Tag Archives: retail

Gap Coupon

Hi Guys.  Sorry I haven’t posted much this week.  It’s been a bit busy. 

On Friday, I was interviewed concerning Fashion Sensei for the local paper, so I was unable to get my latest Fashion Lesson out.  I have every intention to get it out this Friday.

I do however, want to pass along a great coupon for the Gap that I received on Friday.

I ordered four pieces on the 21st and this coupon came in my inbox on Friday for an extra 20% off sale prices.  I called customer service to try and get a price adjustment, but they wouldn’t do it.  So, as it happens my Gap order arrived on Friday, so I went to the store, picked out all the same pieces and returned my online order.

I’m glad I did.  I ended up saving an extra $71.64 off the previous sale prices and a total of $128 and some change off the original retail prices.

Here’s what I bought minus another gray striped cardigan that is no longer available online, but is at the store.

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Be sure to check out the store selection.  I discovered that the prices were even lower at the store than they were on line.

Happy Shopping!! 🙂

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Filed under Coupons, Fashion, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Writer, Metro Detroit, retail, sale, Style

Legal Price-Fixing Hurts Consumers

In 2007,  you would have thought I was a contestant in a year long sale snatching competition at Macy’s.  So much so, that I rose to the level of a platinum credit card holder by years end. 

prod Throughout that year, I reveled in my jaw dropping deals, especially in the children’s Ralph Lauren Polo department.  With my Macy’s 20% off coupons, I enjoyed in some instances, 80% off retail prices when I hit the right sale.  I bought my 3 and 5 year old son’s polo shirts for around $7.00 (reg. $35) and even a sweatshirt regularly priced at $75 for $18.25.  For prices like that, who wouldn’t outfit their kids in the ultra-preppy designer?

That all came to a screeching halt in 2008 and now I am beginning to understand why.  I have visited Macy’s several times over this past year with my 20% off coupons in hand ready to scoop up some more deals only to leave many times over empty handed.  It seems that my coupons no longer apply to any of the major brand name collections.

What happened?

Since 1980, manufacturers have been banned from placing a minimum price on their products.  You may have seen a MSRP price on products ranging from bread to cars, but that Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price wasn’t legally enforceable.  That is until last summer.

In June 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that certain minimum-pricing pacts between manufacturers and retailers are not necessarily illegal and such pacts should be judged on a case-by-case basis. 

What does that mean exactly?

The Supreme Court, specifically Justice Kennedy, feels that these pacts could encourage competition, resulting in higher potential profits to then promote certain brands or offer better services. 

I think I would prefer a discounted price.

So don’t be surprised if some of those brands that you have been accustomed to buying at rock bottom prices, especially on line, are no longer available. 

PG_NWHAMPTONESK_MEDPUSA_PD One such example is Nine West.  In May, the shoe company (I love because they are the only dependable brand that consistently carries size 10.5), was granted their petition to set minimum prices on their products.

Why are companies doing this?

Well aside from increasing profits, companies are afraid of tarnishing their brand’s image.  Their feeling is that the prestige of their product is reduced with each reduction below the threshold of their MSRP. 

This minimum pricing isn’t limited to just apparel and accessories.  It spans the whole of consumer goods and services.  According to the Wall Street Journal, “Consumer advocates say they are seeing the impact particularly in baby goods, consumer electronics, home furnishings and pet food.”

So now I am beginning to understand why my already over inflated favorite name brands are no longer available at such coveted prices.  I can only hope that the pendulum will swing back in the consumer’s direction. 

I’m interested to know if you have noticed this change in pricing.  Leave me a comment and let me know.

To read more about this story in today’s Wall Street Journal, click here.

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Filed under Business, Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Sensei, Metro Detroit, News, retail, sale, Shoes, Style

Back To School

Before my surgery, I was contacted by a writer from a Kansas newspaper inquiring which trends would be popular for middle school and high school girls.  I thought I would pass along some of my ideas for those of you in school or have kids about to head back in the coming weeks.

You may remember many of these trends from the fall catwalks and have now filtered their way down to school age children.  Some of the trends like polka-dots, plaid and the color purple are very hot for adults as well. 

In the coming weeks I will do a more in-depth look at key fall looks, but in the meantime, don’t forget that Nordstrom is having their Anniversary Sale.  It’s a great opportunity to pick up some of those coveted fall looks at a significant savings.  But don’t wait too long, the sale ends August 4th!

80’s Styles Abound

As it was in the spring, neon and other 80’s inspired styles are still really popular.  For fall, you will still see a lot of footless tights and graphic tees, along with updated jean jackets and tailored bomber jackets top off the look. 

I love this jacket from Forever 21.  To add a little of your own personality, style your jacket “Old-School”, with some vintage rock or message buttons.  Check out the eBay store Punk Your Buttons for a little retro flair.

(click on images for shopping details.)

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Pitter Patter of Pattern

There’s a lot to like about this fall’s love affair with patterns.  First off, incorporating different patterns like hounds tooth, plaid, stripes, polka dots and geometric prints give your wardrobe endless possibilities.  A shirt with multiple colors offer several options when paired with different sweaters, jackets, pants, accessories or shoes to change the look.  It’s a great way to increase your wardrobe without increasing the volume.

This Tribal Print Tee from Forever 21 has endless possibilities.  You can layer it with the above jean jacket, or a long sleeve T-Shirt or any number of colorful hoodies.  I can even see it with the very retro Reeboks pictured here and skinny jeans.

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Middle School

 

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Prep School Polish

The preppy look really never goes out of style, but the addition of varsity sweaters, argyle, blazers (Think Gossip Girl) and headbands move girls out of the original 80’s style, and into an updated look.

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Middle School

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Scarves Aren’t Just For Chilly Days

For fall scarves are a major accessory.  You’ll find them coinciding with many of the seasons popular trends such as print, plaid, fringe style or argyle.  Whichever option you choose, it’s a great way to spice up a t-shirt and jeans.

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You Can’t go wrong with Chuck or Mary Jane 

Some of the hottest trends in footwear are Converse Chuck Taylor’s, Mary Janes, Moccasins and the T-Strap.  Think color and lots of personality.

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Eco Conscious Carry-All

Kids have joined the Eco Conscious and sustainability movement, so here are some backpacks, lunch bags and water bottles that are earth friendly and cool.

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I hope these suggestions help while you are out shopping this Back-To-School season.  And for all you ladies and young ladies getting ready to shop, it’s not cool to wear clothes that don’t fit well (that means muffin tops) or shows too much skin.  The cool girls wear clothes that fit, flatter and show off how creative they are.  As I write in all my Fashion Lessons, not all trends are made for your body.  Just because it’s in style doesn’t mean that it will look good on you.  Trust your mom’s or girlfriend’s opinions if you’re not sure.

 

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Filed under Accessories, Beauty, Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Sensei, Metro Detroit, pop culture, retail, runway, sale, Shoes, Style, Trends

Botkier Comes To Target

The maker of luxury handbags commonly toted by celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Heidi Klum, is set to launch their collection for Target on July 20th.

Here’s a look at Botkier Bags.  The real deal will set you back somewhere between $225- $800. 

(click on images for shopping information)

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Target’s collection on the other hand ranges in price from $20- $50 and look like this…

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Photo Source: the Cut

I don’t know, is it just me or does this collection look like a load of bags that we have seen more than once?  Not to mention really cheap?  It feels like a Project Runway challenge.  See what you can create that costs us only $5-$20 a bag…now go! 

I think I am going to pass on this one ladies.  I could find something much more appealing for the same price elsewhere.  The Botkier name is not enough to pry this woman’s hard earned money.

 

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Filed under Accessories, Fashion, Fashion Sensei, retail, Style, Trends

Fashion Sensei Says…

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Knit One, Pearl Two or Three…

Keep cool in this knitwear the next time you are in the market.

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Do you think you know Fashion?  Prove it!

I discovered this fun little fashion quiz on about.com, to distinguish who really knows their fashion.  Let me know how you do!

 

In The News…

Thomas Pink, known for his high-end men’s dress shirts will roll out a women’s collection in mid- August.  An outside designer Richard Nicoll has created nine dresses, skirts and shirts.  Prices range from $195-$500.  Click here to read more.

Bloomingdale’s will expand their collections for women age 35- 50 into a boutique-like departments where multiple labels will be intermixed to allow women to mix and match styles from a variety of makers.

Hip Hop Artist Andre 3000 will debut his new menswear collection this August at department stores such as Barney, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s.  The collection is said to be based on the preppy styles worn on college campuses in the early 20th century.  Prices range from $75 to $1,995.

Angelina’s been dumped.  Not by Brad Pitt, by St. John.  After three years, Jolie will no longer be the face of St. John.

“The campaign, using models who aren’t household names, departs from the black-and-white images of Jolie shot by Mario Testino under the direction of David Lipman. It consists of four color vignettes shot at night in New York City locations, including Times Square and Central Park. Each captures a specific color palette and group, from daywear to cocktail to evening. The ads will launch in the August issue of Vanity Fair.” WWD

 

Androgynous Art…

Timo! wallets are the hottest eco/efficient/artistic billfold to hit the hipster scene.  The slim wallets come in artistic prints that you or your honey will love.  Maybe even a gift idea for Fathers Day…

(click image for shopping info)

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Clip This Coupon…

Express buy three get one free!  Click here and print.

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Filed under Coupons, Fashion, Fashion Sensei, retail, Style, Trends

Fashion Lesson #16 Forty And Fabulous

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First, I would like to apologize for the delay in posting my usual Friday Fashion lesson.  Life is speeding up on my end of the world, therefor I will not be able to post as regularly as I did this past winter. 

That said, I received a request from Nothing Fancy, requesting advice for ladies in the forty-something category.  I have to start by telling you a story about my days working in the Insurance Industry.  About 10 years ago, my boss who was over forty advised me that all women no matter their age should dress like they are 35 years old.  In her case, she should dress “younger” and in mine, I should dress “older”.  I am still curious why she made 35 the magic number.  And now that I have attained that benchmark, what does it mean to dress like a 35 year old?

When thinking about women over forty and what is appropriate, I think as with any woman it varies.  If you have a well toned body, you can get away with wearing tighter clothes than you could otherwise.  However, it must be within reason.  So how do we navigate that invisible fine line?  Not even Julianne Moore dresses like she did on the cover of Vogue Paris in her daily life.

Here are some very general suggestion that I would give women who feel uncertain in what to choose while shopping.  For the purposes of this post, I will stick with casual clothes. 

Dofocus on fit first.  As we age, all those sexy parts seem to shift.  Boobs droop, butts sag, even our skin starts to loosen.  It’s of the utmost importance to find clothes that fit, even if it requires a trip to the tailor.  Also, be sure that you are wearing the correct size bra and undergarments.  Panty lines and saggy bums are not a good look.  Spanx has a minimizer with a little lift in the tush that can be your best kept secret.

As I discuss with each of my Fashion Lessons, focus on your assets.  If you have toned arms or legs, show them off.  If you have killer abs, rather than revealing them, you can wear a slim fitting shirt or dress. 

Don’t borrow your teenager’s clothes or shop in the Junior section.  The clothes in the Junior section run much smaller and are not proportionate to a woman’s figure.

Also, as I have mentioned before, if you want to participate in a current trend and you are old enough to remember it the first time around, Do choose wisely.  Pick one item from said trend.  If you like the new bright neon look, wear a bracelet or pair of earrings.  Never dress head to toe in trendy items. 

Don’t go too monochromatic.  There was a time back in the 80’s when matching everything ruled.  My advice is to break up your color scheme. If you are wearing a yellow vest, don’t carry a yellow purse, wear yellow shoes or yellow jewelry all together.  The yellow vest is enough.

Don’t wear white shoes.  This is just a personal opinion.  I think if you are over 30 and are wearing white shoes, it ages you.  Instead wear a pair of metallic sandals or heels.  (See below for examples)

Do stick to showing off one asset at a time.  If you are wearing a low cut shirt, wear a longer skirt (knee length or just above).  The same goes if you are wearing a shorter (not mini) skirt, pair it with a more conservative top.  You can be sexy without giving it all away.

Here are some suggestions for summer…

Click on images for shopping details

Running Errands

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  98679_AK08_D1_NTV skirt

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Kids Sports Fan

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Backyard  Party

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Girls Night Out

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Couples Dinner

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All Purpose White Shirt And Jeans (notice the metallic bag)

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One last thing, if it has been awhile since you have had your make up done, please go in to a place like Sephora for an updated look.  You want to make sure that you are not still wearing lip liner or full on blue eye shadow.  An update in your hair style and make up can make a world of difference.  Oh, and just because you are 40, doesn’t mean that you have to cut your long hair.  😀 holly hunter

Nothing Fancy, I hope this addressed some of your questions.  Again my apologies for getting this out so late.  Please weigh in with your opinion, good or bad as to the selections or advice.  Do you know someone who doesn’t dress their age?  Tell us about them in the comment section.

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Filed under Aging, Fashion, Fashion Lesson, Fashion Sensei, retail, Shoes, Style, Trends

Shopping My Way Through Memorial Day…

Well not the whole weekend.  Saturday I spent the whole day doing yard work and cursing at my bushes for becoming so over grown.  I have two particular bushes that I detest and told my husband not to be alarmed if he sees me wrapping a chain around both bushes and attaching the other end to my car and driving down the road to remove them. 

But I digress…

Sunday I had a lovely time shopping.  I found a fantastic purple patio dress from Gap that I just may live in all summer.  The dress comes in several shades and is very flattering.  I also added a lace racerback tank with my dress as my “girls” no longer ride as high as this 20 year old model. Best of all, my shortie friends can join in the fun because it comes in petite too!

I plan on taking this dress with me to Chicago this weekend, but I discovered that it’s going to be cold.  So now I need to go find a blazer to go with it.  Too bad I forgot that H & M’s Friends and Family was this weekend.  I have to say, I owe you all an apology.  I have had that coupon for the past several weeks, but wanted to give it to you just before the sale date, so you wouldn’t forget.  Instead, I forgot.  Sorry about that.  H&M did have quite a few really cute pieces though, so check them out nonetheless.

Here’s a look at my purple dress and some options to go with it for warm or cooler weather. (click on image for shopping details)

 

I also took a swing by the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale.  I have been on the hunt for a pair of black capris and I was thrilled to discover a line of pants called Claudia Ev by Tribal Contour Waist Capris.  These pants are perfect for someone with an apple shape.  The pants taper in around the lower thighs and knees to show off an Apple’s thin legs, and then have a slight flare at the calf for proportion.  Here’s what I liked the best, I have a butt!  The stitching on the rear has a sort of rounded heart shape at the top to give the appearance of a round bottom.  Something all apple shapes need.

The Tribal pants also boast a “flatten it!” feature that is supposed to minimize your tummy, however, I didn’t notice a dramatic effect.  But every little bit helps in the battle of the bulge.  Oh, and I almost forgot, they are on sale!  (Click on the picture for shopping details.)

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Keep an eye out for more sales as stores are unloading all their spring lines.  To get your shopping motors running, I received word today that Blue Fly is offering an extra 10% off today only.  Happy hunting!!

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