Monday, June 30, 2008

Fanciful Footwear from Net-A-Porter

When I buy designer shoes, I always try to go for shoes that stand out and that require a second glance, but at the same time go with many things and will not go out of style in the next two hours. So, if you guys are looking for some footwear of your own that satisfies these criteria I'd suggest you take a look at the Net-A-Porter shoe sales. It might be out of a lot of peoples' budgets, and a lot of shoes are only available in one or two sizes, but the "thrill of the hunt" is a lot of fun for me...and so very rewarding when I find a pair of lovely designer shoes to adorn my feet.

I know Juicy Couture doesn't really qualify as "designer," but they've come out with some pretty cute things lately. Usually, if you go for things like shift dresses and stay away from things that...are made of velour, you should be okay. These lovely little bow flats go with lots of things, and they're pretty and girly enough to be worn in spring. Plus, they're on sale for $105.

I am in absolute love with these Burberry flats -- the colour is gorgeous, the stud details are cool without being crazy, and it's on sale! Too bad most of the world agreed, since these are only available in sizes 9.5 and 10. But if you happen to be one of those sized I would go straight over to Net-A-Porter and snap these lovelies up, because it's a piece of Burberry for only $197.50.

This pair of shoes highlights what I said earlier about a pair of designer shoes that is wearable and not too crazy, but still merits a second look. These Miu Miu heels might not be that wearable, but come on...they're gorgeous. And they're only $197.50! What more could you ask for.

These pink Fendi flats are kind of like a more subtle Tory Burch flat. I'm not going to lie, I don't mind a little bit of labeling as long as it's not over the top. I like these because they have a little Fendi logo that's visible, but they're also a lovely pair of pink flats that would add some instant spring into a beige-y wardrobe like mine. They're a little bit pricier, at $220.50, but still not bad for Fendi.

Finally, I'm sure you all have seen these Marc by Marc Jacobs mouse flats somewhere, but I'm featuring them anyway. Why? Well, because these flats are the epitome of what I said earlier about what I look for in a pair of designer shoes. They're flats in grey and black, so that makes them very wearable. They're Marc by Marc Jacobs, which is the holy grail of cute flats. And, the adorable mouse detailing isn't crazy but it definitely merits a second glance. And yeah, I guess $227.50 isn't that momentous a sale, but if you're into cute flats these shoes could very well be worth it.

Jewels on Sale

Something that I try to do when I'm keeping my budget steady (usually at the end of a month) is only spending a limited amount on accessories. During a time when I'm trying to be really tight with money (and I don't have the self-control to save up for things I really want) I'll look through everything in my wardrobe and try to rework it, and then think up of things that could make outfits different. One of the ways I like to satisfy my hunger for retail therapy without breaking the bank is a nice piece of jewelry. It's best not to be too matchy-matchy with jewelry, which makes it all the better because I can use my new...say, blue necklace with my green top, my pink skirt, my yellow scarf, and everything in between. Remember those Etsy earrings I posted about? I expected to be using the silver ones almost 24/7, because they matched my silver heart necklace that I wear every day, but instead the silver ones have hardly been used and I find myself reaching for the pink and red ones all the time. So anyway, in honor of my love of jewelry, here are a few discount jewelry finds for you to spice up your own wardrobe.

If you're into the chain trend, Bluefly has a couple of pieces that will help bring the look into your wardrobe. My personal favourite out of these pieces is the black chain bracelet, just because it's practical and wearable but it still adds a little bit of edge to ordinarily girly outfits.

First, there's a simple gold chain necklace that's fairly chunky but can be worn with a cardigan or a simple tank top for maximum impact. It's from A. V. Max and on sale for $36.00.

As I mentioned before, there's a black chain bracelet (which was really in a little while back -- I want to say Nicole Richie wore something like it but I really don't remember). I also put up the white chain version, though for some reason the black one is more "edgy" to me and the white one is borderline tacky. But don't let that deter you -- I'm a firm believer in "to each his own."

Remember the whole trend of kitschy watch necklaces? It was all started by the Marc Jacobs fruit watch pendants, which are on sale at Net-A-Porter for $90. So if you don't really care much about trends coming in and out, and you need a new watch, this isn't a bad choice. Yeah, $90 is a bit high for a watch, but it is Marc Jacobs and it is fun and funky without being over-the-top.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

SaleTime at The Body Shop

Here are a couple of things I'm loving from the amazing sales at The Body Shop...sadly, their makeup sales are a little lacking, but they've got some great bath and body products.

If you haven't tried the body scrubs from The Body Shop, I would definitely give them a go. The Mini Cocoa Butter Body Scrub is something I like to use for particularly dry parts. Plus, it always feels nice and luxurious because of the moisturizing cocoa butter. It's on sale for $3.00 (a 1.7-ounce container).

Another fun product I like from The Body Shop is lip butter. I love collecting all of the different types, but in general I've noticed that the less fruity types (like brazil nut and cocoa butter as opposed to guarana) have always felt more moisturizing to me. The Almond Lip Butter, one of my favourites, is on sale for $4.00.

There are also two lotions on sale, the Peppermint Cooling Foot Lotion and the Blueberry Body Butter, both $5.00. I would get these if you were looking for some nice, cooling lotion for summer (especially that Peppermint Foot Lotion), but they aren't as great as the above two products.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lippie Loves

If you guys haven't checked out the sale at Bath and Body Works, I'd suggest you do ASAP. They've got this amazing sale on their usual products (and I'm a devoted follower of their body spray), as well as some new makeup sales. For those of you looking for a summer treat for your lips, I would definitely check out their $5 Lip Favourites section, especially their collection of C. O. Bigelow Mentha goodies. For the fruit lovers out there, there are all of the fruity Mentha Lip Shines (lemon, orange, lime, and raspberry). Personally, I'd give these a pass even though their packaging is adorable, just because I wasn't a huge fan of the mint + fruit combo here.

My first lip pick from this sale would be the Ultra Mentha lip shine, because it's just pure minty tingly goodness. It's kind of like a lip plumper, except it's actually made with the intention of having that lovely tingly feeling. I like that it makes your lips feel fresher, especially in hot summer weather.

My second lip pick would be the Magenta Mint Mentha Lip Tint. The colour might seem a little extreme on the container, but I've tried the more subdued "Pink Mint" and it's essentially a clear gloss. I like that the Magenta Mint variety has a little bit of pink in it, even if it is fairly subtle.

And while you're at it, why not pick up this Eye Shimmer Souffle from Vincent Longo for only $12.00? Even though they only have it in "Gingerei," I'm actually considering buying that shade just because it's perfect for summer. It would probably show up better on people with lighter skin, but personally I love bronzes and golds and this would be great for a simple summer eye.

A $16 Indulgence

Okay, so I promised that there would at least be a few beauty posts here's my first foray, even though it's more of a bath and body post than a beauty post. But there are lots and lots of lovely beauty sales going on everywhere, so be on the lookout for more beauty goodies.

After browsing more than my fair share of beauty blogs, I found out that Sephora has a lovely sale section, found by typing "sale" in the search box at the top. Being the coffee-scent-lover (not so much coffee-lover) that I am, I tried out two of the Sephora Indulgences in Coffee and Cream: the body wash and the body butter (note: these pictures are of the Coconut Body Wash and Pink Grapefruit Body Butter because the pictures of the Coffee and Cream varieties were unbelievably small).

I've got to say, I'm loving them both. They both have more of a vanilla frappuccino feel to me, which is all the better because coffee can be a little harsh. I was expecting to like the body butter more, just because I tend to get super-cheap body washes from the drugstore with the logic that it's essentially liquid soap and shouldn't be that expensive. But I actually liked this body wash quite a bit. I didn't have to use very much for my whole body, and the smell was much less harsh than the body butter. That said, I was a big fan of the body butter as well, because the scent did linger without me having to load it on. I would give these two products a big thumbs up...but be a little wary if you don't like the scent of coffee. For those of you that might be a little wary of the scent, I would suggest the Coconut Nectar body wash, especially for summer.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Where's Forever 21?

So some of you may have been wondering...if this is a blog for clothing styles, where are the Forever 21 pieces? A lot of people have a love/hate relationship with Forever 21, while others just plain love it or hate it. Personally, I'm on the fence, and I just wanted to let you guys know why I will be featuring little to no Forever 21 clothes on this blog.

I'm not going to go into some sort of rant about how we need to be ethical and save the world. Some of you out there have the luxury of shopping at higher-end retailers and being more picky about who you buy your clothes from, but I do recognize that there are many out there who simply cannot afford to buy "100% Fair Trade" clothing and have to look to places like Forever 21 to have wardrobes that consist of more than plain jeans and T-shirts. What I want to do with this blog for you guys is to show you how you can continue to keep style in your wardrobe while not spending tons of money. Everyone and their uncle has heard of Forever 21, and everyone is aware of the great deals and cute pieces they stock. But I want to show you guys some unexpected bargains that may not quite be as cheap as Forever 21, but will probably be quite close. I myself have transitioned from buying clothes just from places like Forever 21 to perusing the sale section at Net-A-Porter, a store that I thought I would never even dream of buying something from. Hopefully, I can help you do the same thing by scouting out some unexpected sales for all of you reading this blog.

P.S. Sorry about not posting yesterday! I had a test worth 25% of my grade and I had to study basically the entire day, so I wasn't able to post anything. But I'll definitely make up for that today, so come back later for more Recessionably Chic :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

I'm really not one for designer ripoffs, unless it's a fairly basic style that no one designer can really call their own. I'll admit, I buy a few pieces from Forever 21, but they're usually pieces that I've scouted around for. I always make sure that they won't fall apart after a few washes, and I never buy the pieces that are really obvious fakes of designer pieces. However, being the bargain-oriented person that I am, I have no problem with taking a high fashion designer style and buying pieces that echo the style without being an outright copy.

While staring in wonder at Neiman Marcus' completely unreachable set of designer purses, I came upon this unbelievably expensive black crystal purse. And no, I don't mean my version of expensive. This purse is a whopping $2,295. I don't really see what's so great about it, besides that it's beaded with "jet Austrian crystals." I did, however, like the idea of a black twinkling clutch. I loved that it could add some glitz to an outfit without being completely over-the-top.

After checking out the outlet at Bag Borrow or Steal, I found this glittery evening clutch by Franchi, a well-known high end bag retailer. Thankfully, this one is only $45.00 (though it originally sold for $157.00).

Another evening bag I found at Neiman Marcus was this infamous Valentino bow clutch. This red silk contraption is a little too much for my tastes, though. It's also $1,095. Why on earth anyone would pay over $1,000 for a purse this strange is beyond me, but I guess to each his own (or her own, in this case).

What I did like about that clutch was the idea of a bow detail on an evening bag. A clutch, specifically (they can get a little too cutesy on purses sometimes). So, I found another great bag from the Bag Borrow or Steal outlet (I'd suggest you sign up for an account there ASAP, even if you're not planning on borrowing anything) from Furla. This silver bow clutch is perfect for dressing up any evening outfit, while adding a little bit of cute. Plus, it's only $85.00.

I'm sure you all have seen this Gucci crystal clutch...or at least, I'm hoping you all have seen this Gucci crystal clutch or else the picture probably won't do it for you. It's a fairly simple clutch, with a small buckle detail. It's also $495.00.

While looking over the Lime Tag sale at Piperlime, I found this bag which is almost a variation on the idea. Gucci's clutch was more of a hard-cased clutch with a smaller buckle detail. This bag, from Francesco Biasia, can be used as a clutch or as a small purse, and it features the same type of buckle detail with a slightly larger buckle. This one isn't as much of a discount bag as the other ones, but it's $149.99, which is still quite a bit cheaper than the Gucci version

Finally, while perusing the Bluefly sales I came upon this cute little Kooba bag with a ruched detail. I think that this bag is definitely very versatile, and the buckle detail adds a little bit of interest. It's on sale for $195.00, which isn't too bad, but this is sort of a small bag and I'm sort of on a small budget. So I set out to find an even cheaper alternative to this bag.

While looking at my beloved Piperlime, I found this grey bag with the same sort of ruched buckle detail. This time, however, it was a larger bag and it had additional buckle detailing on the side. And the best part? It's only $62.99. Though "Melie Bianco" may not have the same designer ring as "Kooba," sometimes you've got to make sacrifices so you don't break the bank.

Beautiful Blues

It's no secret that my favourite colour is blue. Clothing-wise, I wear tons and tons of beige, black, and grey, but I do usually accent my outfits with coloured accessories. In keeping with my more subdued palette, I tend to go for vivid jewel tones, but my favourite colour to add to an outfit is blue. Blue is kind of the coloured version of a neutral; it goes with everything. This season, a vivid cobalt blue is taking over the accessories (and clothing) market, so here are a couple of cheaply chic finds to help you introduce this colour into your wardrobe.

From a brand called Hobo International, you'd expect very slouchy, hobo-style bags. Instead, I found this gorgeous envelope clutch, on sale at Piperlime, for only $104.99. It's 8.5" by 12.5", so a tiny bit bigger than a normal piece of paper. I love that this clutch can be used for both evening and day, and it definitely doesn't hurt that it's on sale.

While browsing the J. Crew sales (they have some amazing shoes), I came upon this gorgeous pair of blue silk slingbacks. They're a little more purple than cobalt, but the sumptuous silk knot at the front adds a gorgeous detail to these shoes. Unfortunately, they're on sale for $149.99, which for me isn't much of a sale.

So, I went over to one of my favourite places for bargain shoes, Newport News. Lo and behold, they had their own pair of blue satin slingbacks, this time with an interesting front loop detail. You can't see the blue pair very well in this picture, but just imagine the pink pair in front in that gorgeous blue colour. My only qualm? The wooden heel. But hey, for only $19.00 these are some very lovely heels.

Another, more bargainous find from the J. Crew sales was this lovely little bangle. Bangles have become really popular this season, but I've always had a few pairs in rotation because of my Indian background. I'm loving these new block-coloured ones from J. Crew, and this is only $7.49! I'm definitely snapping this up today.

Finally, because I like to save the best for last, here is a very cute pair of Nine West flats with a flower detail at the top. I fell in love with these flats when I saw them -- but then again, who wouldn't. They come in pink, orange, and black as well, but I personally adore this blue pair (and they still have it in size 6!). They're $39.99, which is a little bit steeper than my usual amount for flats, but these are just so adorable I'm seriously debating ordering them.

Glad-to-be-on-Sale Gladiators

It seems like everyone these days is purchasing their own pair of the latest fashion trend in summer shoes: gladiators. At stores like Forever 21, GoJane, and Wet Seal, it's typical to find gladiator sandals that will last you through the summer but may not be able to withstand much wear and tear. Here are a couple of pairs from the Piperlime Lime Tag Sale that may be slightly more expensive than your typical teen store find, but will last you longer (and won't give you uncomfortable blisters).

This first pair comes in gold, black, and white and is only $39.99. It's pretty classic as far as gladiator sandals go, and the thinner straps ensure that your feet won't look too heavy. It is summer, after all! There's a small, 1/2" heel, and it's available in most sizes.

The second pair comes in gold and silver, but gold is the only colour that is on sale. These sandals are for those who want to be more avant-garde with their gladiators, as the strap details are slightly different from most gladiators. These are also $39.99 and are from DV by Dolce Vita.

This last pair comes in bronze and silver, and it is only $32.99. This looks a little more rugged than the other pairs, as the front woven detail looks a bit like regular summer sandals. However, this is also the cheapest pair and would probably do you well if you were planning on doing some serious walking in your gladiators.

I'll post later on the teen store bargain finds, but let me know if you guys spot any other gladiators on sale!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sales at Saks

Here are two dresses that I found while perusing the amazing sales at Saks Fifth Avenue. There are many, many more styles to choose from but these are some of the few dresses that are available in a moderate array of sizes. It's worth a look if you're on the hunt for a good bargain, but I went through quite a lengthy process that involved me clicking repeatedly on what seemed to be cute dresses...only to find that they were in a size quite far from mine.

This first dress is a tiered black number that might be more suited to the younger of you out there. What I like about it is its flexibility; team it with a cute cardigan and flats and it's a girly, sweet daytime-appropriate outfit, or strap on some black heels like the ones I posted about before, and you've got a pretty little evening dress that hides any sort of tummy bulges. Plus, it's only $83.98.
This next number is a little bit more expensive; it's $131.33. But I love the colour, belt detail, and interesting pleating. Plus, it's perfect for summer dates and the colour allows you to use a basic black shoe or a light strappy sandal, like the model is wearing.

Monday, June 23, 2008

J. Crew Sale Outfit For Tea

Here's a pretty little blue and yellow outfit inspired by the J. Crew sales...yes, J. Crew sales might seem like full price to some people but their pieces are always high quality and very classic.

If I were meeting up with my grandma for tea or something of that prim and proper nature, I would start off with a nice, pastel-coloured cardigan. Something about a light and lovely cardigan just screams "tea with grandma" to me. Plus, it never hurts to add another cardigan to your collection -- they're simple, chic, and classic and there's always room to have fun with brooches and extra details. This yellow one from the J. Crew sale has a cute but not overpowering bow on the neckline and is $37.50, because of the extra sale discount (EDIT: This is no longer on sale).

I would pair that lovely cardigan with this indigo split-neck dress. Though it looks a little daring, I've seen it in real life and it isn't that low-cut. Then again, it all depends on your body structure. This dress is $59.99, but with the 25% off discount it's $45.00.

And finally, to top it all off...a cute pair of flats. This pair is $37.50, again because of the discount. You could have a lot of fun with the flats to pair with this outfit, but since it is grandma I'd opt for something colour-coordinating.

If you wanted to be a little less matchy-matchy, some fun bangles or cute earrings would definitely work with this outfit. Try not to go for a necklace though, as they can sometimes look strange with split necklines.

And...while we're on the topic of J. Crew sales, words cannot describe how in love I am with this linen double-breasted light grey jacket, on sale for $60.00:

and these unbelievably darling green polka dot flats, also on sale for $60.00.

Strappy Black Sandals a la Nine West

Something I think everyone should own (and no, not just because it's black) is a gorgeous pair of strappy black sandals. This season especially, a pair of strappy black sandals makes any dress party-appropriate, while even echoing the strappy styles seen on day sandals this season.

While checking out the Nine West sales, I came upon these two lovely pairs of black satin strappy sandals, both for the lovely price of $39.99. I've got my eye on that cage pair, because of the more unique and delicate strappy detail.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Silver Sales

Here's a cute little sale-inspired outfit for all of you silver-loving folks out there:

I found this jacket while scoping out the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale. There are some pretty good finds out there, but a lot of things are only available in really obscure sizes. This pretty little silver jacket is only available in Small and Medium, and I think I would replace the buttons if I were to buy this jacket (maybe some vintage silver ones?), but I love the collar and the pleating detail. Plus this jacket is on sale for $58.90, so if you want it you'll have to grab it fast!

I would pair this with a pair of dark skinnies and a pair of grey pointed-toe flats, like this pair. They're on sale at Piperlime for $25.97 but they're only available in size 8. I love the button detailing on these flats.

I'm actually a big fan of this sale outfit idea, so look forward to many more of these in the future!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Vintage Fabulous

Remember the first line of Kate Moss for Topshop and all of those cute little black dresses? Well I do...I also remember their Euro pricing, sadly. One of the dresses actually still stuck with was that little black one with the vertical neck cutouts. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a picture:

Now, I know I'm supposed to be keeping it cheaply chic for you guys but I found this dress on Vintageous and it may be $165 dollars but it is so unbelievably chic and classic. I actually like this thinner version of the cage neckline, instead of Kate Moss' cutout version. In fact I'd almost go right ahead and buy it...but the waist is 22.5 inches! Now that's small...even for a 5'2" girl like me. But you've got to admit, this is very cute.