Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bargain Hunting --- Designer Sales!!

I've been really busy getting ready for my trip to Italy, so I haven't been able to write many posts :(  But I'm VERY excited about this one.....because it's about one of my favorite things: shopping!  Any not just any kind of shopping --- shopping for designer pieces at the best prices!

I have been doing a lot of shopping lately.  A LOT.  Even though everything that I've purchased lately is "designer", I've gotten all of it on sale at incredible prices.

Tracy Negoshian
I bought these cute Tracy Negoshian dresses online from the sale section on her website (her link is under Luxe Favs at the far right hand side of this page).  And p.s., they arrived super fast!!
Ria Wrap Dress - $50.00
(original retail: $124.00)
Bevin Braided Silk Trim Shift - $53.60
(original retail: $134.00)

Deanna Wrap Dress - $49.99
(original retail: $124.00)

If you're not familiar with Tracy Negoshian's stuff, you've been missing out.  I love the fun bright patterns of all of Tracy's stuff, but I especially love her lightweight and easy-to-pack fabrics; they're perfect for taking to Italy!  I decided to have the sleeves on my wrap dresses tailored and made a little shorter, but even with that extra expense, these dresses were still a steal at more than 50% off.

Elizabeth McKay
I can't tell you how many times I have googled "Elizabeth McKay Sale".  I'm a big fan of EMCKay's preppy and classy line, but her prices are a bit steep.  Her classic Elizabeth Ruffle blouse (what started her empire) retails for $175, and most of her dresses are in the $250-$330 range.  I've had my heart set on getting one of her ruffle blouses for a while now, but I just couldn't bring myself to pay full price for it. 

Then I found this cute site called Red Dress Boutique (I already added their site to my link list, on the right hand side of this page under LUXE FAVS).
This site is beyond cute.  The girl who runs it is based in Atlanta, and she hand-picks everything.  You can find lots of great things, like trendy little $20 tops, all the way to Elizabeth McKay dresses.  I found these 2 EMCKay ruffle blouses---- and the best part, they each had an $86 price tag!

Did I mention that Red Dress Boutique has free shipping when you spend over $100?  Nice.  They haven't arrived yet, but I'll be sure to post a pic of how they blouses look when they do.

Skirtin Around
I was poking around Charlotte's in Cameron Village the other day with my friend Christy, and I discovered a new brand!

I LOVE the fact that Skirtin Around is based out of New Canaan, CT--- not too far from where I grew up.  It was started by a woman named Lisa who used to make skirts for all of her friends using fun fabrics, and the demand grew so much that she opened a store.  Her modern fabrics and classic style made her so popular that she has since expanded her line, and now makes gorgeous dresses, blouses, and jackets.  I tried on this jacket:
Stock photo from her online catalog
MSRP: $303.00

You can wear it open or closed!!
Don't pay attention to the "oompa loompa" arms--
sleeves are always too long on me.  That's why
I made friends with my tailor!

Very "ladies who lunch", if you ask me.  The construction and quality were impeccable, and the retro inspiration seems very similar to Kate Spade.  Charlotte's at Cameron Village had a size XS in this jacket, and it was on sale for $242.00 with an additional 30% off, making it $170.  Not too shabby--- more than 50% off retail price!  And I also happen to know that if you sign up for Charlotte's e-mail list, then send you a 20% off coupon for your birthday. :)

Tory Burch
If you have spent any time around me, you know that I have an addiction to Tory Burch.  I gave up fighting it a long time ago.  So anyways, I've been on the hunt for over 2 months trying to find a shoe that would be comfortable walking around on the cobblestone streets of Rome.  I didn't feel like I was asking much, I just wanted something cute!  But let me tell you, finding a practical sandal/shoe that didn't look like it belonged to an 80yr old orthopedic patient is more difficult than you think.

Then I received an email from Tory Burch about their summer sale. I stumbled across the leather Amanda Thong sandal, and I fell in love.

Originally $250, now they were on sale for $175!  My size was sold out online, so I got on the phone with their extremely helpful customer service department.  Less than 45 minutes later, one of their representatives had located a pair in the size that I needed in Atlanta, and they processed my order right over the phone.  Two days later, I have my shoes in hand!

They really do fit perfectly (I'm normally a 7, but I got a 6.5).  The wide leather strap across the top of the foot provides more stability than rainbows, and the cushioning and leather sole are far more comfortable than my Tory Burch Miller thongs.

Lilly Pulitzer
I think that Lilly is sort of like air.... I don't really think that you can have too much of it. 

Normally Lilly Pulitzer sales are "ok".  Like most high-end designers, the mark-downs stop at 40% off.... usually.  In the past, I don't wait for the stuff to go on sale, but after I paid $268 a few weeks a go for a pair of her sandals and then they went on sale for $139 eight days later, I decided that I'm no longer paying full price for Lilly.  You think I would've come to this conclusion sooner, right?

I love the light-weight stretch jersey and the flouncy sleeves of the Mariposa dress, but I'm not about to pay $268 for it.  Really, Lilly?  Almost three-hundred dollars for 4 feet of jersey fabric?  Get real.
The cotton jersey Lilly Mariposa Dress - $268.00

But then I happened to be in Belk at Crabtree the other week during their Private Sale event, lucky me!  I strolled through the Lilly sale section and tried on a bunch of stuff.  I lucked out when I found the Mariposa dress in this super cute navy, white, and pink tulips pattern.  DONE!!

It was marked down twice (online return maybe??), and then I got an additional 20% off for the Private Sale event, so I only paid $89 for it!  It is so comfortable, and the best part is that I can roll it up in a suitcase and it won't wrinkle.  I decided to buy it in a Small so that it would cover my knees so that I can wear it when we tour the churches in Florence.

I found this cotton sateen floral shift from the Spring '12 collection at Palm Avenue in Cameron Village two weeks ago.  I almost didn't even try it on since it has elbow-length sleeves.  But it is SO cute on!  You can't tell from the picture, but the sleeves have a 2 inch ruffle along the edge, and the material has a slight sheen to it.  This dress has the floral pattern on the front and the back, which I really like.  It's normally $248, but I got this for only $118 :)  I wore it the other day, and I must've gotten a dozen compliments on it.
Cliche bathroom mirror pic--- don't judge.
I love the signature Lilly Elsa and Alima silk blouses, and I already have a few in my closet.  They are breezy and classy, and are fab for Spring/Fall, as well as mild Summer weather. 

Silk Alima Poppy Top

I found this Alima blouse (white and pink floral at left) at Palm Ave. as well.  It was a steal at $82!

Hopefully I can get a post up this weekend about all the rest of the deals my friends and I have been finding..... stay tuned, consignment goodies are up next!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Soccer Mom Chic

Soccer Mom Chic is my definition of what comfortable, sophisticated, stylish and REAL LIFE fashion should be.

If you aren't in your early twenties, or don't weigh 100lbs anymore, you know what i'm talking about when I say functional and figure-flattering is key!  You want to look cute, but you want to be comfortable too.  And you want to look your age, not like you walked off the page of InStyle.....because, let's be real: that stuff is out of place in everyday life.

Putting Yellow & bright Turquoise together is one of my favorite Summer looks.   If you're feeling bold, magenta is a nice complement as an accent color.  Love this yellow t maxi dress!
Sunny Day

I love the idea of pairing an updated comfy tee with a flowy maxi skirt, trendy jewelry, and sandals.  I adore the Coral-y hot Pink color of this maxi skirt mixed with the bracelet set--- somehow the whole look just works.

Flea Market Day

This Navy and White floral top (from, less than $60!!) and pale Yellow cotton capris have such a fresh look when mixed with a few pretty accessories--- Emerald teardrop earrings, a straw clutch, and a floral enamel bracelet.   I think a basic neutral catch-all bucket bag is a Summer must-have too!

Lunch with the girls

How cute are these little embellished "mouse" flats?   It's eclectic accessories like this that can really make the outfit:)   This lightweight silk bird print top is perfect paired with some comfy skinny jeans.

Shorts are a basic summer essential, but it can be SO hard to find ones that fit well without being super short!  These little polka dot shorts from JCrew are my favorite-- the right length with a fun pattern to keep them from being too preppy.   The melon cross-body bag and white sleeveless shirt give it an artsy-bohemian feel that I really dig.
Summer Afternoon

The perfect blazer is such a classic wardrobe staple --- and this bright coral blazer with the rolled cuffs is a youthful, updated version.   It is so cute mixed with black skinny capris and turquoise and gold accents.   And every girl needs a black "birkin" bag!
For the Italy trip

Maxi dresses are super comfortable, and they can be very figure-friendly too.   A simple belt can add structure and shape to a dress, and a great tote really balance out the proportions of the long skirt.
Boat ride on the coast

I am obsessed with this bright Pink bow top!!   I love the babydoll look, and the fact that it's preggers-friendly makes it even cuter ;-)   White skinny jeans make it a little more modern, and the gold gladiator style sandals ground the whole look.
Hot Pink & Navy

I don't have kids yet (hopefully we will be blessed to grow our family sometime in the near future!), but I've adopted the Soccer Mom Chic as my own personal uniform.   I figure, why not get some advance practice? lol

Fashion magazines should be inspiration for your every-day style---- not copycat material.  Form + Function = Soccer Mom Fashion :-)