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Deal Divas

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

Which is best for those rainy Florida days - coat or umbrella?


rain-or-sunshine-coat.jpegThere I was, first day of the new job, with my new-job-outfit on, and my new-job pen and notebook out, and what should happen?

The skies open up. 

Total fail. 

Luckily it was only a light sprinkle, but still enough rain to make me wish I'd remembered to grab an umbrella on my way out. 

OR, to have a swanky yellow rain coat like this. 

Isn't she gorgeous? And, unfortunately, way out of my budget. ModCloth is selling it (dubbed the "Rain or Shine Coat") for $189.99 on its website. Yikes. 

But maybe there are some similar alternatives out there?

What do you guys think? Do you find yourself rocking a raincoat in the Florida heat, or just stick to unbrellas?

ModCloth says this baby is 100 percent cotton and only ratea a 2 out 5 on the "warmth scale," so maybe it'd be light enough.

And if you do go the raincoat route, where's the best place to fine affordable ones? If you have any tips, leave a message in the comments!

Deal Diva Kameel




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The Queen and Her Hats: A Retrospective

Queen Elizabeth II is grinning all over town this year, celebrating her Diamond Jubilee. For those who don't know, it's basically a massive party marking her 60th year in the throne. Folks across the commonwealth will celebrate the jubilee's so-called Central Weekend Saturday through Tuesday with a host of pageantry and picnics and concerts. It all sounds like a gas.

The Queen is likely to roll out some legendary headgear for the events, as she always does. To note the occasion, we thought we'd take a fashiony look back at Liz's most famous hats.

May 30, 2012, dinner with the Royal Regiment of Scotland


This hat not only employs a chic pastel color combination, it serves as a holster for emergency sushi chopsticks, or, if a kerfuffle should arise, a pointed weapon to stab royal naysayers in the jugular. She only looks nice.


May 29, 2012, garden party at Buckingham Palace


The Queen loves some soft lavender. And why shouldn't she? It would hardly feel right to instigate a critical conversation about public referenda in sovereign states when she looks so... so... SUNNY.


Feb. 6, 2012, visit to Kings Lynn Town Hall in Norfolk, England

queen_6.jpg …

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Help me solve my bra-lemma

Before I go further, let me just announce that you still have a few days left to check out Nordstrom's half-yearly sale for women and kids. Can't believe we haven't talked about this yet. 

I was able to pop into Nords yesterday to check it out. (Full disclosure: my sister/ personal shopper works there) I left with a few great staples (this basic tee in blue and black, and this sporty chambray skirt), but I also left with a problem.


I fell in love with this orange open-back dress. Perfect for summer, perfect for early-fall Gator football games. Easy, breezy and bright.

But, ahem, I guess it'd be more accurate to say that I have two problems.

Please explain where a bra fits into this picture.

A regular or strapless, even in nude, wouldn't do -- not with the keyhole putting the strap right there on display. And the silky polyester doesn't exactly make it possible to go without... not without the potential for an indecent exposure arrest, that is.


- Those chicken-cutlet sticky-cups everyone wore to prom. 

- Those petal pasties

- Duct tape

All I remember about the chicken-cutlets is that they slid off everybody on the dance floor. So, you know, there's that. …

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Mark Albright recalls 25 years of Tampa Bay shopping

mark_albright.jpgYou guys have to read this story from Tampa Bay Times' retail reporting legend Mark Albright, who retires this week after a 38-year career, 25 spent covering retail. He has watched stores come, go and change, creating the rich Tampa Bay shopping landscape we all know (and frequent) today. Mark writes:

A parade of department stores disappeared: Maas Brothers, JByron, Burdines, Robinson's, Maison Blanche, Gayfer's, Ivey's, Montgomery Ward and Jacobson's. They were replaced by midmarket Kohl's, Dillard's, Macy's and high-end newcomers Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. That, plus the arrival of Gucci and Louis Vuitton, shut up the "we're not worthy" naysayers convinced Tampa Bay was some fashion backwater. Saks left Denver and San Diego but has been in Tampa for 14 years.

Read the rest of the story here. The Deal Divas offer Mark a warm congratulations on a wonderful career. And we hope you get those socks you ordered from Nordstrom.

Deal Diva Stephanie

Photo: Mark Albright himself! Times files.


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Bridal Uggs. That is all.

Their slogan is "Your Wedding Just Got Cozier." 











Deal Diva Kim

(Photo: Uggs)

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My Outfit Monday: Same clothes, new setting

Happy Memorial Day! 

If you're not working, I hope you're having a lovely holiday off. If you are working, well, we feel your pain. 

I know everyone probably has plans today, so I'll keep this one short. Take a look at my outfit:


Pretty basic, huh? What can I say - I wasn't too inspired when I woke up.

I stuck with black jeans ($15 from Forever 21), a white blouse with ruffles (I think it was like $6 from Revolve Clothing Exchange in St. Pete a couple years ago) and no shoes--yet.



I kept the accessories to a minimum as well. 

 I got the necklace AGES ago from a store called Maurices up north. (Anybody know if they have them down here?).

And the beaded black bracelet cost 50 cents in a thrift store bin. 

I was in a hat kind of mood, but didn't have anything that was just right. So, using a technique my mom taught me when I was little, I wrapped my hair in black fabric. 

I apologize if the photos seem a little fuzzy. I was solo this morning and had to use my laptop's camera to get the job done.

I also was trying to get used to new surroundings. I moved a couple days ago (this Deal Diva is a homeowner now!) and the house came with a bigger and better photo studio---er, porch, I mean.  …

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Memorial Day sales at Macy's, American Eagle, Lane Bryant

old_navt_tee.jpgWe here at Deal Divas will be working come Monday even though it's Memorial Day, but we don't begrudge you the ability to slip into your sandals and shop in the warm light of day. No, we don't hold your freedom against you. We're not mad at you. No, really. Go have fun. We insist.

Ok, I'm all out of sarcasm. If your weekend plans include shopping, make sure to check out these sales!

What other sales are you guys seeing? Let us know in the comments!

Deal Diva Stephanie

Photo: To feed your patriotism, here's a tee from Old Navy, $10.

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Get ready for another Target giveaway - this time it's shoes!

openzoomlayer.jpgHey guys, just saw this on Facebook. Target is giving away these platforms tomorrow. 

All you have to do is keep an eye on the Target Style  twitter feed (@targetstyle), and BOOM! you win.

OK, maybe it won't be that easy. But just keep an eye on Twitter for details, cause I sure don't have any more. 

Still, I guess if you miss the giveaway, you could always just suck it up and buy them.

The website says they're $34.99 online.

You know we Deal Divas are fans of platform pumps, and it looks like these even have some sort of non-slip tread on the bottom. So that's nice.

Then again, the tread is also what makes them look a little unusual...

Let us know if you win them! 

Deal Diva Kameel


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New TJ Maxx opens in St. Petersburg

img_1782.jpgSoooooooooooooo ... guess where I was this morning? St. Pete's newest shopping hotspot. 

Remember the old Circuit City near Tyrone Quare Mall that closed some time ago? Well, it's no longer vacant. In its place is a new, shiny TJ Maxx!!!

Today is the grand opening.

Naturally, we Deal Divas had to check it out. Anything for our readers, right?

I got there before 9 and the parking lot was PACKED. I took a deep breath, tightened my grip on my purse and headed in. 

The first thing you need to know about this store is that it's CLEAN. Hallelujah, right. 

Don't know how long it'll stay that way with the amount of people in there this morning, but really, this is TJ Maxx.

You know what you're getting into when you go. 

But still, this one is nice you guys. Still has that "new store" smell.

The finishes seem to be an upgrade too, evidenced by sleeker signage and a bigger emphasis on the red and white theme. 

Workers, many who dressed up for the occassion, tell me its actually a prototype of what all new future stores will look like. 

Here's a pic of the inside: 


And another of store manager Roy Allen talking to a customer. Doesn't he look spiffy in his ... wait, is that a tuxedo?!?

img_1789.jpg …

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The JoeyBra: Wardrobe must or bust?

Every time I go nightclubbing, it’s the same story. I’m either stuffing my credit card, ID, cash, lip gloss or other small necessities into my male friends’ pockets.

Or, more likely, stuffing them into my bra.

After all, who wants to be bogged down on the dance floor with a bulky purse that slaps all the potential male suitors away?

That’s why a handy product that just hit the market makes me shout inside my head, “Why didn’t I think of that?!?”

Introducing: The JoeyBra.


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An excuse to shop at Anthro?

Is it pathetic that I purposely walk my dog along a route that leads me past the Hyde Park Anthropologie store -- just so I can salivate in the window? I always walk away wanting to cry a little, knowing there's really no reason for me to go inside. Resigning to the sad truth that I'll never really be able to justify buying, oh I don't know, maybe this tank top that for some reason is $50...


Happy birthday to me! I guess I must've signed up for a mailing list or something at some point, because on May 13, the folks at the boho-clothing heaven sent me a lovely card with an offer for 15 percent off anything in the store through the end of May. 

What perfect timing: the store is now having its semi-annual clearance sale! Let's have a look. 

anthrodress.jpgThis subtly polka-dotted number is $50, but it WAS $188. Take 15 percent off and that's $42.50. Worth it?















Maybe accessories would be a better buy.

scarf.jpgI want to wear this scarf every day, with every outfit. On sale for $30, reduced from $48, and down to $25.50 with my B-day discount. Okay, seriously I need this. 
















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The Divas guide to blazering through RNC

Saturday marked the 100-day countdown for the Republican National Convention in Tampa, and officials are working really hard to nail down plans for security, transportation, construction and, oh yeah, that SWELTERING, SUFFOCATING August heat.

I'll leave logistics to the electeds and the Secret Service. But Divas, we need to talk about those feels-like-it's-100-degrees-out-here-why-God-why temperatures. It's important. You see, RNC is synonymous with blazertime, and I am both attending the event (working journalist, y'all) and obsessed with blazers.

I'm definitely not the only one.



That's Sarah Palin and Cindy McCain at the 2008 RNC in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Remember? Yes? Good, I was worried.

Democrats also love blazers, of course, but they're not coming to Tampa.


We, THE PEOPLE, must fight for our right to fight heat-related illnesses. We must secure lightweight options to counter the threat of our oppressor, Mother Nature. And unlike some burned by extravagant spending on campaign clothes, haircuts and jewelry, we won't be embarrassed by the receipts of our transactions.


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My Outfit Monday: Fun Midwest finds

I popped up to Ohio recently for a quick visit. I'm originally from the Cleveland area, (Lorain County, for Ohio nerds), and most of my family is still there. This visit was not about shopping or coming back with lots of great finds. It was about seeing loved ones and spending as much time with them as possible.

Naturally, since I wasn't trying, I came back with lots of great finds! Isn't that always the way?



Feast your eyes on this baby. While I was visiting my grandparents, I noticed a sleepy little garage sale across the street. Up north, garage sales go all day. It's not like Florida where you have to start at 5 a.m. and shut down by noon to avoid sun blisters and heat exhaustion.

I wandered over with a few bucks in my pocket. There were a lot of ceramic bunnies and old board games. Then, I saw this gold glittering thing straight up out of the 1980s, shoulder pads and all. It was $1. A DOLLAR. I had to have it. …

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Goodwill's Wedding Gala scheduled for June, hundreds of new dresses starting at $100

wedding_sale.jpgHere's the most important save-the-date for all you summer brides out there.

Goodwill’s Wedding Gala, a major annual wedding gown sale, is scheduled for June 9 in Brandon and June 16 in Spring Hill. The two Goodwill stores will offer more than 400 brand new wedding gowns in sizes from 2 to 26 with prices starting at $100. We're not talking poof sleeves and bad appliques. We're talking fresh off the design line. Proceeds benefit Goodwill's programs for people with disabilities.

The stock of dresses will be split between the two stores, about 200 gowns at each event. Brands include Priscilla of Boston, House of Wu and Melissa Sweet. These dresses were donated by Athena’s Bridal, CC’s Boutique, Diana’s Bridal, Olga’s Bridal Boutique and Priscilla of Boston. Some of the original price tags go up to $4,350, people. You heard right. Check out a preview of some of the 2012 gowns right here.

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I don't mean to make this a wedge issue, but...

detail.jpegI wear wedges a lot. Like, a lot of lot. Like, so much that I get teased for it. 

But I can't help it. Those of you ladies out there -- especially my fellow vertically challenged sistas -- know the comfort a wedge can offer. No lie. It's all the benefits of a high heel without the sometimes-pain that comes along with those.

But, everything has its time right?

Which is why when I slipped on a pair of my go-to wedges earlier this week, I just KNEW. 

The grip was off, the heel long chipped and grinded down to something totally unrecognizable from its former self. Discolored. Not even worth the cobbler's time.

They were done. Finished. At the end of their life.


I should have taken a picture, but they're THAT embarrassing.


There must be something in the water. First Deal Diva Katie's jellies, now my careful out there people. The grim reaper of footwear is on the prowl!

So, I'm in the market for some replacements, and I'm hoping you guys will help. 


These black low wedges with the bow detail are $22.99 at Payless.


These, on sale for $24 at Target, seem nice and summery.


Kohl's has these for $39.99. Would probably look good with a casual dress...

Thoughts? …

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