Archive for the ‘On Luxury’ Category

On the Outlet Shopping Spree

In On Discounts, On Fashion, On Luxury, On Shopping, On Style on February 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I think it’s the energizing “ee” ending. Bee, Glee, Free, Gee, Flee, Toffee – you get the gist. Perhaps they’re all so ‘happy’ because they end on such a high, happy note. “Ee”!.

I digress. Today is all about one of the happiest “word” of them all – happier than weddings maybe, because isn’t half the excitement of the wedding the shopping? The nonstop finding of one perfect thing after another until you have so many bags you need help carrying them. Last weekend, I had the best shopping spree ever – at the Wrentham Premium Outlets in Wrentham, MA. They have Theory, BCBG Maxazria, Michael Kors, Kate Spade New York, JCrew, Coach, Aeropostale, Harry & David, and so many other absolutely amazing stores (well over 200 in #) – something for everyone. For a first real outlet shopping experience, this place is awesome – I had my first Cracker Barrel and Friendly’s experiences.

The fall/winter sale made this trip even more opportune. At the Bloomingdales Outlet, boots already on sale were an additional 65% off. I kid you not. I made the most amazing purchase in my entire life. Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels from Harry & David. Yum! Seriously though, I bought knee/thigh high Sergio Rossi wedge boots (dark brown leather) – for my mom – originally priced at $1390 for $130 dollars. *happy dance* An additional 20% off coupon that a friend found me made this trip perfection – almost everything I bought that day was 80% off and above.

I realized that outlet shopping sprees may be the only kind that are actually legitimate for most budgets. A few of my favorite finds: the perfect JCrew dress, made only of diagonal stripes, olive Hunter Willingen Suede and Leather Boots, and Juicy Couture starter bracelet. Outlet shopping is such a great way to build your wardrobe – you may or may not find something that’s “in season”, but you’ll definitely find something that is right for you at a discount. I may just make this an annual tradition.

A few words of caution: Make a list, and use coupons that can be found online to get the deepest discount possible – get value for your money.

Limit yourself – for example, only buy things on sale.

Pay attention to the quality – Coach, JCrew, and many other stores have a separate factory line, that they sell at these outlets. The quality is likely different from their regular store – not necessarily bad – but look closely.

The perfect time for an outlet shopping spree, in my opinion, is when all stores have their end-of-season-sales going on – things will likely be at their lowest price.

Last but not least, have fun!


On The Two Lists

In On Fashion, On Luxury, On Style on January 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm

The fur vest will not make me look more fabulous.  I finally realized this yesterday at BCBG Maxazria, where a beautiful white fur vest that I’d been eyeing since October went on sale for an additional 20% off (off of the already 60% off) – which is quite a bit at BCBG for real fur that’s also a fashion statement. I’ve noticed that ever since I tried it on back in October, I kept putting it back on the rack. No matter what I wore, the vest would always add 10 pounds. Yuck!

At my height, with my curvy shape, I was being ridiculous by not retiring this idea. I wasn’t accepting that this is exactly the kind of trend that works really well for some people – but it’s something that will likely never make me look better. Sure, it can work if it’s a lighter vest – but even then, I have better options in fur – like the fur coat, poncho, stole, or shawl, all of which add the touch of elegance I’m looking for without ruining my shape.

The capri pant is a similar trend. Sure, cropped pants looked great on Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly (but then, what didn’t look good on these two ladies?), and look good on most models. But they cut my legs off unappealingly – shorts that hit at or above the knee do so much more for me. This, I realized a long time ago, before high school (thankfully). There is also the case of choker necklaces. They make me look awful – like I’m literally being choked. The shrug, the cropped shirt, or the shirt tied at the waist, will also never work me. I’d look like I was carrying the entire weight of the world on top.

This list can go on forever – in fact, it should. We should know whether loud prints or soft prints, or big prints or small prints look better on us. We should know if slouchy fits, or fitted fits, or both, look better on us. Keep track of which trends you’ve already realized don’t work for you. Sure, they may be fun to wear to a costume event, but even then – there is a whole list of things that look better on you, no matter what. Stylists swear by this – finding what staples look good. For example, the tutu skirt looks amazing on Sarah Jessica Parker – it reappears multiple times on Sex and the City. It also looked great on Jenny from Gossip Girl (before she became Gothic) and was used to add a splash of color underneath her dresses.

I digress. These are two lists, which I think everyone should make, honestly and constructively – in our heads (or on paper).

1)What (Trends and/or Clothing Pieces) Make Us Look Amazing.

2) What (Trends and/or Clothing Pieces) Don’t Work Well For Us.

If and when we live by these, our wardrobe will look so much cleaner, organized, and wearable. It also gives us initiative to try something new. Soon, we’ll have a wardrobe tailored to make us look amazing. And if that’s not the point, what is?


On the Hermes Sari

In On Luxury, On the Sari on November 16, 2011 at 5:10 am

I read today in the Economic Times and on Forbes.com that Hermes has launched its saris again. Last time Hermes launched saris, it was a limited edition for it’s Millenia collection. Recently it expanded in China with leather goods and opened a flagship store in Mumbai.

Clearly, luxury and fashion are moving East.

To me, this brought further clarity to what Amitabh Bacchan said on the the Lead India campaign regarding the two Indias. One India has come so far, that there are 27 story private homes, and printed saris for $6000-$8000 – 3 to 4 lakhs.

The other side of me recognizes that it’s not just any printed sari. There’s value in the Hermes print and logo on 6 yards of beautiful fabric. It also fills me with pride, that the Indian sari has become such an icon, that Hermes recognizes its importance and value. There have already been rich Indian prints on many Hermes scarves. But now Hermes is going one step further to pay homage to the Indian tradition.

And it’s true. That while Indian women and girls wear Western clothing very commonly now, there is definitely a strong pull towards the traditional and graceful sari. For formal occasions and weddings, most women still prefer to wear the sari.

There’s definitely a graceful elegance that is inherent in the sari, and the Hermes prints will no doubt add to this. There are a total of 28 saris, created in Paris, in fabrics varying from cashmere to twill silk. One line of saris is priced at 3 lakhs, while the other is at 4 lakhs. Obviously, only the wealthy can afford this gorgeous luxury.  Two of Forbes top-ten billionaires reside in India, though (Lakshmi Mittal and Mukesh Ambani). It’s not hard to imagine the French couturier’s target clientele.

^Mumbai flagship

Did you also know that a recent global affluence study show that India has more wealthy households than many European nations, including Germany and France. Of course the West is coming back to India as soon as India is getting rich again.

Can you predict what the celebrities or Ambani women will be wearing at their next event? I can!

Speaking of which…It’ll be interesting to see what kind of impact this has on the top Indian designers, who until now, were the only creators of designer saris around the world. Hermes’s foray into this niche market isn’t very surprising. Hermes adds a layer of chic luxury to the already sophisticated, elegant sari. I’m hopeful that the price tag and lack of traditional quality inherent in Hermes will keep a large percentage of the wealthy from having or wanting wardrobes of Hermes saris.

But, this is a note to Indian designers. You must now do more than splatter paint, dye, and/or Swarovski crystals all over the sari to charge over 3 lakhs now. Step it up!


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