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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

March Madness: Keep calm and style on

What would Beyonce do? Wear leather, obviously.

Getty Images

What would Beyonce do? Wear leather, obviously.

March Madness is here, and it is real, and if your favorite college team is still in the NCAA Tournament or your bracket has yet to be busted, you’re likely in a better emotional place than the rest of us.

 

But already we digress.

 

When supporting your alma mater, it’s easy to get sucked into the spiral of vintage repro T’s, fitted jerseys and — heaven forbid — the occasional rhinestone. Don’t lie. We know you’ve been there.

 

To this we say, “No more!” For the fashion-loving sports fan, the time is now to remain on trend while showing your [Mascot Here] pride.

 

Here are a few ways to keep your sideline game on point:

 

Accessories, Accessories, Accessories

It’s spring, time to bust out your team’s brightest colors, and there’s no easier way to incorporate them into your outfit than with a bold scarf. Step it up with a coordinating ¾- or cuffed-sleeve blazer for a fresh, laid-back, professional look, because it's important to remember you’re not in college anymore.

 

Boyfriend Jeans …

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Thank you ... I got it at a yard sale

I love my lucky broach. It was $2. The necklace and bracelet are a little much together but I've worn them separately for a little vintage flair.

I love my lucky broach. It was $2. The necklace and bracelet are a little much together but I've worn them separately for a little vintage flair.

I've always liked yard sales. I like them even more since I went to some in Conneticut a few summers ago and learned they call them "tag sales" up there. Sounds more elegant.

Estate sales are the best. That's when the entire contents of a home, from the salt and pepper shakers to the dining room table, are up for grabs.

I love the prices, obviously. I also love the fact that you always find surpises that are often one of a kind.

Some people are hesitant to buy someone else's clothes at a yard sale. I get that. But there's no reason you shouldn't look for hand bags and jewelry at tag sales. I've even bought a couple pairs of shoes before. Though I draw the line if there are toe imprints on the insoles from sweaty, smelly feet.

Most people assume the bigger the home the better the castoffs. I follow that rule of thumb but I also look for an older homeowner. I love vintage stuff that you can't find anywhere else. Actually, you can find it other places like antique stores or auctions. But you get a better price by going right to the source. And sometime you get a story to go with your purchase. …

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Get $25 off new spring arrivals at LOFT

She's a lady. Oh, oh, oh, she's a lady, in this so-called "pleated lady skirt." Good job with the names there, LOFT.

LOFT

She's a lady. Oh, oh, oh, she's a lady, in this so-called "pleated lady skirt." Good job with the names there, LOFT.

It can be easy to get a little overly mired in winter clothes this time of year, because all the stores are unloading their stock to make way for spring. The sales are too good to pass up, and I can tell you all about this having just bought several boots and a velvet romper on deep seasonal discounts. 

That said, it's always great to see a sale on things that are brand new, like the fine flowers sprouting from the willing ground below (TAKE THAT, POETS). LOFT is on it, offering $25 off new arrivals, including this cute scalloped pink dress (especially love the back detail), regularly $89.50, and this "pleated lady skirt," (they said it, not me), regularly $69.50. No code needed for this sale, only the optimism that spring brings.

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Workout clothes that won't thin your wallet

This exercise tee is $7.99 at Kohl's, because you should be burning calories, not your credit line.

Screenshot from kohls.com

This exercise tee is $7.99 at Kohl's, because you should be burning calories, not your credit line.

I recently started exercising, a sentence I have said so many times in my life that a guffawing studio audience should follow me around. But this time I'm sticking with it! [they laugh]

I joined a fitness studio where I pay out the butt for small classes with a personal trainer who designs intense workouts. Because I have to sign up for each pricy session, I am actually getting out of bed and going. To put it in other words, suck it, studio audience. [they boo]

But because I've drifted from so many exercise schemes only to burn out in the flames of potato chip crumbs in the sofa, I'm skeptical of spending money on exercise clothes. I know it's important to dress appropriately for your workout, and that actually liking your gym clothes can be a motivator. But they can be so expensive!

Now, I'm a big fan of Goodwill and the Salvation Army. I know people who won't buy shoes secondhand, but that's never been a problem for me. I do draw the line at exercise gear, though (and underwear, if that even needs to be said). So what to do?

I've scored great workout capris on sale at the Gap, and I've also had luck at Target. Diva Katie and I found success in the sports bra department at Old Navy. …

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Ever wonder what it would be like to have a personal stylist? Here's your chance to try it out - for free!

Looking for some fun in the next few days? Book an appointment with a stylist at IP in Tampa. It's Free-99. This was my stylist, Tasha Ong, who runs her own biz here in the Tampa Bay area

Looking for some fun in the next few days? Book an appointment with a stylist at IP in Tampa. It's Free-99. This was my stylist, Tasha Ong, who runs her own biz here in the Tampa Bay area

If you're reading this blog, you probably love to shop. And you know we love to shop. Yet as much fun as the process is (the hunt! the deals! The crying in the dressing room!), sometimes it's nice to have someone just do the work for you.

Which is what happened to me Monday night. Sort of.

It started when Tampa Bay Fashion Week guru Nancy Vaughn (White Book Agency) reached out to the Divas a little while ago and told us about a neat service being offered at International Plaza. This month, the mall booked a trio of stylists to give shoppers free styling sessions. They last for one or two hours and you can even get some other perks if you bring a friend.

Best part? YOU can do it too, for free, for the next few days (through March 29).

Of course, what would be the fun of telling you about this if we didn't do it ourselves? That's how I found myself at IP around dinnertime a couple days ago. …

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Sleepwear so cozy and cute you won't want to leave the house

These BedHead Eiffel Tower PJs were once $109, according to The Mindy Project Style blog.

Mindy Kaling's Instagram account.

These BedHead Eiffel Tower PJs were once $109, according to The Mindy Project Style blog.

Like most of my recent style obsessions, this one starts with Mindy Lahiri.

Mindy Kaling's character on "The Mindy Project" (season finale tonight!) is always wearing the cutest pajamas. Exhibits A and B: the green owl print pajamas from the Christmas episode, and the Bedhead Eiffel Tower set in "No More Mr. Noishe Guy."

Anything but sleepy. Her sleep-style (like street-style, but chill) has me rethinking my usual shorts and college tee routine, even though her $100 sleepsets are outside of my budget (since I don't have a sleepwear budget).

I've improved my game lately with a few new, highly recommended PJ picks:

* Banana Republic: I snagged this soft charcoal set for $25 with a 50 percent off sale items promotion over the weekend. (Sale is still running online, too.)

* Cerulean Blu: When swimsuits don't fit and dresses are too expensive, don't be sad — walk away with a cheap, loose pair of pajama shorts with a cheerful print. I picked up the teal elephant print drawstring shorts from the Beach Drive store last week. …

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My Outfit Monday: A cozy chic look for work, the plane and fun

You know, your standard visiting-the-parents-Carolina kind of outfit. Comfy chic.

You know, your standard visiting-the-parents-Carolina kind of outfit. Comfy chic.

This is a simple but fun outfit that took me from work to the plane to my parents' front yard in North Carolina.

The shirt is a recent online purchase from Banana Republic. It was $39 down from $59. I love that it has sleeves to cover my not-yet-tan arms that are a hundred notches from being as toned as Michelle Obama's arms. Because the sleeves are black lace they still show a little skin and make the top more interesting.

I bought the necklace several years ago after getting a great tip from two different friends. I had been noticing one friend's beautiful chunky necklaces every time I saw her over the course of about a year and finally asked where she found them all. Mexico? Estate sales? Saks?

"If I told you I'd have to kill you," she joked. Then she revealed her source was T.J. Maxx.

I've also always loved the pretty sterling earrings and bracelets my friend and Bay magazine editor Mary Jane Park wears. She also shops the jewelry counter at T.J. Maxx. This is the stuff they keep under lock and key, not just out on the racks. So that's where my necklace of turquoise dropped in sterling is from as well. …

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Secret revealed: Which days are best to shop online

Thinkstock

T-minus three days! Yes, I am in fact counting down to a completely typical Tuesday. Why? Because I recently became stronger in the ways of discount shopping. 

Let me explain.

I have long lived and died by power hours and doorbusters and buzzer beaters, oh my. But never before did I think to bring my department-store thinking into the world of online shopping. 

There once was a time when my bagsfull of retail joy would come with that accompanying sinking feeling. You know the one. "Watch, this dress is going to be 70 percent off first thing tomorrow."

And trust, when I would show up to take advantage of my reward points, REDcard, Kohl's cash, et al, I would find that my fear had almost always come to fruition. So I educated myself, and I found that Fridays are the best days to shop at physical stores. Sweet deal because I have Fridays off. Go me. 

But recently I got to thinking: Most of my shopping happens online, and while I'm all about text and email discounts, I figure surely the Interwebs must have its very own deal days as well. 

Enter Google. And Glamour.  …

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Hey shawty: A Deal Diva's dilemma about ‘half-pants'

Lace overlay shorts from Target, $23

Lace overlay shorts from Target, $23

Remember a month ago when it got cold for 2 seconds and we all freaked out? Ha. These days it seems as if spring skipped us altogether and was just like, "nah, let's just go to summer."

In short, it's been a little steamy lately. Even above average temps, according to the weather forecasters.

So now that it's hot, I'm back to my annual conundrum: to rock shorts or not.

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Shoe Carnival and Goodwill outlet giving out grand opening prizes

Shoe Carnival opens a new store this weekend in Largo.

shoecarnival.com

Shoe Carnival opens a new store this weekend in Largo.

Attention, Pinellas fashionistas: The shopping forecast this week contains a high chance of making it rain -- with your wallets, that is!

Both Shoe Carnival and the Goodwill are hosting grand openings.

The first 100 customers in line when Shoe Carnival, 1511 Missouri Ave. N in Largo's Midway Plaza, opens at 9 a.m. Saturday will receive a $10 store gift card. There will also be drawings at 10 a.m. for new shoes for a year, at 11 a.m. for $1,000 cash, and every hour noon through 5 p.m. for a $100 store shopping spree. The prizes, giveaways and most of all SALES are slated to continue all weekend.

And if you have any cash left, you may want to save it for Wednesday when Goodwill-Suncoast celebrates a new location for one of its three outlet stores at 10596 Gandy Blvd. in St. Pete. Think you'll need help burning off calories from the free doughnuts and cookies the store is passing out all day? Hang around for the drawing for two $25 gift cards good for use at any outlet or the grand prize: A chance to shop the outlet for 30 minutes without competition from other patrons. 

Plan to get in on any of these deals? Share your finds with us @DealDivas on Twitter or @tbtdealdivas on Instagram!

 

 

 

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Discounts and wine flow at Nouvelle spa/bar

Is this a nightclub or a place to soak your achin' feet?

Is this a nightclub or a place to soak your achin' feet?

 

After months of saying we should go to Nouvelle Beauty Bar a friend of mine and I finally booked a pedicure recently. While looking up their number on the website I registered to receive e-mails. Within minutes I got a coupon for a manicure, pedicure and complimentary cocktail for $36.

Then the next day, March 17, my inbox produced an offer from Nouvelle of free drinks the entire night and 28 percent off all services if guests wore green. Yes, it was my annual St. Patty's day foot scrub. So my friend and I decided to save our original coupons and take the March 17 offer.

Nouvelle's decor is sleek and modern with white leather and dark wood in an airy, high ceiling studio with crystal chandeliers. But the atmosphere is warm and relaxed. It's in the 1927 Kress building at 475 Central Ave.

Andrea Hamel, manager/bartender/my-new-bestie, floats through the room pouring wine liberally and joking with guests and staff. She's part of the reason the 8-month business is building a nice repeat clientelle. …

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On Wednesdays, we wear struggle

Screenshot from stayhomeclub.com

You know how sometimes your apartment can pass for a crime scene and not even the white-collar kind? Well it's that kind of Wednesday for me. Not only is it the cruelest day of the week, but I'm not feeling well, work deadlines are looming hard, and my folks are getting into town in mere hours - while my apartment is calling out for Olivia Benson*.

So I'm abandoning my planned Divas post (The Mindy Project is auctioning off outfits for cancer, okay?) and going with something that feels much more true to my current state of terrible: Stay Home Club.

Stay Home Club is a Canadian clothing and accessory line that recently came to my attention through friend Melissa, and it is GREAT. Its tagline is "Design for the Disgruntled" and its logo is a woman's struggle face surrounded by cats. Need I say more?

For less than $20, you can get a tank top that says in varsity cursive, "Awful." For less than $30, you can swing a flowy t-shirt that says "The Worst" and features a thumbs down. Other tops say "Boring Is Best" or "Sad Songs." But the best, of course, is the tees that say "Stay Home Club" and have photos of a face with either cats or dogs. …

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Remembering Tampa Bay fashion designer Kimberly Hendrix

Kimberly Hendrix holding one of her creations at a Chamber of Commerce event a couple years ago.

Kimberly Hendrix holding one of her creations at a Chamber of Commerce event a couple years ago.

Rest in peace, Kimberly Hendrix, who died March 11 after a battle with cancer. 

Here's the full story I wrote about her for the Tampa Bay Times. I got to meet Kimberly a handful of times, and always found her so sweet, kind and effortless. And her k.hendrix collections that went down the runway at Tampa Bay Fashion Week were always just heads and shoulders above the rest. Her stuff was gorgeous, things I wanted to wear. "Aspirational," is how her friend and Tampa Bay Fashion Week organizer Nancy Vaughn described Kimberly's pieces to me.

We hope her influence lives on in the design community here. She'll never be replaced. 

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Get lucky with St. Patrick's Day sales

How do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day at the office? Do you go all out or tie in green more lowkey? Plus, SALES!

Screenshot from Loft.com.

How do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day at the office? Do you go all out or tie in green more lowkey? Plus, SALES!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, y'all. I bring glad tidings of good sales, but before we get into that I have questions about what you're wearing.

Did you go all-out emerald today, glistening greenly as the vast Irish countryside? Or are you taking a more subtle approach to the holiday, a nod to a pot of gold here, a little off-color green there? Maybe you just forgot and you're spending the day dodging inappropriate pinching gestures from work colleagues.

I'm caught in the middle. My Masters green H&M blazer felt too cheesy and overly committed, so I put on my olive-green skirt and floral shirt (as documented here). I'm safe from pinches, but I'm not screaming green. Deal Diva Lisa, I noticed, took a similar subtle approach with a mint green blazer.

Looking around, I see work friends who really went for the green, and it's not silly at all. It's office fun, ya know?

Maybe I'm not the only one who could use some SPD inspiration on a budget. So I've rounded up a few St. Patrick's Day sales (we didn't think that was a thing but we're not complaining if retailers would like to provide discounts).

Sunshine Thrift: 50 percent off all green clothing at all three locations. …

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My Outfit Monday: Bring on spring (and floral dresses)

Photo by Michelle Stark

For my first My Outfit Monday, I'm going to break the rules and share my outfit from Saturday. That's because I got to rock a new Banana Republic dress this weekend that I'd probably never wear for a normal workday. The occasion: A media preview for an HSN cooking event at the swanky new Sea Salt restaurant in downtown St. Petersburg's Sundial complex. Because this is St. Pete, I could have gotten away with far less glam (there were flip-flops in the crowd, people), but to me this was the perfect reason to take this dress for a spin.

I bought the short-sleeved blue-and-white-and-floral number at a Banana Republic Factory Store in Orlando. Sadly, I don't know of any in the Tampa Bay area (but holler if you do!), though you can online shop your little heart out here. It was 70 percent off its $80 price tag, making it a paltry $24. …

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