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Archive for the ‘Style’ Category

Shopping Ebay – Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and Kate Spade

I’m a fan of quality over quantity at this point in my life. But I like a discount as much as the next girl therefore I still turn to ebay when looking for designer items. After my last ebay related post there were several questions about how do I find the things I do. There are several things I think about and take into account when I shop on ebay for shoes. Here are a few of my past, well-worn finds.

High heeled neutrals

High heeled neutrals

First, the main issue with shoes is sizing. Just like clothes there are no returns when buying from ebay. (Unless you are a jerk and make up issues with items when there aren’t any. It’s ebay, not Nordstrom.) You have to know the brand you shopping for as well as be relatively sure that it runs the same all the time. The brands I look for on ebay are Manolo, Jimmy and Kate Spade. I’ve bought Tory Burch in the past but have since sold the entire collection. These shoes fit the look that I’m going for and are available at a significant discount most of the time. One brand that I wouldn’t recommend buying on ebay is Christian Louboutin which is generally all over the place when it comes to sizing. Plus, the discount isn’t as good as the other brands. You have to have done your brand research.

Second, you have to realize that this hunt is a marathon not a race. You are looking to make good, long-term adds to your wardrobe since you have decided to buy high end. I recommend looking for classics or classic with a twist. Nothing crazy that you will regret. It’s a completely different mindset. This shopping experience is taking place via your laptop and couch not at Nordstrom Rack. In this marathon of hunting down discounted designer I would keep a list of items you want to add to your wardrobe once or if they become available. It’s probably not a long list but it will keep you on track and not forget things you are looking for. And it will help keep you from getting “shoe goggles” and randomly pulling the trigger on something you don’t need. Then as items show up and fit your list they can be checked off one by one. You might also find that using this method that you might buy less because you realize that you don’t need everything on it.

Third, make a reasonable target price point for each brand. I’ve been lucky to get never worn Kate Spade for under $100 but have seen pairs for $150 I thought about buying. A full price pair of Kate Spade Karolina’s is $325 in the stores and an evening shoe is around $400. My goal with Kate Spade shoes is “new, with a box and 66-75% off”. Manolo Blahnik’s and Jimmy Choo’s are now over $600 for the most part. The nude Manolo sandal was new, unworn, with box. I paid just under $200 for them several years ago. Once again, I saved over 50%. It’s unlikely you will get new, unworn for a rock bottom price. But that’s not totally the point. If you compare your $200 Manolos versus new, close to $300 or more J.Crew shoes (which are much less quality) which product do you prefer? I wouldn’t be opposed to BARELY worn Manolo’s versus new J.Crew just because of quality and timelessness.

As an example of a product that lasts as long as you take care of it please look at the black, suede Manolo sandal on the right. I actually bought that shoe on consignment when I was in college. (Ignore that fact for this ebay post. They looked good with the rest of the shoes.) They have been to every kind of event, party and dinner you can imagine. Even up and down the hills of San Francisco on a rather tipsy excursion. I paid $100 for the pair and they had been worn twice. Divided over time, the pair has been worn well over 100 times and cost nickels per wear at this point.

The point is if you want quality and designer you can have it. It might take a little bit of time but with some patience an amazing shoe closet or at least a few special finds can be yours to enjoy for many years to come. I hope this helps. It’s not rocket science but it is a different approach that most people aren’t used too.

Fashion, History, Lasting Style – Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy

I’m a student of fashion and more importantly history, branding and people. It’s forever fascinating to me how it all influences each other and us. The scene in The Devil Wears Prada where Miranda Priestly goes after Andy for laughing about not seeing the difference between two belts then checks her for wearing such a “sad” sweater is one of my favorite movie scenes of all time.

It was like I had a moment with Anna herself. I got it! I understood! I get the trickle down!

In a world of fast-fashion (I will spare you my soap box about that today), information overload and blogging I’ve been thinking about what really lasts? What actually gives ROI? A question I wish a lot of people would ask is “am I going to be embarrassed when I look back on this picture ten plus years from now?”

I think about branding and how it affects society because it’s something I study in graduate school. Obviously, its not just clothing. I find technology brands, car brands and just brands and the psychology of it fascinating in general. It’s NYFW right now and I read this little piece from The Cut which really illustrates how Fashion Week is different now.

Looking at people and brands that still inspire me and stand the test of time one of my favorites, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy was one of the first people I was fascinated with her style and story. I still have the article that Newsweek wrote about her in my saved articles (pre-Pinterest). I remember thinking in high school how this person with the perfectly blown-out hair had remade herself and was now a Kennedy. Very Cinderella. Very Brand-Worthy. Very American.

This outfit montage is lovely and to me really shows timeless style but you can also tell its the late-1990s. Click on it to see the detail. If I posted it larger it took over my blog.


So few people look fashion-forward but appropriate anymore. And I’m not just referring to media people, the average person acts like not making an effort is some kind of badge of honor. It’s not. You look like sh*t. It’s a bad habit and lazy.

I look at pictures of my mother and grandmother through the years. Of course, everything is dated but they also look put together and ready to make it happen. They were and are ladies. My grandmother looked like she stepped out of Mad Men and my mom looked like the perfect, preppy mom. It’s not just about the outside obviously. But do you really want to be the one wearing the “sad sweater from a bin of stuff?”

Alright, I’ll stop. I promised no soap boxes. Thanks for indulging my walk down memory lane and glossing over my favorite subject.

Inspiring Women – Coco and Anna

I’ve had a rough couple of days. Yesterday was particularly bad.

As I was trying to work through my emotions and figure out what my next steps are I thought about my two favorite women in fashion. One is long gone but her brand survives and one is still making waves after many years in the industry.

Some may consider Coco and Anna ice queens but they did it their way, worked through their emotions and survived another day.

Casual Dresses from Three Dots and Bailey 44

I really love the brands Three Dots and Bailey 44. Both make dresses can be thrown on with flip flops for day and a high heeled sandal at night. They have a touch of glam while still being functional and lightweight. Plus, the quality is a bit better than other casual dress brands. These are elements I look for in a new dress purchase. I think its even more important in South where the weather tends to be warmer and most of the year and patios are a way of life at home and when out with friends.

Here are just a few I’ve seen from Three Dots and Bailey 44 I like for Spring. Functional, no crazy prints and work for multiple events.

Outfit re-recreation on a Budget

When I wear jeans I’m still a little bit formal about it. Below are two iPhone pictures from what I wore to visit the Southern Living House. Items were Kate Spade gold flats, KS skinny jeans, KS beaded tunic and KS sparkly earrings. All of it was topped of with an Elizabeth & James swing coat that was a Christmas gift a few years ago.

Beaded Kate Spade tunic. I’ve posted it before on Instagram.

Here is a more casual and budget friendly version of my outfit.

Sorry, no links today. My crappy blog won’t let me post the shopsense link for some unknown reason. But I found everything on ShopStyle. Feel free to email about a specific item. They are all really inexpensive.

Style Crush – Poppy Delevingne

I love an ice princess. I also refer to these people as Alfred Hitchcock characters doomed to die but that’s for another time.

Currently, I love British It Girl Poppy Delevigne. So hot. So stylish. Ultra thin.

I’m sure she’s an Anna Wintour fantasy come true.

But her style is really where it’s at. And British cool can never be replicated State-side. Sadly.

You can follow her on twitter here.

And read more about her style in Vogue UK.

Don’t you just die?

I will never be an ice princess. As a brunette with ultra-pale skin there is only one thing I will be, A VAMPIRE. In name only of course.

You say Oxblood, I say Burgundy

Unless you are living under a rock or more likely don’t care the trend color of the season is “oxblood”. But its my blog and in my world oxblood doesn’t exist. But burgundy does. So yay! Burgundy!

I’m wearing this skirt today with a black, Kate Spade sweater and my ubiquitous black tights and black patent heels. (As always thanks for ignoring the crappy pic.)

Burgundy and Black. Mind blowing, right?

First time wearing the skirt. I found it in a friend’s closet that I was cleaning out last spring. She had clothes from high school and stuff we had bought together in college. Plus, this little find from The Gap. She thought it was hideous. But I thought it looked like the 1970s. Specifically, Ali MacGraw. Don’t get me started on my love of Ali MacGraw.

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

And I’ve got uber-long hair right now which makes my whole 1970s vibe even more so. Or my other goal of being a brunette Carolyn Bessette Kennedy but we will save that for another day.

B said the skirt is more of a later 70s look rather than early 70s. But only he would know that.

I love burgundy and black together I thought this piece was bit of find. Then fall rolled around and turned out this 10 year old + skirt was trendy all over again.

Sidenote: that’s a guest room. I didn’t decorate the house. The end.

Target – a black hole of sequins and all things pink

I had made an initial trip to Target to scope things out the other day and look at the tinsel Christmas trees. I got sucked into the kids clothes. So many things to look at. I was a bit of a kid in a candy store. It was like pink and purple and sequins exploded all over the girls clothes. I was just standing there like “do I buy stuff, do I look, somebody tell me what to do!” At one point I was holding the purple faux fur bomber jacket that looked my ghetto than the Tom Ford for Gucci chubby I was trying to pretend it looked like. I mean, all little girls need to understand that this is an iconic moment in women’s fashion.

Those collections still kill me. I would buy pieces now if I could get my hands on them.

Yesterday I stopped by a different Target with the intention of buying just the little pink sequined sweatsuit. Nothing crazy. I ended up with six outfits in a cart. It was ridiculous. I put two back and bought four. Little girl’s dad nixed two so we are left we these two. I like them for a nine year old.

I went back and forth about this one but I liked the sequined pockets and it was cheap. It’s not like I bought Juicy Couture for Kids.

Have a great weekend! I’ve got school and my family stuff. Plus, a JLA thing so busy, busy.



Nail polish – I’m not trendy

I used to do all kinds of colors on my nails. I did gels. I did French tips. *SHUDDER*. But now I have getting my nails healthy again the thought of having color on my hands darker than OPI’s Ballet Slippers is just to much for me. I still like an American manicure which is a lighter, less noticeable version of a French manicure. But for a pedicure I still like color.

Turns out I pretty much only like one color these days. Chanel’s Pirate. It’s always been a favorite and the company doesn’t seem to mess with the formula like it did with Vamp.

The perfect shade of red in my opinion. So elegant. Plus, if I did want color on my hands it totally works. I’m not a huge product person so when I find something I like I tend to stick with it.

However, recently I got all excited and decided to try something new on my toes. The new Chanel Vertigo which I’m sure you’ve seen on other blogs or might of tried yourself.

Kind of a charcoal color

I just kind of felt it made my toes look dirty.

I like the bright of red especially as it gets colder. Or you know, always.

Maybe I’m getting in a rut. I would prefer to think of these preferences as signatures. So much more chic.

Whatever. At least I don’t wear things like this. So hideous. Heart palpitations just looking at it.

Source: buzzfeed.com via Tyler on Pinterest