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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ann Taylor LOFT: Epic Fail

I had a troubling experience at Ann Taylor LOFT today. Normally we're singing LOFT's praises on our blog (just earlier today we featured one of their tops, and last week we featured their faux fur vest), but after today, I'm not sure I'll ever set foot in one of their stores again.

A zipper broke on a dress I'd payed full price for. I forget exactly how much it was, but it was in the $60-$70 range. I'd worn it maybe 3 times. The zipper broke on the second washing (and yes, I washed it on gentle per the care instructions). It didn't seem to make sense to pay $20+ to replace the zipper on this $60 dress. So I took it into LOFT hoping they could either fix it or give me some sort of credit. Nice as can be, I explained the situation to the sales girl (who also happened to be the manager).

"We can give you the current selling price since you don't have the receipt," the sales girl said.
 "Ok, and what's that?" I asked.
 "Well let's's on sale for $4.85, and plus an additional 25% that will be $3.88."

My jaw dropped. SERIOUSLY?? THREE DOLLARS AND EIGHTY EIGHT CENTS? I'd be fine with her saying $40. Or even $30. I understand that things go on sale, and I didn't have my receipt. But a lousy $3.88? It seemed like a big "screw you" to me.

Interestingly enough, the exact same thing happened to a friend of mine two weeks ago- she had a LOFT dress that turned her skin green from the dye every time she wore it. So she took it back and got the same lousy "current selling price" treatment- but at least she got $7 out of the deal rather than $3.88.

I think this policy is atrocious. I understand that things go on sale, but honestly, who ACTUALLY could have bought this dress for $3.88? It flew off the shelves at full price- I refuse to believe it actually sat around on the sales rack long enough to be reduced to a price that's cheaper than a sandwich. Maybe hypothetically that's the selling price, but practially speaking, give me a break.

So. I refused the $3.88 credit and instead called the company. Supposedly my complaint has been forwarded to corporate and they should contact me in 3-5 days. We'll see if that happens. Until then, shame on LOFT for this shoddy return policy. Until this changes, I'll be taking my money elsewhere.

*Just wanted to clarify based on comments- I did ask if they would replace the zipper or pay the replacement cost, and received the response "That's just not something we do." Either repair or credit would have been fine with me!*

Cowgirl Up!

I owned a denim shirt 1991. It was light denim. It was blousey. I wore it (tucked in) with black jeans from Limited Too. Yep...I apologize to those of you who may have been eating while reading that. It was NOT pretty (though what early 90's attire was?)

So, I was intrigued to start noticing that denim shirts are back with a vengeance- but these are much more fitted, with a vintage/western inspired silhouette, a little darker, meant to be worn untucked, and are entirely flattering. Check out the pretty lady on the right, who happens to be none other than Jenna Lyons. Maybe not all of us could get away with the denim on denim look, but with her cigarette jeans and Loubouitans, she makes the Texas tuxedo look entirely chic (and in NYC, no less).

Photo via The Sartorialist

Then I was watching the season premiere of Community the other day, and noticed Britta's fab denim shirt. I loved the darker color, the strategic fading (she's third from left here). Oh, and who are we kidding, this is also our excuse for a gratuitous Joel McHale pic!

Here's Ashley or Mary Kate looking entirely less "Trollson" and much more "Olsen" thanks to her relaxed denim shirt.

Here's Reese Witherspoon rockin' her denim shirt (denim on denim, actually).

Guys can even get in on this look, though we'd suggest skipping the tatt sleeves.

The great news about denim shirts is that this is a trend that doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg- actually, the cheaper the better, since the denim "work shirts" that inspired this trend didn't come from Bergdorf, right? It's my dream to find an vintage, well-worn Wrangler denim shirt with pearl snaps and slightly western styling at a thrift store or on Ebay. But as my quest continues, here are a few other options that I might turn to.

Madewell Campfire Shirt

What do you think of the denim shirt trend- are you on board, or it it too cowgirl for you? Bad 90's flashbacks? Or a great trend for fall?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

MoS Marketplace: "I Married Adventure" and "Four Years in Paradise"

Back by popular demand! Two copies of Osa Johnson's I Married Adventure and one ultra-rare copy of its sequel, Four Years in Paradise, have just been listed.

Four Years in Paradise- fabulous giraffe cover- click here for details and to purchase! *SOLD*

I Married Aventure - one copy is out of the Manhattan Public Library - I love the nostalgia! Click here for details and to purchase! *BOTH SOLD*

Chic Jewelry Displays

I vividly remember receiving my first jewelry box as a little girl.  It was white on the outside and lined in shiny turquoise fabric (polyester?) with a ballerina who danced en pointe when you wound the back and opened the box.  I used it to store my beloved panda ring (which I believe was only popular in my hometown of Gastonia, as no one else seems to have shared my affection for this objet d'art), my charm bracelet, and a Swatch Watch or two (often worn together, of course).  Today, however, my jewelry box holds only those pieces that I don't have occasion to wear on a regular basis.  The fact is, if I don't have the jewelry readily accessible or on display, I just do not remember to wear it.

Many us of today have opted against keeping jewelry (especially paste jewelry and beads) in that dusty leather box in the back of the closet and instead are displaying it front and center for the world to see.  It's a great colorful accessory that can look so chic in your home.

My sister stores her costume jewelry in vintage teacups and saucers in her dresser drawer.  The contrasting colors of the teacups and jewelry inspire some fabulous color combinations like turquoise and coral!

A lamp atop a lucite dresser perfectly displays necklaces and earrings in this Lonny vignette.

Outside the bedroom, a turquoise beaded necklace is a chic addition to an hermes-orange coffee table tray.

Alaina of Live Creating Yourself uses teacups and saucers to display jewelry in her beautiful bedroom. 

Bangle bracelets are some of my favorite accessories- the more the better! 

Arrange them into colorful rows....

Or build a tower of patterned enamel bracelets...
Apartment Therapy

Inspired by the towering stacks of bangles above and tired of hiding my bracelets in the closet, I decided to buy this heavy brass statue.  MoS Washington and I found her during a much too short trip to the Sleepy Poet just before closing time on Sunday.  I think she is actually a ballerina, which is a meaningful nod to my childhood jewelry box.

I placed her atop my dresser and added my favorite bangles. 

The ballerina is up to her eyeballs in bracelets...

So I removed a few bangles for a less haphazard look.

  Interested in a creative way to display your jewelry?  Try thinking outside the box and re-purposing something you may have never considered.  For example, this leggy brass crane just listed on MoS Marketplace is perfect for holding a very tall stack of bracelets!

Do you display your jewelry in a unique way?  Tell us about it!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

CK Bradley Takes a Bow

We were sad sad sad to hear last week that preppy-chic purveyor CK Bradley is closing its doors in November 2010. We're not sure what the back story is, but we had noticed of late that it was getting a bit harder to find her clothing in accessories in boutiques. We're sad to see this company go- Camilla Bradley was a great inspiration for young women looking to strike out in the fashion business and stick to their own aesthetic point of view. She created not just a brand or a look, but a lifestyle- it seems like she was always doing something fun and glamorous!

Don't miss their big big sale going on - this may be your last chance to pick up a CK Bradley item!

Partisan Accessorizing- are you ready for November 2nd?

With election day only weeks away, races across the country are heating up. Congress is getting ready to ditch Washington to campaign full time, and it's safe to say that the nation is waiting with baited breath to see exactly what happens in November.

No matter which side of the aisle you support, we love the idea of showing support for your party in clever ways. Campaign memorabilia is not always very stylish or subtle, but elephant and donkey accessories can make a chic AND political statement. We'll vote for that!

For wearing around town, try...

Stubbs and Wootton slippers in your party of choice

Large elephant head buckle by Mimi di N. They make a fabulous assortment of elephant belt buckles (which do not fly under the radar, trust us)
Gold/Silvertone Large Elephant Head

Ferragamo elephant tie. Perfect for the office.

Donkey Cufflinks by Jan Leslie. Lovely for even the non-election years.

Donkey Pin- you coulfd put this on a chain and wear it as a necklace to make it a bit more modern.
Vintage 1930s Sterling Silver Made in Mexico Burro Donkey Pin Brooch

For hosting an election return viewing party, try some funky home or bar accessories.

Elephant bottle opener
RARE cast iron GOP ELEPHANT beer soda pop BOTTLE OPENER

Donkey bottle opener

L'Object Elephant Candle
Luminescence By L'objet - 14K Gold Black Elephant Aromatherapy Candle in Limoges Porcelain

For couples who may not see eye to eye, but want to keep a level playing field (don't know how Mary Matalin and James Carville manage it, but more power to them!), we'd suggest

Smathers & Branson democrat belt and republican belt
Smathers and Branson Democrat Needlepoint Belt

Smathers and Branson Republican Needlepoint Belt

Jonathan Adler Donkey Bank and Elephant Bank (insert joke regarding taxes/stimulus/financial crisis here)
Jonathan Adler Donkey Bank

Are you sporting any partisan accessories these days?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Boy Oh Boy!

As any mother of a little boy can attest, it's the little girls that seem to have cornered the market for ooh-and-aah worthy clothing and accessories. Girls get a wonderland of pink and ruffles, or cheerful graphic prints, while boys are often stuck with the same tired red, blue and boats routine. However, we've recently felt inspired by some fabulous and thoughtful boys' rooms that are anything but blah. Their vibrant colors and sophisticated touches are certinly giving little girls a run for their money. These are rooms that little guys can grow into, not that they'll outgrow. Here are a few of our personal faves...

Aerin's Lauder's East Hampton Home in Elle Decor

Angie Hranowsky

Ashley Hicks in Elle Decor

Delphine Krakoff

Fran Keenan

Massuco Warner Miller

Meg Braff

Tom Stringer in Traditional Home

Traditional Home

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Look for Less: Snakeskin Boots

If you like these...

Jimmy Choo for Hunter Wellies, $425

Try these!

Sperry Pelican Tall Boot Lug, $75

Thursday, September 23, 2010

MoS Marketplace- the Bird's the Word!

We must have birds on the brain given today's two new MoS Marketplace items! First, an amazing transferware turkey platter. This will be perfect for the holidays! Click here for additional pictures and to purchase! *PLATTER IS SOLD*

Second is a classic cast iron eagle wall plaque. A must for any lover of federal style! Click here for additional pictures and to purchase.

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