Archive for the shopping Category

How To Shop Online At Amazon Or Anywhere…

Posted in amazon, budget online shopping, budget shopping, online shopping, Sephora, shopping, shopping on a budget, Target stores, The Gap with tags , , , , on February 21, 2017 by sorceressofthedark

black-friday-shoppers_zpsqpeze3be.gif Do I really want to go to the mall or do I want to stay in the comfort of my own home and shop online? Hmmm….

When I was a little girl, my Mom would go away for 6 weeks every spring to Miami. That was her vacation that she looked forward to all year. She’d either stay at the Eden Roc or the Fontainebleau and I could only imagine what it was like to spend 6 weeks away from the cold winter luxuriating in the Florida sun for that long. My first Spring Break in college, I was invited to spend with her in Miami.  The deal was that if I spent my first Spring Break supervised I could spend the rest of them with my friends. That was fine with me. I wasn’t going to spend Spring Break at home, and if I could spend it in Florida, I would. Especially in one of these old-fashioned, grande dame hotels.

Before she would go away, two racks of clothing would appear in her home from one of the local boutiques. The owner would choose clothing for her, send it along to the house, and she would have the options of trying it on, keeping what she wanted and sending the rest back. If she didn’t like what they sent, they’d send more. What a deal. I’d sit and watch her try the resort clothing on and think how easy this is to go shopping. Never leave your home.

She’d also often have packages sent to her from her favorite NYC department store, Saks . I honestly don’t know if she just didn’t want to carry these bags with her when she did go to the City, if she had a personal shopper or just called them to order items. The internet wasn’t available back then. Catalogs were also available so you could order that way if you desired. All I know is that somehow, stuff arrived at the home in ways that seemed unorthodox to me.

Well, that’s what online shopping is all about. Some companies have you choose the clothing, and some companies have personal shoppers that choose the clothing for you. Some companies don’t have shipping costs, some have minimal shipping costs and some charge you flat rate shipping. The best scenario is to find online sources that have no shipping costs, the best prices and obviously the items of clothing that appeal to you in one stop shopping. Navigating their site easily is highly beneficial too.

Some of my friends are against online shopping today. They look at it as an inconvenience. It’s basically the same as what I’ve described shopping to be years ago. It hasn’t changed. You can save yourself time, money and a huge stress factor by shopping in the comfort of your own home.

I’ve shopped online thru Sephora, Ulta, Off Saks Fifth Avenue, Amazon, Bath, Bed & Beyond, Old Navy, The Gap, Target and all have been seamless shopping experiences. They all have great customer service lines who are more than willing to help you should any problems or questions arise. You don’t get the full shopping experience of actually going into a store and seeing all they have to offer, but in today’s world, that full shopping experience isn’t available anyway, as far as I’m concerned. What they have online is more than what’s in their stores. Some businesses also won’t charge you for shipping if you pick-up at one of their local stores.

So what actually convinced me to shop online now versus in stores? I believe I get better deals, I find what I want and I find items that are more unique. Add to that the cost of saving gas so I’m not leaving a footprint, either. The sites are safer now and you do not have to leave your credit card information. You can find almost anything you can think of online. Whatever you order it comes in a plain brown wrapper. Wink-wink.  It’s a win-win all-around.

And if thrift stores are your thing, you can shop them online, too. Just google them and you’ll find a plethora of sites. Who knew?



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.


How To Buy Perfume For Your Girlfriend

Posted in how to buy perfume, how to buy perfume for your girlfriend, perfume shopping, personal shopper, shopping with tags , , , on January 14, 2016 by sorceressofthedark

Screen CapturesWith Valentine’s Day approaching, it’s time for that perfect gift for your woman. Flowers? Sure. Chocolates? Expected. Lingerie? We know you get us that for you. Perfume? What? That’s scary stuff in a guy’s mind. We know you want us to smell good but how do you go about picking out a fragrance for us? Here’s some tips on how to choose a perfume that just might bring a smile to your lady’s face.

It’s time to get in tune with your special someone and start looking for clues. Now’s the time for you to start sleuthing around without her knowing so you can choose a fragrance she will absolutely love.

Perfume is a personal choice. There have been over 68,000 perfumes produced in the world. It may seem like a daunting task, but there really are some simple, basic rules to follow and signs to look for and you’ll be able to choose a great fragrance that will bring a smile to her face.

The Untruths or Think This and You’re a Fullscreen capture 1142016 124300 AM.

1. All women like fruity-smelling perfumes. You know, the kind that smell like apples or plums or pears or whatever fruits you can think of at the moment.

2. Younger women really, really like candy-smelling, out-of-the-bakery, sweet concoctions that are cavity-inducing.

3. Older women, (pick your age here, can be anyone, it’s all relative), adore heavy perfumes that stink up a room like a funeral parlor. They’re commonly called grandma perfumes, quite erroneously.

4. Vintage perfumes are only for older women, because, after all, they smell like grandmas anyway, so your SO won’t appreciate a vintage fragrance.

5. The perfume her BFF wears smells great on her so if you buy it for your SO it will smell great on her, too. So very wrong in so many ways. Do not, ever, buy the same perfume for your SO that your sister wears, or your mother wears, or her mother wears, or your neighbor wears…you get the picture here.

6. Bigger is not always better. I know you think it is, but it’s not. It’s the quality and what she likes. No matter how many times we say it.

7. Just because you bought, she’ll love it. Get real. She’ll maybe pretend to like it. You know that word, right?

8. The Sales Associate told you it’s the most popular perfume being sold this year. So what?

9. The Sales Associate told you it’s a “classic” and every woman should own it. Again, so what?

10. It smelled good on the paper the Sales Associate gave you so you bought it because she told you to. And you have no idea what it really smells like on her or if it’s even something similar to something she wears.


Now on to the Truths Of Buying Perfume SuccessfullyFullscreen capture 1142016 12302 AM

1. Her personality will give you a clue. Is she quiet, playful, flirtatious, serious, sporty? There are types of perfumes and notes in perfumes that address certain personalities. Perfumes can be quiet, loud, bold, serious, sweet, floral, gourmand(food-like), oriental and more. Smell them and see if any remind you of her and what she wears. I could go into a dissertation on what actual notes mean but if you’re clueless about perfumes, it really doesn’t matter. Sometimes, it’s just too much information.

2. Take a look at the perfumes she owns. Make a note of the brands and names. Here’s where your computer comes in. Google the names and see if there are any similar ones. Walk into a department store, Sephora,  Ulta or similar store and ask a Sales Associate for their opinion on a similar perfume. Make sure you smell it first to see if it reminds you of her perfumes. Don’t buy it immediately. Have the SA spray it on a piece of paper and walk around with it for a few hours. It can change drastically during that time.

3. Does it have to be expensive to impress her? Not really. What most women want is something that they know you spent time on thinking about them, something that will tug at their heartstrings. Did you spend time thinking about the perfume you’re buying? Or did you just think that if you laid down a lot of money that would impress her?

4. The perfume you buy just has to have her name written all over it. It has to remind you of her. Even if you buy her her favorite perfume in a set of a bottle of pure perfume, a body creme, a shower gel and a purse-size spray all wrapped in a gift package, you’re still telling her that you thought enough of her to say that you know she loves that fragrance and you want to wrap her in it head to toe.

5. Know how much you are going to spend. Pure perfumes can cost upwards of two hundred dollars and more. Perfumes come in different concentrations. Pure perfumes are the strongest and most concentrated. Known as perfume, extrait or parfum, they are the most expensive. They will also be the smallest bottles. Next is eau de parfum, followed by eau de toilette and then cologne. Buy her the best bottle you can afford.

6. Perfume is a personal experience. I am a firm believer that no one can easily pick out another person’s perfume. Every person has different olfactory experiences and memories that they bring to the table with them when they smell perfumes. The truth is, it’s just very difficult to pinpoint what someone will like. With that in mind, it’s best to follow what they already enjoy. If they like citrus scents, go with that. Vanilla-based, tell that to a Sales Associate. Coconut, same thing. But it’s really best to tell the associate the names of the perfumes she already owns and stick with the same types.

7. There are perfume samplers on the market being sold where you can mix and match different perfumes to make your own scent. Or the samplers contain a variety of perfumes in the box so she can sample different ones. Just google perfume samplers and you’ll see a variety of great gift ideas.

8. Go shopping to a department store for something else, meander through the fragrance department and see what she looks at, sprays on and likes. Take notes with your phone. Pretend your texting or playing a game or whatever you do on your phone. Act bored so she doesn’t know you’re really taking notes.

9. Buy her rollerballs of her favorite perfumes. Rollerballs are handbag-size versions that are inexpensive and can be found at stores like Sephora, Ulta or online. Wrapped together in pretty wrapping would be a great gift for a perfume lover.

10. If you’re totally stumped, just ask her. She’ll tell you. And make sure you come through.

Fullscreen capture 1142016 11555 AMHAPPY  VALENTINE’S DAY!



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

Why Do People Buy And Wear Those Things? Peter Thomas Roth Mega Rich Creme…The Peptide Story.

Posted in advertising, cosmetics, cruelty-free, online shopping, shopping with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2013 by sorceressofthedark
Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich Intensive Anti-Aging Cellular Creme.

Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich Intensive Anti-Aging Cellular Creme.

I absolutely love this product, especially in the frigid northern winters! My skin is on the dryer side and needs more help when the temperature plummets. On top of that, add the dry heat, the lack of moisture, and winter can wreak havoc with one’s skin. Enter Peter Thomas Roth’s Mega-Rich Anti-Aging Cellular Creme. Pure hydration for the face filled with peptides, vitamins and botanicals that leave my face radiant, glowing and moisturized immediately and for hours.

Not that peptides have necessarily been proven to work conclusively yet. Some women swear by products that contain them. I’ve been using products with peptides for almost two years now. Have they lessened my wrinkles? My concerns have been around my eyes. And my answer is yes. I’ve seen an improvement. Some of the fine lines have actually disappeared. Not all. That would be a miracle. There has been a lessening of the deepening of my crow’s feet. The skin appears to be plumped by the creams. Enough to say that I’ll continue to use skin products that contain peptides.  The other added benefit that I’ve seen is what I call the cragginess in my neck area has all but disappeared. I now like my jaw line. Maybe it never was that bad. Perhaps I’m just that critical of myself, but my neck area looks good to me now. So I’ve decided to stick with the peptides. And let me explain why.

Peptides have various effects on the human body. They work in different ways to improve it. Not only for our skin, but also work for hormones, neurotransmitters and natural pain relievers.  Different pain relievers work differently. This would make sense. So what are the most important ones that we should be looking for in the skin care products we purchase so we are getting the most for our hard-earned dollars?

There are five to remember. The first-Acetyl-Hexapeptide-3 works to relax certain facial muscles. This is similiar to botox injections, but better. Why better? Acetyl-Hexapeptide-3 can be used anywhere on the face, where botox injections cannot. It’s also a lot cheaper and safer than botox injections. Acetyl-Hexapeptide-3 has been shown to work in as little as 30 days to show a 30% reduction in wrinkle size. This peptide works on are mechanical line wrinkles and stess-related wrinkles and is also known as Argireline as its trade name. It works well with other resurfacing and moisturizing products.

The second-Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3  stimulates the deeper, matrix layers of the skin. It increases collagen production and also, hyaluronic acid synthesis in the skin. What does this all mean? Doctors have found that hyaluronic acid helps to moisturize, prevents premature aging and prevent scarring. In studies, published results found that using Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3 gave three results: 1.) increased overall collagen synthesis by up to 117%; 2.) increased collagen IV synthesis by up to 327%; and 3.) increase hyaluronic acid synthesis by up to 267%.  Participants in studies saw a difference in as little as two weeks. Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3 also goes by the trade name Matrixyl.

The third-Palmitoyl Oligopeptide-is very similar to Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3. It stimulates the synthesis of collagen and hyaluronic acid but it also has a mild UV protection effect. That is not to say you can go without wearing sunblock. You still must protect your face with a good UVA/UVB protection block to prevent future aging.

The fourth-Copper Peptides-are used by doctors to heal skin after cosmetic surgery procedures, chemical resurfacing and severe effects of Retin-A. A small study suggests that Copper Peptides stimulate collagen production. The thought is still out on whether Copper Peptides are beneficial dating back from the 1970’s until the present.

The fifth-Palmitoyl Tripeptide-3 mimics the body’s own mechanism to produce collagen and reduce surface lines and wrinkles.

There are other peptides on the market listed in skin care preparations. Caution should always be exercised when purchasing products. Some are legitimate, some are hype, and some are still in the study phase.

Mega-Rich appears greasy in the jar. It’s shiny. It’s consistency is smooth and very easy to spread. A little goes a long way. 1.7 oz at $85.00 US is inexpensive when I think of how long the jar lasts me. Although it seems very shiny in the jar, it doesn’t go on my face in a greasy consistency at all. You only need a little because the creme spreads really well. The shine isn’t there when applied but a rich radiance  appears with a rosy glow. My skin feels instantly moisturized and ready to take on the winter weather and dry indoor humidity.

I use Mega-Rich on my face, neck, décolletage and upper and lower eye areas. My skin feels firmer and I’ve also seen a lessening in my fine lines. It’s probably plumping them and keeping new ones at bay, and that’s ok with me. It’s working. That’s what matters. I don’t use it alone, starting first with a cleansed face, followed by a target serum, then this moisturizer. When you use products appropriately, you’ll find the most benefits.

I like using a product that has natural ingredients in it, especially if they’ve been proven to work. Mega-Rich has Avocado Oil which has natural moisturizing factors and antioxidant properties; Vitamin E, A and C are all antioxidants; Vitamin B5 is an anti-inflammatory; Echinacea moisturizes and conditions; Grape Seed Extract diminishes free radical damage and has antioxidant properties; and Green and White teas which have the highest concentrations of all the teas for antioxidant properties. There are also a variety of peptides to round out the mix.

Because the container is so large and the mouth is wide which I consider unsanitary, I use a scoop to put a smaller amount into a tiny container that I’ll use with my fingers. The large jar I keep in the fridge. I’m on my third jar of this classic creme and wouldn’t be without it.

Cruelty-free, also.

Full Ingredients:

This Sorceress gives Peter Thomas Roth’s Mega-Rich Intensive Anti-Aging Cellular Creme 4 wands for its beneficial effects. I’ve taken one wand away for its packaging.



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

Why Do People Buy And Wear Those Things? Ole Henriksen Power Peel…Your Stay At Home Spa Kit.

Posted in cruelty-free skincare, Ole Henriksen, online shopping, shopping with tags , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2013 by sorceressofthedark
Ole Henriksen Power Peel.

Ole Henriksen Power Peel.

Ole Henriksen never ceases to amaze me in his deliverance of products. He keeps his line cruelty-free (very important to me) and his products stay in his line (which also tells me that they are successful). Some companies products are always coming and going with new formulations or you just begin to like a product and suddenly it’s no longer available. Not so with Ole. He makes a product and stands behind it. That’s dependable in a company.

When I purchased this over the holidays, the Micro-Mini Peel came in a set of three jars along with two sponges and a scooper. I love the complexion sponges and have used them not only for the peel but also for other uses in my skin care routine. His sponges are just the right texture. The jars in my kit are easy to use with the scoop provided, in other words, you can take out what you need with the scoop in a sanitary way and keep the jar clean. As I do all my other skin care products, I keep them in the refrigerator.

The first step is exfoliation with the almond polish. I set the stopwatch on my phone so I know how long I will be exfoliating. He suggests 1-2 minutes, then a rinse with warm water. I’ve never gone over 3 minutes with the polish. A slight redness with the scrub will occur, and that’s a good thing, because it tells you you’re exfoliating your skin.I used the complexion sponge to remove all traces of the almond polish then rinse my face with warm water. My skin is barely pink and looks refreshed.

Step two is the lemon strip. Since I store it in the refrigerator, it’s cold going on. It feels delightful and doesn’t sting. I put it on in as equal a portion as I could around my face and neck. I do notice my neck is more sensitive than my face, tho. He does tell you to use the lemon strip under your eyes, and I do. I was initially hesitant to do so, knowing the skin under your eyes is most delicate, but I had no problems whatsoever afterwards. Instructions tell you to wait three minutes before the next step. Again, I set the stopwatch so I knew the exact timing. I could feel a slight tingling, but not a burning per se that would make me want to wash my face immediately. I waited only 3 minutes until the next step.

Step three is the chamomile comfort, designed to cool down and relax the effects of the lemon strip. Again, I set the timer and used the scoop to layer the chamomile paste on top of the lemon peel gel. I could feel a cooling effect that seemed to neutralize my face immediately. Any burning, any tingling that I was feeling was now gone and a soothing effect had taken over in its place. You don’t have to heavily layer the chamomile on, just lightly layer it on top of the lemon peel. He suggests 15 minutes but I’ve left it on over 20 minutes without any problems, whatsoever. At this point, again with the complexion sponge, I begin to remove the lemon peel and the chamomile comfort. The sponge seems to work excellently in this process.I have cosmetic brushes for washing my face and muslin cloths too but his complexion sponges are really great tools. I’ve seen them sold separately on his site. I rinse well with warm water and pat dry.

The first time I was hooked. I do all kinds of scrubs/masks/treatments for my face. But this one? Definitely a must. This is something you could go to the spa for at a higher price and now you can do it at home. Pamper yourself for a fraction of the cost. But the results are what’s really important. My skin felt baby smooth. Delightfully smooth. My fine lines look reduced. My skin did not feel tight nor was it dry. It just felt good to the touch. It looked good too.

After most treatments, your skin is ready for hydration, and that’s understandable, but with the Micro-Mini Peel, your skin actually looks and feels good right afterwards. Of course, you’re going to want to hydrate and follow with your normal skin routine. But enjoy what the results are first. Touch your skin and be amazed. Because it works. It supposed to emulate a microdermabrasion and peel service, treat and reduce wrinkles, smooth skin texture, reverse hyperpigmentation and reverse sun damage. I use it about every other week. My skin looks good. No question there. I’ve received compliments about my bare skin being so soft, too.

I especially enjoy using his fruitier smelling products afterwards to give myself more of a spa-like treat. A good suggestion to use afterwards for moisturizing is Truth Creme (deliciously scented) which also includes Vitamin C (for brightening, lightening and tightening) and Tripeptide-5 (which stimulates collagen synthesis to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles) or Nurture Me Creme (also heavenly scented) which includes Evening Primrose Oil (which has calming, soothing and softening properties), chamomile extract (improves health of skin with essential fatty acids), Vitamins A, C and E, and Wheat Germ Oil (rejuvenate and repairs).   A very relaxing method to get a glow on!

Ingredients for Ole Henriksen Power Peel:

almond polish:

INGREDIENTS/INGRÉDIENTS: Water (Aqua/Eau), Honey, Calcium Carbonate, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Titanium Dioxide, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Shell Powder, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Prunus Amygdalus Amara (Bitter Almond) Kernel Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Fruit Extract, Chenopodium Quinoa Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Luffa Cylindrica Fruit, Juniperus Mexicana Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Benzaldehyde, Vanillin.
lemon strip:
INGREDIENTS/INGRÉDIENTS: Water (Aqua/Eau), Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Carrageenan, Glycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Rhizome/Root, Tocopheryl Acetate, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Oleth 20, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Limonene, Fragrance (Parfum).
chamomile comfort:
INGREDIENTS/INGRÉDIENTS: Water (Aqua/Eau), Kaolin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Titanium Dioxide, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Dimethicone, Ceteareth-20, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Algae Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Bisabolol,Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Allantoin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum).

6 .10 oz packettes retail for $45.00 on the Ole Henriksen site and can be found here:

This Sorceress give it 5 wands.



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

Why Do People Buy And Wear Those Things? Questions & Answers…

Posted in american apparel, color red, color wheel, designers, dressing from years gone by, jeggings, online retailers, online shopping, personal shopper, runway clothing, runway designers, shopping, skinny jeans, womens fashion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2011 by sorceressofthedark

Why Do People Buy And Wear Those Things? That’s my title for this blog I began just about a year ago. I wanted to talk about fashion and the impetus behind it. What pushes a person to walk into a particular store to look at their goods? Once they’ve made their selection and purchase, why did they? What made them feel good enough to part with their money and want to dress themselves a certain way?

The same formula doesn’t apply so stringently to online shopping. Online shopping is blind shopping. You’re not talking with anyone. You don’t look eye-to-eye with a salesperson. You don’t have any guilt about not buying something. You can’t try on the clothing, or feel the material or walk in the shoes to see how they look on your feet. No mirror to look into and decide if what you’re trying on is a “feel good outfit”. Online retailers must offer something special to their customers to make them want to buy from their site.

We already know about the online shoe shopping clubs. We know about the contacts called TOS (terms of service)  they tell you to read before you sign up for their $39.95 specials but the consumer never does and then they’re so sorry later because their credit card is charged every month whether they buy from the online site or not. Scroll down and read what consumers have to say about the shoe shopping clubs here on a former post:

Beyond all this exchange of consumer goods and money, what makes a consumer return? Return to the store or return to the online-shopping experience? Why do people buy and wear those things?

Besides that, a new phenomena has occurred in the industry with online shopping where there are more returns than before. Why? Because people are shopping while under the influence. And while under-the-influence, that neon-green dress might look very cute online on the model but when it arrives to you and you unwrap it, you wonder what made you buy it after all. Hence, the heftier returns.

People are also playing games with their phones and ordering outfits to see who can put together an ensemble and have it completed and delivered first. All of these factors are not helping the retail industry. They hurt sales. They hurt forecasts of future sales. And they also hurt trends.

A lot of factors go into the retail experience. Statistics attempt to track what the public is seeking to purchase. It’s economics for the industry. Companies start up and disappear. Others go into bankruptcy for a variety of reasons. Do consumers really care? Consumers main concerns are trendiness, cost, durability of product and animal-testing.

Around the world, people log on to their computers and wonder about vintage clothing and vintage designers. People look to past decades for inspiration and for ideas for their wardrobes. So do designers. You can see fashion recycle as the various decades are re-hashed.


Greta Constantine Fall 2011 for Aldo Folklore shoe boot.

Greta Constantine Fall 2011 for Aldo Folklore shoe boot.


Etro Past Collections.

Etro Past Collections.



Vintage Pink Fashions Worn Today.

Vintage Pink Fashions Worn Today, Some New, Some Older.


Fashion Repeats Itself.

Fashion Repeats Itself In Photographs And On The Runway.


Classic clothing that is enduring in style lasts. Consumers admire looks worn by top fashion models of former decades and look to these images for their own wardrobe ideas. They look to Hollywood icons of days gone by for fashion classics and designs.

With all of this shopping, what are people asking about clothing, about fashion, about trends? Not in any particular order, here are ten random questions I’ve received lately (I’ve para-phrased them) from my readers. Answers following…

1. Is plus size stylish clothing? Any size clothing is fashionable. You are an individual that makes the clothing. Never let your clothing make you. A person carries themselves with dignity in any size when they walk with confidence and comfort. Let you dictate what size is healthy and comfortable for you!

2. Is size 8 the international standard for clothing size? Now this is a can of worms! There is no standard size any longer in any country. There have been many arguments about sizing of clothing, vanity sizing and standardized sizing of manufacturers. In the last decade, the sizes 0 and 00 have been introduced.  If you are a buyer of vintage clothing and you shop thrift stores, it is imperative to try on the clothing  because measurement sizing changed through the decades. Some high-end manufacturers down-size their clothing so that it would appear their clothing sizes are smaller, making their consumers feel “better” in their clothing. European manufacturers have different sizing codes versus American manufacturers. If you are shopping in a store, it’s easier to try on the clothing. If you are shopping online, most sites offer measurement standards for their brands for you to compare your body to the item you are researching. Confused? It is frustrating. Basic answer to the size 8 question? No. You can read more at these links.

1. Vanity sizing: izing.

2. Size 0:

3. US Standard Clothing Sizes

4. European Standard for Clothing or EN13402:

Womens International Sizing Chart 2011.

Womens International Sizing Chart 2011.

3. Do real women actually wear high-fashion? Of course they do. Somebody is wearing the clothes in the pictures we all see…

4. Do real women actually like high-fashion? Can’t answer that one for everyone but I can answer it for me. I enjoy seeing the creativity of the minds of others. It’s fascinating to see what another person thinks what will look good on a woman’s body for the next season and how they influence fashion styles in the lesser markets that copy the designers. Remember how knock-offs are made? See this post about the runway:

5.Why do women buy up and coming designer clothing? The excitement of something brand-new, the freshness of the designer, the quality, the look. New designers don’t have an easy life. Ever watch Project Runway?

6. Do real people wear jeggings? Absolutely. The original “jeans and leggings” phase back in 2010 that created “jeggings” evolved into skinny jeans with zippers that some people may confuse with the original jeggings. Here’s that post with the pics:

7. What colors can I wear with red? Need I say more?

8. Why don’t I wear the things I buy? I could say much here, but I will zip it. Did you look in the mirror and try it on first? Here’s an idea…take your smartphone and snap a pic in the dressing room of whatever you’re deciding on. (ok, put your camera on silent) It’s your money you’re spending and if the item is expensive you want to see exactly how it’s going to reflect, right? As your shopping the racks you can take a look at the photos and then pick what looks best from your photos. Believe me, photos don’t lie and you’ll be happier. If it’s online shopping, sleep on it. If whatever you picked out the night before still makes you happy in the morning, order it. Don’t join clubs and let them pick for you. Be an individual.

9.Why do people buy what they do? Because initially they wanted to buy something to make themselves happier, or they needed an outfit for Saturday night or an event, etc… because they can and they do. People, ok,  probably more women, will always be shoppers. They will always be looking for that ultimate outfit to put together that will make them feel good about themselves.

10.What do famous people wear? Many labels, many designers. I’ve listed some actresses, some models, some designers. There are magazines on the market that will tell you the labels of what mostly Hollywood people wear. Frankly, what they want to be seen in is expensive clothing that runs in the neighborhood of a thousands of dollars per outfit. Some have personal dressers and some dress themselves. Copying is flattery to that person but remember, you are an individual. Be an individual. Take pieces and mix them up to create you.

Instead of introducing designers or particular trends in this post, I wanted to talk fashion after realizing readers had real questions and were curious about fashion. I believe everyone can be fashionable. Trendiness is easy. Look at magazines and see what’s in style. Class and elegance is an art. Individuality is born within the individual. Yes, that is redundant.  But it must be. Individuality is personal to each person’s style. It can’t be copied, although it often is attempted. Elegance must be cultivated. Elegance is a look that is worn with any style of clothing, but born with an attitude. It cannot be imitated.

We are all born an open palette. How we design ourselves is up to ourselves. With that said, continue to buy and wear those things with impudence and style.



Why Do People Buy and Wear Those Things? Understated Elegance…Do You Wear It?

Posted in Audrey Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck, Barnes and Noble, budget online shopping, budget shopping, care of vintage clothing, Celebrities, clothing, Coco Chanel, cosmetics, diesel,, Dorian Leigh, dressing from years gone by, Elizabeth Taylor, fashion, Fire and Ice lipstick, Grace Kelly, Gucci, hats, high fashion, John Galliano, Katherine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Madeleine Carroll, Marlene Dietrich, MiuMiu, online shopping, personal shopper, Revlon, Salvation Army, shopping, shopping on a budget, Suzy Parker,, womens fashion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2011 by sorceressofthedark
Understated Elegance, Do You Wear It?

Understated Elegance, Do You Wear It?

Understated Elegance. It is an expression of what you are. Who you represent. What you wear. All that you encompass. Some people are born with it and others work all their life to obtain it. All the money in the world cannot attain it. Buying the most expensive clothing in the chicest boutiques or the most exclusive department stores will not grant you admittance to the world of elegance.

Audrey Hepburn had it. So did Katherine Hepburn. Coco Chanel exuded elegance. Barbara Stanwyck graced both the movies and television.  Madeleine Carroll, an early film star, considered a beautiful woman, was known for her extensive career in film, television and radio. Elizabeth Taylor’s violet eyes shone elegance at their viewers. Grace Kelly won the heart of a prince. Lauren Bacall simply had to look you in the eye and you knew she had it. Marlene Dietrich’s voice and sultry gaze did it all. Suzy Parker sold magazines in the 1950’s because women wanted her elegance.

Suzy Parker

Suzy Parker, Super Model of the 1950's.

How can you translate their elegance into today’s vintage styles? How do you become the elegant woman of yesteryear? It’s not as difficult as you might think. It’s a transition of thinking, of feeling and wanting to be special. It is a way of carrying yourself. It is an air of confidence. It’s how you tell you the world “I’m me, it’s great to be me and I feel good today!”

Dorian Leigh, sister of Suzy Parker, super model of 1940s

Dorian Leigh, sister of Suzy Parker, super model of 1940's

Dorian Leigh, older sister of Suzy Parker, signed with the Ford Agency on one condition. That they would take her little sister. Her little sister was Suzy Parker. Dorian also went on to become the “Fire and Ice” spokesperson for Revlon’s makeup line. Fire and Ice is one of their top red lipstick colors and is still available today. Pick it up at where Revlon cosmetics are sold to recreate the elegant siren look of the 1950’s. It’s a complementary color for many skin tones and is why Fire and Ice has been around since 1952. It’s a great vintage color that is just as popular today and gives you a feeling of old-time elegance.

The original ad read…”For you who love to flirt with fire…who dare to skate on thin ice…a lush and passionate scarlet…like flaming diamonds dancing on the moon”. What woman wouldn’t be enticed to wear this lipstick and feel absolutely enticingly elegant with pouting lips? It is a beautiful shade of red with just the right amount of blue in it to mix with some orangey tones. It does have a semi-gloss finish. Below is the original 1952 ad with the quiz that asks women if “they are made for Fire and Ice”? Click on the image and take the quiz to see if you are indeed a Fire and Ice woman of today.

1952 Original Fire and Ice Quiz.

1952 Original Fire and Ice Quiz.

Hedy Lamarr, Jessica Biel, and Dorian Leigh were just a few women in the ads for Revlon. I’m sure many actresses have worn this color. It’s been around for 59 years and that certainly says something for staying power in a  lipstick color.

Revlon Fire and Ice Campaign

Revlon Fire And Ice Campaign.

Fashion repeats itself, always. It goes around in cycles. We all have our favorite decades that we admire. I always admired the women of the 1940’s. In high school, I would mix and match clothing from the 1940’s with store-bought items. I scoured thrift shops and the Salvation Army looking for pieces that had good labels. People still ask me today where I buy some of my pieces. When I tell them how old something actually is, they are astounded.

It’s important to learn how to take care of the older pieces. Back in those decades, clothing was not wash and wear. Most of it was dry cleanable. Some of it is hand-washable now. Some pieces you can put in your dryer with special cleaners that you can buy yourself. The most important part of buying older clothing when you want to look elegant is knowing what looked good back then will look classic now.

Study pictures of the old movie stars. Look at Hollywood icons and how they dressed. Find your style and adapt it to you. You don’t have to copy it exactly. After all, it’s 2011 and what worked yesterday isn’t going to work today. But you can take a jacket from 1945 and wear it with a great pair of skinny jeans or cropped trousers, wedge booties and a pashmina scarf. Add some great rhinestone jewelry or a string of pearls easily found at thrift shops. Throw on a Fascinator hat and the world becomes your audience.

Like hats? The stars wore them all the time. Look at the styles and head to your local department stores to try on what looks best for your face shape. Wear a hat with confidence and chutzpah. There’s no better feeling in the world than a woman with confidence, and you can have that feeling when you know you look good. A head-turning online shop for hats is villagehatshop. I’ve included one of their Fascinator hats in the last collage. They can be located at

The next collage features ten pictures, five from the past, and five from the present. The top row are all present-day runway photos. I’ve compared those designs and put them on top of vintage photos that resemble similar outfits. Fashion designers look to the past for inspiration. Amazing!

Fashion Repeats Itself, The 1940's.

Fashion Repeats Itself, The 1940's.

Designers from the runway above listed from left to right: diesel, unidentified, John Galliano, MiuMiu, and Gucci. What goes around, comes around, as the saying goes. Fashion really does repeat itself. Borrow from the past and make it your own.

Take a look at the next collage I’ve put together. It shows a blazer from the 1940’s. Shop around at vintage stores, thrift shops and you might find one. It takes time but if you’re persistent, you will. I found a pattern online for a top that you can knit. It’s also available online from Barnes and Noble. The crop trousers are new, as are the wedge shoes. The trousers can be located at  The hat, so stylish, so impeccably chic, is reminiscent of the 1940’s but new. Persistance pays off in putting together a vintage look that will make people stop and ask you where did you get that outfit?

1940's Outfit You Can Put Together.

Look Likes Vintage & Some Of It Is...

Vintage clothing is without a doubt worth the time, patience and extra care you put into it. It’s individuality. It’s the you that you choose to be. It class and elegance. It’s understated elegance.



Why Do People Buy and Wear Those Things?…Are You?

Posted in budget online shopping, budget shopping, clothing, credit card, denim, forever 21, Forever21 Plus Size, H&M, Hello Kitty, Heritage 1981, high-waisted skinny jeans, jeans, jeggings, leggings, Love21 contemporary, personal shopper, plus size clothing, red jeans, red skinny jeans, shoes, shopping, shopping on a budget, skinny jeans, skinny pants, womens fashion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2011 by sorceressofthedark

Forever21 is a trendy clothing retailer that isn’t only geared towards 21 year-olds. You don’t have to lie about your birthday to shop online or in one of their shops.

Forever 21 Animal Hot Shops

Forever 21 Animal Hot Shops

Demographics tell us that 45% of their customers are 18-34, and 15% are 35-49 and 7% are 50 and above. 66% are female, leaving 44% male. The breakdown of income reported by customers is pretty equal across the board. It seems people like a bargain. 19% fall into the 0-30K range; 24% earn 30-6o-K; 27% have a salary of 60-100K; and 30% are in a higher income bracket at over 100K.  Looking at these demographics tells me that shoppers take an earnest look at what their money is buying them for their fashion dollar.

So let’s take a look at Forever21. You can find them online at You can shop their stores around the world. The choice is yours. Currently they offer free shipping on orders over $50.00. At their online site, you’ll find it broken down into six separate categories, or six separate sites.

The first, Forever 21 offers tops, dresses, sweaters, outwear, jeans, bottoms, lingeries, activewear, shoes and accessories. Their tops range in price from $2.50 to $29.80, so you have the ability to scoop up a delicious selection for yourself.  Here’s just a sampling:

Forever21 tops

Forever21 Has You Covered.

But wait, there’s always more to shop on their site. Fall and winter call’s for some outerwear. Here’s a great selection of jackets from some of their sister sites they list on the main site, Heritage 1981 and Love21.

Forever21 Keeps You Warm.

Forever21 Keeps You Warm.

Over at Heritage 1981, there’s a section called “Shop These Looks”. It includes some outfits that you might like with full info on the sizing, materials, and the entire look. Great little section on the site for those looking for ideas for themselves or someone looking for a gift idea. Similar to a personal shopper idea.


Heritage1981 Shop These Looks.

The site is user-friendly, easy to navigate and definitely fun.

Heritage 1981 Shop These Looks #2

Heritage Shop These Looks #2

Love21 Contemporary is the maternity section on the site. I adore the name for the pregger clothes, “Life In Progress”. The clothes don’t look like maternity outfits at all and are trendy, fashionable and very affordable. Mix and match from their choices and keep some of the pieces for after your pregnancy. That’s the best part. Register at the site and receive a one year subscription to Baby Talk magazine. That’s taking care of your baby. Oh-did I mention that Love21 carries skinnies and jeggings in maternity size? You can keep your fashion sense while your body is changing and growing and your hormones are changing and raging. Now that should make you smile for awhile.

Love21 at Forever21.

Love21 at Forever21.

Forever21 +Plus Sizes, yes, there’s even more at the site. When I tell you this is a company that caters to the family, I wasn’t kidding. They don’t skimp on style in their jeans department and their pants styles. Check out this collage I put together.

Forever21 Plus+

Forever21 Plus+ Pants, Skinnies & Jeggings

The selection of tops is not as diverse as you might expect, but they do have a somewhat trendy sampling to choose from. It’s not as large as the other groupings and personally, I would have expected more fashionable selections, but they did have some cute items. Here are some pics.

Forever21 Plus+21

Forever21 Plus+21 Tops

Another note about the site of Forever21. They do give to charity when you buy from their linkable area called “Give To Love, Love To Give”. With the purchase of one of their tees, they will donate $1.00 to one of the foundations listed. It’s your choice of the tee-shirt and foundation. It’s nice to know a company is helping our world to be a better place. Here is a current sampling of the tees they offer.

Forever21 Charity Tees

Forever 21 Charity Tees.
As an aside, the people who shop Forever21, are also likely to shop,, H & M, and Urban Outfitters.

If you’re looking for a fun site that’s inexpensive, that has trendy clothing and is easy to navigate, take a look at They do also carry accessories, some make-up and Hello Kitty items. It just might be worth your time. Have fun.



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