Wednesday, June 22, 2016

It all works out in the wash ...

David Meister Dress
So, you've read my previous post (hopefully) about selling to the online consignment store #ThredUp. Well, they accepted (and paid cash up front) for 15 items I sent and are consigning two higher ticketed items for me. Yes, its true they paid me only $103 for all 15 items which works out to less than $7 an item. And I can see how some people would get really angry about that (you can view some reviews about ThredUp at ). But I am not.

To tell you the truth, I used my experience with ThredUp to pay closer attention to what I purchase and what earns (that's right, EARNS) a place in my closet. Let's look at a few reasons why I am not angry about getting less than $7 an item on the clothes ThredUp bought from me:
  1. I cleaned out my closet -- My closet should be a reflection of me but lately that reflection has been pretty ugly and cluttered with JUNK (remember, one woman's junk is another woman's treasure)
  2. I made money -- albeit not a lot but more than I had with clothes sitting in my closet that I never wore or if I had donated them to the charity thrift store
  3. They did all the work -- sent me a bag, photographed my clothes, took payments (on consignment orders), shipped the items to buyers, marketed my items to hundreds of thousands of shoppers
  4. Online transparency -- I actually got to see how much my clothes were listed for (honestly, the prices they charged for some high-quality stuff like #JuicyCouture and #AnneKlein were really reasonable and they didn't make much more than $7-15 dollars on each of my items anyway -- so its not like they gave me $1 for a #Talbots skirt and sold it for $100, far from it) and which items sold 
  5. Consigning made simple -- I got to control the price of the consignment items (see photo above of my only remaining consignment item)
  6. Store credit -- About what I said before about being more careful about what goes into my closet of reflection ... well, I used my store credit to really concentrate on buying high quality items that were timeless pieces
A few things I didn't like about selling to ThredUp:
  1.  I had to pay $12.99 to get the clothes they didn't want back. Of course I didn't have to pay anything to ship the clothes to them so maybe that evens it all out
  2.  The suggested retail prices for items was a bit too hard to believe -- I suppose its from the tags with the brand new items but I know I didn't pay $398 for the cute white dress (photo above) by #DavidMeister at #Neiman Marcus, it was more like $250-$300
  3. The processing time for them to go through your bag of items is a little long -- it took them more than a month to go through and post my items
  4. They don't contact you to let them know they received you I had to send an online form asking if they got it or not to which they replied they got it more than a week prior
Let's face it, ThredUp is a business to make money -- they provide a service and get paid for that service (i.e. providing sellers a place to show their wares and buyers a medium to purchase from many sellers). First of all, no one is going to pay you 50% of your purchase price for pre-worn clothes. It ain't gonna happen no matter how well you took care of them. Clothes are like cars, they depreciate 80% as soon as you remove the tags and wear it once. Secondly, no one values your clothes more than you do so you gotta let it go emotionally. That #BetseyJohnson tutu skirt has been in your closet for 5 years, you don't want it (or in my case should NOT wear it), so let someone else love it. Finally, think about the buying aspects. If your clothes are cheaply bought, so are someone else's and then you can go buy other people's clothes for cheap. Like my grandmother always said, "it all works out in the wash."


Monday, June 6, 2016

Time is money ...

I recently went to #Nordstrom Rack just to purchase some inexpensive sandals. As many of my readers know, 95% of the time, I choose quality over quantity and have no problem dropping good money for well-made goods. This just happened to be one of those 5% times where I needed a cheap pair of sandals quickly for a weekend away.

I didn't have time to wait for a cheap pair from Amazon and my foot is really difficult to fit shoes to properly so I needed to try them on. Besides, I had a $20 coupon for Nordstrom Rack and wanted to use it. I searched that shoe section for an hour trying to find something that fit my foot, was not made in China and that was under $50. I got two out of three (under $50 and fits really well, still made in China). I also found a cute pair of black flats for $40 as well

Here is where it gets interesting. The shoes (each cost approximately $39) less than $80 for both and I had a $20 off any purchase coupon. So, my purchase price went down to $60 for both. I found the same two pair of shoes for $15 cheaper each on #Amazon (with free shipping). So, did I spend the time, fuel and effort to take the shoes back so I can order them on Amazon or is my time worth more than $10?

This is a question I ask myself often. Do I go to three different grocery stores and spend an hour clipping coupons so I can save $20? Well, I don't know about you but my time, at least according to my tax records, is worth about $30 an hour and I have better things to do with my $30 an hour than trek around town to save $10. In case you are wondering, I ended up not taking the shoes back. So, the moral of the story is this, do you spend more time (which is money) trying to save money when you really only break even? And a second thought, do you know your real worth enough to know when wasting your time to save a buck really is wasting your money?

Saturday, June 4, 2016

I'm a snob ...

I was recently called a snob by a "friend" who found my taste in clothes "snobbish." Now, I could have countered her quip with something like "I'm not a snob, I just have good taste." But I refuse to make excuses for my 5 top beliefs about clothes, which are:
  1. Quality will always win over quantity (cheaply-made clothes have no place in my heart or against my skin)
  2. I do not follow trends and fads (the grunge look and bell bottoms may be back in style but they will not be in my closet)
  3. I will not be influenced by celebrities ( I don't care what Kim Kardashian wore to the Met Gala)
  4. I will not be a walking billboard for designer brands (in other words, I won't be wearing "Juicy," "Nike," or any other words across my ass on a pair of sweatpants and even if I LOVE a designer, I will not be wearing Chanel's "CC" or the Nike swoosh if it is bigger than a dime anywhere on my body)
  5. Fast fashion is for my wardrobe as fast food is for my waistline (i.e. not good at all!)
That said, let me explain the reason I was called a snob. I found a nifty website called which links luxury consignment boutiques online so I can just shop in one place. It's a step above in luxury than which I profiled a few weeks ago. #Snobswap has the largest selection of luxury designer goods online from consignment shops across the nation. For example, I recently saw some pre-owned Jil Sanders sandals (originally a few hundred dollars when they are brand new) on sale for $75 which would have been a steal had they not been so worn. And they have a great selection of my favorite designers: Catherine Malandrino, Betsey Johnson and Diane von Furstenberg.

As with any other store, you can sometimes get good deals on both #SnobSwap and #ThredUp but then sometimes you don't. You have to read the descriptions of each of the items and you do have to do your research (e.g. a #Hermes purse will run you a thousand dollars or more USED, but they will last forever -- a zombie Apocalypse wouldn't hurt these purses; on the other hand Louis Vuitton has not been very kind to me in the past in the wear-n-tear department).

Anyway, because I was shopping on #SnobSwap instead of #ThredUp, my friend called me a snob. Well, I guess I am! Aren't you?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I'm not dying for beauty ...

I don't wear much make up but when I do, I don't want to wear something that will cause me to have cancer later on in life. So, I've started checking out all my skin care and make up items at the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database almost religiously (

Needless to say I have thrown away about $300 worth of facial cleansers, moisturizers, lotions, toners, make up, hair care, sunscreen and other skin related items. I simply was uneducated on what exactly is in the products I slather on my skin and hair.

I'm all for the phrase "beauty hurts" when wearing shoes that are too tight for a little while or a dress that is a bit snug for an hour or two. But I draw the line at "beauty kills" (whether that be killing me or killing animals some companies test on)!

So, in my quest to be beautiful while also being a responsible and compassionate human being on planet Earth, I have found just a handful of safe products to refill my beauty and toiletries shelves.

Skin cleanser
Threw out: L'Occitane Foaming Facial Cleanser
Restocked with: MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Cleanser

Threw out: Jergens Daily Moisture Dry Skin
Restocked with: Alaffia Everyday Shea Butter Lotion

Threw out: Covergirl Lash Exact  Mascara
Restocked with: Jane Iredale Longest Lash Thick Mascara 

Threw Out: LancĂ´me Rouge Absolu

Threw out: Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo

Powder (facial)
Threw out: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Powder 

Bottom line: I will endeavor to stick to only products tested by the EWG's Skin Deep team and that has a rating of 4 or less.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

I'm turning Parisian!

I recently read the book, How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are, by three fabulous ladies named Anne, Audrey and Caroline. I think I love them already. I had only gotten to page 8 when I realized I am already 95% Parisian. The title of the page is "Things you won't find in her [a Parisian woman] closet." I read the list carefully, taking a mental note of what was in my own closet, and I only have one item described (it has a * beside it below and I only have one pair because the Bollywood in me comes out every now and then). So, I guess that makes me 95% Parisian and 5% Bollywood, not bad for a backwoods girl from Alabama.
  • Three-inch heels. Why live life half way?
  • Logos. You are not a billboard.
  •  Nylon, Viscose, Polyester and Vinyl will make you sweaty, smelly and shiny.
  • Sweatpants. No man should ever see you in those. Except your gym teacher -- and even then. Leggings are tolerated.
  • Blingy jeans with embroidery and holes in them. They belong to Bollywood.*
  • UGG boots. Enough said. 
  • A skimpy top. Because you're not fifteen anymore. 
  • A fake designer bag. Like fake breasts, you can't fix your insecurities through forgery.
Can't wait to read the rest of this delicious morsel!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Equal Opportunity Accessories ...

No, this designer will not be at #LHW but it is a cool hat don't you think?
I am so excited about London Hat Week Oct. 6-12. The schedule will be announced May 20 (Friday) and I am giddy thinking about who will show designs. But it got me thinking, why does London get all the fun? Where is the New York Hat Week or Milan Hat Week? Is it too much to ask for other countries to host a hat week? And while we are on the subject, where is the Shoe Week? Or Purse Week? I mean let's be fair to all accessories right? Well, until that happens, check out #LondonHatWeek at

Friday, May 13, 2016

Etiquette is contagious ...

This is pretty complex but its worth studying.
The little "b" is for bread = your bread plate in on the left. The little "d" is for drinks = your drinks are on the right.

I recently went out to dinner with some girlfriends to a relatively nice restaurant (cloth napkins, three courses, charger plates, etc.). I used to think that I was at a stage in my life where nothing shocked me but apparently I have a long way to go. I guess I just don't understand how people who can afford to buy $1,000 purses can't afford to have some basic table manners. My friends did some of the most uncool dining things ever: drank out of another person's water glass, used the wrong silverware, snapped at the waiter and left their cell phone on the table. I took the opportunity to help them with their dining skills :-)
  • Drinking out of another diner's glass: Look at the photo above of the two "ok" symbols using your hands. If you notice when you make the "OK" symbol with your hands, the left hand makes a little "b" and the right makes a little "d". Use this trick to remember that your bread plate is on your left and your drinks are on your right. 
  • Using the right fork (or spoon, or knife): I can't help you with this one except to say study the graphic above to emblazon it in your head which utensil to use. You should use the outside utensils first working your way in, usually. Sometimes the restaurant will throw you a curve ball and serve salad at the end of the meal. But trust me, if you are in a high quality restaurant with trained staff, they will always take away utensils you don't need or supply you with ones you do (e.g. lobster hammer or escargot tongs) when you need them.
  • Calling for the server: Never snap, yell or wave at a server! I don't care if you're in Applebees or the Ritz. If you are in a place like Outback Steakhouse, simply raise your hand (not like you are in kindergarten and have to go to the bathroom). If you are in an upscale establishment, trust me, you need only look in your server's direction and they will come to you. Servers in high-end restaurants are trained to pay attention to their table and read your cues (cues like the fork and knife together to the top right of the plate, they know you are finished).
  • Where to put your cell phone: You are out with friends because you want to spend time with them. So spend time with them, not your phone. Put your phone in your purse or pocket and perhaps check it the next time you go to the restroom. If you are at a work dinner and maybe you have a sick child at home you can keep your phone on vibrate in your lap or pocket then excuse yourself from the table to take the call in a quiet place (where you won't disturb other diners with your conversation -- most likely outside) if you feel it vibrating.
I'm not trying to be difficult but having proper table manners is not about you, its about showing respect to your fellow diners. If you don't care about your fellow diners then go ahead and display those horrible manners. But if you do care how people watch you eat, brush up on basic etiquette (I suggest

After that experience, I'm seriously considering whether or not to dine out with these friends ever again or meet up for drinks only in the future.