Beautiful Savings – Guide to Surviving Sample Sales

I’m sure everyone is familiar with this feeling: you’ve been eyeing the most gorgeous pair of Tory Burch heels, with its gorgeous silhouette and sleek style. But alas, your heart skips a beat when you look at the price, as you replace them on the shelf and silently affirm “One day… I’ll save enough to have it.” Well, thanks to the numerous sample sales in New York City’s fashion district, “One day” may be much sooner than you think! The one thing that shopaholics (such as myself!) like better than shopping are bargains! And bargains are always beautiful! Here are some tips on scoring heart-stopping deals with prices that won’t give you a heart attack.

Research, Research, Research!

The wealth of information available on the internet is amazing! Websites such as Topbutton and DailyCandy post information on sample sales in various cities.

Got some extra time during the day? Prominent shopping areas, such as New York City’s garment district may have people advertising sample sales for specific showrooms. Take a stroll in these areas and be on the lookout for someone handing out fliers to such sales. Once you’re at the sale, place yourself on their contact list so you can be notified of future sales. Some showrooms may not be so public about their sales. Well-known designers, such as Prada, have sales twice a year, so if you know someone who’s in the loop and has info to a certain showroom, try calling calling in favors and ask when the next sample sale will occur.

Go with a Plan!

Plan on arriving 30 minutes to 1 hour before the sale, particularly for sought-after brands. Anticipate long lines for entry, try-ons, and purchases. Be patient! Usually the first day of a sample sale has the best selection due to the highest number of inventory. If day one is a no-go on your schedule, call ahead of time and ask if additional items will be put out or prices cut later in the week.

Always have cash on hand- some sales may not accept credit cards or personal checks. On the plus side, some sales will may fore-go tax if you pay in cash.

Wear leggings and a tank top or sports bra under your clothes. This allows you to easily try clothes on, especially if private dressing rooms are unavailable.

Never wear a brand to its own sale. It could get lost amongst the other merchandise.

Shopping buddies are great to have- they give their honest opinions on what does and doesn’t look flattering.

Survey the land.

If the atmosphere is relaxed, you can take your time and peruse the aisles and racks so you can decide what to buy. But in the event that chaos is present, it’s always effective to grab and go! Select items in your size range that look appealing to try on, avoiding anything that’s stained, torn, or needs a lot of tailoring. Having a friend sample sale shop also helps, especially when it comes to the long try-on and check-out lines.

Mind your manners.

Sample sales can get overcrowded, and the more bodies under one roof, the more colorful the personalities. While there are those that can get aggressive, and sometime downright rude, I personally feel no item is worth fighting over. If someone is blocking a rack or dominating a mirror, politely ask her to move for just a second. Remember, when it comes down to it, it’s just stuff; there’s more to life than having everything.

Shop Smart

Look for unique pieces that you can’t normally get from the local department stores. The best deals at sample sales are bags, dresses, outerwear, and shoes. Prices on these items are usually below wholesale price. Always try to ask for a better price, especially if you are buying a lot of items. If you are buying $400 worth of merchandise, see if you can get it for $350. The people at the register know that people are here for a deal, and they want to get out as much inventory as they can.

There are more than just sample sales.

Shopping, samples, and cocktails- need I say more? Companies such as Shecky’s Media and Style Fixx hold events at popular venues that are more like happy hour with girlfriends than shopping. These events have local designers and beauty companies that showcase their newest products, all at 30-75% off retail. They also offer “goodie bags” filled with product samples for you to try. Sign up for the next Shecky’s event here.

The internet’s popularity has also allowed for online sample sales that offer discount for designer items. Sites such as RueLala and Ideeli require membership to shop online.

So shop often, shop smart because looking sharp is an art!

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Choosing Riding Gear and Clothes – A Beginners Guide

So you have taken the first steps to becoming a rider! You have found your local stables, booked in for your first lesson and learnt the difference between a gelding and a mare! Now the next step is choosing what to wear, and whilst this sounds like an easy step it’s not! This can be a hugely daunting process if you don’t know where to start, and a hugely costly one unless you’re careful. There are so many clothes and so much equipment involved in riding it can be hard to know where to start. If you are a beginner then before you rush out and buy a whole wardrobe wait until you’ve had a couple of lessons to make sure it is something you will continue with before you make any financial commitments.

A riding school will not expect you to turn up to your first lesson with complete riding kit. Most riding schools will have plenty of essentials that you can borrow. The most important piece if a riding hat and again this is something that most riding schools will have plenty of – you can check this with the school before hand, but all good riding schools will have some spare. If they don’t then it should really raise alarm bells and you may want to consider your choice of stables.

Whilst you don’t need to have the complete riding kit for your first lesson wearing unsuitable clothes can make riding an uncomfortable experience and much harder than it needs to be. So choose your clothes carefully and think about how comfortable they will be in the saddle. Once you have decided that you are going to be a regular down at the stables and a frequent rider choosing good quality riding gear is a great investment. Here are some hints and tips for choosing a good, compact riding wardrobe.

Although we all like to look good, and we want to make our horse look good, we ned to combine that style with functionality. A rider needs clothes that will not restrict or hinder movements, allowing for a freedom and flexibility whilst looking elegant at the same time. Also as every rider knows riding is a full work out and so fabrics need to be durable and light so that riding cloths remain cool and will also absorb moisture.

The appropriate riding clothes depend on what discipline you are doing but here is a guide to your basic essentials; 1. Riding Hat 2. Riding Boots / Jodhpur Boots 3. Breeches / Jodhpurs 4. Jacket 5. Riding Gloves

Riding clothes have come along and there are now a variety of styles and cuts to suit any shape and any budget so do your research and find out what brands are best for your needs. Find a tack shop or online equestrian shop with a good selection of brands and keep your eyes out for any bargains they may have – a good tip is to think ahead and buy out of season and then you can often get real bargains!

RIDING HATS & SAFETY WEAR

Without doubt riding hats are the most important piece of equestrian clothing. Riding hats consist of a hard shell lined with shock absorbing material and provide vital protection for the rider’s head should they fall from a horse or be kicked by a horse. As well as wearing a riding hat at all times when riding, it is also wise to wear a riding hat whilst lunging, or handling any horse from the ground.

It’s very important that a riding hat fits well. If you are unsure of your hat size, or this is your first riding hat, then it’s best to visit a BETA registered saddler or tack shop who will be able to help you choose the best fitting hat for you that also appropriate for the equestrian disciplines you enjoy.

Riding hats should always be replaced immediately if they suffer a severe impact as a result from a fall from a horse, being dropped onto a hard surface or kicked by a horse as although no visible damage may be seen, there may be cracks in the shell or other unseen damage that could make the riding hat unsafe for further wear. In addition the protection offered by any riding hat diminishes over time as the padding inside becomes compressed and so any riding hats should routinely be replaced every 3-4 years even if there are no visible signs of damage, wear and tear, etc.

There are two safety standards acceptable in the UK for riding hats: EN1384/BSEN1384 or PAS 015. Check that any riding hat or helmet you are looking at conforms to these standards.

When trying on any riding hat, it is important that the riding hat fits both comfortably and securely. Without the chin strap fastened the riding hat should fit securely enough that you should be able to nod or shake your head briskly without the hat moving.

Another important safety feature is a Body Protector. Whilst these are not mandatory they are advised and can offer extra protection in case of a fall. Body or Back Protectors are similar to vests and are filled with foam, they are worn over the top of clothes either under of over a jacket. When you first wear a body protector they can seem stiff and uncomfortable at first the foam will mould itself to the rider’s body shape and become more comfortable over time.

JODHPURS / BREECHES

There is often huge confusion over the difference between jodhpurs and breeches and which you should be wearing. As a general rule jodhpurs are for younger riders and breeches for adult riders. However, these are not hard and fast rules and it is more important to wear something you are comfortable in. Breeches are usually just worn by adults for showing and jodhpurs for everyday riding – but again it really is personal preference.

The main difference between jodhpurs and breeches is the leg length. Breeches are worn under long riding boots (or jodhpur boots and chaps) as they are shorter on the leg and jodhpurs have a slightly longer leg with a small cuff that fits over the top of a jodhpur boot or a low riding boot – jodhpurs also often have a stirrup to prevent them from riding up the leg but that isn’t always the case. Unlike regular trousers the leg seams of both jodhpurs and breeches are placed on the outside to prevent chaffing the rider, or the horse!

Jodhpurs and breeches are often designed to increase performance and can have reinforced knee pads to help maintain correct position and the seats can be covered in ‘sticky’ material to increase grip giving the rider help in the saddle.

Jodhpurs comes in a huge variety of colours and styles now so there really is something for everyone. From the low rise hipster style to the high waisted cut and all in a variety of colours – you can get even get union jack ones for the more patriotic among you!

RIDING BOOTS / JODHPUR BOOTS

In the case of riding boots, the tall ones are perfect to wear for competitions and shows, while short ones are comfortable and hard wearing for casual riding. For beginners long / tall riding boots are not necessary, I would suggest starting with paddock boots or jodhpur boots. These come in a variety of styles and fit can vary from brand to brand so take the time to find out what is most comfortable for you. If you do get jodhpur boots of paddock boots then you will also need to get a pair of half chaps. Chaps come in different styles and types including; leather and suede, back or side zips, elasticated gussets so again there is a type for everyone. With chaps, it is worth thinking about your calf size and making sure that you buy a pair that fit comfortably!

When it does come to the time to buy long or tall riding boots it is important to choose well. Correctly fitting riding boots are one of the best investments you can make, riding with ill fitting boots is a nightmare and can ruin the experience and your performance. Boots that are too big in the foot will make it hard to keep your foot on the stirrup correctly and boots that are too small will prove nearly impossible to get on and off and be hugely uncomfortable. Boots come in a variety of measurements for regular, wide, extra wide calf fits, and long or short fitting depending on your leg length – so it is important to look at the measurements for each brand and choose the right fit for your leg.

JACKETS

You should not need a show jacket yet. When you do, the color, style, fit, the season and the comfort will be your choice to make, and will also depend on what discipline you are competing in. But an everyday riding jacket is a must! Come the cold winter rides and purchasing a high quality and high insulation jacket will be the best decision you ever made! Also as the days get shorter and the afternoons darker jackets are useful as in addition to keeping you warm they also often have reflective strips on them which is useful for drawing attention to yourself and your horse in dark or gloomy conditions.

GLOVES

Gloves are a necessity. Eventually you will need a pair of show gloves but for everyday riding just an inexpensive pair of standard riding gloves will do. Riding gloves have added grips on the palms and are usually quite durable. Use them all the time to protect your hands when grooming, riding and lungeing. At most stables riding gloves are a magic mystery as they seem to go missing all the time so make sure you always have a back up pair.

UNDERGARMENTS

I don’t really want to get involved in your underwear nor would you want me to. But one word, for the ladies, make sure you purchase a good supportive sports bra as this really is a must have.

The rest of your clothes are important too. Always wear layers so you can peel them off if you get too warm, as being hot and bothered is not a comfortable way to learn to ride.

When it comes to following the trends, there is a lot of opportunity with horse riding clothes and gear. Horse riding fashion is quite quick changing and so whilst it’s fun to follow – remember to always follow your own instinct and preference more!

Apparel for the horse is a whole different story. Tack, saddles, blankets, horse rugs, turnout rugs. So much more to talk about!

Jewelry Guide – Always Wear Fabulous Jewelry

Jewelry includes all beautiful or attractive ornamental objects that are made with gems and other precious metals. Jewelry made with less valuable materials comes under the category of costume jewelry. Mostly every kind of material can be added to make an attractive jewelry. Jewelry is available in various pretty designs. Both men and women like to wear jewelry on different occasions like wedding party, birthday parties or some other functions.

Some common types of jewelry include anklets, armlets, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings (engagement rings, wedding rings, class rings), toe rings and nose-jewels. Brooches, belly chains, head ornaments come under the category of less common types of jewelry. People can express their love by presenting jewelry to their dear one. Common metals that are used in jewelry include gold, platinum, or silver. Generally sterling silver is used in wonderful jewelry.

Some gems like diamonds, rubies, sapphires or emeralds are used in designer jewelry. Other commonly used materials include glass, wood, seashells, natural clay, or plasticine clays. People usually like to add some beads in the jewelry. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and belts are included in beaded jewelry.

Jewelry is a wonderful outfit that really suits everybody. Always try to wear a simple jewelry because simplicity is the best policy of life. Don’t try an ankle bracelet or a toe ring with office outfit. Replace your jewelry after some time because old-fashioned jewelry makes you obsolete.

Nowadays Internet shopping is in trend that enables you to buy jewelry online. Internet shopping is the best time saving as well as cost saving factor. You can also get some discounts by purchasing superb jewelry online. Internet offers some decent jewelry gifts, which makes your dear one happy.

Strategies for Discount Apparel Shopping Online

After years of effort, experimentation and some reflection, I’ve come to some conclusions about how to save money shopping for clothing online. I recommend three avenues if you want to browse from a good selection and get the lowest possible price. These avenues are online auctions, shopping search engines and clearance/warehouse sales. None of these should be considered the absolute best route to take but rather all three should be compared and the best choice made depending upon your needs.

The most recognizable choice is the online auction, specifically eBay. I think everyone knows that if you want to buy something and buy it cheaper than anywhere else, eBay is the place to go. The strengths of eBay are the breadth of selection and the chance to make a really good deal that you can brag about to your friends and coworkers. The weaknesses of eBay are the scams. There have been quite a few scams perpetrated throughout the history of eBay by buyers and sellers. Unfortunately, eBay is also getting a growing reputation as a place to sell counterfeit goods. There are some safeguards against these practices, though. The most prominent and important is the feedback rating. Next to everybody’s ID is a number that tells you how many transactions that person has had on eBay. Click on that number and you get more detail about what type of interaction that person has with others on eBay. If you want to deal only with vendors who have had thousands of transactions where all of them are positive, you can control that. It doesn’t save you from being scammed but it does increase your chances that you won’t be. Another help is the reviews and guide page. The guides which are written by fellow eBayers can sometimes provide useful info about shopping on eBay, such as how to tell an authentic Coach bag or purse from a fake. The reviews tend to give you detailed feedback about the actual item, as in whether it’s actually a well-made or designed item or not. As always buyer beware, but you are not alone. There are other more specialized auctions that you can use such as Bidz, and Liquidation.com but I’ll save those for another article.

Another route you can take is using a shopping search engine. These are search engines the function in the same way that Google’s or Yahoo’s search engine does but they specialize in new merchandise from established vendors, not individuals. The improvement here over using an online auction is that there is a lower chance of buying a counterfeit item given that you are dealing with established companies who are more dependent on their reputations than an individual might be. The two shopping search engines that I recommend the most are Froogle and Shopzilla. These two are highly informative, have great selections, and are easy to use. If I’m buying a Christmas gift, for example, and don’t want to take the chance on an item being counterfeit or in bad condition then I’m going to want to head to Froogle and Shopzilla and do a search ordering my results by lowest price first. Some notable retailers that operate function similar to shopping search are Amazon, Smartbargains and Overstock. These are also worth checking out. If I’m just trying to get some idea of the lowest price that I would have to pay for something, I’ll probably just go to Froogle and Shopzilla. If I’m budget-conscious and absolutely have to have a particular item, then I may check out all of them because every once in a while, each one of the sites will have a substantial discount on a specific brand or item.
The most intriguing option is the clearance or warehouse sale. The obvious route to a clearing sale is to go to a retailer’s website, click on the “clearance” button and browse what they have. This can vary for effectiveness. Sometimes the selection is good, sometimes it’s garbage, but it worth checking out for sites that you visit repeatedly. You should also check the sites that you frequent for coupons. A lot of retailers seem to think that a 10% off discount is something to get excited over (yawn). However, sometimes that the only discount available anywhere and on something like a Chloe Paddington bag or a top of the line Louis Vuitton bag, it can make a substantial difference. Another route to a clearance sale is search for information online for good offline deals. There are various websites online that regularly post when a warehouse sale is going to occur. A warehouse sale typically is when a warehouse closes resulting in merchandise to be liquidated. This can be the source of the once-in-a-lifetime dream discounts for quality brands that make you feel like Christmas has arrived.

An easy way to check for these type of deals is to subscribe to my regular newsletter, http://www.top-apparel-outlet-stores.com/Outlet-clothing-stores-blog.html. I’m also open to suggestions so feel free to share them with me so that I can pass them on.

Shopping Guide to 80s Shirts

We all know that the 1980s has the most unforgettable fashion trends and icons. As a matter of fact, pieces of clothing – a pair of leg warmers here and there, retro sunglasses, and oversized tops – could still be seen in the streets today! And we all know the mini-skirt made its debut in the same era. If you love the 80s, then you are probably a proud owner of maybe one or a couple of 80s shirts that you wear on casual affairs. If you don’t, you can actually buy them at several stores, which each feature its own unique lines of 80s t shirts.

80s shirts possess distinctive styles, colors, and design. The era is known for the use of bolder colors in fashion such as pink, lime green, and yellow. 80s t shirts available today may not be “that” bold, which is good as you might be a bit hesitant to look like you were trapped in the recesses of time, but there are some styles that are still considered fashionable today. For instance, some 80s-themed stores include polo shirts, tracksuit tops, and the occasional jumpers.

For men, you will find a plenty polo shirts in colors and cuts reminiscent of the 80s. Long-sleeved twill check shirts such as those made by Gant may be worn in the office or night-outs. But everyone would surely get a kick out of 80s shirts bearing graphic designs featuring bands, old-school products, and the faces of iconic actors and musicians of the era. For something more modern, there are now several 80s t shirts, that say “I Heart 80s!” “Born in the 80s” or “80s Child” in retro designs you’ll surely enjoy.

For ladies, the oversized tops – often worn with wide belts – have definitely made a comeback. They have them in modern cuts with some designed to show off one shoulder, others in V-neck, and others still, too long that you can wear them with leg warmers or as a dress. If you wish for authentic 80s shirts, you may get them for great prices from several online stores that specialize in vintage wear. Women like to dress up and if you have the natural eye for fashion, you will know exactly how to wear 80s t shirts or blouses.

Statement and logo 80s shirts are of course available for both men and women. Many shops even offer plus sizes, too. Even better, stores usually have more than one color available for any design you like. More designs in 80s t shirts keep being introduced that you can even collect them if you wish. Wearing 80s-themed shirts can do wonders for your mood – and even make the people around you smile. Shop for your own t shirt now.