Last year, I kicked off 2012 with a shopping fast. This year, not so much. I can’t help it, I love shopping. Yet, I don’t need to be a mindless credit card-swiping zombie to satisfy my cravings. ‘Tis true! The Nomi Network is a nonprofit organization that provides consumers with an opportunity to shop for good: their mission is to provide training and jobs for women who were victims or are at risk for sex trafficking. The women are taught to sew and create beautiful and functional bags, which are sold through their online store. 100% of the proceeds are used to pay fair wages and provide further training for the women.
I picked up the Double Zip Sorn Bon Wallet in light blue.
Kim managed to nab this cute Quilted Cosmetic Case in light blue before it sold out.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of hearing Alissa Moore, vice-president and co-founder of the Nomi Network, speak about her passion for this cause. I got a chance to speak to her afterwards and she was so sweet and inspiring. I can’t imagine the amount of faith and strength it requires to face something as pervasive and prevalent as sex trafficking head-on. This is an issue that I’ve avoided. Who wants to think about women who are bought and sold as commodities? Certainly not complacent, comfortable me.
Life has been good in the Capitol.
But there was no way I could continue to be an ignorant consumer after hearing Alissa’s moving story.
Check out their blog here. Happy shopping!
Let’s talk boots. I’ve been on a quest for the perfect boots for the longest time. For me, “perfect” means:
Previously, I purchased the leather Kasia boots from Target in cognac and black. I wore them all winter and they still look nice. However, they have begun to slouch a bit and that, combined with the flat bottoms, make me look sloppy. Plus, they do nothing for my short legs.
This year, I decided to give heeled boots a try. I’ve always shied away from heels because I’m allergic to discomfort. But go heavy or go home, right? Since I’m so short, they add to my stature and, in my opinion, make outfits look more put together and professional.
Because I wanted to get a head start on boot season (I am obsessed with getting a head start on everything), I convinced ST to take me boot shopping. I like me some Staten Island shopping. I find that Staten Island stores have lots more in stock and are never chaotic or crowded like in Brooklyn. Even though summer was in full swing, I decided to browse the clearance section in DSW. Because, why not?
Jackpot. B.O.C. brown leather boots. Perfect heel height, calf circumference, color, and of course… price. Originally $119, marked down to $36. Done and done. They’re comfortable enough to wear for an entire work day but probably not for a long walk.
Riding on the high of that victory, I thought the perfect ankle boots were going to just fall into my lap.
WRONG. My ankle boot story is fraught with heartache. Dramatic but true.
First of all, even though ankle boots are less than half the size of normal boots, they are EXPENSIVE. The other day, I was browsing H&M and I found these PVC booties for $50! They were cute, but for me, nothing special.
Trying to find something that fit my criteria was almost impossible. The cheapest option I could find were these Ecote suede ankle boots at Urban Outfitters. Since they’re currently on sale for $49, my size is sold out everywhere. Additionally, the ankle openings are too big and they feel cheapy. I really like Urban Outfitters but sometimes I forget their clothes are primarily for college students.
After hours upon hours of futile Internet search, I found them. The prettiest, most affordable suede ankle boots with just enough of a sassy western vibe for me to be like, “Yeah, I married a Texan.”
I present to you the Call it Spring Antall.
Aren’t they pretty? And the best part was that they were on sale at Zappos for $58! They have since sold out of black, but cognac can be purchased for $65. They were actually cheaper at 6pm (sold out also) at $48 but I made the rare decision to spend more because I know that buying shoes online can be disastrous and Zappos has an amazing customer service reputation.
Well, I didn’t get the boots but I’m so glad I went with Zappos.
So here’s what happened. My order was delivered and I was stoked. Since I was away at a conference and they were delivered to our workplace, I made ST open the box and send me pictures. They looked a bit big to be 6.5 but I ignored that and was practically bursting with excitement when I got home. Feel free to mock me now.
Well, they were too big. They were size 9. I was pretty disappointed and immediately called Zappos to whine about it. Luckily, the customer service representative was the sweetest girl ever and we had the most pleasant conversation. Not only did she get an exchange for me, she refunded all my money – giving me a five finger discount! – and upgraded me to VIP status! This means I get one-day shipping for free! (remember when that was standard?)
So I waited another few days for the UPS man to deliver me my precious Antalls. As soon as ST brought the box in, I ripped it open only to find… size 8. Whomp, whomp. I was seriously crestfallen at this point. Like, I almost teared. Another call to Zappos got me a $25 gift certificate and the promise of being contacted by a Zappos warehouse representative.
After a few days, I was sent a very cute and apologetic email. They ran out of my boots and to make it right, they gave me a $60 gift certificate. I couldn’t believe Zappos had given me the best customer service of my life AND and $85 gift certificate just for being a customer. Mind blown.
Oh, but wait. This story has a happy ending. I got my boots!
During one of our long walks, Helene and I ended up at Atlantic Terminal. We wandered into my favorite store: Marshall’s. For those of you who don’t have Marshall’s – I’m so sorry. It was like ankle boot clearance day over there. Within five minutes, I’d loaded my cart with five pairs – all leather, all under $60.
May I present to you the Vince Camuto Belta in black leather.
Leather, perfect ankle openings, goes well with skirts and pants, and they are so cute. I actually like them even better than the Antalls.
Moral of the story: Paying a few extra bucks for stellar customer service is a worthy investment. Also, good things come to those who wait.
This time of year is definitely sad for me. Summer, my favorite season ever, is ending. The warm weather begins to fade into crisp mornings. Tank tops, shorts, and sandals are packed away to make room for cardigans, boots, and jackets. Most importantly, its the start of a new school year. Most evenings are spent on the couch planning curriculum.
Well, every cloud has its silver lining. At least I get to shop for some new clothes. Back to school shopping isn’t only for kids!
Since we just came back from a long vacation, it wouldn’t be responsible for me to spend lots of money. However, there are some things on my wishlist:
Anyway, enter a much needed shopping girl date with Helene. Before reconnecting with Helene (my high school buddy with whom I’d lost touch for ten years!) I never though I could shop successfully at thrift or consignment stores. Not because these types of stores don’t have nice clothing, but because I simply wasn’t stylish. Now that I have a friend to suggest and discuss pieces with, I absolutely love thrifting. Its like budget-friendly treasure hunting.
We had a two-hour window before Helene had class, so we decided to stay local and shop around in Park Slope and nearby Cobble Hill. We stopped at Housing Works, Beacon’s Closet, and the newly opened Buffalo Exchange.
Housing Works is usually better for housewares. Today, they had these awesome pot holders made of old sweaters and oven mitts made of denim jeans and Dockers for $2 each. They were so adorable but we didn’t need any of that so we passed. I also saw a navy blue Luxe dress for $25. Pretty, but more than I was looking to spend. So we left empty-handed.
Our next stop was Beacon’s Closet, which does not disappoint. There was so much cute stuff! I saw tons of stuff I liked, but restrained myself and walked out with wishlist stuff.
A fitted motorcycle-style denim jacket! This thing is super soft and fitted and I can wear a light sweater under it. The sleeves are a bit long but then again, all sleeves are long on me. I actually like having long sleeves sometimes because they keep my hands warm on chilly Fall nights.
The best part was of course the price: $13.95. Huzzah!
I also picked up this black fitted wool vest by Theory. This guy is in pristine condition and fits like a glove. Its appropriate for work, hanging out, and dates with ST. At long last, I have my fitted vest.
And of course, the price tag is the icing on the cake: $16.95. I have no idea who would want to sell their Theory vest for $6 (35% of the selling price) but I thank you my friend.
I almost skipped out of the store after paying $30.90. Helene got an awesome gray tweed jumpsuit to wear during September Fashion Week for $15. It was new with tags and by Tucker for Target.
Our last stop was Buffalo Exchange. This store is relatively new and still smelled of fresh paint when we walked in. Its large, spacious and the staff are friendly. I saw lots of cute stuff – gray BDG jean leggings, Rock and Republic jeans for $12, tall Doc Martens for $75, a Coach leather bucket bag for $24, and a black patent leather Marc Jacobs tote for $88.50. I restrained myself while Helene walked out with a pretty and brand new cream chiffon top for $6.50.
What fun shopping adventures have you gotten yourself into lately?