Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Golden Rules for Shopping Online- Part 2

Rule #2 Know your style, know your body, and know what's in your closet!

This seems like a fairly straightforward rule but it can be easy to forget (I have been guilty of doing so countless times). If you are a bargain hunter like myself it is so important that you have a good understanding of your style as well as what works with your body type and what styles tend to be unflattering on you. I can easily get caught up in a sale and order something that really isn't me. Prehaps it's a trendy piece that I don't feel like I can pull off or something that doesn't really go with anything in my wardrobe. If you have a solid understanding of what styles you typically lean toward then you will be more likely to look at an item objectively and ask yourself, "is it really me?" 

Knowing your body is even more important. Everyone is built differently and every label has different sizing, different lengths, and different tailoring. I know there are certain brands that just don't work for me and I know certain styles almost never look good on me (I can not seem to pull off a jumpsuit to save my life). Alternately, there are some labels (especially with jeans) that I can order online and know that they are going to fit perfectly. Of course you can always have an item tailored but this probably isn't practical for every single item you order.

Knowing what's in your closet should seem obvious but how often have you uncovered some hidden treasure hiding in a corner that you'd completely forgotten you even owned? It happens to me all the time. Spending time organizing your closet will give you a better idea of what outfits you can pull together, what essential items you might need, and will help you to avoid purchasing things you may already have or just don't need.

Click here if you missed rule #1

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Deals & Steals

1) DSW
Giving double points to members and even triple points for premium members, for purchases through the end of the day (1/31). Premium status is generated by the amount of purchases (over 6,000 points reached between Jan. 1 - Dec. 31), which you'll have to find out by logging into your members account at Every 1500 points leads to a $10 gift certificate on future purchases. It's the last day! So you might want to as least check out some of the amazing shoes they have for sale at

In addition to the double/triple reward points. You can also receive free shipping with $35 or more using code: SHIPR. If you are a premium member, you can receive free next day shipping, by just logging in and selecting the next business day option.

Offer:  Regular members - Double points + Free shipping w/ $35 purchase or more
           Premium members - Triple points earned + Free next day shipping
Code:  Regular members - DOUBLEIT (double point) and SHIPR (free shipping)
           Premium members - TRIPLEIT (triple points) and none needed for shipping
Terms: Double/Triple points earned only through the end of the day January 31, 2012.

2) Bluefly
Has added an additional 10% off of their sale items, and total only you can receive $40 off your total purchase of sale items when you spend $200 or more.

Offer: $40 off $200 on sale purchases.
Terms: Purchase must contain $200 or more of sale items. Through January 31, 2012.

3) Gilt
Is one of those online daily super discount sites like Groupon (but fashion based). Right now they're offering a 25% off for first-time orders. So if you haven't already signed up, check out the site here at

Offer: 25% off purchase (up to $50 value)
Terms: Through Feb. 1, 2012. First-time orders only. Cannot be combined with other offers.

Another online site that is offering discounts on top of clearance items of an additional 20% OR 15% off total order including non-sale items...In addition, they always offer free shipping and returns, which can take a little of the uneasiness out of buying shoes online. Browse their selection at

Offer: 20% additional off winter clearance.
Code: 20SALE
Terms: Through February 6, 2012. Discount only offered on sale items.

Offer: 15%
Code: 15OFF
Terms: Cannot be used with other discounts.

4) Bare Necessities
Valentine's Day is around the corner. You might want to consider taking advantage of the 20% coupon at The site also offers free shipping on orders over $70.

Offer: 20% off entire purchase
Code: BARE20

5) Victoria's Secret
VS is no stranger to sales and coupon codes. They almost always offer some type of discount, so this isn't too exciting. But given the time of year with V-day and spring coming up, more people are probably looking into buying bras and swimsuits so this is worth posting.

Offer: $15 off $100, $30 off $150, or $75 off $250
Code: SPRING12

6) Pour La Victoire
This site's offering some CRAZY discounts on last years designs. The best part about it is that the shoes are mostly pumps or booties, so you're not gonna have any trouble getting your use out of them in the coming months. They also have sales on handbags as well. Don't take my word for how amazing this is, see so for yourself at their online store

7) Asos
Is offering discounted prices on sale items through the next 4 days. The prices are already marked down on the site, but will go back up after February 4th, 2012. Check out their sale at

8) Sephora
Has several offers going currently. None of them for discounts on purchases (the one downfall Sephora has), but they are some pretty cool freebies. There are too many offers to list, all depending on what type of purchase you're making. You can check them out right here at

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rollover trends 2012

While some trends fade away as quickly as they appear, others are so popular, amazing, and/or versatile, that they stick around for quite some time. Here are some of the rollover trends from 2011 that seem to have just as much staying power as the latest and greatest.

My point with all of this? Don't be afraid to invest in a few of these pieces for your 2012 wardrobe.

1. Platforms

Platforms took center stage last year, with designers like Jeffrey Campbell creating everything, from chunky clogs to sky-high lace up booties. Again this year, platform heels dominated the runway.

Alexander McQueen had two very defined styles that I loved--the strappy platform heels covered in floral decorations and the gladiator style platforms that went up the calf. I think we will be seeing many more designers steering away from the clunky platforms and moving into a more refined, strappy style, much like these displayed at the McQueen show.

Designer: Alexander McQueen, Spring 2012 rtw
Image from
Designer: Alexander McQueen, Spring 2012 rtw
Image from

2. Leather trend

The "leather and lace" trend we saw last year was a huge hit. The feminine meets masculine vibe, has always been a favorite and most definitely appears in one form or another every season. This year appears to be more of the same from 2011, with no shortage of leather walking down the runway. Everything from skinny leather pants, to mini-dresses and shorts. We saw it all. A slightly different take was seen in the form of shorter lengths for pants and quite a few pairs of leather shorts,  in preparation for the warmer months to come.

A.L.C. had one of my favorite takes on this trend. With these amazing skin-tight crop leather leggings paired with a bright colored blazer, and high-waisted shorts styled to perfection in a structured shoulder blazer. If I could afford either of these items, I would be out purchasing them immediately. But for ethical and financial reasons, I will be scouting out their less expensive counter parts in the form of vegan leather. I will, of course, be letting you know what I find ;).

Designer: A.L.C., Spring 2012 rtw
Image from

Designer: A.L.C., Spring 2012 rtw
 Image from

Alexander Wang took a page out of last years runway book by sending out a little leather mini-dress in a color that was nothing short of amazing. While the idea isn't all too groundbreaking-ly creative, it's still an affirmation that this look is here to stay. So if you're struggling with whether or not to make that purchase, you might want to take this into consideration:

Designer: Alexander Wang, Spring 2012 rtw
Image from

3. 70s high-waist

Last year we saw the high-waisted flare jeans from 70s make their way back into rotation. While we are seeing less of the denim flares in 2012, we're seeing the high-waist take shape in shorts (like the A.L.C. shorts above), skirts and dresses. We aren't ruling out pants altogether however, designers like Rachel Zoe have some amazing high-waisted flare pants that are to die for:

Designer: Rachel Zoe, Spring 2012 rtw
Image from

Designer: Rachel Zoe, Spring 2012 rtw
Image from

4. Structured shoulder blazer

Blazers with structured shoulders had some serious power last year. Everyone, from the high-end fashionistas, to celebrities, to your average lover of fashion like you and i, were seen wearing them. As proof of their power, they've returned on the runways yet again for 2012. Take a look:

Designer: Alexander McQueen, Spring 2012 rtw
Image from

Designer: Roberto Cavalli, Spring 2012 rtw
Image from
Designer: Emilio Pucci, Spring 2012 rtw
Image from

5. Bright colors

Nothing says Spring like bright colors. While neon gained popularity late last year, many designers are continuing that trend well into 2012. In addition to the bright, flashy, neon colors, designers are also shifting to bold and bright pastel colors. Opulent oranges and bright baby blues seem to be two shades that are very popular this year.

Designer: Burberry, Spring 2012 rtw
Image from

Designer: D&G, Spring 2012 rtw
Image from

Designer: Nanette Lepore, Spring 2012 rtw
Image from

Designer: Alice + Olivia, Spring 2012 rtw
Image from
Designer: Versace, Spring 2012 rtw
Image from

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Golden Rules for Shopping Online

More of us are shopping online than ever before. It's a great way to to compare prices to ensure you are getting the best value, allowing you to bargain hunt without the frustration and expense of driving all over the place. As an added bonus, most shopping sites offer customer reviews about products so that you can find out if there are any quality issues that might not be immediately apparent. Many sites also provide outfit inspiration or allow users to come up with their own ideas, which can really help take the guesswork out of how to wear an item.

Here are a few Golden Rules for shopping online:

Rule #1 Avoid shipping costs at all cost!

When you shop online you can save big bucks because there is lower overhead for stores that don't have to operate in a physical location. Another perk of having no physical location is that you may not have to pay sales tax, which—for a Washington State resident like me—means automatically saving nearly ten percent! However when a store doesn't have a physical location in your area you might be responsible for return shipping should an item not work for you. Because fit and quality are important to me I often end up disappointed with an item that seemed perfect on screen but in reality falls short. I often return more than I end up keeping.

Any return shipping costs I have to pay is essentially money out of my limited fashion budget literally down the drain. A perfect example, I recently ordered a pair of Cool People boots from one of my favorites They were an amazing deal and just what I was looking for. As soon as they arrived I tried them on an walked around the house. Within minutes I was in pain and I realized these boots were just not going to suit my needs. The next week I took them to the post office and shipped them back which ended up costing $11, nearly a quarter of the price of the boots- ouch. In these situations I often end up justifying keeping the item because I end up getting so little back after return costs. Of course the item just ends up sitting in my closet for a few years before making it's way to the donation pile, tags still attached.

Avoid this money wasting , closet cluttering mistake by only shopping at places with a physical location (that accepts online returns), or offer free shipping both ways. Trying an item in a store and shopping online for the best deal is another way to avoid costly return fees. And of course always always always make sure to familiarize yourself with a store's return policy before giving them your business.

Here are a few of my favorites that always offer free shipping both ways:

And here are a few of my favorites that have physical locations across the states: (VS recently updated their return policy and now accept online returns in store - yay!)

I try to do most of my shopping at these sites or the good old fashion mall but there are certainly other sites I enjoy visiting and on occasion I will make a purchase when I feel the value is worth the risk. As long as you follow the rest of the rules for shopping online you can minimize the amount wasted on return fees and keep that money available for building your wardrobe!

Rule #2