Hot Summer Sales!

While I do like to stay ahead of the fashion curb, I can never pass up a good sale.  Now is the time to grab some of this summer’s best looks at reduced prices.  It’s still hot so whether you’re stocking up for next summer or trying to stretch out the rest of this year’s heat with fresh looks, here are some sales you do not want to miss.  You may even find items that will carry you into the chillier months as well.
Ralph Lauren – The Last Chance Sale – Take an additional 40% off select already reduced prices for a total savings of up to 70%.
Armani.com – Sale on Spring/Summer Collections.  The sale is on throughout Armani’s different collections.  Prices are already marked and represent about a 40% reduction in original prices.  Sizes are very limited.
Neiman Marcus – The Real Deal Sale – Save 40 to 60% off.  Sale is both online and in stores.

Bergdorf Goodman – The 5F Sale – Save up to 40% off.  One of the great finds is the Band of Outsiders Triangle Stripe Sweater Sweater 

Solstice – Save up to 60% of Designer sunglasses. Some of the top names include Armani, Gucci, Tom Ford, Jimmy Choo and Balenciaga.

High end shopping at a discount!  Happy shopping!

Jimmy & Louboutins …For men!

I have a terrible shoe habit.  Well at least I don’t think it’s terrible.  Afterall my mother told me, “Never wear cheap shoes, you’ll ruin your feet!” And my dad lectured me, “Do not wear the same shoes day to day.  They need time to breath.”  So naturally I’ve listened to both my parents and taken to heart the valuable lessons they so preached.  Maybe that’s why I have a closet full of Gucci and Prada shoes.  But in my defense, I am not hard on shoes and have many pairs that have lasted for years.
Despite my care, some pairs do eventually wear down and no matter of shoe repair, polish, pleading or cajoling will bring them back to life.  Much to my sadness, I have recently had to retire two pairs: my favorite Prada logo slip-ons with the rubber sole and a pair of Gucci horsebit loafers that had seen several visits to the shoe doctor.  So now I’m on the hunt to replace these old standbys.  I have a few selections in mind but I wanted to see what some other new options were out there.
Photo from Christian Louboutin Online Shop
If women can have them why not look at Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin? I must admit I had a pair of blue suede Jimmy Choos in the past. But I was never in love with them so I wasn’t overly disappointed when Jimmy Choo stopped designing for men.  But since they’ve been back I decided to give them and Louboutins another look. I knew both companies have had men’s lines for a few years but I wanted to see if anything floated my boat.
Photo from Jimmy Choo Online Shop

While both offer some really far out designs …Can we say Rollerboy Spikes or the Camoflagued Sloane evening slipper?  Both had some more readily wearable designs that would look great gracing my feet.  First up is the Holborn monkstrap by Jimmy Choo.  This stylish number is a holdover from prior seasons suggesting it will hold its looks for years to come.  It comes in several variations and can be found at higher end retailers and Jimmy Choo boutiques and online.  It makes me sad that I didn’t snap up the suede version when it was on sale several months ago.
Photo from Jimmy Choo Online
From Louboutin, I fell for the Daddy Flat, a tasseled loafer that has a sleek line but still maintains it’s minimalist look.  The Daddy Flat is available in several variations and can be purchased at Louboutin boutiques as well as online.  As expected, it comes with that signature red bottom.  This real gem is truly calling my name!  The Daddy Flat comes in several variations and is available at Louboutin boutiques and online.
Photo from Christian Louboutin Online

With choices like these, I will soon be known as the male Carrie Bradshaw.  DC better watch out! Happy shopping!

Lookout DC Fashion’s Night Out is Coming!

It’s almost that time again!  Fashion’s Night Out (FNO 2012) is less than 1 month away and is shaping up to be one of the hottest events of September.  Originated in NY with a collaboration between the city, American Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers, the event was designed to restore confidence in the economy and celebrate great fashion.  Last year’s Night Out took place in over 18 countries with over 4,500 events held here in the US.  And just like the troupers we are, we Washingtonians braved the downpours to help make the event in our area a huge success! Proving once again that DC does have some fashion sense and we also love a great party!

While you would expect the stylish ladies of DC to strap on their Jimmy Choos and Louboutins and hit the streets in droves, FNO 2012 will also cater to the impeccably groomed men of DC.  After all, who says men aren’t fashionistas and don’t deserve to be pampered, spoiled and treated to an incredible night on the town? Clearly the event planner have recognized this fact.  There will be more than enough to whet your appetite and get you excited for the upcoming fall season with participating stores such as Ralph Lauren, Rag and Bone, J. McLaughlin and Lacoste to name a few along with local favorites Streets of Georgetown and Hugh and Crye.  In fact, this year’s event will boast more the 40 stores with an appeal toward men to entice you throughout the night’s festivities.

FNO 2012 will be held this year on Thursday, September 6th from 6-11p throughout beautiful downtown Georgetown.  With a plethora of events including trunk shows, special discounts, cocktails and other surprises, Georgetown will be the place to be and be seen.  For the latest news and up to the minute information about the Georgetown event, visit http://fnogeorgetowndc.com.  If you can’t make it to Georgetown, there are other events being planned throughout the Washington Metropolitan area as well as online.  Please see  http://fashionsnightout.com/fno/outside-nyc for additional information.  Otherwise grab your credit cards, checkbooks and cash and join be for an incredible evening that will sure to please!

Georgetown’s Fashion Night Out logo from http://fnogeorgetowndc.com.

Rainy Day at the Beach? Outlet Shopping!

Over the summer,  Washingtonians pile into their cars, head over the Bay Bridge and flock to the fun filled beaches of Dewey and Rehoboth in the little state of Delaware.  August is usually spent soaking up the rays but what happens if the weather doesn’t want to cooperate as so happened this weekend?  A rainy day at the beach, typically means 1 of three options: movies, cocktails or outlet shopping.  Since I had no interest in sitting in a darkened theater and I knew cocktails were already planned for later, we chose outlet shopping.

Delaware, home of the no sales tax, is known for it’s great outlet shopping, specifically at the Tanger Outlets.  With over 130 brand name manufacturers and designer outlets broken out in three large shopping centers, a day of shopping seemed just the ticket to chase away the poor weather.  My focus today was to snap up some work staples which would enhance some of the designer duds I’ve already planned for the upcoming season.  Top stores on my list were Ralph Lauren, Coach Men’s, Brooks Brothers, Banana Republic and Cole Hahn. I hoped to leave with some great finds at bargain prices.

Outlet shopping this time a year is always an interesting experience.  Stores are gearing up for back to school and fall but are also trying to clear the decks of their remaining spring/summer merchandise.  Needless to say, there were bargains to be had everywhere you looked.  Coach, Ralph Lauren, Kenneth Cole and Tommy Hilfiger all had sales discounts adding anywhere from an additional 25 – 60% off to already reduced prices.

Banana Republic touted sales of up to 60% off and had both end of season as well as fall looks.  I liked it’s selection for basic work items.  Two of the winners were a short trench raincoat listed at $149 and was 60% off and a suit jacket marked down to $94.  Although the matching pants were not available in my size, the jacket can get lots of uses paired with jeans or gray slacks.

Short Trench
Blue Striped Jacket

Once I got past the trendier looks at Express’ Last Hurrah, I found dress slacks and shirts for under $25 each.  The 40% off sales price was an added bonus to already reduced prices.  My little secret?  These clothes are great looks to leave at the beach in case you want to stay an extra day and be prepared to have something to wear to work when heading back on an early Monday morning.

White Jacket

While I didn’t find anything for work at Calvin Klein, I did fall in love with this hot white jacket.  Slim fit with great details, the jacket has a very modern look.  Marked down, after discounts, to $60, I can still get lots of uses from it for the rest of this season. In addition, Brooks Brothers which is always a hit for classic attire had blazers at 50% off.  I snapped up this number and will be wearing it well before fall hits.  Other great summer attire could be found at J Crew and Vineyard Vines at drastically discounted prices.

Brook’s Brothers Blazer

Most of the sales will last now through Labor Day.  It’s tempting not to blow your entire fall budget now but if you’re in the area don’t miss out! You can still look like a fortune and no one will ever know you spent much less.

The Rubber Shoe as presented by Gucci

Gucci has long been known for it’s luxury leather goods. However the venerable design house also has a tradition of experimenting with different types of materials besides it’s subtle leathers.  One of its successes has been the rain boot.  Accented with its signature green, red and green stripes and embossed with interlocking the G logo, this classic weather protector has become a staple in Gucci’s arsenal.  Despite it’s good looks and styling, these boots are hardly appropriate paired with a business suit for a day on the town during inclement weather. Yet why ruin a good pair of your best leather shoes when the weather is so uncooperative?  Let’s face it, how many of us really want to suffer the time to put on galoshes?
Never fear, Gucci has provided a solution to your weather conundrum.  The rubber boot has been remade into the traditional classic moccasin complete with signature horse-bit detail.  Rubber uppers complete with rubber sole make this the perfect shoe to battle the elements.  While I’m especially fond of the black version with black sole, Gucci also offers these winners in blue and brown variations. The shoes can be purchased directly online at Gucci, Gucci boutiques and select retailers.
Photos www.Gucci.com

Update Fall 2012 Looks with Yigal Azrouel

Over the last few days I have been doing my online window-shopping for the new must have fall looks.  The colder months will be upon us sooner than we anticipate and I certainly don’t want to be caught empty handed without a few new goodies to update and refresh my look. Although I have not begun the annual fall wardrobe purge or even thought about taking out my winter clothes out of storage, I can’t help but look toward the future and see what latest pieces will become classics and enduring staples in my repertoire.
Look 11
So far I’ve only hit a few stores and my wish list has become quite extensive.  Let’s face it.  Given the opportunity I would let my greedy little hands purchase everything that caught my eye.  However since my economics dictate otherwise I have to plan wisely to ensure I can maximize my limited dollars spending dare I say? Budget!  Even with this constraint, my wish list has grown even longer as a result of one designer: Yigal Azrouel.
Azrouel launched his women’s line in 1998 and by 2004 was inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America.  Known and loved for his super feminine designs, his clothes can be found in many of the high end retailers such as Nordstrom’s, Neiman’s and Saks to name of few, his own boutique in the Meat Packing District in New York and as of 2010, his own retail website, http://yigal-azrouel.com.  Fortunately in 2007, men also became the recipients of Mr. Azrouel’s talents with the introduction of his menswear line.
Azrouel has a refreshing take on men’s sportswear.  Although previous seasons have seen some trendy pieces, these looks helped to redefine today’s modern man’s style.  These past seasons have also included some classic pieces that could easily be carried into this season and probably for many years to come.  For 2012, the collection includes very wearable looks with a slight edge.  Stretch twill pants, slouchy wool trousers, fitted jackets and modern knitwear help keep otherwise traditional looks fresh and updated.  I was pleased to see the continued use of the red twill pant carried into fall, which we saw earlier this year from many designers.
Felted Wool Sweater
In my online shopping, I was disappointed that many of these newer looks were not available on the company’s website as of the date of this writing but I did find a nice representation at Saks Fifth Avenue.  The store’s current collection can be seen at http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/Yigal-Azrouel/The-Men-s-Store/shop/_/N-1z12ucnZ52flokZ6lvnb8/Ne-6lvnb6?brandLanding=true. My favorites include the felted wool stripe sweater, the blocked cable knit sweater and the wool knit pants.  One look and you can see why my wish list has gotten longer.  Until next time… Happy Shopping!
Photo’s: http://yigal-azrouel.com and http://www.saksfifthavenue.com

Fall 2012: Destination – Neiman Marcus

Etro

Yes the fall 2012 fashion shows have come and gone and we are well in the midst of one of the hottest summers on record.  Still August is now here and back to school is just around the corner.  So as early as it may seem, it’s no surprise that it’s time to start focusing our attention on some items to look forward to for the upcoming fall/winter months.  After last winter’s less than chilly reception, I’m almost hesitant to restock my closets with new items when last year’s looks barely had a chance to make a proper debut.  In all honesty, a couple of items never left the closet. However I say… new season, new looks.  The stores are stocking up and notices of fall sales are starting to hit the mailboxes and emails. Naturally this is the time that I like to start to look for my favorite items and must-haves for the season.  Before I venture out into the stores I like to browse online to see what my favorite retailers are carrying. This week, I hit Neiman Marcus.

Etro Striped V-Neck
Those that know me, know I am a huge fan of Etro, which combines bold patterns and color with classic styling.  Last winter, I was crazy for Etro’s striped crewneck sweater which was one of last year’s hits.  This year, Neiman’s has Etro back again with another hot striped number.  This time, it’s v-necked with a new exciting colorblind.  Shown with bright pink courdoroys, this must-have could also be easily toned down with some darker trousers.  I foresee this sweater to be in heavy rotation and rarely hidden in the back of any closet.  Another favorite was the paisley, plaid combination muted by a gray cardigan sweater.  This look successfully blends the two competing patterns with a cool sophisticated look. Lastly in Etro, are the brown mini-checked trousers; I see these as a staple.  Love them!
Alexander McQueen
I also believe that one can never have too many sweaters to look good and fight off the cold.  While the classics are back chucky, shawl and cardigan, it’s nice to see the new takes designers have on these enduring styles.  Having missed last year’s Fair Isle looks, I was delighted to see McQ Alexander McQueen’s version.  That along with Dolce and Gabana’s Chunky button neck sweater almost make me wish for it to be cold enough to sport these looks now.  For something a little dressier, I recommend the Ivy Print cardigan from Alexander McQueen.  A very trendy look but not too over the top especially paired with a good white dress shirt as shown by Alexander McQueen or the modern fit shirt by Armani Collezioni.
One of the most enduring looks is the peacoat which continues to reign well into 2012.  Neiman’s is showing noteworthy coats from the likes of Zenga, Vince, Gucci, Varvatos and Michael Kors ranging all price ranges but the one that caught my I was from Armani Collezioni. Seen here in a light gray color this is a nice diversion away from the traditional black and blue coats.
Armani Collezioni
Nothing completes a look better than a good pair of shoes.  First up are these Tom Ford split-toe oxfords in a glossy burgundy.  Completing the shoe trifecta are these two looks from Gucci: the black double monkstrapand the brown leather lace-up.  Brown, black and burgundy what more would you need?  I can see all three styles being around for years to come.
Tom Ford
Picking just these few favorites was quite a difficult task as there were some great looks being shown in Fall 2012 launch. It makes me excited to see what in the store and what’s coming out as the season progresses.  The trick now is to snap up the hit items before they are sold out.  Happy shopping!
All photos from www.NeimanMarcus.com