Archive for November, 2009

You may not be able to muster the strength to leave the house to join the crowds shopping in the wee hours of Friday. But that doesn’t mean you should have to miss out on all the post-Thanksgiving savings.

Drag your turkey-stuffed-self over to the computer and get clicking. Here’s just a sampling of what can be saved with the flick of a mouse:

SkirtSports: Up to 80 percent off select women’s athletic gear.

Beautorium: Offering it’s “Seven for $10” promotion featuring one product a day for seven days (starting Friday, Nov. 27) for the price of $10, with a minimum purchase of $30. With selections changing daily, visitors can save up to 75% on the world’s best natural and organic beauty care. Including: Cattier Soothing Beauty Lotion (regularly $23), Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel – Sensitive ($39), Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum ($45), Cattier Dermoprotective Shower Gel ($18), Cattier Moisturising Day Cream ($40), Rain Africa Bath Salts in Basket Savannah ($34), Pangea Organics French Chamomile & Orange Blossom Facial Cream ($36) and Rain Africa Bath Salts in Bag ($25).

Saks Fifth Avenue: Up to 60 percent off select items; Free shipping with code HOLIDAY9; $25 gift card with $100 beauty/fragrance purchase with code BEAUTY9; $100 contemporary purchase of more than $400 with code CONTEMP9.

Cinda B: Free Shipping on orders of more than $100 Nov. 27-29 with codeSHIP4FREE

Janie and Jack: 25 percent off total purchase online through 3p Friday); free shipping on purchases of more than $75 with code FREE 75; 20 percent off entire purchase Nov. 27-29.


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This plaid hooded jacket ($52) is from the exclusive “New Moon” line at Nordstrom. (nordstrom.com photo)

Friday (possibly late night Thursday, depending on the level of your dedication) is the start to the holiday shopping season.

The scale of it all – the sales, the crowds, the urgency – can quickly suck the style out of the most well-intentioned shopper. So how do you fight the urge to go the easy route, buying Snuggies for all of your friends and family? Plan ahead.

Start with the list (an iPhone or Blackberry memo works great, or you can go old school with a sheet of paper). Then determine how much you’ll spend per person.

Use this list as a jumping-off point for your holiday gift-giving. Trends can be as inexpensive or extravagant as you’d like – you shouldn’t have to work too hard to find one that fits your budget. Read Thursday’s Charlotte Observer for the full story.

  • Teen girls are in the throes of another round of angsty vampire mania with the recent release of the film “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.” Resistance is futile, so you might as well indulge your girl’s penchant for fanged folk from the Pacific Northwest. Try a plaid hooded jacket ($52) from the exclusive “New Moon” line at Nordstrom. Inspired by Bella’s layered looks, the jacket has a “Twilight” logo at the hem. Or tap into pretty gore with DuWop Twilight Lip Venom ($16), a dual-purpose lip plumper and stain.
  • Mothers are notoriously selfless, or so they’d like us to believe. Here’s your chance to defy their claims of only needing you to come home to make the holidays complete. Gently force your mum to pamper herself with the Three Janes Eight Piece Brush Set and Bag, a simply luxe set of cosmetic brushes tucked into a rich rolled chocolate brown pouch. The line, the brainchild of TV reporter Eleanor Mondale and makeup artist Leilani Baker, features hardwood-handled brushes with hand-cut tufts that are double tied and glued for durability. $198, Jeffre Scott Apothecary, 607 Providence Road.
  • Scarves may just be the most versatile, accepting accessory around. Give your aunt a bit of instant hip with this year’s must-have item: the infinity (or circle) scarf. There’s no need to skip the trend because you’re unsure how to wear – the infinity scarf is a large circle of fabric that you simply drape or loop around your neck. No tying required. The striped Splendid infinity scarf can be flirty, edgy, sexy and practical at the same time. $39-$54; Scout & Molly’s of Charlotte
  • The looks of the 1980s might be bigger now than they were back in the ’80s. Help your pops celebrate the era of excess by channeling the classic looks popularized by some his favorite film characters. Go Maverick from “Top Gun” with Ray Ban aviators ($129.95) or “Breakfast Club” hipster with Ray Ban Wayfarers ($139.95). Sunglass Hut (multiple locations).
  • Kick-start your dad, brother or uncle’s grooming routine with the Zirh Super Shave System, which might just convince him it’s OK to care about your skin, even if you are a man. The set includes five products for specific uses: Pre-Shave Oil, Aloe Vera Shave Cream, Non-Foaming Aloe Vera Shave Gel, Post-Shave Soothing Treatment and Post-Shave Treatment (for ingrown hairs). And, the company website is packed with information men need to know, but may have not been comfortable asking – such as what is a blackhead? $79; Dillard’s, Macy’s, Ulta, Sephora (multiple locations)

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Power by Fifty Cent

As we get closer to the official start of the holiday season I’m going to let you in on a little secret of shopping success: fragrance is your friend.

For everyone on your list, fragrance can be a budget-friendly entry point to a beloved luxury brand or a gentle nudge toward a new personal style.

Here are few fragrance recommendations to get you focused.

Kiehl’s Pour Homme 1987: A little goes a long way for this masculine, woodsy essential oil. $25.

Jovoy Oriental: A deliciously old school fragrance (company founded in 1923) with a renewed enthusiasm (new owners). The sophisticated scent has hints of bergamot, peach, rose, vanilla, cedar and amber. Jeffre Scott Apothecary in Charlotte

Leila Lou: The eco-friendly scent is made with essential oils that capture the scent of “freshness and innocence.” The packaging (or lack there of) is commendable as well — no box for individual bottles means a reduction of waste and greenhouse gasses. $38. Potion Beauty in Huntersville

JIL by Jil Sander: Sold exclusively at Dillard’s, the fragrance combines pink pepper, lavender, tangerine and vanilla for a lush, feminine, modern scent. The advertising campaign features Julia Restoin Roitfeld. $70.

Power by Fifty Cent: Confidence is captured in this scent that combines green citrus fruit with musky and woody notes. Sold exclusively at Macy’s. $68.50.


Enter to win a bottle of Power by Fifty Cent.

  • To enter, send an e-mail to shoefitsfree@gmail.com. Entries sent/posted elsewhere will not be considered.
  • Your e-mail must contain POWER in the subject field of the e-mail. Include your name, phone number and mailing address in the text of the email.
  • Entries must be received by 4 p.m. Friday. Entries sent after the deadline will not be considered.
  • E-mails that meet the stated criteria will be entered into a random drawing. One entry per e-mail address, please.
  • Only the winner will be contacted. Please do not post your contact information in the comments section on the blog.

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The sequined dress stylist Gretta Monahan wore during the H&M store opening at Cumberland Mall in Atlanta sold out shortly after the doors opened. Paul Abell/Elevation Photos

This just in from the ATL bureau of If The Shoe Fits:

Swedish fast fashion retailer H&M continued its fashionable assault on the United States, opening a third Atlanta location recently at Cumberland Mall. Shoppers lined up – some as early as 8:30 a.m. – to check out the newest southeast location (the fifth in Georgia; the first Carolinas store is expected to open in Raleigh in the spring). The first 100 shoppers at the new store received gift cards worth $10 – $100.

Stylist Gretta Monahan, who appears on “The Rachael Ray Show” and “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style,” was on hand. Monahan took a few minutes between styling consultations with shoppers to pass along these style tips. — Erin Kasari

What is your personal style philosophy? I believe that all of fashion and style should be accessible at any price. It is really about creating your own personal look and not copying the trends.

What is one of the biggest fashion faux pas for both men and women? The biggest mistake I see is wearing the wrong size. Clothes that don’t fit – no matter how expensive or how on trend they are – look absolutely awful. Spend the time to find clothes that fit. Don’t get caught up in the craziness of getting clothing on sale. Even when clothes are on sale, you’re still paying something for them – so, please, be picky at every price point.

What feature do you wish women would play up more? Definitely their waists. I don’t care if you’re pregnant, not pregnant, big, small, whatever size, whatever height, you’ve still got to rock the waist. Never ever give way to wearing any sack or boxy shapes. Do something to create a little bit of an inward shape in the center part of your body, whether you have to create it high on your body because you have a low belly or create it a little lower because you’re curvy. Accentuating the waist will always make a woman look feminine and finished.

How can fashion conservatives incorporate trends such as metallics and sequins into their wardrobe while still staying within their comfort zone? You’re going to find very soft metallic threads woven into knits that are classic – so it’s great for someone who is a classicist. You’re also going to find leathers or fabrics that are washed down with a tiny bit of glitter or shimmer. So if you want to dial it down, there are plenty of ways to do that.

You can even just work with jewelry. If you want to keep your entire wardrobe classic, but you want to add a little shimmer you can add a chunky necklace, a large cuff bracelet or ring – you can get it just from one of those.

The easiest way, always, is in a bag or a shoe – and they’re out there at every price point. Even if you say to yourself that you’re never going to wear sequins, try them with a little bag or with some shoes. Even if you’re conservative, it will actually make you smile to put on a pair of shimmery, shiny shoes.

What are your other favorite trends this season? I love the boyfriend jacket. It’s been an easy, great piece that all of my clients, friends and celebrities have been enjoying. I also love the lace trend. I like the whole tough/sexy vibe of mixing lace with chains. That’s a little ’80s, but done in a really great way.

I can’t get enough of booties and over the knee boots. I know that over the knee boots can be hard, but I like that they are doing them in both flat and high-heeled versions. They act like a little pant – I just wear them with a skirt and I’m not going to show anything. I also like the neon trend. Hot neon colors mixed with black was an unexpected combination for the fall, which I really like. And the statement necklaces, they’re easy and give one big bang to your outfit.

You’re down to your last $50 and you can only spend it on clothing or accessories. What is the one thing would you buy? Honestly, a dress. I call a dress a ‘one piece wonder.’ Women always look sexy, feminine and put together in a dress. Top, bottom – everything’s done in one piece. But, shoes are a close second.

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Bedouin collar necklace, $578, by Rachel Taliaferro

Looking to give a bit of Charlotte to your nearest and dearest this holiday season? Head over to the Jewelry Artists of Charlotte pop-up shop at Ballantyne Village.

The shop, presented by Patricia Snow and I.C. London boutique owner Shelly Domenech, features the work of 15 local artisans, will be open 11a-7p Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5p Sunday through Dec. 31.  14825 John J. Delaney Drive, Suite 120 in Ballantyne Village.

If you’re in Charleston, check out Novel, a pop-up boutique on King Street that is a joint effort from former Charlottean jewelry artist Jane Pope and Lauren Lail of  Library: Archives of Fashion.

Through Dec. 20, the design collaborative will stock the space with the gems from their collections.

In addition, both women will be on hand to style and help customers create unique looks combining pieces from Library’s extensive collection of vintage finds and one-of-a-kind jewelry from Balboa and Jane Pope collections.

10a-6p Monday-Saturday through Dec. 20, 438 King Street, Charleston.

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Bad journalist! I forgot my camera, so this is the best I could do with my phone capturing Ken Downing, Neiman Marcus senior vice president and fashion director, during his recent visit to Charlotte

Ken Downing, Neiman Marcus’ senior vice president and fashion director, stopped at the SouthPark store recently. He put together a fabulously entertaining fashion show and encouraged attendees to shake things up this holiday season, and carry that chic convention-smashing straight on through to spring.

And he wasn’t playing around. He encouraged attendees to pair outerwear with evening wear for a fresh take on holiday dressing. Instead of a scarf or shawl, try a cropped motorcycle jacket, luxe cardigan or boyfriend jacket. It puts an “urban” edge on evening, he said. Another favorite is to pair hyper masculine (a boyfriend jacket) with hyper feminine (a beaded evening gown).

Other tips and trend forecasting:

  • Expect to see 1940s prints and blue (all shades) everywhere this spring.
  • The tribal influence isn’t going anywhere, and it’s getting stronger. “If you only have one little piece, you’re not saying anything,” Downing said.
  • Big bold accessories will continue to make an impression this spring, with layering and off-centered pendants. “If you’re not making a statement, keep the car in the garage,” Downing said.
  • Matchy-matchy is chic again, he said. He saw suites of jewelry on the runways in Paris and it worked.

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