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Deal Divas

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

My Outfit Monday: Wishing for warmer days

Am I the only one whose morning shower included belting several renditions of "Baby, it’s cold outside"? (My apologies to my neighbors.)

I’m actually not on the clock today. But if I were – and if it were a heck of a lot warmer – I’d likely wear something like this:

divapic1.jpgThis slate blue dress, about $14 on Target’s clearance rack, is actually the mirror image of the green one Deal Diva Katie fabulously showed off a few weeks ago.

The coral-colored cardigan is also from Target, while the belt came with a pair of jeans I owned in college. I typically wear this outfit with my fave brown pumps or, if I want to go casual, wedge-heeled sandals.

divapic2.jpgOf course, what I’m actually wearing at the moment consists of a lot of sweat material that covers all my extremities.

The good news is I’ll be able to shed it for something more festive as the temperature rises today toward a more Floridian 70-ish degrees – just in time to celebrate New Year’s!

Thumbs up or down for my outfit? What are you all wearing to battle the slight chill this morning and what do you plan to pare down to tonight?

Deal Diva Keyonna

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Perfume roundup: BCBG MaxAzria Bon Chic, True Religion Love Hope Denim and Elizabeth Arden Pretty

Here's a recent shot from my desk, coming soon to an episode of Hoarders near you:

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You'll notice a coffee cup, a bag of cough drops, an iPhone charger, a water tumbler I do not use nearly enough, and, oh yes, some perfume. These have been accumulating in the pile of stuff for a while now, so I thought I'd bring you a quick perfume review as best as I can through the screen, since you might have some gift cards burning in your pocket after the holiday. I think most of us prefer to pick out our own perfume, don't we?

BCBG MaxAzria Bon Chic, $55 to $75

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These big plastic flower tops are way trendy right now. I'm expecting them to be eclipsed by, like, I don't know, glass eyeball stoppers or something in 2013. It's time for a new trick in bottle art, people. Anyway, in this case, the flower is accurate. Bon Chic has pink peony, orange blossom and violet working in there somewhere, though the most obvious scents are fruits like pear and raspberry. It's a tad on the sweet side, but great for a young person who is actually still sweet and hasn't been beaten down by the cruel mistress that is life.

True Religion Love Hope Denim, $59-$79

love_hope_denim.jpg …

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Goodbye 2012! We'll miss you... but not these wacky fashion trends you brought us

Nobody's perfect. We know that. But what's that saying they teach you in grade school? "Try, try again"? So let's agree that in 2013, we'll try... to FORGET these unfortunate fashion trends that dogged us in 2012. We're sure there are plenty more, but we thought you could only stomach these five. (Feel free to rant in the comments about others though, natch.)

Drum roll...

1. Look, ma, my stomach is flat!

An ode to the crop top. Because really, are we 12 anymore? I bet if someone asked for a show of hands for how many of us wore one of these at some point in our lives, a bunch of palms (including this Deal Diva's) would rise in the air. But we are beyond that. It was sixth grade, OK? We have moved on! So why can't the rest of the world? (Looking at you, Katy Perry and girl I think goes out with Justin Bieber, who sported tiny shirts to the Kids Choice Awards in back in March.)

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2. I see London, I see France, I see a ... weird spot of flesh near your ribs? …

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Style ideas for New Year's Eve, no matter your plans

New Year's Eve falls on a Monday night this year, which means while some of you will still party with flutes of champagne until the wee hours of the morning, some of you will opt for a quiet night in the house. We've found some affordable style suggestions for you this year, no matter your plans.

Sparkle Fest

Listen, no one has to tell us twice to wear glitter. It's all we can do not to wear full-on sequins to work at 10 a.m. Fortunately, New Year's Eve is the one day a year when you DO NOT NEED PERMISSION, Y'ALL. Want to cover every last toe in Swarovski? Do it. Want to wear a cape made of fairy dust? Have fun! Hankering for some fireworks bursting from your chest? Katy Perry isn't the only one! Try this strapless dress from bebe, marked down a cool hundred dollars to $79.99. The X shape around the waist is also super-flattering in all those pictures you're about to be tagged in. A cropped leather jacket would toughen up a dress like this just right if you feel a little overdressed.

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Work Party

Say your boss has invited you over to enjoy some New Year's Eve tapas and his latest shipment of Malbec from Sonoma. You can't really say no, not if you want to live. You need to cover up a little for modesty's sake, but hey, you're not dead. We suggest a drapey cardigan with a touch of holiday glamour, like this one from Lane Bryant, a steal at $19.99.

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Then, when you can finally bail and hit the bar, take off that top layer and embrace life with this sparkling cami, also $19.99.

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Post-Christmas sale action!

saleillustration.jpegTwas the day after Christmas

and all through the land

not a diva was disappointed

by the sales at hand!

Here's a sampling of the action to be found:

Macy's: Coupons action galore to be found in today's newspaper, including the always fabulous $10 off purchases of $25, including sale and clearance merchandise.

Gap: Take an extra 50 percent off select styles. Whoo hoo!

Old Navy: Up to 75 percent off in stores. Get a stylish jacket for that winter brrr rolling in!

Banana Republic: Extra 30 percent off sale prices that are up to 50 percent off. (You could have saved more by shopping early, but we slept in.)

Ann Taylor: Extra 25 percent off sale prices.

See a fab sale not to be missed? Tell us, puh-lease!

Deal Diva Letitia

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Merry Christmas from the Deal Divas!

It's Christmas! And your Deal Divas are just like:

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We'll be back Wednesday, but until then we hope you have a fashionable, comfortable, happy, cozy holiday. Even if you do it in some fabulous footie pajamas!

Deal Diva Stephanie

Photo: ELF! Times files

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Still looking for that perfect holiday party dress? Check out these Tampa Bay area shops

10056427.jpgIt's almost Christmas! It's almost 2013! Let's parrrrrrrrrrrrrr-tay. 

Wait. 

What are we going wear? And more importantly, how will we pay for it (so say our battered wallets)?

Luckily, our colleague Laura Reiley has solutions for both those dilemmas in a piece today in our "Here's the Deal," section.

It's all about finding the perfect party dress at area consignment and rental shops - which we here at Deal Divas whole-heartedly support. 

Laura tells us about Lending Luxury, a Tampa shop started in 2010 by a pair of friends who loved the idea of renting rather than buying. Most dresses at their shop, at 2102 W Platt St., go for between $50-$110 -- and that includes shipping and cleaning fees. 

Laura also gives us the scoop on some of the nicer consignment shops around - Agape Chic Boutique in Brandon, Couture Shoez in Tampa and Couture Closet, which is appointment-only. 

Check out the whole story here. You won't be disappointed!

-Deal Diva Kameel

(In the picture above, by Times photographer Eve Edelheit, Kristen Levine of Tarpon Springs, tries on one of her dress options for a casino night cocktail on New Year's Eve at Lending Luxury)

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My Outfit Monday: Don't let these khakis and flowers and weird shoes overwhelm you

mom1224photo.jpgI may have promised, at one time or another, never to show you guys another "bathroom shot" again.

Well, I lied.

It's Christmas Eve, and the office is sparse. But it's My Outfit Monday! THE SHOW MUST GO ON. 

So here I am, in the illustrious third floor ladies room at the Times. Pretty fancy, huh?

Yea, whatever, right? Let's dissect the duds.

I'd like to tell you I was going for a festive holiday theme, but that too, would be a fib. In reality, my thought process this morning went something like: MUST-GET-OUT-THE-DOOR-ON-TIME.

I almost did, too.

Anyway, back to the outfit. We'll start with the very exciting khakis. I got them a couple years back at Old Navy for about $15, and ... well, what else is there to say?

Plenty. Like how forgiving they are, and how comfy and ... OK, maybe my first instinct was right. 

Moving up, we have what I like to call my "Flowers on the vine" blouse.

I love this shirt, a twist on a simple white button-up, because I get away with wearing a lot of color, but not in a pattern that overwhelms my frame. Plus, it's thin enough to layer under a cardigan or sweater.

I wish I could tell you where I bought it, but I can't remember. :( …

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Target and Neiman Marcus line is now HALF-OFF! GO. RUN.

tracey_reese_top.jpgRemember how a few weeks ago we were all like, "we want everything in the Neiman Marcus/Target collection but it needs to go on sale first because we were not born yesterday"?

Great news! Now is the time. Everything in the collection is 50 percent off, including that cool Alice + Olivia flowery bike! I got first word this morning when my boyfriend's sister sent me an emergency text that led off with "PSA." It was all very exciting.

I can't tell you how much I want to run out and grab that blue Tracy Reese shirt, but I also know I have yammered about it so much that I'd better wait until after Christmas so I don't end up with a stack of four of them from all my friends and family who read this blog.

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Don't forget to enter our holiday giveaway contest!

If your To Do "list" is anything like mine, it probably resembles something closer to a full-length novel these days. Seriously, I feel like for every one thing I cross off, three things get added. 

I promise, though, that you won't regret adding this next task to your list. You might even thank me.

9997713.jpgHere's the scoop:

If you haven't heard, or missed the news earlier this month, the Deal Divas are having a fun giveaway this year.

We want to see your best looks from all those company holiday parties, cookie exchanges and secret Santa gatherings you may be attending (or have already attended) for a chance to win a $50 Kohl's gift card. 

Besides a full-size picture of your outfit, we ask that you tell us a little about yourself. That includes name, age, where you live, where you got the outfit (thrifting is encouraged, of course), where you went and what, if anything, inspired the look. 

Send entries to kstanley@tampabay.com by Jan. 2. We'll announce the winner Jan. 4. 

We've already gotten some great entries, but we want more. So spread the word, and start sending in those pics! (And guys, this isn't just for the ladies. We want to see how dapper you can be, too.)

-Deal Diva Kameel

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Perfectly neutral on the mani front

A mani-pedi is my ultimate treat. But whether I am playing DIY stylist or enjoying a professional treatment, nothing ruins the effect like choosing the wrong color.

For my fingers, I'm especially particular. Nothing too loud or garish. But I'm not a fan of chalky pinks that aren't worth the dry time. After years of scouring the salon shelves for the perfect colors, here are my favorite neutrals:

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OPI: Berlin There Done That (Germany collection)

Somewhere between a taupe and a gray, this hue is hardly a demure. A splash of color that will make sure people know you did your nails, it's an ideal shade for fall and winter. 

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OPI: Rosy Future (Soft shades collection)

This barely-there pink is fit for a blushing bride, with a glittery shimmer to make her inner party girl smile. This is the perfect color for someone who's not good about staying on top of chips, since will barely notice them.

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OPI: Hawaiian Orchid (Soft shades collection)

Finally, a soft pink with personality. This shade offers a visible splash of color without overwhelming. It's ideal for showing off a summer tan.

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Essie: Merino cool …

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Have yourself a merry little sale or five

Tis the season! For nervous breakdowns at the mall, for calling mom for yet another reminder of whose name you drew for the family gift swap, for eying the unscratched names on the shopping list and feeling a tinge of nausea.

Maybe you have it under control. Great job!

I know I'm over here like:

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AHHHH! I may or may not have given up on shopping for others at one point Saturday and wandered into the new H&M store at Westshore Mall. I may or may not have purchased a $10 dress for myself because, you know, the holidays, therapy, $10.

Knowing I had something new to wear to holiday functions made made me feel a little more like a person who is in control of the controllable things in life, such as holiday shopping.

Here's hoping you can snag something small but cute for yourself as you wind down your holiday shopping (or put the final bow on your wrapped presents, you annoying planners, you).

On to the tidings!

Macy's: Take an extra 15 percent off women's gifts and get free guaranteed delivery by Christmas. Ends Thursday.

DSW: Earn triple points on all clearance shoes (insiders only) and triple points on all boots. Ends Dec. 30. …

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Meggings: Ummmm or Mmm-mm-good?

When Conan rocked them for a night, waaaaaaay back in December 2010, we chalked it up to a joke that would never catch on.

But recent news reports show they’re popping up on high-fashion runways ... and making many of us want to run away.

The fashion faux pas in question? Brace yourself, my friends, for none other than the ‘megging’ – short for ‘male leggings.’

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Traditionally reserved for the ballet studio, meggings are turning up more frequently on celebrities, the racks of stores like Barneys and Nordstrom, and regular Joes strutting the streets of Manhattan, reports The Telegraph and Business Insider.

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My Outfit Monday: Grab the first thing

It's kind of hard to get excited about clothes today when our minds are all with the victims of the tragedy in Connecticut, and with our teacher friends and kids faced with going back to school. I felt somber this morning and grabbed the first dress I saw. And I didn't feel like pestering another Deal Diva to take my picture, so pardon the strange self-angle.

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The orange dress is Michael Kors, and it's admittedly not my most flattering frock. I love the bright color, and it is suuuuuuper comfortable, but the shape kind of falls apart at the waist, which is a trap for us apple-shaped gals. It's easily remedied with a fitted blazer, though, so I just plopped on this nautical navy number you've seen me wear before on another day when I grabbed random things. Apparently this is my jacket for that. I finished with a simple gold bangle.

The shoes? They're Studio Paolo from JCPenney (have I mentioned how GREAT JCPenney has gotten?). Yeah, they're absolutely a summer shoe, and, yeah, it's almost Christmas. But it's going to be 80 degrees today, so whatever. They're comfortable and they match. And like I said, none of it feels that important today. …

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Get your warrior garb on for weekend holiday sales

xena_and_gabrielle.jpgThe words blaring from my morning television were ominous. Ten shopping days left until Christmas.

I've been sick with the nasty winter flu everyone has for well over a week now and it hampered any hopes I had of squeezing in shopping trips or really doing much of anything other than going to bed at 7:30 like an octogenarian. I'm on the mend, now, though, and I knew it meant only one thing. Not catching up on cleaning, not doing some work around the house, not enjoying a DVR marathon of Intervention or taking the dog to the park. It meant Christmas shopping. Jamming in the mall with thousands of sweaty bodies, getting wrist burn from all the bags. It's going to be like something out of Xena, Warrior Princess.

There's no getting around it, so I'm going to try and make the most of the experience, get a delicious lunch with my mom, be strategic about where to save precious money. Let's all see what sales are cooking this weekend out in retail land:

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