22 February 2013

As a Phoenix desert resident, my “spring cleaning” generally takes place somewhere between summer’s 115 degree temperatures and winter’s rainy monsoon season. However, when I lived in the great Midwest, that distinct turn from winter weather to sunny spring always inspired me to open the windows, air the place out and get to cleaning.

I imagine those of you in New York are gearing up for that much desired weather about-face. As you prepare to usher in chirping robins and skinny squirrels who’ve reluctantly crawled out of their cozy hibernations, start thinking about your own spring cleaning. And, more specifically, organizing your wardrobe.

Below I’ve briefly outlined what to do with garments you no longer want to keep. Let the list inspire you to get rid of things, if not for more closet space than for a little extra dough in your back pocket.
Anything with sentimental value, for example, should be kept.

1. Store it

Let’s face it. Going through your closet isn’t a black and white process. You have a “keep pile,” a “toss pile” and a “Eh… I’m not really sure what I want to do with this yet” pile. The lattermost is the trickiest. After all, the last thing you want to do is regret your decision to toss something out. Anything with sentimental value, for example, should be kept. Designate a box for “maybes,” label it as such and then thoughtfully re-visit the clothes again on another day.
Organize your wardrobe and cash in your profits

2. Sell It

As someone who frequently moves, my favorite part of spring cleaning is getting rid of things (fewer things to pack up later). What makes it even more fun, though, is cashing it all in. I’ve become quite good at this and, honestly, could write a whole book on the process. I’ll give you a few highlights and tips below, though.

– Sell it online via online via eBay or Craigslist. Craigslist is fee free, but it will require more of your time and the ability to coordinate your schedule with buyers’ schedules. High end items in good condition do best. I prefer eBay because it’s less work.

– If it’s vintage (especially high end), consider selling it on Etsy. Especially if you have a lot of it. You’ll have to pay seller fees, but the Etsy platform attracts thousands of buyers willing to spend money on high quality. Always take attractive pictures and detail blemishes, dimensions and any pertinent information.

– Head to a local consignment shop. This requires the least amount of your time and you won’t get the whole profit, but at least you still make money on your goods. Always call ahead to see what the shop needs most and bring your garments clean and on hangers.
Donate the unwantables  to local homeless shelters or thrift stores

3. Give It Away

There will always be a few garments that others don’t want. For example, clothing that shows its age or has tears, stains or pilling are not going to sell. Consignment shops will simply reject them and online buyers won’t bite. For these, let’s call them “unwantables,” your best bet is to simply donate.

You have several options. First, you can offer them for free on websites such as Craigslist and Freecycle. This is nice because anyone who claims them will come to you.

Alternatively, you can donate them to local homeless shelters or thrift stores. Donating to a registered charity allows you to claim tax deductions. Always ask the organization for a proper form.
Re-invent and recycle your old clothes

4. DIY it

If you’re crafty (or want to be crafty), thoughtfully examine any “unwantables” and re-invent them. For example, old frocks with pretty patterns can easily be turned into throw pillows or re-cover an old chair. Check YouTube or Pinterest for thousands of ideas.

You can also upcycle an old garment by adding to it or changing it in some way. Again, lots of ideas are available online. The below blogs are some of my favorite DIY Fashion blogs — let them inspire your own creations!

P.S. I Made This…

Studs and Pearls

Love Meagan

DIY Fashion Tumblr

By Wendy Rose Gould

Posted by Wendy Rose Gould at 09:00 AM
Opinions , Points of View , Shopping News , Shopping Trends , The City , Tips Guides |

6 October 2011

In the “Groupon Age” of deal making websites, for everything from price slashed cashmere sweaters to next to nothing bar tabs and even bargain European excursions, the offerings are overwhelming. Luckily there are category-specific discount websites out there (phew!), offering a taste specific collection of hand picked items.  Fab, HomeSav, One Kings Lane, and The Foundary are four of TheStylishCity’s favorite markdown makers, providing us savvy shoppers with an array of home décor items for every liking. is geared toward the creative eye and “Do It Yourself” decorator. Their hip edge brings fun into the home with many art and music inspired pieces. Among this week’s sale is their popular Art Vinyl, a collection by Play & Display that frequents the site given its popularity. It combines music and décor, providing you with pop-art flavored album covers and modern frames, costing you $98 for a display of three. Other playful finds include pay-per-tab carpet (allowing you to mix and match patterns and colors), funky avant-garde coffee table books, and Discover Electronics surface illuminating bulbs. As a bonus, Fab offers you $30 if you have ten of your friends sign up – quite the deal considering the low prices throughout the site!

If your home décor tends to be a bit modest, then is your spot. HomeSav spices up the typical “Plain Jane” and gives her a splash of color and edge. Half off prices for safe bet brands such as Mikasa, ARC, and Cullin Home provide you with all your staples right off the bat. The rustic brand Rose & Iris is featured this week with accent pieces that would be the perfect addition to a quiet corner of your winter cabin. In keeping with the cabin theme, HomeSav also features moderately priced furniture ($250-$2,2200) such as a Roman Wine Pedestal ($238, originally $700), Traditional Bakers Rack ($694, originally $1,735), and a Somerset Sofa table ($2,219 originally $11,200!).

One Kings Lane is home fashions fit for royalty! My favorite of the four, this site offers endless deals but with pricier pieces that use the perfect blend of old and new styles. Heavy on vintage and antiques, One Kings Lane has fun with their site, utilizing top interior designers as their personal shoppers within their “Tastemaker Tag Sale” section. Depending on the designer, these home fashions can range from shabby chic to rustic to oriental themed and all are combined onto one exclusive page with every piece complimenting the next. Another fun section is their “Five Rooms in Five Days,” exhibiting furniture, accents, art and bedding properly paired for the various rooms in your home such as the guest room and the foyer. Furniture featured here is expensive but distinctive, a painted and distressed chest is listed for $899, marked down from $1980 and an exclusive, one of a kind Louis XV Style Bergere & Ottoman is on sale for $1,729. Even if you can’t afford most pieces, One Kings Lane provides endless inspiration and enlightening ideas to consider before your weekend garage sale shopping.

The Foundary offers the best deal for those trend-setting shoppers and furniture lovers. For every accepted invite you send your friends, The Foundary gives you a $1 credit and a $20 credit the first time that friend purchases with an additional $1 for every purchase thereafter! The Foundary’s clean, easy to use website shows you everything up front, perfect for a quick glance. Their “What’s Selling” scroll features that day’s trends such as today’s gorgeous Oak Home Bar ($640) and La Rosa Pub Table + 4 Chairs ($780). Their use of modern, vintage, retro and chic presents something for everyone and feature brands such as House of Honey. Fun pieces can also be discovered in their quirky titled sections such at home ping pong sets and geotoys. In addition, their three-day preview gives you an advanced look on upcoming super saving opportunities.

We are ladies on the go who love to shop (and get the best deals!) – it’s so refreshing to have sites dedicated to making our lives easier. These four sites do just that and make it fun. Seeing the ticking clock next to that to-die-for vintage, oak bookcase ignites our adrenaline, pushing us into full gear trying to get the deal before it’s too late. Other websites such as Gilt, Hautelook, Rue La La and Ideeli have dedicated home décor sections as well, featuring cool nick-nacks, trendy artwork and kitchen staples but the truth is focus your times on Fab, HomeSav, OneKingsLane and The Foundary and by this time next year your bank accounts will be heavier and your home be the envy of the block – but don’t worry, your secret is safe with us.

By Caitlin Colford

Posted by Caitlin Colford at 10:28 AM
bargain news , DECOR |

9 August 2011

With the United States losing its triple A credit rating last week, frugality seems to be the order of the day once more. The chief philosophy of the frugal has always been DIY – do it yourself. Over the years we have seen this philosophy become more and more popular, with people decorating their own apartments, cooking gourmet meals at home, even brewing their own beer at home.

Are DIY beauty regimens the way of the future? We hope notBut what about your beauty regimen? Especially here in New York City, professional styling has long been a feature of many women’s lives. With a huge population of working women, having that place to go where someone knows what they’re doing is a godsend for many. But even apart from that, there is the rest and relaxation element too – when you can sit back, close your eyes and let someone else do all the nit-picky beauty work so you don’t have to, it lifts a weight from your shoulders.

If you haven’t guessed it yet, we’re not huge fans of the DIY beauty scene that has been emerging of late. “Getting the professional look at home” is the new marketing agenda for the big beauty brands.  Clearly an attempt to take advantage of the changing financial status of the average consumer, this move will no doubt prove successful in certain sectors.

Isn’t it a little patronizing though? In fact it is patronizing on two levels. One: These big beauty brands are pretty much saying “you have no idea how to make yourself look good, you need to buy our products if you want to resemble a human being again.” Two: They are effectively saying that the years of training and experience that beauty professionals possess is worthless – this magic Olay potion will do the trick!

“The goal is for simple application with professional results. Getting people to look like they had a makeover but they did it themselves in 15 minutes is what everyone is going after,” said Stu Dolleck, president of NuWorld, a leading cosmetics contract manufacturer, speaking to Women’s Wear Daily.

If your goal is to do something in fifteen minutes that would normally take much longer, there is only one name for that; a quick fix. And that’s fine if that’s how you promote it – we all need a quick fix beauty solution when we are short on time (or money). But the issue is that that’s not how it is being promoted – these products are being presented as miracle solutions.

Expecting beauty corporations to act responsibly – or indeed to promote the merits of hard working beauty professionals – is somewhat naive of us of course. We don’t even suggest that you don’t buy these products – we all need a well stocked beauty kit and there’s no doubt some of these products will have their plus sides. But what we do want to do is highlight the benefits of going to a pro when you can afford it.

As we have said before, these people are professionals and that means something. Whether we’re talking about manicurists, hairdressers, waxers, skincare experts – these people have spent years learning their trade and they practice their skills day in and day out. When you are in the hands of a professional, you can relax and let them do their thing, safe in the knowledge that they know what they are doing. No instructions to read on the back of the bottle, no trying to multi task while your nails dry.

Think about it like going to the dentist. You wouldn’t try and pull out your own tooth when you get a toothache – or at least we hope you wouldn’t. You would go to a professional to get it taken care of. However, while you wait for your appointment, you’ll most likely take some painkilling drugs like Tylenol or Advil. Well, those are the quick fix solutions, like the DIY beauty products are the quick fix solutions of your beauty regimen. Ultimately, when you want something done properly, you go to a pro.

Whatever your situation, you can never replace your manicurist with a shiny bottle of Maybelline, or your hairdresser with a bottle of brown stuff featuring Kim Kardashian on the box. And we think that’s a good thing, because you can’t beat the professional touch. There is no better resource for expert beauty advice than a trained and experienced professional, and ironically that advice is more necessary than ever with all these new products flooding the market.

Posted by Staff Writer at 01:44 AM
bargain news , BEAUTY |

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