Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Converse One Star at Target

I love me some Target. This, despite working there for two years when I was 16-18 (thanks for the Team Member Scholarship btw, HOLLA). If anything, I've only grown to like it more as it's become more fashionable. Not that this blog has been around that long yet, but in its time I've given a lot of attention to the Go International lines, but the Converse One Star line has kind of gone under my radar...until today.

During my lunchbreak I wandered in and saw the cute red baseball tank pictured, and lo' it was on clearance for $10.98. I snagged it and look around some more. These are just some of the cute items available for women. A number of items are on clearance right now and totally appropriate for spring and summer wear, so if you're looking for some relaxed weekend casual, you might want to check it out (also, really cute swimwear!)

(Click on the image for product details.)

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bag, Borrow, or Steal

Not everyone can own an “It” bag like the Fendi Bageuette or the Chloe Paddington. That’s why they’re such desirable items: exclusivity (and insane price tags). However, there is an abundance of fakes, knock-offs, and inspired-by bags to be found everywhere. (Raise your hand if you’ve never had the suspicion that someone carrying around a monogram Louis Vuitton bag or a Coach bag screaming out its “C’s” is not carrying the real deal.)

While his featured Balenciaga Arena City Bag> retails for around, oh, $1,595, this very, very similar Primo Limited Loft Tote at is only $58.00. If you just like the look of it, well, maybe this is perfect! But if you want the real thing, what are you to do? Are you going to plop down your savings or go into debt to own a handbag? Play the eBay game and hope, hope, hope you can get one, and not go bankrupt in the process? Or, would you consider an option like Bag, Borrow, or Steal, a website where you can rent out an it-handbag for a certain time period (and sometimes buy at used one at a discounted rate)?

Rates aren’t cheap. If you are a member, renting this Balenciaga bag will cost you $60.00/week, and if you’re a non-member, it will cost you $89.00 a week.

Is this worth it? Perhaps in very special cases, like a wedding or class reunion? Now, the site also rents out jewelry and other accessories, which, for something like a wedding, might not be such a bad idea. If you only need it for one day, it might not be such a bad idea to rent something like this beautiful diamond and pearl necklace by Vera Wang for $50.00/week ($70.00 as a non-member).

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Care for Your Handbags, Part 1

Being thrifty and budget-friendly with your clothes, shoes, and accessories is not just about finding good deals on the rack. It’s also about taking care of what you already own and making those pieces—especially those splurges or high-quality items—last.

From time to time I’ll be writing a series of these posts on how to care for different items—from jeans to shoes to handbags.

The first topic I’m going to cover is how to care for your leather handbags—and for now, just how to care for your smooth leather handbags.

I didn’t always care for my handbags, but this was back when I only had about two that I really used, and one was PVC. It never occurred to me that the leather would damage as it did until I picked my Jana Feiffer hanbag one day and found the leather cracked all along the handle. To add insult to injury, the bottom of the bag had also cracked open to where I could see the inner lining peeking out.

If only I had taken a few easy steps to care for it…

Keep it from Cracking
For smooth leather grab a smooth polishing (shoe polishing rags work great) and clean and condition your leather handbag with leather conditioning cream like one from Kiwi. You can also try saddle soap, but you might not get as good of a clean as there are some reports that say that because of its high oil-content, it does not clean the pores of the leather as well. In some cases, users of saddle soap have indicated the use caused permanent damage because of the alkali content.

After cleaning you can apply a leather protector/waterproofing agent to the leather to protect if from the elements (and from yourself!)

Shine it Up
If the leather on your bag is beginning to look dull, you can apply polish to it to brighten it up. I’d recommend using a neutral polish, like Meltonian Boot & Shoe Cream Polish for most bags as brown, black, or white polishes that you might find for shoes will unlikely match your bag and stain/discolor the leather. There are also clear polishes available. Remember to apply the polish with a soft cloth and then buff it when you’re done to bring back the shine.

And always, always remember to test any of these products on a hidden spot on the leather (like on the bottom) before using it on the entire item in case of discoloration or damage.

If you think, “it’s going to cost me a ton to buy all these cleaning products,” think of it as another investment, especially if you have a variety of handbags, or if you splurged on a beautiful designer bag and want it to be something that lasts you not just years or decades (also, many of these products can also be used to clean your shoes—double duty!) If that doesn’t convince you, maybe give a holler to some friends or coworkers, have everyone get one item and create a “care kit” that can be passed around. Remember, caring for your leather isn’t an around-the-year thing—just do it once in a while for maintenance.

One last thing…cleaning is one thing…remember to also care for the leather. Don’t clean it with water. If it is exposed to water, remember to dab at it to dry—don’t wipe, and do it as soon as you have a chance. Every little bit helps.

(Item featured, Great American Leatherworks Satchel from, $79.99 down from $130.00.)

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bermuda, Bahama, c'mon pretty mama. . .

Around the time I went to college I realized that I did not like shorts. They seemed to be getting shorter each year and lower in rise. I also had the added problem of the legs of the shorts riding up in the middle, which resulted in unpleasantness that you can call "rubbage." I soon gave up on them, and even when I moved to Arizona for graduate school I decided, 100 degrees plus be damned! I am going to continue on wearing pants and jeans (I also cultivated a newfound love of the skirt at that time). However, lo'! What is this hitting the fashion scene? Why, Bermuda shorts (aka walking shorts)? Shorts long enough to prevent rubbage, but short enough for the vertically challenged who often find that capri pants fit around the ankle or over the thickest part of one's calf muscle? Cleaner lines than say, your clam digger? Sign me up!

I love Bermuda shorts for warm weather, especially with flip flops or espadrilles. They come in all colors and patterns and at pretty decent prices. The photo above are examples of shorts ($12.99-$39.90) found at Target, Old Navy, Guess, and at Kohl's. New York and Company also has what seems like a bumper crop of Bermuda shorts for sale, and right with certain styles, buy one and get one at 50% off.

If you're looking for something perhaps in higher quality (or just designer--I can't vouch for quality off the bat), it looks like has a number of styles on sale (in limited sizes for some), but you can get your hands on shorts by the likes of See by Chloe, R.E.D. by Valentino, and Citizens of Humanity (all featured here). The sale prices all fall under $50.00.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

The Thong Song

The good ol' rubber flip flop is a standard for summer. It's comfortable, it's casual, and it's cool. However, sometimes it might just be a little too casual. In which case, a thong sandal a sprinkling of embellishment might just be the thing to do the trick. While still possessing the comfort of a nice, flat flip-flop, it has a little more style and can easily be paired with jeans or a skirt. Here are some affordable examples under $80.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Are you addicted to bargain hunting?

I've been finding it harder and harder for myself to pass up a good deal these days, especially now that I'm no longer a starving student, and what with the downturn in the economy. I've become hyperaware of spending, but what that's resulted in is the search for deals, which has resulted in me wanting to buy anything that seems like a deal. Something on clearance for 50% off? Right it goes into my shopping cart! Where I used to go ahead and buy these items without a second thought, I've been making more of a conscientious effort NOT to just buy because it's cheap. Some of the items in the Jovovich Hawk for Target went on clearance lately and more than once I dropped them in my cart only to convince myself before I left the store to put it back on the rack. I'm also addicted to thrift store shopping lately, but you spend $16-20 each trip and perhaps make more than one trip a week, it starts to really add up, and what do you get? (For me, an overstuffed closet and an espresso machine/coffeemaker duo that's sitting on top of the kitchen cabinets.)

And so I ask myself, (a) am I addicted to shopping? and (b) am I in particular, addicted to thrift shopping?

This article on MSN, Are you addicted to bargain shopping? asks that question and lists some telltale signs. Do any of these apply to you?

Here are six telltale signs of bargain junkies:

  • They hit sales and clearance racks when they feel angry or down.
  • They spend more than they can afford.
  • They see sales as opportunities they can't pass up.
  • They feel guilty about their shopping and hide their purchases.
  • They spend so much time tracking down deals that their time with family and friends is compromised.
  • They routinely forget what they bought and find things in their closets unused.

However, I am comforted that if I am, I am not (yet) at the level of this one schoolteacher from New Mexico:

For New Mexico schoolteacher Marie Barger, bargain shopping was an addiction as powerful as drugs or alcohol -- one that took her seven years to pay off. Years after her husband took away her maxed-out credit cards, she still comes across old purchases that make her cringe, such as the full-figured adult size 16 uniform pants she bought for her tiny 12-year-old daughter simply because they were 80% off.

"She's superskinny. Maybe if she got pregnant one day she could wear them," Barger says.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rogan for Target

Looks I was wrong earlier about the Rogan GO International collection for Target being swimwear only. How was I proved wrong? Oh, by previews of the collection, a sample of which you can see above, and the rest which you can preview at Target's Pressroom.

About the collection:
The Rogan for Target collection exudes a beach safari vibe, using nature’s own beauty as inspiration for patterns and colors on relaxed silhouettes. Zebra and leopard prints give basic tees, tanks and dresses an effortlessly edgy look. Pops of bright pink, yellow and blue are juxtaposed with a cool earthtone palette, while black and white bold prints are modern and chic. Ranging in price from $14.99 – $44.99, the line includes a variety of wardrobe staples including loose tanks, wrap dresses and hoodies created from organic cotton, linen, bamboo and hemp. Stand-out pieces include a striped vest, wide-leg trousers, jeans, a strapless knit dress, crochet tunic, trapeze tanks and a plaid linen dress.

His Target collection exemplifies downtown street style with wearable pieces in unique shapes, such as the sleeveless one-piece short jumper, the giraffe print shift dress and the sleeveless button-front dress. Swimwear in bold prints and bright solids round out the collection.

Rogan for Target puts a new twist on the GO International program with organic cotton utilized for on-trend attire at affordable prices, making designer eco-friendly fashion available to women everywhere.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Aerosoles Sale

A comfortable shoe is hard to find. A cute and comfortable shoe, even harder. And one at an affordable price?

Well, Aerosoles trades in affordable, cute, and comfortable shoes (to varying effect), but they do a pretty good job, and what's better, right now they're having a Spring Sale where spring shoes are up to 50% off, and even better, they're getting rid of their winter shoes which are clearanced at 75% off, including the pictured Jelly Swish shoe, marked down to $29.99 from $79.99, and then there's the Flamcoyant boot marked down to a paltry $29.99 from $150.00, and I would totally grab that black pair in a 7.5 if I didn't know that it not fit my 16" calf. Sigh

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Friday, April 4, 2008

The Look for Less: Temperley Papillon Dress

Temperley of London's Papillon Mini Dress (left) has been seen on the likes of Halle Berry and Sarah Michelle Gellar. However, at $1,625.00 a pop for a dress you'll probably not wear more than once or twice, is kind of rough.

To the rescue, the always reliable fast-fashion "inspired" chain, Forever21 with their version, the Ordella Knit Tunic for $22.80.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Look for Less: Navy and White Colorblock Cardigan

[1] [2]

Both are navy and white. Both are cardigans. One costs ten times what the other one does.

[1] Tory Burch Color Block Cardigan at Bergdorf Goodman, $225.00.

[2] Isaac Mizrahi Navy and White Cardigan at Target, $29.99, on sale for $20.99 at Target. (And if you want, find some neat gold buttons, sew 'em on, and voila, you're set!)

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Stimulate Me!

Taxes for those of us in the U.S. are due April 15th. If you're getting a check for the economic stimulus plan this May, will you be using your check to stimulate the economy, or are you going to (a) save it (b) pay off bills, (c) other? And if you are going to use the money for some stimulating purchases, are you going to get yourself something pretty or practical?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Citizens of Humanity Jeans at Hot Couture

I think this is for real, but you can check it out yourself. Apparently at Hot Couture you can pick up one of three pairs of Citizens of Humanity jeans (retail approx. $150) for only $15.00 (plus S/H). The site in general carries a number of different items from different stores and designers, and all for under $15.00.

The site says it carries "juniors" clothing, but I think there are a number of items that could go both ways.

Sizes for the jeans are getting limited, so if you want them, it might be time to pick them up. I('m still on shopping hiatus so long as I can restrain myself, though I did hit the button for my size and then scurried away from the website before I started spending.)

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