September 30, 2010

Nordstrom Rack on the Mag Mile is Now OPEN! (See what's in store)

You heard it here first (okay, maybe not)...the Nordstrom Rack near the Magnificent Mile is now open!! 

Of course, I, being a bonafide shopper, had to check it out on Day #1 to see what this location would have to offer and to get first dibs on the goods.  Let me just start by saying that the placement of this store will be the key to its success.  Only a hop, skip and jump will put you right in front of Water Tower Place AND it will be in extremely close proximity to the All Saints and Topshop stores opening in a few months. Needless to say, the Magnificent Mile will become even more appealing to shoppers and tourists. Very strategic move, Nordstrom Rack.

Now, on to the goodies...

The store is smaller than I expected but packed with great items.  The shoe section is always my first stop in the Rack and this one did not disappoint! Not to mention, I appreciate the fact that both shoes are available in the box; no waiting in line for what seems like hours while the staff finds the mate.  The Designer Shoe section has an amazing selection and, thus, requires lightning fast reflexes.  Within five minutes of me snapping a photo of the Coach zebra shoes shown below, they were gone!

The clothing was well organized and very "on-trend" - ruffles, lace and military-inspired items were plentiful.  There were some great classic pieces as well, including a buttery soft Michael Kors motorcycle jacket I would be willing to live in the entire Fall season - this year and beyond.

Unfortunately, the handbag and jewelry sections were lacking - although, I did salivate a little bit over the Rebecca Minkoff bags I encountered on my way to the register.  My hope is that they will expand these sections in the future. (cc: Management)

Overall, the new Nordstrom Rack is promising and definitely deserves a visit.  Also, since it's situated less than a mile from Nordstrom, something tells me this location will continuously have great items in stock and maintain high turnover. 

If you haven't checked out the new spot yet, be sure to do so.  Afterwards, celebrate your Nordstrom Rack finds by paying a visit to Sprinkles and indulge in some sinfully great least that's what I did. :)

Nordstrom Rack
101 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

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September 27, 2010

Quoteworthy: Lynn Yaeger on Shopping

"'s not just shopping, it's curatorial research. I am building a collection just like the most exacting art connoisseur, but instead of finding something to hang on a wall, I'll hang it on my back."

-Lynn Yaeger (Vogue, September 2010)


September 25, 2010

A Reader's Request Answered - The Perfect Fall Shoe

Hello lovelies!

This Reader's Request was submitted by one of my Twitter buddies.  She told me that she was looking to purchase only ONE new pair of shoes for Fall and was wondering what would be her best choice.  I immediately responded with "a platform oxford".  Why?  When you decide to make a singular purchase to last an entire season, versatility should be the main focus.  The platform oxford is a classic design that works equally well with trousers, jeans and skirts. 

Now for the twist (à la Project Runway): The shoes have to be under $50.

Needless to say, I took to the internet and did some serious bargain "window" shopping.  Here are my finds...

Clockwise from top left:
Spotlight Heel by ModCloth - $80
Daring by Carlos Santana - $45
Westfalen by Matisse - $52
Lace Up Suede Bootie by Go Jane - $34
Vanna by Type Z - $60
Beauty Oxford by Mojo Moxy - $70
Savior by Anne Michelle - $37

I'm sure you noticed that some are priced over $50.  These were included because quality is vital and a small change in price can sometimes make a world of difference. The largest variance was $30 - not too bad considering this may be her only shoe purchase until Winter hits.

Now that Fall has officially made its appearance, what will be your "go-to" shoe this season?

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September 24, 2010

Jewelry Swoon - Ken and Dana "Marley" Necklace

For my urban chic girls...

Another great item from the lovely duo, Ken + Dana. The "Marley" Necklace is this week's Ken + Dana B-Side Battle item. The B-Side Battle is a week-long offering of one of their favorite picks at a "battle" price (i.e. a fraction of the retail price).

"Marley" is available for $75 until 9/27/10. If you want to add this statement piece to your collection, ACT. FAST.

For my NYC readers, check out the upcoming Showroom Saturdays at Ken + Dana.  It'll be the perfect opportunity to meet the design team, shop one-of-a-kind items not available online and receive a 20% discount.

To check out more of my favorites from Ken + Dana, click here and here.

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NOW ONLINE: J.Crew Factory (weekends only)

Click image to visit the site.

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September 23, 2010

Janie Bryant MOD: Animal Print on a Budget

Looking to finally jump on the animal print bandwagon or just add something fresh to your existing wardrobe? My two favorite items from the Janie Bryant MOD line may be exactly what you're looking for.

If you didn't know, Janie Bryant is the noteworthy costume designer for the ever-popular TV series Mad Men. It is this tidbit of information that explains why this particular line is more appealing than some of the others exclusively on QVC.

The Faux Fur Capelet has a classic shape and can be worn with numerous items from a pencil skirt to skinny jeans. The placement of the armholes completely won me over. Priced at $99 and available up to a size 3X, this capelet is perfect for bargain shoppers of all sizes.

Janie gives us another classic in the form of a handbag. The Retro Animal Print Handbag is oversized with a turn-lock closure and could work well as a weekend or work bag. Available for under $80, you could pick up this AND the capelet sans buyer's remorse. Just don't wear them together, OK?

Now that I've shown you my latest animal print obsessions, tell me, have you always participated in the animal print trend? Are you only recently embracing it? Or will you continue to avoid it like the plague?

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September 21, 2010

Milan Fashion Week SS 2011: Live Streams

Milan Fashion Week (aka Milano Moda Donna) runs from 9/22/10 to 9/28/10 and will include renowned designers such as Gucci, Moschino, Emporio Armani, D&G, Prada, Versace, Missoni and Salvatore Ferragamo.

Click here* to access the central site for the Milan Fashion Week live stream and here for the schedule.

Please note that Milan is 7 hours ahead of Central Standard Time. So, plan accordingly.

Additional Streams:
- Gucci - 9/22/10 at 7AM CST (must register to receive an e-ticket)

*Thanks to @rozfashionista for providing the link on twitter.

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Labrabbit Optics Grand Opening: If you don't want to wear glasses now... surely will once you visit Labrabbit Optics, now open at its new location!

If you recall, my first encounter with Labrabbit Optics was at the Vintage Bazaar. It was there that I met the owner Coyote DeGroot, purchased my first pair of vintage frames AND placed an order for a slick pair of tortoise Shuron specs. Coyote informed me that his table, that was completely covered with frames, was only a small percentage of his entire stock. Needless to say, when he invited me to last week's grand opening, I was determined to pop in to check out the merchandise.

Located in the Ukranian Village only steps away from Kokorokoko and Dusty Groove, Labrabbit Optics fits right in with the eclectic crowd that frequents the area.

The variety of frames available in this small storefront is beyond overwhelming. Even if you don't need to wear glasses, you will feel compelled to buy a pair. Sunglasses wearers need not fret because there's also a slew of shades. Whatever your lifestyle or occupation, you'll find something to fit your eyewear needs AND wants. Imagine that.

Next on my personal wishlist are the tiger horn frames shown above (bottom left). Coyote informed me that they are designed by PRISM London and Labrabbit Optics is the only store between the two coasts that carries the brand. Can you say "exclusivity"?!

To shop online, visit Please note that everything is not available on the website. Hence, if you're in Chicago, I encourage you to drop by the new store and take a gander.

Based on the amount of people that attended the grand opening, I'm certain that Labrabbit Optics will be successful in its new digs. My purchases, alone, may be able to sustain the shop for awhile. Only kidding......maybe.

Labrabbit Optics
1104 N. Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL

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September 20, 2010

NY Fashion Week SS 2011: Accessories Report - Part One

With so many reviews out in the blogosphere regarding NY Fashion Week S/S 2011, I figured I'd hone in on my favorite items....ACCESSORIES!

Days 1-4 consisted of many wonderful designers such as Cynthia Rowley, Vena Cava, Christian Siriano and Cushnie et Ochs. Each had accessories that stood out just as much - if not more - than the fashion, itself.

Here's what I considered as standout items:

Let's breakdown what was seen...

  • Handbags in a variety of shapes, colors and textures (the collage of faces on the Z Spoke bag made my day);
  • Sunglasses in classic shapes but with a twist (peep the double bar on the DVF frames);
  • Nude shoes (something tells me the Christian Siriano for Payless line will sellout fast);
  • Spikes on jewelry AND shoes (don't kick ANYONE when wearing those lovely platforms seen at Cushnie et Ochs);
  • Chains and geometric shapes reigning supreme on the jewelry front (Vena Cava, I think I love you);

Did you notice any accessories trends for S/S 2011? I'm curious to see what London, Milan and Paris will introduce. As always, I'll keep you posted.

Want to see the rest of what NY Fashion Week had to offer? Stay tuned for the "Accessories Report - Part Two".

*photos courtesy of
**collages created by ChiTown Fashionista

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September 19, 2010

London Fashion Week S/S 2011: Live Streams

London Fashion Week is in full effect! Just in case you weren't aware, some of the shows will be streaming live. You still have three days left to get in on the action. Now, remember, London is SIX hours ahead of Central Standard Time. That means you'll probably have to be up as early as 3:00 AM to catch the first show. But, hey, fashion never sleeps. So why should we, right?

Click the logo below to view the live streams and check out the remaining schedule. Next up....Milan!

Additional streams:
- Burberry Prorsum - 9/21/10 at 10AM (CST)
- TopShop Sponsored Shows - Various dates and times

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September 14, 2010

Marshalls South Gate NOW OPEN!

I'm happy to announce that the Marshalls in South Gate Market is now open!

I headed over there last week for the grand opening and let's just say it was shopping chaos. Packed with eager consumers, the store was bustling in every department. The space is relatively smaller than most of the Marshalls I frequent but the merchandise appears to be well-edited.

The Shoe MegaShop is available here and seemed to have more goodies for children than adults. Umm, can Michael Kors make these in adult sizes, please?!

The housewares were attractive and well-organized. The handbags were plentiful. Although, I was a little disappointed in the small amount of Italian handbags that have been otherwise prevalent in other locations. There is also The Cube which brings items (clothing, shoes, bags and accessories) from all over the store into one spot. It's a great way to see how head-to-toe looks can be created.

After speaking with the store manager, Sylvia, I learned that the store receives new shipments FOUR DAYS A WEEK!! That means every weekday excluding Wednesday. Due to the distribution logistics at this location, the frequent shipments counteracts the limitations on the size of shipments they can receive. What does this mean? You need to visit this location often to capitalize on the high turnover.

This Marshalls is exactly what the South Gate Market needed to add to its roster. With fellow tenants such as DSW, Whole Foods and World Market, the South Loop is now becoming more of a one-stop destination for all shopping needs. Now, if they could JUST add a Sephora or Ulta, I'd officially be a happy camper.

South Gate Market
1101 South Canal Street
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: 312-566-0470

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September 13, 2010

[Shoe Swoon] Givenchy Tassel Oxford

With its military-inspired design that also incorporates suede, tassels and fringe, it somehow escapes from being too over-the-top.

'Tis the perfect fall oxford...

Available at Barney's.


September 9, 2010

NY Fashion Week S/S 2011: Live Webcast Schedule

Today is the start of New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2011!! For those of us who can't attend the fashion shows in person, technology has come to the rescue (thanks to digital media companies like Zeitbyte) by providing us with virtual front row seats via live webcasts.

Here are the websites and their respective schedules (shown in Eastern Standard Time):

Fashion at Lincoln Center -

MAC & Milk -

You can also register at for Daily Recaps and Fashion Show Archives; both are great for those who can't view the shows in real-time.

Although ALL of the shows are not available via a live webcast, something tells me that in a few years, they will be. Could designers switch to a webcast-only format in the future? Possibly. Will they? Only time will tell.

In the meantime, snuggle up to the computer and indulge in Fashion Week in the comfort of your own home or office. Please note, however, if you get caught watching fashion shows at work, you can't blame me. OK? OK.

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September 7, 2010

"Shoe Amber Alert" - Bottega Veneta Lace-Up

This past weekend, I went to DSW in Oak Brook to simply make a return and was greeted at the door by racks of designer clearance. Trying to maintain my focus, I briefly scanned the selection then went to the register to complete my return.

However, this particular pair of Bottega Veneta shoes stayed in my mind the entire day! Constructed with supple Italian leather and an oh-so-essential platform, I had visions of wearing them with tights and skirts all throughout the upcoming fall/winter season.

Since the merchandise turnover in discount stores is extremely high, I firmly believe in buying now and thinking later. You can always return it if you decide that you really don't want it BUT you never want to pass up something only to return to the store and discover that it has been sold. NOW, I'm trying to figure out why I didn't buy these. During the minor relapse, I didn't even try them on. What was I thinking?! Only God knows.

When I called the store the following morning, the sales associate said they were no longer in the store. *cue minor tantrum*

So, here's my official "Shoe Amber Alert":

Looking for Bottega Veneta lace-up, platform shoe in all black. Size 10 (marked as size 40 on shoe). Last seen in the DSW designer shoe clearance in Oak Brook, IL.

If you locate her in any Chicagoland DSW, please let me know. I shall love you forever!

*photo courtesy of eBay seller, eurodesign4u

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A Fantastical Day at the Midwest Style Blogger Meetup

This past Sunday, I attended the Midwest Style Blogger Meetup organized by Suze from Miss Vinyl Ahoy with the assistance of her lovely sister Cher from Shoe a Day.

I had been looking forward to the event for weeks. I was eager to meet all the wonderful bloggers but more than anything, I was dying to see what everyone would wear. As you can see from the below picture (thanks, Gina ), these ladies did not disappoint. Although each blogger showcased their own style, everyone was equally fabulous!

The afternoon was spent enjoying a great meal at PJ Clarke's and swooning over the swag bags courtesy of Muse, Spotted Moth, Ruche and We Love Colors. After brunch, a few of us headed to State Street for a little bit of shopping. I mean, what's a fashion/style meetup without shopping, right?

It was a fantastical day and I feel blessed to have met so many wonderful women. I'm certainly look forward to the next one!

Blogger Roll Call:
A Fashion Adventure
Blonde Bedhead
ChiTown Fashionista (yours truly)
Clothes Inter Alia
Defying My Closet
Fashion Butter
Gina Josephine Aggie
Lemon Drop Love
Miss Vinyl Ahoy
Selective Potential
Shoe a Day
Transmission Me

Click here for more photos from the event.


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September 1, 2010

Links of London Sweetie Bracelet = Major "Charm"

What do you get when you combine a timeless concept with a contemporary twist? The Links of London Sweetie Bracelet. Designed to be worn "as is" or as a charm bracelet, the Sweetie is the perfect accessory.

What excites me about the Sweetie is its design. Uniquely different from the typical link charm bracelet, the Sweetie Bracelet uses mini rings to create a modern look while still remaining functional. It is available in a variety of metals with some also including beads or pearls.

And don't get me started on all of the lovely charms they have! For fashion lovers, there's a variety of shoe and handbag charms. With everything from shoe boots to sandals and clutch bags to satchels, you're bound to find something that speaks to your own sense of style. Beyond fashion, there is a large selection of charms that cover any and every aspect of your life. So, be prepared to spend a lot of time deciding on which ones to include on your bracelet.

It took me THREE store visits to make a purchase. I finally decided on the "tres chic bag", the cellphone and the bookworm charms. That was over four years ago. Now, I'm looking to add the cupcake, the "big spender" credit card and the hanger to my collection.

Don't you just love the fact that you can continue to add charms for years to come?! As your life and tastes change, so shall your charms, right?

*a little extra hint for my male readers* The Sweetie Bracelet is the perfect gift for any woman at any age!

To view the entire Sweetie Collection, visit For the locals who want to see it up close and personal, pay a visit (or three) to Bloomingdales on the Magnificent Mile.

Happy charm shopping, lovelies!

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