Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sale Alert: Talbots Shoe Sale

I love Talbots shoes. They are well made and very comfortable. They are in general true to size. I have been eyeing their Ama Patent Leather almond toe pumps for a long time after having a very positive experience with the Edith Patent Leather Peep-Toe Platform Slingback. (See it on me here.) So when I received the email from them on this sale I jumped on it.  The prices are incredible. Most of the shoes are slashed to between $20 to $30. The pumps I was stalking dropped from $139 to $27.  The peep toe sling back dropped from $149 to $29 (that's 80% off!). (I highly recommend the platform sling backs. They are very comfy and stylish.
Here's the list of things I ordered. Since I'm paying for the $8 flat rate shipping, I ordered a bunch to make sure that I have keepers.

This Leni Suede Wedge in cornflower is pretty cute too, but I stayed away because it's final sale. 

Have you got anything from this sale?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Summer Tote - Louis Vuitton Saleya Azur Tote

I have been looking for a medium sized summer tote.  My criteria is it's sturdy, water resistant, light colored, and stylish. When I found this LV Saleya Azur tote from Modnique.com (invite here), I thought I found exactly what I was looking for.  The bag was listed as 7/10 condition. There were some very clear pictures on their website to show the condition of the bag, but not enough to actually show the problem and the reason why I decided to return it.  There were four places that the ends of the thread had popped out and sticking out like a loose stitching.  To be honest, my first impression was - that can't be an authentic LV purse. In my limited experience, designer bags do not have loose stitching.  Well, I was wrong. After posting many pictures on purse forum, an expert has blessed this bag to be authentic.  I have also seen a few discussions on the purse forum about their Hermes and Chanels having loose stitching, so I guess it's not so uncommon. The quality of the so called "designer" items have gone downhill.  I struggled for a week on whether to keep the bag or not, but can't overlook the glaring loose threads and decided to return.  The bag however is on my "favorite" list. Its size is perfect - large enough to hold all my necessities for a weekend brunch or mall trip, but not too big to overwhelm my small frame. The color and pattern of the bag is my favorite of all LV designs and I just love how simple yet elegant it is. I have stopped by the LV store near me but couldn't find a new bag that fits all the criteria. So, the search goes on...

Before the return I had some pictures taken so I can remember how much I love this bag. This is my typical weekend outfit - shorts and T. 
Outfit Details
Gap T (old)
Banana Republic Factory shorts (old)
Mint belt from H&M polka dot skirt featured here
Ann Taylor necklace from this sale
Adrienne Vittadini Yancy Platform sandals (from TJMaxx $40, love! Buy here)
Louis Vuitton Saleya Azur Tote
One of the 4 places that the stitching popped out
What I learned from this experience - never ever buy a vintage bag on final sale.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Shop the Closet: Aqua and Polka Dots

After finding my white sheath by accident, I am focused a lot more on my closet now than ever. The surprises go on and on, and I am enjoying this a lot. I challenge myself to find pieces of clothing that I have not worn in the past 3 months and either wear them or donate them. I'm also starting to make a shopping list, so that I don't keep getting the "wear and forget" items. The list is very short now, and I'm happy to say that I just crossed one off - think summer tote.

The aqua shirt was a steal from Loft a few years ago. I think I paid at most $12 for it.  It has been buried in the closet and rediscovered by me today.  I love the color a lot and ruching on the shoulders are adorable. Paired with my new favorite H&M polka dot skirt, the outfit is so refreshing and young.  Hope you join me in rediscovering your lost gems in your closets.

Outfit Details
Loft cap sleeve aqua shirt (old)
H&M Polka Dot skirt
Belt from an H&M clothing item I can even recall
Ann Taylor pumps (this season's version here)
Chanel m/l flap
Chanel sunnies (from BBOS private sale, invite here)
pearl earrings and necklace (gift and auction)
Skagen watch (similar one on Nordstrom anniversary sale here)

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale round up

Nordstrom is having their annual anniversary sale now until August 6. If you are looking for specific fall items I highly recommend that you give this sale a try. Next season items including fall boots are on very decent sale. I caved and applied for a Nordstrom card so that I can earn double points. If you shop online, ebates offer 5% rebate on nordstrom.com purchases. (For ebates referal, click here.)

I went into the store to try a few boots I spotted online.  I am looking for black flat boots and simple black (minimum hardware) high heel boots. These are the ones I found online that had potentials so I went into the store with the list. I also spotted the Cole Haan wedge online and thought I'd try it on if they have inventory.
Cole Haan Jodhpur boot #541585
Via Spiga Bethany boot #538913
Sam Edelman ''Serephina" boot #540919
Cole Haan Air Monica Wedge #541615

The sad part is, none of the shoes on my list worked. They are either too big on the calf or too tall for my short legs. I didn't even bother taking pictures, that's how bad they looked. Oh wait, I do have a couple.
The Cole Haan wedge looks very cute, but they only had a size 7 for me to try on. It looks very wide - even too wide for my big fat feet, but very comfortable, and super cute.
My SA didn't give up on the misfits, and brought out the Blondo 'Vergara" boot.  There are several noticeable differences of these boots. The shaft height is only 14 3/4" so it's great for shorties.  The shaft is stretchy, so it will conform to your legs. And it's waterproof - a bonus!
Here's how it looks on me.
The SA couldn't find the mate for this boot, and had to offer to order a pair for me.  When I noticed that they also offer size 5.5 (I was trying on size 6), I asked her to order both sizes so I can compare. The size 6 fits me on the calf, but the shoes are a bit big. I am hoping that the 5.5 will be just right.

Another item I picked up last weekend during presale was these Equipment Brett silk blouse in midnight. I love this blouse - the weight of the silk is noticeably heavier, the color is to die for, I'm just still not sure if to keep it or not because I don't think I'd be able to keep it spot free and you all know how much I hate dry cleaning.  Here's how size XS looks on me.
Back view worn with shorts. Love the drape!
While I was in Norstrom with Jasmine, I decided to stop by the Junior's department to browse. Saw this Alexander McQueen knock off scarf for a mere $18 in 3 different colors. I couldn't believe how nice it looks and the polyester has a great silk-like feel to it. I bought the beige colored one for my daughter thinking it'll be less severe than a black and white one.
I asked the SA to cut off the tag after purchasing it so that Jasmine could wear it for the rest of the day in the mall and later on in the bookstore sipping Starbuck's new refresher in Very Berry Hibiscus. I love the drink.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend and happy Sunday!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

White Sheath Dress With a Twist

I HAVE TOO MANY CLOTHES IN MY CLOSET! That's what I have come to realize recently when I found this perfect white dress with these beautiful flowers printed on the side. It's a very old dress from Petite  Sophisticate, before they were shut down. I haven't worn it for years not because I don't like it any more, but because I have too many clothes in my closet. This dress was buried! So I made a commitment to myself to enjoy my closet more, and focus less on acquiring. (Not that I have that much time these days to acquire.) 

A positive note for today is that I went to court first time in my entire life today to fight for my speeding ticket. I was scared to death, but it was all worth it. I was found not responsible and didn't pay a dime. If you are interested in the process of fighting speeding ticket, do let me know. I have a lot to say about this topic. I learned a lot by going through this process.  
Outfit Details
Petite Sophisticate dress (old)
Adrienne Vittadini Yancy Platform sandals (from TJMaxx $40, love! Buy here)
Belt from an H&M blazer
Chanel m/l flap
Ring from TJMaxx

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ann Taylor in-store sale items

I stopped by Ann Taylor store yesterday. Even though I didn't score anything myself, I did spot some items on better sale than online prices that might be of interest to you.

Turquoise Cabochon Necklace (Orig. $58, online $39.99, in-store $14.88 final sale)

Ann Taylor necklace

Sunburst Necklace (Orig. $78, online $59.99, in-store $39.99) in all 3 colors
Neon Lights Short Necklace (Orig. $88, online $69.99, in-store $39.99). See it on Tara here, and Annie here.
Cabochon Earrings (Orig. $48, online $29.99, in-store 9.88 final sale)
Cabochon choker necklace (Orig. $98, sold out online, in-store $19.88 final sale) See it on Jean here.

Petite Modern Tweed Jacket (Orig. $188, online $109.99, in-store $59.99)
I like the cropped fit of the jacket. Sleeves are bit long and roomy. This is how 0P fit me. I couldn't find a 00P in store. See how a 00P fit Annie here, and Sydne here.  

This jacket is not on sale, but I just want to share how a 0P looks on me.
Peplum Jacket (regular price: $158)
Have you been shopping the Ann Taylor sale? If you have scored anything good, please share.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bag Borrow Or Steal Rental Review

I just put my order in for my second rental order today after receiving the 50% off coupon code from the email. Today only receive 50% off rental with code 50DEAL. Expires midnight EST.  This is a good chance to try their rental, girls, if you are still on the fence about it. 

I "borrowed" my first bag from BBOS last month when they ran the promotion.  I opted for this pink Chanel tote, and picked weekly rental option. The idea was to try out their rental process and see if I liked it. The weekly rental of this tote is $77, with 50% off plus tax, I ended up paying $39. Ok, I used my credit instead. When I purchased my Chanel flap etc from their private sale, 5% of what I paid went into my credit for using on available rentals. For example, a $2000 bag purchase would earn you a $100 credit for rental. The caveat is that the credit can only be used on available rental. If the bag is wait listed, then you can't use the credit - seriously, BBOS, that's just not right! Also the credit can't be used on private sale items either.  

1. Ordering. Now let me talk about the ordering process. After I put the order in at around 11pm at night, I got a confirmation email right away saying that my order has been received. (I like that. They didn't use to do this automatically.) The next day at 1:22PM I got another email saying that my bag has been shipped. Today's order took a total of 2 hours before I got a shipping confirmation. So I think their processing is very fast.

2. Shipping. The shipping is via UPS ground. It took a total of 5 days for the package to arrive, however it did cross a weekend. The package ships out of Middleton, WI. So I guess if you live nearby the ship time might be shorter.  You have to be there to receive the package because it requires a signature. You can sign up for UPS My Choice to have it held for pick up if it's not convenient for you to be at home. In my case, my girl was playing in the front yard when the UPS truck came so the carrier just gave the package to her. :)

3. The bag. Obviously it's used, but it looked fairly decent. It was just as I imagined, only with a slight problem. When I took it out of the package, it had a strong chemical odor. I have a very sensitive nose so I dismissed the smell thinking I might be just too sensitive. The next day, I took the bag to work and it sat on the passenger seat with me for the half an hour ride to work. By the time I got to work, I had a bad headache. I suffered through the same thing on the way back. I think the chemical might be from the cleaning agent, but I'm not 100% sure.  I couldn't bare another day of strong smell in the car, so I wrote to the customer service at night explaining the situation. The policy is that within 48 hours of receiving the bag, you have the right to return  and get your money back as long as the BBOS tag is still attached. Since I used it for a day, I obviously threw out the tag already. I let it air out for another night, by the next morning, the smell was still there, but not as strong.  I didn't take it to work but I didn't hear from BBOS customer service either. Fortunately on the 3rd day the bag was pretty much odor-free and I was able to use it again. BBOS never returned my email.

4. Return. Fairly painless. I logged on to the account, select the bag I borrowed and click on return. A shipping label was created for me and I slapped it on the box it came with and dropped it off at the UPS store. Shipping both ways are covered in the rental price.

The tote is absolutely lovely. The size is very functional and look at the big back pocket! It's actually useful, unlike the back pockets on their classic flaps. It can be worn on the arm or on the shoulder. 

Lastly, I recommend rental only if you fit into one of the 3 4 following scenarios.
1. You want to try a fun bag that you have absolutely no intention to purchase. (that's my case. Pink is not one of the must-have color for my bag collection.)
2. You want to try out a bag you are considering purchasing. Sometimes, a bag is so cute that you just have to have it. Anyone? Well, after the initial crush is over, reality sets in. The bag is way too small for daily wear; the bag is way too heavy for your small frame; the bag has too short of a handle and is inconvenient for daily use; the bag doesn't open wide enough for you to see what's inside; etc, etc... A trial period of an expensive bag might be the way to go, since it'll give you a better idea if you will be able to carry this bag and love it for a long long time before you pull the trigger for a major purchase.
3. You like to have a different bag all the time and you get sick of a bag quickly no matter how much you initially loved it. You are like a playboy, only the targets are not women, but bags.
4. (added by readers) You have a special occasion to go to and you don't want to splurge on a new bag. 

Hope you find this post helpful and have a great week. For invite to BBOS, click here.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Weekend OOTD and 20% off BBOS code

I wear a lot of shorts in the summer. Besides a casual dress, my go to outfit in the summer weekends is a comfy top and a pair of shorts. I own shorts in different lengths. While hort shorts (<3" inseam) are leg lengthening and butt enhancing, I feel more at ease in a 3.5" shorts, like this one I picked up from Loft this summer. I love it for the great color.
Outfit Details:
Gap white sleeveless top (old)
Loft Marisa Cotton Twill Shorts w 3 1/2" inseam in Citrus Leaf (buy other colors here)
Ann Taylor sandals (last season)
Ann Taylor necklace (old)
Ann Taylor skinny belt (Got it last week from the store for $9.88 on final sale. Love!!!)
LV Speedy 25 in Epi Leather

You probably know by now how much I love purchasing from BBOS. I will do a rental review next week, but I want to mention quickly on their current promotion for their private sale items. Get an extra 20% off with code JULY20. (Expires 7/10) I did some browsing and found some gems worth mentioning.

Chanel Quilted Caviar Leather Petite Shopping Tote in excellent condition (listed: $1895, with 20% off $1516. That's about 25% off retail.)

Chanel Quilted Caviar Leather Petite Timeless Tote in Great condition. (listed: $1995, with 20% off $1596) I like this one for its top zipper. Much more functional than the PST.

Last but not least, the Chanel Timeless Classic WOC in brown. (listed: $1295, with 20% off $1036. This is a steal!!!)
For invite to BBOS, click here.  

Have a great weekend and happy shopping!


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