January 26, 2012

Handbag Swoon: Kate Spade "Play Hooky" vs. "Eat Cake For Breakfast"

"Play Hooky" Terry
"Eat Cake For Breakfast" Terry

Leave it to Kate Spade to put a quirky twist on a classic tote. These leather trimmed bags have me anticipating warmer weather and longer days.

Which bag do you fancy the most?


Leaders 1354: Streetwear At Its Finest [EXCERPT]

"Inside, you will discover the latest – and sometimes the rarest – footwear from mainstream brands such as Nike as well as lesser known, yet equally appealing, names like Amongst Friends.  Clothing designers Play Cloths, Robotic Minds and Chicago’s own Enstrumental, are right at home in this retail space surrounded by graffiti walls and vibrant artwork."

Click HERE to see what else I discovered at Leaders 1354.

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January 25, 2012

My Winter Style...on Refinery29

Guess who made the cut for the Refinery29 Winter Street Style post?!

Click HERE to check out the feature. Then, click through the slideshow to see how my fellow Chicagoans brave the cold in style!

hat: Double Stitch
coat: ASOS
handbag: Celine
boots: NYLA
cute face: my mama

*Special thanks to the Refinery29 Chicago editor, Shani Silver, for the feature and Amy Creyer for the amazing photo!

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January 23, 2012

JewelMint: Get a Monthly Dose of Trendy Jewelry

By now, you've probably heard of the many entities under the BeachMint umbrella: JewelMint, StyleMint, BeautyMint and ShoeMint.

As an accessories junkie and somewhat of a jewelry hoarder, I decided that the best way to get acquainted with the BeachMint family would be through JewelMint, an ever-changing jewelry collection designed by actress, Kate Bosworth and her stylist, Cher Coulter.

[here's how it works]

After completing a Style Profile - which is established using the results of a survey that helps to determine your personal style - you are presented with jewelry recommendations in your virtual showroom.  And if you're like me and want to see what else is currently being offered, you have the option to view more items and add them to your showroom for future purchase.

Once you purchase your first item, you buy in to the monthly service that allows you to receive a new piece of jewelry for only $29.99. The service is flexible so you are free to skip months if nothing strikes your fancy. You will also receive periodic emails that announce the sales that occur on what seems like a weekly basis. So you also gain the opportunity to purchase numerous items at a discount.

[my experience]

After viewing the recommendations, I decided on the "Call to Arms" bracelet (shown above).  The lovely team at JewelMint sent it to me for review and I must say that I am impressed with the quality.  The bracelet is not heavy but it definitely feels substantial. It is the perfect size to be worn alone or stacked with an arm full of bracelets. I'm also a fan of the JewelMint packaging and branding. They certainly put much thought into the details.

In terms of shopping the site, I have noticed that items move quickly. If you see something you want, act fast because it won't be around for long.

Here are a few more items that caught my eye recently.

Nice variety, right?

To entice you even more, JewelMint and the Chicago Mint Brand Ambassador Team are offering ChiTown Fashionista readers 50% off the first month! When you're ready to checkout, use code chicago990* to get $15 off your total.

So get to shopping and let me know how your first JewelMint experience goes!

*discount code expires 3/31/12

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January 18, 2012

6 Not-So-Obvious Laptop Carriers

Although we are in the era of smartphones and tablets, there are times when we need to bring out the laptop and get down to some serious business...or blogging, in my case.

Here are six not-so-obvious laptop carriers that will allow you tote that computer around in style!

3. The Alesya Bag (currently sold out but be on the lookout for the restock)
6. Computer Bag by m0851

Any favorites?

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January 17, 2012

Submit Your Photos for the "Celebrating Black History Through Fashion" Series

my great grandfather (2nd from the right) and his brothers

With Black History Month approaching, it's that time of year when I ask that you pull out those old family photos for my Celebrating Black History Through Fashion series.

Instead of searching the web for vintage photos, I look to my readers to submit their own photos. The photos must showcase you or your loved ones exuding a distinct sense of style. Since we are celebrating Black History, try to find photos from the 1990s or earlier.

Once you've found that perfect picture, send it, along with a description, to blackhistory@chitownfashionista.com.  In the description, feel free to include either the story surrounding the photo or a tribute to the subject(s) in the photo (click HERE to see past features).

The deadline for submission is February 15, 2012. I can't wait to see what you all submit this year!

I have a couple of goodies up my own sleeve...

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January 11, 2012

$100 AllSaints Gift Card Winner Announced (and Match Game Answers Provided)

Thanks to everyone that entered the $100 AllSaints Gift Card Giveaway! I had a blast reading your answers, especially the "educated guesses". I will certainly plan for more Match Games in the future.

Now for the winner...

Random.org has picked entrant #10 as the winner. Congratulations to faleti_girl!!!

And here's the answer key from the 2011 Highlights Match Game:

1. Chicago Blogger Shopping Crawl
2. Bill Cunningham Reception
3. Refinery29 Feature
4. "Chicago Like A Local" Shopping Correspondent
5. Havaianas Pop Up Shop
6. New York Fashion Week
7. College Couture Week (now known as College Fashion Week)
8. Celebrating Black History Through Fashion

If you didn't win this time around, don't fret!. There's another $100 giveaway in progress right now! Click here to get the details.

Thanks again to all that participated! And stay tuned for more giveaways in the coming weeks.


January 10, 2012

ChicagoShopping.com: Details and a $100 GIVEAWAY!!

ChicagoShopping.com (a Chicago Tribune affiliate) is dedicated to making your online shopping experience rewarding and even more convenient! With perks and daily shopping tips, this site could ultimately be your central location for accessing your preferred brands and local deals.

Here are some of my favorite features:

Local Dailies
Discounts from "flash sale" sites like LivingSocial that are only guaranteed for a short period of time

I spotted some great deals from locations such as 10 Pin, Sawtooth, Le Peep and Odyssey Cruises. Just make sure you pay attention to the Terms and Conditions on each offer because majority of the discounts indicate a minimum that needs to be spent.

Expert Advice
Style tips and shopping advice from local experts

With a format akin to that of a blog, this includes everything from Pantone's color of the year to home decor suggestions for your child's room.

CashBack Rewards
Earn money on purchases from your favorite websites

This is the ultimate ChicagoShopping.com feature. Always shopping online at Target or Bloomingdales? Or booking flights with Southwest? Buying from these brands via the Chicago Shopping website can earn you cash to be used for future purchases.

The cashback rewards are referred to as WOWPoints. 100 WOWPoints = $1

There is a long list of participating retailers in fashion (e.g. Nordstrom, Macys, Net-A-Porter, Brooks Brothers,Gap); beauty (e.g. Sephora, Kiehls); food (e.g. Harry&David, Omaha Steaks); and more!

Each retailer will give a certain amount of WOWPoints per $1 spent.  For example, if a retailer offers 5 WOWPoints for every $1 you shell out, purchasing $100 worth of goods will earn you 500 WOWPoints (or $5). Now, that's the type of math I really like.

If you're going to shop these brands anyway, you may as well earn some cash back from your purchases.

now for the giveaway:

ChicagoShopping.com is giving away 10,000 WOWPoints to one lucky reader!! That's $100 to use towards any purchase via the website.

Yep. $100 to help soften the blow on those designer shoes you've been stalking on ShopBop.com or to help with the purchase of that flat screen you wanted on Sony's website. You can spend that $100 any way you please.

To enter:
Visit ChicagoShopping.com. Then, come back here and fill out the entry form below, including which participating retailer(s) you would most likely spend the WOWPoints on.

Easy, right?

Well, hop to it!! And GOOD LUCK!

The winner has been selected. Congratulations to Karen Murtagh!! Enjoy those WOWPoints!

*Giveaway ends Sunday, January 15th at 11:59PM CST.*
**Winner will be randomly selected and does not have to live in Chicago to win**

Disclaimer: $50 in WOWPoints were provided to ChiTown Fashionista as part of this promotion and giveaway

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January 6, 2012

LINKING UP: Chic Outerwear; Refinery29's Open-Call Photo Shoot; The Perfect Leopard Pumps; Stylist Ni'ma Ford; Brahmin Handbag Love

Miss Renaissance makes bundling up look SO chic! (click HERE to get some winter-weather inspiration)

Refinery29 is hosting an open-call street style photo shoot! (click HERE to find out how to get snapped by Amy Creyer of Chicago Street Style)

Having to return my new Zanotti shoes means I'm still on the hunt for the perfect leopard pump. Fashion Bananas is certainly on the right track. (click HERE to join me in my animal attraction)

The Sartorialist profiles stylist Ni'ma Ford. (click HERE to learn more about my newfound style crush)

eat.sleep.wear. has me falling in love, again, with Brahmin handbags. (click HERE to see why)

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January 5, 2012

Visit CurrentlyObsessed.me to "Stalk" My Ever-Changing Fashion Obsessions

On any given day, you can find me tweeting or updating the ChiTown Fashionista Facebook page with of-the-moment items I'm currently coveting.

The newly created website, CurrentlyObsessed.me, has made it extremely easy for readers and followers to keep track of my ever-changing obsessions and view them all in one central location!

Not only does CurrentlyObsessed.me allow members to "stalk" my obsessions, but it also links the merchandise directly to the retailer's website, allowing users to purchase the items and receive immediate gratification. You know the fashion consumption enabler in me is especially happy about that!

Once you sign up, you can also create your own page to list all of the items you've grabbed from my profile as well as some of the other bloggers listed on the site.

I add items to my profile almost daily. So, click HERE to check out my latest finds. While you're there, don't forget to hit the "Stalk Me" button in the top right corner (sign up is required to join the site). It will demonstrate your support of my online shopping addiction. And that, my friends, is a good thing.

As you can see, gold jewelry and cobalt blue are prevalent throughout my wishlist. Is there anything particular that you've found yourself obsessing over recently?

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January 4, 2012

Our 2011 Highlights & the First Giveaway of 2012

2011 was the year of elevation for ChiTown Fashionista. With several mentions on major websites, invitations to premier fashion events and the successful execution of our own events, this blog has grown tremendously in the past 12 months!

I've decided to highlight some of my favorite moments and blog posts of 2011. But not without making it interactive and potentially rewarding for my readers!!

This photo collage represents the best of 2011. And here's where the fun begins...

Below is a list of the photo descriptions:

Leave a comment that matches each photo with its corresponding description and you will earn the chance to win a $100 AllSaints gift card! Yes. The very same AllSaints that had me swooning at their grand opening in Chicago last summer.

Remember to also include your email address in your comment. I need to be able to reach you if you should win, right?

You won't be scored on your answers...I refuse to add that much pressure. However, if you're not sure, educated guesses are highly encouraged. [I'm having flashbacks of standardized testing days]

GOOD LUCK to you all and thanks a million for supporting ChiTown Fashionista!

**This giveaway ends Monday, January 8, 2012 at 12:59PM CST. Winner will be selected at random.**

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January 3, 2012

My Refinery29 Style Feature: Outfit Details and Behind-The-Scenes Photos

With 2012 in full swing, I had to take time to reflect on one of the best moments in 2011, both personally and for ChiTown Fashionista.

When my Refinery29 feature posted in November, I immediately took to Twitter and Facebook proclaiming my feelings of both gratitude and honor.  Throughout the year, I had received a few mentions on the website but this was my first independent feature. AND it involved a photo shoot!

The experience was amazing and certainly unforgettable. Pulling together looks for the photo shoot was a bit nerve wracking. Knowing that the photos would be on Refinery29 (you know, the best online source for the latest style, shopping and fashion trends) meant that I had to properly represent ChiTown Fashionista and ensure that I did not disappoint my readers. But once the outfits were squared away, it was time for the fun part!

Here are a few behind-the-scenes photos just to give you a sneak peek into how the day went...


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