Lord & Taylor x Glamour

right sizeI attended a fabulous event last night at the Fifth Avenue Lord & Taylor. Many thanks to Glamour Magazine and Lord & Taylor!!

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I arrived a little late but was still able to grab a seat. A few of the beauty editors over at Glamour Magazine (my favorite magazine!!) discussed beauty trends and tips and took questions from the audience.

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These ladies definitely knew what they were talking about! According to them, dewy skin and stained lips are big for fall, and easy enough to pull off with only a few minutes of work.

I’m so glad I RSVP’d, because if your name was on the list, you received a tremendous swag bag including a $25 giftcard!

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The reusable tote contained a variety of deluxe samples and full sized products from Lancome, Clarins, Ahava, Clinique and more – even an adorable flower-shaped bottle of Valentino perfume. I used my gift card on this Lancome lipstick in Wine Party, and it turned out that I didn’t have to spend a cent!

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I met up with a friend and we had a great time browsing the cosmetics and enjoying free champagne, mini cupcakes and chocolate truffles. There was also a fun photobooth and I was not about to miss out on the opportunity to ham it up.

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…The cupcake didn’t last very long after these were taken.

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A year ago today…Madewell was in the Brand Spotlight!

 

 

 

 

 

Collection: Strap That

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Collection is a column that features a themed set of clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry. Sets contain items that are meant to inspire, though sometimes they are still available for purchase.

Today’s collection features shoes with ankle straps. I love heels, but as you know, they can be incredibly painful. Ankle straps offer instant support and help pave the road to high-heeled nirvana.

There are more than nine items in this collection; you can see the rest by clicking the “strap that” link below the set.

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Thrift vs. Consignment

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This post is part of a series called Getting Started. It’s meant to guide new thrifters (or seasoned ones looking for tips)!

Today’s post focuses on the differences between thrift stores and consignment stores. Once you know the different facets of each store, you can make the decision to check out one or the other if you so desire!

A thrift store like The Salvation Army, Goodwill or Savers can also be called a hospice shop, charity shop (more commonly in the UK), thrift shop, or resale shop. Thrift stores sell goods donated by the public, and are often run by volunteers.

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A consignment store such as Second Time Around–or the higher-end items behind the counters at Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading Co.–operates on a business model where the store acts as an agent, selling the items for the consignor and keeping a portion of the profits. Unlike a thrift store, the consignor remains a part of the process, retaining ownership of his or her items until the store sells them.

Of course each type has its pros and cons…

Thrift Store Pros:

  • Merchandise is typically less expensive, even dipping below a few dollars.
  • Depending on the area, competition is less fierce for contemporary styles.
  • Stores are often spacious and allow you to wheel around a shopping cart laden with finds.
  • Stock is constantly turning over due to the size and frequency of donations.
  • Proceeds often benefit one cause or another, like taking care of cute kitties!
  • Items that are new with tags pop up all the time, granting you an even better bargain.
  • Tag sales make for even better prices.

Thrift Store Cons:

  • Merchandise isn’t always in the best condition and can contain stains, rips and other imperfections.
  • Sometimes there aren’t changing rooms (but don’t worry, read this!).
  • Thrift stores tend to attract families–meaning children–which can be annoying, especially if they hog the fitting rooms.
  • They can be moldy, musty or dusty depending on the store’s inventory and building condition (think basement church shop or aging Salvation Army).
  • Selection can be overwhelming, and you may have to sift through a lot of duds before finding something you like.

Consignment Shop Pros:

  • Merchandise is carefully cultivated–typically only items in prime condition are sold.
  • Again, there are plenty of NWT articles to be found.
  • These stores try to attract contemporary and higher end brands and styles as opposed to big box store brands.
  • Stores are commonly locally-owned, allowing you to build a relationship with employees and the owner. They’re more likely to keep an eye out for you when it comes to wishlist items.
  • Consignment stores do have sales, and some operate on a color-coded label system where each color is a different discount, or prices drop after a certain date.

Consignment Shop Cons:

  • Merchandise is more expensive, and not always a good deal compared to retail (think J. Crew tops for only a few dollars cheaper than if you were to buy it on clearance at a J. Crew).
  • Sometimes outlet and factory items are priced like they’re from the regular store–but you can check out this guide for advice on that.
  • Fast fashion can infiltrate a consignment shop just like anywhere else.
  • Some stores price their items a little too ambitiously, in which case you might as well shop those items retail.
  • There’s a higher risk involved when it comes to items that end up not working for you, since you’ve probably spent more than at a thrift store.

I’ve covered everything I can think of, but I’d love to hear your own pros/cons! Happy shopping.

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A year ago today…Ash wrote about fall fashion for guys!

 

Bulletin Board

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This series of posts focuses on the non-thrift-related things/topics on my mind this week. Sometimes a visual representation is literally pinned on the bulletin board on my desk. The items on the list below are sometimes random and occasionally a borderline obsession.

Here’s what’s on my bulletin board this time…

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1. Selfie

I told myself there’s no way I would ever watch a show called “selfie”, but I’m a Karen Gillan fan (loved her on Doctor Who) so I eventually caved and watched the pilot. It’s actually very funny, and obviously the leads are not bad to look at either. Some of the ridiculous dialogue that came out of Eliza’s mouth–as well as Henry’s rant about Instagram–had me laughing out loud.

2. Neal Shusterman’s Skinjacker Trilogy

I’m currently reading the third book in this series. I’m a huge fan of this author and he’s one of those writers where I’ll read everything he or she has written. If you’re into young adult/dystopian fiction, these are the books for you!

3. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Everything

I have a severe obsession with TJ’s pumpkin products right now. I don’t think I’m alone in this. I almost cried today when I went and they were out of This Pumpkin Walks Into a Bar. I overcame my grief by getting pumpkin ice cream instead.

4. Bo Burnham

Bo Burnham is a musical comedian/prodigy. I’ve been listening to him nonstop. I particularly love “New Math”, “Sad”, “Ironic” and “Love Is…”. If you haven’t already, go check him out ASAP.

5. It’s Only A Play

I saw this on Sunday and had the best time – it’s too hilarious and CHECK OUT THAT CAST. The best was that afterwards I got selfies with Rupert Grint (check out his crazy makeup for the show!) and Matthew Broderick. Definitely a must-see.

 

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A year ago today…I wore stripes and blush!

Outlet “Tells”

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There’s definitely a learning curve when it comes to knowing which brands are worth it while thrifting. While we know to look out for the way thrift and consignmnet stores price lower-end collections by designers such as Lauren Ralph Lauren and Michael Michael Kors, it can be tricky when it comes to outlet items. By this, I mean apparel and accessories made specifically for outlet stores, which happens almost always.

 

Sometimes even the savviest thrifter can have the wool pulled over his or her eyes, so I’ve compiled a short list here of four popular stores’ outlet “tells”, or the part of the product that gives away whether it’s an outlet piece or not. That way, when you see a cute top in a thrift store, you’ll know whether they’re trying to charge J. Crew prices for a J. Crew Factory top. This happens more often than you think!

1. Kate Spade

In the photo below, the tag on the left is from regular KS; the one on the right is from the outlet. Of course, in thrift stores or on eBay the tag won’t always still be attached (which is always the biggest giveaway since it says “our price”), but the lettering is green rather than gold.

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For non-clothing, an inverted spade symbol typically adorns bags, wallets and other accessories. The most obvious example that I could find is of the Kate Spade Bond Street Florence bag. The bag on the right is the outlet version:

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As you can see, the spade is “reversed” from the usual KS logo, below:

This is especially helpful when searching for KS bags on eBay, Poshmark and other online sites. That way you’ll know if you’re getting a fair price!

2. J. Crew

J. Crew is definitely one of the forerunners of the whole made-for-factory movement, what with even having a website just for outlet items. Factory tags have two diamonds under the name:

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In case you end up at a J. Crew distribution center or and outlet that carries a mix of J. Crew and Factory, past season items do end up on the shelves for great prices. These are usually denoted by a strike through the label to prevent returns to a normal store:

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3. Banana Republic

I actually had no idea until a little while ago that BR outlet items had a tell, but I’m glad I know now, because it’s definitely a brand that resale stores just assume is all the same (as I did).

For Factory store products, the tags have three small diamonds under the name “Banana Republic”:

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4. Brooks Brothers

Outlet-only sweaters from BB end up in thrift stores all the time. Merchandise from the Brooks Brothers outlet line is labeled as “Brooks Brothers 346:”

If your wardrobe is full of thrifted items, go and take a look at your clothing. You may be as surprised as I was to find that I had so many outlet items without even knowing it!

Finally, here’s another great article on outlet malls.

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A year ago today…Ash reviewed the controversial Rick Owens fashion show!