Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Guest Post: How to Shop the City with @VintageBrook

The last guest post from my sister Brook was all about window shopping at Forever21. She found all the best things in-store right now. My personal fav was the Cresent Band Fedora, what was yours? Check out her "Best Things at Forever21" post when you click the link. (http://goo.gl/fQIRf6)

This time around Brook is giving us her tips on how to plan a New York shopping trip. New York City is about 5 hours away from Washington, DC where we live so its an easy day trip. A few weekends ago while I was in New York for bridal fashion week and a friend's birthday my sister came up to NYC for a few hours for a very special shopping trip. Read below to find out more and to see what she purchased! -Brea


Small bags and wallets at &Other Stories in Soho

@VintageBrook


A few weeks ago, while in New York, I entered a raffle at Bloomingdale's and got the shock of a lifetime when I actually won! 

The prize: a dress of my choosing from Bloomingdale's. 

The catch: To claim the dress I had to go back to the Soho, NY store where I entered the contest to and pick one out. 

I decided to use my good fortune as an excuse to spend the day shopping in New York. As a shopping hobbyist I find it peculiar when people get overwhelmed by a trip to their local mall. But even I, a person who has only lived in big cities, can still get overwhelmed shopping in a big city like New York. 

So I'm sharing my tips for executing an amazing (and stress free) shopping excursion in the city.

~

One Neighborhood Per Day

Don't try to shop the entire city in one day or even one trip. 

For my day trip to New York (I was literally only in NY for six hours) I focused on the Soho neighborhood exclusively. This isn't The Amazing Race. If you try to see everything you'll end up feeling rushed and only seeing very little of a whole lot. Instead pick one neighborhood and stay there. Explore it thoroughly and at your leisure. Relax, stroll, enjoy.




Know Yourself

Do you get hangry? Do you hate crowds? Does walking make you sad? Are you scared of shopgirls? 

Be real with yourself. While everyone should step outside of their box and push their boundaries occasionally, there are ways to do this without making yourself miserable. If you need a snack, pack one in your purse. Hate crowds? Try going out mid-day or even in inclement weather (it's amazing how even light rain can clear out a city.) Hate walking? Hop in an Uber, I won't judge you. Scared of shopgirls? ...Sorry, can't help you with that one.




Visit a Flagship

The familiar in a spectacular package.

Flagship stores are designed with the sole purpose of showcasing the brand. As a result they are bigger, sparklier and cleaner than your local store. They also have a much better selection than your local store. You will see things at a flagship store that you've never seen before and probably will never see again. Most major cities have flagship stores but you'll also find flagships in smaller cities where some of your favorite stores are based or were started.


The Uniqlo Store in Soho was the brand's first US store


Go Someplace New

Don't limit yourself to the places you've heard about, found on google or know from home. 

One of the best things about going somewhere new is finding something new. If you see a cool store, stop in. On my day trip to Soho I discovered &Other Storiesan amazing store that sells everything from soap to shoes. &Other Stories opened in October and the Soho location is the first store in the US. They are owned by H&M and the brand was actually created to be the accessories line of H&M. (I found all of this out by chatting with the cashier.)

Bonus tip - Talk to talkative employees!


Rings from my new favorite store &Other Stories



Consider the Journey Home

My shopping-while-traveling mantra: Don't buy things you'll have trouble transporting. 

After a lovely day shopping in Soho I headed to Penn Station to take the train back to DC. Throughout the day I made sure to only purchase small items that were easy to carry. I bought a few accessories and three types of lotion (hand cream, coconut oil cooling spray and a scented lotion from the VS Pink store that is no longer carried in my area.) If I were flying my excessive need for moisturizer would have been a nightmare but these were perfect items to transport via train. I consolidated all of the small shopping bags I'd collected along the way into one medium sized bag... boarded the train and rode off into the sunset.

...actually my Acela was an hour and half late and completely packed, but I was able to stay totally zen as a result of left over good vibes from my wonderful stress free day of shopping in the city!

 What I bought from &Other Stories

For more adventures in shopping follow Brook on Instagram:  

Monday, April 27, 2015

NY Minute

 WHAT I WORE: tip to toe!

shoes & dress - Ann Taylor | bag- Rebecca Minkoff


After a long work week I flew into New York for a girls weekend with my favorite ladies. We had a true NY weekend... dinner at a tiny exclusive spot down the street from Carrie's SATC apartment, drinks and a show at a Jazz club, lounging in Central Park and dancing on the waterfront.

  







Friday, April 24, 2015

Workin' for the Weekend

WHAT I WORE: tip to toe!

Lela Rose- Within a Dream dress

c/o Rent the Runway Georgetown

Available here: http://goo.gl/dyh0rA
 
There's that saying "If you stay ready you never have to get ready..." and this Lela Rose dress from the Rent the Runway store in Georgetown embodies this quote. Its conservative enough for a DC office (knee length, simple cut, goes with the official color choice of DC... navy) yet stylish enough for whatever your evening may bring.

 
I often go straight from work to blogger events in the city so I paired this dress with a navy blazer (part of an Ann Taylor pantsuit) flats and a Longchamp bag for day. The unique seaming on the front of this dress creates (or accentuates) an hourglass shape.


 
I keep going out options in a locked drawer at my desk. When the work day is through peel off your blazer, throw on your heels and grab a clutch. This outfit goes from desk to drinks in no time flat. Are you ready for the weekend?

 
Thank you to Rent the Runway for sponsoring this series of posts.
Visit Rent the Runway online or in store in Washington, DC | Las Vegas | Chicago | Soho | Flatiron
 
Check out all of my RTR looks!
Halston Heritage- Crossing Over Dress
 
 


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bridal Market: Isabelle Armstrong

 
On a beautiful Saturday morning in New York bridal designer Isabelle Armstrong invited buyers, bloggers and press to a rooftop in the Meatpacking district to view her Spring 2016 collection. Competitively priced at around $7,500 Isabelle Armstrong bridal can be found at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus etc.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ladies Who Lunch

WHAT I WORE: tip to toe!

Halston Heritage- Crossing Over Dress

c/o Rent the Runway

Available here: http://goo.gl/u9dHsL

As you're reading this, please take a moment to really study the photo above...can you see the horizontal lines in the side of this dress? That feature is modern day boning. Back in the day to achieve the structure in a garment hard material was placed in the seams; This helped the garment hold its shape and created a slimming silhouette. 


Here Halston Heritage has achieve the same effect with careful draping and layering of fabric, exceeding my expectations with the Crossing Over Dress. I rented this dress from the Rent the Runway store in Georgetown. It's perfect for my sorority's upcoming Alumnae tea at the Four Seasons or any of the millions of baby/bridal/reason to celebrate showers coming up in April and May. The store manager suggested I layer it with a collared shirt and I'm so glad I did...it really personalizes the look!


I'm loving having RTR so nearby. If I get invited to something last minute I can make an appointment to try on dresses and rent right on the spot. If there are no appointments available they even accept walk-ins! Another thing I'm loving about having Rent the Runway in DC is that I can explore designers my wallet doesn't usually have access to and figure out which design for on my bodyshape. So far I'm loving Tibi for that fierce white culotte jumpsuit I wore and Halston Heritage for their hourglass-friendly dresses.
  

If you're living in (or visiting) the DC area stop by the Rent the Runway store in Georgetown. The sales associates are so sweet and the atmosphere of the store is so much fun (think your most fashionable friend's walk-in closet); there are even full-length selfie mirrors with a built in photobooth! Trust me...you'll fall in love (a few times) with the dresses in there.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Tip to Toe Through the Tulips

 

WHAT I WORE: tip to toe!

tee | flannel shirt | jeans | booties | handbag

While all of the tourists where flocking to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms this weekend my Delta Zeta sorority sisters and I strolled over to Georgetown for brunch and a tour of the gardens at Dumbarton Oaks.
 
The gardens are located at a private home turned museum by renowned landscape designer Beatrix Farrand whose work has been commissioned by the White House! The gardens were magical and the scent was unbelievable in there!
 
Admission to Dumbarton Oaks is $10 ($5 with valid student ID) but note the garden is only open from 2-6pm daily. Add this to your itinerary next time you're in DC on a lovely spring day.
 
 

 
 
 
  
 
 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spring Has Sprung

WHAT I WORE: tip to toe!

Tibi Agatha Jumpsuit 

c/o Rent the Runway

Available here: http://goo.gl/YvTw2F

Anyone else doing somersaults in celebration of Spring? It was a looooong cold winter and I don't miss it one bit. These handful of sunny days have given me enough hope to last all season long. I know you're not supposed to wear white until Memorial day and I don't want to push the season...actually that's not true. I do want to push the season...I want to wrestle the season to the ground and pummel all the sunshine out of it. Aggressive much?



Can I get a slow clap for the awesomeness that is this culotte jumpsuit?!? What in all the fashion fabulousness was Tibi thinking? (I don't know, but I like the way their mind works.) I was so excited to borrow this piece from the Rent the Runway store in Georgetown, because let's face it this is a bold look and what better way to be daring without all the risk than to rent! No commitment, just a fleeting moment of chic! Sign up for Rent the Runway (it's free) and reserve this look for that inevitable white party...you'll own the room!


Should you need a standout piece for a work function, this same Tibi Agathe Jumpsuit pairs well with a cropped blazer, round toe pumps and a black bag; all of which I know you already have in your wardrobe. This more conservative look is perfect for leading a presentation or attending a conference...or any situation where you want to stand out from the sea of black, navy and grey suits. What are you even waiting for...stop reading this post and reserve this jumpsuit so you can twirl around in it. PS- It has pockets! I know right?!?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Guest Post: Window Shopping with @VintageBrook

I've mentioned my sister Brook on the blog a few times in passing, she has that awesome jewelry line VintageBrook that pops up at NPR's All Craft's Considered during holiday season. Besides being a talented artist, Brook has a hidden talent...window shopping and today's guest post she's giving us the scoop on the best things in-store right now at Forever21. Want her to go window shopping at your favorite store next? Let us know in the comments!
 

STORE:
Montgomery Mall
Bethesda, MD

I love window shopping, it’s my therapy, my cardio and (I don’t know if I should openly admit this) my hobby. Here are the best things I discovered on a recent “just looking” trip to Forever 21.

 
CRESCENT-BAND FEDORA
The Crocodile Dundee hipster hat of your dreams.
PRICE: $17.90

FIND IT ONLINE:

WHY IT’S SO GREAT: 

  1. The brim is wide but not so much so that it feels like something only to be worn at the beach.
  2. The hat is structured and seems like it will hold its shape.
  3. The fun gold band makes it stand out from the crowd of wide brimmed hats currently in stores.
 
NOTES: This is a black felt hat so it’s likely to attract a lot of dust but with a price tag under $20 its well worth it to keep a lint roller handy and keep it moving.

~
UNICORN STUD & EAR CUFF SET
Because who doesn’t love unicorns?
PRICE:  $4.90

FIND IT ONLINE:


WHY IT’S SO GREAT:

  1. You get five pairs of earrings and an ear cuff.
  2. All of the earrings in this set are wearable and cute.
  3. The earrings are all finished in my new obsession, matte gold.

NOTES: You get six accessories in this set, making the per item cost less $1. When was the last time you got something for less than $1?

~
 
SHEER EYELASH TOP 
There's nothing like nice lace. 
PRICE:  $19.90 

FIND IT ONLINE:
http://bit.ly/1GdnCbj
 
 WHY IT’S SO GREAT:

  1. The beautiful light airy semi sheer design screams summer.
  2. It’s peppered with beautiful floral lace accents.
  3. The trim on the sleeves and bottom is exquisite.

NOTES: This shirt has a boxy fit. The length was almost like a crop top on me, but I have a fairly long torso.

~
 
SEQUINED FLORAL LACE TOP
Versatility in sequins.
PRICE: $24.90  $15.00
Currently on sale online! (in blush)
FIND IT ONLINE:
  
WHY IT’S SO GREAT:

  1. It’s nicely lined and has a substantial feel that you wouldn’t expect from Forever 21.
  2. This is definitely one of those dress it up or down, take it day to night tops.
  3. The combination of sequins in a floral print make it wearable in any season.

NOTES: They didn’t have my regular Forever 21 size (medium), so I tried on a large. Turns out that “not my size” large, is totally my size in this top and it fit perfectly.

~

RHINESTONE PYRAMID SHAPE STUDS
Trend, trend, trend alert!
PRICE: $5.90
 
FIND IT ONLINE:


WHY IT’S SO GREAT:
  1. There's a party in the front and the back with these double sided earrings.
  2. They look even better in person.
  3. Everyone’s wearing double sided pearl earrings, I love that these are on trend yet still unique.

NOTES: Forever 21 has an amazing selection of fun earrings right now and at these price points it’s a great place to try out a new trend.
 
 
For more adventures in shopping follow Brook on Instagram: