A Sneak Peek Inside the New TopShop in SoHo

Racked.com has a great collection of photos up on its web site of what it's looking like inside TopShop, which is set to open on Thursday @ 11 am ...

(All images courtesy of Racked.com)

I swear, if I wasn't going to be off-site doing a media tour all day (sorry, PR industry jargon), I would totally be heading over to the grand opening. But, I guess going after all of the opening day madness might actually be a smart move.

Banana Republic's 'The Polished 6'

Banana Republic has on their web site right now
'The Polished 6' -- a list of what they think are the six perfect items for the office:

1) The White Trouser -- perfect with a little bit of stretch, a nice wide waistband, and a flattering leg that's just wide enough.

2) The Feminine Blouse -- With a little flutter on the sleeve, or a ruffle here or there, it's the perfect contrast to the menswear-ish feel of the trousers.

3) The Dress -- This gray sheath (I especially love the sleeves) is the perfect blank canvas to dress up with a chunky necklace or a bright bag.

4) The Black Suit -- My job doesn't require me to wear suits a lot, but there really is nothing quite like a classic black suit. Plus, you get more bang for your buck by pairing just the jacket with a tank top, jeans and heels for a night out.

5) The Pleated Skirt -- This skirt has both a beautiful graphic print and a subtle pop of color in the lavender. I do like the tucked in with a simple tee and a brown leather belt over the high waist.

6) The Blazer -- Such a great investment. This blazer is particularly beautiful ... the shade of gray, the feminine feel of the silhouette ... it almost looks like a peplum.

(All images courtesy of Banana Republic)

Felix Rey for Target Available Online Now!

Psssst .....

The Felix Rey collection of handbags for Target is up and available @ Target.com -- happy shopping!

Clothing line from Rachel Zoe?

People StyleWatch is reporting that Rachel Zoe is going to launch an affordable clothing line. Says Zoe: "It will be absolutely, 100% accessible fashion for sure --- for everybody." I'll believe it when I see it, ma'am.

Spring Looks from Simply Vera by Vera Wang

When I first saw this line at Kohl's last year, I frankly didn't get what all the fuss was about ... the clothes weren't that exciting and they were irritatingly higher-priced than the rest of Kohl's offerings.

But, I see this FabSugar sneak peek at the Spring collection from Simply Vera by Vera Wang, and I want to go there and check it out.

Spring Styles at Payless

Payless is another great way to experiment with the latest trends -- in this case, shoes -- without having to make too much of an investment.

I've just checked out their latest styles, and it turns out they have some really cute offerings for spring... and most are $25 or under.

Some of my favorites?

The pattern on this pair of sandals almost mimics a braid -- it's a little 70s looking, but I think it would actually look really cool paired with some more crisp, preppy pieces.

This metallic sandal has a really intricate detailing across the top, but it's still a totally simple sandal that you could throw on everyday.

I am not really sure how I feel about the whole fringe trend, but the delicate fringe on this pair is very do-able. I suppose even though it's a flat sandal, the fringe dresses it up a bit. Perhaps pair this with a maxi-dress?

Now, I am not sure how practical this pair of flats really is -- I mean, the bright white would last what, all of five minutes before getting dirty? -- but they are still really cute and artsy looking. I would pair them with some J. Crew Cocktail Capris.

I think these wedges would look equally great with trouser chinos, wide leg jeans, cropped pants or skirts... just a great, classic wedge.

(All Images courtesy of Payless)

Cocktail Rings for Every Budget

I recently signed up for some email newsletters from Real Simple, one of my favorite magazines. They've recently redesigned their whole web site, and there are lots of goodies on there.

This morning I received a link to their favorite cocktail rings for every budget, and felt inclined to share.

Edition by Banana Republic

Has everyone seen this new line from BR called Edition? It's apparently a new line of accessories they they've only launched in a Calif. store so far (in San Fran) and I am wondering if it will soon expand to other parts of the country.

Anyway, FabSugar has a preview of it on their web site, and it looks pretty interesting. I wonder what the price point is though.

Banana Republic Offers Extra 20% off Sale Items

Banana Republic is offering an extra 20% off sale items when you use code EXTRA20 at checkout... the offer is good until March 29.

Happy Shopping!

Statement Necklaces for Less Moolah

I hate to constantly toot Forever 21's horn, but they've done it again. I just wandered over to their web site to check out what was new, and they have yet again managed to re-create some of the most of-the-moment jewelry trends @ bargain prices.

These pieces are totally reminiscent of some of the pieces I've seen at J. Crew, Banana Republic, etc.

Take this necklace for example ...

(Image courtesy of Forever 21)

This could totally pass for a J. Crew necklace, don't you think? Reminds me of one of their beaded necklaces that is now long gone from the stores (totally sold out). And this one's a whopping $10.

Then, I spotted this great statement necklace.

(Image courtesy of Forever 21)

It completely reminds me of a Banana Republic necklace that was out recently -- you may have seen Mandy Moore sporting it on the cover of Marie Claire.

Also, if you've been tempted to try the cluster of pearls trend, this version from Forever 21 has a guilt-free option.

(Image courtesy of Forever 21)

It's a lot more affordable at $10 than this J. Crew version is below at $125.

(Image courtesy of J. Crew)

And, I like this coin necklace from Banana Republic and all, but it's a little busy for me... especially for $69.

(Image courtesy of Banana Republic)

I'd rather rock this $7 steal from Forever 21 -- same feeling, but just a little more dainty.

(Image courtesy of Forever 21)

Sneak Peek at J. Crew's Fall 2009 Collection

I am LOVING the preview that Glamour's Slave to Fashion blog has up of some of the Fall 2009 looks from J. Crew. The rich colors, the scarves, the flowers, the ruffles, the tuxedo-esque details on the tops ... yum yum yum.

Signs of Life at TopShop in SoHo

These images (all courtesy of Racked.com) make me drool.

They've taken a look over at the new site of soon-to-open TopShop in SoHo and reported on their findings...

Multiple levels of retail space, racks filled with clothes and accessories just waiting to be pillaged, and a bright shiny sign that says Opening April 2nd, 11 am --- what could be better?


Reactions to the return of MTV's House of Style

So, I was admittedly in a vicodin haze this weekend, and did not catch the return of House of Style on MTV ... and from what I am reading from the folks over @ Jezebel, I did not miss much.

Apparently, their groundbreaking fashion trends news consisted of jelly sandals and friendship bracelets.

Even More Upcoming Designer Collabs

FabSugar has just posted a list of even more upcoming designer collaborations, and ironically, not a single one of them involves Target.

Recession-friendly deal on hair salon services

Was watching Eyewitness News this evening and saw a story about an interesting deal going on in the city ...

Ted Gibson, owner of the Ted Gibson Salon, normally charges up to a whopping $950 for one of his haircuts. But, in an effort to help out the less fortunate, the salon is offering "Recessionista Tuesdays" -- when haircuts will be discounted to $75, a blow dry will cost $40, and color treatments will also cost $75.

Carson Kressley on the PIX Morning News

I am working from home today (still recovering from having all four wisdom teeth pulled on Thursday... let me tell you, nothing fashionable about that) and as I was watching my usual morning television, I was delighted to see Carson Kressley of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame on the program... I feel like I haven't seen him in a long while.

Anyway, he was doing a segment about Spring fashion trends, his new collection coming soon to QVC, and his partnership with Caress for their new line of body wash.

Some of his thoughts ---

- He thinks it's a crime when women don't have great fitting, affordable basics (hence his upcoming line)

- His line will include what he sees as the must-have basics for every wardrobe-- the LBD, a great pair of chinos, a business suit, and a great white blouse

- His line will come in sizes petite to 3X

- For Spring, he loves bright, punchy colors

- He also loves the idea of showing a little skin (and he says glowing, exfoliated skin is a must, for Spring, and you can achieve that by using Caress of course)

- He says right now, it's great to work with what you have, i.e. shopping in your own closet and making what you already have new again

The models wore:

1) an asymmetrical dress, which he feels works with a lot of different body types, and is great for showing a little skin;
2) an LBD, which he mixed up with bright shoes and colorful bangles-- he said that's the best way to work with a little black dress these days; and
3) a floral dress -- he said 80s florals and prints are huge right now, but they have to be in the right silhouette... try to avoid too much fabric... less is more, like a simple floral dress, blouse or skirt. He also said it's best to pair a floral dress with nude shoes and simple accessories, so that it won't look too overdone.

Anyway, you can watch the whole segment by clicking here.

Spring Looks from Mossimo at Target

FabSugar has a slideshow up right now of the Spring looks from Mossimo @ Target ... very cute stuff.

The Return of MTV's House of Style

Is anyone else planning to check out the return of MTV's House of Style today? The re-make, hosted by models Bar Rafaeli and Chanel Iman, is scheduled to premiere at 3 PM EST today (check your local listings).

I am wondering if it will be an hour chock full of pieces we can't afford and could never pull off, or if they will do their level best to make it both real women AND recessionista-friendly. Why does that feel like a tall order?

Preview of Loomstate for Target

I'd previously reported that on April 19, Loomstate was scheduled to launch a Target collection of cool, casual, eco-friendly basics right in time for Earth Day.

Now, fashion Web site Racked has offered some preview images, and is letting us know that the line will also involve Rogan Gregory -- who caused an all-out frenzy with his last Target collection last Spring.


All of a sudden, I feel like I am seeing ballet - esque pieces of clothing everywhere ... and especially with all of these nude shades coming into play this season. Is anyone else seeing this besides me?

This Old Navy wrap dress is in a yummy mint green shade, and I swear, it looks exactly like the dresses my ballet teacher used to wear when I took dance classes at age 7. Totally cute for Spring and Summer, and it's only $15.

(Image courtesy of Old Navy)

I also love the draping of this jersey knit skirt from American Apparel -- comes in a whole mess of colors, and it's a great basic to have around ... it's only $30 and you can pair this with lots of different tees & tanks during the warmer months, but could still layer it over tights or leggings when it's cold outside.

(Image courtesy of American Apparel)

These stirrup leggings from Forever 21 also have a little bit of a Flash Dance feel to them, but could be really cute when paired with the right outfit. And they're a steal for $13.

(Image courtesy of Forever 21)

This isn't exactly a ballet-style top in the traditional sense, but the lovely draping on this lace-trim top from the ELLE line at Kohl's is still a nice nod to the ballerina. And it's on sale for $21.

(Image courtesy of Kohl's)

Last but not least, if you want to add a little ballet feel to any outfit, why not go straight to the source and pick up a pair of Capezio Ballet Slippers? They're in that perfect nude color, they're soft, and most importantly they're only $24.

(Image courtesy of Capezio)

Glamour.com's List of Affordable Spring Dresses

Glamour.com has a list up of affordable Spring dresses --- you can check it out by clicking here.

Banana Republic Spring Sale

Banana Republic is advertising the start of their Spring sale today --- with discounts of up to 50% off.


Identity Crises

Hope y'all don't mind that I've changed the look of my blog one more time ... I've been jonesin' for an NYC theme and I was finally able to slap one together. Enjoy!

An even better sneak peak at Matthew Williamson for H&M

I am seriously digging all of the preview images coming out of the upcoming Matthew Williamson for H&M line ... here's another slew of images from fashion Web site Racked.com.

How cute are those peacock feather cardigans and the butterfly blouse?

I may put myself on a little retail diet (we'll see how long that lasts) but if they are as cute in person, I definitely won't be able to resist these designer collabs when they come out in the next 2 months.

PS -- just noticed that Fabsugar also has a look at the rest of H&M's Spring line, which you can check out by clicking here.

Round 2 of the J. Crew Sample Sale

I swear, if I wasn't working in the building directly next to where Clothingline holds their sample sales, I wouldn't even bother walking over there. But, being that it's next door, I feel like I can hear the bargains happening through the brick and cinderblock, and that somehow I'm missing out if I don't sneak over there.

In fact, it may be the only redeeming quality that my work neighborhood has... okay, maybe I'm being a tad dramatic. Okay-- I take it back, the only 2 redeeming qualities are the sample sale proximity, and this place being a block away.

So, I headed over with some coworkers at about 11:15 AM (sample sale started at 11), and we only waited in line I would say for about 10-15 minutes before we were already inside checking our coats. Much better than last time. After about 5 minutes, both of my coworkers gave up ... they just didn't have it in them to scour the racks of clothes or the boxes of accessories :) I camped out immediately on the line to look at jewelry, only to have some lucky lady ahead of me take the only storybook bracelet there was in the case ... drat. It's like that bracelet is a mirage, I can't ever seem to get my hands on one.

Then, by the time I got up to the front of the line, all the good pieces were gone, and the sale staffers wouldn't let shoppers even look at, touch, or choose from any of the jewelry items in these huge bins placed strategically next to the jewelry counter. Why even have them out on the sale floor, then? Aren't you trying to move the merchandise? Immediately out of the corner of my eye, I noticed this necklace sitting in one of the baggies.

It's the elusive Seychelles necklace ... I had a mini-stroke quietly to myself.
I managed to get one of the staffers to let me look at it by saying it was the only necklace I had my eye on, and she, visibly annoyed, grabbed it from the bin and plopped it down on the counter in front of me. I then mustered up the guts to try and ask her politely if there were by chance anymore storybook bracelets in the bins, because I would love to buy it ... big mistake. She basically told me she wasn't allowed to sell what was in the bins until what was in the case was all sold ... again, completely ridiculous. I could understand if everything in the bins were duplicates of what was in the case, but that was clearly not what was happening. I asked her again politely if she could just look really quickly for me to make sure there weren't any other storybook bracelets in there, and she basically told me that she couldn't look for it. I guess they're not priding themselves on customer service.

PS -- later on, I witnessed a shopper on the line compliment one of the staffers on her necklace, and the staffer actually took the necklace off of her neck and handed it to the woman. Just like that. Here you go! I'm like, woman, where were you ten minutes ago? Why aren't you manning the jewelry counter?

Anyway, I still managed to make out okay. In addition to the aforementioned necklace, I found the following tops--

I couldn't really stop myself from this graphic palm tree t-shirt ... I'm going to LA in April on business, and I think I may wear this after hours.

I love the khaki green shade of this linen blouse --- I think I may have as much fun wearing this by itself with skinny cropped pants and sandals as I will wearing it open over a tank dress, with a big chunky brown belt, urban safari-style.

I was also drawn to this dip-dyed tee that fades gently from a deep ocean blue to ivory at the bottom. Love it.

This striped knit is really nice and long -- almost tunic length, which I love. Makes me feel a little like Charlie Brown, but I am still digging it.

I completely love this striped shell -- I think it may be a cotton linen blend -- perfect for pairing with a pencil skirt or skinny pants.

PPS -- I don't know how many more of these drama-filled sample sales I can take. I walk out of there and I feel like I need a stiff drink. Also, I am thinking about contacting Clothingline regarding their piss-poor customer service.

(All images courtesy of NYC Recessionista)

9 Accessories Trends from the Fall Runways

Fashion Web site Refinery 29
has compiled a list of the 9 most interesting accessories trends that were all over the Fall 2009 runways during Fashion Week-- and there's no need to wait 'til Fall. A lot of the items can be found right now at your local favorite bargain spots.

1) Embellished Tights -- I don't know how I feel about full-on glitter and sparkles on my tights (there's a time and a place for everything) but I am digging these floral tights from Urban Outfitters -- just the right amount of embellishment to add a frilly touch to your outfit.

2) Flight Hats -- I also don't know how I feel about the Amelia Earhart look of these leather pilot hats. But, I would totally rock this faux leather aviator hat from e4Hats.com -- perfect for a NY Winter. It's only $19, too.

3) The Stiletto -- If you're going to do a stiletto, I personally think the rest of the shoe needs to be substantial in order to balance out the delicate heel. I am not normally a fan of this type of shoe at all, but I love the idea of this chunky, platform stiletto pair with thick tights and a dress. And that's a serious shoe for only $44.

4) Fuzzy trim -- Fuzzy trim, really? I personally don't know about this one either. If I am going to wear anything soft 'n' fuzzy at all, it's going to be something like this feathered headband. It's totally whimsical but it's still delicate.

5) Bedazzling Rhinestones -- This trend is tricky. If they're not done correctly, pieces with rhinestones could come out looking tacky, but the whole spirit of this trend is to be a little edgy, a little rock 'n' roll. This rhinestone bracelet is perfect with its irregularly shaped stones and the grayish color.

And I love this all black rhinestone necklace on its long velvet cord.

6) Short Gloves -- These are sort of hard to come by these days. The only place in NYC that I would think would have short dressy gloves would be Pippin Vintage Jewelry in Chelsea. They have tons of great vintage accessories in addition to the jewelry -- hats, gloves, purses, clutches, etc.

7) Spiked Accessories -- I've already picked up some studded sandals for spring, but this whole spiked trend takes it a step further. I love the simplicity of this $15 studded clutch from Forever 21.

8) Heavy Chains -- I think the layered chunky chains look is one of the easiest ways to kick an otherwise simple outfit up a couple notches. I particularly dig this chain necklace from Forever 21, and the fact that it's strung from a black ribbon to make it a little softer on your neck.

I am also kind of digging this oversized chain link necklace from Target.

9) Thigh-high Boots -- If you want to stock up on some hot "over-the-knee" boots, as they're called on Endless.com, then definitely check that site out right now as many of the styles are on sale.

More previews of Matthew Williamson for H&M

Fashion blog Nitro:licious has more previews of the upcoming Matthew Williamson for H&M line. Loving the hints I've heard so far that he's going to be using a peacock as the inspiration for his color palette, which is further backed up by that peacock dress I am seeing. The items are a little on the pricey since, but I still can't wait to see the full collection.

Sweet ruffles

In addition to flowers being everywhere this Spring season, I feel like I am also seeing tons of ruffles everywhere. Ruffles can be tricky-- if there are too many of them, or the ruffles are too large, it can look clownish.

Here are some ruffled pieces that get it right ---

This sleeveless ruffle tank from Target does a nice job of placing the ruffles to one side of the shirt, making it look a little artsy and asymmetrical. I wish it came in some other colors, but for $14, I'd take the black.

(Image courtesy of Target)

I was out with a coworker at lunchtime the other day and stumbled upon this sleeveless ruffled blouse at Kmart, and it's only $24. I could completely see Michelle Obama rocking it with a printed pencil shirt and ballet flats -- totally chic.

(Image courtesy of Kmart)

I just picked up one of these tissue ruffle cardigans from the final sale section of J. Crew for $19. Most of the shades they've been featuring lately are perfect neutrals to mix and match with the other pieces in your closet.

(Image courtesy of J. Crew)

Just what I was saying about making sure the ruffles aren't overwhelming -- this ruffle scoopneck t-shirt from the Gap gets it just right, with the light & airy ruffles just at the neckline and the sleeves. It's on sale right now for $21.

(Image courtesy of Gap)

This isn't even technically a full "ruffle" -- it's instead called a "flutter sleeve" -- but the detailing on the sleeves of this chiffon dress from Old Navy adds just that fun touch of whimsy without overdoing it too much... I really love that.

(Image courtesy of Old Navy)

The ruffles on this cute tank from Anthropologie are in tiers -- which many people might think adds bulk, but the result can actually be quite slimming ... especially depending on what you pair it with. And that cute front panel of navy & white gingham? We all know how mesmerized I am by gingham. Anyway, this one's on sale for $39.

(Image courtesy of Anthropologie)