Le Hoarder
Le Hoarder

A NYC-ish* Style and Shopping Blog

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Real Girls' Guide to Looking Skinnier and Taller.

While I hate being categorized, I've recently had to think about where I fit in the blogosphere.

Growing up I was a small, skinny girl. I had buck teeth, a lisp, long stringy hair, and born in to a family of seven kids without a lot of money probably didn't help. I had to deal with teasing from the mean girls but in retrospect I was lucky that I wasn't subjected to serious bullying. As a mom I try to make sure that my kids are always thoughtful of other kids feelings so they won't have to experience what I felt growing up. I think what kept me sane was eventually finding a friend who felt as different as I did - and knowing I was amazing - even if those basic girls couldn't see it. Eventually the braces came off, had a few years of speech therapy, grew a few inches, learned to put myself together (on the cheap of course) and then people started to finally see what I always knew. I was naturally skinny, I had the beauty of youth, and I was fearless with my fashion. At parties or events people would always come find me to see what I was wearing.

And now at 42, after three kids and a much slower metabolism I had to re-learn how to dress for my new shape. I'm far less bold in my choices but I still try to push myself. Most bloggers I know or follow are in their 20s and/or super skinny, or petite, or plus-size, or modest, or rich with a closet of current season designer goods. And then there are those mommy bloggers who tend to be smart business women who monetize everything, and write e-books, and know how to earn a living off their blogs. And then there's me. And I'm none of the above.

So who am I?

I don't have a mission statement or anything - I just like to take people inside my crazy world of a stay at home mom who loves fashion as much as her family (maybe a little more LOL) and is always on the hunt for pretty things on the cheap. While most of my deals are not available online, I always invite you along, sharing my experiences on Instagram or my blog, and flat out tell you where to find me shopping so you too can partake in my designer deals. On Insta this week when I threw my hat in for Redbook's Real Women Style Awards, someone called me a #balleronabudget and I can't tell you how much I love that hashtag.

From head to toe:
  • Sunglasses: Zara, $3.99
  • Dress: Shein, gifted (RV $22 - seen before here)
  • Coat: Zara, $19.99 (RV $189!!)
  • Gloves: Carolina Amato, Century 21, $10
  • Bag: Rebecca Minkoff, sample sale, $75 (RV $425)
  • Jeans: Zara, $7.99
  • Shoes: Tesori, Nordstrom Rack, $0.01

Last week I hit the City for a full day adventure. It was bitter cold. It was actually the day before the snowstorm and you could feel it coming. I knew I needed something warm so I grabbed one of my recent $20 Zara sale finds which is insanely cozy. I actually purchased it in a Medium and XXL. The medium just fits and the XXL is HUGE. I seriously grabbed almost every $20 coat on the rack for friends and family. I did find a large in black but I preferred this color so I gave it to my SIL. I didn't intend to keep the XXL but sometime when I feel big I feel the need to cover up. Problem is oversized clothing can often bulk you up. I probably should just gone with the medium but I chickened out.

I'm from the camp of dressing to fit and flatter. But every now and again I make a mistake so I'll consider this one a teachable moment.

A few quick Michelle-isms to consider:

Always show your skinny. I have long skinny legs and arms and I try to show them as often as possible. That way your eye is drawn to them so you don't focus on my wider parts - and it also helps visually create balance. Open necklines are also more flattering now that I've put on a few pounds and have a few more curves. I used to wear a lot of turtlenecks and boat necks when I was a size 2. I'm not saying that one can't unless they're size small, but I prefer not to. Just focus on what you like about yourself - and go with it.

Create as many vertical lines as you can. You want to elongate your body as much as possible. In this look I added a small heel, skinny jeans, and your eye follows the line of the long placket on the front of the dress making me look slimmer and taller. I was a short girl growing up (still not that tall at 5'5") and finally grew in my late teens all the way till I was 20. I had to learn all the tricks to look and feel taller. It always drove me nuts that other than my mom, I'm the shortest in my family. Horizontals will break you in half and cut the line. Right now all I see is where this coat hits me (on the widest point on my hips) and I'm cringing a little. Wearing my coat open creates more vertical lines but a longline vest or coat, or even a long scarf will help the cause as well.

Don't be afraid to try something on. When I'm personal shopping with clients I always insist they try on everything I pull. Sometimes you need to open your mind because things you thought you'd never wear can turn out to be your best friends.

You can shop my style here:

Thank you to Belle @littlefashionstylist for my pictures! After a few shots a security guard came over and told us we needed a permit to take pics at Lincoln Center. Really? Luckily we had enough so we just walked away.

We met up to hit the Milly sample sale preview and walked away empty handed. They had a few cute things but nothing super cheap or super amazing. After I dragged her along to a Disney Style press preview to check out all things Beauty and the Beast. They had a mix of high and low end designers who collaborated with pieces inspired by the movie. Now really is the time to have the name Belle.

I'm linking up all things Beauty and the Beast that I spotted on-line here:

On our way to our next sale we walked by Central Park and I had to take a few snaps of Belle. She's seriously the cutest. Off the bat I can tell you that the hot pink scarf/glove combo was from the Carolina Amato sale and she killed it at the Marc Jacobs sale where she picked up those star booties.

In keeping with my Beauty and the Beast theme, I wanted to share a few pics of the girls from Ella's birthday party. I took her friends to see the movie on opening weekend and we told everyone to dress up. Luckily we already had these thrifted Belle dresses. I have a "Beast" baseball hat from the time I went with a friend to see it on Broadway years ago but of course I couldn't find it LOL.

Nina Kids Shoes just sent us these gorgeous sequin sneakers that we'd been waiting for since the preview a few months back. I still have yet to share that adventure on the blog - I'm so behind in sharing so many things.

A movie party is really the way to go. Our local theater is $5 a seat and we went to the dollar store and made our own goodie bags that we filled with Cracker Jacks, Fruit by the Foot, Ring Pops, fruit drinks and all of Ella's favorite treats. I did buy the tickets several days ahead because as I suspected, it was a sold out show. Our group took up an entire row in the theater so we arrived early and shuttled the girls to their seats as they arrived. After the movie we walked down the block to the pizza store and chowed down until pickup. Easy peasy and budget friendly.

So for me, next week is all about shoes. Both Paul Andrew and SJP are having their sample sales and you better believe I'll be at both! Be sure to come say hello when you see me knee deep in heels :)

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker
March 29, 10am-?
65 W 54th Street, 2nd Fl

Paul Andrew (This year they will have men's and women's shoes!)
March 30-31, 12-7
41 West 58th Street, Suite 2A

Michelle the Shoe Obsessed


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Gray Layers.

Decided to pull out a few more new pieces that have been sitting unloved in my closet to share. It all started with this $.99 hat from Zulily. I had $25 in referral credit that was about to expire and I tried to find something for less (so I wouldn't kill the deal LOL) but I'm a sucker for a fur pom pom and couldn't resist. Plus I knew it would compliment my H&M coat perfectly :) From there came my $219 Stella McCartney heart bag, $10 Rebecca Taylor boots & Rosegal denim shirt dress.

When shopping at sites like Rosegal you really have to be mindful of the measurements. I've been doing so well with them that I just assumed a large for my denim shirt dress would be ok - and it's big on top and WAY too narrow on bottom. I would have loved to wear it as a dress but at least it works well open as a layer.

From head to toe:
  • Hat: Maniere Accessories, Zulily, $.99 (after $25 credit, RV $50)
  • Sunglasses: Dolce & Gabbana, Nordstrom Rack, $0.01!
  • Dress: American Apparel, $7.50, Nordstrom Rack
  • Shirtdress: Rosegal, gifted (RV $27.90)
  • Coat: H&M, $30 (sale rack, RV $99)
  • Bag: Stella McCartney, TJ Maxx, $219 (RV $1,065, yellow sticker sale!)
  • Cashmere Gloves: $2, Century 21 - back from the real 90% off days
  • Boots: Rebecca Taylor "Panther", sample sale, $10! (RV $450)

I've noticed that when it's really cold out my face freezes into a grimace. This look was the last one I shot that day (I did two others - see here and here) and there wasn't a single photo with a smile in the bunch LOL. Sometimes it's hard to remember the little things like smiling when it's below 20 degrees and the wind cuts like a knife.

Once again, shoutout to my 11 year old son for braving the cold and taking my pics :)

You can shop my style here:

Speaking of cold, yesterday I braved the snowstorm and hitchhiked my way into NYC (public transportation wasn't running) to check out the Jil Sanders Navy sample sale because I heard they had $50 Proenza and Rochas shoes. Sadly there was nothing left in my size - but it's worth a peek if you're in the hood as I'm sure there will be markdowns. Don't worry - I'll have that post up with my adventure soon :)

Jil Sanders Navy
March 14-19
Tue-Thu 10am-8pm, Fri-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm
150 Greene Street

Markdowns at Milly already hit but it's really all sample size 6 for woman and 4 for girls.

March 13-16
M 1-7, T-Th 11-7
Clothingline, 261 West 36 Street, 2 Fl

The Reiss sample sale is worth checking out if you can fit sample size. Last time I scored a couple shearlings for a little over $100. Check out my last sale report here, and me wearing one here.

Reiss London
March 21-26
Tues 9am-8pm, Wed-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm
260 5th Ave.

Also - SPJ was postponed till the 29th due to the crazy weather.

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker
March 29, 10am-?
65 W 54th Street, 2nd Fl

Stay warm & happy shopping!

Michelle the Hardcore


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Just Put a Cape on It.

It's funny how you can have a million things in your closet, yet you always repeat your favorites. Pretty much everything is on repeat here other than my brand new Make Me Chic cape. I probably would have sported this look at Fashion Week had it not been so darn cold (and snow-y). I love a good cape and this one is military inspired with girly scalloped edges. And you really can't beat the less than $30 price-point!

I should warn you that this post is picture heavy. I probably could have split this look and my haul into two separate posts but I really only have time to blog once a week these days. I don't know how I used to spit out 2-3 posts a week. A lot of it is that now that I share more style posts, it takes me hours to edit my pictures. I usually have over 100 shots for every look and then I have to choose my favorites and clean them up.

From head to toe:
  • Hat: BeMine NYC, Macy's Backstage, $12.99 but used gift card they gifted me
  • Sunglasses: Moschino, Century21, free with rewards (RV $295, their price $60)
  • Lipstick: YSL Rose Intime No. 28, gifted from Octoly, RV $38
  • Dress: Rosegal, gifted (RV $40.90)
  • Cape: Make Me Chic, gifted (RV $28.90)
  • Bag: Prada, borrowed from my Mom (RV $2,390)
  • Gloves: Surell, Century 21, $4.50 (RV $99) - back when 90% off was really 90% off...
  • Tights: Spanx, Burlington, $13
  • Boots: Betsey Johnson, Macy's Backstage, $49.99 (RV $99) but used gift card they gifted me

Shop my look here:

Shoutout to my 11 year old son Keva who shot my pics - I really have the best kids ever :)

This year was the first year that I hit the Zara sale hard. I've dabbled in Zara in the past but this is the first year that I really got it. Any good sale takes a little luck and a little skill. Ever since they opened a location in my local mall I've been popping in several times a week to pick up online purchases, return...and check out other people's returns. I also stalk their website for online replens LOL.

My piece de resistance was my Wonder Woman leather jacket. From $249 to $30. Score!

Needed another leather jacket like a whole in the head but for $30 I couldn't leave behind this $199 moto. It's a cross between black and brown and has a slightly distressed finish.

I've been living in this oversized wool moto jacket. It looks so much better on. Again, $30!

You know me and patches. For $30 I needed this Awesome navy coat in my life.

My 92 year old grandma was complaining she had no clothing (she shrunk and is a little crooked these days) so I grabbed her this Chanel-y tweed jacket for $20.

I missed the boat on accessories at my store, and sizing for shoes can be all over the place (I'm either a 40 or 41 in their shoes) but grab what you can. Scored this cute bag for $12.99 and these platform shoes for $5.99.

A couple finds for Ella included this cute leopard bomber and pleated skirt - both for $5.99 each.

This is really only part one of my Zara sale haul because I've since picked up dozens more and I have several pieces still being shipped to me. The last piece I'm going to share is this adorable $199 fur collared plaid coat that I picked up for my friend @littlefashionstylist. She mentioned she needed more coats and the vintage feel and colors just screamed Belle. And for $20 I could not leave it behind. It's so Miu Miu, right? It also goes perfectly with my Alice + Olivia "Staceface" bag that I just got at Nordstrom Rack for $29.99. Too bad it came in right after Clear the Rack...

I tried it on Ella to make sure it would fit Belle and it almost fit little miss moody. I considered offering the bag to Belle for a moment but I just found myself a dress for $12.99 at Zara that works with it. Stay tuned for pics :)

Clear the Rack wasn't all that exciting, thou I did find these EMU boots for Ella for $10 (RV $90!) after discount.

And an Insta follower (thanks girl!) messaged me that she saw these Sophia Webster Chiaras for just $107 (RV $575) after discount at a nearby location. I called the next day and by some miracle they still had them so I sped over and scooped them up. I've wanted these for so long too! Yay!

As for sample sales, There is the SJP sale on the 15th that I mentioned in the last post*** and Milly may be worth a peek. Last round wasn't great but the previous one was. It also looks like the Luxury 9 pop up sale is back (now as 375) - I missed the last one when I was in Florida and I totally regret it. If it's anything like the last one DO NOT miss it.

375 Pop Up Sale - ETA don't bother, it's expensive
March 12-21, 10-7
375 Lexington Ave.

March 13-16
M 1-7, T-Th 11-7
Clothingline, 261 West 36 Street, 2 Fl

Anyone else shop the Zara sale or Clear the Rack? What was your best find?

Last but not least, congrats to Angie B., winner of my Comm-ci legging giveaway! Your leggings are on the way!

Michelle (Just Call Me Zara Girl)

*** SJP was postponed to the 29th due to snow!


Thursday, March 2, 2017

NYC Street Style & Comm-ci Giveaway!

Nothing makes me happier than wandering the streets of NYC - even in the freezing cold. These days I'm usually running from sample sale to sample sale before racing home to pick up my kids from school. Every so often I have a spare hour or two to explore so instead of subway-ing to my next destination, I'll make sure to layer up and wear comfortable shoes so I can go out on foot and take in the City. That morning I decided to try something new and wear these amazing Comm-ci leggings. Good news is that I'll be giving away a pair - keep reading for details...

That's not to say I never wear leggings outside of the gym, I just usually do so under a dress. I'm from the school of thought that leggings are not pants. It's not even a modesty issue per-se, but to me it's like wearing your underwear outside in public. It's a personal taste level. If you're okay with that - that's cool. Personally I'm not. I actually don't let my girls wear leggings without a dress or tunic on top. I don't think I would have worn these out with a shorter jacket (and my blue bomber never came off that day) but I decided to go out of my comfort zone and not zip up the jacket - and show a little leg.

Comm-ci leggings are nice and thick (not too thick) and really comfortable. They have six different types - I selected the high waist skinny leggings in black and I'm wearing a size medium. They have a wide waistband (to help suck you in) and the slim fit is really flattering. These retail for $69 and worth every penny. In the past I've purchased leggings at H&M and Target for $10 and I have to say you get what you pay for. They often tear or stretch out after a few wears. The moment you touch these you'll understand. Bonus: code LeHoarder20 gets you 20% off your purchase on their website but right now I'm giving away a pair of leggings (your choice!) on Instagram here.

The last couple times I posted my about my Rockrunner sneakers on Instagram (and shared about TJ Maxx/Marshalls yellow sticker clearance) my photo went viral. What I think is so funny, is that I got a lot of comments about how ugly they are LOL. I understand that mint green lace kicks are not for everyone but as you can see, they're actually pretty cute. I'm guessing it was my couponers who don't understand paying $99 for designer sneakers (even if they retail for $795). To those of you who responded on Insta, I just wanted to make it clear that in no way am I insulted. I just think it's funny.

Head to toe:
  • Hat: H&M, $1 (sale rack!)
  • Sunglasses: Jimmy Choo, Nordstrom Rack, $10 (RV $325)
  • Necklace: Dannijo Nicoline, sample sale, $25 (RV $150)
  • Shirt: Electric Circus, Nordstrom Rack, $3.50 (retail $34)
  • Coat: H&M, $30 (sale rack)
  • Jacket: Make Me Chic, gifted (RV $36)
  • Gloves: Carolina Amato, sample sale, $15
  • Bag: Prada, borrowed from my Mom (RV $2,390)
  • Leggings: Comm-ci high waist skinny, gifted (RV $69)
  • Sneakers: Valentino Rockrunners, TJ Maxx, $99 (RV $745)

Just a note for fellow bloggers or photographers - be careful when shooting outside with a sparkly necklace. My new Dannijo choker reflected off my chin and neck and gave me a sparkly beard.

You can shop my style here:

Photos by the adorable @littlefashionstylist. Thanks Belle!

As for NYC shopping, you may want to check out The Shoe Box as designer shoes are $5-199 and bags are $49! Elizabeth and James found a new home at Prive and prices went up with it. Gone are the days of $99 furs :( Another sale on my radar is SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker - last time shoes were not super cheap and SJP did not make an appearance but you never know...

The Shoe Box
2/28 - 3/05
Tue 10am-8pm, Wed-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm
260 Fifth Avenue

Elizabeth and James
Wed-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm
Prive, Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave.

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker
03/15, 10am-?
65 W 54th Street, 2nd Fl

Be sure to enter my Instagram giveaway for a free pair of Comm-ci leggings! One winner will be selected in just 3 days! Good luck!

Michelle and Her 'Ugly' Valentino Kicks :)

© Le Hoarder

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