September 2017 | Le Hoarder
Le Hoarder

A NYC -ish* Style and Shopping Blog

Thursday, September 28, 2017

I am a supermodel.

My niece recently got married at Marina Del Rey, which has breathtaking views of the Long Island Sound. It presented the perfect opportunity to showcase my new stunning Teri Jon lace dress and some mini wedding style. Glammed it up with my new Jimmy Choo glitter pumps and Edie Parker clutch - both 90% off NYC sample sale scores :) I have to confess I hesitated a little before posting these photos. I've been struggling with body image for most of my adult life, so today I'm sharing some tips and tricks of how I deal when I don't feel right in my own skin - and how you too can stay positive and live your best life.

I knew these shoes were a half size big when I got them but I neeeeeded them. I should probably pad them next time I wear them because my feet keep slipping forward. I know I always tell people not to buy shoes that don't fit or aren't comfortable but sometimes you have to make an exception. And they were cheap and pretty comfortable otherwise.

My dress came with a nude slip but I knew I'd look slimmer in a black slip so I hunted down the perfect knee length one from Victoria's Secret of all places. Yes, I paid retail (gasp!) but it was worth every penny. For reference, I'm wearing a size medium. It's bias cut and so flattering. You need at least one of these slips in your life!

From head to toe:

  • Earrings: AV Max, sample sale, $4 
  • Dress: Teri Jon C/O (RV $680) - I'm wearing a size 8
  • Slip: Victoria's Secret, $50 (I used a gift card that I won so it was $0 OOP)
  • Bag: Edie Parker, sample sale $180 (RV $1,800)
  • Shoes: Jimmy Choo, sample sale, $100 (RV $895 - OK so almost 90%)

Recently when I shared the first pic, someone commented on my Insta that they didn't care for my beachy cover-ups, and missed my more tailored looks. Me too. I probably deleted 1,000 pictures before I settled on these full-body ones. Thing is, it's really hard for me to share these pictures because in this spectacular dress (did you see the details??!!) I can't hide the weight I've gained over the past year and a half. If I throw on a loose caftan and heels I feel comfortable, and fashionably camouflaged. I've been trying to mix it up so I'm not so one-note but I have limitations. Just because everyone has the right to wear whatever they want, doesn't always mean they should. I personally try to choose options that flatter. And fitted isn't all that flattering right now on me. I have to confess that I'm almost a little surprised nobody said anything sooner. I'm sure most people noticed I put on some weight, but I don't think most of you realized just how much.

While I'm all for body positivity, I have to be honest and say I do struggle. I think most women do. I am an emotional eater. I stress eat. Sometimes I don't even enjoy what I'm eating, I just eat it anyway. And I eat A LOT. It's actually shocking I'm not 500 lbs. considering the amount of calories I've been putting away these days. I first shared my struggle on a blog post almost two years ago. Thing is, I look at those pictures and wish I looked like that again - and at the time I felt big. For that reason I try to stay positive now. I know I can't blame anyone else - I have to be accountable for my choices. I just take it day by day.

Instead of just sitting around and complaining I decided to do something about it. Again. I recently collaborated with Orange Theory Fitness on Insta and they generously uploaded 30 workouts to my account. And even better, there is a Trader Joe's right next to the location I've been hitting. I can stock up on inexpensive healthy options so I'm not tempted by the junk my husband likes to buy "for the kids." If you haven't tried a Orange Theory workout, they offer 60 minute classes that really push you. They mix it up with interval training - with treadmills, rowers, and floor exercises. And it's different every day. In some ways it's better than the 30 minute Beachbody workouts I do at home because my competitiveness kicks in when I work out with other people. Click here to sign up for a free class - they have locations all over the US and Canada. I've been going 1x week but I think I'm almost ready to step it up 2x week. The first couple times I almost passed out. I think my body went into shock LOL. But every second on that treadmill I think about every Fashion Week look I wanted to wear but couldn't fit - and I keep pushing.

I've long accepted I will never again look as I did 20 years ago. It's just not possible. I don't have to be a 2 again or any specific size or shape for that matter. It's not about the number. It's about feeling good in my skin. I often wonder if I'll ever get there, but I'm gonna keep trying. Until then I'm gonna keep putting on my caftans, tunics and shirt dresses. SORRY NOT SORRY.

If you are struggling too, here are a few quick tips to help you get through the day:

Don't hide. Work with what you've got.

You can be ANY size and look good if you know your body. I used to be more pear shaped so I wore lots of A-line skirts and dresses. Now I'm pretty curvy all over so it's all about balance and proportion. I prefer looser designs that still show I have a shape underneath. Ergo, my summer of caftans. If I wore boxy tunic I'd look like a giant square - and I'd look even bigger. I'm finding knee-length, narrower, rectangular silhouettes work best for me right now. It's all about visually creating as many vertical lines as you can. If you haven't developed an instinct for what will work on you, just look for other style icons with your shape - and steal their style.

Show your skinny.

I like an open neck to show my collarbone (sorry Ma, I know it's not modest...) and I show lots of my skinny arms and legs. A heel or pointed toe will elongate your legs. If you got something good (and everybody has something) then flaunt it!

Find clothing.

There is no such thing as having nothing to wear. Sorry, it's 2017 and you can shop on your phone in your bed at night. H&M, Zara and ASOS all have inexpensive options that look designer. If you hit Target for cereal, just grab a dress or two. Return if it doesn't fit. Repeat as needed. You just need a few versatile go-to options in your size that you can accessorize up or down.

Try to forgive yourself.

That's the great thing about life - even if you mess up or have a bad day, you can just start again tomorrow.

Pretend you are a supermodel.

Some days I'll put on something cute, not look in the mirror, and pretend I'm a supermodel. A little confidence goes a long way. If you believe it, everyone else will too. I've been doing this one for over 20 years now. Fake it till you make it, baby!

And now on to my beautiful minis...

It started with a Nordstrom Rack run during Clear the Rack. Picked up Akiva's shirt and mustache bow tie for $20 and Ella's floral Zunie dress for $11. I tried to track down another dress for Ava but it was sold out company wide. She settled on this thrifted Zoe LTD dress ($15) which she fell in love with. It was a religious/modest affair so they both had to add sleeves with pieces from their closet. And they are both wearing shoes gifted from Nina Kids. Akiva decided last minute he wanted a suit so I paid full price in Zara ($100), but he never asks for anything so how could I say no? Akiva once again took my pictures and selflessly gave up a half hour of buffet time. Trust me, that's a big deal for him. I really have the best kids.

It was actually really bright out so it was hard to find pics where they weren't squinting badly. They complained a bunch but at this point they know how to power through like pros.

It was really the most beautiful affair. They held the ceremony outdoors during sunset at under the Gazebo - which was pretty similar to my wedding a million years ago. The difference is that mine was late October and people still complain about how chilly it was. Seriously.

And now for my weekly sample sale update. Lots going on, but nothing you really need to hit. Between Fashion Week and the Jewish Holidays I've been pretty busy anyway. Save your $$$ for the good ones that should be coming up this Fall :)

With the passing of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, I'd like to wish all of you a happy, sweet new year. May we all find the peace we seek, and may this year hold lots of exciting adventures (and crazy sales) in store for us!

If anything I've shared today struck a cord with you, please feel free to comment below. Just know you are not alone :)


PS - If you haven't already entered my Kidpik Instagram giveaway, you have till October 2nd to win a Kidpik subscription box for your little princess! You can read more about Kidpik boxes here and Kidpik basics here.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Not So Basic Basics by Kidpik

My three kids were born and bred in NYC. We might have moved over the bridge to suburbia, but they are still City kids at heart. My littles are all about color and comfort - and like their momma, they love a good deal. We reviewed a Kidpik Subscription Box a little while back but today I want to talk about Kidpik Basics. The girls picked out a few pieces for back to school that we wanted to share with you. We're so excited to announce that we are giving away a Kidpik Subscription Box on my Instagram - click here to enter! And scroll down for an exclusive Kidpik coupon code just for my followers.

This past Sunday, we headed downtown to explore the Lower East Side to check out some of the walls we've admired on Instagram. And when we got down there we found ALL of those walls painted over. NYC street art is constantly being done and redone so you gotta act fast if you want to shoot. So we improvised and wandered around in search of colorful backdrops to showcase our Kidpik style.

Kidpik Basics come in sizes 4-14 in a rainbow of colors and silhouettes - which is just how we like it! My girls have a modest dress-code for school so they wanted to stock up on their favorite pencil skirts. Kidpik is brought to you by the same people as RUUM (loved their stuff!) and some of the items even came with RUUM tags.

To get an idea of fit, Ella is 52" and 56 lbs. and wearing a 7/8 on bottom and 10/12 on top. Ava is 48" and 48 lbs. and wearing a 7/8 on top and 5/6 on bottom. My girls (especially Ella) are VERY particular with fit. My skinny minnies are long and lean and we sometimes have a hard time finding clothing to fit their slender frames.

These pencil skirts fit like a dream and range in price from $3.75-7.50. And FYI the 7/8 measures 19" long and the 5/6 measures 17.25" long. They're not too thin, not too thick, nice and stretchy, and don't ride up too much when your wiggly kids move around.

As for tops, other than the tie dye which has a more slender fit, we probably could have sized down for the looser designs. Most of the arms fit wider so we had to push them up. They're also on the thinner side but still super cozy and not see through. The body of the 3/4 sleeve top was nice a fitted but the sleeves are a little looser than we'd like. If you do size down, just be aware that some of the designs are cropped and you may be need to layer with a tank top for full coverage. These tops ranged in price from $7.50-$17.50, and many styles offer deals if you purchase two. Kidpik also offers a deals of the week where the featured item is discounted. Right now they have the cutest booties on promo for just $19.99! And their sale section is pretty epic!

The girls were also super excited about their new lightening metallic sneakers. They are so chic and comfortable - Ella actually wore hers to Fashion Week (seen here) this year. She lasted all day on her feet without any complaints. They come in several colors too! Ella is wearing a 4 in shoes right now and Ava is in a 2, but these styles ran a little big for us so we sized down to a 3 and 1 respectively.

Biker shorts are always hard to find for some reason - and Kidpik has some on sale right now for just $2.75! My girls like to do cartwheels and handstands wherever they go so we always have some on under our skirts. You seriously can't beat that price!

It was pretty warm out so the girls started to lose it after a couple hours in the sun, so I took them to byChloe on Bleeker to chow down. I ordered them some treats but they just couldn't wait. By the time the real food came out we were all so hungry that we didn't bother taking pics. Ella always gets the Avocado toast and Ava went crazy for their cauliflower soup. And the fries with beet ketchup are always a big hit.

Everything featured here is now currently available on the Kidpik Basics website. The girls did add a few of their own accessories to show how easily these basics can be mixed in to their own wardrobes.

Bonus - get FREE shipping on a $25 purchase with code LEHOARDER (from September 18th to October 2nd, US only). Have you tried Kidpik? If you haven't, now is the time!

Thank you to Kidpik for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely our own. 

Happy shopping! Feel free to ask me any fit/sizing questions. Always happy to help another momma get her deal on!

Michelle, Ella & Ava

Friday, September 15, 2017

Goodbye Summer?

I picked up this adorable tie dye beach cover-up at Burlington for about $15 and lived in it all summer-long! I initially planned on styling it with my Sophia Webster Lacey sandals (seen here) but decided to switch it up. Plus I love the pop of color from my Chiara wings. I struggled with what bag to wear until I looked in the back of my closet and found my $50 Rebecca Minkoff (sample sale!) bucket bag that I haven't worn all season. Added my penny Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses and I was good to go! I'm a little sad to have to say goodbye to caftan season. Luckily the warm weather is allowing me to hold on for a few more weeks.

From head to toe:
  • Sunglasses: Dolce & Gabbana, Nordstrom Rack, $0.01!
  • Caftan: Burlington, $14.99 (Yes I have two, see the other one here)
  • Bag: Rebecca Minkoff, sample sale, $50
  • Shoes: Sophia Webster, Nordstrom Rack, $107 (RV $575)

If I did this look again I'd probably add a few accessories but as always I put it on as I ran out the door to a L'occitane event by their Flatiron store (thank you to Christine, Madame Ostrich for the invite!) and I didn't want to be late. Honestly, there are so many bold colors that it didn't even need the extras.

You can shop my style here:

Until you shoot in the middle of a busy street, you can't really consider yourself a NYC blogger. We had a few close calls but managed to walk away unscathed.

Thank you to the adorable Belle @littlefashionstylist for risking your life and taking this round of photos. It was just our one-year friendaversary - we met at a Fashion Week party last fall. I actually shared a little more about it on my Insta this week (here). As most of you know, it's pretty hard to make new friends as an adult, and so rare to meet genuine souls who are kindred spirits. She's as colorful and kookie as me, despite our 18 year age difference.

Good news! Sample sale season is picking up! This week is Rent the Runway - I would suggest going these last days for deep discounts. Some years they slash prices in the last hours but last time they marked down in the morning (of the last day) so you had to get there early for the best selection of the leftovers. As always, look closely for damages. Charlotte Olympia is next week and I've got my fingers crossed for $100 kitty flats again! There are a ton of sales going on and popping up - for a complete listing I would check sale sites like Chicmi who IMO has the most comprehensive listings in town.

Rent the Runway
September 15-17
Fri 10-8, Sat 10-7, Sun 10-5
260 Fifth Avenue

Charlotte Olympia
September 19-20
Tues 11-7, Weds 8:30-7*
The Roosevelt Hotel, 45 E 45th St, Vanderbilt Suite
* last year they pretty much ran out of goods after the first day. Hopefully it will be better stocked this time. 

This week I had an incident at the La Perla sample sale that I ranted about on my Insta stories and a few people have asked what happened. First I wanted to say that the sale was not run by La Perla or I would have tagged them or contacted them directly. So often people come in and buy out lots of goods from designers and run a sample sale. Some are more professional than others.

I was sent an email inviting me to help promote the sale - they sent a price list with promises of $20 panties and $30 shoes so Belle and I ran over to the preview post fashion show this week. When we arrived it was pretty chaotic and organizers were quickly restocking. I was disappointed that prices were higher than listed in the email and shoes had not yet arrived. At the sale the posted price list indicated that nothing topped $100 - yet for several pieces we were told $150-300. We found a cute belt and were quoted $40, $50 and $100 for that item by different people - even though the email said accessories would be $15. After getting frustrated with their pricing games, Belle took a pair of panties to the front - and the credit card machine was down. I pulled out $25 (because Belle rarely has cash LOL) and then were told they were $40. And that was the final straw. We walked out and were then accosted by an older organizer as we were picking up our bags from coat check - and he asked me why we didn't buy anything. I said that the prices kept changing and it was totally unprofessional. Then he asked to look in my bag. WHAT? So I opened my small Jimmy Choo crossbody that I had worn inside the sale to show him there was nothing there. He then asked to see my checked tote - so I said it was in the coat check for the sale. I held that up for him too. In retrospect, Belle thinks he assumed we stole stuff because we didn't buy anything. It was insane. Totally disrespectful and unprofessional. I told him "that's not how you run a sale" and we left. Worst. Sale. Ever.

So that's why I never shared the details of that sale with you. I try to only share sales with the best deals - or at least those run by people with integrity. No designer bag for even a penny is worth the mistreatment we were subjected to. Over the years I've walked away from several situations asking myself what had just happened, but this was by far the worst. So if you want cheap La Perla, just head to Century 21 and you can find some cute stuff for pretty much the same pricing and keep your self respect and dignity in tact.

On a happy note, I had a really great fashion week. I had my first assigned front row seat ever which was pretty epic for me. I'm so lucky to be doing what I love with people I love - and thank you to all for your support and encouragement. Just a few years ago I turned 40 and decided there was more to life than just being a mommy. I went back to my fashion roots and found my voice again. And every day it just gets better.

Have a great weekend!



Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Rock Center Style

Happy New York Fashion Week everyone! As always I've saved everything till pretty much the last minute and I'm still ironing out my calendar for the week. I've been online ordering up a storm but sadly 90% of my purchases haven't quite worked out. Looks like I'm gonna be raiding my closet and possibly hitting Zara one more time for a fashion Hail Mary. I typically wear my good stuff as I find it - and have nothing saved for NYFW. So be prepared to see several of my pieces and looks on repeat - like this $15 Club Monaco shirtdress, $50 Paul Andrew Lucite heels and $5 Eddie Borgo bracelet. All three of these pieces were 90% off NYC sample sale scores from this year.

Belle gave me the heads up that they were installing these murals by Rockefeller Center so we had to pop by for some pics. We met up the day I highlighted my hair (for free!) at Bumble and Bumble. I'm a hair model and have had my hair done for free for years - you can read more about my experiences (and how to become a hair model) in previous posts here, here and here. I stupidly had my dress balled up in my bag instead of hanging it up, ergo all the wrinkles. Oops.

But let's get back to my bargains. From head to toe:
  • Sunglasses: Rosegal, C/O - currently on sale for $5.80!!
  • Earrings: Mimilore Official, C/O (RV $175)
  • Bracelet: Eddie Borgo, sample sale, $5 - read about my first Eddie Borgo SS experience here.
  • Dress: Club Monaco, sample sale, $15
  • Bag: Alexander Wang mini Rockie, sample sale, $175 (RV $650)
  • Shoes: Paul Andrew Blossom sandal, sample sale, $50 (RV $1,195) - Check out a previous PA SS haul here.

You can shop my look here:

Thank you to the super cute Belle, @littlefashionstylist for this round of pics. She's seriously the cutest and I don't know what I'd do without her.

So my week is all about shows and parties and nothing on my radar shopping wise. You can give your wallets a break this week :) What's your favorite part of Fashion Week?

If you see me out and about during NYFW please be sure to say hello!


© Le Hoarder

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