Tag Archives: shopping

Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s

My first experience at Bergdorf Goodman was with my mom while I was still in college. I spent a lot of time wandering Fifth Avenue as a broke college kid — I loved walking through the classic department stores and boutiques, dreaming of a day when I might be able to afford to shop there.

bergdorfholiday2012Image via Flickr

For some reason, I had never visited Bergdorf’s. It seemed almost too exclusive, tucked at the edge of Central Park with windows that always looked like a fashion girl’s acid trip — incredible gowns, sparkling jewelry, and objet d’art shoes set against over-the-top backdrops that usually include wild animals or forests made out of intricately cut paper.

My mom, a former department store fashion buyer, couldn’t believe I’d never set foot in the place and so we went. The building is just as classic as Saks Fifth Avenue or Bloomingdale’s, but when you walk through the door, it just has a different feeling. Instead of the usual hustle of cosmetics counters and pushy salespeople, Bergdorf’s ground floor is quiet and filled with the most beautiful handbags and accessories that you could ask for. The atmosphere is insider-y and undeniably elegant.

I have to admit that I still feel like a bit of an outsider at Bergdorf’s. I don’t live the same kind of life as the women buying up the extensive selection of studded Valentino heels and classic Chanel ballet flats on a Saturday afternoon; but it’s still fun to stop by and dream!

victoria-roberts-i-want-my-ashes-scattered-over-bergdorf-s-new-yorker-cartoonImage via Conde Nast

Next month, a documentary called Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s (named after the famous 1990 New Yorker cartoon seen above) will be released, giving us an insider look at the store and the people who make it one of the most fantastic shopping destinations in the world. I’m really looking forward to seeing this one, preferably with one of my best partners in (shopping) crime! Take a look at the trailer below — what do you think?

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How to Create and Maintain a Wardrobe Budget

money_savingImage via Flickr

While I’m fortunate to have a job that keeps a roof over my head and food on my table in a very expensive city, I don’t have an abundance of extra cash to spend on my wardrobe. It can be a bit of a tease that New York is such a fashion-conscious city, yet after most people have paid their rent there isn’t much left over to add unnecessary frills to their closet.

I’ve been living and, subsequently, getting dressed in New York for nearly 7 years with relative success. Here are a few of my tips for making the most of your budget without ending up in shoe debt!

Establish Your Budget

I manage my budget on a monthly basis using Mint. The amount that I can spend on my wardrobe changes by the month depending on how much I’ll make (some months I have freelance income and some I don’t) and what other things I know I’ll have to spend on. Generally, I spend no more than $250 per month on clothing, and it’s always the first thing that I scale back on during months that I have a lot of expenses. You’d be surprised at what you can get on a small budget if you are smart about how you spend it!

Don’t Pay Full-Price

This seems like an obvious one, but I can’t stress the importance of researched shopping enough. It might satisfy your shopping needs to just buy on the spot in a store, but I’ve found that there is almost always a way to get what you want for less. Before you buy, check sites like RetailMeNot for coupon codes, Google the style name to see if any other stores carry the same item for less, or wait it out until there is a coupon or a sale. For example, I love Piperlime, but I rarely buy anything there without using the 20% off coupons that they make available every few weeks! I also try to find discounts at stores where I have a gift card — if you can cover most of your purchase with a coupon and a gift card, your out-of-pocket expense is much less.

Set Up Sartorial Savings

Let’s face it: we’ve all lusted after that bag, or that skirt that will blow our monthly budget completely. If you are passionate about owning big-ticket wardrobe items, prove your devotion to yourself by creating a wardrobe savings account that you contribute to throughout the year. Friend cancelled on dinner tonight? Drop the $40 you would have spent into your savings account. I would actually suggest setting this up even if you don’t have something particular in mind right now — better to have the funds saved up if it’s an item that will sell out before you had the opportunity to save for it!

Plan Seasons Ahead

We’re headed into the spring and summer now, but I’m already thinking about things I’ll need to purchase for the fall. I find that especially in the fall, we tend to need more expensive items (i.e. jackets, boots), so it’s best to start thinking about these things as soon as possible and plan accordingly. Likewise, the spring and summer can be heavy on weddings for some people, so planning to pad your wardrobe budget for these items is smart.

Create Wardrobe Goals

Once in a while, go through your wardrobe and assess where it’s lacking. Think about what happened when you were getting dressed that morning: did you put away the first thing you reached for because you didn’t have the right shoes to go with the outfit? Maybe you’re bored with wearing the same outfit over and over. Whatever the case, set aside some time to take a real, objective look at what’s in your closet and play around with new combinations. Your goal should be a wardrobe that feels easy-to-use and versatile. Once you identify what would bridge the gaps in your wardrobe (i.e. some new t-shirts or a pair of neutral flats), make filling them a priority before you spend on yet another one-use top.

How do you plan your wardrobe budget?

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Sneak Peek: Python heels for Spring

lkbennettshoes

I’m trying to get into the habit of planning my wardrobe ahead of time instead of shopping in season all the time. Not only does planning lend the opportunity to save with markdowns, but it also gives me some pieces to look forward to when the weather turns. I stopped buying winter clothes at the end of November and started stocking up for spring. This turned out to be a great idea when I was home for the holidays because there just so happen to be some great outlet stores near where my family lives, and there were some serious after-Christmas sales happening on spring/summer items. My favorite find was this pair of L.K. Bennett python heels that I seriously can’t wait to break out when it’s warm enough. I think they’ll look just as great paired with a flirty dress as they will with a pair of cuffed jeans! What are you looking forward to wearing this spring?

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Sweater Weather

Here we go, guys! Remember that horrible, cold, depressing time of year that I wrote about a few weeks ago? It is upon us, and the chances of it letting up any time soon are pretty slim! It was cold (freezing!) and snowy all weekend, and I am already over it. We had a strange relapse into 40-degree weather yesterday (and more in the forecast for today), but I won’t be fooled — it will stay warm-ish for just long enough to catch us off guard, and then BAM! The freezing weather will sneak in again, and make us wish for spring to come even quicker.

sweaterroundup2013{1} Aritzia | {2} ASOS | {3} Zara

Stay warm on this Wednesday! Here are a few cute sweaters that you can stock up on to keep you warm and looking cute when the temperature drops again!

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Spring Preview

Sometimes when the weather gets just a little too cold and the days a little too dark, I can’t help but daydream about warmer days and shorter hemlines. I’m about at that point where I don’t want to think about another layer or go through the process of bundling and un-bundling as I come and go during the day. Luckily, even though the temperature isn’t quite right for bare legs and sandals yet, there are plenty of spring items sneaking their way into the stores already. I’m already stocking up! Here are a few of my picks for the spring.

springpreviewdresses13{1} Prabal Gurung for Target (available February 10th) | {2} Club Monaco | {3} Tibi

springpreviewbaubles13{1} Kate Spade | {2} Deepa Gurnani | {3} Etsy

springpreviewshoes13{1} Rebecca Minkoff | {2} Schutz | {3} Zara

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Falling for UNIQLO

Fall is just around the corner, and I’m definitely ready to trade in my current state of undress (seriously… this summer has made getting dressed sort of unappealing due to the heat) for layers! I’ve already started stockpiling a few essentials for the fall, and I’m finding that UNIQLO is spot-on this season for awesome basics and a few not-so-basics as well.

I’ve always been a big fan of UNIQLO. For those unfamiliar, UNIQLO is sort of the H&M of Japan, but with higher quality and more basics than trend pieces. I’ve found that the UNIQLO quality is really superb, especially for such a low price point — pretty much everything I’ve purchased there in the past 3 years or so is still in constant rotation in my wardrobe!

This year, I’m really digging the Easy Leggings Pants, which are just under $20 a pair! I am absolutely NOT a leggings kind of girl, but they really don’t look like leggings other than the elasticized waistband. The material is substantially thick to pass as a pair of pants and not at all see-through! They even have rear pockets, which make them that much easier to disguise. And as if the solid colored pants weren’t good enough, the Leggings Pant was released in various plaid and hounds tooth patterns as well! Score!

I also picked up this adorable felted hat. I’ve never been much of a hat person, but for just $20 I couldn’t pass up this floppy 70s style chapeau! Let’s see how often I wear it, but I think it will look pretty fantastic with my favorite riding boots.

Of course, UNIQLO’s signature item is their affordable cashmere. I’ve purchased a few of these over the years, and they never disappoint. The crewneck and V-neck sweaters for women are just $89.90, and they come in so many great colors! Definitely recommend adding a few of these to your fall sweater stockpile.

UNIQLO has a few locations in New York, but it looks like they will be opening more stores in the US soon. I’ve also heard that they will open e-commerce in the US pretty soon, so you may be able to get your fix online!

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Cashed In

For the first time in a very long time, I bought a new wallet. After reading this article by Gala Darling about doing a little Feng Shui action on your wallet, I realized that my wallet was, quite frankly, busted. As you can see in the photo below, the cheap-o fake python wallet that I bought at Urban Outfitters as a freshman in college served its duty admirably. But once that faux python started peeling away from the edges of the wallet, exposing the foam padding underneath, I knew it was time to part ways — my hard-earned cash deserved better!

I took Gala’s advice and did a thorough cleaning-out before transferring my things into the new wallet. Gone are the unused rewards cards, gift cards with $.01 left on them, and crumpled old receipts. I even took the leap and endured a painfully long trip to the DMV to have my license switched over to New York (something I was supposed to do, ohhh… 3 years ago?). I can’t say that I’m ready to make my license picture my new profile pic, but at least it’s over and done with! And most importantly, I feel good about housing my funds in a nicer home.

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