29 December 2007

Such a good deal, even *I* bought flats

Our friends over at the aptly named SmartBargains.com have really done it this time.

Not only were they able to convince me to part with $99 of my saved-up stash the day I leave for the most expensive city in the country, but even more shocking is that their newest promotion would have me spend that sum on not one, not two but three pairs of heel-less footwear.

"Flats" I hear the kids are calling them these days.

Normally, I'd delete an e-mail with the words "sale," "3 for $99" and "great selection" in the subject heading (stupid but true), but considering that earlier in the holiday season I was able to find my favorite flats on their site for almost two-thirds less than they cost on my beloved Zappos.com, I began to look at discount sites -SmartBargains in particular- in a much more maybe-I'm-missing-something-here light.

So, if you're like I am and need a blowout sale to motivate you to buy a pair of flats, head over to SmartBargains and pick out your three favorites among the many cute pairs of Sam Edelmans they have in stock.

And if you follow this link, you'll also receive free shipping.

Be safe and have a great weekend!


28 December 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Ruffle-collar coat by Giambattista Valli
$3,730 at ronherman.com

Since I don't (yet)

Funnel-neck cashmere coat by TopShop
£115 at topshop.com

Ring it in responsibly

And by that I mean...

...don't drink dry the Prosecco and leave your brother's friend's party with an overcompensatingly confident pocket-man. Trust;

...don't wear jeans and a chunky, ribbed turtleneck sweater -- be the one woman at the house party who doesn't look like she just RV-ed it over from a Big-10 tailgate. Come on ladies, vow to be the 'wow' even the happily married men can't help but stare at every time you enter the room;

....don't skip the eyeliner or second coat of mascara;

...don't delude yourself -- if it's too tight, it's too tight. Wear something that won't have you tugging, de-wrinkling, and pulling out puckers all evening;

...don't allow a sloppy, streaky-haired blonde in a sequined tube top to spill her too-full Jack-'n'-Coke on your Marchesa Notte tulle party dress. Identify this type right away and steer clear;

...don't go out without having listened to "Down in Mexico" and "Toy Soldier" (preferably while you pick out and slip on your matching unmentionables for a captive, man-in-chair audience);

...don't arrive at the party without a nice two-drink pre-party buzz, especially if where you're going is likely to have a more his-friends crowd;

...don't forget to eat at least one carb-enriched item before you head out (I have this one taped to my forehead and handbag);

...don't without-warning cry over a lost love and ruin everything for everyone (no matter what they tell you, you will kill the evening and it will be remembered);

and finally,

...don't whip out your camera phone to show every person you meet the 60-shot slide-show of the dog you "miss like a motherf**ker". If they don't know you, you will come off as the crazy dog lady.

I'll be in New York City tomorrow through Tuesday, so unfortch -as K would say- I won't be posting until two days into the new year. I double, no triple promise to miss all of you...except for maybe when I'm eye-banging one of my dream guys at King Cole Bar, or when S and I discover the meaning of life when we make our first pilgrimage to Mecca.

Kiss us into 2008, KimKar!

May-jah Friday (i.e., Poshin' up Casual Friday)

If I had a sugar daddy...

Rose-button coat by Andrew Gn
(£895 at brownsfashion.com)
‘Voyage’ satchel by Yves Saint Laurent
($1,716 at bluefly.com)
Cap-sleeve bow sweater by Peter Som
($655 at shopbop.com)
Pleated twill skirt by Doo.Ri
($595 at eluxury.com)
Cashmere tights by Maria La Rosa
(€119 at zenggi.com)
Minibout Zep 942 by Christian Louboutin
($760 at saks.com)

Since I don't (yet)

Pleated-shouldered belted coat by Nine West
($142 at macys.com)Turnlock doctor bag
($58 at urbanoutfitters.com)
‘Schoolgirl’ blouse by L.A.M.B.
($101.50 at shopbop.com)
Seamed pencil skirt by Barney's Signature
($109 at barneys.com)
Opaque tights by Frenchi
($10 at nordstrom.com)
‘Alias’ pump by Anne Klein
($158.99 at piperlime.com)

27 December 2007

Mary Jane by Marc by Marc Jacobs
$488.95 at zappos.com

Since I don't (yet)

'Durant' Mary Jane by Max Studio
$111.75 at macys.com

26 December 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

'Captive' silk tap panties by Jean Yu
€332 at couturelab.com

Since I don't (yet)

'We're on a break' tap pants by Lake & Stars
$45 at shopbop.com

Mini online-shopping review: 2007

I may not have bought it all in 2007, but rest assured, if the "it" to which we're referring was a short-sleeved ruffle-front blouse, a cropped swing jacket, a slim leather bomber jacket, a 3/4-sleeved Winter coat, a classic Fall/Spring trench, a box clutch, a pair of skinny trousers, a pair of ultra dark-wash skinnies, a pair of black satin boyshorts, a pair of almond-toed pumps, a pair of prick-point platform pumps, a cocktail dress, a little black dress, a backless dress, or anything else you can think of in the colors gunmetal or wine with a high-waist, an exaggerated funnel-neck, or with "Alexander McQueen" affixed to the label, I found it - along with 10 others similar but not identical to it - during one of my hours-long online boutique binges.

The benefits to immediately knowing where to buy what style in what color with what promotional coupon are obvious. Not only have I become the go-to person among my friends for everything from advice on specific brands ("Is a Generra tee really worth $88?") to providing clarification on return policies ("When heels.com says they have '115% price protection,' what does that mean?") to weighing in on the ever-difficult "I love this, but I don't need it -- should I break the bank to buy it?" dilemma, but I have also developed a discerning eye for the good, the bad and the getting-there when it comes to online boutiques.

If you're a regular reader, you probably already know to which websites I'm partial based on how frequently I link to their merchandise. For those who are new to ASJiNE, as well as for those who haven't paid close attention to the vendors, please take a moment or two to peruse my inaugural 'best of'/'worst of' online-shopping review in the five critical categories of layout, customer service, volume of merchandise, volume of new merchandise and model quality:

Best Layout:
- clear navigation instructions
- fantastic merchandise
- high-resolution photos
- every item shown in every color at every angle
- great styling

Worst Layout:
- chaotic homepage
- photos extremely tiny during 'search' phase
- offers only front/back photos
- has a very "bargain basement" aesthetic
- poor styling

Getting-there Layout:
- fantastic merchandise
- clear navigation instructions
- extremely detailed 'advanced search' options
- every item shown in every color at every angle

Best Customer Service:
- instant e-mail notification of order
- purchases arrive in 24 hours, including Saturday delivery
- superior packaging
- clear return instructions with enclosed pre-paid shipping label
- instant e-mail notification of returned item's arrival
- five-day reimbursement turnaround

Worst Customer Service:
- delayed e-mail notification
- unpredictable arrival date
- unpredictable reimbursement turnaround
- "contact us" hours very limited

Getting-There Customer Service:
- instant e-mail notification
- hand-written "thank you" note
- arrived sooner than anticipated

Best at Putting In-Store Merchandise Online:
- the only shopping destination, in my opinion, that has more available on its website than it does in-store
- much larger (and better) sale section online than in-store
- though unrelated, I love their 'sort by color' option

Worst at Putting In-Store Merchandise Online:
tie: www.bloomingdales.com/ www.urbanchiconline.com
- both stores easily carry 10x the merchandise in-store that they do online
- what they offer online is not their best - or newest - merchandise

Getting-There at Putting In-Store Merchandise Online:
- that's what a little bird in the Georgetown store told me last week!

Best "What's New" Merchandise:
- items organized by the week they were added
- option available to only view that week's newest additions
- inventory updated every week, regardless of how few/many new items there are

Worst "What's New" Merchandise:
- rarely and sporadically updated
- newest additions lumped in with months' worth of other "new" items
- only able to search within "what's new" section by designer

Getting-there "What's New" Merchandise:
- frequently updated
- section is of a manageable size -- nothing stays for more than two weeks
- option to arrange items by designer, price or addition date

Best Models*:
- in addition to having perfect "hanger" figures, damn, these girls are beautiful
- their poses are varied, their expressions are pleasing and overall, their photos have a very 'fashion magazine' quality to them

Worst Models:
- these poor girls look like they were picked up at a mall, given no styling, plopped in front of a camera and told to "work it"
- though the clothing at both stores is high-end, the low-end-edness of the models can't help but detract from the overall shopping experience

Getting-there Models:
- if you can't find or can't afford professional models, do us all a favor and do it the N-a-P way: use mannequins

Feel free to chime in with your own opinions in the comments section!

*just like no one wants Tammy Faye helping them at Sephora or Queen Latifah motivating them in a spinning class, who wants to look at a funny-looking, overly ordinary, greasy-haired model while contemplating a three or four-digit purchase?

25 December 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Bow-sleeved dress by Christian Dior
£1,160 at brownsfashion.com

Since I don't (yet)

Pleated sheath by Banana Republic
$148 at bananarepublic.com

Well, sale me happy, there's room in my budget for two!

After denting the couch with back-to-back TBS airings of A Christmas Story, there's nothing more satisfying than topping off the best day of the year with a trip down everyone's favorite lane -- the shopping lane.

So come equipped with those holiday gift cards and feast your eyes on these hand-selected, me-approved major markdowns, a few of which - yes, Jill Stuart handbag, Zanotti pumps and Fendi blouse, I'm looking at you three - probably aren't yet low enough to 'place in basket', but still, just like porn, there's nothing wrong with looking, right?



Belted stand-up collar jacket by Tahari
($248 $165 at nordstrom.com)
'Rivington Emelle' handbag by Jill Stuart
($525 $349.90 at nordstrom.com)
'Paper bag' tweed skirt by Robert Rodriguez
($297 $88.95 at saks.com)
'Domini' skinny trousers by Theory
($305 $183 at saks.com) Brushstroke brocade coat by Nanette Lepore
($625 $313 at shoptwigs.com) Pump with leopard-print heel by Giuseppi Zanotti*
($450 $253 at eluxury.com) Silk trapeze top by Fendi
($625 $300 at eluxury.com) 'Jester' trapeze dress by 3.1 Phillip Lim
($836 $418 at standardstyle.com) Rolled-collar cashmere coat by Vince
($365 $219 at standardstyle.com) Cuffed-sleeve sweater by Joe Basilio*
($132 $92.40 at basicboutique.com) Cowl-neck dress by Lewis Cho
($198 $138.60 at basicboutique.com) High-waisted pencil skirt by Rag & Bone
($242 $169 at activeendeavors.com)
'Mayfair' jacket by Sunner
($415 $208 at revolveclothing.com) 'Leggy' jean by Rich & Skinny*
($176 $88 at revolveclothing.com) Metallic tweed jacket by Anna Sui
($378 $226.80 at net-a-porter.com)Linen-blend tulip skirt by 3.1 Phillip Lim
($315 $189 at net-a-porter.com)
Cowl-neck bubble-sleeve dress by Thread Social
($440 $224.50 at shopbop.com)
Pleated leather box clutch by Erva*

($325 $162.50 at shopbop.com) Brocade coat by Alice + Olivia
($440 $308 at shopbop.com)
Satin flats by Marc by Marc Jacobs
($315 $94.50 at shopbop.com)

*your Editrix's top picks

24 December 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Button-down ruffled blouse by Fendi
$620 at eluxury.com

Since I don't (yet)

Fan detail chiffon blouse by Top Shop
£38 at topshop.com

From my four-paneled dog print to yours...

Due to the logistical drama that is in-law-to-in-law niece-sharing, Santa agreed at the last minute to swing by our abode a day early this year. Though I was initially concerned celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus on the 24th instead of the 25th might jeopardize the size of our holy windfall, my fears proved short-lived as I soon realized our arrangement allowed me an extra 24 hours to do nothing but sit on my duff, lube up with Laura Mercier 'Tarte au Citron' soufflé body creme and take photographs with my new jazzamarazz camera.

"What to shoot first...what to shoot first...," I said to myself, maundering from room to room, Monte keeping a quick clip at my heels.

"How about this?" my Father says, handing me a large, relatively thin square-shaped package.

"What is it?" I asked, curious but skeptical that whatever it was it couldn't be nearly as first-photo worthy as Monte using my niece's upper-arm chunk as his personal popsicle. "This wasn't under the tree, was it?"

"No, we wanted to give this one to you separately -- open it," my Mother instructed with an eye-twinkle, wedging herself between the two of us, "you're gonna die, just die."

Now I know only a handful of you have ever met my Mother, but trust me when I tell you this woman put the first and second 'p' in "proper," so when she breaks out the slang on Christmas morning - violent slang, no less - you know something truly fantastic is about to drop.

But even my highest expectations couldn't have prepared me for this...

Here's hoping for four-paneled dog prints underneath every one of your real and artificial trees tomorrow morning!

have a very Merry Christmas,