Today, I have for you a topic many shoppers tend to ignore: email subscriptions and loyalty accounts. Yes, almost every store ever has them, and yes, they seem very spammy and annoying (and they absolutely can be), but they can also be invaluable.
Case in point: I just saved 15%, received three free samples, a birthday gift, and an award gift all at the same time on my Sephora stop just yesterday. That means four full-sized products and three samples for the measly price of my one hair purchase. And I had to do nothing but give them a phone number.
Now, like I said, handing out phone numbers and emails can be bothersome. No one wants to be spammed with daily emails (sometimes even hourly) declaring sale after sale after sale. Yet these can also be useful when you are in the market for a certain product. My solution? Make a completely separate shopping email. Use a straightforward ID that you can comfortably spell to cashiers and is preferably not your full name. In about five minutes, you will have an organized and easy place to accumulate all of your accounts and emails without tainting your work or personal addresses.
Especially for beauty and fashion lovers, I absolutely urge you to make this tiny, free effort for your favorite brands and suppliers. I will shamelessly admit that I have dozens including Sephora, Ulta, MAC, Urban Decay, Too Faced, MUFE, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales…The least you will get out if is a nice sign-up bonus and/or sample, and the best is a lifetime of savings.
A few months ago, I came across the Christian Louboutin Susanna Pumps and fell in instant love with their criss-cross ankle strap and sexy pointed toe. This, I thought, is the kind of genius shape that made Mr. Louboutin a staple. However, my two reasons for not jumping on them then and there were (1) I did not want to settle for black leather–God knows I have enough black heels–and (2) they were, of course, out of stock everywhere in my size.
Then, just a week ago, I discovered the Nine West NanuraPumps, which had a suspiciously familiar gorgeous shape as well as two additional color options. Well, needless to say, I ordered them immediatelyandI have since been waiting patiently to share this review with you.
Now, I am going to do a point-by-point comparison of the differences between the two, amended by action shots. Hopefully this helps give you an idea.
Price: CL $845 vs. NW $99.99 (but on sale now!)
Heel:CL 4 in. (but feels taller) vs. NW 3.75 in. (but feels shorter)
Sizing: my size was CL 37 vs. NW 6
Leather: Unfortunately, NW in this case skimped on leather quality. NW: thin and stretchy vs. CL: thicker and sturdy
Toebox: Now this was the dealbreaker for me. CLs have mastered the art of the curved pointed toe, but the NW felt too long in the front and too flat in terms of leather (my toes would definitely leave unseemly stretch marks there). If you have large feet, I would highly recommend against the NW. Winner: CL.
Colors:CL has 6 (black leather, nude leather, multicolor suede, animal patent, green patent, spiked) and NW has 3 (black leather, nude suede, blue suede). I personally like the NW suede best.
VERDICT: NW made an admirable dupe which may work for those who prefer lower heels, but for me, the curves of the arch and toebox are dealbreakers.
As a shoe addict matured far too late, there is a frustrating amount of past Christian Louboutin styles on my “if I get ridiculously lucky” wishlist (which, unfortunately, grows much faster than I can fulfill it). You know that feeling when randomly spot a shoe that is just perfect and you frantically search for it for hours online and you finally find it on season-end sale at Barney’s Warehouse only to discover that it has been sold out? Well, that is the story of my love affair with Louboutin…and the exact narrative of how my wishlist gained its longtime number one. I introduce to you: Christian Louboutin La Favorita 140 Pumps.
See, there are two things about this designer that are as disheartening as they are defining: sizing and scarcity (well, at least for seasonal styles). Sizing is an all-time concern that requires several levels of mastery: (1) of the brand in general and its toe-crunching cuts, (2) of the time of production, eg. old vs. new Pigalle, and (3) of course, of every individual style, which inexplicably vary up to three whole sizes (I am serious–I own a 35 as well as a 37.5). As if all this does not make it difficult enough to find the right fit, Louboutins are also inexplicably scarce, limiting themselves to only a handful retailers with very limited stock online. I mean, we live in a time where you can buy hundreds of thousands of dollars of the finest jewelry with a click. Are you really telling me that your $700 shoe warrants an exception?
Anyway, this whole rant is merely background for my four-year search for these strappy babies that began, as usual, with a picture. A picture of a model/socialite/whatever whose long legs ended with the nude version of the La Favorita and had me obsessed under three seconds. I had to play quite a bit of the creative keyword game on Google before discovering this style’s name, then quickly finding that I had just missed the end of its 2012 sale term. I then looked on Far Fetch, eBay, Yoogi’s–anywhere I might possibly find it in boxed and new, but no such luck. I repeated this process regularly over almost four years until I magically came upon my size (or so I guesstimated) just last month. Note: in case it helps you, I bought size 37, which fit fine though my TTS of 36.5 may have been better.
Needless to say, many outfits have ensued. I am the type of girl who proudly wears impeccable outfits no matter the situation because, hey–it feels good to look good, and even better to look better than everyone else. So if you are wondering how a medical student gets to wear so much Vero Cuoio, there is your answer. And yes, I can walk in these heels…easily. Give me platforms and I will sprint in six-inch stilettos if you want.
Now, as you may guess, my tastes have changed over four years. I actually have more boxes of Jimmy Choo than of Louboutin, and my favorite heel of all time is currently a drop-dead gorgeous pair of suede Aquazzura stilettos–a designer which mostly has me infatuated. You will hopefully be seeing more of my shoe closet as I figure out how to more smoothly integrate OOTD posts in the future.
Hello all, and happy almost spring! I apologize in advance to you cold weather folks, but here in Cali spring is more or less here, and in my city, that means cool mornings and sunny afternoons. This was infuriating at first (who wants to choose between shivering on the way to work and boiling the walk home?), but after two years here, I have learned to navigate the bipolar spring skies.
Here I am clad in my biggest, most versatile secret: tencel. I discovered the magic of this fabric only recently, and I don’t know how I ever lived without it. You know that soft, lived-in feel your favorite jeans get? Take that and multiply by 10x quality and comfort. If you own anything that is 100% tencel (which is not very common in modern brands, so no judgment), you know exactly what I am talking about.
Anyway, the other upside of tencel is that it stabilizes temperature thanks to the consistency and breathability of the fabric. Read: you can wear it in the heat or the cold…which is precisely why it makes for the perfect all-weather utility jacket. And shorts. Also slacks.
– Max Jeans Tencel Jacket: an uber-comfy, roomy fit and feel even at XS. Earthy olive color with antique gold hardware. 6 pockets. It is my go-to for toning down any everyday outfit.
– Equipment Lace Top: this is from seasons ago hence probably out of stock forever, but all it is is a nice all-lace blouse that goes under everything.
– Tencel Floral Shorts: no brand vintage tencel shorts from lord knows where.
– Sbicca Sound Fringe Booties: these are my recent favorites! It took me forever to find these in stock in a size 7 and the taupe color. They are extremely fun, statement makers, and go well with my vertically limited legs.
As a petite girl, I do not exactly go crazy over flats, but trekking the California slopes in 5-inch heels is not always a feasible option. Hence, low wedges (and platforms!) are my new-found obsession. And my goodness, have I been going nuts over this pair for months. I introduce to you: the Loeffler Randall Jules Nubuck Wedges.
These shoes have a solid 3.5″ heel to lengthen your pins, 0.5″ (though I’d say even slightly higher) platform to keep you comfortable, luxe imported nubuck leather exterior, and a sexy little ankle strap complete with a glossy clasp in my favorite color. Sounds perfect, you say? Well, the $325 price tag agrees.
I was in love with these at first sight as both wedges and d’Orsays are a short girl’s best friends, but as a student, $300 for every pair of shoe is not exactly in my budget. Obviously, Loeffler Randall is a higher end brand, so I decided the quality would probably be worth lurking the net until I found some kind of sale–it’s Christmas time, after all!
Well, I lurked for weeks. And months. These babies are sold out in my popular size 7 in all major retailers like Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, so I knew I wasn’t going to be able to try them on before buying. So I read every review I could, and found this fashion blogger who wears them a lot:
On her, I think, they look even lower, so I got even more excited–could these finally be my new “flats”? The one thing I was worried about, though, was the narrowness–you can see here that it is definitely narrowly cut, and a couple reviewers mentioned this too. I don’t have particularly narrow feet, but I wanted them so much I was willing to risk it.
Anyway, as luck would have it, one day I actually found them at a secondhand luxury store in a size 7. I mean, this stuff doesn’t ever happen to me. I thought it must be meant to be. But then I also realized that these shoes were worn, and well, while I’m all for thrift clothing, shoes–closed shoes especially–is pushing it for my germaphobe triggers. Plus, I still didn’t even know if it would fit!
Although I was feeling like a brat at refusing a miracle find, I decided to stay on the lurk. And last week, my friends, it finally paid off. I ordered the last size 7 pair of Jules wedges from Amazon on sale on Friday after finishing my last final and feeling like a champ.
Well, they came in today, and without further ado:
I got excited and tried them on right under my baggy old winter sweater in my room, so I apologize in advance for the outfit and the background.
As you can see, I have no sizing problems, length or width wise. They are extremely comfortable as expected, and although I am used to much higher heels, I think the super-low arch on these should work for just about anyone. They look and feel as expensive as they are. The toe is more pointy than what the pictures online showed, but I am fine with it–if anything, it makes them look even classier. I honestly cannot think of a single negative comment right now.
Anyway, there you have it. If you are in search of a comfy, versatile wedge to feel put together without killing your feet, this is the one. Happy holidays!
As promised, here is finally my post on my beloved, beautiful Celine tote: the Celine Yellow Pony Calfskin Mini Luggage Bag from Fall 2013. I purchased it on sale this past summer by a truly magical turn of fortune and have never looked back since.
The above picture is from the collection page, but I feel like it does not do the bag justice–the sides look almost black and the front is so yellow-tinted. So here is my own picture:
As you can see, the front is almost white (more cream than yellow, certainly) and the grey sides definitely stand out from the black frame. It is a soft but sturdy pony calfskin leather overall, including the inside, which makes it super easy to keep clean. The tote is also extremely roomy, so my only possible complaint would be that it can get quite heavy if loaded–but as will every other structured silhouette of this size. Overall, I’m IN LOVE with this bag…as I am an avid fan of black-and-white, it goes almost ridiculously well with every outfit I wear.
Anyway, once I brave more and more OOTD posts, I am sure that you will be seeing this gem very frequently. I don’t have a huge bag collection as of yet, but Celine is at the top of the list without doubt. It will take a lot to overcome my addiction to this one.
Please PM me for any specific questions about price, location, where and how I got it on sale, etc.