Monday, March 14, 2016

E-bay shopping guide ...

Sergio Rossi shoes I got on E-bay.
Catherine Malandrino dress on E-bay.
 Now that I'm over 40 and looking to put a child through college, I don't have the disposable income I used to have for clothes. That said, I don't skimp on quality! Well-made clothes don't come cheap, not should they, but to accommodate my budget I've been having to get a bit more inventive on how and where to get my quality clothes. Throw in the fact that I'm a single mum with a house and dog, a full time-job, a part-time job, a blog writer and I volunteer for various charities and I don't have the time to "shop around".
One way to solve my problems? E-bay. There is no shame in buying quality made clothes off E-bay or at consignment stores. A few tips:
  • Have a budget -- if you know you can't spend more than $50 a month on clothes, don't bid $49.99 on that Ann Klein pencil skirt (you know there is probably shipping involved). And if you don't win that skirt with an auction bid you can live with, trust me, there will be another one for sale soon.
  • Buy the basics then build on them (great article about the basics here by Vicki Archer) -- white shirt, little black dress, black trousers, neutral/solid colored jacket, black shoes. Having a solid quality foundation for a wardrobe is the same as having a solid quality foundation for a building.
  • Ask questions -- if an item is priced very low and the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. You can gauge the authenticity of most items sold by individuals (its a whole different game when you are dealing with companies who sell things for people as a business) by asking questions like:
    • What did you pay for the item?
    • Where did you purchase the item? 
    • When did you buy the item?
  • Account for shipping charges -- some E-bay sellers offer luxury goods for very cheap but then hike up the shipping charges to make up for the low prices (it does not cost $50 to mail a pencil skirt in a bubble envelope from California to Florida).
  • Mind the measurements -- just because you wear a medium in one brand doesn't mean you always wear a medium. Ask for the measurements of the item before you buy.
  • Look for the tags -- people who are selling the real thing know that you want to make sure its the real thing so they show the original tags, boxes or packaging of the product. If it doesn't have any kind of  tag or packaging, be wary.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Winter hat season ...

The winter hat season is almost over but I thought I'd show you some of my favorite felt cloches I wore this winter. I'd love to see some photos of my lovely readers in their winter hats!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Shoes and gloves and mags, oh my!

Rarely do I find my new favorite things in one single store. I usually find my new favorite things in a multitude of different types of stores. But strolling through Old Town Alexandria this week, I ran into The Shoe Hive. Not only do they carry one of my favorite new designers @KikiLynnUSA but they were having a sale!!! Sales often bring out the best in me and my shopping at @theshoehive introduced my new favorite things:

New store: The Shoe Hive -- luxury shoes, purses, hats and a splash of clothing items like (Kiki Lynn and Sundry)
New accessories: Micheal Kors pumps and Hestra Gloves (@HestraGloves)
New read: Capitol File Magazine (@CapitolFileMag)

Oh and another new favorite thing found at the same time -- Salon Amarti (also in Old Town Alexandria). You know you got a good hairstylist when you turn heads walking down the street and get a date with a gorgeous guy within hours of having your hair done. Thank you Mimi at @SalonAmarti !

Friday, March 4, 2016

Fashion show versus fashion week ...

DC Fashion Week occurs twice a year in February and September (Photo by ICDesignz).
There is a distinct different between a fashion show and a fashion week.

A fashion show is simply an outlet for a designer to show their new collection (anywhere between 15-50 different outfits or pieces). A fashion show can also be an event where many designers get together to show their styles to a general audience. Additionally, fashion shows can be fundraisers for charities such as, but not limited to, the Humane Society, cancer research or homelessness awareness. As a general rule, anyone who purchases a ticket may attend a fashion show.

Fashion Week is something altogether different. It is quite exclusive and serves a very unique purpose -- to show designers' collections to major store buyers and major magazine editors first. If you look at the four main Fashion Weeks -- New York, London, Milan, Paris, (along with some of the smaller ones -- Hong Kong, Quebec, Houston and Los Angeles), you will of course see the mainstream celebrities in attendance but you will not (usually) see the Jane Does of the world sitting in the audience. This is a selling event and the average Jane Q. Public is not necessarily the primary audience for these events. Of course, Jane Q. Public will eventually see some of the styles from the fashion weeks' catwalks in their favorite retail stores. Fashion Week styles are like getting to eat the cake but not getting an invite to the party.

Want more info on fashion shows in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area? Read my article in the Fairfax Woman Magazine here (page 34).