March 2017 | Le Hoarder
Le Hoarder

A NYC -ish* Style and Shopping Blog

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Real Housewife of NJ

I watch a lot of reality TV because I have an aversion to reruns. I seriously can't re-watch something I've watched within 10 years. I don't watch all of the Housewives. Some of them are not my cup of tea. I do love the Beverly Hills gang but that's mostly because I enjoy the aspirational aspect of their daily lives. I'm not sure what I'd do with a mansion, my own jet, or even a nanny - but it's nice to slip into someone else's life, even if just for a moment. I may not be super rich or super glam, but this housewife is 100% real.

I live in Bergen County, NJ and there really isn't anything to do on a Sunday because of the darn Blue laws. Thou it's nice to have a day off where there's no pressure to shop because nothing is open. We usually just hang out as a family but every so often I throw a few looks together, grab the kids and go off to take pictures. It was also the Jewish Holiday of Purim so Ella and I were going to dress up like young and older Taylor Swift. I did my hair, cat eye and red lips....and then she changed her mind. So we scrapped that plan and I decided to shoot some of my new Zara sale finds. I googled walls in NJ and I found some really cool ones in Hackensack. So take that Brooklyn, you don't have all the cool walls.

The problem with having a 10 year old stylist and 11 year old photographer is that sometimes they miss things. In every single photo my front button is open and nobody said anything. Sigh.

Head to toe:
  • Sunglasses: Wildfox Official, free in Fashion Week gift bag! (RV $179)
  • Dress: Zara, $12.99 (RV $69.99)
  • Coat: Zara, $29.99 (RV $249.99)
  • Bag: Alice + Olivia, Nordstrom Rack, $29.99 (RV $199.99)
  • Boots: Betsey Johnson, Macy's Backstage, $49.99 (RV $99.99)

Shop my style here:

Shout-out to my son 11 year old son, Akiva for my photos. Little Miss Ella decided it was too cold and ran back to the car after a handful of pics. Ella wore her favorite Cheerleader costume (you dress up in costumes for Purim - kinda like Halloween) that we have in every size. I used to hoard Gymboree back in the day from their cheap backroom stock. Plus I would stack coupons and you wouldn't believe what I used to find for $5 or less. Sometimes entire collections would get marked down to $.99. I've been out of the game for several years so I'm not sure what their pricing/sales are like anymore. Plus after a few years it all starts to look the same - same animal, different colors LOL.

Oh, and her Converse sneakers were brand new from Once Upon A Child consignment (it's a kids chain) for just $14. I just head they are opening one in Paramus and I'm super excited.

Yesterday I hit the SJP sample sale and SJP was not there so I put down the black patent mary janes I was holding on to. They were only $80 (most styles were $125 and upward) but unless she was going to sign them, I didn't need them.

Today I hit Paul Andrew and if you were a size 37 you hit the jackpot. Not too much in a 40 but I was the first thru the door so I had the run of the place. I grabbed a couple pairs from the $50 worn samples that I'll be sharing soon :) They are open again tomorrow but not sure there will be much left other than the $200 men's shoes.

I also popped into Vivienne Westwood which had some gorgeous stuff for not so gorgeous prices. It was mostly only 50-70% off retail. If you're a super fan, check back over the weekend for markdowns.

As for upcoming sales there are quite a few but nothing amazing. Eddie Borgo is back but last time they barely had any super cheap damages and their prices went up significantly. I'm thinking the glory days of that sale have come and gone. But if you're in the hood....

My amazing sample sale friends (Lakeisha and Dinara) told me about the site CHICME which probably has the best sale listings in town at the moment. Before I head into the City I always check with them now to see if anything popped up. They do listings in other cities too so be sure to check them out!

Paul Andrew 
March 30-31, 12-7
41 West 58th Street, Suite 2A

Vivienne Westwood
March 30-April 2, 10-6
20 West 36th Street, 6th Floor

Eddie Borgo
April 7, 8-7 & April 8, 10-6
204 Elizabeth Street, 2nd Floor

As always check my Insta stories for sale updates and a peek behind the scenes as I shop! Have a great weekend and happy shopping!

Michelle the Shoe Goddess


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!

© Le Hoarder

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