Showing posts with label designer clothing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label designer clothing. Show all posts


Earn Money From Unloved Clothes in Your Closet (And Here's $10 to Shop!)

If you are anything like me, you fill your closets to the max (it is NYC after all and every inch of real estate counts!). However, if you're also like me, you've obsessively read about Japanese organization guru Marie Kondo's method of organization. While her book is still on my NYPL waiting list, I've taken a few of her own-only-things-that-bring-you-joy approaches to heart and done a considerable amount of domestic purging lately.

But I didn't want to simply throw away perfectly good items of clothing (that may or may not still have the tags on)...I wanted to make some money! There was always eBay, but I don't have the patience for that. Then I heard about thredUP.

thredup logo

thredUP brands itself as a "recommerce" company. How it works is you create an account on their site, order a bag free of cost and it will show up in your mailbox in a matter of days. You then stuff it full of worn, but like new items (bonus if they still have the tags on and were never worn) from dresses to shoes and handbags to accessories. At this time they only accept women's, junior's and children's clothing, sorry gents! Here are their rules and here is a video that explains more:

You can then drop your bag (pre-labeled for FedEx shipping) at any FedEx location. thredUP will contact you and let you know which items they are going to resell and how much money you will get back from them. I earned $125 for one bag! For a small fee, thredUP will even send you back the items they don't sell; otherwise, they will give the clothes away for you.

I opted to receive my money via PayPal (and paid a nominal fee for it), or you can choose to spend your money in thredUP's marketplace--chock full of amazing finds that other people like you have sent in. I have also done this and managed to score a brand new Coach leather purse for under $70.

Want to check it out? Create an account through my link and get $10 free to spend in the thredUP marketplace. I'll get $10 too, but once you place your first order and/or submit your first bag, you will want to tell all your friends about this site.


A Chromatic Fantastic Benefit

Last night my friend Christine and I attended Publicolor's annual Stir, Splatter + Roll benefit at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School and were seeing in technicolor by the time we painted our way home. The event was well attended by renowned designers, architects, and artists, most of whom were wearing uber cheerful and bright clothing representing the entire color wheel.

Publicolor is a youth development not-for-profit that has a multi-day multi-year program continuum that uniquely engages disaffected students in their education. The annual benefit sought to raise money to fund programs that empower students through commercial painting and an applied learning model to transform their institutional-looking schools into warm, welcoming student-centric environments. They also offer programs to involve the students in planning and preparing for college and career, while teaching strong and transferable work habits. Publicolor students are almost always the first in their families to go to college.

Event guests were invited to don Tyvek jumpsuits and try their hand at painting tote bags inspired by various designers. I spied Simon Doonan chatting it up with clothing designer Nicole Miller and briefly spoke with artists Rashid Johnson about his yellow palm tree design.

Simon Doonan with Nicole Miller at her table

The event also featured a silent auction of more durable canvas tote bags decorated by huge names in the fashion and design world. I particularly loved the ones by Narciso Rodriguez, Betsy Johnson, and Paula Bell (so much so that I bid on that one!).
Silent auction table
Betsy Johnson's tote
Paula Bell's tote

Catering was by David Ziff Cooking and was superb. There were more choices of passed hors d'oeuvres than I've ever seen, including tiny Texas-style BBQ sandwiches, zucchini wrapped shrimp, vegetable sushi, cumin chicken empanadas, tuna tartare on taro chips, and macadamia nut chicken chicken and grape skewers (sorry for the blurriness in some of the photos!).

As for beverages, my newly discovered palate (or palette if you will...) for whiskey was satisfied by Johnnie Walker Black and Macallan 12. Panther Creek Winery was also sampling their 2009 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir, which interestingly tasted like brown sugar. Yum!

Unfortunately we didn't stay for the dinner/awards portion of the night, but the sneak peek of the decked out gymnasium looked super colorful and fun. Thanks for having us!

Christine and I in our colorful garb

You can check out more about Publicolor and their mission by visiting their website.


Getting to Know Gnossem

Driving is not a pastime I ever really miss (except when I want to jam out on the radio where no one can hear me, but I digress). I can hardly tell a Mazda from a Ford. However, my interest is piqued when I hear the words Maserati and party in the same sentence.

On Saturday night I was invited out to the West Side dealership (we were practically in the river, but so it goes in a city where everyone walks or takes the subway) for a party celebrating the launch of Gnossem, an Asian fashion collaborative previewing in NYC for the first time. Designers they promote include Zenchi and Zardoze each from Singapore, TOTON from Indonesia, and a host of other independent labels.

The event was jam packed with interesting characters. Some were oogling the cars, others were taking advantage of the open bar, and all enjoyed the fashion show hosted by Gnossem’s founder Lisa Crosswite.

DJ Timo Weiland spun some great tunes and the folds from Illy, Zico and Birthday Cake Wines/Ice Cream Cellars were on hand giving out samples.

Oh and remember those guests I mentioned oogling the cars? Oh right, I was one of them :)


Fix Your Closet in a Stitch

Like it or not, living in New York City makes me very fashion conscious. I've always been a bit of a shopaholic and with the advent on online shopping (Gilt and Rue La La, I can't sing your praises enough but my wallet certainly can) buying the latest looks has become even easier. But if you've always dreamed of taking the shopping experience one step further and hiring your own personal shopper, have I got the site for you.

A coworker recently told me about Stitch Fix, and from the minute she said "it's like Blue Apron" for clothes, I was intrigued. The way it works is you log on, create an account, and fill out a fairly extensive survey about your style. You will answer questions about everything from your sizes to which body parts you like to flaunt and from color palette to what your life is like. Once that is done and you decide to schedule a fix, you get an additional paragraph to explain in detail what you're looking for in a fix. I asked my stylist to focus on flowy long sleeve tops for winter and at least one dress I can wear to work. At this point I would highly recommend being as specific as possible about what you want (ie, brand names you usually buy, what piece is missing from your closet, price range) because there is a live person on the other end of things sourcing just for you.

I scheduled my first fix and I anxiously awaited my box. I've always thought personal stylists were uber expensive and not for me, but it felt like I was giving myself an awesome win-win present. When the box came to my doorstep, enclosed was a note personally signed by my stylist, Catherine, and information about how to proceed.

My First Fix

I was told to try everything on and send back whatever I didn't want within 3 days in the postage paid envelope. I was charged a $20 styling fee but that would be deducted from whatever I wanted to keep. Also, if I opted to keep all 5 items, I would receive a 25% overall discount.

The first item was the Gold Tone Love Birds necklace, that I thought was cute, but for $32 I thought I could find something I'd like way more so I decided not to keep it.

Gold Tone Love Birds Necklace ($32)

Next was the Florence Colorblocked Dress by 41Hawthorne ($68). I didn't really like this out of the box but I put it on, and behold, it not only fit perfectly but it was something new and different! I love this dress because I can pair it with a blazer and ballet flats for work but could gussy it up with some sparkly jewelry for a date night or holiday party.

Florence Colorblocked Dress ($68)

My fix included 2 flowy shirts. The first, Rossi Polka Dot Print Neck-Tie Blouse by Renee C ($48), was a bit too librarian for me and I sent it back. The skirt I was also a little disappointed in because it was the most basic black pencil skirt that anyone who works in an office already has at least one of. Needless to say, I sent the Violet Ponte Pencil Skirt by 41 Hawthorne back as well.

Rossi Polka Dot Print Neck-Tie Blouse ($48)

The second was another item I wasn't sure I'd like out of the box. The Crowley Sheer Front Pocket Blouse by Sanctuary ($78) neared the top of my price point for a blouse, but it's high quality and fits me really well. Due to the sheer nature of the shirt, I have to wear a tank under it, but the color is unique and I've already worn it a bunch.

Crowley Sheer Front Pocket Blouse ($78)

One thing I thought was really unique and a nice touch was that Stitch Fix includes style cards with each piece to give you an idea of how you can dress each item up or down with items you already own.

So I didn't end up getting the 25% discount, but I sent back feedback with each item so that the next time I order they will hopefully hit the nail more square on the head. I don't think this is something I'd invest in every month, but I will definitely try it again soon, if only for the surprise. Do any of my readers use Stitch Fix or is anyone interested in giving it a try? Sign up for an account here.


A Borrowed New Year's Eve

A few weeks ago, I asked all my fabulous readers to help me choose a dress to rent from Borrowed Closet for New Year's Eve. Well, the winner was....

The Sequin Stripe Dress!!!

I have nothing to say but positive things about my experience with Borrowed Closet and would definitely encourage you to check it out. My package arrived within days of my order and I was able to rent not only the dress, but a black leather clutch and gold dangly earrings. The whole ensemble was one of my best New Year's Eve outfits to date, and I'm thrilled that I did not have to pay an arm and a leg for everything. After all,  it's not often that I wear backless, sequined dresses. 

Now all that's left is for me to package up my rentals and send everything back in the postage paid envelope provided to me. So what do you think of my experience? Anyone tempted to join?

Happy New Year's to you and yours from Awesome in New York!


Thrift in Style

One of my favorite stores in this city is not a giant department store or a Soho boutique. It's not a chain discount retailer or a pop-up shop. It's Housing Works Thrift Stores.

Now wait a minute, you say. You're living in the shopping mecca of our country and you favor a thrift store above all else?! But you have to stop and pause a moment because the queen of finding good deals must be on to something. And in fact I am.

I wandered into the Yorkville outpost on 2nd Avenue and 90th Street shortly after I moved to the area and I cannot walk by without at least peeping in and doing a once over. You would hardly know this place was a thrift store. Clothes are neatly organized in racks according to pieces - dresses here, skirts on the bottom and blouses on the top, jeans in one section and blazers over there. Housing Works only accepts high quality donations. You will find many designer duds, some brand new with the original tags still on. They also have an amazing selection of books, jewelry, furniture and other household goods. The store is also exceedingly clean and lacks a certain mildewy scent which wafts through the Goodwill Store down the street.

In addition to the already ridiculous prices you might find on the racks, the stores have random flash sales - 25% off all clothing today only, 40% off all books (when paperbacks are already only $1 a pop), and my most recent favorite, All Pants $3. Yes, that means I bought 4 pairs - 1 Theory jeans, 1 Brooks Brother's capris and 2 Italian designer ankle pants - all for $12. It's ok to be jealous. I can't even count the number of items of clothing I've taken home from Housing Works, but one of my best finds was a new pair of Stuart Weitzman sandals for $35. Also, twice a year they hold a summer and a winter clearance sales where you can find runway styles from top designers at additional markdown prices. I find it best to go on a weekday so as to avoid the crowds.

The reason I write about this fabulous store today however is because of my earlier post-work-pre-gym pop-in. The Yorkville store currently has a full rack of amazing designer pieces (With their original tags! I'm not sure how they do it!) from the likes of Geren Ford, Miguelina, Betsey Johnson, Magaschoni, Ali Ro and Y Yigal. Most dresses were marked down to $90 and tops where anywhere from $35 to $60. Also, through the end of July, you will get an extra $25 off your entire purchase if you show an old Housing Works receipt. So buy a book for $1 and then use that receipt to scoop up the remainder of your summer wardrobe.

Housing Works is a non-profit organization that is committed to ending homelessness and AIDS. The stores are run by volunteers and the organization provides quality services for those in need across the city and beyond. So even when you feel your wallet cringing when you can't decide between four dresses, you can still feel good knowing your money is going towards a good cause. Face it, it's a win-win-win.

You can check out their website to find a store near you and check out their online auctions and future sale announcements. Happy shopping!