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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Shelley Rossetter, Kameel Stanley, Keeley Sheehan & Keyonna Summers

Barack Obama's tan suit: Yes or heck, no?

President Obama speaks in the Press Briefing Room of the White House on Thursday. IN TAN.

Times files

President Obama speaks in the Press Briefing Room of the White House on Thursday. IN TAN.

Tampa Bay Times Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Dan Ruth just came by my desk and requested an official Deal Diva position on President Barack Obama's tan suit, so I felt like I better not only jump, but also ask HOW HIGH?

Here we go with Suitgate 2014!

If you're not up to speed, Obama set off a Twitterversy Thursday when he wore a tan suit to discuss ISIS and Syria and the Ukraine among other things, all very serious matters some armchair QBs felt more befitting of a darker hue. Mostly, though, people lobbed jokes about it being Easter, or about Joe Biden dressing his boss.

Here's what I think, DAN AND REST OF WORLD.

1. Is this suit appropriate?

It's totally appropriate at the end of August to wear a suit like this. Have you been outside? It is like when the dinosaurs died. Also, it's not as if he's wearing a tuxedo T-shirt with a lampshade on his head, or an ascot covered in little pink men playing polo. It's a demure suit with a white shirt and a rather snoozzzzzy tie, and it doesn't make me take him any less seriously. 

2. Is this suit awesome? …

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Labor Day sales in Tampa Bay this weekend

If you have money to burn -- in which case, hi, have we met? I would like to show you the styles that work for me. -- then it's a good weekend to hit the mall.

Get on these Labor Day sales! 

Gap is offering 40 percent off of everything. No exceptions! 

Loft has 50 percent off of new fall and summer sale merchandise. 

Old Navy says everything is on sale up to 50 percent off. 

Banana Republic  is offering its frequent but "this time you really deserve it because you're normally at work!" discount of 40 percent off. Use code BRLABOR at checkout in stores and online. 

Speaking of 40 percent off, it's also going on at Express.

Victoria's Secret is offering seven undies for $26.50 (8 if you're an Angel). "Give your panty drawer a fall makeover" is an actual line from their email message -- and it doesn't sound half bad. 

White House Black Market has 30 percent off, too. Use code 17443 online.

We will update this post as we hear about more sales (we'd love to hear more local ideas).

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The haircut that Emmy made

Here's Amy Poehler with basically the exact hair I want. She looks younger and fresher than she has in a really long time.

Getty

Here's Amy Poehler with basically the exact hair I want. She looks younger and fresher than she has in a really long time.

Last time I went to see my hair guy, I brought a couple Pinterest shots of hairstyles pilfered from the web, just longer than shoulder length, parted down the middle, layered and wavy all the way down. Tousled! Sexy! Fun! We we're all gung-ho for it until we realized my bangs weren't quite grown out enough to nail this look, so we agreed on waiting until next time.

I would be so fresh, I thought. So original. So new and now, but I wouldn't see myself coming. I was the FIRST and ONLY person to EVER consider a center part with long, wavy layers.

Then the Emmys happened, and everyone stole my haircut.

Above, you will see a slideshow of celebrities with center parts and long, wavy layers. One by one, they trotted out the hairstyle of the moment plopped on top of their wealthy, sequined bodies. Some (Amy Poehler) pulled it off better than others (Christina Hendricks).

And now I just have one question for you, fair readers. My hair appointment is Saturday. Do I get the Emmys cut and just accept that I'm late to this game, or go in an entirely new direction that I wont see coming until Oscars season in the spring?

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Emmys fashion recap: Red, white and boo!

I stared at Lena Dunham's hair for five minutes and thought, "Prince Valiant." Then I Googled Prince Valiant and recalled he had dark hair, and realized who I really meant was He-Man. Then I made lots of Masters of the Universe jokes about her tutu being guarded by the dark warlord Hordak. Honestly, it's kind of a crazier version of the purple thing Zoe Saldana wore to the Oscars in 2010 (these are the facts my brain stores, not important ones like history or geography or political theory), but with the cap sleeve and the high neck and the slumped demeanor and 1980s cartoon hair, it just looks mad weird instead of fashiony and cool. Someone want to defend this?

Getty

I stared at Lena Dunham's hair for five minutes and thought, "Prince Valiant." Then I Googled Prince Valiant and recalled he had dark hair, and realized who I really meant was He-Man. Then I made lots of Masters of the Universe jokes about her tutu being guarded by the dark warlord Hordak. Honestly, it's kind of a crazier version of the purple thing Zoe Saldana wore to the Oscars in 2010 (these are the facts my brain stores, not important ones like history or geography or political theory), but with the cap sleeve and the high neck and the slumped demeanor and 1980s cartoon hair, it just looks mad weird instead of fashiony and cool. Someone want to defend this?

I keep thinking today is Monday because the Emmys were last night, and the Emmys are always on a Sunday, and then I keep remembering it's Tuesday because everything was messed up this year with the VMAs and the football, and for large parts of the day I really have not known what is happening. Also, I just uploaded about 89 red carpet photos from our system and guess I was sitting on my leg the entire time, because when I stood up to walk away for a minute I wobbled like a baby deer trying to find its mother in a wooded glen.

What is happening?

Oh, right. Emmys fashion hangover! 

So, what were the big takeaways from last night's red carpet? First, as I said in the Times this morning, Red is the New Black (see that timely television joke?!). A great many stars came out in shades of red, pink or coral, which is an interesting choice for an event of this ilk. When you're trying to pop, red can make you seem to fade into the carpet a little. What I'm trying to say is, get ready for lots of pictures in which you will be trying to discern the hem of the dress from the floor. …

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My Outfit Monday: Want Mindy Kaling's style? Shop your closet.

To get Mindy's style, you really have to go for it. And if that means layering two dresses and acting like it works, then do it.

Photo by noted Times photographer Brittany Volk.

To get Mindy's style, you really have to go for it. And if that means layering two dresses and acting like it works, then do it.

Mindy Kaling is not nominated for an Emmy tonight for her work as Dr. Mindy Lahiri, the love-hungry gynecologist of The Mindy Project. And that makes us sad.

She deserves a nod for her killer lead actress wardrobe at least. On her show, a dress isn't just a dress -- it's a multi-dimensional royal blue number over a star-specked button-down that lives on the border of ridiculously confident librarian and fashion magazine czar (pictured in slideshow).

Her outfits are bold, imaginative, spunky and -- did we say bold? -- somehow still very put-together. 

Eyes trained on our style star, Stephanie and I decided to honor Mindy by incorporating her Emmy-worthy lessons into our work wardrobe.

The rules: Don't be boring, and don't buy anything new.

My first attempt happened last week. Stifled by what seemed like a lack of base color options among my dresses, I settled on a structured, sleeveless black Banana Republic dress over a floral Express Portofino button-down with a ribbon necklace. It was a fun outfit to wear, without question, and the shirt made it feel new. But I just didn't think basic black was in Mindy spirit.  …

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Tips on packing like a pro

The essentials: suitcase, carry-on, Vanity Fair style issue.

The essentials: suitcase, carry-on, Vanity Fair style issue.

I went home to Western New York for the week to visit family, and as I was packing for the trip last week, I realized something -- I'm really bad at packing. It used to not be so. I used to be able to compactly get everything into a carry-on bag and be on my merry way. But somewhere along the way, I've gotten really bad at it.

I just let all my bad packing skills go for this trip, but in the meantime, found some good tips for packing like a socialite that's always jetting off to some fashion week or other (I imagine they're pros at packing. I could be wrong). Here are some of the ones I found, with links to more great tips. Do as the blogs say, not as I do.

Make a list. I am the ultimate list maker -- grocery lists, to-do lists, lists of TV shows I plan on watching in the fall. Lists as far as the eye can see! I did not make a list this time when I packed. As Lauren Conrad suggests, I really should've made a list. …

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Join Deal Divas for our Emmy's fashion live-tweet on Monday. Yes, Monday.

Heidi Klum being Heidi Klum at the Creative Arts Emmys earlier this month. We can haz fringe dress?

AP

Heidi Klum being Heidi Klum at the Creative Arts Emmys earlier this month. We can haz fringe dress?

There's something so luxurious about watching an awards show on a Sunday night. Sundays are quiet and cozy, but an old-fashioned voyeuristic celebrity parade gives the night a sense of occasion that lightens the threat of another work week. You order out some crab rangoon, pop that $5 Yellow Tail, settle in, tweet, laugh, stay up a little too late, marvel that you have still never seen an actual episode of Nurse Jackie.

Typically this time of year, we'd be looking forward a month from now to the Emmy's on a delicious Sunday. EXCEPT, NO. As Times TV maven Michelle Stark informed us, this year's Emmy Awards have been pushed up a month and moved to THIS MONDAY. Why, you ask? Because football. Yes, football. Once again, the jocks have pushed the art kids out of their facilities. It's like the drama club performing Master of the House from Les Mis on the stairs of the local water treatment plant on a week day with three people in attendance, two there to see their nephew's debut as Mr. Thénardier. …

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Calling all models: Tampa Bay Fashion Week is casting

This could be you! One of the models from last year's runway show, shot by tbt*'s Luis Santana.

This could be you! One of the models from last year's runway show, shot by tbt*'s Luis Santana.

Do you look like a model? Do you have modeling experience? OH, MUST BE NICE.

Anyway, all jealousy aside, we wanted to let you know that Tampa Bay Fashion Week is holding an open casting call for models to walk in this year's runway show, strutting in the best locally-designed fashion in Tampa Bay. Casting is from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Art Institute of Tampa, 4401 North Himes Ave. in Tampa. Your arrival time is determined by your last name, so if you're A-I, come at 9:30 a.m., if you're J-Q, come at 10 a.m., and if you're R-Z, come at 10:30 a.m. If you can't make it for your block, come before 11 a.m. If you come past 11:30 a.m., you're out of luck.

Check the website here for all the size and height requirements, plus what to wear (or not wear) and bring. And good luck! The Deal Divas love rooting for the models at the runway show almost as much we we love rooting for the clothes. This year's Tampa Bay Fashion Week designer showcase will be held Sept. 17 at the Hilton in Downtown Tampa. We will see you there!

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Quick! Read this post. It may make you money ... or just laugh

Do you really need a caption? |

file photo

Do you really need a caption? |

Let's do an experiment. Everyone, put your hand in your pockets.

They're empty, right?

Yea, so are ours. That's why we're happy to hear about this bit of news, passed onto us by Deal Diva friend Katherine Snow Smith, who tracks all the new businesses coming to town.

On Sept. 4, the Tampa Bay area is getting another resale/trade shop. Think along the lines of Plato's closet, Revolve, etc. Discount used clothes with the option to bring your old ones to the counter for some cash.

And word on the street is this new place - called Clothes Mentor -- is stocking up on inventory now, just in time for everyone who's cleaning (or told themself they will clean) out their closet. A grand opening is scheduled for Sept. 4. Clothes Mentors, whose owners have other locations in New York, is near Tyrone Square Mall in St. Pete (official address: 6752 22nd Ave N)

The store is taking "better brand" womens clothing and accessories from size 0-26  We haven't been by ourselves, but Katherine has, and told us she got $25 for 8 items.

Ok, now that the business meeting is over, let's get to the fun stuff. Like this.

Happy Thursday, y'all.

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Planning ahead: Runway show and charity shopping this Saturday

Designer Rogerio Martins' creation, called the 'Cyborg Matador,' was featured in the 2010 Wearable Art show.

Times files

Designer Rogerio Martins' creation, called the 'Cyborg Matador,' was featured in the 2010 Wearable Art show.

Looking for Saturday plans? Go ahead and add these to your calendar:

*The Wearable Art fashion show returns for its 10th year Saturday at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd. Known for stretching the definition of "garment," the show challenges local artists and designers to transform everyday items -- think cotton balls, mops, table doilies -- into haute couture.

The runway portion is at 8:30 p.m., sandwiched between a 7 p.m. pre-party and a 9:30 p.m. after-party. Catwalk seats are sold out, but you can still snag bleacher seats for $40 or standing-room tickets for $20. Click here for more information.

*Need something to wear to the show? Or just prefer to stay in? Macy's has got you covered!

The retailer is offering 25 percent discounts Saturday to customers who make a $5 donation to the March of Dimes either in stores or online. The ninth annual "Shop for a Cause" event benefits local charities that support pregnancy and baby health.

Last year's event raised more than $200,000 across Florida alone, officials said. More info here.

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My Outfit Monday: Back to the Target rack

Target's clearance rack does it again! Feeling very Audrey Hepburn-ish in my white floral sheath dress. Shoes: DexFlex by Payless. Jacket: Crystal Expressions & Drew Street Bargain Resale in Clearwater.

Julie Kliegman | TIMES

Target's clearance rack does it again! Feeling very Audrey Hepburn-ish in my white floral sheath dress. Shoes: DexFlex by Payless. Jacket: Crystal Expressions & Drew Street Bargain Resale in Clearwater.

Over the years, friends have joked that I could singlehandedly keep Target afloat with my clothing and accessories purchases alone. And as we all know, jokes are often rooted in a modicum of truth.

To that end, I put myself on a self-imposed ban a few months ago: Wandering around Tar-jay just for wandering's sake was out, as were quick trips for a specific dinner item. Only shop with friends who are well-versed in pep talks that might resemble a Hollywood police negotiation scene ..."Stop! Slowly lower the stack of sweaters back onto the nice table then back away with your hands up and this Taco Bell gift card I have here for you doesn't get hurt..."

Sooooo, yeah, the bad news is I broke the ban last week. But, but, wait, there's good news! All the pep talks must've worked like Pavlov's charm because I'm proud to announce that I successfully navigated a solo Target trip with only one clothing purchase!

I initially scanned the entire clothing and jewelry section and managed to walk away empty-handed. But somewhere between greeting cards and cereal, the clearance tag on this gorgeous floral sheath dress eeked its way into my peripherals. …

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ICYMI: Britney Spears' new lingerie, sleepwear collection

A set from the collection.

via Pinterest

A set from the collection.

This is old-ish news, but I don't think we've talked about it and I just really think we should. Since every celebrity is apparently also secretly a designer with deep wells of talent we just never knew about, Britney Spears is launching a lingerie and sleepwear collection. She posted a photo of herself in a set from the collection last month, and I can't believe I didn't know she had Instagram until just now. For shame.

The collection has a website saying is launches in the U.S. and Canada on Sept. 9. E! says items will be priced from $17 to $79, so hey, not too bad.

Maybe once it launches, they'll do a line inspired by her best music video looks. I can't decide if I'm saying that with sarcasm or sincerity.

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Your friendly Friday afternoon link party

Posh Spice is selling her Spice Girls wardrobe. Expect even more fivesomes dressed up as our favorite all-girl British group come Halloween (with one who looks really, really authentic).

Photo from Times archives.

Posh Spice is selling her Spice Girls wardrobe. Expect even more fivesomes dressed up as our favorite all-girl British group come Halloween (with one who looks really, really authentic).

Yes, it's raining tons, and that's a downer. But we know you still can't wait to bust out of the workplace and jumpstart this whole weekend thing.

Kick off whatever you have planned with our occasional, high-brow blog post series we have professionally deemed LINK PARTY!!!

* Victoria Beckham, more relevantly known to us as Posh Spice, is selling her clothes from her years as a Spice Girl. And guess what? A portion of the proceeds will go to mothers2mothers, a group that helps mothers infected with HIV get jobs. The private sale is from Aug. 20-25. More details about how you can register for that authentic Halloween ensemble from mtv.com here. (h/t @craigtimes)

* Shave an extra 30 percent off your basket of J. Crew final sale selections with code SHOPSALE. (h/t @itsren)

The Poppy Boutique, a really cute store in Hyde Park that is conveniently located near Anthropologie, is having a So Long, Summer sale starting today. Everything in the store is marked down by either 20 to 80 percent. Jewelry and purses are buy one, get one 50 percent off. (Oh, and we hear you get a free koozie from the store if you spend at least $75.) …

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Pregnancy fashion: Fact or farce?

Who says moms-to-be can't have fun with fashion too? Overall shorts, $34.95.

H&M

Who says moms-to-be can't have fun with fashion too? Overall shorts, $34.95.

Throughout her pregnancy and perhaps even more so in pictures taken shortly after giving birth Wednesday, Today show anchor Savannah Guthrie, IMHO, looked fabulous.

But, as documented on her blog leading up to baby Vale's debut, not everyone shared those sentiments.

In mid-July, Guthrie tackled the issue of pregnancy fashion -- or, rather, the fact that some critics argued that there was no such thing.

Among the snark was a viewer's accusation that Guthrie was intentionally enveloping her ever-growing 8 1/2-month bump in tight clothes to "flaunt" her pregnancy ... rather than, you know, wearing normal maternity wear whose stretchiness is meant to grow with you and not actually act as a girdle which shields the fact that you're slowly baking an 8-pound bun within.

Guthrie fought back with a segment on how maternity fashion has evolved from the days when women hid under muumuus to include clothing lines that feature pencil skirts, bikinis and everything in between.

After you check out this video of some of Guthrie's fashion highlights, take a gander at the slideshow above.

Then, tell us your thoughts: Is pregnancy couture a fact or a farce?

 

 

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Girl, fix your face (and other tips for emergency skin breakouts)

Our friend Hilary swears by this stuff, which she says does a good job of killing the bacteria that causes acne.

Our friend Hilary swears by this stuff, which she says does a good job of killing the bacteria that causes acne.

Ladies, let's talk.

A couple weekends back, I flew away for a long weekend. It was lovely and a great escape. I got some much-needed rest, some quality hang-out time, and witnessed the nuptials of some dear friends. And while on a shopping trip with my sister, I decided to be a little adventurous.

We ducked into a Bath & Body Works because she needed something. I didn't have plans to get anything. I'm picky about what does go on my sensitive skin, and it's been years since I actually bought something for myself from there.

So I hovered around the sale display (naturally) and was instantly intigued by a jar of lotions -- 3 for $6! I picked out three, of course, and went on with my day.

Later that night, I slathered my new purchase (from the really nicely packaged "Artisan Frangrance" line) all over my face and collar area. Instantly, I smelled like lemons! Pomegranate! Honey! Almond! Who could resist?

Me. I should have resisted.

The next day, I was on an early-morning train to another destination. I ran a hand over my face and knew something wasn't right. BUMPS. ITCH. UGH.

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