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Date » 2011 » December

Philly Take Note: LA’s ‘Free Art’ Campaign

The main motivation of an artist? To have people see their art, and the options are endless, but some just seem to hit the core of art right in the kisser more than others. Like the company Jondo, in LA, set out to democratize art, they’ve created 26museum-quality prints that they’ve distributed through the city in various hidden locations. Your prize if you find them? You get to take it. Really. No strings attached. Much like Portland’s brilliant yellow bike-borrow system, this is yet another thing we need to copy. Get on it Philly!

abigail | Dec 30 2011 11:42am | DESIGN, art, d.i.y, great idea, Jondo | Comments 0

Newsflash: Americans Still Dress (and Behave) Poorly Outside U.S.

After two days in Mexico City and spending the last 36-some hours in Cabo San Lucas – with another 5 days to go here – one fact has become abundantly clear to me: Americans are among the worst travel offenders, ever. This is especially true on resort vacations, the reason for which I have yet to unearth. The charges against Americans are as follows:

Ugly Floral Shirts

What is it about American tourists and ugly, faux-Hawaiian patterns?  Upon departing the airport, most American tourists dash to their luggage and dig through a sea of over-sized button-down T-shirt Hawaiian florals for the fugliest one of them all, and don it for the entirety of the trip.  And let’s not even get started on the flat-front khakis.

I understand resort vacations are an opportunity to relax and escape from the stresses of the 9-5 bump-and-grind, but I must say, Hawaiian floral is not acceptable anywhere, in Hawaii, Cabo San Lucas or Long Island. In the words of fellow PW Style blogger Mark Longacre: “That’s not a thing.”

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To Splurge, or Not to Splurge?

It’s only been a couple of days since Christmas. You’ve been frantically running around, scouring the shelves and picking up last minute gifts for your friends and family. Now, it’s time to take that wad of cash you’ve accumulated from those relatives that had no idea what to give you, and use it to treat yourself for surviving the holidays.

But what to spend it on?

If you find yourself repeatedly gravitating toward that Louis Vuitton bag every time you’re within a ten mile radius of the store, or if you feel like your wardrobe is seriously lacking a go-to staple piece that will last longer than a month, maybe it’s time to consider a splurge purchase.

Of course, a splurge to one may just be a normal purchase to another, and there’s no perfect splurge for everyone. For instance, a pair of designer nude heels is a perfect foundation piece to build a variety of outfits off of, but if you can’t see yourself wearing them very often, maybe they’re not the right purchase for you. Here’s a list of possibilities that will hopefully inspire you to find the right splurge for you:


Photo Courtesy of Chanel

Designer Cosmetics

For me, buying foundation in a drugstore was always a nightmare. The bottles were sealed, and when I ended up deciding on one, it’d usually come out looking orange, cakey, a dreadful combination of both, or it would rub off throughout the day.

At a makeup counter, like in Sephora, Clinique, or MAC, among many others, a specialist will help you find the perfect foundation for you, based not only on your skin color, but also your skin type and the amount of coverage you want.

Lipstick and blush can be tricky too, but a makeup counter can help you find the perfect shade before you buy anything.


Photo Courtesy of Madewell

A Good Pair of Jeans

Jeans are a staple item that we all have in our closet. But how heartbreaking is it to have to throw out your favorite pair of jeans because they started to rip for no apparent reason? Avoid the heartbreak and go for a pair that will last. Madewell has a variety of styles, from wide-leg, to boot cut, to skinny, and everything in between. If you struggle with jeans being too long or short on you, try Ann Taylor, who caters to women tall and short alike.


Photo Courtesy of Marni

A Designer Bag

Okay, so maybe this one was kind of predictable. A bag by your favorite designer is a good candidate item to splurge on because it can be used daily, and most are classic and don’t go out of style, such as Chanel’s trademark quilted bags. If a bag is too high over your price range, no need to deprive yourself! Just opt for a wallet instead – it will still get as much use as a bag, and it won’t fall apart from being tossed around or rubbing against your keys.


Photo Courtesy of Misikko

A Salon-Approved Heat Styling Tool

That $20 hairdryer you picked up from Walmart could be the culprit for those recurring split ends. An ionic hairdryer by Misikko will do minimal damage, and comes with an attachment piece at the end to direct the air where you want it and to keep it away from spots that have already been dried.

If you use a flat iron more often than a hairdryer to style your hair, Chi makes flat irons that you’d find in a salon. They also double as a curling iron, and depending on the size of the barrel, can help you achieve perfect soft waves or bouncy tight curls.

Ideally, if you choose to splurge, it should be something you’ve been fantasizing about owning for a while, or something that will be used daily or often enough that it will pay for itself. Never should a splurge be a spontaneous, on-the-spot purchase, unless you have the means to do so. In that case, please help me pay for my college tuition! And buy as many Christian Louboutins as your heart desires.

- Lauren Arute

Style Intern | Dec 28 2011 7:44pm | BEAUTY, SHOPPING, hair, makeup, Ann Taylor, chanel, Chi, clinique, MAC, Madewell, Marni, sephora | Comments 3

Two Awesome New Year Sales in Old City

three sirens and third street habit sales

Just in time for your New Year’s Eve celebrations, two of Old City’s finest boutiques are bidding 2011 adieu in the best possible way…by slashing prices!

Now through Saturday, Three Sirens Boutique is offering 20 percent off all party dresses, handbags, jewelry, tops, sweaters, pants and skirts as well as 30 percent off select styles and already reduced clearance items. Need a bad-ass pair of pumps to complete your bad-ass party outfit? Well, lucky for you this is also the last weekend of their BUS STOP pop-up shop. Just whisper the secret word “shoes” at checkout and receive 15 percent off your shoe purchase.

Just a few doors down, Third Street Habit is having a giant winter blowout sale with select seasonal merchandise now 40-60 percent off.

For all you last minute shoppers, both shops are continuing their holiday hours. Three Sirens will be open from 11am-8pm tomorrow and Friday and 11am-3pm on Saturday. Third Street Habit will be open 11am-7pm the rest of the week and Saturday from 10am-4pm.

Rock the Fascinator at Your New Years Celebration…

kate middleton fascinator

Ever since the royal wedding, women have a new found love for fascinators, the exotic, formal headpieces worn by Kate Middleton.

Initially, men wore fascinators in the 16th and 17th centuries; however, they weren’t as extravagant as modern fascinators. Generally, they were simple with a feather and several jewels, if the gent was wealthy.  Think Robin Hood meets Louis XIV.

Overtime, women adopted the accessory, and transformed it into an extravagant headpiece with exotic feathers, damask and jewels.  Women began to wear them as a status symbol using the most expensive, flamboyant jewels possible.

Fast-forward to 2011 in a post-royal wedding world, and nothing has changed.  Women still want to accessorize their little black dress with something sexy, yet traditional.

Yesterday, Nicole wrote about how everyone is trying to get a unique, sexy outfit to welcome 2012.  If you are in a bind for a New Years ensemble, pair a simple black dress with a fascinator and matching jewelry.  The proper jewelry can transform a dress from plain to debonair.

A friend of mine wore a fascinator to a fashion show and people were more interested in her feather plume than the models walking down the runway. Channel your inner Kate Middleton and check out Etsy or American Fascinators for the finishing touch to your New Years outfit.

Daffy’s Does New Years

daffys_dressLet me guess—you still have no idea what you’re doing on New Year’s Eve, right? So chances are, you also still have no idea what you intend to wear.

Rather than heading to H&M last minute for your NYE attire (and running the very high risk of seeing another gal wearing the same exact outfit), I recommend checking out the selection of discounted fashions at Daffy’s in Center City. With two floors of women apparel and accessories, they have pretty much whatever you’re looking for, whether it be the perfect clutch, patterned tights or a bangin’ dress—like the one you see modeled on the right, for instance.

(Full disclosure: they offered me a free gift card and while I wasn’t really on the prowl for a NYE dress, I was sold as soon as slipped this hot little number on.)

Most of their dresses are in the $30-$50 range. I paid $40 for the dress and got the red pumps at Eternity Fashion for $20. Now if only I could figure out where it is that I’ll be wearing this outfit…

Nicole Finkbiner | Dec 27 2011 9:44am | FASHION, LOCAL LOVE, New Years Eve, SHOPPING, holidays, on a budget, shoes, Daffy's, h&m | Comments 0

Day After Christmas Sales to Die For…

Every year I ask for way more than Santa could possibly bring. While everyone else is exchanging that ugly sweater from Aunt Linda, there are incredible sales in stores and online.  Grab your wallet and hit the mall to make up for everything Santa couldn’t bring. Here are the hot deals:

7 For All Mankind – 40-50% off men’s and women’s apparel

Ann Taylor – 50% off entire purchase with code: winter50

Banana Republic – Extra 30% off already reduced prices with code: brsale30

Bloomingdales – Up to 50% off selected items

Coach Factory – Additional 30% off already reduced prices

Express – Up to 50% off selected items

Gap – 30% off everything. Extra 20% off sale items with code gapsale

Guess – Extra 30-40% off already reduced styles

H&M – The first 100 shoppers get a scratch off tickets with after Christmas sales

Hot Topic – Up to 75% off

J.Crew – 20% off final sale using code: mustshop

Jack Wills – Up to 40% off selected apparel

JC Penny – Up to 75% off selected departments with online doorbuster sales

Macy’s – 50-75% off men’s and women’s apparel through December 30th

Nordstrom – Men’s half annual sale

Old Navy – Up to 50% off online & up to 75% off in stores

Target – $10 off purchases of $50+

Tilly’s – Additional 30% off sale items

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