Le Hoarder
Le Hoarder

A NYC -ish* Style and Shopping Blog

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Gimmie All the Stars.



I took the girls into the City for our annual New Years Day at the American Girl Doll Store in Rockefeller Center. I'm super excited to share that American Girl just sent us Luciana Vega, their 2018 Girl of the Year doll so we'll talk about her and our experience in a future post. I do have to share that Ella was just reposted on the American Girl Insta - check out her feature here. For today, we're just gonna share our mother-daughter street style. Recently I've been obsessing over stars so when I saw these Stella McCartney Elyse platform shoes at the sample sale for over 80% off I kinda really needed them. Plus they matched the girls' Nina Kids Demi boots perfectly.

I've been killing it at the H&M sale and picked up this Gucci-esque cargo jacket for $10 (from $69.99) and this dotted dress for just $15. I really wanted to wear the jacket but my fitted coats didn't fit over it - so I pulled out my vintage thrifted cape and added the hat for a pop of color. I confess that I knew I wouldn't be outside long or I would have added several more layers for me and the girls. My 12-year-old son (and photographer) was a total pro and didn't complain once while he shot us in 9 degree weather - with windchill it was even lower.

Right now H&M is offering an extra 20% off and free shipping (with orders $100+) with code 5944 thru the 15th. Hurry!!






Head to toe:

  • Hat: Classic Prep Monograms, c/o
  • Sunglasses: Jason Wu, sample sale, $20
  • Cape: Gloverall, thrifted, $20
  • Jacket: H&M, $10 (linked below!)
  • Dress: H&M, $15
  • Gloves: Carolina Amato, sample sale, $10
  • Bag: 3.1 Phillip Lim, Nordstrom Rack, $245 (RV $775)
  • Tights: Spanx, Burlington Coat Factory, $13
  • Socks: Smartwool, Nordstrom Rack, $0.01
  • Shoes: Stella McCartney, sample sale, $200 (RV $1,100)





Shop my look here:





Girls and I coordinated with our star shoes (theirs are from Nina Kids) and we took several pics, but this was the only one that came out. We'll have to try again soon. In this weather I always layer with wool socks so I don't freeze my feet - ergo those hot pink socks peeking out. Ella was actually wearing a pair as well. Did I mention they were a penny at Nordstrom Rack? :)





Ella has been loving her new Sophia Webster butterfly backpack (we are slowly building her designer collection) and Ava is just as happy with her Old Navy unicorn purse. I found their hats for 70% off at Target ($1.50 each). Score!




For some reason Ava loves to Dab. Don't ask me why...







As for sample sales, there are a couple on my radar for this week. I just noticed Zadig & Voltaire is having a warehouse sale but I'm not sure if it will be as epic as the last one in their showroom where I scored my favorite glitter heeled boots for $75 and my sample fringed belt for $40. Jason Wu will be at 260 - and they will have samples. That said, I'm heading to Miami this week and I'm not sure I have time to run into the City before I leave. Ugh. They will either be amazing or a waste and I'm not sure if I can take the gamble. If you hit those sales be sure to let me know what you score!

Zadig & Voltaire
January 15-21
M-Sat 11-7, Sun 12-6
153 Mercer Street

Jason Wu
January 16-21
T 9-8, W-F 11-8, Sat 10-8, Sun 10-5
150 Greene Street

This week I kept is short and sweet because things have been crazy. If anyone has any recommendations for Miami please do share! I wanted to do the Museum of Ice Cream but for a family of five it's about $200 which seems insane to me. Personally, I think kids under 12 should have a discounted rate. I also heard great things about Jungle Island (the place with the parrots) but they are closed for renovations. Boo. Any ideas?

Happy Shopping!

XO
Michelle





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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Confessions of a Sample Sale-aholic.



My name is Michelle and I'm addicted to sample sales. I've been sample sale-ing for over 20 years now. Once you've shopped a designer sample sale, it's pretty much impossible to shop at retail. Last week, my blogger bestie, Belle, launched her editorial site, Little Fashion Stylist. I wrote this article for her about the sample sale life, but I confess it's an updated compilation of several posts that have appeared here over the past couple years.

I have a few half-written articles that I planned to share first, but I couldn't finish because life got in the way. Besides the craziness of the Bomb-Cyclone that hit us last week, my boiler decided to crack and die, leaving us without heat since last Wednesday. It dropped to 32 degrees (Fahrenheit) inside my home so we sent the kids to live with my BIL, and ran out and purchased several space heaters so the pipes wouldn't freeze and burst. Right now it's 39 degrees in my house. It's so cold I can see my breath, and it hurts my fingers to type - even with gloves on. Thankfully, tomorrow they're coming and putting in a new one for a whopping $12,000. Ouch. Mine wasn't even that old. Plus I was told it would last for 20 years. Guess not. 

But I digress...

Over the years I've scored everything from $25 Sergio Rossi heels, $100 Choos (that retailed for over $2,000!), countless designer dresses and coats for under $50, even my first Chanel bag for 75% off.  The Chanel actually wasn't from their sample sale - just a crazy end of season deal. But the principals of bargain shopping still apply. Even my $20,000 Badgley Mischka wedding dress was a sample sale score for about $1,000. Name any designer -  they probably have a sample sale.

There are a few caveats as bargain hunting is not an exact science. So much of it is luck, and being in the right place at the right time. If you're looking for a deal you have to be open. If you're looking for current season merchandise and you can't deal with lines, crowds, and digging through countless bins and racks, the sample sale life is not for you. But if you can stomach it, there are amazing deals to be found.

You gotta understand, not all sales are created equal. People always ask me how do I know which ones are the "good" ones. After a while you develop an instinct for where to shop and when the deals are gonna be epic. But you still have to get lucky. At this point I have a network of sample sale friends who share intel and invites. Not all sales are open to the public, but over the years I've talked my way into many a private one.

When you first discover sample sales, it can be overwhelming. You have to fight the urge to shop every sale and you can get yourself into real financial trouble. Luckily over the years I've honed my editing skills and while I still make a mistake or two, these days I tend to under-buy and error in the side of caution. I'm still kicking myself for not buying more $50 Tamara Mellon heels or clothing at her first couple NYC sales or more $99 furs from Elizabeth and James - they haven't had another sale like that one since.

These days the term sample sale is often misused. A true sample sale is when a brand or manufacturer sells off their previous season's samples. Real samples (often one of a kind pieces made for the runway or garments made to show to buyers - some of which were never manufactured for retail) are often the best deals at any sample sale. It drives me nuts when a sale consists of stock merchandise for moderate discounts -  you can often find better deals at end of season department store sales. I always look for pieces that nobody else has for killer prices. My favorite sales are almost always run by the brand themselves in their showroom or a rented space. When you cut out the middle man you often get the best deals. When discounts hit 90% or better, you're speaking my language.






Head to toe:

  • Hat: H&M, $1
  • Coat: Zara, $29.99 (sale find from last year!)
  • Dress: Trendsend/Evereve c/o
  • Bag Strap: Rebecca Minkoff, sample sale, $15
  • Bag: Chanel, Neiman Marcus, 75% off 
  • Gloves: Carolina Amato, Century 21, $5 (Back when end of season sales were good...) 
  • Boots: LF/Life c/o




When I hit a sale, I come prepared. Getting ready for a sample sale is like preparing for battle. I love dressing up but I always keep things simple for New York City sample sales. And now I'm gonna break down my five simple rules for sample sale success.

1. Always be first in line.

I can't stress the importance of this rule enough. Waking up an hour earlier can make all the difference at some of these sales. For less popular sales getting there a half hour early is usually enough but when it's a big name you want to be there 1-2 hours early. The first hour of the sale is when all the best/cheap stuff gets snapped up.

2. Be prepared.

I always have a giant blue IKEA tote bag stuffed in my purse to lug home my spoils of war. For $0.99 it's one of the best deals ever. If it's going to rain I have a tiny umbrella and a couple plastic garbage bags to protect the goods. I also do my due diligence. When a sale is announced I immediately Google past sale reports so get an idea of pricing and selection. Then I look online at lookbooks for current and past season collections to create a wishlist. I also check to see if they've had markdowns historically and show up for those days too. It also can't hurt to ask if they'll be replenishing.

3. Don't overdress.

I have a uniform. I like slip dresses because I can pop a dress on top of it or try on pants or skirts under it. I'm just not one of those girls who strips down to her panties publicly. Some gals wear the leggings and tank top ensemble but I'm more of a dress girl. In the winter I'll wear Spanx tights under my dress which will help suck me in as needed. This also means no makeup - it's just gonna shmear all over the clothing when you're trying it on in a hurry. If I'm wearing lipstick I wipe it off before I go in. No jewelry either. It can get caught and snag the clothing you're trying on, or fall off and get lost. Shoes should slide on and off easily as well.

4. Check and double check!

Sample sales are final sale so look everything over carefully. Sometimes a small damage or unfinished product isn't isn't a big deal if it's an easy fix or insanely cheap. It's also easy to get caught up in the moment and come home with something stupid. Made many a mistake back in the day. Now I'm a master editor and only buy what I love or can be passed along if I change my mind. OK, maybe that's not true - I still make mistakes from time to time...

5. Bring a buddy.

Some sales don't have mirrors or dressing rooms. You're gonna need someone whose opinion you trust to be your eyes. Plus a buddy can help you snap up all the cheap samples and then you can edit together. I have my sample sale crew at this point - we pass along the pieces that don't work for us and make sure nobody makes any huge fashion mistakes. If I'm solo at a sale I usually make friends in line or the dressing room. Shopping is always better with friends.


Photos by Belle Bakst

Be sure to follow my shopping adventures on LeHoarder.com and/or my Instagram from real time updates. Like I said, once you start sample sale shopping, you can never go back. And be sure to say hello if you see me about town - because like I said, shopping is always better with friends.

XO
Michelle

P.S. Sample sales have started popping up on the schedule again but IMHO there is no must-shop for this week. Keep your eyes focused on the retail sales. Zara just got another markdown but I'm waiting for one or two more before I shop. Designer sales are at second markdown at department stores and a few have an extra percentage off. You should be checking Barneys, Bergdorf, Bloomies, Neiman Marcus and Saks about now. And FYI, deals are always better in store vs online. Happy shopping!










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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Making Lemonade.




Like most people, I get a little introspective pre-New Years Eve and I thought I should take a moment to focus on all the good in my life and share just how grateful I am. 2017 was full of so many firsts and I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone and tell you all how appreciative I am. This year I had my first legit front row at New York Fashion Week, got several amazing collaboration opportunities, connected with a bunch of PR agencies who hooked me up with endless boxes of swag, had my first BFA photo taken, and broke 100k on Instagram. For all my successes, I'm just a regular gal who loves designer clothing and shoes - and has a knack for finding them on the cheap. I can't even tell you how much I'm looking forward to all 2018 will bring.





Overall, I'd consider myself a pretty positive person but there are some definite points of regret that have held me back. Over the years many dreams have come and gone and I've learned to adapt. I've had a whole lifetime before I started blogging 4 years ago that so many of you don't know about. Growing up, pouring over my Vogues, I dreamed of being a fashion designer. All my notebooks were filled with more sketches than math equations or essays. I went on to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology but I studied buying and marketing because I was afraid to put together a portfolio and apply for design. It was in college that I first discovered my voice and started to write little newsletters to my friends full of real and fictional stories. It was my way of dealing with growing up and leaving of the sheltered bubble of my youth. I lived at home in NJ during college but often escaped to my friends apartments in NYC or to their out-of-state college campuses.

During those summers I worked as an art teacher, bridal consultant and even stepped in as an assistant piece goods buyer at a fashion house during someone's maternity leave. Then the summer of senior year I sublet an apartment in the City with a friend who had a connection at a temp agency. We got jobs all over NYC at music and publishing companies for $18-25 an hour and were living the dream. This was back in the 90's so it was a lot of money for a college student. It was about then I decided I belonged in publishing and wanted to be a fashion editor. I was young, thin, pretty, energetic and had a killer wardrobe all scored for next to nothing. People would look for me at events just to see what I was wearing. Though I was fearless with my fashion, I was not as fearless with my personal and professional life.




At that point it was too late to get an internship at a fashion magazine and I was in such a rush to graduate and make money that I took a job as a production coordinator at a small garment trade magazine. That was when I got my first and only NYC studio apartment where I ended up living for 15 years. When I first signed my lease it was just $350 a month. Mind you it was literally 20 years ago but when I gave it up a few years back it was just over $1,100. I've always been the queen of the deal. Back then nobody lived above 96th street so it was a gamble to move uptown. But it was on Central Park West and I had the world's biggest front yard and a subway at the foot of the building. Life was good. I stayed on at my first job for a couple years and worked my way up to managing editor. It was an undeserved job title with a good paycheck for someone in their mid 20's. I was a naive young kid from a sheltered home and had a hard time dealing with some of the craziness of the Garmentos, the male owners and employees of the garment district. Many of them had a backwards way of thinking and treated women as objects. In hindsight I probably should have sucked it up for a little longer because the money was good, and most people are mistreated on their first few jobs (especially back then when sexual harassment was not such a buzzword). So I went back to my temp agency and the job center at FIT and hustled for several years. I could probably write of a book about some of those insane jobs and interviews back in the day. I had so many 'almosts' before finally settling at a marketing job at a major publishing house - not fashion related.

It was when I hit 30 when I realized I was not doing what I was supposed to do. I had just gotten married so I "retired" to have kids and be a stay at home mom. Don't get me wrong, those first few years of spending day in and out with my littles was fulfilling. It was about creating and molding these small children into people. I got a kick out of talking to them like adults, dressing them to the nines, and endless days of wandering the City with them in their tandem double stroller. But then I woke up. I woke up mid-thirties and looked at myself for the first time in years. I totally lost myself in my children and didn't recognize the person staring back at me in the mirror. So I started to work out, stopped wearing shapeless mommy clothing, joined Facebook and online message forums to connect with people again...until starting LeHoarder.com at 38. I'd been using the nickname and handle Shoppinggal for years but decided I needed something to take me to the next level. And so LeHoarder was born. Le means the in French - and Michelle is a French name. You can tell I don't speak French because I should have used La (female) instead of Le (male). And if you've seen my closet, the Hoarder part is pretty obvious.  I started with couponing deals and glitches and shared endless Target 90% off hauls and penny finds at Nordstrom Rack. And then one day I decided to be brave a put myself in front of the camera - wearing all my killer finds. And that's when everything started to really take off.




The theme that has been on repeat for most of my life is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of success, but at this point in my life my only real fear is not trying. The way I see it, your twenties are full of self-discovery and angst, your thirties are more peaceful and about self-realization, and by the time you hit your forties, you stop giving a F what people think of you.

Your takeaway from this post should be a few things:

1. Internship, internship, internship! 


Do as many college internships as you can - even if they don't pay. Because if you don't have connections it's the best way to make them in your field of interest. And there is no need to rush "real life." It's gonna happen weather you like it or not.

2. Be fearless. 


There's never gonna be a right time. Just do it already. Seriously, what have you got to lose? I wish I wasn't such a chicken back in the day. More often than not you regret what you didn't do, not what you did. Just say yes to EVERY opportunity because you never know where it will take you.

3. It's never too late. 


At 43 I'm finally getting paid to do what I love with this job that I created for myself. When life gives you lemons...you make lemonade. Make your own opportunities! When I got started I hadn't a clue what I was doing. On so many levels I still don't. I didn't grow up texting or with social media so it's all something I had to figure out as an adult. I combined my love of fashion, shopping and writing with the HTML I learned from when I was working in web production for an online publication, the photo editing I learned when I worked in a art department, etc... And now I Google what I don't know, joined a bunch of Facebook groups for online creators, and ask a lot of questions. A lot of bloggers will ignore you or even lie to you when your numbers are small, but eventually you'll find your crew and your niche and that's when the magic happens. And I still stumble and struggle all the time. But I choose to get back up and keep pushing.

4. Forgive yourself. 


In truth, I've put back the weight I lost since I started my journey. I'm the heaviest I've ever weighed in my life. I've weighed less 9 months pregnant. Yet I refuse to make another weight loss resolution like I've made in years past and set myself up to fail. I'm also not gonna point my fingers at others and be accountable for my choices. In 2018 I'm hoping to reclaim my bravado with my fashion regardless of my weight or size. While I'd really like to fit my clothing again, I'm going to resolve to wear what I love regardless if I'm a size 2 or 12. And most importantly, I'm going to resolve to make better choices. Instead of beating myself up, I'm going to try to forgive myself and move forward.

Does all this mean I've given hope of ever being a fashion designer or magazine editor? Yes and no. Like I said, dreams change. I'd still love to have a collection one day, and if I had the opportunity to be a guest editor at any fashion publication I'd jump at the chance. And I want to be on TV. I'm just gonna put it out there in the universe and see what happens. Do I wish I had these opportunities 20 years ago? Sure. But for now I'm gonna try to stop stressing over what hasn't happened yet and focus on all I have right in front of me - and enjoy the ride.




Head to toe:

  • Hat: H&M, $3
  • Sunglasses: Fendi, Nordstrom Rack, $13
  • Coat: H&M, $30 (still full price online - gotta love that sale rack!)
  • Gloves: Amato New York, sample sale, $29
  • Dress: H&M, $24.99
  • Leggings: Spanx, Kohls (c/o)
  • Bag: Rebecca Minkoff, sample sale, $75
  • Boots: Zadig & Voltare, sample sale, $75 (RV $498)

Photos are by my friend Andrew who took me on a post-Christmas shopping spree. We totally failed at Woodbury Common but I should have realized that outlets are not your best bet post holiday. (Go hit retail sales ASAP!!! Just scored this H&M coat on the cheap on their stellar sale racks.) Plus it was freezing AF and I totally regretted not wearing wool socks - so I actually linked a few pairs of my faves (as well as the rest of my look) below for you to shop. Although we did score at Nordstrom Rack that day -  he and his brother found me these $600+ Fendis for just $15 less 25% Clear the Rack discount. Almost as good as all my penny Pradas from a couple years ago. Plus we even saw them at the Fendi outlet for over $300 LOL. 

Andrew now lives out of town for grad school but we always try to meet up when he comes home. We met through my blog a few years back and he was the one who saved me all the $25 Sergio Rossi shoes at the sample sale a few years back. Sadly there hasn't been a sale like it since. 







So peace out 2017! Wishing us all a year filled with joy and success! What are your goals for 2018?

XO
Michelle












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Thursday, December 21, 2017

10 Things Fashion Girls Need From Amazon RIGHT NOW.



I'm sure by now you've read a bajillion gift guides by people telling you what you need. So I'm just gonna share what this fashion girl loves and swears by that's available on Amazon.com right now - most for $30 or less! And bonus if you order today you can get most of these delivered to you (or your loved one) in 2 days or less. While most of these are more practical gifts, they are all super useful, and thoughtful nonetheless.

Some of the links in my post are affiliate links, which means if you click on them and purchase that item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for supporting my shoe habit.

1. Collonil Waterstop


If you're a designer bag or shoe hoarder like myself, you need to take care of your goods to maximize their lifetime. When I invest (be it on the cheap), I want my leathers to last for a good 20+ years. Some people buy a Gucci and expect to wear it for a year and pass it along. I'm a collector and I want to still wear that Gucci in 20 years and then be able to pass it along to my girls. Fashion is cyclical and everything comes back. And if something is quality it's gonna last if you take care of it. Once a year I pull out my favorite bags and shoes that need a little loving and treat them as needed. My #1 product in my leather care arsenal is Collonil Waterstop. For about 11 bucks you have piece of mind that your bag will be protected if you get caught in the rain - and it helps protect from dirt too. The second I get a new bag I spray on a couple light coats. Be sure to do it outside so you don't have to breathe it in. It's not for all materials but it works for most leathers. It says it's for smooth leathers only but it's fine on most suede and nubuk too. If you're really paranoid you can always order the special Nubuck & Velours version here. I've used several brands over the years but this in my favorite for my high end bags and shoes.





2. Leather Honey


I use Leather Honey to condition my leather jackets, shoes or bags that look a little dry. Every thrifter needs a bottle. A little goes a long way - you just rub it on lightly with a soft cloth and let it dry.




3. Sunglasses Organizer


I just purchased my third one of these and I LOVE them. If it's sold out (they keep selling out and restocking) you can try this similar one too. I shared my new one on my Insta stories recently and you guys went gaga for it. I wear a lot of sunglasses and it's annoying to store them in their oddly shaped boxes. This one stores 18 pairs which is probably enough storage for most people. Just not me LOL. I just grab a case and choose a pair before I head out the door every morning. For about $20 it's a no-brainer of a gift.





4. Velvet Hangers


When I'm organizing someone's closet, the first thing I do is buy them new hangers. I used to be brand loyal to one brand but since they started breaking too - I no longer discriminate. They're all gonna break at some point, so just look for ones with better reviews or ones that don't feel flimsy. What I love about these is that your clothing does not slide off, plus they are super thin so you can fit a ton in your closet. Price-wise, I look for hangers that are about $.50 or less. I usually just get black and silver so they always match but these pink ones are calling my name. If you do buy a color buy a ton so they match. Otherwise be prepared to mix colors in your closet.





5. Korres Mascara


I first got hooked on Korres mascaras after finding it in Sephora. And for almost 10 years now it's the only brand I'll wear. They have several varieties but honestly I love them all. I have super sensitive eyes and I love that it's more natural and non irritating. But most importantly, it gives my lashes a long fanned out, non-clumpy look in just a stroke or two. I honestly don't know why more people don't use it. As a beauty blogger I've tried so many high end mascaras and I have yet to find one that even comes close. I wear the black but it also comes in brown. They don't really sell it in the US and very few places sell it online. Buy one and thank me later. Your welcome.





6. Glittery Phone Cases


So I must be in the 1% of bloggers who does not have an iPhone. I get offers from companies for free cases daily, but of course they're all for iPhones. I'm so jelly of everyone with multiple cute cases. Don't get me wrong, I love my industrial black one that keeps my phone super-safe, but sometimes a girl needs to switch it up. Problem is, my giant phone has a hard time fitting into tiny bags, especially with a heavy duty case. I just ordered this glittery one for my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. It's not hard plastic so it won't crack (it's rubbery) and you know I love me some glitter.





7. Ring Light


I'm literally about to pull the trigger on a ring light and maybe a tripod. I've been thinking of getting into YouTube and need a few supplies first. There are a couple brands (Diva and Neewer) I keep hearing about but this one is the cheaper one - and has pretty good reviews. If you have one please let me know which one you have - and why you love/hate it.





8. Camera Lenses


I recently ordered a 24mm lens for my Canon DSLR because I love prime lenses. If your camera comes with a lens kit you basically need to toss it. I'm really a novice when it comes to my camera (I still shoot on auto) but I do know that the lens makes a difference. The lenses I really want are all over $1,000 but a 50mm or a 40mm will give you great photos for a little over $100 - sometimes less if you can find one used or refurb. I know everyone talks about the 'nifty fifty' but I personally prefer my 40mm. With the 24mm you loose some of the depth of the 40mm but it's great for group shots or landscapes. What's great about these pancake lenses is that while you can't zoom in or out, you get a great lightweight lens that's easy to put on your camera and toss in your bag. My camera fits right in my Chanel so it's easy for when I'm on the go.





9. Blistex Lip Medex


Blistex Lip Medex is the only cure for dry winter lips. I'm not kidding. I love the menthol and I sometimes put it on or under my nose when I'm feeling sick or stuffy - totally helps me breathe. After just a treatment or two your lips will be super soft and healed. These little blue tubs are magic. Recently I ran out and couldn't find it in Target and was happy to find it online....until my husband found some in the dollar store LOL. All I can say is stock up, it's gonna be a long winter.





10. Sexi Flips


I've raved about these so many times and I don't know why everyone doesn't have a pair or two in their closet yet. These Sexi Flip Crocs are genius. They are super light and comfortable and can easily be popped into your bag when you're on the go. I often wear these into the City and bring my heels in a tote. I'm headed to Miami soon for winter break with the kids so I'll probably be ordering a new pair pretty soon. Like any Crocs the soles do wear out and they stretch so you have to replace them every 6 months (depending on how often you wear them). If mine stretch out and still have some life left in them, I usually pass them along to my niece who's a size larger than me. Despite their thin straps, I've never had a pair break on me. The closed back keeps them on your feet and make them super comfortable for driving too. Love!






What are your favorite things to order on Amazon? Honestly I don't know how we managed before free 2-day shipping.

So this layered look is pretty much head to toe repeats other than my new Target boots. Read all about my rules of layering for winter in my last post, here. I've been looking for something cute and comfortable to wear in the rain and snow, as most of my boots are velvet or suede - or too delicate for extreme weather. And while I typically hate dupes (I'd rather wait to get the real thing on sale...or not get it at all), I practically stole these from Target on sale for $25. They're sold out online but you can buy online and pick up in-store if you can locate them near you. I drove 25 minutes out just to pick up mine. Right now they're full price which is still under $40 - and worth every penny.





Photos by @littlefashionstylist who stood in the freezing cold with me (without gloves!) to take my pics. Now that's friendship.

Nothing amazing on the sample sale front. Department store sales are heating up and I actually did really well at H&M the other day. I scored a $199 coat for $30 and a few other goodies. I suggest you take a peek at your local stores.

Happy holidays! Feel free to comment below with any questions about my faves - or if you need any tips to treat your leather goods I'm happy to share :)

XO
Michelle






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Sunday, December 17, 2017

90's Vibes & Glitter Combat Boots




I'm not sure what's going on this year but it's cold AF here in NYC this fall. It's not even winter yet and we've had several rounds of snow and sub-freezing temperatures. This is when it's not even about what I'm wearing under my coat, it's all about my coats, hats, gloves, and shoes. I've been feeling lots of 90's vibes of late, which is funny because I lived it 20 years ago. I'm thinking my inspo has been from my new combat glitter boots which have quickly become seasonal favorites. Piling it on for the bitter cold it's so easy to look like Yeti - which is why I went for a little sparkle on my feet. For me, it's all about balance and proportion - and tons of fun, colorful pieces to make you stand out in the icy streets of New York City.

Rule #1: Don't be stupid. 


When it's cold out make sure you are fully covered. No matter how stupid you look. This H&M oversized coat is huge so I wanted to balance it with leggings and a bit of skin so you could see there was a person under all that material. Big mistake. Next time I'll be wearing taller socks or longer leggings. And don't worry, I only took my gloves off for the pic.

Rule #2: Invest in lots of cute coats and accessories. 


You don't have to look stupid to dress warm. The second you move to a colder climate make sure you fill your closet with colorful wool socks and hats, cashmere lined leather gloves, and lots of fur. I have some nieces and a nephew who just moved to NY for college that are learning that the hard way. I know some people consider fur a dirty word but repeat after me - faux fur is not warm. I typically buy thrifted second-hand fur or sample sale steals so I don't feel like I'm supporting the fur industry directly. I'm just giving it another life. Oh, and UGGs are your best friend when it's zero degrees out. I typically just wear mine as slippers around my house but when the temps drop, the UGGS go on. I found a metallic gold pair a few seasons back on sale at Neiman Marcus and they're actually pretty cute. As for coats, I always thrift mine or shop end of season, Last year I found a $100 camel coat for $3 at H&M on the sale rack and you wouldn't believe all the $20 coats I grabbed at Zara. Don't worry, those sales are coming soon...

Rule #3: Layers are your friend. 


Don't be afraid to pile it on. The other day I wore 2 coats layered and I almost wish I had a third. If you don't have a heavy duty down coat you can easily layer up a light puffer under a pretty wool coat. This season's oversized coats totally accommodate several layers. Plus layering is good because while it's freezing outside, it's usually super hot inside. Like tank-top hot. Seriously, what's up with that?





From head to toe:

  • Hat: H&M, $1 (sale rack!)
  • Sunglasses: Jason Wu, sample sale, $20
  • Coat: H&M, $30 (on sale from $199!)
  • Dress: Zara, $22.90
  • Bag: Balenciaga, Nordstrom Rack (75% off)
  • Leggings: Spanx, Kohls c/o
  • Shoes: LF/ Life, c/o


Last week I had the craziest day in NYC. It was the morning that a bomb went off in the Port Authority bus terminal - and of course I was headed to 42nd street for a little sample sale action. Luckily the photo shoot on the Upper West Side that I was styling (scroll down to read more about it!) got moved up so I hitched a ride into the City with them and by the time I headed down most of the mess downtown had cleared up. After a few sales (including Stella McCartney!) I got to meet Drew Barrymore at her Dear Drew pop up. She actually asked me what was on my shirt and I hadn't a clue LOL. I honestly picked up this sweatshirt dress in Zara because I liked the shape. I already have a similar Zara one in black (seen here) that I wore to Fashion Week that gets me so many complements. I'm actually exhausted because I've been so busy, but I realize it's a blessing and just keep pushing.




You can shop my style - and some fun colorful (and warm!) winter accessories here:


Photos this week are by the amazing Eitan Bernath. Eitan is celeb chef that I've been styling for red carpets and events and he just got featured by Instagram on their page TODAY. And did I mention he's just 15 years old??!! Check out his Instagram feature here and his page here. A couple weeks back I got an excited phone call that Instagram called him to interview him and feature him on their page and stories. We had just a couple days to pull together a few looks to shoot for his feature, so one quick shopping trip and a couple hours in his closet (which I've been building with him) and we were ready. Here's a quick behinds the scenes of his NYC shoot. These were taken with my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. I love my phone and can't wait to upgrade - I hear the 9 is coming out soon! FYI, with this phone you really have to buy the phone specific to your carrier or you could have issues.








The tee shirt is his own but all the jackets and sweater are Zara and the jeans are Forever 21, Sneakers are of course $50 Jimmy Choo sample sale finds. I stocked him up big time on Choos. Check out these loafers he wore to an event not too long ago. That was actually the first look we worked on together. I wish my shoe closet was that good at 15.

Post shoot he took a few pics of me and then I turned the camera around and took a few of him in front of a graffitied truck that was parked right next to us.




You can actually see that truck driving away from us in this one. And don't let his smile fool you. It was insanely cold out.




Be sure to head to his Insta and/or his Insta feature to show him some love!

I have another busy weeks ahead - lots of holiday events that I can't wait to share - and a few more sample sales on my radar. Last week I stocked up on my favorite gloves at the Carolina Amato sample sale. Her sale is the only one worth mentioning right now and is on thru Tuesday so you can still pop by and see what's left. This time of year the pre-holiday sample sales sales are mostly giftables (think cashmere, candles, makeup and jewelry) but every so often something good pops up out of nowhere. When that happens I always share on my Insta stories so be sure you are following along so you don't miss a sale!

Amato New York
December 18-19, 9-5:30
270 West 38th Street, Suite 902

Happy shopping!

XO
Michelle












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