Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Have I mentioned how much I love Marni?

It's been at least a week since I've blathered on about how much I love Marni. Maybe it is because of the boxy, roomy dresses that hide my ever-expanding thighs (I finally did try to work out today even though I promised myself I would exercise all week). Or maybe it is that whole crazy cat-lady look. Or the permission to wear mismatched patterns and really chunky plastic jewelry. Or maybe it is because of the lovely sales people in South Coast Plaza.  How much do you think they make? I might seriously need to consider getting a retail sales job soon. It will be a full 360 for me, my very first job was at Suzy Deal's Fashions, back when nothing was priced over $9.99. Ah, those were the days.

Anyway, back to my love of Marni. I dropped in on Christmas Eve since the sale had progressed to 50% off and I was waiting for that to consider purchasing a bag. I had a very specific one in mind. Unfortunately, Lisa, my helpful sales clerk was not in, but alerted her coworkers that I would be coming in.  Alas, my bag was gone. I was slightly disappointed that Lisa had not held it for me, but managed to walk out with a coat and a dress, knowing that there was a similar bag on the Marni website for slightly cheaper that I could purchase. And I did. 

Amazingly, today, I was about to take my dog out to tinkle, she will only go in the front yard when it rains, instead of the back yard, which is a very strange behavior. I open the door, and there's the UPS guy. I thought, I just tracked my Marni online purchase and it shouldn't be here yet. He hands me a box, and it says it is from Marni. I thought, this is too small to be purse, maybe they just sent the belt I ordered. I look again at the box and it says it is from South Coast Plaza. Hmm, this is interesting.  There is a box with a card inside. It is a thank you gift from Lisa for all my support (I nice way of saying "purchases" or "cha-ching") and inside the box is a lovely necklace! How awesome is that? For being such a shlub, I feel quite special. If I find a picture of the necklace online, I'll post it.  Yippee! I should get my other Marni delivery tomorrow, so this is a good week for me!
- alison

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Checking In

Ahhhh, the holidays are (thank God) O-V-E-R. I’ve been on holiday since December 18th and have not turned off the world like this since I was a 180-pound post-baby whale on morphine. Man, is it nice. Get this, I actually discovered Birkenstocks….they are so fucking comfortable. Wearing them is like getting a massage for your feet as you walk. I got so tired of hobbling around in my 4” Louboutins at all of the children’s theme parks and petting zoos I now frequent,  (don’t even ask how ridiculous I looked), that I said “fuck it, I’m wearing comfortable shoes today”, and the only pair of flat shoes I own aside from my really old Ugg boots are a pair of Birkenstocks that Alex bought me like, ten years ago. They have never been worn. I wore them with skinny William Rast jeans, my red Balenciaga, layered t-shirts and a faux leather motorcycle jacket that fits better than the $3,000 one from Balenciaga that I bought at Crush for $58.00. I think it’s made out of some type of plastic. Anyway, I did my best to look good. My rad hair extensions that I only have to wash once a week looked pretty cool, if not a little ragged, I’m not sure they are going to last a whole year like the lady said they would…..I have to pony up and get photos up.


I feel guilty for not being a more regular blog post participant….I’m slightly excited because a few things I bought for Alex didn’t work out and I have to return them so I think I will pocket what I get to refund. I have not purchased the Balenciaga bag yet….do forgive me, but I went to my plastic surgeon doctor for a little “consultation” and after stripping naked (post-baby body) and getting a 100-degree consultation, I have a $30,000 surgery tab to consider. Don’t worry, I’ll never do it all, at least not before I’m 50, but I am considering whether I want to remove a bag from under my eye, or buy a new one…..and I do agree with Alison that the red is the favored color, the others are a little too 80’s for me. I’m leaning toward the bag removal…..a bag under the eye is really quite horrendous. The only way I can avoid it poking out like an unwanted boner is if I eat nothing but lettuce and boiled chicken the day before, along with drinking one gallon of water. I’m afraid I can rarely, if ever, stick to that regimen, unless I have drugs to accompany me, but sadly, those days are over too.


BTW – I did manage to get a couple of things by Rodarte at Target in between picking up wipes and diapers…..I purchased the lamb vest, and a t-shirt with a little bow, very cute. I wanted the ribcage dress, but they only had a large, ditto with the leopard sequin dress.


I look forward to the Zac collection in April.


Cheers friends


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rodarte: What I bought (and maybe shouldn't have)

Although I reported buying 17 items in the last entry, now that I've scoured the internet for pics, I think I only bought 13 things. If I discover anything else in my closet I've already forgotten, I'll be sure to update you.

First, the keepers: A white knit cardigan with detachable scarf; The rib-cage sequin dress (worn as tunic for me); Nude lace cardigan and lace print dress; Leopard-print lace dress with bows on the back (also a tunic for me); and a 70s inspired print tee.

Then there are the items on the bubble, I probably should return them, but they are kind of growing on me: A wooly cropped jacket; a basic nude cami; a navy sheer tie-neck blouse which I imagine would look lovely under a tight fitting vest or strapless dress, very Mad Men.

And the items I definitely will return:  Gray cardigan (same as the white); floral embroidered wrap dress (not a great color on my pale skin); light raincoat in same 70s print as top; and blue sheer lace top:

But there were some items that were MIA, that I probably would have bought, and maybe I will after I make my returns.  Such as this leopard jacket, or the knee socks you see above, or the black lace tights or the belts.  For my sake, and my dog's sake (see post below), let's hope I don't buy anything else. Especially since I just ordered a bunch of stuff from the Barney's 60% off sale, Gilt Groupe and I'm heading to Marni tomorrow for the 50% off sale! I will definitely cut up my credit cards next year, maybe.
- alison

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rodarte for Target: The Results

Sorry in advance that this is just a tease, but unfortunately work is really cramping my style and I don't have the time I need to put together a comprehensive post with pics.

The short-ish story:  Target decided to put the collection out on the floor on Friday, to my surprise, so when I arrange bright and early on Sunday, the good stuff was picked over. And forget about the website, not much left there either. 

I still managed to buy approximately 17 items, which I think is half of the entire collection.  And if I want to be able to take my dog to the vet for her medication and annual checkup, I will need to return at least 8 of those items.  As expected, the dresses were VERY short, though some are quite functional with leggings.  There was LOTS of tulle, which means you need to be very girly to wear this stuff.

Hopefully will get you a full report of what I will keep and what I will return before the holiday.  As a bonus, I will include the funny story of my conversation in the store with a woman who didn't what she was looking at even though she had quite the Newport Beach vibe and ought to know better.
- alison

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Target Reminder & News: Rodarte this Sunday, Zac Posen in 2010!

Don't forget everyone! The Rodarte line for Target goes on sale this SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20th! You know I will be there bright and early, first my local Long Beach store, then Seal Beach, just for good measure, and finish up online. And as usual, I will report on my purchases first thing Monday morning.

If you are lucky enough to be in SF, DC or NY, you can get access to the line at the Target pop-up To-Go stores.

And in other Target news, about a week ago, they announced a new capsule collection with Zac Posen from April 25 to May 30! Very exciting if you are dress-wearing type. Hopefully they won't be junior-length, as most of the Target stuff tends to be. My age requires knee-length in order to not look ridiculous!  He already did a line for Target Australia, about half of it looked cute, the other half looked a little dumpy. Will post pics of the US offerings as soon as I find some.
- alison

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Shopping: The Aftermath

'm having some severe palpitations as a result of all my personal shopping.  I've decided that I will return one of the two sweaters that I bought at NM during pre-sale. I will definitely return it on my trip to pick up my pre-sale shoes. And speaking of those shoes, you know that nagging feeling I had when I was trying on the Prada heels.  I realized the next day, that I just bought a pair of heels in the same color from Marni when I went crazy at their pre-sale. Since I haven't worn them yet, I completely forgot about these shoes. How moronic is that? I can't return the Marni shoes, so the Prada CANNOT come home with me. You know you have a shopping problem with things like this happen. Though I can't promise I will behave when the boots finally go on sale at NM.  Barneys and Saks all have their boots on sale, but all my points are with Neiman! I may have to try Barneys when they go a little lower on pricing. We'll see what happens.

See for yourself how terrible this shoe faux pas is:

Did I mention I received a check last month from Decades? They sold 3 of my 10 items, including the Balenciaga top that started the whole thing because it was too small, I didn't try it on, and I couldn't return it. I'm crossing my fingers I get another check next week, then I'm gonna bring another batch of stuff to consign. That kind of helps to offset the madness. At least it does in my mind.

- alison

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Shopping Trip #5: NM Online scavenger hunt

On one of my daily emails from Neiman, I discover that they are having a promotion where you need to find various colored butterflies on the website and depending on the color, you get a gift card.  The catch is that you have to spend a minimum of $200 to get the lowest gift card.  I decide I'm going to figure out which of the four colors offers the biggest gift card.  After maybe 30 minutes or so, I find that the purple butterfly will get me a $50 gift card with a $200 purchase. Now I just have to figure out what to purchase. Strangely enough, I decide I'm only going to purchase gifts.  I buy something for my niece, my nephew, and my sister/brother-in-low, and get to just over $200. I hope that my gift card ships with the items.  Sadly it doesn't. But it does light a fire under my ass that I should have redeemed my NM points weeks ago for gift cards so I wouldn't be spending my hard-earned cash on all these purchases. I go ahead and redeem in the hope that i will get these gift cards in time to finish my holiday shopping. Please, please, please, let me get these cards soon! My intentions are good, right?

- alison

To Kym: First of All...

How can I even chastise you for your Balenciaga addiction after your very insightful blog entry, and especially after my long list of purchases since Thanksgiving. I do think you need help, but I am definitely in no position to help you.

So, I'll enable you instead. I suggest you go with the red Balenciaga weekender, because it seems slightly more neutral than the other colors, and you might get more use out of it.

PS - I love that your friendly Balenciaga sales associate is "Steve"

- alison

FW: Balenciaga - 2010 colors - Steve

What do you think of these colors Alison? I am going to get a Giant Weekender…which is quite large…but can be used as my 2nd carry-on for travel – with my personal belongs as well as work crap.

Did you see my blog entry?


From: []
Sent: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 11:16 AM
To: Kym Nelson
Subject: Balenciaga - 2010 colors - Steve


Kim -

It was nice meeting you over the phone. Here are the first colors of the new 2010 spring season. I hope you enjoy.

Again, most of the colors will appear a little brighter in person. Regarding the sang color, that will also appear a bit more red than orange but you can definitely see the orange undertone in it.

If you decide on any of these colors or are waiting for others, just let me know what size, hardware, and color you are looking for so I can keep an eye out for you.


South Coast Plaza


I love Alison. I received her fabulous holiday letter this weekend and I had an imaginative experience for each entry. It made me realize I too should make note of the poignant times throughout my life (do I hear New Year’s Resolution 2010?). My favorite of all however, (I bet you can guess) is her shameless confession about her passion for shopping. Truthfully, this blog has made me feel a bit embarrassed about my love for clothes and shopping. My critical inside voice says “when are you going to grow up? You have a child. Smart, successful women don’t spend so much money on something as shallow as clothing, you are BAD for wanting that new Balenciaga!” on and on….why on earth would I want to confess to all of you what I am endlessly shaming myself for? Alison’s blatant, unapologetic confession somehow gave me permission to not really give a shit what other people think (one of my utmost flaws). Who cares? We only live once right? And you know what? I have one of the most addictive personalities out of any single person I have ever met…..and I’ve had many addictions, certainly not all of them, but plenty….drinking excessively, smoking like a chimney (I am smoke free almost 2 years), over-exercising, there is a term for that now with the word “bulimic” in it, and yes, shopping. Which one would YOU keep if you had to choose? Trust me, the elliptical machine isn’t all that great…even being a size 2 isn’t all that amazing…certainly not worth the utter deprivation it requires. We all have something….maybe we succeed at hiding it only from others (semi-dangerous), maybe we succeed at hiding it from ourselves (more dangerous in my opinion), maybe only from our loved ones (destructive and harmful), or maybe we just accept it and let it all hang out…..the least destructive of all if you ask me. I am giving myself permission to purchase that new Spring Balenciaga, I have not decided on the color yet, but it will solve 2 problems….it will be my day bag AND the bag that holds my laptop for work so I can finally board a plane with only 2 carry-on’s.


Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Shopping Trip #4: Neiman Marcus Fashion Island: Part 3

It's December 5th. The NM sale is officially on, and anything that was pre-sold can now be picked up.  Also, I have another one of those handy little postcards that tell me that on Dec 5th only, I can get 1 item in the Epicurean department up to $50 for free. No purchase required.  I have to take advantage of that, right? It's another gift that I can give to a loved one.

I stop first at the shoe department, which is a mad house but really picked over. While waiting for my helpful sales associate, I check out what's there, see if anything new has popped up.  I try on a pair of brown Prada heels, flag down Paula, she brings me my Miu Mius and the mate to the Prada. I like th Prada, but have a nagging feeling about them. Whatever, I say I'll take them.  Paula suggests she waits until Wednesday to ring them up since I get triple points on Wednesday.  I say okay, but that means another trip to NM. This really is getting crazy, right?

Off to the upstairs, I pick up my sweaters and move on to check out the selection of epicurean delights. Since I can only buy one item, I try to find something where I really get bang for the buck, and can potentially split them up into multiple gifts.  I settle on the 3 cans of chocolate covered potato chips, priced at $48, but free for me.  I feel like I'm getting somewhere with this whole holiday shopping thing.

Here's a pick of the Miu Miu (though mine are a blue/violet), and the Prada shoes.
- alison

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holiday Shopping Trip #4: Neiman Marcus Fashion Island: Part 2

It's the day after I discovered Pre-Sale was about to start at Neiman, and I have a couple items on hold. I have promised to return to finalize my purchase.  My dilemma is that I am supposed to play tennis, followed by a hike in Laguna Beach that same day.  I can't remember when NM opens, but I figure it is the holiday, they should open earlier than their normal noon on Sunday time.  I stop at NM on my way to tennis, around 10a, and I am shocked they aren't open until noon. That means, I'm going to NM in my grubby workout clothes full of stink and sweat.  Classy as always.

After tennis and a 4 mile hike, I'm looking really disgusting, but manage to change into a clean t-shirt before going into NM.  But now they have all the sales racks up in the shoe department.  Crap!  I see my helpful sales associate, Paula, who is happy to assist me. I inquire about some of the items not on the sale rack, but are definitely from the fall season, she says they will probably go on sale after Christmas.  I ask for a nylon in order to be somewhat hygenic since my feet are stinky from the hike and proceed to try on a bunch of shoes. Remember, I only here because I'm finalizing my pre-sale in the clothing department! As is somewhat typical this year, I strike out on most accounts, not a lot of selection in my size. But one pair of Miu Mius is working for me, so those go on pre-sale hold for me. Just for kicks, I ask to try on a Gucci bootie and a Marni peep-toe bootie not on sale.  Marni isn't in stock in my size, the Gucci is, but I'm on the fence because it is black and gray, and I really feel bad about buying another black shoe. The Marni on the other hand is dark blue and there is one in my size located somewhere in NM land.  My helpful sales associate says that if I want to get them, I can see her after they go on sale, and she'll adjust my purchase price for me.  I go for it, and the shoes are ordered and ship to my house.

So now I have a pair of heels held for pre-sale, full-priced shoes being shipped to me, and I still need to go upstairs. When I get upstairs I peruse the racks that are now out and promoting the pre-sale, pick up a couple new things to try and find Rosemary to get my previous holds.  It is rather hectic up there, but she gets me into a dressing room.  I swap out the Jil Sander for a Fendi sweater, and I hold onto the Kaufman Franco sweater.  I know I had something else I was considering, but changed my mind on, so I tell Rosemary to go with the 2 sweaters. She is quite consumed with helping Stephanie Seymour (former model and Axl Rose punching bag), who sadly is trying on conservative boring stuff, but having trouble finding them in size 2 or something. I hang out in my disgusting attire for a bit, then finally I wrap things up for Rosemary, and plan for yet another trip to NM to pick up all my pre-sale items next weekend.

I know it is sort of gross that I tried on clothes after working out, but I think it makes me a "real" person, not these fantasy rich ladies that normally shop at Neiman.  Here is a pic of my new boots. Now for the pickup story, Part 3...
- alison

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday Shopping Trip #4: Neiman Marcus Fashion Island: Part 1

It should be obvious by now that I have spent entirely WAY TOO MUCH on myself  this holiday season, which leaves me fairly broke for holiday gifts.  But Neiman Marcus is very tricky. They send me these postcards with special deals, usually they are not interesting, but right now, there are a couple good ones. The first one I acted on was good only during Thanksgiving weekend.  They gave away a free D.L. & Co candle set with any full priced purchase.  That got me thinking, "What is the cheapest thing I can buy, that I might also be able to give as a gift?"  I settled on a pair of Tom's shoes for my boyfriend, and collected my candle, which I will use as a gift for someone else, to be determined.

It was on this same trip that I brought the previously mentioned Alexander McQueen blouse and skirt to return.  Customer Service handled my online purchase return, and my candle, but I would have to take the blouse to the clothing department.  While there, I saw my helpful sales associate, Rosemary.  I asked her, when is the big Neiman sale starting, to which she answered in a hushed tone "tomorrow! go grab anything you want me to hold for you!"  You don't need to tell me twice.  I grabbed a bunch of stuff to try on. Sadly, none of the Chanel stuff that I liked was in my size. This is probably a good thing since Chanel on sale is still expensive.  Again, this was actually the Pre-Sale before the sale was publicly announced on Dec 3. I had Rosemary hold a couple sweaters for me (Jil Sander and Kaufman Franco), nothing else really floated my boat. I promised to return the next day to finalize my selections since I was going to be in the area anyway.

To be continued in part 2...
- alison

Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Shopping Trip #3: Marni Pre-Sale

Some of you may remember that I had visited and shopped at Marni fairly recently during the Angelitos charity event (see post below).  Some of you may think it is wrong of me to have returned to Marni so soon. But I'm not crazy. I double-checked with my helpful sales associate, Lisa, to make sure they got some new inventory. She confirmed that was the case, so how could I not go check it out during the Pre-Sale.  What is "Pre-Sale," some of you might ask? Well, that is the week before the store publicly announces they are having a sale. If you are a good customer, they will inform of you this via your favorite method of communication.  If you just happen to walk into the store during pre-sale, they will also inform you.  The catch is that, technically, you are not allowed to take home your purchases until the sale starts.  They hold it for you, then charge you when the sale starts, then you can pick up your purchase.

But back to MY pre-sale experience. I went on the night before Thanksgiving, again driving all the way down to South Coast Plaza. The initial sale savings is 30%.  I grabbed about 20 things to try on, fell in love with several dresses, knocked some sense into myself regarding jackets/coats I absolutely don't need, made my final clothing selections, and then threw in a pair of shoes despite the fact that I told Lisa I wasn't actually crazy about the shoes from the Fall season. I'm sort of holding out for a purse for when it drops to 50%, we'll see what happens.

When all is said and done, I bought 3 dresses, one shirt, one sweater, and a pair of shoes. I think. I almost can't remember anymore.  Here's what that looks like.  The best part is that Lisa let me take my purchases home that night instead of waiting until Nov 30th, because I'm super special! Please note that not all the pictures are the actual colors/patterns that I bought, but you get the idea.
- alison


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Shopping Trip #2: Barneys NY

On my first shopping trip at NM, I was looking for jeans.  I needed black jeans to replace a pair I have but don't really like, but I was also in need of a plain blue skinny pair, of which I don't currently own a pair. A woman who said she represented some of the jean lines said she could help me find a pair.  While she was unsuccessful in finding me something, I noted that the jeans she was wearing were cute. Unfortunately, she said that NM did not carry the line, which was MiH, but American Rag did.  I suddenly became obsessed with finding these jeans, but I did not want to drive to American Rag. I started searching online, which was challenging because I had already forgotten what brand they were, I only remembered the little gold bird embroidered on the back pocket.  After much research, I rediscovered the brand name and somehow found that Barneys carried the brand.  In hopes that they carried the style, I drove on over at lunch one day, hoping that these would also be part of the sale that was going on.

I arrive at Barneys, and of course my first stop is in shoes to see what is on sale. It was quite a pathetic assortment, clearly they were holding the good stuff for post-thanksgiving (which I can confirm by looking at their site, the good shoes are definitely on sale now).  Up in the Co-Op area, I dig through all the sale jeans, find nothing, but eventually find about 5 pairs to try on, including MiH.  Bad news is that they were not on sale AND the dressing room was about 80 degrees so I felt extremely disgusting which one really does not want to feel when trying on skinny jeans. Unless you are actually skinny, and I am not.

End of story, I bought the MiH jeans, finally wore them for the first time this week, and got to witness the joy of working retail during the holiday as one of the sales girls got chewed out my a more senior person, and as per usual, the Barney's co-op sales people were either hiding or unhelpful.  That's fine with me as long as the dressing rooms are unlocked and someone is ready at the register.

- alison

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Shopping Trip #1: Neiman Marcus pre-Thanksgiving

Remember when I alerted you to the special one-day only sale at Neiman? Of course, I went to Neiman, but only after I also reviewed what was on sale on their website.  Luckily, there were no shoes on sale, because I could have gone crazy without leaving the first floor.  On the second floor, I tried on an Alexander McQueen blouse and dress, and this amazing aquilano.rimondi blazer with little pointed shoulders.  The blazer was not on sale so it went bye-bye. The dress was too small, but the shirt was okay, and I have a terrible habit of not liking to leave empty-handed.  So I bought the shirt. It is a weird deconstructed short sleeve button down, and I convinced myself at the time that it looked good.

On to contemporary where I knew there were Diane von Furstenberg items I still wanted to buy. I was also looking for some black jeans.  I found a pair of those, and purchased a dvf turtleneck and cardigan. Tried on a couple other things but they did not make the cut.

Now, I can feel good about getting my parking validated and back to work to finish my shopping ONLINE!  Yes, this is how bad I am.  I went back to my desk, and ordered up a different Alexander McQueen dress, a Zac Posen dress, and an Alexander McQueen skirt, which were all on sale.

The end result:  when I received the skirt, it did not fit so I returned it. But since I really loved the 2 dresses, I decided that I should return the sort of okay blouse.  To return the blouse, I went to NM Fashion Island on the weekend, which I will detail in another post.

The DVF stuff is sort of basic, but I will regale you with images of my new dresses! I've worn the Zac Posen already and received several compliments, though it does sort of look homemade, so people ask if I've made it.
- alison

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Silence is Over

Sorry to everyone for being so absent from the site.  The good news is that I have been very busy shopping! My plan is to load up a bunch of posts on my shopping adventures so you have something new to read all week.  I only hope that I can remember them all! Check back later.

- alison