Thursday, January 31

Spring/Summer 2013 Fashion Trends

   It may still be winter, but as I've already said fashion is always a season ahead.  Here's a list of some of the trends I've been seeing for Spring and Summer this year that I am particularly fond of:

1. Bermuda shorts- I love them paired with a simple tee and cropped blazer topped off with a pair of Espadrilles.

2. Fluorescent colors- tangerine orange, turquoise, fuchsia, canary yellow to name a few.

3. Stripes, stripes, and more stripes. Vertical, horizontal or diagonal- they're all in style! Just remember, as with any busy print, stripes tend to compliment smaller frames better than larger ones. Women with larger frames should be cautious about wearing stripes because they can make you appear bigger than you actually are.

4. White- I love looks that are styled from head to toe in white and topped off with accents of color. For example, white pants with a white blouse or a white skirt with a white tank accented with a brightly colored scarf, pair of sandals, bag or jewelry.

5. Cropped blazers- both in solids and prints. I recommend pairing these with Bermuda shorts, summer dresses, skinny jeans, skirts and pants.

6. Pencil skirts- These are actually great any time of the year because they make for a demure and ladylike appearance, while accentuating a women's natural curves. This look is great for women with an hourglass shape.

7. Peplum anything- I love it all, especially peplum dresses, skirts, tops and jackets.

8. Geometric Prints- I particularly love geometric tops and wrap dresses from Banana Republic.

9. Fabrics with sheen- pair an iridescent or metallic skirt with a boldly colored top for night and more neutral hues for day.

10. Maxi dresses- these are always on trend and I love to pair them with espadrilles and gladiator sandals. Espadrilles are casual wedges that are normally flat, but sometimes high heeled shoes.  They usually have canvas or cotton fabric on the top of the shoe and a flexible sole made of rope.

Check out these espadrilles from Michael Kors and gladiators sandals from Piperlime:

Wednesday, January 30

Starlet or Streetwalker?

 Anyone who watches Fashion Police knows this segment of the show well.  In it Joan shows viewers a picture of a woman from the neck down and based upon how she's dressed viewers guess whether she's a star or a streetwalker.  Every morning during my commute I play my own version of the game where I have to decide whether the woman I'm looking at works in an office somewhere or earns her money working the streets instead.
   The fact that I even need to wonder at 8 am in the morning where these women are headed truly astounds me.  I used to take for granted the fact that grown women know how to appropriately dress for the workplace.  I now realize, however, that the concept of business attire is not so clear to everyone.  Believe it or not on a daily basis I encounter women in my travels wearing fishnet stockings, pants so tight they have camel toe, skirts so short you can see their lady bits, and tops so low cut that the girls are hanging out everywhere.  It truly makes me wonder where on earth these women work and how anyone in the workplace could possibly respect them or take them seriously dressed like that.
    If there's one thing I'm not it's ultra conservative in my dress.  By no means do I wear turtlenecks and skirts down to my ankles every day.  I do, however, know how to dress professionally while still wearing clothes that highlight in tasteful manner the beauty of a woman's body.  Women need to realize that there is a time and place for dressing sexy and the office is not that place.  While I'm not suggesting women need to be covered from head to toe in Burka, there is something to be said for leaving a little to the imagination. For instance, it's ok to wear a form fitted button down and a skirt to the office, but the skirt should not be up your ass and you should not have the top three buttons undone on your blouse.  Nor should you be wearing a pair of pants that are so low cut your red thong keeps creeping out or a white top that's so shear your hot pink bra is showing through. 
    So take a hint ladies, either start dressing appropriately for the office or run the risk my snapping your pic and sending it to Joan for viewing on her next segment of "Starlet or Streetwalker."

Tuesday, January 29

One Track Mind

   People have often told me that I have a one track mind when it comes to fashion and in response I say, "You have absolutely NO idea!" At any given moment about 90% of my brain is occupied by thoughts of shopping and the other 10% is devoted to whatever conversation I am having or whatever I'm doing at the moment.  Today I almost met my demise after nearly being run over by a city bus all because I was in my own little world of fashion as I attempted to cross the street against oncoming traffic.  Even after snapping out of my daydream and realizing that the bus was a mere inches away from hitting me all I could think about was how much I need a pair of navy patent leather Reva Ballet Tory Burch flats.
   Every time I satisfy a shopping craving by buying whatever is on my wish list I tell myself "That's it, I finally have all I could ever want and I'm done shopping for good."  By the next day, however, I've usually discovered something else missing from my wardrobe that I wouldn't be able to live without.  My mind is so consumed with shopping that even when I don't have the funds to splurge on my own indulgences I try to convince friends and family that they need to go shopping and that I must accompany them to offer my expertise.  Nine times out of ten, however, I'm usually the only person that winds up buying anything.  The  problem is I don't believe in window shopping.  It's such a dumb concept that a man must have come up with it.  I mean who ever got satisfaction out of gazing at a bag through the window of Louis Vuitton or a pair of suede pumps through the window of Dior?  If anything, window shopping only depresses me.  If I wasn't at the store and hadn't been in position to see the bag or pair of shoes then I never would have even known I needed them.  Yet to walk away from the purchase just seems criminal and it would keep me up at night. 
   While I may have enough self awareness to admit that I shop more than the average person, by no means do I have a shopping problem.  I've seen the show "My Shopping Addiction" on Oxygen and those people make me look like I exercise restraint.  After all I've never felt compelled to go to the Dollar Store multiple times a week and rack up hundreds of dollars on useless crap.  Additionally, I'm not in debt or unemployed and I don't con my friends and family out of thousands of dollars that I never intend on paying back.  Although I have a one track mind I've got sense enough to keep from spiraling out of control so no need to attend Shopaholics Anonymous yet!

Game Day

   The other night I went to a Nets game and I found myself wondering where all the stylish female fans were.  Now I know I was at a basketball game and not a fashion show, but who says female sports fans can't be stylish.  I mean celebrities like RiRi and Kim K. always manage to pull off the look while sitting court side so what's the average woman's excuse?  (Note: not having a personal stylist or celebrity size budget are not valid excuses!)
   As hard as I looked around the arena the other night I could not find one woman whose outfit I even admired, nonetheless envied.  To my dismay I saw nothing other than basketball jerseys and baggy sweatshirts and jeans, which do nothing to compliment the female form.  I believe women need to put their best fashion foot forward everywhere they go.  Personally, regardless of where I'm going I always trying to make a statement with my look.  This is not to say that I think women need to wear a black mini skirt and red bottom pumps to a sporting event, but dressing practical for the occasion does not mean sacrificing one's sense of style.  Besides if you single ladies are looking to score a pro-athlete husband you better put your best foot forward on Game Day! 


  So last night I hit the fashion lotto.  During Sunday's trip to the mall I tried on several peplum skirts and silk tops at Express and found pieces to create the most amazing outfit.  Despite having made my selections I left the mall empty handed (okay maybe I just left Express empty handed hehe) because I am fashion omnipotent and knew that Express coupons would be arriving in the mail shortly.  Therefore, it made no sense to pay full price on Sunday when I knew that sometime in the near future I could make the purchase for far less.  As luck would have it I came home last night to a $40 coupon from Express!!! I immediately signed online and ordered the skirt in Aquarium blue, the blouse in solid black and for good measure I threw in another pair of skinnys.  As I was about to check out, however, I noticed that my coupon was coming up invalid so I immediately dialed Express customer service for assistance.  After briefly explaining the difficulty I was having in placing my order the customer service rep brought up my customer profile.  Upon quick review of my order history she decided to adjust my discount from $40 to $50 off and waived shipping and handling for my troubles.  In the end I got all three items for $99!  Booyah....that's how it's done people.
  I may be an insane shopaholic who buys something everyday of her life, but I know how to work the system and stretch a dollar.  Oh and while I was at the mall on Sunday I also scored a navy three quarter length wool coat and a silver necklace to go with my peplum outfit for 50% off at Banana.  I may not have won the actual lotto, but I'm pretty sure that the thrill I got last night was comparable to winning millions!

Monday, January 28

The Shoe Boot

  By now it should be abundantly clear how seriously I take shoes.  They are a part of my identity and not a day passes where I don't eat, sleep and breathe shoes.  Not surprisingly, I am always on the look out for new shoe trends for they mean as much to me as Cinderella's glass slipper. 
  That being said I must take this opportunity to rant about the shoe boot and it's shoe identity crisis.   I know you've all seen's pretty hard to miss on the streets of NYC and in malls/shoe stores across the country.  The shoe boot is that awful shoe that's half peep toe pump and half bootie.  While it may be trendy and all the rage right now I absolutely hate this look, especially when paired with gowns or cocktail dresses.  Doing so completely dresses down one's look and destroys the glam factor.  I think women need to pay more attention to what they are putting on their feet.  To me, there's no greater tragedy than a woman who's dressed in an elegant gown paired with perfect movie star hair and makeup, but is wearing a shoe boot which strips her of that elegance.
    I'm a fan of the pump and bootie individually, but combining the two concepts results in nothing more than a hot mess!  Aside from the hideous appearance of these shoes, they're not even practical. They're clearly meant to be a winter shoe since they're predominantly a boot, with a closed back.  Yet they have a stupid peep cut out at the toes, which is more of a Summer/Spring look.  I just hope this trend is one that will die out soon because I've had about as much of it as I can take.

Girly Girl

   I love being a Girly Girl and pretty much anyone who has ever met me would describe me as such.  So what makes me girly?

1.  I get my nails manicured regularly and pink is my favorite color polish
2.  I decorated my Christmas tree this past year entirely in diamond ring and stiletto shoe ornaments
3.  My first car had pink fuzzy dice and beads hanging from the mirror and a pink zebra print steering wheel cover
4.  I have a hot pink piggy bank that says "Shoe Fund" on it and the piggy is wearing black stilettos. I even named her Sassy Sally. (As part of my Make More Money scheme I have even tried to charge "admission" upon my friends and family for entering my apartment by telling them that they must feed Sassy.)
5.  At 29 years old I still love playing dress up, even if I have no place to go
6.  I have six tattoos and they are all of hearts, flowers, and stars
7.  I get more excited about watching the red carpet portion of award shows then the actual ceremony
8.  I consider shopping a sport
9.  I only drink pink, fruity cocktails with umbrellas in them
10. I own at least two bags and two pairs of stilettos for every outfit in my wardrobe
11. Even my bathroom decor is shower curtain, toothbrush holder and tissue box holder are each decorated with models wearing couture gowns, stiletto heels, diamonds and pink lipstick.  My bathmat is even pink with a black stiletto in the center  

Sunday, January 27

Peplum Love

   My first thoughts upon waking up this morning were of PEPLUM! Specifically, how I need to go to the mall to find a brightly colored peplum skirt.  Per usual, I've already created a whole outfit around this skirt, which I imagine to be a rich royal or cobalt blue.  In my mind I have paired the skirt with either a solid black silk blouse or a black and white color-blocked blouse.  I envision either option to be short sleeves and to be worn with a cropped black blazer.  To top off the look I plan to wear black opaque tights, suede black booties, a couple of chunky bangles and a layer of multi-strand silver necklaces around my neck.  Viola! Now it's time to go shopping and put the look together.
   For those of you who may not have a clue what I'm talking about peplum can best be described as a ruffle or overskirt that is usually attached to a fitted jacket, blouse, skirt or dress.  Check out these peplum images:,r:0,s:0,i:151
   For skinny, shapeless girls like myself peplum can be your best friend because it gives the allusion that you have hips and curves.   While a peplum skirt or dress may not compliment a curvier women's shape quite the same, peplum tops and jackets can absolutely flatter an hourglass figure.  This is done by highlighting the narrowness of one's waist and not calling attention to the areas one rather not accentuate. 
    As part of my mission I've already scouted out a few peplum looks by Alice and Olivia at Bloomys.  I love A&O, but they are definitely on the pricer $195 for a peplum top!  So for more affordable options I have also found a few peplum skirts at Express.  Wherever I wind up making today's purchases however, one thing is for sure....I will not be divulging the actual cost to my mom.  While spending the afternoon together yesterday mother berated me for my spending habits.  So from this point forward I've decided that whenever speaking to mom there will be real prices and then there will be "mom prices." When asked by mom how much something cost I will quote her at the "mom price" which will actually be about 40% less than the real price.  I mean it's a win-win situation.  I'll have the look I want and since mom will approve of how much I paid for my look she won't feel compelled to lecture me!
     Ok time to get my Peplum Love on.  For women who are new to this look, don't be bashful about giving it a try because I promise you can make it work for you no matter what your body type is.

Saturday, January 26


     At some point during their lifetimes most women will have the unpleasant experience of discovering that their favorite beauty cream, lipstick or hair color has been discontinued.  Personally, I've had the experience more times than I care to remember.  So much so that I have found myself wondering whether I was some sort of jinx on the success of these products.  Word of caution to manufacturers everywhere- if I like and use your products your sales are likely to plummet and it's only a matter of time before you remove them from drugstore shelves and cosmetic counters everywhere.
    Fortunately, thanks to the miracles of the internet I recently discovered that many of these products which are no longer available in stores can be purchased through or some other website.  To my delight, I even discovered today that I could purchase from the nail salon my favorite hot pink nail polish, Bermuda Shorts, which was discontinued by Essie about two years ago. Prior to my discovery I had done some research online and realized that Amazon was selling the color for a whopping $35! I'm happy to say that my purchase today was just $6, which is less than the $8.50 that drugstores currently charge for Essie polish.  Now I know I've said before that I'll pay anything to get what I want.  But, I suppose I must now qualify this statement....I'll pay anything that's not clearly highway robbery.  If there's one thing I am not that is a fool and $35 for one bottle of polish is just ridiculous, especially when a bottle of Chanel polish doesn't cost more than $26. So ladies today's lesson is that even though manufacturers may no longer be producing your beloved anti-aging cream, hair product or cosmetics there are still quantities available at your nearest salons and on the internet....just don't get so excited upon locating the product that you fail to do your research to find the most affordable price.

Friday, January 25

Finishing Touches

    Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize!!  This is the mantra that each of us should say in our heads as we get dressed everyday.  Accessories are the finishing touches to every outfit.  They can turn a drab and boring look into one that pops. Therefore, you should never feel guilty about buying that tortoise shell and gold Tory Burch cuff bracelet.  It can be worn with so many different looks during any season of the year that it's undeniably a sensible splurge.  My favorite accessories are statement necklaces, bauble or cocktail rings, bangle bracelets and scarves.  For a great evening look, I love pairing a basic black dress with a sexy stiletto pump, a chunky colorful necklace and a blingy cocktail ring or a glitzy bracelet.  For a day time look, I would dress down that same dress with a pair of flat riding boots, a colorful silk scarf loosely draped around my neck and a simple pair of earrings.  I would stay away from wearing large earrings with this look to avoid too much going on up top so viewers can focus their attention on your entire look at once.
    As I've just alluded to it is possible to over-accessorize.  As with anything, accessories are only good in moderation.  I'm talking to YOU- the lady who wears cheetah print leggings (which are just wrong in their own rite), scrunchies in her hair (which she probably borrowed from her five year old), a tutu, stacks of neon colored bangles, and a candy necklace around her neck.  Now in her defense I suppose she could have been riding this morning's 8:30 ferry on her way to a Madonna convention.  But, I think it's probably safer to assume that she fails to understand the concept of moderation and went accessory happy instead. Take a hint from this poor lady who I just made an example out of----- there does come a point when too many accessories can ruin your look rather than complementing it.
    Many times men have complemented my shoes, bag or earrings that I am wearing.  So ladies, whether you think so or not men do notice the effort we put in to dressing and styling ourselves and they do appreciate it.   The accessory principles apply to men too, however.  Women similarly admire the few extra steps men go to tie their whole look together.  News flash guys: Adding a hat, necklace or some bracelets can go a long way in getting you noticed, especially by someone like myself who really appreciates fashion.
    The great thing about accessorizing is that it doesn't have to be expensive.  For instance, it can be done with costume jewelry.  Personally, I love buying my jewelry at either Banana Republic or Francesa's Collections.  For jewelry and accessories that are a little more expensive, but still budget friendly I am partial to Michael Kors.
   Remember the golden rule: Accessorizing is simple, cheap and it can transform your look!  These finishing touches will literally enable you to wear the same articles of clothing that are already in your wardrobe, while styling them in several different ways to create completely divergent looks.

Thursday, January 24

"Dress Down" Day

   Most people express a sigh of relief when they RSVP to an event and are told the dress is casual.  I, on the other hand, immediately become anxious because I wouldn't describe a single thing in my wardrobe as casual.  Heck, I don't even know what the word casual means! I literally own one pair of sneakers and maybe four pairs of sweats.  There's no denying I'm a glamazon and I blame it on years of attending Catholic school.   I wore a school uniform from grades K-12, but whenever we had "dress down" days I treated them as an opportunity to put on a fashion show and showcase my most stylish outfits.  After all it's not like those hideous jumpers, knee high socks and saddle shoes allowed for much self expression.  Once I got to college and there was no more dress code the fashion plate in me really came out because I got to model different looks every day of the week!
   This weekend I'm attending a friend's birthday party at what she described as a "dive" bar and I received strict instructions from the birthday girl herself not to dress up.  "But to not dress up would defy every fiber in my diva being," I exclaimed.  In spite of my protesting I plan to tone it down a notch this weekend and you know what that means....more shopping!!! I mean if I don't have anything casual in my wardrobe, naturally I must buy something. Otherwise, I'd have to turn down the invite simply because I have nothing to wear.   My friend would undoubtedly never forgive me, but in my alternate universe this is a legitimate excuse and it really is plausible to have six closets and not a thing to wear. You're probably thinking I can pretty much justify any reason to splurge and you're right!  Sorry mom, I really tried to cut back in 2013, but since that didn't work out I've decided to go with Plan B instead and just make more money.  As for Saturday night's ensemble I'm thinking colored skinny jeans, a white tank, cropped blazer and riding boots, paired with some chunky bangles and multi-layered chain link necklaces.  Hey it's about as dressed down as I can get! 

Wednesday, January 23

Mission Accomplished!

    Since I am a woman of my word who doesn't like to disappoint my readers I went back to MK after work last night to score the rest of the "must haves" on my Spring wardrobe wish list.  Of course there was also a little selfish motivation behind my second shopping spree of the day, but there was NO way I would have slept even a wink last night if I didn't go back for my MK navy and pinstripe blazer and navy pleated maxi dress.  I simply could not take the chance that if I waited even another day, hour, or minute that they would have been sold to someone else.  Someone who would be far less deserving because they wouldn't appreciate the value of these fabulous garments or know how to wear them in a way that would do them any justice.         
       Of course as soon as I saw the blazer my imagination began running wild and I immediately sketched out in my mind an entire look.  Needless to say, I had to make a few stops on the way to MK last night to achieve my vision.  First, I went to Express for a pair of white skinny jeans.  I had already seen a pair in MK selling for $130, but since I had splurged on the unique teal studded pocket jeans I figured I could skimp on basic white ones by going with the Express version.  FASHION TIP:  Mix a couple of expensive items with some less expensive ones and no one will be any the wiser.   Your look will be so rich everyone will just assume your entire outfit costs more than their rent.  Turns out the fashion goods were with me last night!  As soon as I walked into Express I realized that they were having a denim sale....Buy 1, get 1 50% off.  It would be a crime to pass up this sale so I bought a pair of white and grey skinnys.  I couldn't walk out of the store at that point.  I mean who wears pants without tops? I threw in a black sleeveless lace peplum top for good measure and scored it all for less than the one pair of white MK jeans! 
     Still riding off the high of my Express purchases I decided to run into Banana Republic to complete my nautical look of white jeans paired with a white and navy pinstripe blazer.  At the entrance I was greeted by a lovely sales woman who informed me that they were having a Happy Hour event which meant 40% off every full priced item in the store and 50% all sale items from 5pm-8pm.  Now that's the kind of Happy Hour I'm talking about!  In a matter of seconds I picked out a navy shell to wear under the blazer and two navy and  pave stone was a bit chunky and the other a much thinner, woven cord bracelet.  Thanks to the MK camel studded sandals I scored earlier in the day I successfully completed the look from head to toe!  Now if only it was warmer than 11 degrees in NYC I could be sporting my new digs right now!
     While I'm happy to say this mission was accomplished and as a result I got a good night's rest last night I know it's only a matter of days before I see some other shoe, bag, or article of clothing I need.  Wait! There were those $1500 thigh high black leather Louboutins J. Lo was spotting wearing in the City yesterday.  Yes, yes yes I must have those!!  On to the next mission....

Tuesday, January 22

Demon Unleashed!

   I knew it was a bad idea, but I did it anyway.....I went shopping on my lunch break.  The good news is I scored the teal MK studded jeans and a pair of camel studded flat gladiator sandals in Soho.  The flats were an absolute necessity because I needed to replace the beat up pair I've been wearing for the past couple of years.  I  mean they're practically falling apart and I can't be seen toting a Chanel bag around town while wearing beat up sandals!  The bad news is I scoped out about ten other must haves for the season that I'm going to obsess over until they are in my closet.  Here I thought I was going to get some sleep tonight because of the successful jean and shoe purchase.  Instead I'm just going to lay awake dreaming of everything I left behind in the store today.
    Among the items which I fell in love with the moment I laid my eyes on them were a pair of white skinny jeans, a navy shell and white and navy pinstripe blazer, plus a matching navy and pave stone bangle.  Let's not forget the long flowy Grecian style navy maxi dress.  Sorry Suze Orman--I know you think I should be saving for a rainy day, but I rather subscribe to the motto "You can't take it to the grave!"  Oh yeah and then there's the canary clutch with sliver hardware and a chain link shoulder strap that won't be available in store until next week.  Looks like the shopping demon in me has been unleashed yet again and I'll be back at the store next week!

Today's Guilty Pleasures

    It may be snowing outside, but I'm already thinking about my summer wardrobe.   Retail is always a season ahead of the actual season so now is the time to shop for your bikinis, sandals and other beach attire.  Stores are pushing out their winter coats and making way for their Spring/Summer arrivals and that's why I'm already perusing the Michael Kors website for some bright colored skinny jeans and clutches.  God knows I need a little color to cheer up my winter doldrums.
   Today's obsessions are a pair of Teal MK pyramid studded pocket skinny jeans, which are currently on back order on the website and a canary yellow clutch with gold hardware.  Skinny jeans have always been a guilty pleasure for me because they elongate my legs and look great with stiletto pumps or booties.  MK clutches are also my weakness because there's something unique about them that sets them apart from the other designers.  Plus, they're practical because they're more roomy than other clutches which can't hold more than your Iphone and lipstick.
    I love diversifying my wardrobe with color.  I know most women are only comfortable wearing basic black and grey, especially in the winter, because they think it's kind to their figure imperfections.  As a woman I understand the mindset, but there's nothing wrong with pairing those black pants or that black pencil skirt with a bright orange or pink colored sweater to brighten up your look and your mood.
   By now you should know that I always get what I want.  So it should be no surprise to you that the first thing I did this morning was call MK customer service to locate my back ordered jeans. Customer service informed me that they are a separate entity than the stores and that they could not tell me which store locations have my jeans in stock (yes I am already calling them "mine," because soon enough they will be).  Due to my diligence, however, when 10 am rolls around and the stores open for the day you better believe I will be on the phone with each one of them in the tri-state area until I find these jeans.  Now some people may say I just want the jeans, I say I NEED them.  I mean I already have a whole outfit planned around them.  I'm going to pair them with my black strappy and gold studded Dior gladiator sandals, a simple white tank top and a black blazer with the sleeves cuffed up.  Then I'll wear my diamond studs, a turquoise statement necklace, my black ceramic MK watch and my black and gold Versace bag.  By the end of today these will be mine.......

Monday, January 21

Out With the Old, In With the New

   The theme of this post is no funny, but all money.
   A creative way to sustain your shopping addiction is to utilize consignment shops and online auction sites, like Ebay, to sell your shoes, jewelery, clothes and bags that you no longer use.  Rather than allowing these items to crowd your living space I recommend spring cleaning at least once a year. This means taking inventory of your belongings and honestly assessing which items you no longer use so that you can make room for the items you are not ready to part with.  As for me, I go through this cleaning process with the change of every season, but that's only because I shop so much that I constantly need to make room for the "NEW" by getting rid of the "OLD."  The task is usually rather difficult for me because I have a very classic style that never really goes out of style.  Additionally, I treat my material possessions with kid gloves because when you spend thousands of dollars for something it's only prudent to make sure it stays in pristine condition for years to come.  For this reason nothing in my closets ever really gets old, hence making it difficult for me to weed things out.  There is something to be said for keeping your designer and non-designer items in good condition, however, because the better care you take of them the more money you can expect to earn should you ever decide to resell them.
    I have been selling on Ebay for approximately eight years and started using consignment shops about two years ago.  For those of you who may not know a consignment shop resells your items and then takes a cut of the final sale (usually between 30%-60%) leaving you with the rest of the sale proceeds.  Whereas, if you are selling an item on Ebay the onus is on you to do the listing which should contain a description of the item and the it's current condition along with images of the item. Though selling the item on your own is more responsibility in the end you reap the benefit of the full purchase price without having to share the proceeds with anyone.  Thereby, giving you more money to reinvest in a new pair of shoes or bag!
    I recently discovered the consignment shop Second Time Around (STA), which has 11 locations in NY alone.  STA is an amazing upscale consignment shop that will accept designer clothing, shoes and accessories from a myriad of high end designers; Dior, Chanel, Rebecca Minkoff, Prada, and Emilio Pucci just to name a few.  I highly recommend to anyone, like me, who constantly needs to feed their couture habit selling their old designer duds for new ones, rather than leaving them in their closets to collect dust.
    While you can never expect to recoup the full price you paid for your items upon reselling them, you can get at least half of your purchase price so long as the items are timeless pieces that are in good condition and still in style at the time of resale.  With this in mind the best piece of advice I can offer is not to succumb to the temptation of purchasing anything that is merely a fade or trend for it will be in today and gone tomorrow.  If have any intentions on making your current wardrobe a future investment then you must remain true to this very important principle.

Sunday, January 20

Confessions of a Shopaholic

  1.   By shopping and looking at fashion mags or catalogs as much as I do I pretty much see everything stores are selling and how much they are selling it for.  Many times I have freaked a person out by telling them exactly where they bought their new dress or pair of shoes and how much they paid for it.

2.  I have the uncanny ability to look at a designer bag or pair of shoes and know exactly how much it costs based upon it's size and the material it is made with even if I have never seen it before.

3.  I buy all of my own Birthday and Christmas gifts and simply ask my family members to reimburse me for everything when I'm done.  While this takes the element of surprise out of things I much rather be pleased with my green snake skin and tortoise Tory Burch bag then unpleasantly surprised by the hideous pair of rainbow stripped socks and matching scarf and mittens.   On the one hand I'm saving people the time and trouble of having to go to the store because it's not like I wasn't going shopping anyway.  On the other hand although I'm particularly picky I do not trust people to use their own discretion.

4. A few months ago I bought a brown reptile skin MK shoulder bag for a whopping 2400.  Last month I was shopping with my father and noticed the same bag was on sale for 1600.  Upon my discovery I shrieked with delight, prompting my father to ask just how much the bag was marked down. Now keep in mind I never let on to dad that I already owned the bag so he was prepared to purchase it as a Christmas gift for me.  That is until I told him it was 1600 and he nearly had a heart attack, exclaiming "Who in their right mind would pay that much for a bag?"  I coyly put the bag down, walked away and shrugged my shoulders stating "I don't know, dad.  Crazy people!" lol If only he knew I was already the proud owner of the bag when it was full price.

5. While the above scenario was a bit amusing I must admit it's hard work keeping up the charade just so my parents don't realize how insane my spending habits are. Every time my mom spots me with a new bag or pair of heels she asks "Is that new?"  I respond with an incredulous "This old thing? Oh, I've had it for years."

6.  When I was younger and still lived at home every time I came home from the mall I had to hide all my packages in the trunk of my car and wait until no one was home before bringing them inside.  Problem was I spent some much money shopping that I never had any money to go out.  Needless to say I spent my nights home modeling my clothes in front of the mirror in my room waiting for that one day I made enough money to shop AND go out.  By the way, I am still waiting for that day.

7.  On more than one occasion I bought an article of clothing not once, not twice, but three times without ever realizing I already had several versions of the same thing hanging in my closet unworn and still with tags on them.  Clearly, I know what I like.  I just don't remember what I buy.

8.  I am deeply concerned that if I ever become a mother that I may starve my children because mama needs a new Gucci. I mean I starve myself for the sake of my wardrobe so who's to say I wouldn't feed my habit habit before feeding my kids.

9. My Christmas tree this year was entirely decorated with shoe ornaments and diamond rings.  It was the blingiest and most fabulous tree in town!

10. I have seriously considered buying a stiletto shaped tub for my bathroom.

11.  More often than not I go to the mall to buy a gift for someone completely forgetting about that person once I step foot in the mall. I manage to do great for myself and it is until I get home that I realize "Crap, I there was some other reason why I went to the mall."

Saturday, January 19

Born This Way

      Someone recently asked me if I was ever guilty of exercising poor judgement when it came to fashion.  Without any hesitation I instinctively blurted out "Of course not, I was born this way!" The question offended me almost as much as being asked whether my designer handbags are real or if I can spot the difference between an authentic designer bag and a knockoff.  Although that was my instinctive response I soon began to wonder whether I had really made any choices over the years that would have landed me on Joan's Fash-hole of the week list.  I'm happy to say that after much rattling of my brain and reminiscing over old photos that my answer stands as "NO!"  While the average person may be able to conjure up countless regrettable examples of fashion mistakes they have made nothing stands out in my mind.  Now I suppose I could have made such awful decisions in the past that I just blocked them out of my mind forever, but I prefer to go with the conclusion that I really was just born with an innate sense of fashion. 
      I remember being three years old and already having a mind of my own when it came to getting dressed for the day.  My mother would put an outfit on me in the morning and as soon as she walked out of the room I would completely undress myself and put on something that I deemed to be more fashionable.  I would also wear multiple outfits a day because I loved expressing myself through my clothes and wanted to wear things that suited whatever mood I was in at the moment.  This is something that to this day most people are surprised when they learn it about me.  Critics/haters assume that I dress to garner attention from others.  Truth be told I dress for myself and myself only.  I consider self expression through my clothes and accessories to be an art and I am a master at my craft.
          For this reason it amazes me how something that came so naturally to me eludes the HOT MESSES everywhere.  Is it because they just don't care or are they really that clueless?  I almost don't believe that people could be as fashionably challenged as they appear on makeover shows like "How Do I Look?" or "What not to Wear."   I mean I couldn't be that much of a train wreck if I tried.  It really is not that difficult to match colors or prints and to find what actually fits most body types, yet the number of people who I see every day getting it wrong hurts my soul.  While I'm not suggesting that everyone needs to be as fashionable as I or Rachel Zoe (who I'm convinced is the only person who will ever relate to me) I just don't understand why more people aren't born with the very necessary seventh sense, the sense of fashion.  I suppose, however, that I should stop belaboring the point.  Because if it wasn't for dudes like "Big Pimpin" my blog and only form of amusement would like cease to exist.

Friday, January 18

Shoe Maven

       Move over Carrie Bradshaw! There's a new shoe maven in town (and her name also happens to be Carrie).  The more I watch old episodes of Sex and the City the more I am convinced that that show is not based on some fictitious character's story, but on my real life.  Therefore, I should have been cast to play the lead role in "The Carrie Diaries," since it would require very little acting on my part.  But I digress. 
       I blame/thank mi madre for my whole shoe obsession. Though her thing is flip flops (I swear she currently owns over a hundred of them) and mine is stilettos she is the master behind this monster.   Growing up my father would often refer to mom as Imelda Marcos.  After hearing my father liken mom to this woman I became intrigued with who she was and what her claim to fame was.  I soon learned that she had one of the world's largest shoe collections.  From that moment on Ms. Marcos became and still is my idol and I'm not embarrassed to admit that one of my biggest goals in life is to amass a shoe collection larger than hers.
       Pretty much every office I have ever worked in has labeled me the "shoe queen".  Apparently my shoe collection is so stellar that even the guys take notice.  It seems that everyday I come to work the first thing people want to see is what I'm wearing on my feet.  Now you can imagine how this would fuel a shoe fanatic's fire.  Something tells me this weekend mama is brining home a new pair of stilettos....I mean I wouldn't want to disappoint anyone who expects to see a fresh new pair on Monday.


     In 2013 I promised my mom that I would "behave," which means stop spending and start saving.  Problem is I'm physically incapable of keeping this promise so to quell mom's fear that I will be penniless in my old age I reminded her that I'll have her money to live off of after she's gone and that she need not fret.      
     So nearly three weeks into the new year I have only bought three bikinis and two coverups from Victoria's Secret plus three tubes of Bobby Brown lip gloss from Sephora.  The bathing suits and coverups were a total necessity since I'm heading to Aruba in June.  The makeup purchase was equally justifiable because I need all the season's hottest colors and women everywhere know you can't walk out the door without first putting your face on.  Problem is at this point I'm feeling completely unsatisfied with my meager purchases and am busting at the seams!  Frankly, I'm going through shopping withdrawal.  So while I tried to keep this resolution I'm afraid it's run it's course.  Maybe I'll try again in a few months and give up shopping for Lent instead!

Thursday, January 17

Red Devil

     We all know that little red devil that sits on our shoulder and whispers in our ear "buy that $2,000 Alma PM Louis Vuitton purse!  So what if rent is due in a couple of days.  If I get kicked out of my apartment at least I'll be the most fashionable bag lady living on the streets."  Ok maybe that was a bit extreme and no one besides me thinks that way, but you get the point.  There's always that little voice in our heads that makes us give into temptation and apparently for my friends and family that voice is me!  I get accused of influencing people to make extravagant purchases they can't afford when I'm not even in the store with them at the time of the purchase.  They hear my voice echoing in the background saying "Buy it, you know you love and you need it!" Whether intentional or unintentional my influence is apparently pretty powerful.  The best is when my friends, mom, sister or coworkers call me up to brag about their new shoes, bag or dress.  They're so sure I will approve and be proud of them that they just can't wait to model the goods for me.   It's like I was the voice of the fashion goods in their heads encouraging them through every step of that stylish purchase. The slight problem they often overlook is that I'm brutally honest.  I can't help myself and if I think that hideous pink and brown polka dot dress from TJ-Max needs to be burned you better believe I won't hold back in telling them.
       I used to wonder how I could be responsible for someone's lavish shopping spree when I wasn't even present at the time.  Then one day it all became clear.  I have a one track mind and work fashion or shopping into every conversation I have with people.  In fact, if you want to engage me in a meaningful conversation about politics, history or religion you know you have to rope me by first talking about the latest dress Kim Kardashian was seen wearing on Rodeo drive.  My brain is so stuck on fashion that to explain directions to me people have to use fashion malls as landmarks.  To explain football to me during last year's Superbowl my sister and dad invented the concept of "fashion football."  Essentially, a touch down was comparable to scoring a complete outfit at the mall and the extra field goal was like getting the bonus accessory to match.  Believe it or not I actually started to grasp the sport with the aid fashion analogies.  Recently my friend has been trying to get me to go to hot yoga with her.  To persuade me she's had to pitch the fact that I'll have an excuse to wear cute yoga outfits while checking out what everyone else is wearing.  
         Disclaimer: Reading this blog may corrupt you into a fellow shopaholic because I am that red devil on everyone's shoulders.

Red Carpet Ready

      It takes a lot of effort to be "Red Carpet Ready" everyday.  For instance, every Sunday night I select 10 outfits from my repertoire for the work week.  I pick two outfits for each day from Monday to Friday.  The more options the merrier.  After all, variety is the spice of life.  Plus, I never know when I'm going to wake up on Tuesday and not want to wear Tuesday's outfit so I need to have backups.  My selections include everything from the clothing and shoes down to the specific pair of earrings, necklace and watch.  Did I mention that I have 5 Michael Kors watches?  That's right 5....rose gold, yellow gold, white and black ceramic and silver.  God knows that if I'm not wearing a matching watch that my look is not complete.  Ironically, some of my best outfits have come about by pure accident without any planning at all.  For the most part, however, I do meticulously plan each of my looks.  To ensure that every article of clothing in my wardrobe is part of a complete look I usually buy all the components of an outfit at the same time.  I very rarely buy just a t-shirt or just a skirt without something else to go with it.  Perhaps this is because I can't ever buy just one thing, but I like to think there is some method to my madness.  It has happened before where I bought a pair of shoes by themselves first and then had to build an outfit around them.  To me it is no reason not to buy a pair of shoes just because I don't think they'll match with anything in my current wardrobe.  If anything I look forward to the excuse to do more shopping!
        While this may seem like too much effort to most people to me it's fun.  I always look forward to my weekly fashion shows even if they're alone in my room and the only audience is me.  I may be 29yrs old, but I still like playing dress up like when I was kid.

Big Pimpin

     This post is for the gents.  Don't think just because I'm a woman that I don't pay attention to what the fellas are wearing.  Word to the wise- anyone meeting me for the first time should not try to introduce themselves within the first five minutes because their name will go in one ear and out the other or not in one ear at all.  That's because I will be too busy paying attention to your get-up from head to toe that I won't hear anything coming out of your mouth!
     Many times I have freaked someone out by not only telling them exactly what I was wearing when we first met, but what their ensemble was as well.  Now the average person probably doesn't remember what they wore yesterday, but I'm no average person.  Allow me to clarify an earlier post in which I said that I don't judge people for what they wear.  I do not judge people for being "Bargain Betty" and shopping at Century 21 or H & M.  I do, however, judge people that have absolutely no fashion sense.  Those who completely mismatch patterns and colors, those who wear garments that do nothing to flatter their figures, or even worse those who wear torn and stained clothing (unless they're a legitimate homeless person and not just an Olsen twin.)  Case in point:  the lovely Pimp Daddy sitting next to me on the train this AM who's the inspiration for this post.  I want to know what he was smoking when he decided to put his Mr. T chains and rings on with his orange fur coat and orange crocodile loafers with black checkered pants. Dude looked like Chester from a bag of Cheetos.  Now this may sound like a sight for sore eyes, but I could not avert my eyes.  As I studied this textbook case for Stacy and Clinton on "What Not to Wear" I tried to get inside his head and figure out what possessed him to walk out the door dressed like that. Then it came to me....he was just Big Pimpin and dude thought he looked fine!

Wednesday, January 16

Beyond Obesessed!

        So just how deep does my fashion obsession go?  Well for one I lose wayyyy too much sleep thinking about what my next purchase will be or the purchase I should have made, but now can't because the damn item is sold out everywhere in the country.  I don't have "buyer's remorse."  I have "none-buyer's remorse."  Occasionally, I will try to reign in the shopaholic in me by only window shopping.  Problem is I wind up creating more work for myself.  I'll get all the way home and still be thinking to myself how I should have bought those fuchsia  round toe pumps from Dior.  After all they had my name written all over them.  If I was honest with myself I would admit that I'm only going to be at the store the next day buying the damn shoes. I have even left my credit cards and wallet at home foolishly thinking that would prevent me from any impulsive purchases.  Unfortunately, I have all 13 of my credit card numbers, their expiration dates and their CVV codes memorized so I just have to recite the info to the cashier and the Michael Kors Hamilton Tote is all mine! 
      By now you're probably thinking that I need Shopaholics Anonymous, but you haven't seen anything yet!   I stop at nothing to get the bag, shoes, or clothing that I want.  If the ordinary person goes to a store and discovers that the dress or the sweater they want is sold out in their size they just say "Oh well guess it wasn't meant to be."  I, however, don't give up so quickly.  I immediately begin my search to track down that item even if it's coming from Tokyo.  (and yes I did have a Michael Kors grey poncho with toggle buttons shipped to me from Tokyo!)  To me it doesn't make a difference how far away the item is coming from or how much I'll have to pay for it.  Nine times out of ten I'll get the store to give me some % off or free shipping for my plight because they understand what a good customer I am and how I couldn't live another day without the item.  The prime example was a pair of fuchsia suede Dior pumps I saw in Rome this past May while on vacation.  I thought about buying the shoes in Rome, but then learned there would be a 12% luxury tax attached to the purchase.  So I decided to wait until I got back to the States to purchase the shoes at the Short Hills Mall.  To my dismay, the shoes were a Rome exclusive and not available in the States.  Now you may think I gave up at that point, but you're wrong.  Of course the only natural thing for me to do was get an international calling card to call Rome and order those glorious pink pumps and have them shipped to me.  However, I was finally forced to admit defeat when the shoe was sold out in all of Italy.  I will never forget those shoes.  In fact, I have a picture of them to this day on my phone which I frequently torture myself with.  Moral of the story for me.....never pass up a pair of Dior pumps when in ROME!!

Rocking Stilettos

         Just went out for my Skinny Vanilla Latte and noticed a young 30s something woman in a smokin business suit and a fly pair of black Louboutin pumps.  My first thoughts were "Wow she's got it going on!"  Then to my dismay she began to walk in a clydesdale-like trot and I remembered one of my other major pet peeves....grown women who don't know how to walk in heels!  There's nothing more unattractive than a hot and fashionable woman who walks with wobbly ankles as if she's trying to balance herself on a tightrope.  Why do woman insist on rocking stilettos when they don't even know how to walk in them?  Now I've been getting my practice for a good 17 years and am graceful in my heels, but I don't claim to have balanced myself in 6 inch heels my first time at the rodeo.  Women need to learn how to start off with a kitten heel and then graduate to a higher one or else just stick with the ballerina flats.  What a waste of a pair of Louboutins!

My Fashion Targets

         So now that I've told the world about myself, people are looking for my expert advice.  As luck would have it I am a commuter and encounter thousands of people on the ferry and trains everyday.  Now most people spend their lengthy commute reading the newspaper, playing with their smart phones or Ipads, or listening to music.  Not me!  I people watch and these encounters have often left me wondering what on earth people were thinking when they got dressed in the morning.  Heck they must not have been thinking because they were still half asleep when they got dressed or perhaps they got dressed in the dark. Or maybe they don't have mirrors or friends to call them out on their fashion faux pas?
         Now I know that everyone is not like me and they can't be on their fashion game everyday, but a vast majority of these people are repeat offenders.  My biggest (and yes I mean BIGGEST) pet peeve is women who don't take the damn size label off the bottom of their shoe soles.  Hate to break it to you ladies, but I caught that fashion faux pas and if you were on Fashion Police you better believe that Joan would have you fined!
         Note to people riding any form of public transportation in NYC you are not free my critiques!  Up to now I have kept my thoughts to myself and just stored them away in my memory bank.  One of these days, however I'm not going to be able to help myself and I'm just going to call you out on that hideous red size 8 sale label at the bottom of your pink BCBG pumps because I care what you wear.  =)

Tuesday, January 15

How to Sustain Your Fashion Addiction

         I have been asked by many people how I support my insane shopping habit.  Coworkers have asked if I'm independently wealthy or if I have a sugar daddy.  The answer to both is "I wish, but sadly NO!" Others are fascinated to learn that I have not been evicted from my apartment for failure to pay rent or that I'm not drowning in debt.  Now I understand why people would assume such things, but to everyone's surprise I really am just a savvy shopaholic.  Being an expert shopper is a full time job.  Shopping may not be as lucrative as a paid job since I'm spending income rather than earning it, but somehow I find it way more fulfilling.
        The trick to being a savvy shopper is to be an educated consumer who is always in the know.  I know this may seem a bit daunting to the average person, but for me it just comes naturally.  The more I shop, the more must-have merchandise I see in stores and the more I learn about sales and promotions. I have bought and returned the same item three times in a week just to wind up paying the least amount possible for said item.  For instance, when Banana Republic had only one black lace Monogram dress in my size I bought it for full price, knowing that in two days when they had their 40% off Wednesdays promotion I was going to return and re-buy it for cheaper.  After buying it for the second time there was a "Friends and Family" promotion for 50%.  You better believe I went to the store for the third day in a row to return and re-buy that dress at 50% off.  To further enhance my savings I used my Banana store card to earn rewards points that could be applied to future purchases.  The more I shop, the more rewards I earn! Heck I even get rewarded by my favorite designers and department stores with $100, $200, and $500 gift cards out of the blue for my loyalty and business! Although I exhaust my friends just telling them about my marathon shopping excursions the experiences are exhilarating to me.    
       As one would imagine I am fairly well known at every Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Banana and Louis Vuitton in the tri-state area.  I'm even well known at the Tampa International Mall in Tampa, Florida which I visit twice a year while on vacation. (Yes I even shop on vacation!).  In fact I'm such a loyal customer that sales associates have my cell on speed dial.  Every time there is a new item in store or a sale going on they call me, thereby keeping me in the know.  My phone has more store contacts in it than actual friends or family members.  I'm even on a first name basis with the sales associates in the stores I frequent the most.  They welcome me with the warmest of greetings every time I walk through the door.  Probably because they see dollar signs as I'm coming, but I know no ordinary shopper gets that treatment!
        So to answer the never ending question "How do you shop the way you do and still afford to live?" I'm just dedicated to my craft.  I may have to visit a store more times in a week than the average person does in 6 months, but it's all worth it to me!


           I'm a lawyer by day and fashionista by night.  Shopping is my true passion, especially for designer shoes and bags.  My closets (yes I said closets!) are overflowing with Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior, and Chanel.  It is this obsession with high end fashion that has left me a dollarless diva.  However, I have to admit that I'm really just faux poor.  I make a decent salary, one that could support a family of four, yet I'm a single young woman who can barely afford herself.  I have spent several months of the year just scrapping by.... not turning on the heat or air conditioning in my house and eating ramen noodles and mac and cheese just so I can afford that 5k Chanel bag I NEED to have.  But hey it's all about priorities and everyone needs to make sacrifices for the things they really want in life. =) So what if I put looking good before being fed and warm in the winter? That bag was worth months of sleeping in my winter coat!  At the end of the day my wardrobe is truly fabulous so it makes it all worthwhile. 
             Many people might judge me as being materialistic or even crazy.  I beg to differ.  I like nice things for myself, but don't impose my expensive tastes on anyone.  If you want to wear that Kmart sweater and Payless shoes that's perfectly fine with me. Just don't expect me to accompany you on that little shopping trip.
              The obsession started when I was a little girl who would spend her days dressing up Barbie.  I would spend hours finding the perfect shoes or outfit to dress Barbie up in for her imaginary dinner dates and parties.  All of my allowance was spent on Barbie clothes and accessories.  Then I discovered fashion for myself! Every time I went to a family function I had to get a new outfit and matching hat.  Everyone in the family referred to me as Blossom from the 90s sitcom.  By age 18 I was working in retail spending my entire paychecks on clothes.  I had to buy every piece of new merchandise that came into the store for each of the seasons.  Within months of working I had zero take home pay and about a 100 pairs of jeans, 25 bathing suits, and 60 pairs of stilettos to show for it.  The rest is history!
            Now at 29 years old, I'm wondering why I never went into my field of dreams.  My desk at work currently has a stiletto scotch tape dispenser, a shoe calendar with a different pair of stilettos for every day of the year and a ceramic purse for pens and highlighters. Not a day goes by when people don't tell me I am in the wrong profession. "Why aren't you a stylist? A designer? Model?"  I ask myself the same questions.  Recently I have tried to tap into my innate sense of fashion. Friends and family members have recruited me for shopping trips to help style them from head to toe.  They call me on a moment's notice the day before they have a wedding to attend because they know I'll be up for the challenge. 
         Bo Derek once said that whoever believes money can't buy happiness simply doesn't know where to go shopping.  Truer words were never spoken.  Every time I walk into Short Hills Mall in NJ, 5th Ave in Midtown or Prince Street in Soho the heavens open up and I hear angels sing.  Forget alcohol or any other kinds of drugs.  All I need is to buy something new and fabulous for my rush. Last year on Valentine's I bought myself 3 pairs of Louis Vuitton shoes.  Why you ask?  Why not!?!  There was never a bigger smile on my face when I brought those gorgeous patent black peep toes, taupe monogram ankle booties, and taupe and gold patent peep toes home.  That is until the next week when I brought home my classic black Chanel maxi bag in caviar leather. 
          My obsession with shopping and all things fashion really is never ending.  I don't sleep at night because I'm obsessed with finding a pair of faux emerald tear drop earrings like the ones Angelina Jolie wore to the 2009 Emmys or with finding a pair of leather leggings or a black off the shoulder sequined and cashmere sweater.  I see a white silk button down blouse and I automatically think how amazing it would look with a black sleeveless fur vest, black Michael Kors booties, black leather leggings, a gold statement watch and gold dangling earrings.  One article of clothing sends my imagination into a tailspin conjuring up the next fabulous outfit I have to have.
           Ok, I suppose since my hour lunch is up that it's time to do some lawyering.  (Even though my mind will likely wander for the rest of the day about what my next big purchase will be!)