Monday, August 31, 2009

Aug. 31: Calvin Klein Day at ideeli

ideeli is hosting Calvin Day on Monday, August 31st: a full day devoted to this label's simplicity and style! This event will have items ranging from sportswear to suits.

If you want "in" sign up here:

Calvin Klein Sportswear/Active wear
Save up to: 60% Off
Prices start at: $12
From tailored blazers, to breezy skirts, to crisp blouses.
Calvin Klein Coats
Save up to: 69% Off
Prices start at: $69

Calvin Klein Dresses
Save up to: 75% Off
Prices start at: $59

**Please note that there will also be Petite and Special Sizes/Plus available in the Calvin Klein event.**

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Do it Yourself Fashion, Recession-Style

Nancy Brenner buttons it all up...

When In Style shows how to make your own studded headbands and rhinestone barrettes, when Vogue's September issue features Jason Wu giving sewing lessons, and when The front page of the NYT screams, "Consumer Thrift in U.S. May Last After Recession," you know the DIY trend is coming to you.

So how can a New York lassie get on the bandwagon? Start strong at M&J Trimming, the Sixth Avenue trimming mecca, where you can choose from satin ribbons, shiny patents, satins, ruffles, lace and gemstones piled from ceiling to floor. Lusting after a metallic studded leather cuff? For Do-It-Yourself instructions see Looking for embellished leg wear at an affordable price? Go to for DIY leggings.

Explore trimming boudoir Pacific Trimming where you can find metallic chains to make your own version of the Jennifer Lopez's Michael Kors chain necklace look featured in this month's In Style magazine. Choose sequins, appliques, resin cords, rhinestone belt buckles, Swarovski crystals, suede fringe, embroidered velvet ribbons, or glittery elastics that could be turned into a belt. Update your handbag handles with chains. Grommets for your gloves or try a touch of eye-popping neon in the mini-rooms that make up this emporium since this store offers options for many moods.

Starting from scratch? Try A.K. Fabrics for fabric to make a retro looking velvet strapless dress. Then head to 62 year old Steinlauf & Stoller, purveyors of grommets, corset supplies, boning, shoulder pads and mod zippers.

Many of these establishments cater to both retail and wholesale. Check individual stores for hours; a few are open on weekends. Not all have websites. Even for those that do, nothing can replace the inspiration acquired in an in-person visit. Tassels anyone?

M&J Trimming
1008 Sixth Avenue

Pacific Trimming
218 West 38th Street

Steinlauf & Stoller
239 West 39th Street

Daytona Braids & Trimming
251 West 39th Street
Ric-Rac, Metallics, Novelty Cluny Laces, Cordedge, Sequins, Passementries

Vardham Inc.
269 West 39th Street
Buttons, trimmings, zippers, yarn & knitting supplies

TOP Trimmings
228 W. 39th Street
Sequins, beads, feathers, chains, novelties, stones

A.K. Fabrics
257 West 39th Street
wool, silk, cotton, velvet

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rachel Roy Launches New Web Site

My friend worked on the very recent launch of the new Rachel Roy site, and also pointed out the "really expensive section" for me to share:

...and indeed it is expensive (try $1,295 for the pictured frock), but looks really nice.

Sept. 10: Shopping Event partners with Fashion's Night Out, First Look at Fall Fashions

This fall, the City Opera Thrift Shop celebrates fashion during by partnering with Fashion's Night Out ( - a global retail initiative to promote retail and restore consumer confidence.

Be among the first to preview our fall collection of clothing, accessories, jewelry, home furnishings, furniture, artwork and books on Thursday, September 10th, 2009 from 6pm - 11pm. As a special treat, experience the thrill of opera while shopping with a surprise performance by City Operas own mezzo-soprano, Heather Johnson, singing a selection of arias from some of the worlds most beloved operas. In addition, guests can enter to win tickets to New York City Opera performance with no purchase required.

Also on hand throughout the night to assist with styling your fall wardrobe will be Lori Sutherland, aka Dame Lori, a fashion soul stylist and thrift shop consultant. Lori's 10+ years experience with City Opera Thrift Shop includes creating and producing fashion & home events. With her 25 year old passion for vintage and thrift, she is a resource for developing a chic & cheap personal style that educates, entertains and serves the fashion forward shopper.

Shoppers at this year's annual Fall Preview can look forward to a fantastic selection of fashions from renowned designers such as: Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, Adam Lippes, Malo, Roberto Cavalli, Hickey Freeman, Lauren Moffatt, Valentino, Christian Dior, Armani, Ralph Lauren, St. John, Donna Karan, Theory, Sonia Rykiel, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Luca Luca, Escada, Betsey Johnson, Juicy Couture, Max Mara, John Varvatos and many more. Sample items photographed.

Unique furniture and home accessories will also be featured at this years Fall Preview including a pair of Federal Style High Backed Sofas in beige - $650 each, Hand Painted Asain Motif Table - $175, Continental Secretary with leather accents and locking drawers - $2,200, Coquille Art Glass - $175, Wedgewood pitcher, cream on dark green - $75, Art books ranging from $5 - $325, Additional pieces by Wedgewood, Royal Doulton, Denby and much more.
Price: Free admission!
General pricing 50 - 75% off retail prices.
Women's items: Suits & Dresses $35-$250, Jackets & Coats $35-$500, Shoes & Handbags $25-$525, Hats and Jewelry $15-$300.
Men's items: Suits $50-$350, Coats $50-$425, Shirts $15-$250.

City Opera Thrift Shop
222 East 23rd Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
Subway: 6 to 23rd Street

Thursday, September 10, 2009
6:00pm - 11:00pm

About the City Opera Thrift Shop
City Opera Thrift Shop is an excellent resource for Women's and Men's clothing and accessories, house wares, art and furniture. Donations to the City Opera Thrift Shop can be made by dropping of your goods during shop hours or calling for a free pick up for large quantities. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. For more information on City Opera and their current season please visit,

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Showroom Seven - A Report from the F&F Front

From sample sale shopper extraordinaire, Nancy Brenner...

Some people collect gold brooches or tennis bracelets, but bling can bust your budget, so I collect Erickson Beamon. Michelle Obama picks her pieces too. Coveting a high-impact look? Try earrings, cuffs, bib necklaces, bangles or bracelets on sale at international design rep Showroom Seven. Some of the bejeweled beauties and feathered cuffs by Erickson Beamon are worn down the runway at Bryant Park or crafted for fashion shoots at major mags. Ask showroom mistress Kara to tell you the tale of each piece. Beamon has a range of looks from studded necklaces in surprising colors like blues and pinks or pretty purple gemstones in the shape of a flower to flatter your wrist. Simply calling a piece a bracelet is understating the transformative power of her designs. Prices are up to two thirds off of retail.
And for the men, there are a few Andy & Debb snakeskin leather jackets embedded with sterling silver detail that simply must be seen and touched. Originally $2500, now $600.
If leather isn't your thing, try brands at Showroom like the highly sought after Orla Kiely - I've seen bags that haven't yet made it to the stores. Or try the on-trend fake fur or leopard look in a carryall from the Abbi line with a top price for a large tote for $75.
Showroom Seven's lines on sale includes shoes by Bloch London and dresses, sweaters, skirts and more from a range of designers.

This week's sample sale is for friends and family...but if you're reading this, you're now a friend. 263 11th Avenue 3rd Floor
Hours are from 10-7.
For more info call 212-643-4810 and ask for Kara - she'll help style you at the sale.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Serrano Hotel SF: Leopard Print Bathrobes

Monkeys! I am back! And although I took a true vacation that involved almost no shopping at all, I stayed at a groovy hotel called the Serrano in San Francisco. The lobby is fab, the location decent, and the Aveda bath products divine. But the absolute best part of the experience are the leopard print bathrobes that you can wear around your room. As if you were some kind of Hugh Hefner. You can also purchase said robe, but I believe the cost was a tad "prohibitive" (as in around $120.00).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Aug. 25: Housing Works "Last Days of Summer" Charity Event

Allure Fashion Director and Housing Works Board Member Michael Carl is hosting a “Last Days of Summer” one-night-only charity shopping event. Housing Works' new Tribeca location will be filled with stylish beach wear, bathing suits and beach accessories handpicked by Carl. Carl will be on hand to give fashion advice at the event, as will his cohosts, designers Charlotte Ronson and Shoshanna Gruss, who are also donating a variety of summer sweet things, including shoes and bathing suits. Carl’s carefully edited collection of beach items will include Gucci bowling shoes, a Robert Graham cotton brocade blazer and Marc by Marc Jacobs white jeans (size 32).

“Last Days of Summer Editor’s Choice” event information:

WHERE: Housing Works Tribeca Thrift Shop, 119 Chambers St. between Church St and West Broadway

WHEN: Tuesday, August 25, from 6 to 9pm

COST: FREE and open to the public

BENEFITS: Housing Works, the largest community-based AIDS service organization in the United States. Since 1990, they have provided lifesaving services to more than 20,000 homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV and AIDS.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Aug 19-20 Rachel Roy Sample Sale

Rachel Roy is having a designer sample sale next week. The designer collection will be 85% off.

What: Rachel Roy Sample Sale
Where: 1411 Broadway (between 39th Street & 40th Street) 37th floor
When: Wednesday, August 19th, 10 am - 7 pm; Thursday, August 20th, 10 am - 7 pm

Aug 13-16 Dolce & Gabbana Sample Sale

Dolce & Gabbana Sample Sale
August 13-16 Thursday-Saturday 11-7 Sunday 12-7
109 Spring Street (Mercer-Greene Streets)
Womens and Mens Clothing
DENYC is holding a Dolce & Gabbana sample sale for Women and Men. Racks with thousands of Dolce & Gabbana couture dresses, jackets, skirts, tops, pants, sweaters and much more ... all straight from Italy. Prices start at 70% off. All sizes are available and try-ons are permitted. Get there early for the best selection!
Visa, Mastercard, Discover and cash accepted. All sales final

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gramercy's Vintage Thrift Shop

Where do New Yorkers spend a humid August afternoon? At the Zagat rated Vintage Thrift Shop - where traffic was so congested, that I had to wait until several frugalistas exited before I could get in. It's not as busy as Trader Joe's where the line for the privilege of paying at one of the 22 cash registers is 45 minutes, but busier than let's say Saks shoe salon, so big it has its own zip code, where a major 70% consolidation sale started last Thursday. Usually I just pop by and drop off my donations, but I had to investigate what all the buzz was about. The last time I was there, someone sauntered off with a pair of Prada shoes with soles that had never touched the ground - and a hard to find size 5 too. A vintage one-of-a-kind Lanvin belt was being priced and put out for sale while I was donating. Among the real finds - the costume jewelry - why pay more for less at a retail shop for fake 70s and 80s when you can find Debbie Harry, Madonna heyday studded cuffs here? Tired of the same old Drew Carey eyeglasses found at every optical shop? Discover an original stand-out pair here. Check out the shoes too - while many are worn, think of it as a treasure hunt to see if you can unearth brand new ones. The best time to go? Transitional periods - such as Fall and Spring when closets are cleaned, although new merchandise arrives daily. When everyone is tweeting at the tents in Bryant Park, try out Vintage's window auctions - no stilettos necessary shopping - but bidding can be fierce. Vintage has so many donations, they even have stuff in storage. Also look out for the "blue tag" fifty percent off sales when the goods are marked down even further after a few weeks on the floor. Find furnishings, hats, vintage gloves, housewares, matchbook covers, etc. Talk to the salespeople - they are fashion curators! Friday afternoons are busy, as are Sundays. Go shopping for back-to-school items, or a new armoire. Apparently recessionistas everywhere are shopping the thrifts. According to a report by the The National Association of Resale & Thrift Shops (NARTS), issued this month, nearly 80 percent of their survey respondents experienced an increase in new customers. And the quality of incoming merchandise was either higher (28.2 percent) or the same (59.1 percent), with only 12.8 percent feeling a decrease in quality.
Peruse in-person in Gramercy Park thrift-shopper heaven or online at Or donate, and get a tax deduction!
~Nancy Brenner
PERSONAL NOTE FROM GSNYC: This is in my hood and is definitely one of the better thrifts around. I got a rhinestone "V" pin here...

Friday, August 07, 2009

Aug 13-23: ABC Carpet & Home Warehouse Sale

Up to 75% off original prices on lighting, select tabletop & decorative accessories, bedding & bath and modern, grounded & antique furniture, handmade oriental rugs, modern rugs, and more...

August 13-23

Select traditional furniture, Theodore Alexander, French Heritage, case & occasional goods as well as modern, grounded & antique furniture. Modern dining, office and storage furniture. Chinese, European, Indian and South American antiques. Upholstery, sofas, chairs and sectionals. Lighting, decorative textiles & accessories, table top and bedding. Modern rugs, handmade Orientals, needlepoints, Aubussons, flatweaves, shags, mansion sizes, runners, wall-to-wall carpet and remnants.

abc carpet & home – bronx warehouse outlet
1055 bronx river avenue
bronx, ny 10472
718 842 8772
mon-fri 10am-7pm sat 9am-7pm sun 10am-6pm

specific merchandise details:

Mitchell Gold Winslow Chair
was $2,685 now $499

Mahogany Dining Table
was $3,150 now $799

Contemporary Shag Rugs
were $1,999-$3,499 now $699-$999

DIA Granite Table
was $1395 now $299

The Barksdale Collection Manhattan Night Stand
was $1.095 now $499

Urban Oasis 4 Hands Coffee Table
was $1295 now $795

Modern Nepalese Rug
was $9,299 now $1,999

Silk Trading Curtain Panels
were $420-$170 now $210-$85

Chinese Needlepoint
was $1,999 now $599

Handmade Pakistan Chobi Rug
was $7,299 now $3,699

Retro Collection Spectrum Rug
was $699 now $249

Arper Office chair in warm orange
was $1295 now $699

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Aug 6-7: Yohji Friends & Family Sale Today and Tomorrow

I can't give you any details, but might I suggest that you contact anyone you know who works there or is in the biz?

20% Off Tanks & Camis at american basics

Established in Brooklyn, Americas Basics knows that most girls spend their lives in basics. T-shirts, camisoles and tanks are their bread and butter, and from the looks of it, most - if not all - items cost $10 or less! Add to that the coupon code you see here (summer 387), and you probably couldn't spend less at Old Navy on similar items. I haven't seen the goods in person yet, but I'm guessing it's like a cheaper American Apparel. I will let you know my evaluation when I get the goods in my hands.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Financial Times: Facebook could be a hit with shoppers

Facebook could be a hit with shoppers
By David Gelles in San Francisco
Published: August 5 2009 03:00 Last updated: August 5 2009 03:00

A new wave of sophisticated e-commerce applications is appearing on Facebook, a sign that the world's largest social network could rapidly emerge as a big destination for online shopping.
1-800-Flowers, the US floral gift retailer and distributor, last week opened its "Facebook storefront", an application running on Facebook's fast-growing platform where users can purchase and send flowers.
At least 20 more such storefronts will appear on Facebook in the next two months, according to Wade Gerten, chief executive of Alvenda, the software developer that built the 1-800-Flowers storefront. "You'll see a lot more coming out in the next couple of months," he said.
Mr Gerten said he had contracts to develop eight storefronts, but that since the 1-800-Flowers application launched, he had secured 12 more. He said the applications would be for "very large general merchandise retailers, and very large electronics retailers".
The storefronts represent the beginning of a transformation that could turn Facebook into a retail destination, said Sucharita Mulpuru, an e-commerce analyst for Forrester Research. "It's an enormous platform," she said. "That means the ability to reach more consumers and make money."
Facebook has more than 250m users and is growing fast. However, it has no current plans to organise the storefronts into an online mall, or to make money from them by either taxing the transactions that take place on its site, or by offering its own virtual currency.
At least two other companies already have limited e-commerce functionality in their Facebook applications. Sears, the department store, and Threadless, the T-shirt seller, both let users add items to their shopping cart on Facebook. But to complete the transaction users must go to the company's own website. Allowing users to remain on Facebook while they complete their transactions is important in increasing the site's "stickiness". More than 120m people log on to Facebook each day, spending a combined 5bn minutes a day on the site.
Companies are turning to social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to help them boost business. Many big retailers have a fan page on Facebook, while retailers large and small are offering exclusive deals to their Twitter followers.
But neither site has been able to make money from the increased business activity. Instead, Facebook is focusing on attracting advertisers, and is expected to bring in at least $500m in revenue this year.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

Monday, August 03, 2009

In the Recession, Shoppers Are Becoming Hagglers

From Time magazine: In the Recession, Shoppers Are Becoming Hagglers

According to the consulting firm America's Research Group, in October, 56% of consumers said they had recently tried to negotiate at retail outlets other than car dealerships. Of those hagglers, 50% got deals. When the company repeated the survey in May, 72% of consumers said they had tried to haggle, and a stunning 80% were successful.

Restaurant Review: The Stanton ANTI-Social

Located on Stanton Street on the Lower East Side of New York dwells The Stanton Social, a popular restaurant that serves a variety of "small plates" to everyone's delight. The theory is that sharing dishes, which arrive throughout the duration of the meal, makes for a very "social" experience, and thus the name of the restaurant, I suspect.

This sounds like a beautiful notion.

Except that my experience there this weekend was unbelievably anti-social, thus the clever little name I have rebranded this place with (The Stanton ANTI-Social).

My friend and her fiance invited me to meet them there, so that we could have a drink and catch up. When I got to the restaurant, they were about finished with their meal, so I sat next to my friend on the "booth side" of the table. Suddenly some guy with short, wavy brown hair, who we later learned is the manager, came over and said, "this is NOT a three-person table, you can NOT all sit here." So my friend's fiance agreed and we all nodded along as the manager-boy ran off. We then quickly started to complain amongst ourselves about what an uptight freak this guy was (and is, everyday of his life, I suspect). Not ones to stay where we aren't wanted, we asked the waitress for the check and continued on with our conversation while we waited for it. About 7.2 minutes later, the manager-lad returned to the table demanding, "ONE OF YOU HAS GOT TO GO." Again, my friend's fiance agreed, explaining that we were waiting for the check.

The check came, we paid, and got up to leave. As I was walking out the same manager-dude said, "thank you, gooodniiight!" To which I responded, "um, yeah, right." Then my friend stopped him and explained how that was the rudest most uncalled for experience she had ever had in a restaurant in her entire life and that we would make sure never to return and recommend the same to all of our friends.

Bummer that this guy didn't realize who he was unceremoniously kicking out of his joint.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Stickley Audi & Co. Summer Sale

Save up to 50% at Stickley Audi & Co. starting August 1.
Local stores located in Manhattan, 207 W. 25th St. and in White Plains at 50 Tarrytown Road.