Sunday, April 29, 2018

Great Options for Mother's Day Gifts

Flowers and chocolates are the most classic way to celebrate Mother's Day. This year, the mommy celebrations will take place on Sunday, May 13 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 thoughtfulness. 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 gift ideas that are sure to inspire even the most gift impaired.

The assortment includes a personalized tote bag from The Edit  ($260), a 14k gold bracelet from BaubleBar that can be customized with her initials ($200) and Prevé Revaux sunglasses ($30). On the more luxe spectrum, we suggest a Fendi logo belt ($490), Gucci pool slides,($450) and a Julia Clancey turban hat ($618). We don't know any woman who would turn up her nose at our favorite moisturizer from L'Occitane or a Hermes Constance bag. (It might be better if you don't look at the price that last suggestion.)

Friday, April 27, 2018

Inside Today's Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale

The day of the Manolo Blahnik sample sale is always filled with excitement. Today was no different. This bi-annual one-day sample sale is a true New York tradition that brings shoe fans to 54th Street at the break of dawn.

The first reports from the sale started coming in at 7am. One reader messaged that she arrived and was told to put her name on a list but later returned to find that the early morning list was not valid. Only customers with tickets had valid places in line. Note to readers: don't leave without a ticket number.

VIPs we let into the sale according to an alphabetical letter system. At 10:15am, we arrived and were given immediate access with group G. Inside, there was one table for each shoe size starting at 35 and going up to 42. By 10:30am, size 38s were already running very low and 30 minutes later sizes 37s and 37.5s were almost all sold out.

Prices remain the same as in past years. Basic leather, velvet and suede shoes are $125 and any styles with jewels or embellishments are $150. Boot prices start at $200 and pony, snake and lizard are $300.

We weren't permitted to take pictures insdie the sale but this season's sample sale selection was, really, very nice. The assortment spanned from styles that came directly from this winter's collection and go as far back as 2015.

We spotted these Diazhigri boots that are still over $1000 at Barneys. There were BB heels in a variety of colors and fabrics, like velvet and canvas. We saw these feather ankle boots, fur slides, and these white ankle boots that are often seen on the Something Navy blogger, Arielle Charnas. Click this way to see more pictures of what we found at the Manolo Blahnik sample sale. There were no Hangisi styles or other heavily jeweled styles.

The public was allowed to start entering the sale at 11am. Each number group consisted of 10 shoppers. At 10am the shoppers were given tickets for group 21, which was finally allowed in at 3pm.

Shoppers arriving later than 1:30pm were turned away. So, its safe to say that if you can't get into the sale room before noon, than its probably not worth the trip.

We have more pictures of Manolo Blahnik shoe styles that we found at the sale. Please share your experiences in the comment section and let us know if you have any ideas how we can better report on this sale.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Neiman Marcus First Markdown - Contemporary

For the fast few months, we have been tracking lots of reward shopping incentives, sale-on-sale discounts and friends and family promotions. Sale season is about to get real serious as stores begin their markdowns on contemporary designer merchandise. Today, Neiman Marcus started its First Sale Call, which translates to the first markdown on contemporary labels.

The discount is 30% to 40% off on most merchandise. Over this way, we found a Rebecca Minkoff denim jacket that says 'Love is Love' on the back for $125 from $228, a Tanya Taylor wrap dress is $450 from $750 and a DVF long duster is $480 from $800. One of our favorite sale items are the Manolo canvas shoes done in collaboration with Castaner, which are now $350 from $500.

Chances are that you're no longer in the market for a winter coat but we stumbled upon a huge assortment of Moncler coats and jackets in the markdown section. This simple black jacket with fur trim is now $1500 from $2025 and this classic style is $740 from $990.

There will be some additional promotions and more merchandise added in the next few weeks. Designer merchandise officially gets markdown down on May 22.  At Bergdorf Goodman, F5 contemporary clothing goes on markdown on May 15 and designer marhcnaise goes on sale on May 22.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

ShopBop's First Official Markdown

Online retailers don't quite run sale season the same way traditional store calendars negotiate markdowns. Shopbop for example just started its first full markdown on Summer clothing, shoes and accessories. Meanwhile, most retailers won't start markdowns for at least a few more days.

The discount seems to run from 30% to 40% off retail. Kenzo tee with diagonal stripes is $110 from $185, Pam & Gela pants with racing tracks are $115 from $165 and a Petersyn artist's blouse is $224 from $320. Heading to the designer options, we found a Jacquemus bag for $940 from $1175, a Cynthia Rowley maxi dress is $315 from $450, and a Tibi corset is $210 from $350.

Of course, there are items even reduced more from prior seasons. A ruffle skirt from Rodarte is $1000 from $3300, Nina Ricci pants are $360 from $1190 and a Cinq A Sept dress is $118 from $400.

If the item you're watching isn't included in this markdown it is likely to be added in the next sale drop. Usually, the site adds batches of merchandise every few weeks.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Shhhh: The Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale Goes Public

We love Spring in New York-- the cherry blossoms, the Park Avenue tulips, and yes, the Manolo Blahnik sample sale. Our sources tell us that this year's Spring sample sale will open to the public on Thursday, April 26th. As is tradition, the second-floor salon of the Warwick Hotel will be the site of the event.

This sample sale is a bi-annual highlight for shoe lovers. As you can imagine, the wait time can be worse than the line at DMV. We usually prefer the boutique sales, even if prices are a bit more expensive. (Those who can't make it to the sale can shop an assortment of brand new discount Manolos from the scroll above. We even found a Manolo shoe horn.)

Those who are up for the Manolo sample sale challenge, should expect to take a number and wait, and wait, and wait. The really nice thing about this sale is that you can leave and come back once you get your lucky numbered ticket. Take note, that the sale opens at 11am and will close when inventory begins to run low. In past years, that was at about 3pm to 4pm.

We expect that prices will run along the same lines as last season. Plain shoes, including leather, suede satin, and printed fabric start at $125 and go up to $150. Shoes with embellishments like glitter and studs were priced $175. Boots started at $200 for basic versions and went up to $400 for over-the-knee styles. (You can click here to see our post from last season's Manolo Blahnik sample sales or head this way to see our complete guide on shopping the Manolo sample sale.)

Over the past few seasons, the assortment has been dwindling as result of VIP resellers, hoarders and other company modes of liquidation. We are keeping our fingers crossed that this sale is better than the past several seasons. Momma needs new Manolos!!!

If you attend the sale, please keep us all posted in the comment section below.

Manolo Sale Sample Sale
Thursday, April 26th
Sale opens: 11am and closes when the inventory dwindles (usually 3pm - 4pm)
The Warwick Hotel, 54th Street and 6th Avenue, 2nd Floor
Cash only!

Monday, April 23, 2018

The IT-It: Danse Lente Handbags

No surprise there is a new hot bag this season. What will shock you, however, is the sticker price.

Danse Lente is a London-based handbag brand that has become adored by the fashion set for its sleek and minimalist designs that are inspired by architecture and art. The bags are versatile, functional, and timeless.

Did we mention the price? Almost all styles are under $500, which has made Danse Lente even more desirable among Birkin buddies and Chanel cronies. Londoners quickly snatched up all the available adjustable-strap Bucket Bags ($495) and architecturally striking Johnny shoulder bags ($385) early this Spring.

Once the UK-inventory was gone, the Europeans set their eyes on the US stock, which evaporated almost immediately. Once New Yorkers caught on, waiting lists started to grow. After nearly two months of waiting, Danse Lenta bags are finally back in stock but the inventory is going very fast. MyTheresa, Net-A-Porter and, Farfetch are all pretty well stocked online. Some popular color combinations are already sold out.

If you want to see the bag in person, in New York, you can go to Bergdorf Goodman or FiveStory. The big benefit of buying online is that you don't have to pay New York sales tax and you save on cab fare.

Bergdorf Goodman: Alexa 646-254-2787
FiveStory: Rob 917-406-8456

Inside: M. Missoni Sample Sale & More

Today kicked off the M. Missoni sample sale, which features a large variety the designer's famous zig-zag knit patterns. The sale also includes an assortment of Red Valentino and a limited amount of new Rockstuds. Discounts for M. Missoni are 70% off, Red Valentino is 75% off clothing and bags, shoes, and accessories are 70% off.

Click here to see lots of pictures of the M. Missoni samples. Don't forget to mention Madison Avenue Spy and to access the upstairs showroom.

M. Missoni Sample Sale 
Monday, April 23 through Thursday, April 26 
9am-6pm daily 
49 West 38th Street

Sponsored Mention

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Forzieri VIP Sale: 40% Off

We are still a few weeks away from the official beginning of pre-sale season. That doesn't mean some retailers won't begin enticing customers with strategic markdowns.

Right now, Forzieri started a designer sale with new markdowns of up to 40% off retail. Use the code VIPSALE at checkout to engage the discount.  Among the newest markdowns is merchandise from Gucci, Balmain, Fendi and Versace.

We found a classic print Versace scarf reduced 20%, which brings the total price to about $300 from $375. Men's ties are about $130 from $165 and there is only one left in this gold and black print. Balmain white leather sneakers are reduced to about $600 from nearly $1000. Christopher Kane bags are discounted 40%. This Devine Og bag, which has a utility-type buckle, comes to $600 from nearly $1000.

The discounts on the Fendi bags aren't very good but if you're going for a "must-have now" even 15% off helps. You'd probably be better off going for a JW Anderson Pierce handbag in a similar color blue, which is discounted 30% off and comes to $1022 from $1459.

The sale runs through the end of the month and ends on April 30. Before you finish shopping, don't forget to browse the housewares. We are always suckers for anything Alessi, especially if it's on sale.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

First Ever M Missoni Sample Sale

We are still wishing for warmer weather but for now we will just shop for Summer until warmer temperatures prevail. Missoni, like no other designer, makes us think of the beaches of Ibiza and St. Tropez. As luck would have it, M. Missoni is having it's first ever dedicated New York sample sale, hosted by Global Fashions.

We caught an early preview of the sale and couldn't be more excited for days filled with beach, sand and lots of zig-zag. Clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories are discounted 70% off and select items are even discounted 80%. Some of the items that caught our eye were a woven maxi dress with a deep v-neck that comes to $360 from $1195, a shorter sun dress is $210 from $695, and a classic zig-zag weave cardigan is $240 from $795. (You can catch pictures of what we found in the jump.)

Among the accessories there are lots of shoes and bags. Most shoes are about $150 from a retail price of $495. Bags are normally around $595 but are reduced to somewhere around $180. (You can see pictures in the jump.)

The sale only runs for four days. Global Fashions also works with Valentino, so be sure to check out what new items that may have come into the shop.

M Missoni Sample Sale
Monday, April 23 through Thursday, April 26
9am-6pm daily
49 West 38th Street

Sponsored Post

Pregaming: Getting Ready for Spring Markdowns

All these April showers has everyone looking forward to Summer. That means planning your strategy for Summer sale-ing. For the past few weeks, we've seen a plethora of gift card promotions and friends and family sales galore. Coming up this weekend, your set to see a bevy of contemporary brands start discount promotions.

The Neiman Marcus, First Call begins Thursday and shoppers can save up to 40% off regular priced merchandise. Our first purchase will most definitely be a denim skirt with raw edges. This version from 7 for All Mankind is long enough to cover the basics but short enough to keep it interesting.

Over at Bergdorf Goodman, the F5 collections will hit 40% off on April 26. For now, you can take advantage of the current promotion, were all sale items are reduced an additional 20% off. This IRO dress is rescued to $121 from $600, Fendi sunglasses are $141 from $400 and an Alice % Olivia blouse is $82 from $300.

Contemporary fashion mecca, Bloomingdales has already started toying with markdowns. Starting on April 22 you will start seeing lots of 'up to 40% off' promotions and then a savings of $25 off every $100. We find that the Bloomingdales designer exclusives are especially good. Check out this crochet dress with applique or how about some Spiritual Gangster rainbow vibes.

We are still waiting to hear about the contemporary markdowns at Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys but we will keep you posted. As for premium designers, presales usually begin the week before Memorial Day and sale officially breaks after the holiday weekend. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

You're Invited: Lanvin Private Sample Sale 90% Off

Lanvin certainly isn't the same without Albert Elbaz but that makes shopping past season's fashion even more fun. Yesterday, Lanvin started a private, invitation only sample sale and today the company decided to open the sale to Mad-Spy readers only.

The invite above will give you exclusive access to one of our favorite sample sales of the season. Of course, we love this sale because the discounts are great. Clothing is reduced 90% off retail and all other items are discounted 80%. The other reason we love this sale is because of the amazing staff. The sale is very well organized and the sales people are among the sweetest we've ever encountered. Going to the Lanvin sale is like attending private bi-annual reunion.

To be totally truthful, the merchandise selection isn't as amazing as some past sales. There are no bags, shoe sizes are very limited and the jewelry selection is tiny. That being said, we spotted a dreamy wedding gown that comes to about $2200 from $22,000. We spotted this white dress that comes to $400 from about $4000, there was also this jacquard pattern in different styles and some basic a-line dresses. We also found this exact animal print strapless style from 2015, which is very Elbaz.

There is also a great assortment of merchandise for men. We suggest that everyone grab a few bow-ties. You can't go wrong for $25.

The sale runs through Wednesday. We don't expect any additional markdowns, but really, how much more can prices be slashed?

Neiman Marcus Discounts Reach to 80% Off

Over the past few weeks, Neiman Marcus has been adding lots of designer merchandise to it's most reduced category. The discounts top 75% to 80% off and the store just started a promotion where a portion of sale merchandise  is marked an additional 20% off.

Upon browsing, we found a Gucci Bomber jacket already reduced 80% off and with the extra markdown it comes to just $640 from $3200, a Brandon Maxwell cocktail dress is $460 from $2300 and an Alexander McQueen iris print blouse is $378 from $1900. The discount among the shoes isn't quite as high and sizes are scarce but it still makes sense to cherry pick. Chloe fringe sandals are $254 from about $800 and Fenty heels are $156 from $390.

The Neiman Marcus promotion started today and will run through Friday. We suggest you take advantage while the opportunity presents itself. The next big sale won't come until mid-May, when first designer markdown begins.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sephora Insider Event (Re: Sale)

The annual Sephora Beauty Insider sale started this weekend and shoppers can save up to 15% off on all their beauty wants and needs. Access is currently only available to the retailer's most loyal VIB Rouge Members but opens up to the second tier on April 20th. After April 23rd, the sale opens to the public but the discount drops down to 10% to anyone with a lower loyalty status.

In stores, we usually find that a sales person will amend the promotion outside of the given tiered loyalty parameters. Online users can use the code YAYVIB to engage the discount.

Everything sold in retail locations is fair game. We generally suggest to start shopping the gift sets, like this NARS lipstick trio that's $79, a Kevyn Aucoin contour and sculpting set is $65 and a Tatcha Dewy skincare set is $56.

We recommend using this discount opportunity to try out the Dyson hairdryer $399. (It's expensive but it's also easily returnable if you don't love it.) We also suggest testing out products from Drunk Elephant, which is the newest beauty craze that often sells out. Pat McGrath, which launched at Sephora, recently lowered her prices. We would suggest starting with a lipstick or eyeshadow kit.

In years past,  this Sephora event used to accompany a 20% off discount. The good thing is that beauty promotions seem to be occurring more frequently in department stores and at other beauty retailers.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Nordstrom: First Round of Markdowns

Everyone is all abuzz about the first ever Nordstrom men's store, which opened on Columbus Circle this week. Unfortunately, us women will need to wait a bit longer to fully engage in the Nordstrom retailing experience here in the city.

For now, we can enjoy Nordstrom's s round of markdowns for the season. Lots of Spring-ish merchandise is reduced 40% to 50% off.

Some of the sale highlights include these Chiara Ferragni heart sneakers are $195 from $325, Hudson high-wasted skinny jeans are $170 from $255, Prada sunglasses are $390 from $650 and this Tracy Reese color block sundress is absolute perfect for strolling the city streets and is only $119 from $298. We aren't always the hugest fan of Marchesa but this 3D gown is a show-stopper. The best part is that it's 60% off.

This markdown just started yesterday. The Nordstrom Half-Yearly sale, when all the designer merchandise goes on sale, is usually the last week of May.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Breaking News: Mansur Gavriel Sample Sale

Mansur Gavriel just announced that they will be hosting their first ever sample sale, later this month. The four day sale will boast great discounts and offer a unique retail sample sale experience.

In true Mansur Gavriel fashion, the brand will create a fully immersive retail environment that features an outdoor environment. The store will be outfitted with trees, flowers and other natural elements. Shoppers will even be assisted by Mansur Gavriel associates.

The discounts will range from 40% to 75% off and include all product categories-- handbags footwear and clothing. Among the sale merchandise will be a patent mini bucket bag in blush reduced 50% and come to just $222 from $445, a suede mini sun bag in brick will be $350 from $695 and a mini lady bag in peony will be $525 from $1050.

From the examples we were given, it appears as if clothing from this past winter season will reduced 60% and shoes will be 70% off.  The shoe selection will include both sandals and more winter appropriate footwear. You can see pictures and pricing examples in the jump.

We don't usually get too excited for sample sales but this one seems like it will be one that's worth the chatter. A great shopping environment, fantastic markdowns and stunning merchandise. Lets just hope they have a good plan to manage the crowds. You wouldn't want long lines to break up this idyllic sample sale with a three hour wait.

Mansur Gabriel Sample Sale
Thursday, April 19 through Sunday, April 22
Thurs to Sat 8am-8pm, Sun 10am-6pm
490 Broadway

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Inside the Versace Sample Sale (pics*)

The Versace sale, hosted by 260SampleSale, officially kicks off tomorrow but this evening, there were dozens of eager shoppers browsing and shopping the VIP preview. The good news is that the sale wasn't nearly as crowded as we expected and the discounts were even steeper-- win-win.

The Versace Collection clothing is the best deal at 80% off. Shoes, bags, belts, swim, etc, etc are 70% off. The Versus collection isn't discounted but retail prices are much less. Versus clothing is 75% off and all other categories are discounted 65%.

We started by browsing the best markdowns, in the Versace Collection category. We found a purple puffer coat that comes to $240 from $1400, a printed silk dress is $170 from $850 and leather jackets are about $300 from $1500. There are also several racks of long gowns that range in price from about $3000 to $5000. We found a fur coat for $3400 from $17,000 and a blazer with exaggerated shoulders and rouched sleeves for $420 from $2100. (Pictures weren't allowed at the sale but we were able to stealthy snap a few key items, which can be viewed from this link.)

The sale also includes a large amount of merchandise for men. Versace collection clothing for men is also 80% off. We strongly suggest men browse the suit options. Retail prices generally run from $1200 to $1600 and after the discount suits are just $240 to $320. That's a true deal. There is also a rack of denim with classic Versace prints.  Men can also find classic Versace print ties and bikini swim suits towards the beach of the ground floor shopping area. (Pictures are this way.)

Those with Versace mansion dreams can theoretically design a full table scape of Medusa heads, lions and bright prints. There are full china sets available but it's unclear how many place settings are available in each print. Our guess is that there isn't much. The housewares collection also has a few vases that range in price from $400 to $1400. At just 55% off it doesn't seem like the best of deals.

Downstairs, shoppers can find lots of shoe options for men and women for both Versus and Versace. Sizing is very limited for the the most attractive shoe styles. We are talking about 35s and 41s but those looking for sneakers will be more lucky.

Before anyone gets too excited, lets remember it's not 1996 and Madonna is no longer topping Z100's pop-charts. Instead it's 2018, and Cardi B is on in high rotation on Hits 1 as she rocks Versace on Instagram. Some say Versace is having a comeback moment, but you must be very careful when it comes to styling this 90s fashion hit.

Not all good deals are actually good deals.

Versace Sample Sale
Wednesday, April 11 through Sunday, April 15
Wed to Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-5pm
150 Greene Street

ShopBop VIP Sale Link

The hugely popular Shopbop sale event kicked off today for VIPs. Shoppers can use the code EVENT18 and save up to 20% on orders under $500 and 25% on orders above $500. Of course, there are designer exclusions. Shopbop's list isn't usually very bad but some of the higher end designers aren't participating.

The best part of this sale is that you can apply the discount to previously reduced merchandise. For this reason, we always like to start our browsing in the sale section. We are really into this Milly detachable trench coat that's already reduced to $625 from $900. (It looks a lot like the Calvin Klein collection version, which is over $2500.) Frame jeans with a wide cuff are marked down to $73 from $245 and a rainbow stripped dress from Tome is $717 from $1200.

Another option is to always use the savings to get a jump ahead of the trends. You can catch two trends in one dress with this Tanya Taylor denim off-the-shoulder ruffled dress ($350). We love the color of this Black Halo dress ($345) and we would love to try out this Mira Mikati rainbow hoodie. For shoes, go for the Proenza ruffle sling-backs or No.21 braided mules.

Remember, the trendiest of items go fast at this sale. Better to snatch them up now than to wait until the sale ends on Saturday. Get shopping.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Coming Soon: David Yurman Sample Sale

The sample sale that you have been waiting for is for is finally here. David Yurman will be hosting his semi-annual sample sale starting April 19. Discounts normally range from 30% to 60% off retail and 10% of all proceeds on the first day of the sale will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The last David Yurman sale we scoped out there was a line that almost spanned the full avenue. Many people waited more hours before gaining entrance. Inside, shoppers said to have found cable bracelets reduced 30% off and other styles were discounted 50%. Rings and necklaces were 50% off and watches and pendants were reduced by 60%.

Prices at this sale aren't precisely a steal but Mother's Day isn't too far away and any discount helps. This is a good option for discount shoppers considering how David Yurman jewelry retains it's value and how it's become increasingly difficult to find the designer's jewelry at outlets or discount stores.

There are additional markdowns taken throughout the sale. If you don't mind a wait, we suggest attending the sale early to get the best selection. Alternatively, we found some discount Yurman you can start shopping now.

David Yurman Sample Sale
Thursday, April 19 through Sunday, April 22
Thurs 3pm–8, Fri & Sat 10am–7pm, Sun 11am–5pm
The Altman Building, 135 West 18th Street

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Saks Friends & Family Sale

The Saks Fifth Avenue Friends & Family sale started online and in stores. Despite the attractive 25% off discount clothing, shoes and accessories, there aren't many designer options included in the promotion.

Far gone are the days of a friendly across-the-board discounts but there are still some designer-y items from which to choose. The friends and family sale is bundled in one link but Saks was extra tricky and added sale merchandise that's not eligible for the additional discount. (Some designers, like Valentino and Calvin Klein are just on markdown from last season.)

Shopping the sale like isa little like playing a hopscotch game. Shoppers can apply the discount to some Proenza Schouler and Opening Ceremony, Cult Gaia, and Edie Parker. Again, the items that are included seem pretty random.

The shoe selection is pretty bleak if you're looking for premium designer discounts. The section is filled with designer sale merchandise but almost none are eligible for the friends and family discount. We like these white Schutz boots that are $195 from $250 and these rainbow slides from Loeffier Randall are perfect for sunny days.

Some of our favorite friends and family items included this Chiara Boni dress that's $208 from $700, a Mara Hoffman rainbow one-piece that's $213 from $285, a BCBG lace top that's $98 from $188 and a metallic Black Halo dress that's $168 from $375. It's not a bad idea to stock op on Swell bottles, which are also included in the sale, before camp and Summer.

For what it's worth, the promotion runs through Monday online but we wouldn't be surprised if there was an extension. First markdown on designer merchandise is usually Memorial Day weekend but we hear that first markdowns of sale season might be pushed until June this year.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Bandier Friends & Family Sale

When Bandier hit the upscale athletic-wear market it attracted the attention of everyone from Barry's Bootcamp warriors to the SLT contortionists. It's hard-core workout chic. The company's sample sales attract miles of shoppers and the good merchandise is gone fast.

Better than dealing with sample sale crowds, we thought it would be a good idea to hit up this weekend's friends and family sale. Everything online (and in the store) is now 20% off. No code is needed, the discount is automatically applied during checkout.

Spiritual Gangster has the rosiest sweats and we just love this Old School Pullover that's about $73 from $92. Ultracore is our go-to for great workout leggings and we are crazy for this version with lightening bolts that's about $150 from $196. We are also a fan of Koral's high-rise leggings that are $70 from $88. The friends and family discount can also be applied to sale merchandise, which brings some items pretty close to sample sale pricing. This All Access bomber with a lion on the back is $160 from $300, PE Nation leggings are $80 from $195, an Upside sweatshirt is $72 from $128 and who can resist this sunny yellow sweatsuit?

Buying new athletic wear is great motivation to keep your latest package from expiring. After all, aren't we all working out so that our clothing looks even better? Right, and for health and brain function, but we all know it's for the clothing!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Bloomingdales Friends & Family and New 5th Floor

Do you ever recall a time that Bloomingdales wasn't undergoing some sort of renovations? Bloomies most recent endeavor, dubbed 'The Heart of Shoe York,' combines its original contemporary (2nd floor) and designer (4th floor) shoe floors into a nearly 27,000-square-foot department on the fifth floor.

The total "footprint" of the shoe department is now more than 40,000 square feet and incorporates 100 brands. The shoe salon contains nine shop-in-shop boutiques, which include Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo, Fendi, Dior, Gucci M. Gemi, Jimmy Choo and more. (You can click over this way to see pictures of the new 5th floor taken by our friends @nycshopguide.)

While you are checking out the new fifth floor== and we strongly suggest you do so-- you can also begin presaling for the upcoming friends and family sale, which starts Friday. The discount is 25% off an assortment of shoes, bags, clothing and accessories. Beauty shoppers can take $15 off every $150 spent on almost all beauty purchases. To make the friends & Family sale even sweeter, you will receive a $25 reward card for every $100 you spend.

Bloomingdales can be frustrating to shop (especially with all the construction). We've become a big fan of the "In-Store Pickup" service. Shop online and retrieve everything from the customer service department on the 3rd floor. Once you get there, you can try everything on and just take the items you like.

We love this Frame and Partners jumpsuit ($299), this rose gold sequined dress ($232) and this rainbow sweater is just $42 and that's before the f&f discount. The promotion can also be applied to sale items. These frayed white jeans come to $140 from $300 and this Stutterheim rubberized raincoat will about $150 from $300.

The friends and family promotion runs through Sunday, April 15. We suggest that you shop during this markdown. The next sale with similar discounts won't be until mid-May.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Beauty: Getting Your Makeup Professionally Right

We don't usually spend a lot of time talking about lipsticks and bronzers but we thought it was critical to share this public service announcement.

There is no easy way to say this, but more times than not, your makeup artist is creating a problemed look rather than a beautiful one. It's en epidemic! Every day we see pictures of beautiful young girls who have been fashioned to look like the social media celebrities they see 'Instagram' or 'YouTube.' It doesn't translate well in a three-dimentional context.

For this reason, we enlisted Dustin Lujan and asked him a few key questions to help you properly instruct your makeup artist. Dustin's editorial work and knowledge have graced assorted glossy magazines and the runways and videos of Versace, Oscar De Le Renta, Akris, Marchesa, Reem Acra, Douglas Hannant, Kim Hicks, Erin Featherston, Misha Nanoo, Victor De Souza and other esteemed fashion houses.

Below are some tips and pointers that we hope will inspire your next makeup application:

What are the most important instructions to give your makeup artist?
The most important instructions to give an artist are to give a specific idea of what you want or may need. Be specific, like how long you need the makeup to last or if you want light coverage foundation. I can't tell you how many times I have heard women say they want a "natural look" and then they are shocked that they don't have a smokey eye and red lips. What they meant was 'go light on the foundation'. Remember, your makeup artist is not a mind reader and the more information about your likes and dislikes result in a better consultation. If you cant verbalize what you like, share pictures of examples of things that you are drawn to.

What are the most common mistakes makeup artists make?
One of the biggest missteps of makeup artists are not staying current and relevant to the present day. If you are stuck in the past, and are not willing to stay updated and educated, the entire industry will leave you behind.

What are the most common misdirection's clients give?
One of the biggest client misdirection's I have seen is poor communication. Specifically, there are three miscommunications I have seen:  #1 Smokey Eye - What is a smokey eye to you? It falls between smudged eyeliner to full on black goth shadow. Find out your smokey eye. #2 Red Lip - What is your red lip? For most clients this can range from a sheer fuchsia gloss to a dark plum matte lip. Know your colors and your comfort level.

Penciled brows and crazy long lashes? Is too much ever too much?
I believe everything in moderation and blending can take you a long way. I also would like to let people know that "Instagram Makeup" and "YouTube Makeup" are not realistic in daily life. The extreme looks are meant to show up under extreme lighting and the techniques used a lot of times are to sensationalize the audience as not to loose the viewers' interest.

You’re not fully dressed unless you’re using these products…
You are not fully dressed until you are using your skincare!!! Even the best makeup artist cant correct neglected skin. The must own products are eye cream, moisturizer and SPF. Three simple items will do wonders for the skin. Remember if you do not have a great canvas how can you paint a beautiful picture?

SAMPLE SALES 🌼🌸🌺 for April Updated: M. Missoni

Spring is in the air (or at least it should be) and we couldn't be more excited to start planning for the warmer weather. New sandals, lightweight dresses and lots of rosé, of course. We aren't quite ready to start pulling out the bikinis but long weekends will be here before you know it.

We've exclusively listed only the sample sales that we would personally consider attending. The post will continue to be updated throughout the month and remain just a click away in the right sidebar. Below is a list of what we believe to be April's best sample sales. Feel free to leave feedback in the comments section so that everyone can benefit.

Equinox Sample Sale
These atheliesure sales have been getting a lot of attention but we never find the discounts that good during the initial days. We suggest hitting these sales during the final days, when the prices are slashed to rock bottom. This would be our game plan too for the upcoming Equinox sale. Expect to find brands ranging from Spiritual Gangster to Anthony Thomas Melillo, Nike and more.
Tuesday, April 3 through Sunday, April 8
Tues 9am-8pm, Wed 10am-7pm, Fri to Sat 10am-8pm
260 Fifth Avenue

Versace Sample Sale
Brace yourselves for Versace mania. The Italian fashion brand is hosting it's first sample sale at 260 Fifth Ave and we can only imagine how wild this sale will become. As logomania heats up so has the gilded Versace print. As a matter of fact Donatella Versace was just at Bergdorf Goodman launching a collection of vintage prints. No word on the markdowns or what will be included in the sale but we will be sure to keep you posted.
Wednesday, April 11 through Sunday, April 15
Wed to Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-5pm
150 Greene Street

Dennis Basso Sale
Dennis Basso is hosting a private sale in the upstairs of his atelier. Furs and gowns will be discounted up to 75% off. The designer held a sample sale this winter at Soiffer Haskin. We imagine that these sale items will be from his most recent past winter collection.
Wednesday, April 11 Through Thursday, April 12
1pm-5pm daily
825 Madison Avenue

Hanro Sample Sale
Expect to find major discounts on true samples and overstock of loungewear, sleepwear and undergarments for men and women. We are told that discounts will be up to 75% off merchandise mostly from the fall/winter 2017 collections. Pajamas trimmed with lace will be $80 from $228, a plush robe will be $30 from $218 and many bras will be just $30 from over $150. 
Tuesday, April 17 through Thursday, April 19
Tues & Wed 8am-6pm, Thurs 8am-2pm
385 Fifth Avenue, 6th fl @34th Street

Jill Stuart Sample Sale
Jill Stuart is inviting shoppers into her showroom to purchase past season samples and overstock for 70% to 80% off retail. The selection will include gowns, dresses, sleepwear, lingerie, shoes, swimwear and vintage items. Also expect to find items from the Morgan Lane label.
Tuesday, April 17 through Thursday, April 19
9am-7:30pm daily
550 Seventh Avenue, 24th Fl

Marc Jacobs Sample Sale
What has become of Marc Jacobs? So much talent, yet the label seems to be in hibernation. Nothing in fashion stays the same and it's only a matter of time until this sleeping bear wakes. For now, you can fancy yourself as a collector and snag huge discounts from the Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs collections.
Wednesday, April 18 through Sunday, April 22
Wed to Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 8am-5pm
260 Fifth Avenue

David Yurman Sample Sale
David Yurman will be hosting his semi-annual sample sale starting April 19. Discounts normally range from 30% to 60% off retail and 10% of all proceeds on the first day of the sale will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Thursday, April 19 through Sunday, April 22
Thurs 3pm–8, Fri & Sat 10am–7pm, Sun 11am–5pm
The Altman Building, 135 West 18th Street

Jonathan Adler Warehouse
Jonathan Adler is hosting its bi-annual warehouse sale. Discounts will be up to 70% off retail and include an selection of furniture, lighting, accessories, and more. We are told this sale will have the biggest inventory yet, with almost 5,000 pieces available.
Thursday, April 19th through Friday, April 20th
9am to 2pm daily
885 E. 138th Street (NE corner of 138th and Walnut Avenue) Bronx, NY 10454

M. Missoni Sample Sale
The M. Missoni sample sale features a large variety the designer's famous zig-zag knit patterns. The sale also includes an assortment of Red Valentino and a limited amount of new Rockstuds. Discounts for M. Missoni are 70% off, Red Valentino is 75% off clothing and bags, shoes, and accessories are 70% off.
Though Thursday, April 26
9am-6pm daily
49 West 38th Street

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Saks Off-Fifth Fine Jewelry 70% Off

When you're sorting through designer collection sale sections you often come across lots of jewelry. Most of the time it's not very attractive and still highly expensive. During our most recent search through the Saks Fifth Avenue Off-Fifth clearance section we were quite surprised by how many great items of fine jewelry were available near 70% off.

Let's start out by saying that fine jewelry is technically defined as jewelry constructed from at least 14-karat gold with real gem stones. Vermielle, which is often nice, is not fine jewelry.

Now that we got that out of the way, we can share some of the great finds that we found. Over this way, we found an oversized 18k gold ring from Roberto Coin that's $1700 from $5300, double drop gold and diamond earrings from Casa Reale are $665 from $1750 and this lariat necklace is perfect for bikini and ab season as it is long enough to reach your belly button and is reduced to $552 from $2400. An Ippolita gold bangle with amethyst and quartz is $1250 from $3300. That's better than a sample sale.

We aren't big department store jewelry shoppers. Our tastes tend to be more classic and less trend driven. When we see prices like these, however, it makes us think, we should forget the shoes and buy the jewelry.