Category — Interviews
Our Shop It To Me team is obsessed with “Suits,” the USA Network and Universal Cable Productions hit series. In honesty, we tune into this addictive legal drama as much for the incredible clothing as for the kickass characters and sizzling dialogue.
Because we lust after Jessica’s (Gina Torres) Giambattista Valli dresses and Rachel’s (Meghan Markle) Alexander McQueen pencil skirts, we sought out Jolie Andreatta, the show’s costume designer, to learn how to get the look she uses to tell the Suits story.
SITM: We drool over Jessica, Rachel and Donna’s amazing wardrobes. Any advice for summer associates who are just starting out?
JA: Start with a pencil skirt — a few if you can afford it – because it will never go out of style. You just have to find the right proportion: for the show, we like the below-the-knee length. Add a classic white shirt, and any kind of jewelry — like a statement necklace or a locket — and you are ready to fit in anywhere.
SITM: What type of shoes and bags should we invest our hard-earned cash in this summer?
JA: It’s important to invest in quality shoes! You’re wearing them a lot, so it’s worth it to spend the money. You need black, but I love a sexy brown pump.
I buy beautiful bags for the show, especially Prada. If you can only afford to purchase one bag, go for a medium-sized bag–something big enough to slip an 8×10 file and your flats into. As for color, I love, love, love taupe. It’s fresher than black and can go from winter to summer.
SITM: Any suggestions on how to achieve the Suits look without breaking the bank?
JA: Services like Shop It To Me, that find beautiful designers like Dsquared2, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Reed Krakoff and Rachel Comey on sale in your size. Consignment stores–like The Cat’s Meow or Revival Couture in Toronto, where we shoot, or Decades in LA. Zara—for insane knockoffs of designer stuff. The Room, at Hudson’s Bay, also in Toronto is another of my favorite haunts.
Learn your proportions. I can’t stress this enough for building a great wardrobe. It’s important to try things on and see what works best for your body. Avoid oversized clothing, go with things that are fitted but have a little bit of stretch. Start a file of things you love – cut pictures out or pin things online. And don’t buy something just because it’s on sale; buy on sale because it’s the right thing! Especially shoes! Invest in good quality shoes!
Some of our favorite Suits-inspired picks:
1. Jimmy Choo Pumps now $277.81
2. Mulberry Bag now $1,500
3. Vince Pencil Skirt now $94.99
4. Ann Taylor Tweed Pencil Skirt now $64.88
5. Equipment Blouse now $99
6. J.Crew Pencil Skirt now $79.99
7. Kenneth Jay Lane Necklace now $78.52
8. Miu Miu Pumps now $269
9. Neiman Marcus Tote now $44
10. Vince Pumps now $191
11. Ann Taylor Button Down Shirt now $59.99
And don’t forget to watch a new “Suits” tonight, at 9/8C, on USA. It’s never too late to join the firm!
June 25, 2014 No Comments
We’ve all been there: stressing over what to wear on that all-important first date.
So we turned to dating expert Amy Andersen, founder of Linx Dating, who has launched hundreds of relationships and dozens of marriages. Known as the Cupid of Silicon Valley, Amy teaches tech executives, entrepreneurs and investors how to date. We asked her for some dos and don’ts for smart first-date dressing.
“First impressions are lasting ones when it comes to dating,” Amy says. “That doesn’t mean you need to wear designer clothes. It’s about being well groomed: think nice haircut/color and feminine nail polish for ladies; for men, neck hair shaved, clothes pressed.
According to Amy, men and women are very different when it comes to first-date impressions. “Men are visual creatures. He will know within the first 30-60 seconds if he is interested — purely based on physical attraction.” She recommends women “channel your inner Natalie Portman” — be classic, lady like and stylish.
- Wear color. Men are like hummingbirds and are attracted to red and jewel tones. Avoid black, Army green and gray.
- Avoid super-baggy clothing. (Men want to see a woman’s figure!) You don’t need to show a lot of skin, but know what works for your body type.
- Skip the heels if he’s short. Your towering height could make him feel insecure, so it’s safer to wear flats.
The typical Silicon Valley man is a challenge when it comes to dating, says Amy. He often shows up wearing yesterday’s clothing and looking like he just woke up from a nap. Amy counsels male clients to wear clean, pressed clothes. She recommends he invest in:
- A great pair of dark denim jeans.
- A good sport coat — something with personality, like Etro.
- Beautiful shoes, like a pair of leather Ferragamo drivers. Shoes that are scuffed up or outdated could be a reason she eliminates him from the dating game.
She encourages both men and women mix up their dating look in the early stages: “If you are uptown with your day-to-day fashion, go for a more edgy downtown look on a date.” For women, she recommends playing with colors, texture and shine to keep him on the edge of his seat and excited to see you. For more about Amy and linxdating, hop over to her site here.
June 17, 2014 No Comments
We’re so excited! One of our fave frugal fashionistas — Lilliana Vazquez – has written her first book! The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style: Secrets to Shopping Cheap and Looking Chic features the best of her brilliant blog and it’s the first time we can recall a fashion book that shows us how to style ourselves like an expert and save money in the process! Who doesn’t love that?
Lilliana told us she has been in love with fashion since she was a child. “I get it from my grandmother. To this day, at 87, she doesn’t leave the house unless she’s really put together.”
Like many of us, Lilliana’s budget just didn’t live up to her high-end fashion tastes. So she learned to scour the racks at TJ Maxx and Marshalls and to check her Salemail religiously to recreate the looks she coveted for a lot less. (Her last big score was a pair of Loeffler Randall boots at 40 percent off.)
An avid reader of both fashion and budget blogs, Lilliana felt that none offered advice on how to look chic on a budget. “The style blogs featured pricey clothing, while the clothes on budget blogs looked cheap.”
So, she created her own blog to offer other budget-challenged fashionistas ideas for “dressing chic for less.” The blog established Lilliana as a style expert and opened the door for frequent guest spots on shows like Today, Rachael Ray and Katie. It’s also the basis of her new book, which goes on sale Nov. 5. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon.
In the meantime, we asked Lilliana to share her advice for chic, but cheap, holiday dressing:
- For casual events, she suggests purchasing an embellished or lace blouse and wearing it with a dark skinny jean. Repurpose your metallic sandals from the summer and you have a look that’s totally luxe for less!
- Even formal events don’t have to break the bank. One little black dress can be transformed into different looks just by adding a statement necklace (layer two smaller necklaces for a cheap but chic alternative) or fabulous earrings. And don’t forget about a bold lip – it’s one step to glam!
As for holiday gift giving on a budget, go with items for the home that aren’t seasonal – like simple white candles or a collection of mini-vases. She’s also a fan of DIY: a nice bottle of wine can be packaged beautifully.
November 5, 2013 No Comments
Mark Ellwood, whose Salemail features John Varvatos, Marc Jacobs and Fred Perry, offers Shop It To Me members these four tips from his new book to help you score the best possible deals online.
1. Don’t hit ‘check out’ without asking for a better deal
Many shoppers assume that the posted sale price is non-negotiable. Not true. The retailer may have over-bought and might be under pressure to clear out the item you want to buy. Before making the purchase, IM with customer service: Are any additional discounts available? How about free shipping? It doesn’t always work, but it never hurts to ask.
2. Practice cart abandonment
Nothing worries a retailer more than a shopper who logs in, places an item in her cart and then closes the window without completing the sale. Clearly, you were about to make a purchase and got distracted. They REALLY want you to come back and finish your purchase. Many will email you a “reminder” within 24 hours – and offer you an additional discount to close the sale.
3. Take things out of context
Retailers engineer product context – both in-store and online — to make sale prices look cheaper than they are. They surround “sale” items with high-priced ones, to make you think you’re getting a good deal. So you aren’t misled by this, take the item you want to purchase out of that retailer-engineered context and look at it again. Is it really a bargain? (Does that $500 bag still look like a deal when it’s not sitting next to one that’s $1,200?)
4. Don’t shop while stressed
This is a corollary to the rule of not shopping for food when you’re hungry. Like hunger, stress hormones interfere with the brain’s ability to make good comparisons and smart decisions. If you shop when you are feeling stressed, you’ll make impulse purchases that you will regret later. So, put on some classical music, do some deep breathing … and wait for the “headmaster of your brain” to take back control before you shop. Mark lists John Varvatos shoes, shirts and fragrances (“I’m obsessed with Varvatos!”) among his top Shop it To Me finds. His biggest “score” was a lilac-striped shirt that makes him feel like a cross between Mick Jagger and Gordon Gecko. Mark also keeps Gucci shoes on his Salemail, hoping someday to find a pair of classic loafers on sale in his size.
Mark Ellwood’s new book “Bargain Fever” will be published on October 17, but is available for preorder here. If you order a copy of the book before October 17, you’ll even receive a BONUS chapter, Bargain Fever: The Manual, which features 100 tips and tricks to help you save money and shop smarter, from airline tickets to TVs. Forward the proof of purchase to firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll receive this manual by email after publication.
October 15, 2013 No Comments
The Bachelorette is one of our not-so-secret obsessions, and after this week’s finale part 1, we can hardly wait to see what Monday’s grand finale has in store. We had the pleasure of chatting with former Bachelor/Bachelorette alums Molly Mesnick, Ashley Rosenbaum and Trista Sutter about their predictions for this season, what they’d wear to a finale viewing party, and other juicy deets from their time on the show.
Each stylish gal put her top picks together for what to wear to a Bachelorette finale viewing party using Shop It To Me Threads, our newest site where you can easily shop brands and trends you love on sale in your size. Login or sign up for Threads to see their picks.
What are your viewing plans for this Bachelorette finale?
Trista: I wish I could make it to a fun finale party, but for this mama, it’s all about getting the kiddos to bed early (hopefully after a tiring day at summer camp!) so that I can cozy up and live tweet with Bachelor Nation!
When you were a contestant, how did you choose what to wear to the finale?
Molly: The show stylist actually brings a room full of dresses for you to try and you get to pick what you’d like to wear! It’s the ONLY dress they provide for contestants. Everything else is our own. I chose a purple Marc Bouwer dress. I probably wouldn’t choose the same one today, as my style has dramatically evolved, but at the time, I loved how flowy it was!
Ashley: When I was on the Bachelorette, I fell in love with Randi Rahm’s designs. Out of racks and racks of clothing, her dresses seemed to always catch my eye! They fit my petite body type like a glove, so I knew I wanted to wear as much Randi Rahm as I could pack into one season! I wore her beaded dresses for the season premiere, two of my most important one-on-one dates, AND the finale. I loved her so much, she even designed and custom-made my wedding dress!
What were your go-to brands during your season? Now?
Trista: Oh wow. If only I had a memory!! My look back then was more about looking professional and career classy and included brands like Theory and Chanel. My go-to brands now are pretty much about comfort and being active, including Splendid, Hudson jeans, and Athleta.
Molly: When I was on the show, I was a budget girl. I loved getting dresses from Express and H&M. Now, I’d say I have a bit more of a refined taste in clothing. I love Tibi, Haute Hippie, and Elizabeth & James.
Ashley: Some of my go-to brands on my season were Equipment, Alice & Olivia, Haute Hippie, Foley + Corinna, Helmut Lang, Elizabeth and James, and Paige Denim. They are still my favorites now! I’m also currently obsessed with anything Ted Baker.
What’s your biggest outfit regret from your Bachelorette season?
Trista: I don’t think we have enough time or space for that answer. If only I could go back in time and have Shop It To Me on my side!!
Given this week’s turn of events, do you think Desiree will pick one of the remaining suitors or leave single?
Molly: I seem to think we haven’t seen the last of Brooks. I think he’ll realize he made a mistake and will ask for a second chance…much like another Bachelor couple I know ;)
Sound off — which was your fave:
Experience: fantasy suite, hometown visits, or introducing the guys to your fam?
- Molly: Fantasy suite, and not for the reasons you think. It’s the only real time you have away from the cameras and producers. It’s just you and the Bachelor/Bachelorette, so you can really talk about normal things and get to know each other better.
- Ashley: Fave was definitely hometown dates!
On-air wardrobe: glammed up in a cocktail dress, casual jeans look, or bathing suit beachwear?
- Molly: Glammed up in a cocktail dress! Who doesn’t love getting all dolled up! You can wear casual clothes any day of the week, but having an excuse to throw on a ballgown is way too much fun!
- Ashley: On-air wardrobe choice would be casual jeans with a leather jacket to spice it up!
Guy for Des: Brooks, Chris or Drew?
- Molly: Chris! I’ve got to root for the Seattle guy, of course!
- Ashley: Whomever she loves that loves her back!
For even more Bachelorette fashion scoop, see our previous interview: Babes of the Bachelorette Talk Fashion.
July 31, 2013 No Comments
Swimsuit shopping is an undertaking, to say the least. With swimwear deals flooding our Shop It To Me emails recently, it’s the perfect time to score big, and get late-summer use out of some new pieces.
Luckily one of our fabulous Trendsetters, Susan, Director of Social Media Marketing for InStyleSwimwear.com and contributor to their blog Beauty and the Beach, was excited to answer some of our questions surrounding the must-knows of swimwear! See what this sun-loving gal spilled to us in a recent interview.
Shop It To Me: Swimsuit shopping can be a bit daunting. What are some tips you can give to fit and flatter your body type?
Susan: The first step to finding your perfect swimsuit is knowing your body and its overall shape. For example, if you’re pear-shaped (narrow shoulders, smaller bust, fuller hips and bigger bottom), you want to choose swimsuits that help balance you out. Choosing an embellished top (think fringe bandeau tops or tops with ruffle detail) paired with a dark solid-colored bottom will help emphasize your top half and minimize your bottom half. Also don’t get too caught up on the size tag, as all brands and styles run differently. You may be an extra-small in one brand or style and a medium in another. Next time you’re shopping for a swimsuit, refer to this simple swimsuit style guide for every body shape.
SITM: You were just in Miami for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim, what does the future hold for swimwear trends?
S: For 2013, fringe is literally EVERYWHERE, so hopefully you’re not tired of seeing it already! Also we noticed a ton of bustier-style tops with sweetheart necklines which will be perfect for the beach or paired with your favorite pair of denim cutoffs. We also spotted a ton of nautical-inspired pieces; although the nautical look is a classic trend in swim and resortwear, we saw some pretty cool updated versions. In terms of color, pastels were definitely having a major moment, especially soft shades of mint, yellow and peach. See some sneak peek photos from the week below:
SITM: What are some classic swimwear styles to invest in that won’t go out of style?
S: Every woman must have at least one LBB, a.k.a little black bikini, in her swimdrobe. Like the LBD, a LBB is sleek, sexy and 100% timeless; furthermore, they come in a wide variety of styles and silhouettes! You should also have at least one bikini that features a classic print, such as polka dots, stripes or animal prints. You never have to worry about them going out of style and they’re perfect for mixing and matching throughout the years! Finally, even the most diehard bikini-wearers should invest in a cute one-piece—trust me, you’ll thank me later!
SITM: What’s the most expensive or crazy swimsuit you’ve ever seen?
S: I’m pretty sure I once saw an itty bitty diamond bikini in an old Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. I think it was worth $30 million or something… and I think Molly Sims was modeling it!
SITM: What’s your favorite affordable swimwear brand?
S: One of my favorite brands, Vitamin A by Amahlia Stevens, makes a really great younger, more affordable “Silver” line. The styles still feature that amazing Vitamin A fit but they have a much lower price point. Furthermore, many of the styles are reversible so you can get multiple bikini looks for the prices of one. Check out the line here.
SITM: What are some swim-worthy items you’ve come across recently in your Shop It To Me email?
SITM: What are some of your favorite of-the-moment items from InStyleSwimwear.com?
S: Here are some great products that we have available now:
Ula La Ruffle by PilyQ (great LBB example) | Periwinkle by Vitamin A Silver (great example of classic polka dot print AND it’s by Vitamin A Silver—the brand I mentioned as my favorite affordable brand) |Trancoso by ViX (another great animal print example)
August 15, 2012 1 Comment
If you haven’t pulled the trigger on our latest feature, which is choosing how you want your Shop It To Me email organized — by retailer, by clothing category, or by brand — fear not! Our Trendsetters (aka shopping experts) and our own staff (also experts in shopping) weigh in on this ultra-personalized featured and how/why they’ve organized their emails this way.
- “I organize my Salemail by store. That way I can see any special promotions the store is running in case I want to buy multiple items from the same spot.” -Natalie of Shop It To Me
- “I organize my sale by retailer because it’s the most like the experience of shopping in store. I have my favorite retailers for certain items so it’s nice to have it broken up this way in my Salemail.” -Caitlin of Shop It To Me
- “I organize my Salemail by retailer. I definitely have my favorites and love knowing which items I can shop with free shipping and free returns!” -Kelly of Shop It To Me
- “Personally, I chose the Clothing Category preference because you never know what you’ll come across when you think outside of the box! I have found the most amazing shoes and accessories from brands I’ve never heard of before and love sharing my discoveries with my readers!” -Patty of A Work in Progress
- “I organize my salemail by Category because I love hunting for the right dress for that night out on the town, regardless of which store it’s from!” -Alice of Shop It To Me
- “I currently have my Salemail organized by retailer. However, when I have an event or am searching for something specific I love being able to change it to Clothing Category to easily see what I’m already shopping for!” -Laura of 24-7 Style
- “I group my salemail by brand. I’m super specific and definitely have my faves (Joie, Adriano Goldschmied, Equipment, J Brand) so its great to be able to quickly scan through.” -Krista of City Chic
- “I think it’s best to organize Salemails by brand and/or by clothing category. Wallets, beware!” -Hallie of Corals + Cognacs
- “I’ve always had it organized by retailer… but I might try organizing by brand and see how that compares.” -Lisa of Pennlive.com
Choose your organization method here, now.
July 25, 2012 No Comments
Contrary to popular belief, celeb stylists aren’t competitive with each other. In fact, we’re all pretty good friends and support one another in this chaotic job we have.
Recently I learned my friend and blogger extraordinaire ElShane was behind Carly Rae Jepsen’s fresh and stylish tour looks.
ElShane and I met years ago while she was a fabulous NYC publicist for DVF and I was a baby editor at Elle. She’s now living in LA and tapping stars like Carly with her fashion magic wand. So I asked her to share the inside scoop on how to get Carly’s look.
Annie Ladino: How did you meet Carly Rae Jepsen?
ElShane: Pure electronic fate! Her manager had been following my blog and thought we’d be a perfect fit. With my eye for candy-colored, edgy-inspired looks, and Carly’s innately fun and fresh vibe, we joined forces to create epic greatness!
Annie: She’s been compared to Joni Mitchell and Janis Joplin and I can see a little of that in her wardrobe. Do you have any influences when putting together her tour looks?
El: The best part of working with Carly is that she looks amazing in everything! We love mixing bright pop hues with hints of her whimsical, bohemian nature; it allows her to dive into her most creative, powerful self on stage.
Annie: What are your favorite designers for Carly?
El: Carly is the queen of street style; she can rock highs and lows effortlessly, creating looks her fans to aspire to wear. Brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, and TopShop are the perfect mix of feminine and rocker chic. We’ve also been experimenting with incredibly on-trend Australian brands like Finders Keepers and Zimmermann.
Annie: Most people don’t see the behind-the-scenes part of styling and are only exposed to the end product. I’m curious to know if there have been any wardrobe malfunctions or last-minute switches?
El: The job is never over until the final note is sung! With the introduction of chains, lace, and paillettes into performance looks, it’s pretty much a sure bet that something will go wrong right before stage time. Thankfully double-stick tape, safety pins, and miniature sewing kits are my three best friends.
Annie: From your blog we can all see how bold and fashion forward you are with your personal style. Personally, I admire how adventurous you are. Is there anything you shy away from on the red carpet with Carly or any of your clients?
El: Absolutely! For myself, I love experimenting with volume. Since I’m not in the spotlight, I can control what angles I’m shot from. A voluminous dress on the red carpet can be an instant fashion disaster if shot from the wrong angle. I do everything I can to keep pieces that are not 360-degree-angle friendly off of my clients!
Annie: Anything Carly’s exposed you to?
El: She taught me everything about personal character. Nice girls always finish first. She’s the real deal…
Annie: Anything in your prop kit you can’t live without?
El: My sewing kit. For a gal who majored in Journalism and History, I’ve pricked myself more times than not. But I can make a mean last minute hemline…
Annie: We know you’re a Shop It To Me girl, what’s been in your Salemail that you’d snap up for Carly Rae?
El: Check out my picks for Carly Rae below:
July 10, 2012 No Comments
In Yahoo’s video series “Secrets To Your Success”, Kathryn Eisman talks with trailblazing women and imparts their working wisdom to women like you.
In this week’s episode, Kathryn jets to Hawaii to interview Cindy Sakai and Sarah Kalicki Nakamura, certified Dream coaches, who help companies create more profitable, efficient and enjoyable workplaces. Kathryn gets the scoop on the qualities all good bosses have and on creating a company culture that encourages trust and inspires people to use their gifts in innovative ways.
To keep it chic in the Honolulu heat, Kathryn opted for a sleeveless neon dress from Nanette Lepore (now sold out) and nude platform heels from Sergio Rossi.
To succeed with this look, we serve up these similar styles:
Watch Kathryn in this fab look at Yahoo Shine.
May 17, 2012 No Comments
We’re excited to introduce the newest member of our Shop It To Me team — Caitlin! As our marketing intern (and childhood friend of Ilana, our office manager), she’s rapidly filling her days with exciting marketing projects, learning the ropes around our super-cool HQ and keeping up with our collectively odd sense of humor (or perhaps she’s just being polite). Get to know her more…
What are some items you keep on your desk at work that keep you sane during the day?
My planner. It helps me keep track of all the different things I have going on. Whether it be work or social commitments, it gives me one place to organize it all and not worry about forgetting anything.
If you could have one time-saving super power, what would it be and why?
Insta-cleaning. I love when things are neat and organized but I find that when I’m busy I rarely have the time to clean as thoroughly as I would like. If I could snap my fingers and have things instantly organized my life would be amazing!
What’s your favorite recent purchase?
My green Lacoste Melbourne sunglasses. When I bought my Ray Ban Aviators I was a die hard fan, but these shades have become my new staple. I like that they’re more original than the classic aviators and go with almost anything.
Do you have any tricks when it comes to making your commute less painful?
Good music. I try to update my iTunes pretty frequently so that I always have new music to get me excited for the day.
May 11, 2012 1 Comment