Oh Target, how we love thee. You are there when we need apple juice, there when we need headphones for our iPhone, there when we need new bathroom towels, batteries, and when we are ready to spend too much money on summer dresses.
And now, you are also there for those of looking to put together an affordable wedding trousseau.
Yup. You read that right. Target is now jumping into the wedding dress biz,
Lest we forget our gentleman friends. Guys, don't be afraid to whip out the pink and purple shirts your girlfriend bought you but you immediately shoved in the back of the closet except for when she comes over. Now is the time. If you don't want to go there, think a bold blue, like this turquoise Marc Ecko from Macy's, on sale for $39.99. And please, for the love of all, add a neon tie.
We were feeling pretty cool this week when the Tampa Bay Fashion Week organizers invited the Deal Divas to a mysterious summer fashion party at a secret location. We thought about keeping it all a secret so we could continue to feel cool, but then we realized that runs counter to our mission to, you know, inform you of stuff.
Here's the deal. Tampa Bay Fashion Week is hosting a summertime Bright Nights Underground party from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday, June 7, full of bright colors, live music, wine, candy and, of course, fashion. Tickets are $20. The location is...
Well, even we don't know. That's the fun of it. You have to tune in online to find out, and organizers will inform you on the day of the event where to go. So exciting! Right now, you can get your tickets at MISRED Outfitters and Eugenia Woods in St. Petersburg, or Betty in Tampa.
Theme is bright colors, so dress accordingly. Think neons, bold primaries and secondaries, things you wouldn't pair together on a Monday morning for work. This is your chance to look like a unicorn, so take it! Check the slideshow above for inspirations from Shopbop, Modcloth, Zappos, Betsey Johnson and Macy's. …
For me, the start of Florida's hot summer days always comes with a shopping downer: Have you seen the price of a t-shirt these days?
I'm not looking for fru-fru. I want the basic black, white and assorted colors t-shirt that will be a summer staple. Something with enough shape that I won't look like a snowman. Of sufficient quality to last the next three months. And under no circumstances do I want to spend more than $10.
It's more challenging than it sounds. In years past, I've found success only by stumbling onto one-time sales. But this year, I may have found my long elusive answer, thanks to JCPenney.
Yes, JCP. Once again, we are rediscovering your merits. This time, it's in the form of your slub v-neck t-shirt, which seems to be permanently on sale. It's a tissue-weight shirt in a nice range of colors. The fit runs big, but I have found that going one size smaller than usual produced designer-quality snug.
And at $6.99, I can afford to stock up for summer.
Anyone else have a fav to share? You can't have too many t-shirts, right?
When I talk about shorts, I tend to sound like a disapproving octogenarian. "Look at that hussy in those booty ringers!" (Yes, you may work in that amazing terminology whenever you like.) Something about these lace shorts from Banana Republic brings me comfort. Could it be the sensible length that is longer than teen shorts, but shorter than capris? Could it be? $50.
My three-step action plan for dealing with the end of Memorial Day weekend is as follows:
1. Catch up with an old friend. Coffee, where are you? I need you. Never leave me like that.
2. Approach workload with renewed diligence (may or may not occur as a result of step No. 1).
Now, I'm not here to defend that earworm. But I am dredging up a sore subject to hmm, how do I put this, clarify that white is a great post-Memorial Day wardrobe choice, even if you don't want to squeeze into skinny white denim that may highlight your postérieur.
Been itching for a vacay and some new duds, to boot? Enter sweepstakes by Macy's and New York & Company for a chance at gift cards and a trip for yourself and a plus-one or two or three to NYC. One contest features a chance to meet Martha Stewart.
Eager to take a much-needed summer vacation (and look good while doing it)?
Well, you’re in luck because both Macy’s and New York & Company are hosting contests that will send a few lucky winners and their friends to New York City.
And make haste! Contestants have until 11:59 TONIGHT to enter New York & Company’s “Summer in the City” contest, which will fly one winner and a plus one to the Big Apple on July 3-5 to go on a $500 shopping spree with the assistance of a company fashion designer. The perks don't end there: The winning duo will also enjoy up to $1,000 in fun activities, including two tickets to a Broadway show, a private tour of the High Line and blowouts at The Drybar salon. Entry form, official rules and such here.
If you need a bit more time, not to worry. Macy’s has two contests to choose from:
*If the $1,000 gift card wasn't reason enough to enter, the top contender in the “Macy’s Happy 4th Great American” sweepstakes will win a hotel room and airfare for four to the 2014 (read: next year’s) Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show. Contestants can enter through 11:59 p.m. EST July 4 via web, text message, Instagram or Twitter. …
This is the sort of jacket designed to put on, close your eyes and pretend you're going sailing on some exotic yacht, when really, you are sitting at your desk dialing the number for Jimmy John's. It's marked down from $150 to $84.99, and today, get 35 percent off your purchase with code BRDIVEIN.
Happy Memorial Day! Some of us Divas are at work today, and some of us are enjoying a day off, but in the spirit of keeping things casual on the holiday when most of you are probably still in the rippy pajamas with the reindeer print down the legs, we're skipping the outfit post and instead offering up a few patriotic pieces you can snag on Memorial Day sales today.
Check out the slideshow for some stars and stripes suggestions from Amazon, Macy's, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Chico's. Wishing lots of rest, relaxation and reflection to you and yours. We'll be back with our regularly scheduled outfit post next Monday.
Happy Memorial Day weekend! Let's take time to remember all the service women and men out there and enjoy the long weekend. You might venture into the stores with the extra time, so here are a few sales you might want to check out.
Today through Monday at JCPenney, get an extra 20 percent off regular, sale and clearances prices and 10 percent off furniture if you use a JCP credit card. If you pay another way, save 10 percent off regular, clearance and sale prices. Online use promo code LAUNCH 16. In store, discount is taken at the register.
At Gap, get up to 40 percent off today through Monday on select styles. Kids' denim from $18, women's and men's shorts from $28, dresses from $36 and tees from $10.
Big sales at Macy's on everything from shoes to handbags to jewelry to swimsuits to furniture and mattresses. Online, use pormo code SAVE. And here's a link to an savings pass for an extra 15 percent off.
Get 40 percent off everything at New York & Company, and look for redlines at up to 60 percent off the lowest price. …
I recently dragged the hubby and the toddler to the Bobbi Brown cosmetics counter at Nordstrom's. Call it a family foundation emergency.
When it comes to makeup, I continually learn the hard way that some things are worth paying for. My most recent lesson came when I replaced by beloved Bobbi Brown foundation, $47, with a Sephora brand that was only slightly less painful at $42. The result was a sticky, tacky mess that I had to live with for months.
With that bottle finally kicked, I decided to go back Bobbi, the only brand that I have found is a good color match for my skin tone. But while the saleswoman was applying my tester hue, out came other "reminders."
What is your moisterizer regimen? Lip plumper? SPF-protecting blushable bronze tint?
How many times can a girl say no? In my case, it was one too few. I left not only with my desired foundation but also a plum lip gloss that looked too pretty to resist. By this time, the family was rebelling, so I just swiped.
Only later did I realize with horror that I had paid $24 for lip gloss. At least it is really pretty.
Has anyone mastered the art of countering the cosmetic upsell? Tutor me, please!
With all the talk about spring trends lately, I decided to finally take the plunge and try one I was a bit reluctant about.
I think my love affair with skinny jeans is well documented. And I’ve always been a fan of Capri pants.
But skinny ankle pants??
Wouldn’t the love-child of my two loves just take me back to that awful place when the “floods” (too-short pants) that strained to cover my rapidly growing chicken legs only accented the braces, frizzy hair and squint of a girl whose refusal to wear those large-framed glasses she so sorely needed earned her daily comparisons to middle-school-super-nerd Steve Urkel?
Well, ankle pants – now a darling of celebrities and models strutting spring 2013 runways – have come a long way, my friends. So I couldn’t help but pause when I passed a rack of the colorful pants at Tar-jay a couple months ago.
Here's a slightly different take from Ann Taylor. This, I think, will hold up longer from a style perspective than its chunky neon sisters. And it had better for $68.
A couple months ago, I wandered into a Charlotte Russe store, saw a piece of outrageous aqua neck candy priced at $12.99 and walked out the proud owner of the new bold and chunky beast. What a unique piece of jewelry! Something I had never seen before! This would really make a statement, in the immortal words of Daria Morgendorffer, stand proudly and proclaim I AM!
The following week, former Deal Diva Emily walked into happy hour wearing the exact same necklace, down to the color and the gold hardware, unaware that I had ever made such a purchase. "I have that exact thing," I said, and then showed her the picture above.
Huh. Well, it was probably a fluke, I figured, a total coincidence. That's when, in the next few weeks, I started seeing bubble necklaces pretty much all over the United States of America. I saw them in stores, on people, on Pinterest pages. I walked into Charming Charlie to pick out a Mother's Day gift for my mom and was practically assaulted by bubble necklaces. The tipping point came when I realized that the mean sorority girl who wrote that now-infamous letter was also wearing one in the pictures that went viral. Major fail. …
Nancy Fernandez places price tags on deeply discounted wedding gowns at the Goodwill Industries-Suncoast, Inc., St. Petersburg warehouse in preparation for the Goodwill Wedding Galas.
It's a bittersweet day for brides in Tampa Bay.
Goodwill's Wedding Gala, the bridal dress blowout bringing bargain gowns to locals for the past seven years, will come to an end after two final sales this weekend. Brides have always flocked to this sale, lining up in the wee hours of the morning to get their hands on new designer gowns worth thousands for prices starting at $50. The gala, Goodwill officials told Times business reporter Susan Thurston, has run its course. It was too labor-intensive to host the events and seek donations every year, organizers said. Read the full story here. About 400 dress donations this year come from CC’s Boutique, Athena's Bridal Boutique, Diana's Bridal, Olga's Bridal & Boutique and Priscilla of Boston.
If you want to get in line for the last dress sale probably ever, here's what you need to know: …
Closet shopping spree! I wish I were this cute. This is Julianna Zobrist, wife of Tampa Bay Rays player Ben Zobrist, in her closet.
My wardrobe is enjoying a renaissance that didn't cost me a cent. I've been shopping my closet.
Like Deal Diva Kameel, I've been in need of inspiration. In my case, a move plus a baby created a disorganized closet stuffed with once adored dresses and tops that I haven't worn in two years.
I don't have a lot of spare time to spend in a closet, so I resolved to try on one "new" item each week. And I bought an iron.
The result? Non-stop compliments on items purchased years ago. On Monday, it was a fushcia shift dress inspired by Michelle Obama's first State of the Union appearance. Today, I'm wearing a classic shirt dress, vintage 2001.
I'm not quite sure to do with clothing that seemed trendy when I bought it. Are hardcore ruffles still in? Tribal print dresses with thick belts?
Minus a few tears shed over items that don't fit like they used to, the only downside to shopping your closet is racking up a drycleaning bill. But it's still cheaper than a mall trip!
Looking for shopping deals in Tampa Bay? The Deal Divas are on the prowl, sniffing out hot fashion finds that won't leave your wallet in ruins. Now you never have to miss a shopping deal! Check in often for the lowdown on local bargains, as well as fashion advice, fun photos and style news. Disclaimer: The content of this blog is produced by the editorial staff of the Times and is not tied to advertising. Email us ideas you'd like us to write about.
Stephanie Hayes , addicted to heels for 15 years, has been experimenting with ballet flats, boots and cute sneakers lately. Her poor, tired feet thank her. She can never get enough animal print, and her eye shadow collection has become a bit of a hoard. While other kids were reciting multiplication tables, she was learning to calculate an extra third off the half-price discount during buy-one-get-one week. She knows a healthy swipe of red lipstick can make any outfit better. She can be reached at (727) 893-8716 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie Sanders foolishly spurned pretty dresses and shoes as a child, tossing new clothes over her shoulder at birthday parties with a totally rude "no, thank you." Her drab days of monocolor outfits are over now, and she certainly knows better than to turn down free stuff. Her wardrobe mixes classic with quirk. Think blazers with statement necklaces, and lots of patterned ballet flats. She can be reached at (727) 893-8037 or email@example.com.
A compulsive deal scourer, Michelle Stark is trying to evolve her style philosophy from grab-it-because-it's-cheap-and-worry-if-it-fits later to one that embraces quality staples and more color. When it comes to her closet, it's generally still quantity over quality, but she recently splurged on a treasured pair of Lucky jeans. Progress! Her style leans toward classically cutesy - think Loft, The Limited and Banana Republic, blouses with bows, blazers with polka dots and all the skinny jeans in sight. But she never turns down a trip to a thrift store, or JC Penney. Her greatest sartorial sale achievement was finding her senior prom dress on clearance for $20. She can be reached at (727) 893-8829 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathryn Varn spends most of her fashion energy at thrift stores, flea markets and sale racks at the mall. Her style has ranged from "preppy Hollister defender" to "eclectic hippie aunt," but she has since landed on "vintage career woman who wears sun dresses on the weekends." Her proudest secondhand find was a 1950s blue tea length skirt dotted with sunflowers from Brooklyn Flea, but there will always be a special place in her heart for the pair of high-waisted Levis she cut into jorts during college. Her closet is full of fur-fringed coats from her grandmother, and maybe one day, she'll live in a place cold enough to actually wear them. She can be reached at (727) 893-8913 or email@example.com.
Katherine Snow Smith’s closet is filled with colorful patterns from a Lilly halter with pink and yellow giraffes to a maxi dress with oversized flowers and peace signs. She likes many styles — bohemian, preppy, vintage, classic — as long they’re unique and on sale. She’ll splurge at Saks or Anne Fontaine but favorite spots are T.J. Maxx and consignment stores. Her best purchase? A one-sleeve kaleidoscope-print Valentino blouse from the Sloan Kettering hospital resale shop in New York. (Legend has it Jackie O. used to drop her discards there.) When Katherine was 14 she bought a $29 oversized, velvet-covered anthology of Oscar fashion. She can be reached at (727) 409-3642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lisa Gartner grew up wearing her older brother's clothes (hey Dan!) and kind of never stopped: She still has a few of his button-downs hanging in her closet; luckily his No Fear shirts have been lost to time and sense. A reformed tomboy, Lisa likes to mix masculine and feminine pieces. Her work look is, more often than not, Oxfords with pencil skirts. She owns more baggy sweaters than there are days below 70 degrees in Florida. The bags under her eyes are knock-offs. She can be reached at (727) 893-8707 or email@example.com.
Maggie Duffy got her love for fashion from her mama, and her mama's mama. While she's fond of wearing jewelry handmade by artists, you'll often catch her rocking $1.50 bamboo doorknocker earrings. Bamboo is actually a big motif in her style. Her love of color is evidenced by the many iterations of her hair, which she's having a blast with. She thought her sneaker game was on point until a recent trip where she saw just what she's been missing, so she's resigned herself to work that out. Her personal style can be described as street meets sweet. Years of working retail taught her never to buy full price. She can be reached at (727) 893-8572 or firstname.lastname@example.org.