Carson Williams and John Carter designed the 2008 Symphony In Lights display at the Shops at Wiregrass.
So many shopping events, so little time — amirite, weekend warriors? Here's a peek at some of what's going on in the bay area this weekend:
Symphony in Lights: Stop by the Shops at Wiregrass on Friday to check out the mall’s new holiday lights show with more than 250,000 LEDs choreographed to the music of the Trans Siberian Orchestra and holiday favorites chosen by mall guests. This year it even snows! (Who needs Very Merry Mickey?) Shows go on at 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. nightly through Dec. 31. Ice skating is available through Jan. 3. Admission is free, though crossing gifts off your list is not. 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel. (813) 994-2242. theshopsatwiregrass.com …
Black Friday (or Black Thursday, as it were these days) is upon us. None of us Deal Divas are very into this tradition, because although we enjoy a good bargain, we might enjoy cornbread stuffing and brandy-laced egg nog all the more. Also, we have a lot of Hallmark Christmas movies to watch.
Follow along at our live blog through Cyber Monday and use the hashtag #tampabayshops to have your own Black Friday experiences captured on our site. For now, here are some stores and hours to get you started.
All morning long, in between wrapping up a week's worth of work to prepare to leave for the long holiday weekend, I've been flipping to this screen.
Kate Spade is having a sale, 75 percent off through Saturday. I really need a new purse. My Coach outlet bag I've had for, oh, four years, is sitting in tatters in my trunk, with a broken strap and several ink stains acquired in the pursuit of journalism. I'm highly considering replacing it with the Spade above, allegedly on sale from $398 to $149 (more on "allegedly" in a minute). I have till Saturday to not make any moves and hope it sells out so I don't actually have to make any decisions. (I'm not a purse person, and spending big dollars on one always makes me stall).
Gigi Hadid (left) renders her gorgeous face and new haircut all but invisible with this revealing two-piece ensemble at Sunday's AMAs.
We couldn't let the day pass without commenting on the annual hot mess parade affectionately titled the American Music Awards.
Sheers dominated yet another red carpet, making me scream for the speedy death of this dead tired trend that has given us more thigh and under boob than we can handle in our lifetimes. Literally everyone's cups runneth over.
Jennifer Lopez hosted the night with 10 looks -- each more sheer than necessary and tackier than should be allowed in public, but that's her brand, God bless her. #neverchange
Pretty much everyone else lost the battle against being forgettable save for a few ladies who nailed it or totally missed the point like my picks for the best and worst of the night. Mind you, both of my choices look stunning, but they were chosen as best and worst based on how the outfit sits in context with the venue. …
Uzo Aduba as Glinda the Good in NBC's The Wiz Live! airing on Dec. 3. Check your local listings.
Just take a second and absorb this fabulousness.
After almost of year straight of working red carpets like they owed her back rent, Emmy-winning actress Uzo Aduba has finally found a role that will costume her in all her innate glory. I'm talking of course about her upcoming turn as Glinda the Good in NBC's The Wiz Live! on Dec. 3.
Look at it. From the golden ringlets on down to the fire-like hem of the gown, this woman has never looked this amazing. And that really says something because her red carpetry settings sit somewhere between stunning and slay.
Aduba rose to fame playing Suzanne a.k.a. Crazy Eyes on Netflix's Orange is The New Black with so much manic gusto, I'm sure folks were crossing to other side of the street to avoid her gaze. It was only when the awards nominations started rolling in that we got a taste of her style team's cred, transforming the bantu knotted jail bird into a ceremonial swan right before our eyes. Honestly, up until that point, I had a hard time picturing her in regular clothes. …
Hope my kids will spend more on me than what they find in this jar.
Every January radio stations give away thousands of dollars for lucky winners to use to make a dent in the credit card debt they they racked up during the holidays. It's probably a given that most of use will use plastic to pay for some of our shopping and celebrating. But there is such a thing as cash and if we make a concentrated effort to use it, our January credit card bills won't weigh more than that bird seed-filled neck warmer you gave your Grammie.
Andrea Woroch, a national expert on consumer spending and saving money, gave me some ideas on ways to use cash and divert money you spend on usual expenses to help cover extra costs of the Christmas.
"Instead of going out to dinner and the movies, have a movie night in and order a pizza," she said in a recent interview. "Then take the money you would have spent and spend it on a gift." She suggested keeping a jar or envelope to collect the money you "save." …
Sip ’N Shop and Holiday Concert: Gather your friends and swing over to St. Pete’s 600 block for a casual evening of shopping — plus drinking wine and coffee and stuffing your face with desserts all while humming along to holiday music by Ananda. Participating shops include St. Pete ArtWorks, the Crislip Arcade, Cozette’s, Copali Imports, D-Gallerie, Bijioux, Stash, the Local Coop, the Swag, and White Pine Studio. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight. St. Pete ArtWorks, 635 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 710-7716. stpeteartworks.com.
Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival: A vast selection of handmade crafts, affordable and functional art as well as unique items suitable for holiday gifts will be on display and for sale at the 23rd annual Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival. Free. Downtown Dunedin, along Main Street, Dunedin. (561) 746-6615. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. …
I had the pleasure — no really, the pleasure — of trying out a fish pedicure during my recent reporting trip around Japan (dispatch No. 1 here, with reported stories to follow).
I figured the price tag of 500 yen, or about $4, for five minutes would lend itself to a good story even if the experience of tiny fish swarming my feet and peeling dead skin left me hollow and shaken.
You can't get a fish pedicure in Florida. Like several other states, Florida's Board of Cosmetology banned the service in 2009, citing widespread concerns for sanitation.
I hadn't done any research about health or ethical issues before diving in, so I didn't realize the fish can spread infections in spa environments and that they are starved. All I knew before my feet hit the water was that Lena Dunham did this when she was in Japan, and Deal Diva Stephanie and I talked about how I should totally do it when I got there. I wasn't looking for Doctor Fish, but when I saw its earnest sign after another long day of walking, I couldn't resist. …
Here's my version of fashion intern drag, fresh for fall and wind blown for effect.
So you may have noticed when my bio popped up on the right side of the Deal Divas homepage and asked yourself, "Who is this person, really?"
Today, I give you my answer.
My personal style is all over the place from cool kid in custom Converse to country club chic complete with cardigans and pearls. My style has always been guided by whether something feels comfortable and if I'll regret the pictures later on.
When I'm shooting for cool, only one picture pops into my mind. For as long as I can remember I've been obsessed with Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and the crazy, impractical styles that emerge from the celebrities populating the front row. Just behind them in the candids or being photographed on the streets are the real heroes of fashion: the design house and magazine interns.
An army of Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway's character in The Devil Wears Prada) dash around behind the scenes looking effortlessly cool in functional outfits that are on trend but never uncomfortable. So here's my favorite look, a mix of hard and soft, of trendy and classic, of practical and flashy. I'm serving fashion intern drag for my first My Outfit Monday. …
Finally! Another clothing store on Fourth Street. Canvas, at 1535 4th Street N, now brings the total of women's clothing stores on the East Side's main drag to four.
That's only 77 behind the number of restaurants and 29 fewer than the number of grocery stores.
It has fun clothes that are in keeping with the latest trends (faux fur vests, tassels, ponchos) but still unique. Most of the clothes and accessories cost less than what's nearby at Marion's and are a little more mature than what's on the racks at The Shop.
The store itself is a place you just want to hang out. It's urban chic with a touch of glamour. Golden letters embedded in the concrete floor in the dressing rooms read "Be-you-tiful" and "Hello Gorgeous."
I wasn't sure why the name Canvas until I saw the Co Co Chanel quote painted next to the door.
Rock this Lea Michele look now to bring some fall flair to these warm days. Just make sure to wear a shirt under that blazer if you're wearing this outfit to work.
I am not sure where you live, but in Florida, where we live, it has not been feeling like fall. In fact, not only does it not feel like fall, it actively feels like summer, with highs that have been hovering around 90 degrees. And with this stubborn weather comes a fashion dilemma: When do we get to wear our cute fall clothes?
If you're sick of all the clothes you rotated through during the summer months, here are some tips for bringing some fall flair to your warbdrobe. Maybe the weather will follow suit soon enough. (Hark! I see highs in the 70s in the distance!)
Light layers: And we mean light. No cardigans or pullovers here. Try layering collared short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts under dressy T's or sheer shirts.
Booties: Let's face it: Booties aren't really practical cold-weather footwear options, which makes them perfect for rocking during unseasonably warm fall days. All the cute fall flair of a boot, none of the icky sweat factor. Look for brown varieties in textures like suede and leather (erm, pleather). Pair with a long-sleeve or 3/4-sleeve dress. …
The boots you will use to conquer all shoes sales henceforth.
I've chosen this aggro-looking studded rain boot to illustrate the following point:
You're going to want to KICK DOWN THE DOOR (see what I did there?) to DSW to get to this sale. There's an extra 25 percent off clearance both in stores and online through Nov. 11, no code needed. That would make the above pictured Dirty Laundry boots less than $30.
Hilarious side note: As I announced this sale to my podmates, two of them wailed that they were just fresh off shoe-buying binges at DSW, one that happened just TWO DAYS AGO. Don't let this happen to you. Run, fight, kick, spare no lives (that's extreme, definitely spare lives).
Saks Fifth Avenue Sarasota rocked the runway at a recent fashion show at the Vinoy that was hosted by the Margaret Scheson Stuart Society as a fundraiser for the Museum of Fine Arts.
Okay. That was a mouthful, so I'll give you the highlights in twitter mode.
Fur capes. Single-stone statement ring. Long, gold link necklace. Thank the Lord. Maxi dresses are still very much in.
Yes ladies, we can hid unshaved legs for at least another season based on the numerous maxi dresses Saks showed on the runway. There were elegant, full length gowns as well. But the wear-anywhere Maxi is still a fashion staple.
I also saw several fur capes. I'd like to get one, fake of course, to put on with previously mentioned maxi dress to dress it up when the temps get below 50 degrees.
Statement rings and necklaces were also prominent. I have several chunky necklaces with a lot going on, but decided I'd like a simpler one similar to what I saw in the show that was a statement but not a managerie. I found one on Nieman Marcus Last Call website for $30. Also spotted a big, turquioise chunky ring on Asos.com for $14. …
’TIS THE SEASON: PRESENTS APLENTY Are you, like us, abnormally eager to deck your halls with boughs of holly? Julie’s Cottage at Provence has our backs, hosting its 15th annual Christmas Open House and Holiday Marketplace. Stop by this weekend to find a wonderland of fall designs and Christmas decor. From wreaths and floral arrangements to ornaments and trees, Julie’s Cottage caters to every celebratory style: rustic, refined, traditional and trendy. The event will also feature more than 30 local vendors and artists. Hunt through handmade jewelry, vintage clothing, hand-poured soap and more to spot that perfectly unique gift you never knew your loved one always needed. Food and drinks will be available, and parking is across the street at Anona Methodist Church. Free. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 13128 Indian Rocks Road, Largo. (727) 517-8102. …
Looking for shopping deals in Tampa Bay? The Deal Divas are on the prowl, sniffing out hot fashion finds that won't leave your wallet in ruins. Now you never have to miss a shopping deal! Check in often for the lowdown on local bargains, as well as fashion advice, fun photos and style news. Disclaimer: The content of this blog is produced by the editorial staff of the Times and is not tied to advertising. E-mail us ideas you'd like us to write about.
Stephanie Hayes , addicted to heels for 15 years, has been experimenting with ballet flats, boots and cute sneakers lately. Her poor, tired feet thank her. She can never get enough animal print, and her eye shadow collection has become a bit of a hoard. While other kids were reciting multiplication tables, she was learning to calculate an extra third off the half-price discount during buy-one-get-one week. She knows a healthy swipe of red lipstick can make any outfit better. She can be reached at (727) 893-8716 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie Sanders foolishly spurned pretty dresses and shoes as a child, tossing new clothes over her shoulder at birthday parties with a totally rude "no, thank you." Her drab days of monocolor outfits are over now, and she certainly knows better than to turn down free stuff. Her wardrobe mixes classic with quirk. Think blazers with statement necklaces, and lots of patterned ballet flats. She can be reached at (727) 893-8037 or email@example.com.
A compulsive deal scourer, Michelle Stark is trying to evolve her style philosophy from grab-it-because-it's-cheap-and-worry-if-it-fits later to one that embraces quality staples and more color. When it comes to her closet, it's generally still quantity over quality, but she recently splurged on a treasured pair of Lucky jeans. Progress! Her style leans toward classically cutesy - think Loft, The Limited and Banana Republic, blouses with bows, blazers with polka dots and all the skinny jeans in sight. But she never turns down a trip to a thrift store, or JC Penney. Her greatest sartorial sale achievement was finding her senior prom dress on clearance for $20. She can be reached at (727) 893-8829 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following her little rockabilly heart, Lydia Harvey strives for an alternative/mid-century/elementary school mom aesthetic — a tip of the fascinator to personal heroes Joan Jett, Claire Dunphy and the iconic Elizabeth Taylor. Heels are her signature, fit-and-flare her weakness. She owns 12 too many coats for a native Floridian and has gleefully conceded that gold is bananas. Second only to scrolling through daily boutique arrivals, her dearest pastime is compulsively styling for sporting events and travel, all on a budding family’s dime. She can be reached at (727) 892-2939 or email@example.com.
Katherine Snow Smith’s closet is filled with colorful patterns from a Lilly halter with pink and yellow giraffes to a maxi dress with oversized flowers and peace signs. She likes many styles — bohemian, preppy, vintage, classic — as long they’re unique and on sale. She’ll splurge at Saks or Anne Fontaine but favorite spots are T.J. Maxx and consignment stores. Her best purchase? A one-sleeve kaleidoscope-print Valentino blouse from the Sloan Kettering hospital resale shop in New York. (Legend has it Jackie O. used to drop her discards there.) When Katherine was 14 she bought a $29 oversized, velvet-covered anthology of Oscar fashion. She can be reached at (727) 409-3642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lisa Gartner grew up wearing her older brother's clothes (hey Dan!) and kind of never stopped: She still has a few of his button-downs hanging in her closet; luckily his No Fear shirts have been lost to time and sense. A reformed tomboy, Lisa likes to mix masculine and feminine pieces. Her work look is, more often than not, Oxfords with pencil skirts. She owns more baggy sweaters than there are days below 70 degrees in Florida. The bags under her eyes are knock-offs. She can be reached at (727) 893-8707 or email@example.com.
Robbyn Mitchell would sleep on designer sheets if she could find any on the clearance aisle. Her love for labels started as wee a one — even her canvas sneakers had to be Keds. When mom stopped footing the bill for her opulence, Robbyn got more creative with her purchases. She unapologetically mixes hard-won Black Friday Old Navy jeans with Ellen Tracy sweaters and discounted Guess pumps to ready herself for a fantasy cameo on TV fashion's holy grail, ABC's Scandal. She can be reached at (727) 893-8104 or firstname.lastname@example.org.