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Finish Your Holiday Shopping This Friday

25 Nov

Thanksgiving week is my favorite part of the holidays. With the season still fresh, the air is redolent with roast turkey and fresh pine and the bah-humbug epidemic has yet to become airborne.

This will be a busy holiday season for us, which will include hosting our first-ever Thanksgiving in our new home and traveling literally to the other side of the world (NZ) for Christmas. And of course there are multiple holiday parties, birthdays, and our fourth wedding anniversary in between. So when I realized just how much of a hustle this holiday season was about to become, I resolved to finish all my gifting by the end of this weekend so I can enjoy the rest of the season as much as this week.

No, I’m not crazy. Just crazy organized.

Here are my five steps for getting the job done early:

1. Make a Christmas list. No, I’m not talking about writing a letter to Santa. I’m talking about a slightly OCD, it-might-be-an-Excel-spreadsheet list of everyone you need to buy for. Include columns for gift ideas, and how much you’re willing to spend on each particular person. Not only will this help you stay organized, but it will help you realize that yeah, you’ve got this.

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2. Get Over Gift Guilt. Money spent and love given are not directly proportional. Don’t feel you have to spend a lot of money on one person just because you’re close to them. Focus on finding them something thoughtful.

As long as this is the end result, you’re good:

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3. Use Your Resources. Fill online wishlists with giftable ideas, then check throughout the week to see if they’ve gone on sale. Better yet, use shopping sites like Shopstyle to set email alerts so you’ll know the second an item is discounted, or search #BlackFriday on Twitter and Facebook. Also helpful: Racked.com’s Salewire, and BlackFriday.com

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4. Shop in your PJs. Preferably with a glass of wine in hand. Waking up at 3am to go to Best Buy is sooooo 2005. Most deals available in brick and mortar stores are also available online. So why expose yourself to aggro line cutters, screaming babies, and the one person who invariably stands waaaay too close to you, then coughs without covering his mouth.

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5. Master Your MasterCard. Don’t just have an overall holiday budget, ask yourself what each item is worth to you. If it doesn’t hit that dollar amount, then find a backup. Because nothing’s better than making your loved ones happy, and still having a little left over for yourself.

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Holiday Dressing, Courtesy of the ASOS Sale

11 Nov

Ah the holiday party dress. You wear it for one season and then it goes to the back of your closet, resurfacing only when it’s time to make a trip to Goodwill.

Which is why I was super psyched to brows ASOS’ holiday dress sale today. They’ve discounted a ton of their already reasonable holiday sparkles, as well as some more high-end options that are far too beautiful to wear only once.

Here are my top 5 picks:

5. The Corporate Party, $56.95

Your boss has booked a super-sexy space, but you don’t want to end up being That Girl Who Wore The Really Short Dress To Last Year’s Holiday Party. The solution: a simple, strapless silhouette with an asymmetrical hem. Because being completely covered up is never any fun.

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4. The Boho Sparkler, $200.23

The sleeves keep it appropriate for a workplace gathering, but the length says Happy New Year.

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3. The Man Eater, $277.65

Beautiful beading will make your friends ooh and ah, while the body con fit and micro mini length ensure that you’ll definitely have a kissing partner this NYE.

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2. Like It’s 1999, $50.72

Relive your favorite scene from Clueless in this slinky, sparkly slip dress. No one will dare accuse you of looking Monet. Promise.

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1. The Ultra-Feminine Stunner, $355.96

It takes a lot of confidence to stay this covered when everyone else is showing skin. But the extra fabric makes the dress much more versatile, so you can totally wear it to your work party, then pull it out for friend’s fall wedding next year.

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Coveting Coach

7 Nov

Like many women, I fell out of love with Coach during the 70-year-old brand’s logo-maniacal days in the early aughts. But the American accessories powerhouse has recently returned to its classically fabulous roots thanks to new Creative Director (and Bottega Veneta and Mulberry alum) Stuart Ververs.

Here are five of my faves.

5. The Large Clutchable in Pebbled Leather, $458

Small enough to pair smartly with an LBD, yet large enough to protect your iPad, this burgundy clutch is minimalism at its best.

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4. Small Turnlock Plaque Bracelet, $128

This simple stunner takes a nod from the ubiquitous Hermes wrap bracelet, then kicks it up about ten gilded notches.

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3. Mini Tanner In Saffiano Leather, $258

This affordable crossbody is the perfect solution for those of us with I-spent $500-on-a-mini-Pashli-and-then-they-ended-up-at-Target angst. (And, yes, I am speaking from personal experience. *grumble*)

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2. Box Chain Cuff, $228

The box chain weave of this substantial cuff adds interest while keeping it light and airy. Slip it on over a sweater sleeve, or bejewel a bare arm before a night out.

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1. The Large Borough Bag In Polished Calfskin, $898

The luxe leather. The gloriously minimal hardware. And who knew a seam could be so sexy? When it comes to a beautiful carry-all, it doesn’t get much better than this.

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Crazy Pants

8 Mar

Jeans are great, but after years of wearing them everywhere from five star restaurants to the dog park, I’m more than ready for the pants trend. And this spring, it’s all about the prints.

Whether worn with a half-tucked tuxedo shirt or a sweatshirt and hi tops, these printed stunners have me swooning.

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From upper left: Clover Canyon Paisley Road Pant, Tibi Starfish Pleated Pants, Asos Africa Pants In Printed Floral. From lower left: Whistles Orchid Print Pants, Clover Canyon Flower Tracers Pant, Asos Pants In Digital Animal Print

Go Tuck Yourself

5 Mar

Our recent move has my purse strings tied in knots. Which is fine because, really, I have enough clothes.

But what to do when last season’s floral blouse feels wilted?

Trade it for someone else’s still-fabulous former favorite on Bib + Tuck.

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The idea behind new website is RealReal-Meets-Pintrest-Meets-your roomate’s closet. List (aka “Bib”) your unwanted fabulousness on your own page and earn bucks to put towards items from other girls’ closets. Each buck equals one dollar, and you set your own price when you list your own item, ensuring you’re compensated based on what you feel it’s worth.

Enticed by the concept, I joined and am totally hooked. So far, I’ve bibbed one item: a beautiful boho dress sitting sadly in my closet, worn only once. But I’m biding my bucks until I find the right item to cash in on. Right now, there’s a pair of off-white Jeffrey Campbell booties calling my name. Also tempting: a totally on-trend pair of printed palazzo pants.

My one criticism: not enough selection. They need more users willing to sell more items. The best selections tend to get tucked (ie bought) in seconds by people who lurk around constantly refreshing their browsers.

Ah, to have that kind of time…

Wear It Now: Marc Jacobs’ NYFW PJs

15 Feb

Come February, the cuddly sweaters and buttery leathers in which we’ve swaddled ourselves since November suddenly begin to feel heavy and restrictive. Our winter coats, like straight jackets.

Then New York Fashion Week arrives and suddenly those racks of spring clothes we were coveting lose their luster, if only for a second.

Few NYFW shows caused a bigger eruption within the blogosphere as Marc Jacobs, where pajama dressing met the no-pants look in a way that said Edie Sedgwick is having a pajama party and we’re all invited.

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Image courtesy style.com

That said, few of us are brave enough to strut our city streets sans pants. (Myself included.) My suggestion: half tuck a pajama top into ultra-distressed cutoffs and pair with minimalist strappy sandals on the season’s first balmy evening. Cold? Add semi-opaque tights and a black and white striped blazer.

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Your PJ top will still feel fresh come fall, leaving you to pair it big baggy boyfriend jeans, chunky cardies, and pointy-toe pumps as the weather changes yet again.

Bejeweled

4 Feb

It’s pretty rare that I find a line in which almost every single piece speaks to me. But it happened to me today during a pre-NYFW trip to Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

I hit up Brooklyn Fox to sift through their sale racks but quickly found myself glued to the jewelry case marveling at pieces from a line I’d never seen or heard of before.

Turns out I’d become enamored push by PUSHMATaAHA, an Australian line using mixed metals and semi-precious stones to create an aesthetic that feels like a collaboration between a Navajo tribe and Alexander McQueen.

Here’s a peek at their SS2013 look book, which I wish they’d done in color so you could get a better sense of the weight and fire of these pieces.

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