Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

So, me and every other blogger is doing their picks of the Anniversary Sale. What do you need to get in on the action now? A Norstrom credit card! If you don’t have one, it’s easy peasy to apply online, then make sure your online account is set up and you can shop online or in store before the sale is “open” to the public on 20 July!

For me, I started with the Kiehl’s gift set – a great value – and 3 full-sized products. It was hard to decide between the two sets TBH! I chose the “ultra healthy skin favourites” set for $69 but I also really liked the moisturiser that came with the “super age correction” set at $89. Tough choices!

Screen Shot 2017-07-14 at 16.33.32

The Kiehl’s Ultra Strength Hand Salve is only $10 (normally $15) – which in Las Vegas or anywhere super dry – you need!

And everything else from my picks from the sale (except the Saint Laurent sneakers and Frye flats!) are below. Not all Nordstrom stores have everything in stock, so if your local store doesn’t have it, they can order it for you, or order online. My suggestion is to make friends with someone in cosmetics and shoes to really get the inside scoop!

  • Voluspa Candle set $26.50 – after sale $40
  • Frye “Carson” Flats $157.95 (4 colours – not part of Anniversary Sale)
  • Gorjana Power Stone Semiprecious Bracelet $31.90 (6 colours) – after sale $48
  • Halogen Leather Moto Jacket $229.90 (2 colours) – after sale $349
  • Saint Laurent Classic Court Sneaker $595 (not part of Anniversary Sale)
  • Kate Spade Drop Earrings $31.90 (7 colours) – after sale $48
  • BP Stripe Faux Leather Clutch $22.90 – after sale $35
  • Barefoot Dreams Circle Cardigan $76.90 (4 colours) – after sale $116
  • Josef Seibel “Caspian” Sneaker $84.90 (5 colours) and I love the idea of the red sneaker – after sale $129.95
  • Paul Green “Logan” Bootie $239.90 (3 colours) – after sale $360
  • Nordstrom Signature Stretch Leather Biker Pants $649.90 – after sale $999

The only other thing I totally recommend is the Nordstrom Lingerie Wash $10.90 (after sale $18) – it is the best for washing all sorts of delicate clothing items!

Screen Shot 2017-07-14 at 16.58.55

And honestly, this is the first time I’ve really had a hard time getting excited about this sale… it’s de-motivating to shop for autumn/winter clothes when it’s 115F/43c outside and the weather shows no signs of cooling off at any point in the near future. Nonetheless, shop away!

Balenciaga

Are you thinking of this?

Screen Shot 2017-05-27 at 07.59.08Or are you thinking of those timeless, iconic dresses and accessories when women “dressed?” Actually, properly, perfectly dressed.

If you want to see actual, proper dressing, head down to the V&A now until next February 2018 and see Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion. All the details are on the V&A website.

The outfits are hard to capture through the glass, but you get the idea. Members’ week at the museum and this was the preview night before it opens to the public this weekend.

End of an Era

So, news broke yesterday that Jenna Lyons, CEO of J.Crew would be stepping down after 26 years at the company. In the US, J.Crew was always the hipper, cooler version of L.L. Bean or Lands’ End in the early 90s, and originally, it was catalogue only shopping with the order form attached at the centre. There were no stores. None. And I can remember waiting anxiously every time that new catalogue came out. My first purchases with my first credit card? A colour-block pique polo shirt and a pair of what would now be considered “high-waist” denim shorts. Also a navy blue polka dot (cotton) bikini. Love xx (and what does it say that I still remember that 20-something years later?)

At the time I didn’t even know who Jenna Lyons was – but she put the adorable critter embroidered clothing everywhere (I have turtle critter chinos I break out in the summer – still).. and the combo of sequins in the daytime! SEQUINS. With camo and stripes. Yes! And shoes that were sparkly and didn’t even seemingly go with the rest of your outfit.

Arguably, many have had it right over the last 5+ years or so – massive company debt, over-priced items, and sinking quality. I have cashmere from 10 years ago and TBH, it’s better quality than what’s in stores today. Basics that were staples of any closet disappeared in lieu of trendy items that were ridiculously priced. Remember when the Cece ballet flat came back? It wasn’t nearly as good as the original.

And what happened to classics like the basic rollneck sweater/jumper that came in 100% cotton, cashmere, or a cotton/cashmere blend? Gone. Scoop back swimsuit? Gone, though it did come back briefly last year. Café capri pants/trousers? Round toe Chelsea boots with the basic 1″ heel? Schoolboy blazer? (Ok, fine, it was replaced with the Rhodes blazer, but still…) Biennial satchel/hobo bags? Flannel-lined chinos? Cotton blend swimsuits? Etta block heels? And the basic barn jacket with the corduroy collar?

Accessories also made J.Crew a staple across the country. The bubble necklace that everyone had in seemingly every colour imaginable – and copied endlessly by the likes of Bauble Bar and others? Chunky pearls and sparkly statement necklaces during the day? Absolutely! Don’t forget the beaded rose necklace too, or the pretty much any necklace that would seem more appropriate during the evening. But hell, New Balance became cool again and everyone had #shinyponies.

Maybe we should’ve known the end was nigh, as even the wedding collection disappeared last year and one of the ruffled, flamenco-inspired skirts shown for SS17 last autumn had an asking price of $900? Regardless, I’ll miss Jenna and no longer be afraid of sequins during the day and be ok knowing camo, like leopard, is a neutral. I’ll still be a J.Crew girl.

To Sale or Not to Sale?

Ugh. The dreaded sale post, right? Everyone has sales going right now so where to begin. Honestly, I’m in the dilemma myself. I didn’t get clothes or anything for Christmas (spent all that cash on Bella Freud weeks earlier!) and the real question is do I really, and I mean really, really need anything? Maybe. I have carts going at five (or more!) shops online. One day, I’ll be a brave little soldier and go into the city on Boxing Day.

At home, I have, literally, 6 navy sweaters. 3 blue (not navy), 5 grey sweaters. 5 black. A pink. A burgundy/pink stripe. A cream. 3 green/olive. 2 Fair Isle (1 red, 1 cream). A YSL in a Neopolitan type stripe (pink, orange, brown) that I never wear but too leery to put in the charity bag. 4 grey sweatshirts. And the list goes on… (all of these are pretty accurate counts too). Do I need another sweater?

Same dilemma with jeans, coats/jackets, pants/trousers, shoes. I do pretty big purges when I move and have downgraded lots (though there are a few pieces I wish I hadn’t given away – which is always the case right?) and am really trying to keep things of quality that I wear ALL. THE. TIME. I always grab the same pieces from my closet.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-22-34-25

Boden Supersoft Jumper: was £89.50, now £35.80 in navy

 

So before you really spend, think if you need it. Are you upgrading? Cheap polyester/acrylic/blend for something 100% cashmere, cotton, or merino?  Are you replacing items that are worn out? On the t-shirts, I certainly need that, as I find my expensive t-shirts get tiny, tiny holes right where the button on my jeans sits, which is !@£$%^&* annoying after spending £30+ for a single shirt! I don’t need to look like a homeless person with holes in my shirts. Is your white t-shirt faded and not so white anymore? Soles on your shoes worn out and the cobbler can’t help? Do you look and see you only have brown boots and could use a black pair? Always wearing pants/trousers to work and want to try a dress or vice versa?

 

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-22-37-10

& Other Stories Zebraic Frilled Dress: was £69, now £48

 

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-22-38-17

Finery London Albany Buckle Wrap Dress: was £69, now £34

Honestly, I haven’t ordered from Finery before, but I really like a number of things on their site, and I have heard great things from people who have ordered from them. Also, many items are made in the UK, which I think is a plus. The bag below is made in Italy, but when you click on the description of an item on their site, it will actually list the country, not just “imported.”

 

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-22-41-28

Finery London Esther Leather Bucket Bag: was £125, now £62

And I have these pants/trousers in black, but tempted to get them in navy. I’ve worn mine with Stan Smith, not heels:

 

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-22-54-15

Next Wide Slouch Trousers (125-378): was £25, now £12

In a nutshell, think carefully. Edit and re-edit those online bags before entering your card information and really consider if you need it. I’m still deciding. And if it sells out before I’m ready to click “buy” then TBH, I didn’t need it after all, right?

 

 

 

 

And as always, photos belong to the companies listed for copyright, trademark and all that legal stuff.

 

#OOTD

A few samplings of various #ootd (outfit of the day) posts that can be found over on my Instagram account. Most are everyday clothes for going nowhere special – just running around town, walking dogs, etc. I am a general jeans and t-shirt person but do have a very unhealthy habit of very expensive shoes that rarely if ever get worn. I also do not believe yoga pants/trousers should ever be worn in public unless you’re on your way to/from yoga or pilates class or out walking the dog (hence, I only own 1 pair).

Black, navy, browns, and denim pretty much dominate! And yes, I even own one of those totally country tweed field coats – which is about 15yrs old. I spent a small fortune on it (at the time, due to the exchange rate) on a very, very special trip to the UK long before I moved here. Being such a classic, I will never get rid of it.

I’m equally lucky because a dear friend is a fashion designer (high-end menswear) and he did a capsule collection a few years ago I was lucky enough to get several very limited pieces from, including the tan faux-leather jacket and the blue flat velvet pants/trousers and jacket above. I hope he decides to do these special women’s collections every few years or so!

London

I spent the day in London with my mom (which is rare as she never takes time off work for anything frivolous, real or imagined). The plan was to attend the Bella Freud sample sale (seriously, it was good as I scored 75% off a cashmere sweater), then check out the Christmas offerings at Fortnum & Mason, St. James Square and that general area.

A word about sample sales if you’ve never been to one (most of this is commons sense, but always helpful to get some suggestions, right?):

  1. Get there first thing. If they announce 10am, be there at 945am!
  2. Wear layers (like a thin t-shirt or tank/vest top for shirts, or tights if you may purchase sweats/trousers, etc.). Depending on the designer, it makes it easier to try things on if you aren’t familiar with that designer’s particular sizing, or if you want to be 100% sure of a purchase, as all sales are final.
  3. Leave your kids at home. Unless it’s an event for children’s clothing, trust me, don’t bring them. Politely (or not) wrangling for something amongst 50+ other women doesn’t make it kid friendly.
  4. Set a budget. I’ve never been invited to a Gucci sale (I think you’d have to spend WAYYYYYYYY more than I do there to get that invite!), but you should have a reasonable idea of what the designer’s clothes normally cost. That being said, sample sale prices should be 60% off or more – giving you reasonable “spend” expectations.
  5. Know the style of what you may/not be looking for. Easy, right? But just remember, we all get sucked into the huge savings dilemma. If you know the designer does “fun” clothes and colours, no matter how good a deal it may be, do you really need the lime green and orange dot shirt for £20 that’s regularly £300 if you’ll never wear it when you really wanted a plain white shirt?

For me personally, I got there about 10min later than I hoped due to some tube/train delays. Not a big deal, but there were easily already 50 women in the small conference room literally grabbing ARMLOADS of knits! And in that 10min, I missed out on the candle sets that would’ve made the best Christmas gifts for friends. Boo. I picked up a fun sweatshirt for the price of one at NEXT and a cashmere sweater that I should get lots of use out of!

img_5299

Poor lighting this morning, but this is really cobalt blue, with light blue and yellow accents

Plans, of course, went awry, when we had to go to the Apple Store to see about fixing a problem with her phone. Unable to get a set Genius Bar appointment, we (surprisingly) were able to get a “walk-in” appointment within about 3 hours (trust me this is a miracle in itself), but it also meant we couldn’t stray too far from the store as they could text at any time saying the appointment was imminent! So, pounding up and down Regent Street it was! And of course, the minute we finally decided to get lunch, they texted to say it was appointment time – resulting in a sprint back up Regent as it now or never, as there were no more appointments that day! Ugh. Kudos to Apple though as they fixed the problem!

We also escaped London by the skin of our teeth, as we grabbed the tube and train from Kings Cross before the massive tube and train shutdown that plagued the rest of the city about an hour later on Wednesday evening!

Spring 2017 Already?

img_5158

I was invited to Boden’s Spring 2017 preview day last night and it was beyond amazing! Navy, red, deep mustard yellow, green, pastels. Lots of textures. Military/nautical influence. Garden-themed prints – think trellis patterns, botanicals, and geometrics.

And again, they are *killing* it with the shoes! I wanted them all. All. The. Shoes. (Admittedly, it was hard to get good photos of the shoes as they were all under glass!) The embroidered floral sneakers – £95. The embroidered slipper/flats are a very textured fabric (it is so hard to see in this photo) and the detail on the medallion is amazing – £95. The leather saddle bag behind the slipper/flat – £160. The leopard fringe heels also come in a red/orange suede – £140.