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Deal Divas

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

Tutorial: The Boa, the European and 23 other ways to wear a scarf

Feeling kind of blah or just want to keep it low-key? Whether spring, summer, winter or fall, a scarf is an easy game-changer that can jazz up any outfit.

Pinterest

Feeling kind of blah or just want to keep it low-key? Whether spring, summer, winter or fall, a scarf is an easy game-changer that can jazz up any outfit.

Hey guys! Today, we have a special treat -- a guest blog by Largo High School freshman Ketrin Gavani, who spent the day shadowing me in the pursuit of a possible journalism career.

Not only is Ketrin into forensics and courthouse drama, but this girly-girl loves interior design, is a huge fan of fashion and has the scarf collection to prove it! Naturally, our tea time tete-a-tete included a gawk fest at this Wendy's Lookbook video on this fall/winter's hottest fashion accessory. "Four ways to wear a scarf? Maybe. But 25? Really???" we scoffed. Yeeeah, consider our minds blown.

Ketrin explains:

Now that November is here, we can FINALLY wear scarves, especially here in sunny-sky Florida.

They go well with plain T-shirts and can spruce up any outfit.

It's definitely popular for young girls who have an eye for fashion. While roaming around the halls of Largo High School, you will surely see the beauty of scarves in every corner you look.

I would say I am one of these scarf-obsessed girls, because they are my everyday day go-to for fashion in this not so cold, not so hot, weather. …

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Stop by Sundial this weekend to get holiday style ideas

Hello houndstooth! You'd be the talk of the party if you walked in with this guy on your hand. The outfit is part of the Mr Turk collection, retailing for ... cough cough $800+ cough cough.

Trinaturk.com

Hello houndstooth! You'd be the talk of the party if you walked in with this guy on your hand. The outfit is part of the Mr Turk collection, retailing for ... cough cough $800+ cough cough.

Have your invitations to holiday parties started piling up yet? Yea, ours too -- which inevitably begs the question.

What should you wear? And more important, what should you make your guy wear?

A new local boutique is here to help. Jackie Z Style Co, one of the new shops at the revamped Sundial in downtown St. Pete, is hosting a special event from 5-9 p.m. on Saturday. And a fancy big-name fashion designer is the special guest.

Perhaps you've heard of Trina Turk? We can't promise it's her, but we DO know that her other half, "Mr Turk," as he's known, will be in attendance.

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Coming soon: The Deal Divas guide to holiday shopping

Holiday shopping, easy as one, two, tree! Sorry.

iStockPhoto via Times archives.

Holiday shopping, easy as one, two, tree! Sorry.

Your Deal Divas have been busy lately coming up with a sweet treat ahead of the holidays.

Coming Sunday to the Tampa Bay Times' business section is our holiday how-to guide, with shopping tips and gift ideas for most everyone in your life.

Our tips will help you avoid the mall and jumpstart your gift hunt, whether you want to stick to your couch or get crafty with Pinterest.

We plan to share our posts on the blog over the next few weeks. 

Until then, we want to hear from you: What's your best-kept holiday shopping secret? Where do you go for the most unique presents, and how do you stay on budget?

Your answers may inspire or beef up future posts, so chime in.

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My Outfit Monday: Started from the blazer now I'm here

hey Monday.

hey Monday.

If the above picture tells you anything, this sums up our Monday.

No joke guys, the Divas are swamped these days. With an ever-expanding to-do list, and plenty of holiday-shopping gift guides to execute (check your paper soon!), there was barely anytime for girl talk about, well, our outfits.

Luckily, Deal Diva Katie and I snagged a couple moments to ourselves to dissect mine.

First thing to know: it starts and ends with this awesome blazer. It's one of my favorite statement pieces, with colors and pattern perfect for fall.

I thought it would set off my subtle hot pink pants nicely.

Since it is Monday, I didn't want to go too crazy though, opting for a neutral grey-brown T-shirt underneath the blazer and my favorite "nude" pumps. I snapped a lilac necklace for acontrasting  pop of color around the collar.

How'd I do?

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5 Holiday Dresses Under $50

The holidays are all about sparkle and shimmer! Get in the game with this Maison Jules gem from Macy's. OK, sue me: The technical retail price is currently $54.99. But you can take an additional 15 percent off today. Case closed!

macys.com

The holidays are all about sparkle and shimmer! Get in the game with this Maison Jules gem from Macy's. OK, sue me: The technical retail price is currently $54.99. But you can take an additional 15 percent off today. Case closed!

Even before Halloween had arrived, some stores were already setting out the inflatable Santas, piping Christmas jingles over the intercom and advertising Black Friday deals.

Now that Thanksgiving is actually a mere two weeks away, it's only a matter of time before the holiday party invitations start to roll in ... which, of course, begs the inevitable question: WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR?!?

We're here to help you get started.

For those of you who, like us, are ballin' on a budget, check out the handy slideshow above for some inexpensive holiday outfit ideas. And be a friend! Tell us in the comments below where else we might find some good deals.

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Here are some Veterans Day shopping ideas

I picked this wire photo of this woman because of her very patriotic shoes, of course. Anna Mansfield was attending a Veterans Day ceremony in Atlanta.

AP

I picked this wire photo of this woman because of her very patriotic shoes, of course. Anna Mansfield was attending a Veterans Day ceremony in Atlanta.

Yes, there are many sales to enjoy today, but we hope you take at least a moment to reflect on the sacrifices of American veterans. 

If you are not working today, we hope you enjoy your day off.

Here are some sales to get you started:

* Take 25 percent off sweaters at Urban Outfitters

* DSW's buy 2, get 30 percent off sale, which ends at 3 p.m.

* Up to 50 percent off anything at Express

* Extra 30 percent off everything at J. Crew Factory online. Use EXTRA30 at checkout

* $20 off all pants at Ann Taylor Loft

* Don't forget about Dillard's Clearance Center at University Mall in Tampa.

* Extra 40 percent off J. Crew sale

The folks at Refinery29 have curated more sales, and NerdWallet explores how Veterans Day shopping stacks up to Black Friday. (Basically, it's a good way to secure some deals before the frenetic pace of holiday shopping kicks in.)

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The best looks from Taylor Swift's new video and other Monday afternoon time wasters

Current mood. $37. Find it here: http://arsenicandlaceshop.bigcartel.com/product/gilmore-girls-pullover

via Arsenic & Lace

Current mood. $37. Find it here: http://arsenicandlaceshop.bigcartel.com/product/gilmore-girls-pullover

So we've all taken a 4 and a half-ish-minute break and watched Taylor Swfit's new video for Blank Space, right? Good! Apart from it being all kinds of perfectly crafted crazy that I plan on watching again and again and again, the outfits. The outfits! The video is like one big ridiculous Vogue shoot on steroids. It's insane and I love it. And if you, like me, want to take a more detailed look at what she wears in the video and decide which one you'd wear if you were a crazy heiress, Fashionita has compiled a handy list. Personally I'm digging the black lace fragrance ad look. Go big or go home, right?

Speaking of lists, if you had to pick one, which of these awkward outfits on The Gloss from season 2 of Gilmore Girls would you wear? I'm torn between Lorelai's dog shirt Sookie's maxi peasant dress. 2002 was a great year. …

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My Outfit Monday: Cleaning up at the Dillard's Clearance Center

Outfit by Dillard's Clearance Center.

Photography by Lisa Gartner.

Outfit by Dillard's Clearance Center.

If only every shopping opportunity were as thrifty as mine last week. 

First, I scored three quality skirts for free thanks to the rebirth of the Tampa Bay Times clothing swap, an easy, great idea you can copy here for your own workplace, book club, what have you. 

Next, we need to talk about my scores from the Dillard's Clearance Center in Tampa's University Mall, modeled above. I know this mall resembles a struggle factory compared to IP, but you have to give it a chance because there is big payoff. I tried on tons of discounted dresses from Betsey Johnson, Antonio Melani, Adriana Pampell, French Connection and others.

It was there that I found these two-tone suede Calvin Klein flats with a tiny, shiny gold strip for $34, and also where I found this sleeveless black and turquoise Kensie dress for $31. But that's not all!

Everything was either 40 percent off (shoes, accessories) or 50 percent off (clothing) the lowest-marked price in honor of Veterans Day, so I got away spending even less. It is worth the trip, ladies and gentlemen. Just bring a little patience and a shopping bag to make carrying around your selections a bit easier. …

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Flashback Friday: How to host a clothing swap

Some of the fun swag in our office clothing swap this week. ITEMS GALORE.

Some of the fun swag in our office clothing swap this week. ITEMS GALORE.

Some of us here at the Tampa Bay Times got together the past couple days to host an in-office clothing swap. It's been a big success and a fun way to break up the day. Personally, I cleaned five bags out of my closet and walked away with one bag of new things. A total win in my book.

It made me think it might be time to repost our original clothing swap post from years past, explaining how to pull off such a feat at your own workplace or house. Take a spin through our post of yore, and tell us. Have you ever hosted a clothing swap? Got TIPS? Do share.

 

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Smartwatches: Wave of future or slave to past?

The Samsung Gear takes calls, sends texts and even takes photos with a built-in camera. Both fashionable and fancy! Cost is $299 at AT&T: http://www.att.com/wearables/health-and-fitness/samsung-gear-2.html#fbid=j19ltJLc-SFsku=sku7130674 (Also in wild orange or charcoal black).

att.com

The Samsung Gear takes calls, sends texts and even takes photos with a built-in camera. Both fashionable and fancy! Cost is $299 at AT&T: http://www.att.com/wearables/health-and-fitness/samsung-gear-2.html#fbid=j19ltJLc-SFsku=sku7130674 (Also in wild orange or charcoal black).

Remember the awe of all that technology on The Jetsons? The hope you felt when you first heard Prince's new millennium hit '1999'? The eagerness you felt when you watched 'Back to the Future'?

My friends. We have arrived.

The latest new gadget to hit the market from retailers such as AT&T and Best Buy are smartwatches, which let consumers check email, browse the web and use voice commands just as they would on a smartphone.

But some question whether there's a market for the devices, no matter how technologically-advanced, given the timepiece's waning appeal among fashionistas who consider them old hat.

A global survey this month by Business Insider found that 51 percent of participants "don't see the point" of smartwatches.

However, Harvard Business School professor Ryan Raffaelli recently opined in the New York Times that the introduction of the Swatch in the early 1980s spawned a new generation of watch collectors with its fun, fashionable look. Wearables are becoming the secondary mobile device of choice for many young, active users, one AT&T spokeswoman told the Deal Divas. …

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How to score fall's trendy bucket bag for less

This bag was on sale over the weekend for $20, down from $30. Also comes in black and camel brown. (Link in blog)

Old Navy.

This bag was on sale over the weekend for $20, down from $30. Also comes in black and camel brown. (Link in blog)

Stylists from Rachel Zoe, Elle and Harper's Bazaar are crowing about the bucket bag as this fall's trendy purse. But as you may expect, their suggestions for capitalizing on the trend favor the takes from high-brow designers with eye-popping price tags (cue "And we'll never be royalllsssssss...").

As usual, there's another way. I lucked out yesterday at Old Navy, scoring a deep emerald, fake leather version on sale for $20 (normally $30). For a sorely needed purse update, I figured I could do worse.

I collected some other cheaper bucket bags under $40 for the slideshow (nope, this four-figure YSL bag is not included, though it is pretty).

The only drawback to my bucket bag is a complete lack of pockets. No fear, though. Thanks to my Ipsy subscription, I have unused beauty pouches galore. Following Stephanie's advice, I stuffed the items you'd normally want to put inside purse pockets -- lipsticks, pens, iPhone cord, etc. -- inside the pouches.

Stylish and organized.

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Mary-Kate and Ashley's StyleMint jewelry isn't a million dollars

Pegasus Earrings, $29.99.

StyleMint

Pegasus Earrings, $29.99.

Remember when Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were literally everywhere and you couldn't walk into a Walmart without seeing their faces smiling down at you from a display of Mary-Kate and Ashley shirts, skirts, jeans, etc.? It was the kind of stuff I could request for my birthday and reasonably expect to get because hey, pretty cheap!

But then they grew up, went to NYU, started actually designing and now sell $5,000 coats (or, as Who What Wear notes, $34,000 bags. lolwut). Ugh. Fine then.

Well then I wandered over to the above-mentioned Who What Wear article and discovered their new jewelry collection with StyleMint. It's all under $40, and hey, it's pretty cute. It's not a huge collection, but there's a few (affordable! woo!) pieces I've got my eye on. And not to be "that guy" who brings this up on Nov. 3, but it's all got a shiny, dangly vibe perfect for holiday parties.

Check out a couple of my favorites in the slideshow, and look at the rest here.

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My Outfit Monday: Baby it's cold outside

Autumn is upon us! I combatted the chill this weekend with black fleece leggings from JCPenney, a charcoal gray blouse from Nordstrom Rack, a braided belt that came with a different top from Target, a scarf ($5 on clearance) also from Target and a gold wrap watch from New York & Company. The jacket and purse are both thrifted.

iPhone selfie

Autumn is upon us! I combatted the chill this weekend with black fleece leggings from JCPenney, a charcoal gray blouse from Nordstrom Rack, a braided belt that came with a different top from Target, a scarf ($5 on clearance) also from Target and a gold wrap watch from New York & Company. The jacket and purse are both thrifted.

There's nothing more confusing to me than fall fashion in Florida.

As a Michigan native, I theoretically should be able to visualize all the long-sleeve sweaters, boots and snuggly scarves in my closet and mentally tabulate the perfect autumn outfit within seconds.

But this month marks my eighth anniversary as a Florida resident and, heck I'll say it, I'm a wuss when it comes to even slightly wintry weather (aka pretty much any temperature below 70 degrees). My wardrobe full of dresses, paper thin tops with three-quarter length sleeves and sandals -- and my difficulty gauging the correct layering combination to straddle both Florida's summery highs and wintery lows -- proves it.

I didn't quite succeed finding the perfect cold-to-hot ratio as the first gusts of autumn air blew through Tampa Bay this weekend. But I sure had a fun time rifling through my closet, getting creative and putting on my own mini fashion show as I tried!

Check out the slideshow for details. How'd I do, deevs?

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Last minute, and we do mean last minute, Halloween costumes

MAJESTY! Photo by our friend, Aaron, who was dressed as a monk.

MAJESTY! Photo by our friend, Aaron, who was dressed as a monk.

Happy Halloween! Up there in the photo, you'll see my Halloween costume this year (you'll also notice Deal Diva Kameel): The failed Sochi Olympic rings! Props to our friend Hilary (center ring) for dreaming up this gem.

If you're frantically trolling the internet minutes before leaving work looking for something to throw on for that Halloween party tonight, feel free to steal our look. It involves four hula hoops and one of those expanding balls, painted white and covered in twinkle lights. If you can't find four friends and an expanding ball, we have a couple places to point you for quick ideas:

Real Simple has 10 costume ideas, ranging from the punny "Ceiling Fan" to the even punnier "Pumpkin Pi."

Pop Sugar suggests you can be a crazy cat lady, or just get real funky with your eyeliner and be a cat.

HuffPo is all, "Just be a baked potato and wrap yourself in foil!" 

XOVain haunts our souls with a stellar Mommy Dearest idea. And if you have bangs and a spoon, you can just call yourself Amelie. 

And surely you've already been to Pinterst

Have fun and be safe out there, and if you have a super-stylin costume you want to share on an upcoming My Outfit Monday, tweet us at @dealdivas!

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South Tampa's Fresh Threads on the move to Clearwater

Attention, North Pinellas divas! Fresh Threads designer consignment boutique will relocate to Clearwater this December, just in time for holiday season.

istock

Attention, North Pinellas divas! Fresh Threads designer consignment boutique will relocate to Clearwater this December, just in time for holiday season.

The retail news for me and my fellow Clearwater fashionistas just keeps getting better and better!

First, it was confirmed that the rumors about Nordstrom Rack coming to Countryside Mall next fall were true.

NOW, we've received word that Fresh Threads, one of my fave designer clothing consignment boutiques, is not only leaving its South Dale Mabry Highway location in Tampa for new digs at 615 Pinellas St. in the even swankier Harbor Oaks area near downtown Clearwater ... but is also expanding its inventory to include home goods and locally-made trinkets plus a renewed focus on e-commerce.

From owner Juli Halifax, who says the move will allow her to focus more on her son and his special needs:

"The exclusive warehouse experience will allow locals to touch, feel and try on their luxury finds prior to us showcasing them to millions of buyers on the web. It's also the perfect opportunity to enhance our inventory to things that excite me -- including home furnishings and hand-crafted gifts -- and to support other small businesses and artisans." …

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