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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Real Style: Summer to Winter Crossover

So I'm working towards adding a 'real style' element to this blog...meaning snapping pix of fashionable ladies around NYC (of which there are many) so that everyone can see how Jennies from the block et al are wearing their clothes everyday.

I've been too much of a chicken to ask a random woman on the subway or the street for a pic (you never know in NY...people can be cold to put it nicely), so I decided to start slow and with what I know: my cushy, warm, friendly friends and coworkers.

So one of my very fabulous coworkers was wearing an innovative outfit yesterday:

Basically she took a Trina Turk knit ballerina top that she wore over the summer, and made it into a vest for the fall by popping it over a button down shirt. Cute, huh?

Turns out my coworker (let's call her fashionable lady une) hails from Palm Beach, Florida, and has found many ways to help her summer wardrobe transition right on over to autumn.

She says, "...Now that I’m a tried and true NYC girl I’ve had to learn to adapt all those great Palm Beach staples (tanks, tunics, sundresses) to the cold weather! ...“Summer” clothes get layered with their more fall-ish friends! ie: I’ll still wear a dress or skirt from my spring wardrobe, but layer it over knit tights with boots and a chunky sweater belted at the waist :) also, as for all those skinny capris, they can still stay in the rotation if you tuck them into high boots!"

Capris tucked into boots is a great idea.

Tank Tops can punch up an otherwise boring outfit and t-shirts are great layering pieces under sweaters. I've also seen a few women around el cite wearing opaque tights with sandals...not too sure how I feel about that, but it's an idea:)
Do y'all have ways that you use summer clothes in the winter? Let me know!


Sunday, October 29, 2006

My Two Cents: Tips for Buying a Winter Coat

"All clothes are a form of armor, but a winter coat most of wear it constantly--it actually puts its arms around you in the morning, noon and night. My soul is in coats."--Isaac Mizrahi

Isaac (we're on a first name basis) was talking about how a coat is a justified luxury... I couldn't agree more. While it'd be great to find a coat on sale, know that it's definitely worth it to invest a signif amount on a sophisticated, tailored coat. You wear it all the time and it makes an impression on everyone who sees you!

I speak to fashion experts all the time, and from their mouths to your are a few tips for buying wool coats:
1. Buy a classic cut that you can wear into next season. You can get a little saucier than the typical double breasted peacoat with a traditional military style coat, like this $300 coat by DKNY (

2. Make sure the wool is weighty so that it doesn't wrinkle. Stylist Kendall Farr once told me this tip: take a handful of fabric and squeeze for 30 seconds. If it looks rumpled, so will you.
3. Make sure it fits. Meaning, make sure it fits over your bust, and try to bring a sweater or two with you to make sure it can fit over multiple layers.
4. Look at the silhouette. Most women want to achieve a sort of hourglass shape. This can easily be achieved if the coat you buy has a belt at the waist, like this $260 coat by Via Spiga (

5.Buy a neutral color; I'd vote for black, grey, or brown because it can conceal dirt, smog, and stains. This $325 J.Crew coat is cute (

J.Crew has stepped their game up in recent years (a J.Crew coat is featured in October's Vogue right next to a $3,000 Philosphy di Alberta Ferretti coat and a $4,000 Libertine coat)...I'd recommend getting a J.Crew coat with Thinsulate...the extra warmth helps. Also great about J.Crew...if you can wait, everything goes on sale in late Dec, early January...

Moving along...

Down coats can be a lot less expensive than wool, and any range of prices will keep you just as warm. The only difference, in my experience, between a cheaper coat and an expensive one is the amount of feathers left on your clothes after you take the coat off. Inexpensive coats tend to leave you looking like a bird; expensive ones hold up better.

The North Face is notorious for making coats that'll keep you warm and toasty.

This $280 Metropolis coat was super popular in New York last season:

And this $300 Triple C coat was popular as well (Halle Berry has this coat):

The North Face makes sports coats that people use to go skiing and scaling mountains, so it'll definitely keep you warm in frigid weather. They've also become extremely stylish lately with belted styles, etc. They definitely marry fashion and function.

Another great brand: Moncler. They make great sport level coats as well, but they're coats are free of labels and are tres chic. For that reason, they are EXPENSIVE! This coat is an appalling $930 at Saks:

This one is $945. Right.

Surprisingly, you can almost never find these on sale (not even on ebay). They mix warmth without looking bulky, and they're classy enough to wear to dressy events. I've been drooling over Moncler's forevor. Know that ladies who lunch in New York buy Moncler's full price from Bloomingdales, and pickings are slim when sales time comes around.

Good picks for inexpensive down:

This Michael Kors coat is $158 at

My coworker is from New York and rocks this, no problem.

This Marc NY coat is $178, also at

I won't be able to search for a coat until this wknd... I'll let you know what I find!


Friday, October 27, 2006

Friends and Family Sale:

Hey Shopaholics,

My friend just forwarded me info on a Friends and Family discount for the website

I haven't tried it yet, but apparently if you enter the code: CHEER2006 during check out, you get 30% off your order (this includes sale items and exclusive designer brands). It seems as if is also having a general sale starting October 28th, so this discount code will give you a deeper discount. As it stands right now, it also looks as though most items have free shipping.

The code expires Monday, November 13th.

I took a look at because I'm looking for some winter boots (getting an early start on cold weather shopping).

It seems they have tons of bougie brands, like these $400 boots by Stuart Weitzman:

These $200 ones by Calvin Klein

And these $180 boots by United Nude

I can't decide if these United Nude boots are cute/fashion forward or horribly ugly...I guess I'd have to see them on.

These Michael Kors Beaverton boots have been on my 'must have' list since last year:

They have them at for 50% off ($150), but they only have them in brown (I want them in black). I think Bluefly might have the black ones, so I might get 'em from there before they're sold out.

Check out mens and women's styles at


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Winter Coat Sale Alert! Lord & Taylor

So I had a little time to kill between leaving work and going to watch America's Next Top Model with friends (and I needed some tights), so I decided to pop into Lord & Taylor:

Of course I went there to get one thing, but I almost couldn't help but take a look at the winter coats on the 6th floor.

I couldn't take any pictures in there, but y'all, there were some great coats on sale!

L & T had all the best brands...if you look at their website, you'd think that they only have Calvin Klein, DKNY, etc, but I saw Cinzia Rocca, Via Spiga, Steve by Searle, Paul & Jo, Laundry by Shelli Segal, and other top of the line brands.

They had 30% off puffy coats like this $130 one by Kenneth Cole:

and this $200 one by Marc NY:

They also had 30% off wool coats like this $250 by Calvin Klein

and this $250 one by DKNY:

as well as coats by Jones New York, and Larry Levine on sale (unfortch Cinzia Rocca, Via Spiga, etc were mostly full price).

Bonus: when I went to check out, I saw they were giving away coupons (valid until Nov. 7th) that took $50 off purchases of $200 or more, and $20 off purchases of $100 or more.

Of course, as is my way, I fell in love with this $560 coat by BCBG Max Azria:

And, of course, on top of not being on sale (and almost $600), it's exempt from the coupon. Woe is me.

BUT the great thing about Lord & Taylor: They have sales all the time, and coupons are easy to come by if you sign up on their website. Also, young ladies, L&T carries all the brands that we know and love (Nanette Lepore, Theory, French Connection), but I swear, you never see twenty somethings in there. The older women know what's up...but that means that there's always lots of designer stuff leftover, usually at deep discounts. I learned my lesson when I bought an impossible to find $400 Nicole Miller dress there for $150 this past summer.

Check it out!

Sign up on their mailing list at or visit their location at 424 5th Avenue and 39th street. It's gonna be chilly before you know it (my Northeast girls are already feeling the cold, I'm sure).


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Antique Boutique 2: Housing Works Thrift Shop

New York is literally brimming with shopping opportunities.

On Sunday a friend took me to Housing Works' thrift shop in Chelsea:

They have clothes, shoes, jewelry, furniture, and artwork on sale:

All proceeds go towards providing healthcare, housing, advocacy, and job training to homeless New Yorkers living with AIDS.

I was actually reallllly...broke this weekend, so I couldn't buy anything (as affordable as everything was), but I saw some hot stuff, like this:

I was feeling the ruffled shirt, vintage Louis Vuitton purse, and Seven capris(Nothing on this mannequin was over $50!).

I also thought the vintage Christian Dior purse on this mannequin had potential:

If you're interested in either look, they'll both be off the mannequin and on sale on October 28th at the 157 East 23rd Street Location.

For New Yorkers, Housing Works has 6 locations throughout the city...if you're not in NYC, you can visit their website and bid on vintage items.
I took a quick look at their auctions and found this Marc Jacobs bag...bidding is at $80 (the auction isn't over for 10 days):

Not bad for MJ.

These Pucci boots in size 41 are also on the block, currently bidding at $65 (auction going on for 9 more days):

Not bad for designer pieces...and it certainly helps that every cent is going to a great cause.

Visit their official website at and find locations (or check out their auctions) at


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Boutique Spotlight: Harriet's Alter Ego

Brooklyn has tons of boutiques, and Harriet's Alter Ego is one of my favorites!

They have vintage, minimalist, African inspired clothing, shoes, and accessories:

They're pretty affordable, with clothing ranging from $15 to about $250 in price.
I thought the following items were great; they can add a little flair to maybe a black dress or a white t-shirt and jeans...and you wouldn't have to worry about seeing 15 people wearing it at work.
The jacket was $125

This shorter version was $95

And this red number was $125 (can you imagine this over a black sheath dress?? Impeccable!)

They have so much more than just women's clothing...
They have shoes in an affordable price range (from about $50 up)

Men's clothes:

This men's corduroy jacket was only $80

And leather bags like this $320 one by Yana Handbags:

They also have an art gallery in the back and feature artwork from local Brooklyn artists every month.

Harriet's Alter Ego is located at 293 Flatbush Avenue between St. Marks and Prospect Place. Visit their myspace page, website, or give 'em a ring at 718-783-2074.


NYC Sample Sale Alert

"Seven Jeans, True Religion/ I say no, but they keep givin'"Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas' song My Humps

So...I went to dinner tonight in lovely Soho and happened across a sign for a sample sale:

The location: 62 Greene Street between Spring and Broome:

It seemed they had 50-80% off True Religion, 7 For all Mankind, Theory, etc.

The store was closing when I passed by, so I wasn't able to check it out. But the guy working there said that the sale was going on until Sunday. If you're in New York, Take the R train to Prince Street or the Q to Canal Street...check it out!


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Project Runway Finale--My Two Cents

"Talking to me while I'm watching TV is bad for your health"--Homer from the Simpsons

So all cell phones were silenced and talk ceased in my house last night for the Project Runway finale.

Within minutes we found out the result of the controversy from last week (i.e. Did Jeff cheat when making his clothes??) My sister and I were relieved when Tim said he was in the clear...but both thought it was sort of whack how the show (and LAURA) built the issue up to be such a big deal.

Anyway, though my absolute favorite personality throughout the whole show was Michael (obvs, he's from the A), I was dissapointed in a lot of what he showed. I loved this dress:

But didn't care too much for these:

I mean why did he think that bright shiny orange would play well off a Vaselined up model? And the sequins, belts, tie up shirts, everything. was. just. a. mess. Let's chalk it up to nerves because...Michael definitely 'brought it' during the season.

I was honestly surprised by how much I loved Uli's collection:

She still stayed with her prints theme, but then mixed it up with items like that silver sixties style dress. Don't tell anyone but I sort've wanted Uli to win not just for her fashions, but also so that her hot model Nazri could've gotten her Elle photo shoot...

Moving on...
Though I think Laura's personality leaves a lot to be desired, I love her classic, sophisticated aesthetic. Out of any of the designers, I think I would most likely buy her clothes. I adored this dress...I think it'd be perfect to go clubbing.

And my 20 year old sister said she would give birth, get married, and be buried in this dress:

I personally loved the way the belt contrasted with the dress and the back! To. die. for.

Then Jeff's collection. First of all, the music he was playing made feel like killing myself. Then, I thought his 'Japanese Nightmares and Ghouls' theme was questionable...and his collection was sorta luke warm for me.

These looks were just ok (they reminded me of stuff I could find at Diesel):

And I only sort of loved about 2 things:

But nothing really made me gasp with glee (whereas with Laura and Uli, I think I pretty much could've taken everything home with me).

If I had to choose based on the final show, I probably would've picked Uli. Her styles were hot, young, and fresh.

Anyway I'm sad that P. Runway is over. But Shhhhh...don't tell anyone, I'm interviewing Tim Gunn on Monday for another fashion story. I'm thinking I might veer off topic and ask him a few show related questions...but what!?!? I'm already nervous!
Y'all give me some ideas...

ps all pics are from P. Runway's website at