Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday Night with Cheapy: Dinner, Wine, Fly London & My New Sweater

Shoetopia, the fab shoe store next to my favorite date-night restaurant, had an anniversary sale this weekend. I planned my date with Cheapy: wine store, shoe store, dinner, bar.

Cheapy bought me these incredibly comfortable Fly London buckled pumps for $20 off of the MSRP. (Cheapy is not so cheap after a sampling half a dozen wines.)

I almost got them in grey and black--I liked the combo and they'd go with everything--but Cheapy insisted on the red, which was a good choice.

Red was a theme for the night: red wine, red shoes, and red sweater--I'd finally purchased an Anthro beauty I'd have my eye on for a while and got compliments everywhere I went (even from Cheapy). I love love love this sweater. It's gorgeous, it's got a great shape, it's warm, it fits perfectly. I wore it with my destroyed Gap jeans and a seafoam grean lacy camisole which peeked out from the bottom.

It had been a raining most of Saturday (don't get me started on my flooding basement nightmare), so I also wore my new Tretorn Plask mid-calf rain boots I just bought in seal brown. I have a tall version in red, but they don't work well with pants. This shorter version is perfect with jeans, and, like their taller cousins, are deliciously comfortable and the best looking rain boots I've seen.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Going Scarf Crazy

I've had this black Pashmina for years and it's big and soft and warm and cozy I and love it. I ordered a couple of different colored ones from the same website a while ago, and I didn't like them. They didn't feel like that were the same quality as my black one. I sent them back.

Still, I wanted to expand my Pashmina wardrobe--fall is here; it's cold outside and in my office, so they are a really useful accessory. I clicked around online for a while and found Nimli, a site that features clothes, accessories and other items for the "natural, organic & green lifestyle."

They offered a huge array of wraps of all kinds, in wool, Pashmina and silk, solid and ombre, embellished and plain.

I got this cashmere Pashmina shawl in the blue pictured here, and in shades of rosey pink. It feels luxurious, like I'd-love-to-use-it-as-a-blanket soft.

I got this silk ruffle scarf in black (I had a hard time choosing a color) and I adore it. I'll be wearing this all winter.

Finally, I got a silk chiffon wrap in plum. (I wore this to work yesterday with a black boatneck dress from the Gap.) This is my least favorite. It's flimsy--as is all chiffon--and already has a snag. The silk doesn't feel particularly soft. The color is great, however.

I'd shop through this site again because overall I'm pleased with the products. I also like a lot of the clothing and jewelry offered on the site. Plus the shipping is free. However the items took forever to arrive. Three weeks after my AmEx had been charged, still no scarves. I emailed Nimli customer service, and the items arrived two days later, so I'm hoping it was a flukey glitch.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Learning About the Fashion World from Daniel Vosovic

Designer and Project Runway Season 2 alum Daniel Vosovic is currently on a tour to promote his new book Fashion Inside Out: Daniel V's Guide to How Style Happens from Inspiration to Runway and Beyond and he recently made a stop at my local independent bookseller.

I loved him. He came across as darling, down-to-earth, and driven and told stories of being on Runway, living in Florence and London, his days in as a young gymnast, his time in design school, and more, and fielded questions from the young and well-styled audience. I had popped into Antrhopologie before the signing and saw four college age boys browsing, which is not something I see ever in Anthro. When I got to the bookstore the four were already planted in the seats for the book signing. They were obviously fashion design students. I wish I would have taken their picture.

I wore a black tee and skinny black pants topped with my I-just-laid-people -off-now-I'm-emotionally-shopping Anthropologie army green sweater, which, to use a Tim Gunn-ism, is the most soul-stirring item in my closet. And by the way, Daniel said Tim Gunn is truly as nice as he seems on TV--he wrote the foreword for Fashion Inside Out.

I've read through a bit an Daniel's book which is filled with gorgeous pictures and a lot of Q&As with fashion industry insiders--designers, photogs, stylists and the like. The book offers a beautiful package (the cover has a velvety texture and online cover images don't do it justice) and great content. I'm looking forward to reading the rest.

One great moment from the signing--Daniel noticed a couple in the crowd who were from his hometown. When it was their turn to have a book signed, they handed him a cell phone and he happily talked to their daughter who had had taught in gymnastics. The whole exchange was quite adorable, including his observation that the parents had moved away from the hometown, but their kids all stayed.

Here's Daniel Vosovic signing his book.
His inscription: "Design Your Own Destiny."

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My First New Pair of Docs Since the '80s

It's been decades, literally, since I've purchased a pair of Dr. Marten's boots. But I saw these in an ad and I had to have them--the pointed toes, the winter white, the zippers! (The Timberland boots I got recently zip up the back which I'm really digging, although I get confused every morning that I put them on and reach for the non-existent side zipper).

I wasn't sure about these as first. I ran them past my stylish friend, and she was iffy but thought I could pull them off. I considered getting them in black, but I felt like that was too goth kid for a Material Girl my age. Then I saw that was having a $20-off-a-purchase-over-$100 sale. That's a good offer, but I hate to wait for the non-overnight shipping. Fortunately endless has a 100% price guarantee, so they matched the onlineshoes price and shipped them to me overnight. And I super dig them.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Retail Is in Bad Shape--I've Got to Do My Part

Below is the retail news from NPR. It isn't pretty fellow shoppers. I fear for the under-construction Nordstrom at The Mall that's this close to being finished.

October Retail Sales Plummet Amid Financial Crisis

U.S. retail chains posted the worst monthly sales data in more than 30 years, as the financial crisis forced consumers to cut spending sharply in October.

The International Council of Shopping Centers called the retail sales environment "simply awful" and said the October results were the worst it had seen in 35 years.

The ICSC said it pared its forecast for what were already expected to be dismal holiday season sales. It now expect sales in November and December to rise 1 percent, down from its prior view for a gain of 1.7 percent.

The picture was particularly bleak for high-end retail stores. Saks and Nordstrom both had double digit declines in same store sales last month. In stores open more than a year, Saks' sales dropped more than 16 percent, while sales at Nordstrom were down 15.7 percent.

Kohl's, J.C. Penney and Macy's fared a little better, but they still saw sales slump in October. Kohl's same-store sales fell 9 percent in October, below expectations of a 6.4 percent decline. Department store operator Macy's, parent of Macy's and Bloomingdale's chains, reported a 6.3 percent drop.

J.C. Penney's October sales fell 13 percent, beating analyst expectations of a 13.2 percent slide.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. provided a bright spot in the report. Its sales increased 2.4 percent. The company now says it will introduce new price cuts every week until Christmas -- trying to win an even bigger market share.

Lest you think I've been a bad blogger lately, I've actually just been a bad shopper. I don't have much to report--not much, but a little. There's a boot, some accessories, and maybe an eBay find or two. Watch for some weekend posts.

(In addition to my uncharacteristic lack of retailing, I've also been awash in everything election. Material Girl is happy with the results--yesterday I dressed in blue to match Ohio.)

Now let's all do our duty and get out there and shop--I assure you there are sales and lot of 'em. The bad economy can be good for bargain hunters. (And if Sarah Palin can spend $150,000 on an election wardrobe, we all deserve an on-sale new outfit or two at the very least.)