Finding My Fashion Treasure

It was a morning of surprise. Faced with a warm, Indian summer day, I ventured into my closet – not knowing what I would find. I moved hangers, pushed away options, and pondered over choices, until I found, tucked at the far end and almost invisible, this whimsical Eva Franco dress, with feminine touches. Excited to see it after many months, I tried it on and fell in love all over again. I knew it would be a perfect choice for the day.

Nothing is quite like finding a long lost fashion friend to awaken your sense of style. I recommend you check out your closets for hidden treasures and see what you’ve been missing, too!

Dress, Eva Franco; shoes Talbots

Photos, Abrina Hyatt

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A Fruitful Purchase

Clothes do many things: they give us a sense of power when we are making a presentation or need to take control of a situation; they give us calm when we are in need of relaxation and peace; they provide comfort at the darkest times in our lives. And when we are feeling a little low, clothes can provide the whimsy we need to lighten our mood. That is what this strawberry cross-body bag and flea market fashion find does for me. Not only does it transport me instantly into the warm summer months, but the colors make me happy. The bag makes me happy. If you have a chance to dress with whimsy, I say yes! Do it, and lighten your load, too!

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Victoria Beckham for Target

My Victoria Beckham for Target poplin shirtwaist dress

I showed up 15 minutes before the store opened; there was a line but not too long. As I chatted amicably with a mother and daughter, who, like me, were waiting for the doors to open to the world of Victoria Beckham I realized something: there is a warm camaraderie when shopping these Target collaborations. You are in it together, waiting in anticipation to see if the item you want is available. It’s a mad, mysterious, dash! But more often than not it is worth it. I have done it now several times (as have my new friends) but it has not lost its magic. Why do I return time after time? Because there is no other way for me to afford the fashions of these high-end designers. Because the quality is top-notch (this poplin shirtwaist dress is a first-rate sturdy cotton). And because my Target purchases have become favorites in my wardrobe!

I love owning distinct designer pieces. It makes me feel special. And isn’t feeling special in your clothes what it’s all about?

Dress, Victoria Beckham for Target; Handbag, Kate Spade, Sandals, Pedro Garcia

Photo by Alexandra Queripel; filmed on location at Reeves-Reed Arboretum

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Cinderella Goes to the Sample Sale!

Rent the Runway's Secaucus NJ warehouse

Rent the Runway’s Secaucus NJ warehouse – Photo courtesy of Racked/Driely S.

Sample sales are fun opportunities to find your favorite designer items for a fraction of the price. But a sample sale at the warehouse and home to Rent the Runway’s selections, with a whopping 50% off everything, is well worth the visit. Yesterday was the last day of RTR’s weekend sample sale (which comes twice a year) and I decided to see it for myself. Walking into an entire warehouse of beautiful things at to-die-for prices was like capturing a bit of magic for myself. And I was not alone – there was an energy everyone shopping with me shared.

At RTR, women are offered their very own Cinderella experience with the chance to rent designer outfits at a fraction of the cost. With this easy and affordable access to luxury brands, RTR has changed the retail landscape. But unlike the brand’s four other retail stores customers can purchase their items at the RTR Warehouse Store (located in Secaucus, NJ). Just outside Manhattan, the shoppable warehouse is both home to retired RTR clothing and to the company’s massive dry cleaning operation.

Although the dresses were unique and stunning, I kept my purchase to an accessory: an Elizabeth and James handbag which retails for over $500 – for $58. This Cinderella did so well shopping and saving at the RTR sample sale, she really did live happily ever after!

 

 

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What’s Black and White and Ghoul All Over?

IMG_8154My skull sweater! I couldn’t be happier that it’s October, and I am pulling out my skull sweater! I love my skulls, and although I wear this sweater the entire fall and winter, nothing feels better than wearing it this month. Today, I pair the sweater with black pants, and my first-ever Manolo Blahnik’s that I purchased … where else? At my favorite consignment boutique; on sale, no less. It was a good day. Are you pleased with me, Carrie Bradshaw?

Do you have a favorite October item to get you in the mood for Halloween? Do tell …

Photos by Lisa ReznikIMG_8147IMG_8152IMG_8160

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Time to bring out the chunky sweater!

FullSizeRender-11The chunky sweater. The chunky sweater. The chunky sweater. Look anywhere, and you will hear about this fashion must for fall. I am mad about sweaters, and I have been since I was a teenager. In fact, I have been adding to my sweater collection for as long as I can remember. Sweaters are warm, cuddly, soft, and they add texture to an outfit. The problem is that buying a unique and substantial chunky sweater has become outrageously expensive. But, not always.

Have you shopped at Marshalls lately? I bought this Kenar oatmeal-colored chunky sweater because it was soft to the touch and versatile, with an unexpected surprise – buttons on the back. I think it compares to any high quality chunky sweater, though I purchased this treasure at Marshalls for only $30!

Give Marshalls a try. Like other stores of its kind, it’s best to go without expectation. But I have been lucky with Marshalls from time to time, and you may, too.

Thanks, Josh, for the photo!

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A bomber jacket that was worth the wait!

P1040949

P1040953Ever since last fall, I have longed for a silky, bomber jacket. But the ones I coveted were completely out of my price range. However, good things do come to those who wait. And this good thing is a really, good thing; a fabulous paisley bomber jacket by G by Giuliana Rancic for HSN. Purchased for under $100, the “Monica” Bomber Jacket is soft, and ultra-chic. Versatile and effortless, this jacket gives me the style I’ve desired, at a doable price. Today I wear it with shorts and a summer blouse, but soon it will transition beautifully to the cooler months, when I pair it with jeans or trouser slacks.

This is the second time I have purchased a G by Giuliana Rancic piece; the first was a leopard print dress I featured last September, almost a year ago. Giuliana’s attention to detail is exquisite, and she designs everything to make you look your best. It may be because Giuliana’s father is, himself, an expert tailor. And of course, all at a great price-point. Obviously, I am a big fan.

Shot on location at Pasticceria Rocco, NYC

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A lifetime of shopping with my mother

My mother and me at my brother's wedding in Maui

My mother and I at my brother’s wedding in Maui, 20 years ago (what was I thinking with the black shoes and stockings, and why did you let that happen, Mom?)

I have had a lifetime of shopping with my stylish mother. Fifty-three years, to be exact. I like to think that I was born knowing everything about style and who, what, wear, but really, I have always been watching my mother and following her lead when it comes to dressing and feeling my best. We are good at it and have found out how to stay away from the dangers of mother-daughter muck and mire. We have listened to each other and helped each other to dissect the ins and outs of what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes my mom has been right, and sometimes I have been right. It’s a give-and-take collaboration between mother and daughter, but more like best friends. Continue reading

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Members of the skull club!

Brianna

Brianna

I was excited to meet Brianna; she and I are skull lovers. Members of that fashion club, who, for some rather indescribable reason love to wear skulls. When I told Brianna that I loved her skull leggings, she thanked me and told me that she had them for years and probably purchased them at Mandee. We started talking skulls and why we are drawn to them (we each own a skull sweater; mine is seen here). Brianna said that she liked that “they can be dressed up and you can really make them a part of you.” Fashion designer Alexander McQueen must have felt the same way when he created the skull scarf more than 10 years ago. Fashion meets cult meets couture meets fad meets life meets Melissa meets Brianna.

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Fashion icon Loehmann’s liquidates and my heart breaks

Loehmann's, January 10, 2014 - liquidation has begun ...

Loehmann’s, January 10, 2014 – liquidation has begun …

After 93 years in business and over 30 years as a personal favorite fashion destination, retailer Loehmann’s is closing its doors in all 39 locations nationwide. Liquidation sales began yesterday, January 9th. My love affair with Loehmann’s started when I was in high school, shopping with my mom. It was a significant part of my life with my mom, who has always been my favorite shopping buddy. We would enter the store in Florham Park, NJ, together, and quickly separate as we shopped our separate ways. Ah – my first taste of fashion freedom! Continue reading

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