Archive for the ‘Retail’Category

Fashion I’m currently coveting

What inevitably happens to me every Christmas is I end up either buying a bunch of stuff for myself, or if I’ve managed to stop myself from buying something then, I’ll keep thinking about it. And thinking about it. And thinking about it. Until I covet so much that I write a post about coveting fashion.

So here are some fashion items that I hope to get this year. Some are of-the-moment, but many are staples that I’ve been looking for but haven’t yet found “the one.”

Chunky cardigan sweater

Love the look, but it always seems to look better on a hanger/obnoxiously skinny model. I can’t figure out how to not look “chunky” in it. Maybe it’s not meant for me?

Chunky cardigan sweater

Chunky cardigan sweater

Aztec-patterned cardigan sweater

This one is just for fun. Big pattern on a layering piece means I can remove it if I decide it’s too much. But worn as a statement piece, it should work just fine.

Aztec-patterned cardigan sweater

Aztec-patterned cardigan sweater

Flat-heeled booties

I want an alternative to flats or sneakers for a casual-yet-stylish look. And I want to be comfortable. Always.

Flat-heeled booties

Flat-heeled booties

Perfect light-colored clutch

So many times I’ve found myself in need of a light-colored clutch, but have been empty-handed (literally). Also, an empty foldover clutch looks lovely, but what does it look like when there’s actually stuff in it?

Fold-over clutch

Fold-over clutch

Perfect black bag

The albatross of handbags. Does anyone actually find this? Here are a couple of styles I’ve been eyeing (imagine them in black, obviously).

J.Crew Teddie Satchel

J.Crew Teddie Satchel

J.Crew Biennial Hobo

J.Crew Biennial Hobo

Moto jacket

I’m especially loving moto jackets made with mixed materials. And that sideways zipper just screams cool.

Leather and wool moto jacket

Leather and wool moto jacket

If you have any suggestions that fit these bills, let me know. I’d love to hear and see what you think!

05

01 2014

How to find the best holiday shopping deals

Poshmark app

Poshmark app

Do you have a long list of people you need to buy Christmas gifts for but are short on cash? Or maybe you want to get your friends and family something different this year. Or maybe you just love good holiday shopping deals (I fall in to all three of these categories!).

Then consider some of these handy websites that will help you save money and find interesting gifts.

If you’re mainly looking to save some dough, then Slickdeals and Fatwallet are two good places to start. These sites aggregate discounts and sales from all over the Internet and even feature forums where you can discuss said deals with fellow shoppers.

If you’re looking for a good deal (sometimes a very good deal) on local (most of these sites offer deals in several cities) events, dining, services and stores, then LivingSocial, Groupon, Lifebooker, Goldstar and Gilt City are great bets. Goldstar specializes in events and entertainment, such as deeply discounted tickets to concerts and musicals. But the others include discounted prices on everything from flying trapeze lessons and clay pigeon shooting to yoga classes and jewelry. There are even travel deals, with discounted hotel stays!

If you’re looking for a less expensive way to buy stuff, then shopping via the Poshmark app might just be for you. It’s basically a place to resell and buy items from individuals, but that often means getting a great deal (you can negotiate!) on gently used or never-used (look for the NWT “new with tags” or NWOT “new without tags” designations) goods. The app is meant for the buying and selling of clothing and accessories, but you’ll find other things such as cosmetics, home goods and electronics on there, too. There are even sellers trying to offload authentic luxury items — think Chanel sunglasses or Louis Vuitton handbags. I’ve had some success selling on the app and have purchased some nice pieces, including a practically new Cynthia Rowley jacket for $25.

If the idea of purchasing something from someone you’ve never met freaks you out a little, there are always the limited-time flash sale sites Gilt, Ideeli, OpenSky, Zulily, Hautelook and Rue La La. Many of these sites offer high-end clothing, accessories, shoes, and even home and food items, at a discount but only for a limited time. Zulily is specifically geared toward mothers, mothers-to-be and families, and OpenSky sells all kinds of things via curated “shops,” with recommendations from big names, such as chefs Tom Colicchio and José Andrés, tennis star Serena Williams, and actress Jennie Garth.

Do you have more recommendations for frugal shopping? Share your thoughts; I’d love to hear them!

11

12 2013

This year’s Labor Day Sales!

J.Crew denim labor day sales

J.Crew denim. From J.Crew.

Don’t miss out on the long weekend’s Labor Day sales!

Gap
Adult t-shirts $10 and baby tees $8 Thursday, Aug. 29, only
Up to 40 percent off select styles through Monday, Sept. 2
In stores and online

OpenSky
85 percent off clearance

Banana Republic
40 percent off purchase online and in stores with code BRWEEKEND through Monday, Sept. 2
Extra 20 percent off when you open a BananaCard in store by Monday, Sept. 2

Old Navy
30 percent off entire store or 35 percent off when you use your Old Navy, Gap or Banana Card online (with code SPREE) and in stores
40 percent off all adult Famous jeans (not combinable with other discounts) in store only
Through Monday, Sept. 2

Anthropologie
New items added to sale, and extra 25 percent off home sale items through Monday, Sept. 2

Diane von Furstenberg
30 percent off pre-fall 2013 collection online and in stores through Monday, Sept. 2

J.Crew
25 percent off denim Thursday, Aug. 29, only
Extra 30 percent off final sale items in stores and online with code HELLO30
Free shipping on orders $100+

J.Crew Factory
40 to 50 percent off everything online and in stores through Monday, Sept. 2

West Elm
15 percent off sofas, sectionals and upholstered accent chairs
15 percent off mirrors
20 percent off laundry and cleaning
Extra 30 percent off pillows and throw blanket markdowns with code XTRAPILLOWS
Up to 30 percent off bedding
30 percent off select rugs
Online and in stores through Monday, Sept. 2

C. Wonder
25 percent off full-price items online and in store with code LABORDAY through Monday, Sept. 2

Ann Taylor
30 percent off full-price items
Extra 40 percent off sale items
In stores and online

Barnes & Noble
15 percent off any item in stores and online with code BWJQV61LMZ6E3 through Monday, Sept. 2

H&M
Items available in store and online starting at $5 through Monday, Sept. 2

Lifebooker
Extra 20 percent off Loot with code LABORDAY

Travelocity
Extra 15 percent off hotel bookings with code GOWEEKEND15E Friday, Aug. 30, only

Gilt City
20 percent off with code THANKS20 through Monday, Sept. 2

Piperlime
25 percent off full-price women’s jeans with code DENIM through Tuesday, Sept. 3

Topshop
Extra 20 percent off sale items

Macy’s
Extra 20 percent off (15 percent off home, excluding furniture and mattresses) with code DEALS through Monday, Sept. 2
Free shipping on orders $99+

Williams-Sonoma
Extra 15 percent off clearance items with code SAVENOW
Free shipping with code LABORDAY
15 percent off table top with code LABORDAY
20 percent off cooking tools with code TOOLS20
20 percent off soap and lotion
Up to 75 percent off outdoor
20 percent off Williams-Sonoma cookware
In stores and online through Monday, Sept. 2

29

08 2013

Democratizing fashion with Stylyt

Hayden Harnett x Stylyt Toughen Up Cuff

Hayden Harnett x Stylyt Toughen Up Cuff

If you’re into fashion, then I’m sure you’ve toyed with the idea of creating your own designs, or at least tweaking an existing one to fit your particular style. That’s where Stylyt comes in.

Stylyt is an online community where you can customize designs from the likes of Lovers + Friends, Brandy Pham, Heet, and one of my personal favorites Hayden-Harnett, all with their blessings. Then, Stylyt members vote on their favorite designs, and the winning ones are actually manufactured and sold exclusively on Stylyt.com as limited edition pieces. The best part is, if you vote for the winning design, you get first dibs and a discount on buying it. And, if your design wins, then you get it for free. NICE.

That means you could potentially score a high quality piece like this Hayden-Harnett Toughen Up cuff made from American-tanned cow leather. It would look great with some leather leggings or a moto jacket. The eggplant color is gorgeous, too. One thing to note: it’s on the small side, even for me, and I have small wrists.

A new designer is introduced every week, so there are plenty of designs to play with on Stylyt. This is good news for anyone who has ever thought that a shirt, dress or accessory would be perfect if only one or two things were different — which is to say, just about everyone.

Hayden-Harnett x Stylyt Toughen Up cuff

Hayden-Harnett x Stylyt Toughen Up cuff

Note: This cuff was complimentary.

21

08 2013

Beauty product review: Oxygen Pur serum

Oxygen Pur serum

Oxygen Pur serum. From Oxygen Pur.

Oxygen Pur serum is billed as a cure-all of sorts for the skin. The idea behind the clear, fragrance-free gel is to saturate the skin with dissolved oxygen to help circulation and “revitalize, regenerate and rejuvenate.” So, does it work?

I tried it out in different circumstances. First, I brought it with me on my recent trip to Greece. While it was suggested that I use it after traveling many hours on an airplane, I always get really oily when flying, so I opted to try it out after spending lots of time in the sun. Then, I started using it regularly — morning and night — and really started seeing results.

My skin is smoother and plumper when I use Oxygen Pur serum. It actually looks and feels healthier. And I think it does aid in the absorption of other products. It doesn’t seem to react with any of my other products, including my prescription rosacea cream. That’s good news for people with sensitive skin like I have. It’s also not greasy, which is nice since I have oily skin.

According to the product’s website, nitrogen is removed from water and replaced with oxygen, which is then infused and stabilized to deliver dissolved oxygen directly into the deeper layers of the dermis. This high concentration of oxygen supposedly promotes skin cell renewal, stimulates collagen and elastin production, and reduces the effects of free radical damage, among other things. It also claims to be hypoallergenic and free of parabens, fragrance, phathalates and sulfates.

Time will tell if this product continues to satisfy. Considering its hefty price tag — $80 — it better work, right? But, so far, so good.

Note: This bottle of Oxygen Pur was complimentary.

17

07 2013

Product review: Live Good organic cotton bedsheets

Live Good Organic Cotton Sateen Sheets

Live Good Organic Cotton Sateen Sheets. From Live Good.

Live Good, Inc., is definitely one-of-a-kind. Not only does it make its products – bedding and decorative pillows — with fully certified organic cotton, the company also manufactures in the United States using sustainably sourced materials, including organic and renewable kapok fibers, unfinished wood buttons, and formaldehyde-free water-based inks.

All this results in unique items, including bedsheets, which I had the opportunity to try. Live Good’s organic cotton sateen sheets are unlike any I’ve ever had. They’re really soft, despite having a thread count of just 300, and they have the slightest bit of texture that makes sleeping on them a unique experience. The fitted sheet comes with a lot of room for a tall mattress — one with a pillow top, for instance — but once you wash and dry it, it shrinks a lot. Actually, you’re supposed to wash and dry it before using it for the best fit, so follow the instructions!

The only thing is, like most sheet sets, these are not cheap and weigh in at a hefty $250. But, if you’re concerned about the environment and fair labor practices, which Live Good is also a proponent of, then purchasing these should be a no-brainer.

Live good, my friends.

Note: Sheets were complimentary.

14

05 2013

Inbetweener fashion: ankle boots

clarks heath harrier

Clarks Indigo Heath Harrier in taupe

I’m really into ankle boots at the moment, especially after my recent purchase of a pair of Clarks Indigo Heath Harrier boots. I’ve been looking for a comfortable, easy pair of boots that I can dress up or down, and I think I’ve found them. I got mine in taupe, though the color is more like a chocolate brown than the grayish brown color I saw online. No matter; they’re still neutral enough to match with lots of things, and the distressed material makes it so I’m not so afraid of scuffing them (which I totally did the minute I put them on, of course).

Even though I love these, I’m having a bit of a hard time styling them. Obviously I’ve worn them with skinny jeans, but can I wear them with other pants that require a larger cuff when folding them up? And then do I wear them with or without visible socks? I’m talking winter looks, not spring/summer looks with dresses and shorts. Any advice, dear readers?

20

01 2013

Shop small this Saturday

This Saturday, Nov. 24, is Small Business Saturday. Support your favorite local small business in between getting your deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Some of my favorites include Goo Salon, Giant Robot, Valerie Confections and just about every restaurant in Los Angeles.

Yes, Small Business Saturday is a movement founded by the large business American Express, which charges all businesses a lot for its services (that’s why a lot of stores won’t accept AmEx), but it’s still a good idea to shop small when you can. Small businesses give your city, your neighborhood, character, as well as provides jobs (duh!). If you haven’t seen the commercial, here it is:

If you have an AmEx card, sign up to get $25 back one time when you spend $25 at a qualifying small business on Nov. 24.

Happy shopping!

22

11 2012

Custom made in L.A. at den.m bar

den.m bar's style options

den.m bar’s style options

If you wear denim — which, let’s face it, is most of us — then you’ve probably been on a life-long quest to find the perfect-fitting pair of jeans. And you may have thought about getting a pair custom made, but that just seems cost-prohibitive.

Well, maybe not.

Downtown Los Angeles’ den.m bar, which opened earlier this year, is offering custom-made jeans at a fraction of normal costs. For about $300, you get to choose your own denim (sourced from the United States, Japan and Europe), pocket lining, thread and hardware (buttons, zippers, rivets, etc.) to be fashioned into the style of your choice cut to the exact dimensions that fit you — all within the span of two weeks. I’d say that’s a pretty good deal, especially for a pair of pants you’ll probably wear a lot for years to come.

Denim choices

Denim choices

Thread, lining and hardware choices

Thread, lining and hardware choices

Once your measurements have been taken, den.m bar will keep that pattern on hand for future purchases. And if you have a pair of old jeans that you love but they’ve just worn out, bring it in and the folks at den.m bar will use it as a pattern to make you a new pair.

Patterns

Patterns

While the store obviously fits both men and women, as evidenced by my first photo, it turns out that most of den.m bar’s customers are men. Why am I not surprised? Ah, to be a single man with disposable income!

28

10 2012

Live good with Live Good organic cotton

Lion baby pillow

Lion baby pillow. Photo from Les Violettes.

You care about a lot of things.

You care about what you eat and how your food was grown and prepared. You care about who makes your clothes and how they were made. You care about how companies treat their employees and their stance on the environment.

You care about living good.

So does Jennifer Chi, who founded Live Good, Inc., which makes fully certified organic cotton products. Not only that, but Live Good manufactures in the United States (Orange County, Calif.) using sustainably sourced materials, including organic cotton fabric and thread, organic and renewable kapok fibers, unfinished wood buttons, and formaldehyde-free water-based inks.

“There are just so many reasons why I felt a need to start Live Good, Inc.,” said Chi, who has spent time working as an international investigator examining factory production. “At the heart of it all was the challenge to prove to myself, as well as the corporate community, that it could be done. I wanted to see what it takes to build a company that creates quality products while complying with environmental and ethical standards. I want Live Good, Inc. to set an example for other businesses.”

As a factory investigator, Chi witnessed factory workers getting sick from dealing with toxic materials and unsanitary working conditions, in addition to them working long hours and being paid low wages. That’s why she wanted to manufacture in the United States — to maintain the highest standards of hygiene, fair labor practices and respect for the surrounding community. And that’s why all Live Good’s products are free of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and irradiation.

The results are soft-to-the-touch sateen sheets, terry blankets and decorative canvas pillows. The Live Good ethos is especially important when it comes to children’s products, and you can rest easy knowing the company’s baby items won’t be harmful to your little one. The pillows, which come in five cute animal designs that depict endangered species, come as an organic kapok insert that’s moisture-resistant, quick-drying, lightweight, hypo-allergenic, mold resistant and odorless wrapped in a sateen cover printed with water-based ink. Sounds pretty good when you think about how babies always put things in their mouths!

I would like to see Live Good succeed in its corporate social responsibility. Hopefully we’ll see more socially and environmentally friendly products from this company soon.

Note: Live Good provided a complimentary baby pillow.

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27

08 2012