Thursday, April 23, 2015

50+ Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day is celebrating its 101st anniversary on Sunday, May 10 and we couldn't be more excited to be the beneficiary of pampering and praise. The first thing you have to know about Mother's Day is that moms don't want you breaking the bank to say, "I love you." They also don't want a thoughtless card with a scribbled signature.

Finding the perfect gift can take a bit of determination and thought. In order to get a jump start on the task (and give some hint to loved ones) we compiled a Mother's Day guide of over 50 items that are sure to inspire even the most impaired of gift givers.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New Givenchy, Gucci Balmain for 70% to 80% off

Looking to spice up Spring with a super purchase without wiping out your Summer travel budget? We have just the right sale. Linda's Stuff is hosting one of her most luxurious designer eBay sales ever. The best part is that everything is brand new and still has the tags.

The sale includes the best high-end designer clothing, shoes, jewelry and bags for men and women. Notable names include Givenchy, Gucci, Erdem, Bottega Veneta, Balmain and more. All of the merchandise is listed at deeply slashed prices. Check out these Givenchy shark bit low boots that are $539 from $1700 and here is the high moto-version for $479 from $1600. Over here is a men's military style double-breasted Balmain coat for $1700 from $6200. Right here is a one-sleeve Gucci gown for $1179 from almost $4000. Always wanted an Alaia belt? Here's your chance to have your belt and your dress too.

We don't blame you if you're feeling overwhelmed by all of the choices. These are some serious brand new designer pieces for major discounts. Just don't be surprised if you start obsessing about this sale. We are afraid to tally how much time we've spent sorting and stalking our favorite items. Better to buy and walk away... if you can!

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Cynthia Rowley Sample Sale: $89 Dresses

Cynthia Rowley is one of the founding mothers of contemporary designer wear. Her style and attitude to fashion paved the way of entire floors in department stores. (Prime example: Bergdorf's F5) Without designers like Cynthia, there would be no Milly, Alice & Olivia or Alexander Wang.

If you haven't recently browsed through the racks of Cynthia Rowley, now would be the time. The designer is hosting a sample sale in her West Village boutique and you may not want to miss the opportunity. All open stock dresses are priced at $89, pants and jackets are $79 and skirts, and tops are $59. We found this great iridescent scuba dress, this pink ruffle top, a lace color block top and this mesh cop top and skirt.

In an unexpected twist, the plentiful samples that are mainly size 2s and 4s are a bit more pricey. Dresses and jackets are $109 and tops and bottoms are $89. Among the samples there was a variety of colors and prints of this side tie top, many variations of this leave appliqué from Winter 2014, this rainbow mesh dress and, of course, lots of scuba fabric. Click here to see pictures from inside the sale.

The sale also includes lots of swimwear that's priced at $19 a piece, rash guards for $39 and assorted workout wear. The sale will run through Sunday and sizes will be restocked as supplies last. Today there wasn't too much of a crowd but waiting for the one dressing room wasn't worth the time. We prefer to risk it than spend time on lines.

If you can't make it downtown to the sale, we suggest you explore the designer's off-Madison store on 78th Street. It's a really special space with a magical candy store on the second floor, called Curious Candy. We promise, it's worth the trip.

Cynthia Rowley
Through Sunday, April 26th
Wed 12pm—8pm, Thu—Sun 10am—8pm
376 Bleecker St btwn Perry & Charles

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Herve Leger NJ Closing Sale 70% Off

The Herve Leger store at the Garden Sate Plaza, in Paramus, NJ is closing on Sunday. In order to clear out older merchandise, the store is offering an extra 20% off merchandise that's already discounted 60%. That brings the grand savings to 70% off.

The selection is two full racks of clothing with some additional sizes in the back. An adorable aqua a-line dress comes to just about $300 from nearly $1000, a navy knee-length mermaid style dress is $550 from $1740 and a classic black bondage dress is $430 from $1340. You can see more pictures from our crossing of state lines right here.

Remember, New Jersey doesn't have sales tax on clothing. That can equate to an additional savings of almost 10% for us New Yorkers. The Jersey store will ship merchandise but all sales are final. If an item isn't available in your size you can always stalk the Herve Leger online store. Twice a year, the company offers similar discounts through the website.

HERVE LEGER Garden State Plaza
(201) 843-2900 | (201) 843-2904
One Garden State Plaza
Paramus, NJ 07652 USA

Looking to start Spring off on the right foot with a great deal on a Chanel bag? A Modern Take is hosting a private sale this Friday and Saturday, which will consist of a great assortment of new and preowned designer bags. Shopping is by appointment only. Please click here for more details or you can email for an appointment.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Get Great Lilly Pulitzer, Now!

It's a rare event when the local evening news in New York's lead teaser is about a retail collaboration story. Today, nearly everyone was talking about how quickly the Lilly Pulitzer collection sold out at Target. It almost feels as if it was gone before it got here. We wouldn't be surprised if Target cut their production numbers after a series of several collaboration flops.

Before you panic, however, remember that most of those opportunistic eBay sellers will promptly return their hauls when they realize that most consumers aren't willing to pay a pretty premium for Target-manufactered merchandise. As a matter of fact, many retailers have an average return rate of 33%, according to The Retail Equation. If you factor in the "limited-edition" psychology, the novelty of a collaboration, hyper media engagement and the inertia of mass hysteria, you can expect that the return rates will be even higher than the average.

That is good news for me and you because Target shortened their return policy to just 14-days for these types of limited edition collaborations. So you're likely to see a lot of Lilly come back if you stalk your local Target customer service department.

The best news is that Lilly Pulitzer is always available at, yes, Lilly Pulitzer. Be sure to take a look because many items are less expensive than you would imagine and the quality is much higher than anything found at Target. This little girl's shift dress is just $48 or about $20 more than the shift dresses from Target. Women 's shift dresses are still affordable at $138 and maxi-dresses are under $200. Take note, Lilly Pulitzer has bi-annual sales (see our review here) where a large assortment of merchandise is reduced 50% to 70% off.

If you're looking for the real deal on sale items now, you don't need to go any further than Saks Fifth Avenue. The designer is one of the few included in the store's friends and family sale and is all now 30% off. Neiman Marcus has this print dress on sale for just $32

Amazon also has an interesting range of merchandise. Here's a beach bag for just $32, this market bag is $15 and here is a large assortment of print dresses.

Before you have a preppy beach party of your own, be sure to read our interview with Lilly Pultizer's fashion director, Janie Schoenborn. It's from 2010 but the content is still classic.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Saks Friends & Family Sale Offers 30% Off!

The Saks Fifth Avenue Friends & Family sale started today and we were expecting the same old. Boy were we surprised by how friendly Saks can be. This week, shoppers can save 30% off select clothing, shoes and handbags and 20% off jewelry.

If you're shopping online use the code FRNFAM at checkout. Just take note, the exclusion list is longer than ever.  We counted over 300 exclusions. (Read: Not so friendly.) Some contemporary brands and popular denim brands that are normally included in the promotion  are now excluded. Among the surprising exclusions are Tory Burch, Polo Ralph Lauren, Rag & Bone and Burberry Brit, McQ Alexander McQueen and T by Alexander Wang. Yes, it's a bit overwhelming.

Finding desirable brands that are included in the discount isn't easy but here's a small list of brands that are eligible for the 30% discount: Red Valentino, Theory, Frame, Missoni, Milly, Alice & Olivia, jewelry brand Marco Bicego and Ippolita.

This isn't a bad time to think ahead towards Mother's Day, especially if you're considering a jewelry brand that's included in the friends and family promo. If you're looking for savings on designer brands you are going to have to wait until the end of May.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Reed Krakoff Discounts 85% Off

It's quite clear that Reed Krakoff's days are coming to an end. The not so well kept secret is hard to keep silent when the designer's website is selling merchandise for over 80% off.

Right now, Reed Krakoff is offering a 60% discount with the code EXCLUSIVE60. That promotion applies to the newest summer collection and the past winter collection that is already reduced 50% off. The final discount on the already reduced collection comes to an amazing 85% off after using the code!

Check it out: Those silver ankle-strap shoes are $100 from $750, this white leather panel tee is $125 from $950 and this leather skirt is $200 from almost $1700.

Many of the sale items are already sold out but there are still lots of lucky sizes. We would also suggest browsing the Madison Avenue store before it closes and calling the outlet.

Weekend Shopping: Nordstrom, Lilly x Target, Saks F&F

Spring is finally here, which means that it will be the perfect weekend to stretch your legs, take a walk and, of course, shop. There happens to be three upcoming shopping opportunities. Follow along for more details:

Saks Friends and Family
Start your presale engines now. Saks Fifth Avenue's friends and family sale will afford customers 25% off most contemporary designer items. The sale will first go live online Friday and then begins in stores Monday, April 20th. The sale will run for a full week and ends on April 27. Designer merchandise will have their first markdown mid-May.

Nordstrom ended the tradition of half-yearly sales and instead hosts six smaller sales. This weekend marks the next of those mini-promotions. Online we found merchandise discounted up to 60% off. This DVF sleeveless wrap dress is $160 from $400 and this Rachel Zoe one shoulder goddess cut dress is $140 from $275.

Lilly Pulitzer x Target
It's about time you change out your Theory wardrobe of black, white and gray for some Palm Beach happy prep. Lilly Pulitzer's collection for Target drops on Sunday. Be sure to scope a Target that's out of the city, we mean Palm Beach county, to score the most desirable items. Shift dresses are bound to go fast but past experience has taught us that most items make a reoccuring surprise appearance. A 14-day return policy is also poised to help the situation.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Google Express vs Amazon Prime Now vs Instacart

Back in the dark ages of, say 2010, you needed to go to your local Gristedes or D'Agostino and pay top prices for household basics. If you needed a Barbie or toy for a birthday you went to the neighborhood side-street toy store and paid 50% to 100% more than you would from a big box store. But hey, city living isn't easy and you have to pay for convenience.

That was way back when. Now, the game is changing. This year, a variety of personal shopping and same day delivery services have started to change the shopping landscape for many New Yorkers. Technology-based services like, Google Express, Amazon Prime Now and Instacart are offering city dwellers delivery of basic (and not so basic) household items within just a couple of hours.

Unlike Fresh Direct, these services offer a lot more than cereal and milk. Google Express and Instacart employ shoppers that physically shop the aisles of participating stores. Amazon Prime Now makes overnight delivery look like the Dark Ages with their fully stocked warehouses that's stocked with everything from food to Play-Doh to technology and workout gear. The options are truly mind- boggling.

We've been ordering and consuming through all three companies for the past several months. These services all offer same day delivery within Manhattan but their specialties and fees slightly differ. Above is a handy cheat sheet that breaks down the major differences and our opinions. You can click on the image to enlarge the text.