Monday, August 26, 2013

Bonnes Vacances!

All shopping and no vacationing makes this spy a very boring girl. We are off to broaden our horizons and expand our wardrobe. We'll see you after Labor Day.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

J. Crew 25% Off

Frankly, there aren't many good promotions on just-in-store fall collections but there are lots of reasons to shop. There's back-to-school, fashion week and, of course, the new season. J. Crew is a great way to get ready for the new season and a promotional 25% off makes it even easier.

It's well known that we are big fans of J. Crew's Pixie pants and this season's style with leather stripes down the leg is on trend and super flattering. A field jacket is never a bad idea. This one is a great option if you can't snag your bother's, father's, husband's or boyfriend's. Then there's the kids. There's a Pixie pant for them. We are also in love with the Herschel backpacks, which are only available online.

The J. Crew promotion runs through Monday but don't worry if you miss this one. The company runs a similar shopping incentive every few weeks.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Huge Disappointment: Barneys Warehouse Sale

Barneys Warehouse Sale started today and we couldn't imagine a group of more disappointed shoppers. All our shopping experts report that the merchandise is almost entirely from the men's store and what women's inventory does exist is less than desirable.

Basically, there are no good shoes, no good bags, no good clothing. For men, no good shoes and no good casual wear. The only spotlight, or in this case dim light, is suits and outerware for men. Sure it's easy to put together critical words but we'll let other say it for us, this time:

The Shophound: "If you are a lady, you probably won't want to bother at all." The sale is not something we would save our money for or even particularly look forward to.

Racked: The space is nice and easy to shop but "there wasn't much to look at."

The Choosy Beggar (comments): "The sale gets worse and worse every year."

Barneys Warehouse Sale
Thursday, August 22 through Monday, September 2
Thu Aug 22—Fri Aug 23 8am—9pm, Sat Aug 24—Sun Sep 1 10am—8pm, Mon Sep 2 10am—7pm
Metropolitan Pavilion
125 W. 18th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hunter Dixon Dresses $50

Heading into Labor Day it never hurts to grab a new flirty dress to get you in the vacation mood. You can't go wrong at the upcoming Hunter Dixon sale.

We are told that most everything at the sale will be discounted under $75. Samples will be $50. Expect to find this season's outgoing spring and summer styles. Be on the lookout for seasonal standouts like the Ballerina dress that was adeptly styled by fashion blogger, SomethingNavy. Snagging a Preston dress that these prices would also be quite a coup.

Hunter Dixon Sample Sale
Wednesday, August 21 through Thursday, August 22
10am to 7pm daily
152 W. 36th St, suite 801 (btwn 6th & 7th Ave)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Inside the Alexander Wang Sample Sale

Today the Alexander Wang sample sale opened to employees, press and insiders. Obvi- we couldn't resist grabbing a little sneak peak. Most of the merchandize is from spring and fall 2012 but we did spot a few items from the designer's most recent cruise collection.

First question answered: Yes, there are Roccos! They are priced at $400 from about $900. But don't count on snatching a classic black. We could only find shades of brown. We suggest opting for an Emile in black for the same price. We also spotted Pelican and Brenda bags in shades of beige to brown. Clutches are priced at $250, small bags are $300 and mediums are $350.

Although Alexander Wang's bags are usually the most popular item we personally prefer shopping this sale for the shoes. The prices are great and the styles are modern classics. This year the shoes are priced even less than last season at $175. Although the selection was a bit sparse, we did spot print pumps, high heel sandals in a variety of nude colors and animal print Daria's, which resemble a Doc Martin.

We were a bit disappointed with the clothing selection because there wasn't a lot of the designer's iconic pieces. The inventory consisted mainly of basics like blazers for $175. We did find heavy knit sweaters from the runway collection that were priced at $150 and leather items for $500. Dresses are $175. Those who favor Wang's casual looks might do better to sort through the bins of shirts, light weight knits and tees that ranged in price from $15 to $100.

Clearly few sales are worth waiting in line for hours. We would suggest avoiding the Tuesday morning rush and opting for later in the day. Those looking for better discounts should wait for additional markdowns, which usually occur later in the week. We are told that the sale will be restocked but we can't imagine the most popular items lasting past Wednesday.

Alexander Wang Sample Sale
Tuesday, August 20 through Saturday, August 24
Tues—Fri 9am—8pm, Sat 9am—6pm
131 Greene St (btwn W. Houston and Prince St.)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Alexander Wang Sample Sale Starts Now

Ready. Set. Rocco!

The Alexander Wang sample sale officially starts Tuesday but past experience tells us that insiders will begin shopping Monday. The Monday morning sale timeline usually starts with set-up, employee shopping, press shopping, friends and family and by the end of the day the sale opens to those who have the inclination to try their luck.

Gaining access to the sale Monday afternoon is a crapshoot but if you're successful it can save you several hours of waiting in line on Tuesday and you might even be able to score a lovable Alexander Wang Rocco bag. Prices for this bag, which weighs as much as a bowling ball, usually runs about $900. At the last sale the bag was priced at about $400 but there were only a handful in white and gray. More likely you can score an Emily bag for the same price or a clutch or small bag that ranged in price from $250 to $300.

At the last sale shoes were the highlight of the sale at a $200 price point. Exotic versions were $300. Be on the look out for the knee-high gladiators featured on the spring 2013 runway. They might not be as fashion forward when worn next summer but they are still a score at $200.

Clothing at the last sale was still priced quite high. Vests are $175 and $140 and silk tops and tanks are $140. The $175 dress selection was also not great, although we fell hard for a leather corset style dress for $300. The diffusion line, T by Alexander Wang, ranged in price from $35 to $120 for outerwear and the majority of clothing was in the $70 to $90 range. You can click here to read the entire review of A Wang's last sample sale.

Generally speaking, we are not huge fans of this sale. There tends to be a long line to get in and similar (and even more highly discounted) prices can be found at retail stores.

Alexander Wang Sample Sale
Tuesday, August 20 through Saturday, August 24
Tues—Fri 9am—8pm, Sat 9am—6pm
131 Greene St (btwn W. Houston and Prince St.)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

IT-it: Givenchy Slip on Sneakers

The best part about trends is that even a bad one will go away.  We admit that last year's trend of over-the-top wedge sneakers were interesting as a Isabel Marant cult following. Once the style started taking over entire sections of the shoe department, however, the trend went from interesting to insufferable.

Nobody can be surprised by the 180-degree backlash debut of the slip-on sneaker. While toddlers in tiaras are stomping around in their tripple velcro wedges, the fashion scene will be slipping into this season's low-rise printed sneaker trend.

Givenchy is the front runner with their versions, which look like a variety of printed scarves. Our favorite is undoubtedly the black and white Macrame. We love how the delecate lace print plays naughty and nice in a black and white. The mix of leather and rubber just adds to the yin-yang effect.

Yes, you can always opt for the less expensive lace slip-on from Marc by Marc Jacobs ($248). Just keep in mind that stepping into low-street version can taste like generic Frosted Flakes. In this case, we would be much happier with Comme de Garcons Chuck Taylor low top. And these are just 100-bucks.

Givenchy Macrame Slip-On $650

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Scoop Warehouse Sale Blues

The Scoop Warehouse Sale begins this Thursday at the boutique's Meatpacking district store. Prices will be discounted up to 85% off and will include sweaters, outerwear, dresses, denim, shoes and handbags for women and men.

We took a sneak peek at some of the merchandise that will be included in the clearance promotion and have to admit that it was a bit underwhelming. Once upon a time this sale included great Missoni pieces, Philip Lim, Chloe and we once found an Alaia sweater. Yes, you can find a surprise here and there, but most of the merchandise is the Scoop in-house brand, Rag & Bone and DVF. Men tend to have a better selection at this sale with the inclusion of Martin Margiela and Etro.

The sale runs through Labor Day and will also run online. We suggest surfing from your iPad at the beach because we doubt there will be many items worth missing the last few rays of summer sun.

Scoop NYC Meatpacking
430 West 14th Street
Mon - Sat: 11am – 8pm, Sun: 11am – 7pm

Monday, August 12, 2013

Alice & Olivia End of Season Sale

Most  stores on Madison Avenue have already cleared out their summer merchandise but if you go online you can find some great discounts from your favorite brands. Right now our shopping cart is stuffed with great looks from Alice & Olivia.

Prices are up to 80% off and there is still a good variety of style runs. This sequined top is $83 from $330, this white trench is $124 from almost $500 and this black and white a-line leather dress is timeless and a woredrobe must have for $250 from almost $1000. from Check out these embroidered bell bottom for $189 from $330. Perfect for fall fashion week!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Coming Soon: Barneys Warehouse Sale

The overstock merchandise left at Barneys has long been cleared from the store but that doesn't mean they it's gone forever. Racked reports that the next Barney's Warehouse Sale will begin on Thursday, August 22. In place of the shuttered Chelsea Co-op, the sale will take place at the Metropolitan Pavillion.

Rumors are that the sale inventory will predominately be made up of merchandise from the men's store but we hear that the sale will include the same overstock and past season fashions as prior sales. That means that prices will be 50% off retail at the start, which is even higher than the end-of-season sale. By the end of the warehouse event prices usually drop to 85% off but much of the stock might not even be worth the space they take up in your closet.

Last season's Warehouse Sale was hit an all time low and was a bust according to everyone who attend. The merchandise was lacking and prices were high. We wouldn't be surprised if this season's sale was much better. After all, it's not worth continuing to hold a bi-annual sale if it's going to be such a disappointment. Either way, we'll be sure to let you know before you go.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The It-it: Rainbow Loom

Few things are better than a girly summer trend. Remember loving those feather extensions back in 2011? How about last summer's cutesy manicures? This year's trend, of course, is the best. Girls of all ages --present company included--are obsessed with colorful Rainbow Loom bracelets.

These springy rubber band bracelets are akin to the traditional sleepaway camp friendship variety but the designs are even more elaborate because of the loom from which they are created. The aforementioned loom is more like a peg board device that allows you to create a variety of patterns and designs with colorful rubber bands and a crochet-like hook. The best way to learn new patterns  to watch the approximately 130,000 tutorials by children on YouTube.

If you don't have a a niece or little sister, you can always find the perfect bracelet on eBay or Etsy. Prices generally range in the $1 to $5.  We suggest, however, trying the loom yourself. It's so much fun and like any good summer trend it's poised to be over in about six months. By then, times tables will have replaced this temporary distraction.

Rainbow Loom $16.50

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ralph Lauren Extra 40% Off

Ralph Lauren has started their final summer clearance and all sale merchandise is an extra 40% off. The additional discount is available in stores and online using the code RLSUM40. The final discount is approximately 70% off.

While browsing we found a white wrap blouse from the runway collection that is $300 from $1000, this cable knit cashmere sweater is $209 from $755 and this python fringe hobo bag is $1780 from almost $5000. There is even a good selection of men's polo shirts that are now $35 from $98.

Beware, sometimes the boutique markdowns are not as steep as the prices online. It's usually best to track items online while you shop.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Last Call for Summer Sales

Most of our department stores started their last markdown several weeks ago and the opportunity to snag the season's best fashion for a discount is coming to a close. We took a tour of our local stores to see how much longer you can procrastinate and find out where the merchandise is likely to have a reincarnation.

Summer is officially over at the Madison Avenue retailer. All of this season's sale merchandise has been shipped out. Those castaways are likely to resurface at the Barney's Warehouse sale. We can't definitely say if the sale will occur online or in it's normal warehouse sale location. 'our best guess is that the merchandise ended up scattered along column A and B.

Bergdorf Goodman
This is your last chance to shop this season's Jonathan Saunders and Givenchy chic at close to 80% off. The official word is that the merchandise will to ship off at the end of the week. Most of the overstock is likely to end up at the Last Call in Jersey Garden's mall in mid-February. Additional Bergdorf Goodman merchandise can be found at other participating Last Call stores like, Livermore Valley Premium Outlets, Sawgrass Mills, Sugarloaf Mills, Tanger Outlets at the Arches and Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.

Saks Fifth Avenue
If you're looking for the last possible moment to shop what's left of warm weather clothing then you should head to Saks. The store will continue it's consolidation sale until August 17th. There isn't much left of top designer merchandise but prices are highly discounted. Once the store's 8th floor is cleared the merchandise is likely to make a curtain call at Off Fifth stores and Century 21.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Manolo's Final Markdown Starts Now

Monday is the start of the Manolo Blahnik super semi-annual sale. This four day sale is the perfect opportunity to stock up on classic and ornate shoes from the spring and summer collection at up to 75% off.

This year, we are told that the saving are "not to be believed!" Styles are from the exclusive boutique collection and include some alligator. Prices are always marked by sticker dots, which usually range from $195 for a red dot up to $350 for a green dot. Most shoes and low boots-- even highly ornate styles-- are priced at $250.

The selection of current season “it” shoes is much better at this boutique sale than the sample sale or the department stores. Then there's always the increased enjoyment of shopping in the beautiful and wonderfully civilized atmosphere. Last season we attended the sale in the late afternoon and there wasn't even a line at the door.

We suggest that you choose wisely when picking shoes to try on. Each customer is only allowed three pair at a time. We suppose this rule limits indecisive hoarders, which is always a good thing for serious shoppers.

Head over here to read the full rundown from the Manolo's sale last summer.

Manolo Blahnik
31 West 54th Street
Monday-Friday 10:30 am to 6pm Sunday 12pm to 5pm

The boutique will close from 2pm to 3pm to restock when necessary

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Portero's Sales Event of the Summer

If you ever wanted to the opportunity to shop a huge inventory of discount Herm├Ęs, Chanel and Vuiton then you won't want to miss Portero's sale event of the summer. Without exaggeration this is the best Portero sale we've ever seen. Markdowns are an extra 10%, 20% and 30% off almost everything you’ve been dreaming of owning.

We love checking steady stream of new arrivals because you never know what treasure you'll discover and want to snap right up for your own closet. Plus, they guarantee authenticity on every single item, which is key when shopping pre-owned and vintage luxury.

How good is this sale? It all depends on how often do you fall upon classic Chanel bags discounted up to 30% off of the Portero’s already discounted prices. In addition to the fabulous bag collection there is a large assortment of Chanel jewelry and lots of great luxury accessories.

While browsing we found this Chanel stich tote in very good condition. This bag normally retails for $2,200 the site has it marked down to $999 and with 30% of you’ll pay just $700 for the bag. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a Chanel bag priced at just $700?

There’s more. A Louis Vuitton Pochette is a fashion staple and when it’s reduced to $280 from $550 it’s hard to resist not buying the black and the red. Right this way you can snag this Chanel Classic for under $1000 or this Hermes 35cm Blue Jean Birkin, which is priced under $10,000. We wouldn’t mind taking this $489 Vuitton Monogram Vernis Keepall around the world either.

We could go on and on and on pointing out great items to buy, but half the fun is looking yourself. In all there are more than 500 discounted bags, jewels and accessories included in this spectacular sales event. Just keep in mind that the promotion ends August 8. We suggest that you don’t hesitate because this sale is expected to sell out bigger a Beyonce concert.

Follow Portero and Don't miss a thing:
Twitter: @porteroluxury
Instagram: @Porteroluxury
Pinterest: @portero

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