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Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

What’s in YOUR Closet?

At the beginning of my Dress Like a Diva…Shop Like a Tightwad seminar I ask the class, “What is the number one thing we can do at home, before we leave the house to go shopping, that will save us money?” Invariably, I get the same answer: “Make a list.”? That’s a great answer.? But how do you know what to put on your list?? After a few more guesses, someone will come up with some variation of “figure out what you have.”


That, my friends, is the answer.? If you don’t know what you have, you can’t know what you need.? If you don’t know what you need, you’ll buy things you don’t, which is a grand waste of money.?

The quickest way to figure out what you need is to…(insert drumroll)… CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET!? Having a clean and?organized closet is the best way to ensure that you won’t spend money unnecessarily.? It also provides you with other benefits, such as looking more stylish and put together.? Plus, you’ll be happier when you open a closet filled with lots of things you love. (and remember are there)

Clean your closetHow many of us have a closet full of many different sizes of clothing?? It’s not an empowering experience to be greeted?with every time we open our closet.?? No woman enjoys being reminded of when she was a size 6, if she is now a 14, or of when she was a 16, if she in now an 8.? I was discussing this “multiple size syndrome” one evening before teaching a class?with Jessie Garza, a well known stylist. ?He termed this as: “our closet mocking us.”? Not exactly a welcome notion. For some reason though, we seem to have trouble letting go of those unnecessary items.??? Cleaning your closet will put an end to this “mocking.”? The goal is to be confronted with a closet full of clothing that?you love, that fit correctly,?and?are stylish?and flattering –??every time you open the door.

When you clean your closet, you must commit to being ruthless with yourself.? This is not an excercise for WIMPS!? Do not attempt it on your own.?? The best route is to employ an image consultant who’s familiar with this process and takes no prisoners.? If that doesn’t appeal to you, the next best person is a sister, because she will not be likely to mince words to?spare your feelings.? If you don’t have a sister, you’ll have to settle for a friend, who agrees to be brutally honest with you.? Then…

1st Step – Take every single last item out of your closet and throw it on the bed.?? Yes! ?Then pick up each garment – one-at-a-time – and?decide which one of?three??piles it will go in:?
???????????????????Pile #1 is the throw away pile.? It’s comprised of the things that no one will ever wear again.? Either it has holes, or stains, or cigarette burns.? It’s faded or has bleach spots; let’s face it, it a piece crap! ?Toss it!? And don’t look back!
?????????????????? Pile #2 is the give away pile.? Maybe you?won’t wear it again?for any?number of reasons, but it’s still usable.? Either it’s the wrong size, or it’s no longer age appropriate, or it’s no longer contemporary enough.? If you’re 50 years old and that micro mini still fits…TOSS IT!? You’re too damn old to be running around in a skirt up to your whosiwhatsis (I’m that age too, so I can say that).? Anything decorated with the Bedazzler, toss right out (the window).? Linebacker shoulder pads – fuggetaboutit!? Now there might be things in this pile that have sentimental memories attached. ?That’s fine.? You don’t have to give it away, but put it away in a special place, so that you can visit it when you want; not every time you open your closet.? The things in?Pile #2 you can?donate to charity or if new enough, bring them to a consignment shop for possible resale.
??????????????????????????? Pile # 3 should contain all you want to keep.? You should love these items, they should fit and should?be contemporary or able to be made so by adding a trendy accessory or some?small alterations.? And they should be age appropriate for you.?? Every single piece in this pile must be tried on to determine if it meets all of the criterior above.? This is where the help of a professional, sister, or friend is most important.? Try them on piece by piece?and be ruthless with yourself.? Remeber your goal!Clean your closet

Once you have tried every last?thing and decided what you’re keeping, put the items back in the closet with the hanger hook facing outward instead of inward.? That way, if after 6 months it’s still facing that way, you know it’s not something that you like, want to wear, or need.? Get rid of it!

After this process maybe the only thing left in your closet is one white blouse. ?That’s OK!? Now you know what you have and what you need. Organize your closetThis will definitely cut down on wasting money on unnecessary purchases.? Come back for my?future post about some techniques to help determine the correct styles for your particular body.? This will aid you further in ‘restocking” your closet.

Until then, what item?in your closet makes you say “What was I thinking!?

For?closet consultations either in person or remotely, call Pamela at 800-808-4614.

Spring is here and the bargains are in bloom

Walking down the street on a bright sunny spring day, cherry blossoms wafting through the air like a gentle snow, a girl’s thoughts turn to…BARGAIN HUNTING of course!? Some of the best sales for those truly motivated by the thrill of the hunt are just around the corner.??Below are three of my favorites.? Shopping these sales are a win, win, win situation for everyone. You are getting fabulous things you might not usually have access to. You are reusing & recyling both when you shop & donate and you are helping? incredible organizations continue their work. Plus they are just enormous fun? What more could you ask for??

Posh Sale @ The Lighthouse for the Blind
May 12 -May 16th
Preview Wed? 4-8
Thus-Sat 11-7
Sun 11-5
111 East 59th Street
Between Park & Lexington Avenues
New York City

This has been “The Hottest Sale in Town” since 1963.? I went to my 1st one in 1980(I was only 5 years old).? This sale is chock full of designer duds donated “gently used” from NY’s elite and brand spanking new from all the top designers in town.? You will find names like Manolo Blahnik, Burberry, Coach, Furla Classics Collection, Carolina Herrera, March Boutique, Nicole Miller, Bettye Muller, Tracy Reese, Joan Rivers, Rachel Roy, Theory, XOXO,and more for men, ?women and children.? They have one of the most extensive fur salon’s ever(gently used).? All proceeds benefit the Lighthouse’s efforts to fight vision loss and help make better the lives of those touched by it .

Now in days of?old when men were bold,?all you had to do to get first dibs on the best loot was to get there at about 7:30am and wait on line for the doors to open at 10.? Alas fair maidens and courtly gents, this is no longer the case.? There is a preview night, May 12th , with? tickets going for $175, which includes admission to all? public days too.? Tickets for individual public days are $10each or $30 for all 4. Buy online before May 7 and bogo free.? 75% of the ticket price is tax deductible.?? The stock is replenished daily, so it’s worth a few trips.

I LOVE THIS SALE!? The clothes are fabulous.? Understand that the competition for is fierce for the best stuff.? The women are wild!? Don’t be shy here or you’ll get mowed down.? A few tips:

  • Get there between 8-9am.? The line will be around the block by the time the doors open.
  • Wear clothes that come off and on easily. Speed is the name of the game here. If you snooze, you lose!
  • Wear a bag with a shoulder strap that you can sling across your body so that both hand are free.
  • Have lots of fun.? This sale is a blast!

Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Annual Clothing Sale
Donate:? April 5th -29th
Donor’s Day:? Wednesday, May 5th 10-8(By Ticket Only, see below)
Public Dates:? May 6th -12th? Weekdays 10-8, ?Sat 10-4, ?Closed on Sunday
135 Forest Avenue, Locust Valley NY 11560
(516) 676-1460

The first year this sale took place Richard Milhaus Nixon was president.? They’ve honed it since then to one of the best Ive ever been to.? The NY Times?has written ?this is where the “elite meet to shop for designer bargains”? An entire gym is filled to the rafters with all sorts of women’s clothing & accessories and even some home decor items.? There is a separate room for men’s wear & the women’s shoes are in the very large dressing room. (Almost everything is “gently used”)

I’ve gotten St John’s knit tops for $5 & Hermes shoes for $6.? You will see every major designer.? Ferragamo, Yves St Laurent, Dorney & Bourke, Ettienne Aigner, Adrienne Vittadini, Ann Taylor, Coach & Prada are some of the names I have bought in the past.? There is so much here to go through .?I have gone up to 4 different day in past years and still not seen everything.

It is a fun, fun experience.? Another plus is that if you donate, you get a ticket for “Donor’s Day”, which means you get to pre-shop the public sale one day before it opens.? There is a very long line for both donor’s day and opening day.? The same tips apply to this?event as do the Posh sale.? The only difference is the lead time.? You have to get?here about 1 hr before it opens instead of 2 1/2 hrs.? The prices are fixed for those 1st two days, then they start fall until the last day when everything is under $5 each.? Alert for NYC residents: the Long Island Railroad’s Locust Valley station is right at the end of the street.? It is worth the trip! (Bring your rolling cart or suitcase. You’ll need it)

Minks to Sinks
Under the tents at Danbury Road & School Road in Wilton,
1 mile north of Wilton Center (Town Tennis Courts)
Sat May 1st, 9am to 5pm?
Sun May 2nd, 12pm to 4pm? (1/2 Price Bargain Day)
Mon May 3rd, 9am to 12pm? (1/2 Price & Fill a Bag: Bargain Day)

This is the largest semi-annual tag sale in Wilton CT.? It has it’s roots in a town rummage sale which began in 1931.? In 1952 there was a donation of both a mink coat & a sink and the name Minks to Sinks was coined and? has stuck.? I have known about this sale for years and have been meaning to get there for as long.? I’m sad to say I haven’t made it yet, however I know it’s one of the best.? I know this because it is a favorite of the “dealers”.? In fact I’ve heard (a rumor only, not verified by me) that dealers get there really, really early actually sell spaces on line.? If that’s true, that’s a good sign.? Will this be the year you’ll run into The Elegant Tightwad rummaging around.? I’m hoping it will be!? It always takes place the first weekend in May & October.? I’ve also heard the clothing?here is incredible.? Here’s?some Directions.? Proceeds from this sale benefit? FCA (Family & Children’s Agency) of Norwalk.

So bargain hunters, you have your work cut out for you! ? Happy shopping & remember to shop responsibly:)

What the heck is a consignment shop?

On a recent tour I was explaining what great deals you could get at consignment shops.? One of my shoppers looked at me with an expression that suggested heavy indigestion and said scathingly ” What the heck is a consignment shop?? Isn’t that old clothes?”? (Exactly like my mom did when I started bring home my finds at sixteen years old:)

Well, yes, in the sense that someone else has already worn them.? However in NYC you have never seen “old clothes” like these old clothes.? Here’s a hint. People who wear Chanel don’t usually wear them out!? That’s the kind of finds you will get on a regular basis at New York City consignment and even thrift shops.

A quick definition is in order for the uninitiated.? Consignment shops are stocked with clothes brought in by regular people like you and me(and not so regular in NY, where there’s lots of celebs who do to, on the down low).? When the item is sold the money is split between the store & the consignor.? It’s usually a 50/50 split.?? Keep this in mind when you clean out you closets.

To give a quick example, here’s a Fendi leather bag, retailing for around $2000.? I?found it for?$450.? Now I don’t usually fork over that kind of dough for any handbag, but this was a must have.? The 2 styles of handbag I love are knapsack & drawstring.? I just fell in love with this one, however I also knew I would get enormous use out of it.? I’m like a linebacker with my bags.? I destroy them.? All those beautiful soft leather numbers are not for moi for every day use. This one is thick, durable leather.? It will look great for years.? That was the clincher(and my justification).

Ok, so I’m not the best photographer.? A more usually priced purchase for me is this Coach Bag I paid $60 for, and it was brand new.

Of course handbags and shoes are just a fraction of what is available in these stores.? You’ll find lots and lots of clothes from Chanel, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, St John, Juicy and everyone else on down.? Remember too, these shops are very selective.? Everything is in pristine condition.? Once you wash or dry clean it, although they have to be freshly laundered to be accepted, there will not be a trace of any one’s cooties left.? Plus, and this is a very big plus, you are recycling.? In this country which we are blessed to be living in, there is sooooo much surplus.???You could go for the rest of your life living & dressing extremely well & never buy another new item.?

I love this type of shopping!? I don’t just go at home though.?? Whenever I travel I research these kind of shops which are convenient to my destination.? They are one of my 1st stops.? Besides the deals and the thrill of the hunt, it also gives me an idea of what the locals are wearing.? Then I can be fashionable wherever I am.

So if you hear “consignment shop”,? perk up your ears before you turn up your nose.? You might find the treasure you’ve been looking for at a price to die for.? Here’s some tips for consignment shopping:

  1. Plan to hit a number of stores in one day.? That maximizes time & your chance of finding what you want.? NYC has the upper east side in the 80’s where you could hit 10 or more shops within walking distance of each other.
  2. Keep an open mind.? Try not to do this sort of shopping with a specific item in mind .? Think more of building your wardrobe.
  3. Get motivated by the thrill of the hunt.? This way you won’t get discouraged if you don’t find things you like right away.
  4. Really, really look through those racks.? Unlike regular retail, every piece is different.? If you?don’t take?the time to really look you could miss the deal of a lifetime.
  5. Try on, try on, try on.? Don’t pay attention to sizes.? They mean little on new item and less on used.? It may have been taken in, out etc by the previous owner.? If it looks like it might fit, try it on.
  6. If you’re finding a bunch of things you like in your size, look at the tag for the consignor number(# assigned to each person whose clothes they sell).? If it’s the same, then you’ve hit on a? person with your taste & size.? Ask the store owner to inform you when this person brings in more items.
  7. Check your items thoroughly.? Even though?stores are selective, they can miss flaws.? Before you plunk down your cash bring the item to the lightest place in the store and look it over front & back, inside & out.? Remember there are no refunds or exchanges in these type of stores.
  8. Ask the 3 magic questions to help avoid impulse buying: Where would I wear this to??I could find a $5000 Roberto Cavalli gown for $100.? If I’m not strutting down the red carpet anytime soon, I might as well throw that hundred buckaroos out the window. What would I wear it with?If I don’t know what I will wear it with and I’m not getting that at the same time, there’s a good chance it will sit in my closet.? Another waste of $$$.??Would I buy it at full price?? Sales are very seductive!? If it’s not something I would pay full price for, it probably won’t get worn.

Use these tips the next time you go consignment shopping and let me know how it goes.? Here’s some of fav shops in NYC:

La Boutique Resale – 3? locations
(Check out the Anna & Kristina’s Beauty call video in the right corner of their web page & you will see yours truly)
803 Lexington Ave. – 2nd floor
62nd St.

1045 Madison Ave – 2nd Floor
near 80th Street

227 E. 81st Street
between 2nd & 3rd Avenue

218 E 81ST St
Between 2nd & 3rd

1132 Madison Ave
Between 84th & 85th

Happy Shopping!


Some of this week’s sample sales

The weatherman is being kind to us this week, so it’s a perfect time to save money on the season’s hottest duds.?Here are some of this week’s sample sales.?We have big? & not so big names, but all fabulous,??discounting up to 80%.?

Bulgari”s haute selections at up to 70% off retail.? Handbags, Small Leather Goods,
Scarves, Gifts & Fragrances.? Last day 4/14, 9-6:30, ? 317 West 33rd Street, NYC
(Just west of 8th Avenue), Credit Cards only, No strollers.

Loro Piana’s exquisite cashmere for men & women. Outerwear, accessories & clothing too.? Bolts of cashmere and wool fabrics for suits, jackets and outerwear.??317 West 33rd Street, NYC, (Just west of 8th Avenue), ?4/18-4/22, Sun -Wed 9:-6:30, Thur 9-5

Strollers not allowed. No children under 12 will be admitted.


Betsey Johnson’sunique designs that we’ve loved? forever are on the menu. Check it out 4/14 – 4/16 at the Millenium Bdwy Hotel, 145 W44th St, bet 6th & 7th Aves.? 10am -10pm

Deck yourself out with Tahari’s classic lines for up to 80% off.? Both men & women plus handbags & shoes. 4/13-4/17 at 510 5th Ave, bet 43rd & 44th Sts. Wkdays 8:30-7:30, Sat 10-5

Score pants, tops, dresses at deep discounts at the Julie Haus sample sale. 4/13-4/16, ?39 W38th St,??bet 5th & 6th Aves, 6th Fl,? 10-8

Rock & Republic!? Blowout sale at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W 18th St, bet 6th & 7th, 4th Fl, 4/16-4/18, Fri 4-9, Sat & Sun 9-7.? Men’s, women’s & accessories up to 80% off.?

Happy Shopping!

Check back later in the week for more sales!

Happy holidays to all!

I have spent the last 2+ weeks getting settled in my new NYC apt.? I love living here, but I never want to see another box again!

All I will say for now as another week comesto an end is? to wish everyone a?wonderful Easter & Passover.? We have gotten some really nice weather, finally, here in NY in time to connect with family and friends and?engage in the rites of?our respective religions? I’ll

Kim has her hands full with all her finds at one showroom

with ?some pics of some of this week’s happy shoppers.

Charlotte in little black dress with some interesting detailing.

Charlotte & Kim with the day's finds.

Leia and...Mom pore through the racks in the East Village


Julia models one of her finds.At the end of the tour...Susan, Julia, Me, Scott & LInda with the day's take.

At the end of the tour...Susan, Julia, Me, Scott & LInda with the day's take.


Happy Holidays to All!