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Deal Divas

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

Thrift stores jumping on the Labor Day sale train

There's a reason we love thrift stores - they're cheap. There's also a reason we love when thrift stores have sales. 

Hello shopping spree.

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Grills: Fashion fave or faux pas?

Katy Perry and her grill go "ROARRRR!"

Associated Press

Katy Perry and her grill go "ROARRRR!"

Celebrities who got glammed up for this past weekend’s MTV Video Music Awards didn’t stop at outrageous hair, outfits, and robot costumes.

Rather, they decided to put their money where their mouth is – literally.

It seems that a growingly popular fashion accessory among the entertainment elite are grills – y'know, the mouth jewelry whose fame was catapulted to galactic proportions with rapper Nelly’s 2005 musical ode to his “smile on the rocks.”

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The Pants Are Not All Right

We're just not that into you, Twiggy Thigh Highs by James Jeans.

We're just not that into you, Twiggy Thigh Highs by James Jeans.

I often want my fashion both ways. Cheap and trendy. Discounted yet high end. Professional but ready to play.

Then I saw these thigh-high jeans. Excuse me, this "denim equivalent to the little black dress." And I thought, nay, shuddered: I do not want that.

My issue lies not with the $189 price tag for these Twiggy Thigh Highs by James Jeans. It's outside my denim budget but within the range for a really nice pair.

No, my problem lies with the conflicted indecision. Look, it's skinny denim with an ankle zipper! JK, it's a jegging. No, it's skinny denim with a thigh-high skinboot! Wait a second ... it's a hybrid of all the things, and it just makes no sense.

Deal Diva Kameel tipped me off to the jeans this morning, a kind of welcome-back-from-your-peaceful-mountain-retreat-now-look-at-all-this-fug friendship offering. She made a good point: The denim world is oozing with jazzed-up jeans lately, and we're really fond of some of the experiments. One day, we're writing about pulling off patterned pants. The next, the latest rage is cropped, or colored, or both. …

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My Outfit Monday: Consulting the colleagues

This cream blazer didn't make the cut

This cream blazer didn't make the cut

I woke up this morning knowing exactly what I was going to wear. Yay me, right?

I picked up the green skirt a while ago at Revolve Clothing Exchange, and instanly fell in love. (It's the same one I wore to my grandma's birthday party a couple weeks ago)

And then on Saturday, I fell in love again, this time at Marshalls. I really had no idea being in there, but then I spotted this striped blouse for $14.99, and I thought perfect! I'm also a sucker for shirts that tie these days.

But then I had to decide what shoes to wear, and I fell once more -- right back into my bad habit of indecision. 

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Hanging with the boys in menswear styles

Here's a menswear style that's actually on sale because it's a carry-over from the summer. Get ready to clean out those stables and then take an important business call in your chambray! This one is by Chaps, on sale for $20.65 at Kohl's.

Kohl's

Here's a menswear style that's actually on sale because it's a carry-over from the summer. Get ready to clean out those stables and then take an important business call in your chambray! This one is by Chaps, on sale for $20.65 at Kohl's.

Practically every year, the fashion world lets us little bonnie lasses know that it's alright to dress like men. This, to me, feels anticlimactic in 2013, a time when gender roles in fashion have blended past the point of return, slip-sliding ever since Katharine Hepburn started wearing pants. Recently, a colleague of mine went on a shopping spree with a teenage girl and Flo Rida (low, low, low, low), and noticed that the girl picked out both a pair of boyish sneakers and a feminine watch. And it's no longer revolutionary to see a woman in a pair of baggy "boyfriend" jeans or an oversized "grandpa" cardigan. In fact, they can look inherently feminine when paired with more closely-cut styles, and I love that.

Well, anyway, HEY, GUESS WHAT, MENSWEAR IS IN STYLE. Check the slideshow for some options that are filtering into stores right now, from Stuart Weitzman to LOFT to Banana Republic to Kohl's to H&M. We're focusing on new fall trends, so many of these are full priced. But you weren't born yesterday. You know to wait for the sale, especially in Florida, where even a big, burly man can't sweat it out for too long in a tweed menswear blazer.

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Macy's Westshore celebrating its new look Saturday with sales, giveaways

Remember last week, when Deal Diva Stephanie told y'all about the renovations at the Macy's at Westshore? Well the store is throwing a big shindig on Saturday to celebrate, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to swing by.

Why?

Sales, duh.

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Expanded 'Accessories Week' event benefits Tampa Bay charity

This necklace is from Naje Designs, one of about a dozen artists whose works will be featured in the HAUTE Accessories Week fashion show on Sept. 6.

Photo courtesy The Fashion Movement

This necklace is from Naje Designs, one of about a dozen artists whose works will be featured in the HAUTE Accessories Week fashion show on Sept. 6.

Tampa Bay Fashion Week is just around the corner and, because we know you’re totally going, that means one thing: You gots to look good!

But what outfit, makeup and hair ensemble is complete without a piece or two of bling?

Don’t fret. A different type of fashion series scheduled to roll through town the week before promises to satisfy all of your accessories needs.

The Fashion Movement’s HAUTE Accessories Week returns Sept. 3-6 for its third year -- this time with an expanded, action-packed schedule of red carpet and Little Black Dress parties, a designer trunk show and a runway presentation featuring pieces from more than a dozen designers and exhibitors.

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Save 70 percent at ModCloth

This dress didn't get the best reviews, but I'm still a little enamored by it.

This dress didn't get the best reviews, but I'm still a little enamored by it.

I was perusing ModCloth's big "last hurrah" sale this morning, developing some talking points about a horde of items now 70 percent off. With one click, my hopeful, encouraged attitude changed to OH, HECK NO.

A billowy red dress I purchased from the site several months ago is now just $17.99. I bought it closer to full price. Don't you hate when that happens?

Anyway, let's focus away from my feelings and back to the big sale. There are no returns or exchanges, but there is plenty of cute and quirk, now on the cheap. (Call me crazy, but I like this prairie camping dress.)

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My Outfit Monday: Outlet shopping survivor

My haul from the outlet shopping trip, a hard-fought battle that taught me a lot about life.

My haul from the outlet shopping trip, a hard-fought battle that taught me a lot about life.

It's a mirror selfie kind of morning, with my boyfriend out of town and a slate of meetings to run around to all morning. Unfortunately, the dog didn't have opposable thumbs to help out, so we'll have to make do.

I had the sneaking suspicion I showed you this dress before, and it finally clicked. It was in Letitia's goodbye posting, a sad day I want to block out, which is probably why it took me so long to remember.

Anyway, I got this teal and pink wrap dress at the BCBG outlet in Orlando on what was my version of a back-to-school shopping trip, replenishing my wardrobe with a few new items in advance of a busy fall. I had spent the day in Orlando to do some Disney stuff with out-of-town family, and late in the afternoon I broke free and headed off to the Orlando Premium Outlets with my budgeted allowance in hand. …

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New renovations at Macy's Westshore, plus Spanx to spare

The fancy new shoe department in Macy's WestShore.

Chris Zuppa, Times

The fancy new shoe department in Macy's WestShore.

When the Deal Divas hosted the Macy's Spring Essentials event at WestShore Plaza in April, a.k.a, the greatest day of our lives, the store was in the middle of a huge overhaul that promised to make everything shiny and new, attracting new customers like birds to balls of tin foil. All that work is done now, reports Times retail writer Susan Thurston.The store, open for 46 years (!!!), now has upgrades to the handbag, makeup, sunglasses and men's shoe and clothing departments, plus a move for juniors to the second floor where walls have been torn down to create more open spaces and cohesion. There's a new "Impulse" beauty section where you can buy makeup right off shelves, and for the first time, Macy's is carrying MAC products -- smart.

The store is planning a ribbon cutting and in-store specials to mark the occasion on Aug. 24, but we hope to get there even sooner. AND... I don't want to give too much away just yet, but it's looking good for the Deal Divas to make a repeat appearance cracking wise on the runway this fall. Stay tuned! …

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CoverGirl releases sneak peek of new Hunger Games-inspired line

For a second I thought this was J-Law. Nope, just a model with great cheekbones, showing off the District 4 ("Fishing") look from CoverGirl's new Hunger Games line.

CoverGirl

For a second I thought this was J-Law. Nope, just a model with great cheekbones, showing off the District 4 ("Fishing") look from CoverGirl's new Hunger Games line.

Just the other day, I found myself preaching the Hunger Games gospel -- really, is there any reason you havem't read the books yet? They're soooooooo good. The movie's not bad either.

Well, now all you Katniss fanatics have another outlet to express your love for the franchise.

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Wearable Art 9 fashion show catapults run-of-the-mill to the runway

Model Bianca Persechino models a dress artist Lina Teixeira made out of feathers for the The Dunedin Fine Art Center's Wearable Art 9 fashion show on Saturday, Aug. 17.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Model Bianca Persechino models a dress artist Lina Teixeira made out of feathers for the The Dunedin Fine Art Center's Wearable Art 9 fashion show on Saturday, Aug. 17.

It's baaa-aack! The Dunedin Fine Art Center returns this Saturday with the ninth installment of of "Wearable Art," an annual fashion show that transforms everyday household items into haute couture.

From Times correspondent Theodora Aggeles:

Cotton balls, aluminum strips and mops may never seem just utilitarian objects after you see the Dunedin Fine Art Center's Wearable Art show, where artists design, fuse, twist, shape and sew ordinary items into fashions with a wow factor fit for a Paris runway.

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Très bien: Scoping out Maison Jules collection at Macy's

Bonjour, flowy polka dots! Sweep me away to a secret city garden in all of your splendor.

All photos via Macys.com.

Bonjour, flowy polka dots! Sweep me away to a secret city garden in all of your splendor.

Macy's is billing Maison Jules, its new line that hit stores this month, as "Parisian-inspired style: classic pieces with a modern twist."

That description happens to be everything in life that I love. And after perusing the collection in the Tyrone Square location, I have to say it's pretty apt.

Suddenly I have a craving for a baguette, fine cheese, red wine and a picnic blanket spread out before the Tour Eiffel. Maybe this dress had something to do with it. Maybe I should get the dress and do exactly that.

Take a look at some of my favorite pieces in the gallery. Prices range from $17.50 to $119.

And tell me, what do you think? Does anything grab your fancy, or am I just a helpless Francophile who thinks she should go back to bangs this fall?

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My Outfit Monday: Pink shades aplenty

Pink, pink, more pink. And still I wonder, can you really have enough pink?

Photo by Lisa Gartner | Times reporter-photographer

Pink, pink, more pink. And still I wonder, can you really have enough pink?

I scoped out DSW this weekend in effort to help my cousin find dressy wedges for her sister's outdoor wedding. I was so selfless, y'all, passing up all kinds of shoes for myself to focus on the hole in her wardrobe.

Except, fine. In truth, she found zero dressy wedges, and it was I who ended up at the cash register with a little something new. In my defense, it was a rare purchase: a pair of bright blue tennis shoes with yellow laces. I must have had the sporty shoes in the back of my mind when choosing my outfit this morning. It's a rosy ensemble of dainty femininity.

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Beyonce's pixie cut. Yes, or girl, no?

When you look like Charlize Theron, you don't need any hair. At all.

Getty

When you look like Charlize Theron, you don't need any hair. At all.

!!!!!!!!!BEYONCEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYYYOMG.

Ahem. Now that I got that out of the way, let's have a rational discussion about her hair, shall we?

I've had lots and lots of pixie cuts over the years, and although I am in a growth period now, I will probably have another pixie cut one day. They're so refreshing, so freeing, so easy to style in the morning. They give a funky edge to otherwise staid looks. They ooze confidence! And honestly, although it may take some courage to cut it all off, the concept of short hair on a girl in 2013 should not be this big, revolutionary thing, right? We've been allowed to wear pants for a few years now, too.

But how does B wear a pixie, personally? I've heard lots of theories and opinions about Beyonce's look, ranging from "SHE HAS KILLED HER INNER-DIVA," to "Meh," to "IT'S A WIG," to "SHE JUST TOOK OFF A WIG," to "HAHA, REMEMBER WHEN SHE GOT HER HAIR STUCK IN A FAN?" Her stylist contends it is her real hair and she cut it all off. …

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