Monday, December 26, 2011's December 26th.

Lisa and I wear:
  • Ballet flats.
  • Skinny or straight leg jeans.
  • Long sleeve t-shirt.
  • Scarf for style.

Because every December 26th, at 8:00am, the doors of Saks Fifth Avenue open, and all reduced items are an additional 50% off, until noon only.  And you need to be ready to try on anything at a moment's notice.  Ballet flats can be tossed into your purse as you grab and try on shoes.  A long sleeve t-shirt can have any sweater pulled over it.  Jeans can be tucked into boots.

For years, Lisa and I (along with our friend Heather - who had a tank on under her sweater, for even easier trying on), have been up at the crack of dawn, Starbucks in hand, and at Saks around 7:40am.  Even when I've been in cities other than Boston, I've gone.  Here's what the door looked like at 7:40am at Saks in Boston this morning.

And here's what it looked like at 7:55am.

And here's what the shoe department looked like at 8:15am. Chaos.  Complete and utter chaos.

Why do we endure this chaos?  Because the prices are UNBELIEVABLE.  Here's a sampling of today's purchases:

Sample #1:  Chloe, stack-heeled, chocolate boots.  Original price: $990.  Reduced to $692.99.  50% off that = $346.49!  Lisa picked up a pair too, in black.  

Sample #2:  Prada, grey dress boots.  Original price unknown.  Reduced to $839.99.  50% off that = $419.99

Sample #3: Rivamonte knit fair-isle sweater.  Original price: $550.  Reduced to $335.99.  50% off that = $167.99

Sample #4:  Lisa picked up this gorgeous Philip Lim textured leather pencil skirt in cognac.  Will pair beautifully with a simple black wool sweater or demin shirt.  Orig $695, scooped for $232.50.  (This actually came from Neiman Marcus (stop #2 on our 12/26 journey) - Neiman was also having 50% off reduced prices before noon.)

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Crazy deals, and lots of fun.  It's not for the light of heart.  We don't recommend trying for purses - there are "professional" shoppers that line up at the door closest to the handbag section, and scoop everything within 2 minutes.  The shoes are more manageable, but it's still nuts.  The line to actually get the match to the shoe in your hand will be 40 people deep.

But, if you have a friend, can divide and conquer, and have patience, the deals are totally worth it. ~ JH & LB

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The little blue dress.

It really was love at first sight.  I remember it well.  It was a snowy evening in December.  Jen and I had just finished nibbling tea sandwiches and drinking champagne (hot cocoa for the littles) at the Teddy Bear Tea.

We had a little extra time on our hands and had to drive down Newbury Street anyway. And look!  Two parking spots right in front of Calypso.  Out we all poured and in we went.  And there it was.  The Navy Twin Set Lace Dress!  I had a wedding, no 2 weddings coming up!, and it was To. Die. For. Mine!

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Just to know, the little Navy Dress lived up to the challenge!

Merry times to you and yours this holiday season! ~ LB

Default to Parisian Chic

It's no secret in our close circle of friends, that Jen and I are Francophiles.  We would hop on a plane at a moment's notice, if that was at all possible with 5 kids between the two of us, and jet off to Paris.  I love everything about Paris and could happily share all my favorite foods (croissants from Poilane), bistros (Fish La Boissonnerie), walks (anywhere in 6e) and museums (Jacquemart-André Museum).   

But all that for another day.  Today, I share with you our favorite book about dressing like a Parisian that attempts to answer the eternal question:

How is it that Parisian woman always look so put together and effortlessly chic all the time?   

Ines de la Fressange penned one take on the answer earlier this year.   Parisian Chic, a riveting little red book brimming with secrets of shopping and dressing like a mademoiselle, or in my case, a madam.   
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One dog-eared section in my book epitomizes what is classic, fashionable and easy to wear.  "The Navy Sweater" has become my default wardrobe of choice.   With my own twist, of course :-) 

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Here is my work horse outfit for this fall/winter season:  Ines was right about Eric Bompard. His perfectly cut navy cashmere v-neck + anything = heaven.  This I will wear for years and years.
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I got this Design History sweater coat for fall.
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AG Adriano Goldschmied Stevie cords (as comfortable as sweatpant, I kid you not ) + Navy v neck + Design History jacket = a look I love and wear day in and out.

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It's a simple formula.  CLASSIC + TWIST = DONE!

Madames and madamoiselles go for a few staple pieces each season and pair them with classics already in the closet.  She might "jujus" it up the look with a scarf or jewelry to keep it fresh.  And out the door she goes, looking put together and feeling good.  Before Parisian Chic, I could be found staring open mouthed at the plethora of choices in my closet.  Now I can be out the door in 15 minutes if I have to, including quick shower and makeup, and looking good and feeling even better.

Jen & I highly recommend the book and its practically chic approach to style.  Available online and in Wellesley at Hudson. ~ LB