The Best Shopping Sites
We hunted down the best and most innovative sites to get all your shopping needs done in a fast, convenient way.
TheFind & The Find Mobile APP – TheFind lets you quickly locate anything you’re interested in from a selection of 500,000 stores from Amazon and eBay, to mom-and-pop online shops, and everything in between. Due to its enormous database of products, TheFind allows you to see all of the available buying options for that product available online and in your local store; so you’ll be sure to get the best price possible. TheFind Mobile APP is a free shopping APP that can scan barcodes and QR codes; helping you quickly and easily discover the best price on an item you’re interested in buying. Other great features-user reviews are available and you can also run a text search to see if an item is available in your nearby location.
ModaOperandi – Customers are able to pre-order the latest runway fashions from such designers as Derek Lam, Rag & Bone, Marchesa, and Rachel Roy. So how exactly does this work? A designer presents their fashions on the runway or in a showroom. After the show, M’O shoots photos of the collection. M’O then runs a three-day Trunk show which allows members to pre-order any looks from the designers completed collection (a 50% deposit is required). The designer then produces the pieces that are then sent to M’O for distribution. An added bonus: many of these looks aren’t available in stores; great for those looking for a special event outfit or love one-of-a-kind pieces. Requesting membership is required.
Suddenlee – This free-to-join site allows you to shop from over 300 retailers (Nordstrom, Gap, and Zara, among others) with one transaction, next day affordable shipping, and all purchases being consolidated into one box. This is the only website to offer this service. How Suddenlee works-once a purchase is made, shoppers are dispatched to buy your items and have them delivered to you in a timely and affordable fashion; great for anyone who dreads the typical 3-10 day delivery schedule or expense of having it overnighted. Since Suddenlee is a shopping service and not an actual retailer, they do not offer deals or specials, however, every Monday they provide a list of new sales on their blog. There is a service fee on all orders (fee includes obtaining the items, packing and next day shipping). To view cost, click here. Purchases from the first two stores are included in the standard rate table, $2.50 for each additional store.
Shop It To Me – Forget spending hours trying to find the perfect look- Shop It To Me (free to join) updates you on your favorite brands in your sizes. To start, you begin by filling out a personal profile including your favorite brands, sizes and what you’re shopping for. Then the Shop It To Me team emails you information based on your profile featuring all the best online sales; as oppose to just listing sales that you may not be interested in. Another great feature-you control how often you receive these emails: daily, weekly, or twice a week. Shop It To Me is a sale aggregator, which means that you make all purchases directly from the brand or retailer. So how does Shop It To Me differ from other sites?- it takes all the work out of having to scour numerous websites for the rights items and sizes and finding coupon codes and sales; great for those with hectic schedules.When you join, you can get a $10 gift card to your favorite retailer for every 10 friends you get to join.
Bloom – Never again will you have to worry about buying the wrong cosmetics. This free-to-join “social beauty” site gives you the best products that have been most recommended for women by women with your interests and concerns. The Best4You recommendations is a list of product suggestions that are broken up into categories (cleansers, hair-care, make-up, bath & body). Once you choose your category, it asks you about your skin type, sensitivity, complexion type and eye color; a fool-proof way to get the right product every time. Bloom is a great site for those who love deals- consumers get 10% back on all beauty purchases that can be put toward purchasing any products. Customers also receive a BloomBox gift with every purchase filled with samples and products customized to fit your individual beauty needs. Now until the end of October, Bloom is running a “Share The Beauty” campaign where members are encouraged to invite 10 or more friends to join Bloom for an instant $20 gift code for use on a future purchase of $40 or more on the site.
Shop My Label – This new website lets anyone over the age of 14 to become an online seller (no sales experience required) without having to pay any start up fees, purchase any inventory or create your own website. Members create their own boutiques by choosing merchandise from roughly 1,000 retailers and merchants from the Shop My Label inventory. Once items are chosen, the store is then promoted through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and You Tube. Members have the freedom to choose items that they either personally like or are geared more towards their audience. Shopkeepers will get a 5% commission on each sale and perks for getting others to join; great for creative types and those looking to make a little extra income.
Fab – This flash sale site acts as a distribution channel for emerging, independent, and well-known designers/artists; a great site for those looking for unique home-decor pieces. The site features 3-day flash sales as well as longer-term Pop-Up Shops that stay on the site for a longer period of time (30-45 days). Members of Fab are introduced to at least eight new designers/merchants in each daily email and all items featured on Fab are available for purchase. As opposed to featuring a designers full inventory, Fab focuses on items that are new/in season and offer them at discounted prices. An added bonus: members are also allowed to upload photos of designs they like in a section called “inspiration.” Request membership required.
StyleBook App – The best way to a clutter-free closet starts here. This iPhone App ($3.99) lets you track your style inspirations, organize your clothes, create outfits and mood boards, and keeps track of your outfits on a daily calendar.
Top 5 Black Friday Shopping Steals
My turkey is almost ready for the oven, which means that the biggest shopping season is about to begin. Before you start your post-Thanksgiving shopping it’s important to have a plan because nobody wants to be trampled from a doorbuster that’s not a winning score. So here are top five favorite post-Thanksgiving shopping picks.
If you have a thing for high-end shoes then Barneys is the destination for you. The store carries an extensive selection of high-end names and the most must-have styles. Most department stores usually start their shoe markdown 30% off but Barney’s usually cuts their prices 40%.
Yes, we all love luxury boutiques but a girl also needs her basics. We are longstanding fans of the Gap’s jeans and tees. If you haven’t checked out their winter warm leggings, then you really should. For their Doorbuster, Gap is offering 50% off everything in the store until 10am Friday. Online shoppers can save 40% during the Thanksgiving weekend and through cyber Monday.
If you have a taste for fine luxury Italian tailoring this is the place to go. We suggest bypassing the handbag collection and going straight to the ready-to-wear department. Starting December, 2 the markdown on clothing will go to 50% off. But you can find the private presale link at Madison Avenue Spy.
If you are looking for some one-stop-shopping, you might consider tapping your fingers over to Piperlime. From Black Friday through Cyber Monday, the online retailer will be offering customers 20% off on everything on the site. If you’re not sure where to look first, we suggest browsing the stylist’s picks. Rachel Zoe – is always a good launching point.
Saks Fifth Avenue:
An extra 50% off all reduced items can draw quite a crowd and that’s what Saks Fifth Avenue does almost every Friday after Thanksgiving. Until noon, shoppers can save up to 70% off at the swanky department store. I suggest sorting through the contemporary designers and waiting for further markdowns in the higher end brands, which will come later in the season.
|Lila literally wears (and owns) many hats, as her multidimensional personality gives her the ability to inspire and admire. As a visionary, she is known for spotting trends before they are in style. For instance, in 2001 she declared cuffs and capri’s to be the look of the future. We all know where that went.
Lila possesses duel degrees from FIT and MIT, which were integral in her success in inventing the push-up bra and high heels. Most recently, Lila was instrumental in the search for WWD, in Iraqi. Unfortunately, her tour abroad was unsuccessful except the amazing deal she got on a camel hair coat.
MadisonAvenueSpy.com was started, in May 2008. Lila has written for SmartMoney.com, the Wall Street Journal and Accent Magazine. Lila’s combined experience in covering retail and financial markets allows her to bring a unique transparency to the luxury goods market. She developed Madison Avenue Spy to share “insider” information in a sector that kept very hush hush to most luxury retail shoppers.
Winter Running Must-Haves
Running in the summer is simple: Throw on sneakers, shorts and a tank and you’re good to get your sweat on. But in the winter months? Head out in less-than-stellar gear and you’re in for some chilly miles.
Just because there’s a chill in the air and snow on the ground doesn’t mean you have to relegate your running to the treadmill. Here are a few of my swear-by products that make running in the cold a total breeze.
Pants: High-quality running tights will be your best investment this winter. Look for a pair that’s tight enough around the waist so the pants won’t fall down while you’re running. Remember, your legs will warm up faster than the rest of your body because they’re doing most of the work, so don’t worry about just having one layer on bottom.
Buy Now, Nike Tech Women’s Running Tights, $65
Top: You’ll want a solid base layer underneath your jacket, and you can’t go wrong with all the options at Lululemon. They’re insanely soft, and thanks to the handy thumbholes, the sleeves don’t ride up.
Buy Now, Cabin Long Sleeve Tee II, $68
Top: I hate the idea of wearing a scarf or neck-warmer while I run, so occasionally I’ll opt for a turtleneck-style top to save on additional layers. This option by Under Armour is moisture-wicking (see ya later, sweat!) and thin, so you never feel too bulky.
Buy Now, Women’s UA ColdGear Compression Mock, $49
Jacket: Thumb holes? Pockets? Reasonable price? Yes, please. GapBody’s Fit full-zip jacket is ideal for winter running because the fit is snug—bulk doesn’t always equal warmth—and it’s cute, so you can keep it on for your post-run brunch date!
Buy Now, Fit Fill-Zip Jacket, $48
Leg Warmers: Yes, that’s right. Leg warmers. They’re my favorite and I like to think they’re making a comeback, at least in my world. Before it gets too cold, I’ll be out running in shorts and leg warmers. This knit pair by Harmonie will stay up while you run and keep your shins and calf muscles nice and toasty.
Buy Now, Harmonie Two-Tone Legwarmers, $9.50
Hat: Most running hats aren’t adorable, but this one actually is. Throw it on before you head out and your ears will thank you when they’re not frozen in the first mile.
Ali Feller is a writer, blogger, marathoner, running addict and self-proclaimed gym rat living in NYC. Follow her training, reviews of local fitness classes and her daily attempts at staying sane in this hectic city at her blog, Ali On The Run (aliontherunblog.com).
Best Summer Fashion Lust-Haves and Must-Haves
As the Creative Director of PageDaily, I review so many amazing fashion items every day. I love curating the high-low to provide women with real value (or offer a selection to those who want to splurge)! Here are my favorites for summer:
BEACH COVERUPS Get summer chic with cover ups! The stylish sheer white fabrics and loose flowing sleeves are perfect for throwing on over a bathing suit for poolside or beachside fun. The one size fits all lightweight Love Quotes – Shiva Versatile Top/Coverup was recently seen on Halle Berry and has a huge celebrity following. Or, you can opt to rock the animal print trend with Top Shop’s Off White Animal Print Cover Up . Both of these can also be worn as tops with a cami underneath.
Buy Now, Shiva Versatile Top, $159
Buy Now, Off White Animal Print Cover Up, $46
GIRLY CARDIGANS Add some flair to your basic white cardigans. The lightweight and soft Augden Deauville Ruffle Cardigan is adorned with two rows of washed silk ruffles. Launched in the fall of 2010, the Augden collection comprises of handcrafted sweaters that are handmade and knit from the finest and purest fabrics with remarkable attention to details. I also love draped cardigans such as the long sleeved Chelsea & Theodore Wrap Cardigan from Dillard’s. The romantic tiered ruffles along the open front of the cardigan are perfect with any summer outfit. When the sun goes down and the weather gets a bit chilly, you can’t go wrong with either of these two versatile cardigans that will keep you warm and looking fabulous.
Buy Now, Deauville Ruffle Cardigan, $225
Buy Now, Wrap Cardigan, $17.70
FUN FEDORAS Top off an outfit with a fun fedora. Melissa Odabash’s Panama Hat, also seen on Cameron Diaz is a perfect choice to keep you in the shade while sipping cocktails by the pool. Melissa Odabash is known for her laid-back yet refined swimwear looks and of course, her hats have that same whimsicality. This one looks great on everyone. With mark’s Fierce Fedora you will also be “brimming with style.” Each fedora comes with three interchangeable bands in coral, black, and navy floral. Avon mark’s brand ambassador and Twilight actress, Ashley Greene was seen wearing the Fierce Fedora at the Coachella Music Festival. You can’t go wrong with either one.
CLASSIC AVIATORS Brave the luminous sun with ultra-cool aviators. Keep your eyes protected with distinguished titanium and leather frames from MODO for Jennifer Creel Aviators. These are the most gorgeous aviators. I love the white stitching detail and perfectly shaped tinted lenses. Urban Outfitters Classic Metal Aviator Sunglasses are a traditional aviator, always in style, and look good on everyone–I wear mine year in and year out!
Buy Now, Jennifer Creel Aviators, $325
Buy Now, Urban Outfitters Classic Metal Aviators, $14
BEACH BAGS Stay fashionable this summer with the amazingly stylish yet casual Mulberry Beach Tote Pink Trippy Tiger Print Raffia. The tote bag has two adjustable leather handles to easily carry everything you need for having fun in the sun. It is so gorgeous and chic–I like it as a day bag too. Another favorite for hitting the beach and town is the sturdy and lightweight American Apparel Large Denim Carry-All Bag in white. The newest edition to American Apparel’s accessory collection features a large easy to carry weekend bag made with leather accents and double shoulder straps.
Buy Now, Mulberry Beach Tote, $695
Buy Now, American Apparel Denim Carry-All, $58
GLADIATOR SANDALS Multi-strap leather sandals are perfect for summer. There’s nothing better than slipping on a pair of sandals and displaying impeccably pedicured toes. The Balenciaga gladiator inspired Multi-Strap Sandals are sophisticated, sexy and fun. Balenciaga’s flat open toe multi-strap sandals with contrast leather details and adjustable ankle straps have an attention-grabbing appeal that will look fantastic with mini-skirts, sun dresses and shorts. Gap Women’s Colorblock Sandals are so on-trend and great staples to have in your shoe collection this summer—they are comfortable, as well as a great value.
Buy Now, Balenciaga sandals, $795
The Perfect Early Morning: Athleta, Yoga, and New Clothes
It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten up before 9 a.m. for a yoga class—or anything else not completely mandatory! This past Tuesday, however, I was invited to wake up to a yoga class and a brand new outfit by Athleta.
I didn’t really know what to expect, but when I stepped off the elevator of Yoga Sutra’s new 39th Street studio in New York, I was pleasantly surprised by a beautiful array of food, and a room full of yoga clothing provided by Athleta
Athleta, a brand under the Gap umbrella, provides female athletes and yogis, both recreational and competitive, with comfortable yet fashionable athletic wear. I have to say the fabrics are lovely, very soft, and easy to wear for yoga. I picked the Organic Cotton Chela Capri and Shirred Organic Cotton Cami in raspberry. I loved the feel of fabrics, and that at the end of the yoga class I still felt dry. I can definitely see these 2 pieces working their way into my urban wardrobe. I absolutely love workout clothes that I can wear from the office to the studio without looking like a gym rat.
I’m looking forward to my next class, where I can show off my new threads Thanks, Athleta! —Olivia Hayes
My Quest to Find Pierre Hardy for Gap Shoes
I’ve been obsessed—literally, obsessed—with getting my hands on the Pierre Hardy for Gap black suede lace-up wedges since the collaboration was announced at the end of the summer. So obsessed that I’ve been saving a little stash of money for the pure purpose of chasing down the shoes, and have restrained myself with quite some difficulty from buying a less adorable yet more easily accessible look-alike. So you can imagine my despair when their release date was pushed back from October 19th to October 28th, my elation when the date was moved up again to October 25th, and my utter despair when on Monday the sales associate in the Gap flagship on Fifth Avenue told me the shoes would not be available until the next day, October 26th. Adding to this desperation was the fact that only 8 or 9 pairs of the shoes would be available in their respective sizes, which would not be a huge issue except for the fact that I was blessed with the most average of shoe sizes. I instantly checked Racked for an update on their quest for the shoes. I have to admit I was a little relieved to hear that they hadn’t found them yet either.
You would think that this would all be enough to derail me from my journey to Pierre Hardy awesomeness, but I guess you can’t stop shoe-crazed inertia. With only a glimmer of hope I decided to check back into the Gap on Fifth Avenue after work on the 26th and instantly tracked down the nearest sales associate, begging for merely a glimpse at these most elusive of shoes. He stated that only two pairs remained and asked for my shoe size. I answered with a range of 38.5-39, to which he replied, “Let’s hope you fit into this 40” and opened the gates of heaven.
And then there they were in all of their wedge-heeled, peep-toe, lace-up glory. I just knew they would fit, or knew I would convince myself that they did. I slipped one on my foot (the foot that is a little bigger than the other, of course) and was sold. Before any other Pierre Hardy fans could rip them away I proceeded to the register and purchased the covetable wedges for a slightly steep but totally worth-it $195. I sit here now in my new Pierre Hardy for Gap shoes, feeling quite proud of myself.
If you weren’t as desperate (or crazy) as me about getting your hands on these shoes and missed them in stores, don’t fret. Apparently shipments on the shoes are slowly trickling into Gap stores in major cities including NYC, Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Good luck tracking them down, and happy shopping! —Kate Bryan
Buffalo Exchange: Paradise Found
As a newcomer to one of the hippest places in Brooklyn, I was delighted to stumble across Buffalo Exchange, a thrift store located right by Williamsburg’s Bedford Avenue subway stop. It wasn’t the small, dark boutique I expected a hip Brooklyn store to be. Instead, it was well lit and large enough to hold the dozens of vintage-clad, 20 somethings buzzing around the store’s huge inventory. In desperate need of cocktail-party attire, I gravitated toward the rack labeled “dresses”, followed by coats (a native Southerner, I’m also in need of winter clothes).
A bonus? The friendly staff with helpful advice. Need more enticement? Brands like Nanette Lepore, Juicy Couture, J Brand Jeans, Kate Spade, and Louis Vuitton at bargain prices—just hope you’re lucky enough to be there the same day they are! My personal hunt ended in a victory with a Gap wool coat, originally $150, now a mere $22. My mom would be proud of my thriftiness. Buffalo Exchange is a bargain hunter’s paradise, and I for one, am ready to stalk more prey.—Kelly Tokarz
Buy Athleta for Gap Chakra Tank
Buy Athleta for Gap Chakra Tank, $34.99, at athleta.com
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