truly the trench I've been looking for for several years. I'd almost call it chic (a word that, for some reason, bugs Cheapy). And at $49.50. I should probably go back and get the beige one too.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Macy's Fashion Show Brunch with Cheapy

Have you missed me, fellow shoppers? I was in L.A. for a week (not shopping--working), and then I spent a few days recovering.

Right before I left, however, Cheapy took me to a fashion show that was part of the annual ATP Masters Series. (This tennis tournament is Cheapy's favorite event of the year. He spends hundreds of dollars on tickets for the entire tournament, takes the week off work, and has a stay-cation in the hot hot sun at center court, often spending 12 hours a day there, sneaking into more expensive seats, scoring free lemonade to spike with vodka, and making friends with fellow tennis fans as well as food vendors and bar tenders.)

Tuesday morning of the event included a "Ladies Day" brunch and fashion show put on by Macy's and Cheapy got tickets. He was the only male in there except a 12-year-old boy sitting with his mom and sisters looking like he wanted to die. The other ladies at our table all asked, "How did you get him to come to this." "It was his idea," I told them. Cheapy didn't mind being in a tent full of woman, and he had me bring my camera along so he could take some pics, standing right next to the runway in his grungy camo-cargo shorts and sweaty hat snapping away. At one point I went to the ladies room and when I came back Cheapy was missing. He emerged from the models tent with a few of their names and email addresses jotted down. (That's so Cheapy.)

Here's the lowdown on the show. (All photos by Cheapy)

First up--oh the horror--leggings. A few minutes later--I kid you not--a model came out in stirrup pants. (Cheapy turned around from his post by the runway and we simultaneously mouthed "Oh my God!")


Next up a bunch of rather hideous bold prints dresses from INC in non-natural fabrics. This black and white was rather shapeless.


This yellow and blue loud. This yellow hue is not wearable for most, I'd say. (I do like the yellow clutch carried by the model in the solid babydoll dress. But if I see another babydoll dress I'll scream. Enough already.)


The show also gave us special occasion dresses. I like the shape of the center embellished dress--flattering. Note the forty-something model on the left!


Lots of red and black went down the runway. Didn't like.



Didn't like.


Didn't like.


This is not a white ruffled blouse with a high-waisted pencil skirt--it's a dress. Were you fooled?


I like menswear-inspired pieces like the ones below. A classic vest and trousers with a feminine blouse is always a hit.


So if you head to Macy's for some fall shopping, here's what you're in for courtesy of INC, Micheal Kors, Donna Rico, Maggy London, and all:
  • red, white and black
  • safari colors (beige, brown and olive green)
  • high-waisted skirts, pants and jeans
  • embellished dresses
  • tunics and babydoll dresses
  • menswear influence, pencil shirts
  • graphic prints
  • leggings and stirrup pants (also known as the '80s)
(I am counting the days until Nordstrom opens at The Mall.)