Christmas colors with a twist! Tampa's Kellie McRae helps us ring in the holidays Florida style.
Christmas is just around the corner, so we figured what better gift to give you than local shoe extraordinaire Kellie McRae?
Kellie is a total sweetheart I met earlier this year while we were both covering a fashion show, where she managed to focus all eyes away from the runway with her hip footwear game.
Turns out, she's an admitted shoe addict (more than 200 pairs strong!) who has funneled her passion into Sexy Bags & Shoes, an all-inclusive social media platform where she showcases the latest trends via photo, video and interactive posts. She recently expanded her reach with The Hurricane in Heels, a blog featuring makeup tutorials and beauty reviews.
Dip a toe into Kellie's world here, then step on over to her site for more. And don't forget that you can be featured on Fab Friday, too! Tweet us @DealDivas or shoot an email and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Kellie McRae
Blog: Sexy Bags & Shoes
Day Job: New Home Sales with Ashton Woods Home …Full Story
As professional writers, we're all pretty big book nerds here. And as fashion junkies, we're especially big nerds for fashion books. Sound like someone in your life? We wanted to list a few of the beautiful and interesting fashion reads that have arrived at DDHQ over the holiday season and throughout the year, perfect last minute gifts for the stylish reader in your life. It totally helps, by the way, that I sit next to the Tampa Bay Times book editor. We spend lots of time oohing and ahhing over the pretty pages that show up in the review pile. Why not you?
'Women in Clothes' by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton and 639 others, $30. Yes, 639 others. This thick, lovely paperback explores the "questions we ask ourselves every day, and the answers from more than 600 women." For example: Was there a time in your life your style changed dramatically? Do you think you look like your mother? When do you feel most attractive? How does money fit into all this? A compelling read. …Full Story
I've reached the point of the holiday heyday in which there's too much to do and not enough time to do it. What do I get a grandpa who wants nothing? What do the teenage kids like these days? Ack! To the Internet! (Repeat.)
If you're still confused about what to get the last few people on your gift list, we may be able to help. (And if my inbox is any indication, your procrastination may be rewarded with bigger-than-usual discounts as we inch up to Christmas.)
We compiled a gift guide with two ideas for each of the trickiest folks on your list -- the millennial, tween, wife, dad and grandma. In case you missed our business section blow-out, we'll list them here for you too.
And hey, why not revisit our Posts of Christmas Past if you're still searching for inspiration for your mom, BFF or dad?
What child of the ‘90s didn't waste hours every day on a Sega Genesis? Now you can recreate the old days with a Sega Genesis that actually works (Bed, Bath and Beyond, $39.99). Warning: This present, which includes two controllers and several built-in games, may reduce your 20-something to a puddle of nostalgic tears. …Full Story
Photo by Deal Diva Kameel
Posing outside the cookie exchange in the gorgeous Florida December weather. Does not suck.
Remember that time we had an office clothing swap? How could you forget?
Well, this weekend we saw the spoils of our efforts play out in real life. Each year, some of the talented female journalists at the Times get together for a cookie exchange in which we all attempt to bake gourmet sweets to varying degrees of success. The best part of the event is the storytelling that accompanies each recipe, i.e., that time I tried to make peppermint bark and it turned out gray.
For this event, Katie and I ended up in a Freaky Friday scenario, each wearing something that belonged to the other before we snagged it at the clothing swap. Here, you can see her in my Target red and gray houndstooth skirt, something that just never fit me quite right and hung in my closet unworn. But she loves it! I'm in her black dress from Banana Republic, which Katie reports she liked though it wasn't figure-flattering and her dark hair obscured the dark flower on the shoulder. But I love it! …Full Story
Screengrab of Rent the Runway's website.
Save 20 percent on Rent the Runway dresses over $50 for NYE.
Ready for New Year's Eve?
(Don't hate me, I know we're not through the holidays yet.)
If you're still looking for something sparkly and fun to wear, Rent the Runway is offering a 20-percent discount for orders over $50 placed Dec. 26-31.
Use code HAPPY2015 at checkout. The offer expires Dec. 21.
Join me in browsing their suggestions. I'm digging this Badgley Mischka rental in navy -- a departure from the usual blacks, silvers and golds you usually see that night. If you really want to make a statement, jump on in this Hunter Bell white jumpsuit. I dare you!
Related: People's StyleWatch gave RTR's plus-size selection a positive review.Full Story
Don't let those unused Christmas ornaments go to waste! A London ad agency has maximized on facial hair fashion by selling Beard Baubles and donating the proceeds to charity.
For days, I've been lamenting how I missed blogging about No-Shave November, the annual men's campaign to raise cancer awareness by letting their beards hang out in all its glory.
But alas Jolly Old St. Nick must've been watching over us all when he reached into his bag of joy and pulled out this nice gem, which not only pays forward last month's follicle-fundraising tribute but might also act as a handy addition to your Christmas list.
Feast your eyes, my friends, on "Beard Baubles." Y'know. Holiday decorations. For your face.
The Daily Mail reports that this year's hottest new hair accessory was thought up by accident by Grey London, a UK ad agency that included the trinkets in its annual Christmas card to clients.
Since then, the $11 packs of 14 large and small multi-coloured baubles attached to bristles have been flying off shelves and around the world, with proceeds benefitting Beard Season (an initiative urging men to grow their beards to raise awareness for the fight against skin cancer). …Full Story
We could see feeling fancy in this colorblock tank fit & flare dress, $79.95 before the discount.
If you're scrambling for a last minute holiday party dress, don't neglect everyone's favorite pants and crew neck sweater provider, Gap. Today through Sunday you can lop 30 percent off regular price items with the code SHOP. Check out a couple cute options above.
And once again, I'll wheel out my annaul sermon about Gap's Perfect Trouser, the greatest pants of all time. If you're short like me, the ankle length is perfecto. A Christmas miracle.Full Story
Well? Who wore it better?
Here's a quick nugget of delight to wind down your Tuesday.
Everyone's favorite wholesome and leggy pop starlet, Taylor Swift, took to her Instagram account to show off her chic yellow toggle coat and red hat. She could have been boring and left it at that, but instead, she offered a photo spliced with a shot of cuddly-wuddly Paddington Bear. Paddingtay's (see what we did there?) caption:
Who wore it better? (Paddington obvs)
BRB, dead of cuteness.Full Story
Ok, this isn't the height of chic, but I chortled out loud. Gingerbread terror! It's from Modcloth, on sale for $44.99.
At this point in the Knitwear Zeitgest, ugly Christmas sweater parties have been executed to the point of near trend implosion. I'm starting to sense a growing backswing in the other direction.
Rather than being cute because they are ironic, Christmas sweaters are becoming cute again just because they're cute. They're even -- dare we say? -- sexy. To prove the theory, one needs only to peruse this slate of Ralph Lauren models smoldering in holiday wovens. The only laughing you'll be doing is on the train to Paris with your male model boyfriend who is fearlessly owning a reindeer motif, you dig?
On the down side, it's not fun anymore to show up to an ugly sweater party where everyone looks cute. On the plus, it IS fun to legitimately work these items back into our regular seasonal wardrobes (see: Lauren Conrad winter mug sweater My Outfit Monday). There are plenty of festive options that don't make you look fresh from the fourth ring of Fruitcake Hell. Scan the slideshow for some evidence that all Christmas sweaters aren't so ugly anymore, including some from Modcloth, Asos, Nordstrom, Old Navy and Target. …Full Story
Ah, what a nice, dotty December day in St. Pete Beach.
This weekend in Florida there was sun and frivolity. There was a beach at my feet and a sunset in front of my face. It was 80 degrees and silly.
I wore a polka dot dress from Old Navy's clearance rack over a polka dot bathing suit. I grabbed a friend's dotted sunglasses and pulled my dotted wallet from my purse, which is floral but has a reversible polka dot option. Everything was so hilariously matchy-matchy that I had to take a picture.
This brings us to Monday in Washington. It's 35 degrees and overcast. I'm wearing two jackets, notably this puffy purple number I, um, "borrowed" from a cousin five years ago for weathering winter in this same town.
On the plus side, I'm wearing new leather boots from DSW, which makes me feel better about not digging my toes into warm sand.Full Story
Remember that scene in 'Home Alone,' when Macauley Culkin's brother, Buzz, asks whether it's true that French women don't shave their pits? We can't answer that, Buzz, but we can tell you it's a fashion trend right here at home.
On the heels of yesterday's announcement that marsala is the color of the year, what better time to introduce you to a new trend in which you can incorporate it?
Divas. I present you with: Underarm hair dyeing.
Time magazine (along with Cosmopolitan, New York Post and other media outlets) published a very informative article this week on the subject:
Credit for the trend goes to Roxie Hunt, a hairstylist at Seattle salon Vain. Hunt celebrates armpit hair as "direct-action feminism." "By having hairy pits," she writes, "I am exercising my right to make my own choices about my own body."
She's not alone. In fact, an Instagram account called @ladypithair has attracted more than 2,700 followers who have bombarded over 200 photos of au naturel and brightly-colored dye jobs featuring hashtags such as #pithairdontcare and #hairypitsclub with likes and comments.
The item generated good discussion in the newsroom about pit sensitivity and the correct mix of bleach and dye needed to attain the perfect look.
Unfortunately, we have no staff photos to demonstrate this trend to you because, well, we're not going there. …Full Story
Here it is, ladies and germs. MARSALA.
I was recently examining paint chips in Home Depot, fantasizing about painting my dining room purple and covering it in peacock feathers (totally normal). I stopped at Pantone's paint wall and pulled "Radiant Orchid," the company's color of the year for 2014. I remember feeling unsold on it when the color gurus announced it this time last year on the heels of the lovely, lovely Emerald of 2013. But over the year, the hue must have seeped into my color-loving subconscious to the point where I decided it was PERFECT for an entire room of my house. How does this happen? What does Pantone slip into the public water supply?
It led to speculation about the next color, and I wagered it would be something in the orange family, making my way around a color wheel. WELL, WRONG.
The folks at Pantone have clearly been enjoying Tours of Italy on the reg, because this year's color is Marsala. Consumers of mid-priced chicken dishes will recognize this as a wine. …Full Story
AP file photo from inside an H&M.
The Swedish clothing gods heard your cries -- "We want another H&M! More H&M! Open one even closer to me!" -- and plan to reward you with what you want most this holiday season.
You asked for the promise of an H&M store in North Tampa, right? Great news!
Yes, the formerly hard-to-get, cheap-o yet luxury-like goods are now basically everywhere. The new store inside Westfield Citrus Park will be Tampa's third H&M store.
For the sake of context, there will soon be as many H&Ms in Tampa as Banana Republics, a factoid that feels significant in an old school, new school kind of way.
Our Times buddy Sean Daly is working the retail beat these days (including breaking news about Brad Paisley's line of western wear) and tells us the Citrus Park store will be family-focused, with clothing for women, men, young women and young men. Also, there will be a "store within a store" for accessories, lingerie, sports apparel and a plus-size line.
So tell us -- are you over the H&M craze already, or are you excited about the latest sign about the company's apparently good health? Even better, what new store opening around here would actually make you excited?Full Story
Chelsea Tatham | TIMES
Black Friday is for breaking rules! I woke up this morn eager to wear a deeply discounted necklace that I scored on *gasp* Saturday. While I was at it, I figured I'd go against conventional wisdom and wear these white Forever 21 pants after Labor Day. Who's bad?
Hey, deevs! Here's hoping your Thanksgiving and Black Friday were as refreshing as mine!
After a glorious Thursday meal with friends, I spent all day Friday at home recovering. Which is a nice way of saying I became stuck in a vicious delicious cycle of naps between frequent stints of digging my way from under a mountain of holiday leftovers while similarly binging on Netflix.
In short, there was no Black Friday shopping to be had.
Truth be told, I'm a Black Friday hater. I can't stand the lines or potential for violence. So, I intentionally shirked the idea of shopping and in fact spent Saturday selling clothes to Revolve and Plato's Closet to rack up cash or credit for sales leading up to Christmas.
But try as I might, I still got sucked in. A quick stop at the mall to get my fave pair of boots repaired forced me and my companions to walk through Sears. Where all the sale signs caught one friend's eye. And while waiting for her to cash out, the jewelry rack advertising deep clearance discounts caught mine.
A $3.99 bill for a $24 necklace? Eh, I forgive myself.
What say you, fashionistas: Did I make a good purchase? What great finds did you score this holiday weekend?
Shopped out yet? How does sitting back and clicking around pretty things sound?
Retailers aren't done trying to get you to buy their goods. Here's one last roundup.
ModCloth - 25 percent off with code CYBERMONDAY (black sheep sweater, come back!)
Rent the Runway - 40 percent off $100+ rental with code CM4014 (May or may not be looking at you, navy sparkler.)
Aldo - 20 percent off with code CM14
Rifle Paper Co - Personal favorite. Everything is 30 percent off. (Lust with me over these art prints, ooo.)
Pier 1 Imports - Everything Christmas is on sale, plus lots of other markdowns.
Ann Taylor - 50 percent off your purchase with code CYBER50.
J Crew Factory - Everything is 50 percent off. Save an extra 10 percent and get free shipping with YOUVEGOTSALE.
DSW - Save $10 on $49 purchase, $20 off $99, and $50 off $199 with code CYBERTHON.
Kate Spade Saturday - Everything, sale included, is 30 percent off with code OHWOW.
Anthropologie - Extra 20 percent off sale and free shipping with code EXTRAJOLLY.
J. Crew - 30 percent off full-price stuff, 40 percent off sale and free shipping with code MONDAY.
Loft - 50 percent off everything with MONDAY. …Full Story