Sunday, June 27, 2010

What Goes Around, Comes Around

I haven't really ever been a huge second hand store shopper. Maybe that's because I simply haven't found the "good ones", until recently! I have to sing the praises of two particular spots in Boston (which have additional locations for my out of state readers) for some terrific finds...

Second Time Around: This terrific designer consignment shop (with locations all up the eastern seaboard and in Illinois) honestly surprises me. I have consigned some of my clothing here (with great success) but also figured out that the Newbury Street location (hello, upper class!) has some terrific merchandise. When I was there last weekend, I came across the classic, khaki Burberry trench coat (normally $1200!) for $250! It fit like a glove, not one stain, so perfect. (And for the record, I did not buy it, but literally convinced the woman next to me to buy it!) So here's my trick, find a locale in an upscale neighborhood. All the best designers are there.

Boomerangs Special Edition: Resale shops can be hit or miss, but this one is just perfect. Located in the South End of Boston, this little treasure boasts all kinds of designer apparel (men and women's) with some terrific trinkets, accessories and even art! I loved the shop clerk, who was honest enough to share with me her opinion about a jacket that was adorable, but just didn't fit me right. Her "two cents" gave her credibility, which in turn made me value the experience that much more. I found designer jeans, an Armani top, and even a fantastic gift for my brother! (all for less than $60!) The best part yet: ALL the proceeds of their sales go to the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts.

That, friends, just feels like good shopping all around.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Undershirts Please!

First off, Happy Father's Day to all those dads out there...and especially to my special pops who has made me a better person.

Several years ago, I was home in Texas helping my mom do laundry, and I came across some of my dad's undershirts to fold. Now, my father is pretty darn good dresser, thanks to his girls, but he never pays attention to brands and especially could care less about where to buy clothing. So you can understand when I nearly fell over when I realized that his undershirts were from... I recall asking my mom, "Since when did Dad buy his undershirts at a quality department store??" Most men buy the 3 pack of Hanes from Target and call it a day. Well, not my dad, and that opened the door to a fabulous little fashion find...

Now living in New England, I notice that men here don't wear undershirts like they do in the south. I'm not sure if it's just out of basic necessity: It's so damn hot down there, the undershirt protects outer clothing from sweat, and it just doesn't get that hot in the north. Or maybe I am biased b/c I grew up knowing all men to wear undershirts with polos, dress shirts, etc. From a fashion perspective, I always thought it looked more clean, put together and polished. With an undershirt, you didn't have to catch a glance of male nipples or hair peeping out...which kind of still makes me cringe.

So, gents listen up: I recognize you go through undershirts (if you wear them) often. But let me give you a little heads up: buy quality cotton that doesn't stretch out or shrink easily. You also want softness- we ladies call it "second skin fabric"- so treat yourself to something comfortable! Now enter the Nordstrom undershirt: Unbelievable quality. My father has been wearing these for years and swears by them. So suck it up, pay the $27.50 for a 3 pack, and you won't think twice about whether it was a good purchase or not. Perhaps a good belated Father's Day gift??

Does this encourage more New England gents to wear an undershirt? This southern girl hopes so!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Show a Little Leg!

Summer weather means we ladies finally show a little leg! (Can you hear the cheering and clapping from the gentlemen?) I'm not one to love wearing shorts- after all, when you get a little older, the upper thigh just doesn't age well. So, whoever invented the Bermuda short should be kissed.

The best part of the Bermuda short (or sometimes called the "walking short") is the length allows for appropriate leg coverage, while there is great versatility in owning a pair. You can wear them casual for a day walking along the beach, an afternoon lunch or even to the office. It's all about the fabric and color combination, and this season, you will see lots of options to choose from.

This is a great pair for a casual afternoon- the subtle pin stripe is adorable! I am showing the back side because it's important to avoid pockets for these shorts. It slims the whole look. Pair it with a polo or embellished t-shirt, a colored sandal (you don't have to wear blue) and you'll look as fresh as a Newport morning!

Or I'm loving the new suiting options for this cut! Talbots got it right by featuring the jacket/short combo with a tailored top for a professional, crisp look. I can just see this with a great neutral heeled sandal (preferably patent leather) and some kind of colored accessory- a necklace, a pin, a great scarf maybe?

However you choose to wear the Bermuda, just remember- it's the perfect way to show a little leg!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pin Attire

For any sorority girl out there (yes, I admit it, I am), you know what "pin attire" is. I often like to accent an outfit with jewelry or a pin, and with these great new ones I've found- I'm tempted to add them to canvas purses or bags, too! Here's a few of my favorites:

The Lobster Claw (honestly, this is so adorable)
The Sailboat
The Seagull

It seems that LLBean caught onto the same trend as Lands' End Canvas by creating a "signature" line, which looks similar to those nautical, New England styles that are iconic in Maine. I've liked how each of these lines have included some classic summer designs, while adding some spice to traditional wear. The pins above are a great example. Remember, you can add them to any sturdy fabric (steer clear of silks and rayon- you don't want to puncture or tear that). I'm already thinking of how to add the lobster claw to my beach bag...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Santana Knit

Well, friends- it's official...I'm working at a lovely little department store (which shall remain nameless per the request of the HR department) where I'm selling St. John. Let me say, after two days of our orientation and training on the registers (thank GOD for a touch screen!), I'm feeling pretty darn excited.

Here's what I learned today: the Santana knit is St. John's signature fabric, which is a careful blend of rayon and wool that has been intricately woven to create this amazing knit that has definite texture, but the softness is to die for. The COOLEST part: no alterations are done as we know it. The knit is "blocked" which means it's steamed at incredibly high temperatures to either shrink the fabric to a smaller size, or stretched to a larger size. One of my new co-workers was telling me this amazing story of a woman who bought a size 12 jacket and had it blocked to a size 16 to fit her perfectly!

I'm definitely looking forward to what else I learn about the product, and maybe I will pique your interest about my designer label! Don't worry...I won't spend all my $$ here :)