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CategoryAll posts under‘Save vs. Splurge‘

The Royal Wedding Craze

Just like everyone else in this world, I was glued to the television watching the fashion show that was the royal wedding. And just like everyone else in this world, I jumped fully on the hat bandwagon. Us American folk don’t ever get a reason to wear a hat, except to church and my Jewish heritage doesn’t encourage Sunday Mass:) So, when 2 friends married, respectively, a Brit and an Irishman this summer, I was overjoyed.

In true Amy Salinger fashion, I was not going to be typical in my hat choice. I have never had a real reason to wear a fabulous hat before (except for dancing competitions), so I was ready to go big or go home. I decided I wanted something that could be worn all night, not just during the ceremony. And, it had to travel well since one of the wedding’s was actually in Ireland. A fascinator was in my future.

A fascinator, quite simple, is a cross between a hat and a head piece. It is not meant to overtake your entire head, but merely act as an ornament. I went ahead and decided that designing and making my own was way more interesting then spending beau coup bucks on an overpriced, less original piece. Of course, in my world, I have the time to do this.

Styling a look for these two weddings (yes, I wore the same thing to both), was a bit like, “Which came first? The chicken or the egg?”. I started with the hat, buying tons of huge flowers. But, when I went dress shopping and couldn’t find anything suitable to match the idea in my mind, I chose the best dress I could find and went from there.


Love, love, love my bright and cheery 40’s esque look. I also super love my friend Courtney’s Tracy Reese (bought at designer discount!) orange look. Courtney is my best friend and a fashion designer. She is also the most crafty person I know which is why I enlisted her to actually create my hat. If I had made it myself, it would have looked like a 5th grade project.


Peacock feathers? Check. Crystals? Check? Glue gun? Definitely check. After several shopping trips (no one said home made meant easy), I had all of the items I needed to create my head piece. An afternoon later, my fascinator was ready for the world to see. I added in vintage clip on earrings (which I lost because I danced them off), a Swarovski crystal ring and a pair of $15 DSW shoes, and my look was runway ready.


Challenge yourself to really create your own look, enlist a fashionable and crafty friend, and you never know what you will come up with!

Looking Chic and Affordable


Although I have become somewhat lazy about going out in my old age (I am a ripe old 32), I do still love the act of dressing up. Creating a look from head to toe will somewhat consume my mind the day of the event, if not weeks leading up to it. It really depends on where I am going and who I am going to see. I call it, “the curse of the fashion stylist”.

This past Saturday, my girlfriends got together for a night on the town. This included me staying out for a whole 2 hours (if you don’t include the pre-party at my friend’s apartment). I warned you I have become somewhat “un-cool”. Either way, I put on a cute, affordable and comfortable look for the evening.

I am all about finding the best deal and with this look, everything on me runs from free to designer discount to consignment. LOVE. Let’s start with free. These black jeans (designer unknown), were given to me by a friend. She found them at a sample sale for a dollar (so not quite free), and figured they would fit someone for that price! With just a slight alteration at the waist, they were mine. With jeans costing up to $200 these days, this is quite the bargain!

Next up are my fabulous red suede booties. Totally stylish, totally comfortable. They are from Off 5th in Cleveland, Saks outlet store. I travel for good deals. They are a good color to make your look pop, not too overpowering. Muted reds are any girls friend.

As for the zebra top, I purchased it that day at Loehmann’s, designer discount heaven. It was $30 from Romeo and Juliet. I spent the weekend eating and drinking my way through the universe so I needed something that would allow me to breath. Choosing a sheer top, paired with a black tank top, still showed off my silhouette without showing off my stomach. Perfection.

And finally, the accessories. Layer, layer, layer. My new Armitron watch for $70 is my favorite best friend these days. I wear it with everything. I searched high and low for an affordable gold watch. With everyone wear Michael Kors for $250, I refused to buy one and certainly not for that price. Add in tons of bangles with different widths and my giant blue stone ring from my mother’s salon in Connecticut of all places, and my wrists are good as gold.

The final topper was my new Saks Fifth Avenue brand clutch bought at an East Village consignment store. This little gem found me (you don’t search for specific things at crazy consignment stores) and I knew it would be a useful item in my repertoire. It is a neutral color even though it is not black or brown. For $65, the cost per wear will be well worth it.

So ladies, shop smart and think about your every purchase. Love what you buy and brand yourself is chic, stylish and affordable items!

Missoni for Target: On the Scene

It has arrived…. Missoni for Target. The only problem is that it is already gone. I wish I was kidding. As the picture shows, by 10:30am this morning, Missoni had left the building. I thought I was so good showing up just 2.5 hours after Target in Queens opened, but apparently it wasn’t good enough. I was told that just a half hour after the doors opened, everything was basically gone.

The best part of all of this is that I convinced my friend Jackie to come out to my place and then we would drive to Queens. Well, the car didn’t start. So we hopped on the train and off we went to a store full of nothing. Thank God I am friends with people that have a sense of humor because a fashion show I promised and a fashion show you shall get.
When I say there was nothing left, I really mean it. We had to go to the kid’s section just to play. My friend Jackie is teeny tiny so this plan was not all that bad. Unfortunately, the clothing was a bit of a let down…..

There were some pieces that were classically Missoni and other’s that well, just looked cheap. Obviously the quality is going to be of lesser value since we are at Target and not Barney’s, but you never want to be the girl wearing cheap, imitation Missoni.

In her best pout face, Jackie shows us what CAN work from the line. Some cute, throw on pieces that can put some funk in any look. Exactly what Missoni is all about. When buying a less expensive version of the original, go with non-fitted items. Accessories and loose silhouettes don’t show off that the fit might not be perfect.

Try out a hat and gloves for example. It is the perfect Missoni pop to any ensemble. You know I look good in this hat made for a 2 year old. In fact, this line at Target is perfect for a youngster. You don’t need to be spending crazy prices for the “real” thing. Have the best dressed toddler in town.

I do love this adorable dress. Easy, comfortable, stylish. Obviously it is a bit short, but if Jackie shrank to the size of an 8 year old it would be perfect. If it was her size, throwing on a dark pair of tights and high brown riding boots with be the best additions. Add a structured jean jacket and you are on your way!

Being a good sport, Jackie went the full mile. Without me even asking, she decided it was good for the post to model ALL of the items, including lingerie. Right over her pants, Jackie shows off Missoni’s effort at patterned panties. Honestly, I think they are great!

In my professional opinion, it was definitely worth the trip to Target. If and when another shipment comes in, I will certainly be first (or 100th) in line. It is always good to mix and match high and low end pieces. Just use your discerning eye carefully and recognize the difference between inexpensive and cheap. It is a very fine line and never needs to be crossed!

Fashion’s Night Out!

Believe it or not, this was my first Fashion’s Night Out, otherwise known as FNO. I hosted an event the first year, was a good Jew and went home for Rosh Hashanna the 2nd year and finally went to all the parties this year. Totally worth the wait.

I got all dolled up for the big night and then promptly changed my entire look one minute before I had to walk out the door. Of course. I ended up wearing this vintage maroon dress from the 70’s that I bought at a flea market in Chelsea. $25 purchase that had to be tailored for $95. I have worn it to weddings, afternoon drinking and now FNO. Worth the price.

I added a vintage warrior belt that I purchased at Salvation Army years ago. I threw on tons of bangles, from vintage to department store, added a jean jacket with the sleeves chopped off, and I was good to go. I was “this close” to throwing out the jean jacket from Forever 21 before i had the brilliant idea to re-vamp it into a vest. Genius!

Almost immediately after arriving, I darted across the busy crowd because I saw the most amazing necklace. On a truck that looked like it should be selling food, was a bevy of amazing pieces. A traveling store! The hostess just outside the Style Liner was wearing this unbelievable one of a kind necklace. I am in love. Big and over the top, it isn’t for everyone, but it certainly will put a punch in any look!

From the most amazing necklace to one of the most interesting coats I have ever seen. The first spot I hit was Moschino. This piece obviously caught my eye. Never have I seen a high fashion house selling garments with teddy bears attached to the collar. Amazing. I really need to know who is going to buy this?? It was more humorous then anything. Needless to say, it was worthy of a picture!

As you stroll down the street, you never know what you are going to run into. This time, it was an outdoor rock concert at Vince. They covered the sidewalk with grass (so cool), and set up an area for the band. It defined the whole concept of FNO, a party on every corner…. Literally.


Moulin Rouge for anyone? Yes please. Another great “experience” of FNO was a red carpet set up for everyone to dress up like their fav Moulin Rouge character and take pictures. Sound cheesy? It totally was and it was totally awesome. It was a great excuse to stop and watch everyone make a fool of themselves. Always a good time. They had actors hired to play each character in the movie plus contortionists! It was truly fabulous.

The finale of the night was a prop posed shot. The new “it” accessory of the season is wide rimmed black glasses, why not go over-sized! It is time to go BIG or go home, it is FNO!

Overall it was a great night. Heck, it is one of the biggest parties of the year in NYC. Every store has free flowing alcohol and over the top promotions going on the get you into the stores. The streets are filled with people and visual stimulation for miles. It is what NYC is all about. Next year, same time, same place.

Fall Trends 2011

Fall 2011 is just around the corner and that can only mean one thing: It is time to reinvent yourself yet another time and make way for the best trends of the season! We all know that all trends are not made for all people. It is important to pick and choose what works best with your lifestyle and personality. Price points are just numbers and there are always less expensive options to fit any budget. You can be on-point this fall, stay within your financial range and look great re-branding yourself with successful style.

The female tuxedo is a trend that loves to come round and round and round….. It is sexy and sophisticated and makes any women, no matter what age or background, an instant power player with a vixen flare. Fit is key in any tailored piece such as a fabulous tuxedo. This Alexander McQueen piece at $2,240 is super pricey, but will live on forever. Purchase a cheaply made jacket or pair of pants and you will look exactly that, cheap. This does not mean you need to spend your entire piggy bank on a tuxedo. It just means that you either A) Need to pick either the jacket or pants to save a few dollars OR B) Opt for a middle of the road price point on the full deal and realize this is an investment. A great, tailored tuxedo will never go out of style and you can wear each piece over and over, styled many different ways. This is high on the “cost per wear” meter. Meaning, you are going to wear it for years to come so if you break down how much you spent on it vs. how much you will wear it, it is worth the price.
Designer’s always tell me that they never look backwards, only forwards, but this next trend proves them very, very wrong. 60’s Mod is back (yet again), so pull out all of those great items that have been hanging out for years. it is time to get the psychedelic party started and the first step is looking groovy. Alberta Ferretti’s Fall 2011 certainly understands this. Mod essentially means lots of color, lots of graphic, bold prints and boxy silhouettes. You don’t need to overwhelm yourself in this fall trend, just opting for one piece shows you are “in the know”. The younger you are, the more you can brand yourself funky with this fun trend. If you are a more mature lady, choose a top or jewelry, nothing that will completely overwhelm you.
Kooky, mixed up prints are an easy way to get someone’s attention when making a first impression, but make sure you manage this trend correctly. It is a fine line between crazy and stylish!Custo Barcelona, the designer of this dress, knows how to bring crazy and realistic together. If your personality is bold and vocal, then this is the perfect trend to represent your own personal brand through your wardrobe. Always remember your destination though, wearing an overwhelming print from head to toe at the office might be a bad idea. Leave the complete look for the weekend. But, choose a top or a belt to punch up your “work wardrobe” and be the talk of the office… in a stylish and positive way!
I love fur. I know this is a faux pas in many circles and I accept that I am not always PC (ask my friends!). Obviously there are many designers that side with me because the use of fur on beautiful clothing really isn’t going anywhere. Burberry clearly loves fur and knows what to do with it, as this amazing sweater suggests. The newest trend for fall 2011 is fur on clothing. Not just as a jacket, vest or earmuffs, but actually worn as an “indoor” piece. It truly is a bit over the top, but heck, isn’t that what great fashion is sometimes about? Now obviously this is a pretty expensive trend if you are not wearing faux fur. Don’t “go for broke” if you can’t afford it, just choose a very good faux fur as an alternative. It really can make your entire ensemble look incredibly cheap so please, I beg of you, be careful in your choice. If you question yourself at all, don’t buy it. You always want to look expensive and put together no matter what. Successful style may be “faux” sometimes, but never cheap.
A trendy style that almost any gal can latch onto is the longer skirt which is very big for fall. The shorter you are the more difficult it is to wear, but as long as you keep any garment on your upper half ending at your waist, you should be fine. Proportions can be your worst enemy and your best friend. Keep any purchase flowing and fun, do not opt for stiff materials. This style is great for the girl who is a bohemian at heart. You can rock it at the office when styled appropriately and still feel like yourself. The best part is that it is universally awesome in that it can be worn any day of the week, work or weekend.
A trendy fall, a trendy (re-branded) you. Style represents who you are and who you want to be. What does your wardrobe say about you? When choosing your trendy fall 2011 pieces, always keep in mind what you want to project to the world. Clean out your closet and find current trends lurking in the depths of your wardrobe. Re-work them for this season. Purchase those great pieces that will advance your current wardrobe and style. Buy what you need. Use what you have.