Monday, August 31, 2015

Saks Fifth Avenue: Spend & Save Now

We have become all too familiar with department stores' gift card shopping incentives. You spend as much as you can for the opportunity to receive a gift card for a later purchase. More often than not, you get your gift card and think that you're going to save it to buy something special. By the time you commit to the purchase, the gift card is expired. It's all very disappointing.

Good thing, Saks Fifth Avenue is offering a promotion that doesn't require to use a gift card at a future date. Depending on how much money you spend, you can save money off your purchase right now. For instance, if you spend $250 you can save $50, spend $400 and save $100 or an expenditure of $700 will earn you a savings of $175. The promotion is only online use the code SAKS74 at checkout.

There are designer promotions but the list is very short. The discount can't be used on Chanel, Louboutin or Valentino but there are lots of great top designers to which you can apply the code. We were able to use the discount on these Aquazzura shoes we've been eyeing, Chloe handbags-- including the popular Drew bag -- along with Dee Ocleppo, Dolce & Gabbana and Alexander McQueen. As a matter of fact, the savings can even be applied to sale merchandise.

Don't hesitate, the discount only runs through Thursday. Next time Saks is offering a promotion it could be one of those tricky gift cards.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The It-It: Lace-Up Flats

The change of season is always exciting but there are only a few trends that are really getting us excited for Fall. One item we will not be able to live without is the lace-up flat. This shoe style has been around the block for a few seasons but this is the first time we are seeing it as a flat.

Think of the lace-up flat as an alternitive to the basic ballet flat, smoking slipper or loafer. The best part is that you can find them in a wide variety of price points. The Aquazarra Christy Lace-Up flat ($675 and sold out in many sizes) is the gold standard when it comes to conquering this style. Isabel Marant ($650) offers a similar style with studs, which means you can hit two big trends with one shoe. Tom Ford ($950) even has a version with his signature lock.

Going down market, Zara --of course-- has a version that are just $70. Looking to spend even less money to try out this fancy lace-up footwork? Consider this version from Asos has versions that are priced starting at just $50. See below for our favorite lace-up flats for every budget.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Saks Hosts Secret Sale 75% Off

It seems as if Saks Fifth Avenue's philosophy of buy and hold isn't working out so well. The retailer seems to be holding a hefty amount of inventory from Summer 2015 and is now in a big rush to sell it out. This is the perfect opportunity to grab that item you thought got away.

The discount is 75% off most items and runs through Friday at midnight. It seems if you can only access the sale using this link. This Aquilano Rimondi shirt dress is reduced to $485 from almost $2000, a Vix bikini is $46 from $119 and Marco de Vincenzo skorts are $285 from $1150. Sale shoes are still just 60% off and the selection isn't wonderful. You can check what's left here.

What's most interesting is that the small print in the email promotion says, "Returns on sale merchandise must be made within 30 days of purchase." We would presume that would mean that the merchandise is not final sale. We like that idea.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Outnet's End of Season Sale

The Outnet is by far our favorite online discount sale and when it's time for their bi-annual sale you have two choices: Hide the credit card or give in and max it out. Choosing for the max-out option, in this instance, is the right move. We'll show you why.

Starting at 9:30am on Wednesday, The Outnet will begin a two day sale where customers will get an extra 40% off their already insanely reduced merchandise. The sale will consist of over 2000 items from 200 designers.

We were sent a bit of a preview and this Alexander Wang two-tone dress caught our eye. The very on-trend black-and-white item will come to just $260 from almost $900. Here's an Oscar de la Renta dress that's now $400 from $1400 and this Pierre Balmain pleated top/dress is about $200 from $1275. Don't miss these Alaia sandal booties that come to about $420 from over $2500.

Remember, this sale is only two days. The extra discount officially ends at 10am on Friday. We suggest you don't wait until last minute because all the good stuff will be taken by you-know-who.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Barneys Warehouse Sale Summer '15 Arrivals

It seems as if Summer '15 collections were just in stores. Wait, as a matter of fact -- they were. Now those last season outcasts are hitting discount stores and Barneys hardly missed a beat.

The online Barneys Warehouse sale has some of the top fashions from last seasons' collections. The discounts rage from 55% to 75% off but sizes and quantities are very limited. Here's the rainbow 1973 silk Valentino shirtdress reduced 75% off ($1570 from $6300). A Timo Weildand print dress is $88 from almost $400. A Proenza Schouler open argyle sweater is $339 from $1340.

The Warehouse site has an assortment of older stuff along with the newer merchandise. That means there is plenty of items that can be used to get you ready for Fall. Keep your eyes open during holiday weekends or popular sale times. The site often offers extra discounts, which happily leads to an endless Summer.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Fancy Footwear at Neiman Marcus Last Call

If you've ever wondered what happens to all that wonderful merchandise at Neiman Marcus that nobody purchases, we have the answer. It pops up at the discount store, Neiman Marcus Last Call.

Last Call stores have received a large designer footwear shipment from Neiman Marcus retail stores. The discount starts at about 55% off original retail. The new shipment arrived on Saturday and includes a variety of past collection fall shoes from Valentino, Tom Ford, Manolo, Christian Louboutin, Charlotte Olympia, Brian Atwood and YSL. (Pictures in the jump.)

Keep your eyes open, in past years we've spotted Chanel clothing discounted almost 90% off retail. We've also heard that the discounter receives Chanel bags from time to time but doesn't display them. We suggest asking a sales manager if you're on the hunt.

Last Call online also has plenty of good finds. A Versace suede dress is $488 from almost $2000, a black and white windowpane checkered shift from Michael Kors is $415 from $1700, a Valentino embellished clutch for about $1000 from $2000 and a Aquazzura lace-up booties for $330 from almost $600.

Usually the stores with the best selection are: Austin Brodie Oaks Shopping Center, Arundel Mills, Camarillo Premium Outlets, Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Franklin Mills, Grapevine Mills, Great Lakes Crossing, Gurnee Mills, Katy Mills, Milpitas Great Mall, Potomac Mills, Sawgrass Mills, Sugarloaf Mills, The Outlets at Orange, The Outlet Collection-Jersey Gardens, Livermore Premium Outlets, Arizona Mills, and Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The IT-it: The Punniest Faces in Fashion

Fashion can be serious and fashion can be fun. As a matter of fact, fashion can sometimes be very punny. The puns can be delivered in an assortment of creative messages-- irony, jokes or sometimes plain ridiculousness. This season, there are creatures and faces that are taking serious fashion to the lighter side.

Some of our favorite-- even if financially ridiculous-- are the Fendi fur charms that range in price from $850 to over $1100. ('Inspired' versions are completely acceptable and plentiful on eBay and Amazon for about $50 :) The eye and lips earring from Delfina Delettrez is another conversation piece. Less expensive but equally as playful are Anya Hindmarsh's emoji leather stickers and letters. Charlotte Olympia's visage collection is a little less playful but incredibly artistic.

See below for the funniest faces in fashion right now:

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ralph Lauren Final Clearance 75% Off

Ralph Lauren has started their final clearance sale of the season. Most merchandise is now discounted 75% off. Although this isn't the biggest sale of the season, there are still some great finds. We wouldn't count on them sicking around for very long.

In most cases, the Ralph Lauren boutique will match the online prices but you will need to wait for a manager's authorization. In this instance it might just be easier to shop online. This crewneck dress with a racing stripe is now $265 from almost $900, a denim maxi dress is $215 from $695 and $1900, and a suede cargo jacket from the Collection is now $1119 from $2795.

Among the men's polos there is an "Offshore Racing" big polo for $35 from $100, a classic polo starts at $25 from $85 depending on the color and the classic fit Big Pony's start at $40 from $110. The polos from the Blackwatch team might be the most interesting styles even thought they are still $70 from $125.

There might be an additional promotion before the sale season officially ends but it won't likely save you very much more money than the current discount. We suggest that you buy what you like now, and don't look back.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Lilly Pultizer Sale is On

This has undoubtedly been the summer of Lilly Pulitzer. Ever since Target launched their sell-out collaboration everyone has been clamoring for preppy colorful dresses. Why fight for sub-Lilly quality when you get the real thing for even less money?

Lilly Pulitzer just launched their annual sale where a variety of items are reduced to a fraction of the original price. Here is a simple print dress that's reduced to just $39 from almost $100, an embroidered beach cover-up/ tunic dress is $69 from $228, print shorts are $44 from $68 and these beach pants are just $59 and come in an assortment of prints. There is even a section of cute merchandise for girls. This triangle bikini is just $29.

The sale just runs for two days and will end Tuesday night. We suggest you hurry and shop because Lilly only hosts a sale once a year and items sell out fast.

Take note: shipping during sale season takes much longer than usual. If you order online you probably won't get your purchases before you head out to Mykonos. If you need your preppy prints right away we suggest you head to the Madison Avenue boutique.

Bin-Dive Dannijo's Worthy Sample Sale

If you like bin-diving than this sample sale is for you. Dannijo is hosting a sample sals where bargain bin prices will start at just $10. This is not one of those tricky sample sale promos where you find a bowl of $10 earring backs and the remaining items are still overpriced. Nothing at this sale is priced over $150.

As a matter of fact most of the bins will have jewelry priced at just $25. We are told that all rings will be priced at $25 and handbags will cost between $75 and $100. For example this Kenya necklace will be priced at $50 and a Barrow cuff will be just $10. There could even be some pieces from the most current collection included in the bins.

This sale is only one day, starting Tuesday morning at 10am. Bin diving is like worm catching-- go early.

Dannijo Sample Sale
Tuesday, August 18th
10:00am to 7:30pm
433 W. 14th Street, Suite #2F (btw 9th & 10th Ave)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

3 of the Most Tired Trends

Hot trends can become as easily tired as a song overplayed on the radio. The same holds true with styles that bombard you on every magazine page, on Instagram page and in every store. One moment a trend is novel, the next minute it's grating on you like a Justin Beiber song.

Below is a list of three trends that have exceeded their expiration date. Not all of these fashions are a faux pas but the fake lashes and knee-high gladiator sandals should be taken out of rotation or the sent to back of the closet.

Exaggerated Fake Lashes

For as long as we can remember we've been fed tutorials about smokey eyes and crazy lashes. The Kardashians have taken it to an entirely new level with Barbie style lashes that tickle the eye-brow. The lush fullness and extra length added glamour and even seemed to create a more youthful appearance without the need of an MD.

Recently, the falsies combined with dark liner and eye shadow are having the opposite effect. Young girls readying for big events look more like the mother-of-the-bride than a sweet 16 or prom date. For 2015/2016 we prefer the glowing glamour that is created by Charlotte Tilbury or Kate Lee.

Instead of piling on the drama we suggest adding to your natural glow. After all, there's nothing more beautiful than a woman's natural radiance.

Knee High Gladiator Sandals 

It was several years ago when we first saw knee high gladiator sandals. They were so novel and looked amazing worn by leggy models on the pages of glossy magazines. The problem arose when mortals began experimenting with the look.

Lets face it, all bodies are beautiful but not everything looks flattering on everyone. Thankfully, the look quickly died out but then it seems to sprout up with more voracity than before. It was like a evil virus that turned into a shoe tragedy. The problem is that they are the focal part of any look and sadly visually cut the leg. Most women end up appearing shorter and stockier than they actually are. Unless you are signed with Wilhelmina Models, we suggest you opt for ankle length lace-ups. You can't go wrong with anything scrappy from Aquazzura.

Multi-Colored Fur

Love it or hate it, fur is part of fashion. Whether you opt for faux or genuine, opting for bright patchwork is a huge faux pas. The trend first became popular in 2012 when Fendi, Prada and Roksanda Ilincic turned fur into the likes of Piccasso and Matisse.

With most luxe items, less is more. The adage couldn't be more true when it comes to fur.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Forzieri Warehouse Sale

European online luxury store, Forzieri is hosting a warehouse sale where many items are reduced up to 70% off. The sale includes an assortment of shoes, accessories and home decor items for men and women.

Among the most heavily reduced sale items are lots of shoes from Proenza, Charlotte Olympia, Jil Sander and MM6. Charlotte Olympia platforms with flowers are $358 from almost $1200 and this Cactus print pump is just $290 from $965. Giuseppe Zanetti suede heels with flames are also $358 from just about $1200 and Jil Sander metallic sandals are $230 from $780.

Surprisingly enough, there are a considerable amount of bags that also reduced to 70%. This Valentino hobo bag is reduced to under $1100 from $3635, a Jil Sander tote bag is $488 from $1220 and assorted python bags from Roberto Cavalli are $757 from over $2500.

The warehouse sale ends at the end of August. There aren't any extra coupon codes that work with the sale merchandise but perhaps that will change as the month comes to an end.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The IT-it: Brooches

When fashion girls sit around yapping about trendy must-haves the conversation does not regularly turn to brooches — but it should. Sure you can pile on bracelets, wear statement earrings or slip on sky-high heels, but none of these items directly changes the look of your outfit as much as a brooch.

The use of brooches date back to ancient times when they were attached to garments to fasten them closed. This brings us to the first and easiest way to utilize a fashionable brooch, which is to secure the plunging neckline of a wrap dress. In almost all circumstances, a brooch is much more aesthetically pleasing than a camisole.

A classic, and functional, combination is a wonderful DVF wrap dress paired with a simple silver Tiffany pin. Another way we love to incorporate a brooch is on the outside of a coat. Affixing a brooch to a coat is a great way to show your individuality and customize your outerwear. The addition of a subtle vintage pin takes the hautness of the coat to new heights.

Formal evening wear can be the most difficult fashion to buy. When done right, the dress you wear could turn out to be more impressive than the date on your arm. Most women have one or two go-to dresses that they wear to formal parties and events. If you’re planning on re-wearing a dress among the same crowed, you can add a bit of drama with a bold brooch.

Then there are the more obvious uses for a brooch. They work great to ornament a winter sweater or basic summer tee. You can use them to fasten a silk scarf or a chunky winter shawl. Those who really like to live on the edge of style can pin a brooch to their turban! (Guys are welcome to try that one too. Karl Lagerfeld says it’s okay.) Try pinning a small brooch on your collar or on the strap of your messenger bag. You can even string a few together and wear it as a necklace. Basically, brooches are a no-brainer.

In addition to the standard vintage and rheinsone brooches mentioned, we love a Chanel vintage Camilla flower, Sonia Rykiel lips, most art deco styles and almost anything from Seaman Schepps. The best part is that great looking brooches are available at every price point. You can get something great for just a few dollars or spend mega-dollars on diamonds and gems.

Now that’s a sweet deal by anyone’s standards.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

It-it: Get Waisted on Big Belts

We've all seen the headlines: 80s Are Back, 90s Are Back, Hippie is Back, Grunge is Back. Needless to say, anything that is old is new again. This season, it's time to get waisted -- on belts that is.

Adding a wide belt to the little in the middle is the strongest way to emphasize that baby's got back. A Kim Kardashian backside is as desirable as Pamela Anderson's boobs in the 90s. Both women deserve their own zipcode for their respective endogenous zone. Oh yeah, it can help hold up your pants too.

The wide and oversized belt makes reference to Christian Dior’s iconic New Look which debuted in 1947. For Fall 2015 designers like Rochas, Guy Laroche, House of Holland, Balmain, Balenciaga and Marni all focused on cinching the middle.

The best part of the belt trend is that belts are relatively an inexpensive accessory-- next to bags and shoes. We are sure that won't stay that way for long. Browse through all of our favorites of the season below.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Moo-nolo Charity Sample Sale

What could possible be better than a Manolo Blahnik sample sale? A bucolic summer weekend road trip that includes Manolo heels (and flats) at sample sale prices.

Arethusa Farm Dairy, which is located in Bantam, CT, will be hosting a sample sale where the famous heels (and flats) will be priced starting at $150. According to our inside sources, the selection will include a full range of sizes and a variety of styles among summer and winter collections.

The famous dairy is owned by George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis--the couple who own Manolo Blahnik USA. Unfortunately, the farm's famous high quality milk and cheese will not be available at the sale but those details are subject to change.

The sale will physically take place at the Bantam Fire House and the sales will benefit Arethusa Farm Scholarship Fund for University of Connecticut Agricultural Studies. Bantam is located in Litchfield, Connecticut, which is about 2.5 hours from Manhattan. That means this sale-ing will require a bit of a road trip.

We did a bit of research and suggest that you top off your Manolo hay-day with the Arethusa Farm's luxury ice cream, cheese and milk. If you're looking to make a weekend of it, the area hosts several bed & breakfasts.

We strongly suggest Winvian Farm, a five star, Relais & Chateaux resort that includes 18 individually-designed resort cottages, a luxury spa, a five-star farm-to-table restaurant and an extensive wine cellar. To book, contact Steele Luxury Travel and receive a complementary upgrade, complementary breakfast, a spa credit and lots of other special perks.

Here's to sample sale priced Manolos and a beautiful summer weekend!

Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale
Saturday, August 15
9am to 4pm
Bantam Fire House
92 Doyle Road
Bantam, CT 06750
Cash & credit cards accepted

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Neiman Marcus Markdowns to 80%

Neiman Marcus is still going strong trying to push out the last of its summer merchandise. The more you buy the more you save. One item will reward you with an extra 25% off, two items 30% and three items 35%. The total markdown on many items comes to over 80% off when you pile on three items. Top customers-- that means me and you-- can access the sale before it goes public right here.

With the maximum extra discount these Charlotte Olympia pom-pom shoes come to just about $200 from almost $1100, these J Brand jeans are under $50 from $235 and an Autumn Cashmere sweater is about $80 from $330. There really aren't many bags of notable mention but you needn't feel bad if you didn't make it to Manolo's final markdown. You can snag these suede ankle wrap sandals for just about $250 from $815 or these snakeskin lace-ups for $350 from $1145.

This sale ends Thursday morning. The best part is that even the most radically reduced items can be returned if necessary. Take that-- Saks!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Fall Trends: Pleasing Pleats

The thought of wearing a sweater makes our skin itch but it's impossible to ignore the fact that fall fashion is here. September magazine issues are arriving and back to school shopping is well underway. It's prime time to start dissecting the next big trends.

If you don't mind, pleats take a moment to direct your attention to the trend of accordion folds. Pleating adds volume and movement to skirts, blouses, trousers and shirts. Look out for pleats in the form of a fan, box, carwash or knife. The extra draping tends to fold around the body in a way that adds drama.

Some top designer standout skirts include Gucci's red leather midi pleated skirt ($4500), Marc Jacobs metallic knee-length leather skirt ($2600) and Proenza Schouler's black and white stripped pleated midi-skirt ($1914). This oversized Junya Watanabe pleated shirt is pretty irresistible. Among sale items that are discounted 70% we were able to find this Alexander McQueen pleated sleeveless peplum top for $470 from $1565 and this red midi Kate Spade skirt for $100. Right here is a micro-pleated leather jacket -- that's really perfect for fall -- reduced 50% off to $482.

This trend is always a big crowd pleatser, um, pleaser.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Manolo Sale: "Amazing"

The Manolo Blahnik sale started on Monday and everyone agrees that the sale is "amazing."

As usual, prices are broken down by colored stickers; red, yellow, green and blue with the prices ranging from $195 to $295. Sizes are already running low but those who are under a 36.5 or over a 39 will find the largest selection. As of Tuesday evening, we were told that there was still a very good selection of styles.

Unfortunately, there have also been lots of lines. Shoppers are reporting waiting in line up to one hour. One reader suggests coming at 1pm -- when the store closes for restocking -- at that time you will be given a cut-the-line card when the store reopens at 3pm.

A few pointers for Manolo's final markdown: Shoppers shouldn't hoard display shoes, you should be loyal to one sales person as they work on commissions and try to be in and out quickly because there is a one-out-one-in policy when the store is crowded.

The final markdown ends on Thursday and then the boutique opens Monday morning with the new fall collection.

Manolo Blahnik
31 West 54th Street
212-582-3007 (Don't expect anyone to answer)
Monday-Friday 10:30AM-6PM
The boutique will close from 2pm to 3pm to restock

Monday, August 3, 2015

Spring Flowers Blooms With Discounts of 90%

Spring Flowers is an institution among Park Avenue primates. It's always a dependable destination to find a decadent baby gift or an enable that will fit those hard to outfit special occasions. Obviously, perfection comes with a price but this season's clearance sale will make you want to load up on everything you need for your (and don't need) for your children.

Right now, the luxury children's clothing store is hosting a sale where racks of clothing are priced at $10, $20, $30 and $40. Some items are reduced 90% and more. We found Mona Lisa tapered chinos for $10 from $110 and cashmere cardigans with gem buttons priced at just $40. (These sweaters are great additions to most any school uniform, especially when it's a super cold Winter.) On the $40 rack we found a hot pink I Pinco Pallino that was originally priced $460.

The sale also includes two whole racks of hand smocked dresses that are all priced at $100. You can also shop lots of accessories, like $10 headbands, $25 Mary Janes, $10 winter hats and $10 diaper covers. You can click here to see pictures from inside the sale.

The sale still has s decent amount of inventory in all sizes. We would suggest that you don't procrastinate very long because the back-to-school merchandise will soon have to replace this bargain basement sale.

Spring Flowers
907 Madison Avenue (bet. 72nd-73rd Street)
(212) 717-8182

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Manolo's Biggest Markdown of the Year

Our favorite Manolo Blahnik sale is finally here and we are hoping that it will be as good as last year's summer sale even thought it will be shorter. Last years sale ran for a full 10-days preceding a boutique remodel. This season, the sale is back to its 4-day format -- which could mean less inventory-- but the discounts are likely to be the same 75% off.

The markdown event will begin this Monday and run through Thursday, August 6th. During final markdown events, shoes are always marked by sticker dots. Prices usually range from $195 for a red dot up to $375 for a green dot. Most shoes and low boots-- even highly ornate styles-- are priced at $225. Last season, Lisa pumps were a budget friendly $225 and high boots were $325.

The store can get crowded but at least there isn't usually a long line to get in. Since the sale is only four days, we suggest trying to attend towards the beginning. We doubt there will be a lot of restocking. Styles and sizes always run low quickly.

Manolo Blahnik
31 West 54th Street
212-582-3007 (Don't expect anyone to answer)
Monday-Friday 10:30AM-6PM
The boutique will close from 2pm to 3pm to restock