Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Project Runway Season 10

As is not surprising, I'm a big fan of Project Runway. Season 10 kicked off last Thursday with 16 designers. Several of the designs incorporated sleeves and hemlines that weren't super short, but the designer who came in third place for the week, Melissa Fleis, put an actual tznius look down the runway!

This look was one of two looks Melissa put down the runway. This particular look was her "homework assignment." It was shipped ahead of Project Runway's taping and was meant to represent who she is as a designer. I thought it was great that she would choose a look that was tsnius to represent herself. Her second look, which she only had a day to create, was not tsnius, but she only had one day to make the second garment, so I'll let that slide.

I personally love this look. I think the skirt of the dress is very flattering and the vest adds great texture and an interesting neckline. I think it would look great in a variety of colors, especially a more equestrian color palate of a deep red dress and a dark camel or dark brown vest. I could see other more playful color combinations looking great as well.

In the interest of full disclosure on the blog, I learned based on the Tim Gunn critique of Melissa on Project Runway's site that the dress' neckline is asymmetrical and not tsnius on its own. It's either the same as or similar to this dress on her website. However, the vest was never taken off on the runway (or at least the TV-edited runway), so I'm going on the assumption the dress with vest is a complete look and meant to be worn together.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Shout out to Destination Maternity at the Willow Grove Park Mall

It's not everyday I get a thank you note from a store. In fact, I have only previously received thank you notes from a few online stores, but never a store where I physically shopped. That changed this week when I received a thank you note from Jennifer, the Assistant Store Manager at the Destination Maternity store in the Willow Grove Park Mall in Willow Grove, PA.

I only spent $113 on seven shirts and two skirts without being in the store for more than 30 minutes. And all the items I bought were by Motherhood Maternity; I bought nothing in the A Pea in the Pod side of the store. But I got a hand-written thank you note.

If I hadn't spent over $1,000 on maternity clothes when I was pregnant with my son and over $460 so far this pregnancy, I would go shopping again right away at a Destination Maternity-owned store! (I already had spent over $200 between two other Destination Maternity stores within three days of my visit to the Willow Grove Park store.)

Here's a picture of the note I was sent.

If you're having reading the picture, the text reads:

I just wanted to thank you personally for coming in and shopping with me on the first! You were a delight and looked great in everything you tried on! I hope that you'll come back and shop with me again next time you're in the area!
Assistant Store Manager

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale

My favorite sale of the year is Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale. It's Nordstrom's only sale where they discount products meant for an upcoming season and discount wardrobe staples. This year, they have some pretty great tznua high-end designer dresses on sale, as well as a designer skirt and a few shirts.  I'm highlighting my favorite five items from the sale, but there are other tznua items on sale that are a bit more trendy and do not suit every taste.

The Anniversary Sale begins July 20 and ends August 5 (prices go up August 6). Nordstrom credit card holders can shop the pre-sale in stores and online going on now.

First, the dresses.

I love this dress by Lida Baday.  It will be on sale for $599.00 and cost $1,060.00 after the sale. I know it seems pricey, but a tznua suit by this designer at Nordstrom costs $1,295.00 for the suit jacket and $625.00 for the skirt. So, this dress is a relative bargain at $600. And while my lawyer friends wouldn't necessarily be able to get away with wearing this dress in a courtroom, I think that this dress would be a great suit substitute for most job interview and job-related presentation situations.  This dress is made of wool and is fully lined, so you may not want to add this to your summer wardrobe, but its tailoring is impeccable.

Also of note is this jersey dress by Michael Kors in "blackberry."  This dress will be $799.00 on Anniversary Sale and $1,395.00 afterward. Surprisingly, this dress is not lined, so I'm not 100% certain how forgiving the top will be, but I believe the tailoring of the bottom will be very forgiving. It's definitely much more expensive than the lower-end Ralph Lauren dresses available last winter (the American Living version was featured on my blog in February). I wouldn't recommend it as highly as the Lida Baday dress, but if you're a big fan of Michael Kors, any tznua dress by him is a great find. The dress is also available in black for the same price.

Next, the skirt.

I know first-hand how hard it is to find any tznua pencil skirts. The ones that are long enough are generally way too tight. So, you can imagine my excitement when I found this skirt by Nic + Zoe. Other than the fact that it's a matte dark brown and not black, it's pretty much a perfect pencil skirt; it's slimming, interesting, and not tight. It's like a pencil skirt miracle! And at $78.90 for the sale (and machine washable!) it's a steal compared to it's future regular price of $119.00.

And finally the shirts.

So you're probably waiting for me to post an item that's affordable to the masses. I have it right here. This long-sleeve cotton crewneck tee by Caslon, which comes in 15 different colors, is only $15.90 on the sale and $25.00 after. I can attest that these shirts are made incredibly well. They do not shrink when washed properly, they are a perfect length, and will not ride up to show your back or belly. They also last forever. Plus, Nordstrom provides free standard shipping for every purchase, so you won't have any surprising costs when you checkout!

The last featured shirt is a dressier long-sleeve crewneck tee by Norstrom Collection in stretch modal fabric. It comes in two colors - ivory and red. It will be on sale for $64.90 and cost $98.00 after the sale. This shirt is intended for situations where cotton isn't dressy enough - such as at work, at shul, or to wear under a blazer.

Full disclosure: I was employed by Nordstrom throughout much of college. They were a terrific employer and the job has helped me get every job I've held since. I have not been paid by Nordstrom since 2004 and I don't get any commission from my blog.