Category Archives: How-To

How-To Shop Sample Sales

Hey Glamazons!!

You hear about a sample sale via Twitter or from a forwarded email. You count down the days and show up on the opening date, credit card in hand. Now what?

It almost sounds too good to be true that designers sale their samples (usually used for ad campaigns and editorial spreads) at the end of the season for next to nothing.
However, for many first-timers, their initial trip to a sample sale is hectic, overwhelming and sometimes, disappointing. They leave with the one purse they were able to pry from the grip of a pushy shopper or a mutilated designer item they may never even wear.

I realized at the Glamazons we give you sample sale information (via our Twitter page, @glamazonsblog) and dish to you about the great buys we get at sales, but haven’t ever advised on how to shop them.
And I can’t, in good faith, share sample sale information without having you guys equipped enough to go into a sample sale knowing how to avoid the madness and leave with something fabulous.
That said, remember these tried-and-true tips that I’ve learned (the hard way) and enjoy a sample sale shopping experience that lives up to the hype.

-Do your research.

Study the designer’s collection that you’re shopping. This is important for a number of reasons. First, it gives you the upper hand over other shoppers (who you’re competing with to grab the best finds). When you look beforehand, you know exactly the item you’re looking for as opposed to seeing all the samples for the very first time.

Secondly, though great designers reinvent themselves every season, each one has a signature aesthetic that they never veer too far away from. Rather than attending every sample sale you hear about, only go if that designer’s look blends seamlessly with your unique taste and style. There’s no point in going to shop Vera Wang if you’re a Jean Paul Gaultier girl.

Go early.

With sample sales, the old adage rings true: the early bird gets that coveted Tracy Reese blouse. For the best selection, go on the first day as early as possible. There’s nothing worse then attending a sale when only the rejects are left.

-Try it on!

At these events, all sales are final so make sure your buy fits you well…because you’re stuck with it. The last thing you need is another garment collecting dust in your closet.


Don’t cling to your ‘usual’ size.

Sizes vary, especially when it comes to European designers. A Christian Louboutin Size ‘7’ is very different from a Jimmy Choo Size ‘7.’ Some die-hard sample sale shoppers even visit the designer’s regular boutique pre-sale to find out which size fits them best.

May sound a bit over-the-top, but I purchased a pair of Christian Louboutin pumps at the first sale in a 7.5 (my size for as long as I can remember) and they pinch so tightly I can barely walk. (I DID try them on at the sale but wrongly assumed they’d stretch over time…after several visits to the shoe repair man, they haven’t).

I learned my lesson and bought an 8 in the below shoes at this year’s sale. Never felt more comfortable 😉


Dress comfortably.

I know you’re thinking: Why does it matter what I wear to a sample sale where I’m buying new clothes? This is why: Most sample sales don’t provide closed dressing room spaces…or you may want to approve or veto a dress without waiting on that god-awfully long dressing room line. The solution? Wear flats that you can easily slip on and off and clothing that can easily be removed. For ladies that don’t want to strip to your undergarments in front of a room of strangers, a camisole and boy shorts are great alternatives.

Go for the classics.

If you’re not a religious Barney’s shopper, then you’re most likely someone who doesn’t buy high-end designer duds outside of sample/outlet sales. That said, it’s worth investing in an item that you’ll get the most use out of.

There are usually staples on sale, like black pumps, a traditional sheath, a tweed jacket, that will stand the test of time. Though that trendy, neon, studded, bubble-hemmed dress is calling your name, you don’t want to buy anything you wouldn’t normally wear or won’t wear often.



Be prepared to search.

My routine is to give a lightning quick once-over and then zero in on the section with the finds I love most. Whatever your strategy, get ready to search, dig and hunt to find the treasures. And speaking of treasures vs. trash, look for quality pieces. Stained, ripped and worn-in finds are often not worth the money it costs to fix them.

-Mind your manners.

Yes ‘behave yourself’ should go without saying but something comes over people when put in a room full of affordable designer duds that are only a grab away. Be respectful of other shoppers. At the end of the day, it’s only a pair of shoes, pants or a dress. It’s not worth shoving or being mean to other people.
At the same time, know that sample sales can sometimes bring out the worst in people. Thus, never leave those amazing shoes you found unattended while you try on another pair. Somebody will swipe them, trust me.

Hope you found these tips helpful, ladies!

Happy shopping!

Kisses,

Coutura

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How To Wear: Jumpsuits

…in Summer’s favorite style: crazy, short and colorful.

First order of business – forget the notion that everyone can’t wear a jumpsuit. There’s a suit for every shape and size. The appeal of the jumpsuit is that it drapes your body perfectly, so you just have to know your shape and find a suit to complement it. And before you go complaining about all your imperfections (every body is fabulous in the right outfit btw!), know that there are tips and tricks that can highlight your best and downplay the rest.

TIP ONE – IN A CINCH

In the words of my Fashion Editor, “it’s aaaaalllllll about…” the right proportions via the gathered waist. The gathered waist is the most important part of your jumpsuit – it’s what gives your body shape. The trick is quite simple: if you have short legs, look for a jumpsuit where the gathered waist sits higher (and don’t be afraid to add some killer heels!). If you have longer legs, choose a jumpsuit where the gathered waist falls lower.

Kelly Rowland, as adorable as she is, doesn’t get it quite right. The waist is too high making her legs look unproportional to her body.

Rihanna nails the look with a lower gathered waist that highlights her $1 million dollar insured legs and gives her a torso at the same time.


Forever 21 has the perfect suit with a drawstring waist for only $27.80 at forever21.com.

TIP TWO – FIGURE FLATTERY

Loosen up (but not too much)! Supertight jumpsuits don’t look good on ANYONE no matter how in shape you are! Tight fits lead to camel toe, wedgies, lumps and bumps and other unsightly public offenses. Even celebrities as famous for their body-slimming outfits as their singing talent (cough, Beyonce) know to loosen up in a jumpsuit.

But keep the loose fit to a minimum unless you’re a toddler in a onesie or a sanitation worker. (Also, be very scared of monster crotch). Thanks!


Beyonce and Kiely Williams achieve the perfect tailored fit.



If you have a smaller bust, go for embellishments (like ruffles) or a looser fit up top like Kiely; this will give the illusion of a fuller chest. If you’re curvy on the bottom like Beyonce, choose a silhouette that skims over your hips and butt but doesn’t cling. Ladies with hourglass silhouettes, throw on a belt or look for a cinched waist and you’ve got the look. The end result should look tailored, flattering and effortless.

This romper with ruffles by Rebecca Taylor is perfect for filling out the bustline. $300, netaporter.com.

TIP THREE – FRESH PRINTS

Be clear: long printed jumpsuits scare me (if you wouldn’t wear a leopard print full-length suit, don’t wear the long jumpsuit either). But a short romper has the same effect as a little summer dress and thus, looks amazing in a loud, colorful print. Choose a couple accessories that compliment the pattern without competing and you’re good to go.


Both Fergie and Solange’s jumpsuits are from an amazing up-and-coming clothing line, Boxing Kitten. Check out the website, boxingkitten.com, and their SICK jumpsuit designs below.



Marc by Marc Jacobs offers the hottest colorful zebra print jumpsuit for $228 at saks.com. Add subtle gold accessories and sandals and go!


Kisses,

Coutura

How To Wear: Brights


The Bright Stuff

Michelle Obama may look like a glowing angel in a yellow Michael Kors suit, but head-to-toe color makes most fashionistas look more like the yellow Power Ranger. For those not as daring as our beloved Mrs. Obama, a simple pop of color will still go a long way in lifting your mood and adding some much-needed pizazz to your outfit.

Here are the best tips for mastering summer brights (and for wearing your colorful pieces long into Fall).

Pop Star

If you love brights but want to avoid the ‘fashion clown’ look, regulate your brights to accessories. A pair of yellow pumps, a bold red necklace, electric blue tights or a neon pink bracelet are safe, chic ways to add a pop of color to your outfit. Better still, they inject your basics with a colorful flair that’s on trend for the sunny summer season. Solange nails the look, literally (check her adorable pink nails).

Beauty tip: Bright nails or a bold lip do the trick too and spice up your look (but ladies, read my Rock & Republic cherry red lips, do it in moderation!!).

When it comes to shoes, your options are endless: you can do a solid bright pump, a neutral bootie with bright details or a crazy, colorful bright sandal. Just keep the outfit subtle and complimentary.

Steve Madden pumps, $60, stevemadden.com.


Moschino Cheap & Chic booties, $165, shopbop.com.


Report Signature pumps, $95, shopbop.com.

*Beauty girls, Check the AMAZING Essie Neon Nail Collection below. Ferocia is applying Perky Purple to her toes as I type.

Essie Neon Collection in Punchy Pink, Flirty Fuchsia, Funky Limelight and Perky Purple, $9 each, essie.com.

Oh and here’s a beauty tip from the founder herself, Essie Weingarten: “Since neon nail colors produce a matte finish, make sure to apply a base and top coat like essie Protein Base Coat and Good to Go! top coat for a rich, high shine finish.”

Neutral Territory

When brightening up your fashion wardrobe, be sure to balance your colorful pieces with neutrals. What’s especially great about this tip is that you can energize your old basic black top and khaki wrap dress with a colorful skirt or tank—and make it look brand new!!! My good friend and I did this recently during a weekday outing at a Spanish food restaurant – my H&M bought neon top made the black pencil skirt I’ve had since freshmen year of HIGH SCHOOL (I kid you not) look right on trend. Even better? You can bring your summer-bought neon looks into fall by pairing them with a khaki trench or gray cardigan.


Marc Jacob’s Spring collection was an homage to brights — and the black basics that compliment them.

Thank God Rihanna matched her killer Marc by Marc Jacobs blazer with a black tank and jeans – more yellow than this and she’s giving me taxi.


My fashion stylist friend, Patrice, and I tone down our yellows with black basics – and she even throws in an animal print belt for fun – pure fabness.

Less is More

For the daring fashionistas who can work a bright outfit (hello Mrs. Obama!), please do the rest of the public a favor by complimenting your bright suit/dress/jumpsuit with subtle accessories. Bright accessories end up competing with your clothes and make you look like a walking box of crayons (see Angela Simmons below – who I LOVE but not in this outfit). Even my glamorous Brooklyn girls who pair a bright yellow dress with cobalt blue pumps—and look super duper fly btw—will tone it down by adding gold jewelry. By accessorizing her look with gold bangles and studs, Michelle lets her gorgeous yellow outfit shine on his own. Follow suit.


Blake gets it right in a pink Micheal Kors dress…Angela, not so much.

Follow these Glamazon tips and rock your brights in style!! And let me know how you’re wearing the bright trend this Summer!

Kisses,

Coutura

How-To: Happy Halloween!

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Like every glamazon on the planet, I was obsessed with Miss B’s make-up in the Kitty Kat video. Call it fierce ambition, but my girls and I were determined to re-create the look for my Halloween costume, Cat Woman.  The process ended up being simpler and shorter than we ever anticipated! Even the most uninitiated beauty girl (like myself) can achieve this look by mastering three easy steps, so graciously outlined by my cousin, Tish and executed by none other than Beautylicious.
1 –  Apply gold pigment powder (on top of a matching cream shadow) to the crease of the eye, the eyelid and below the eyebrow as your base color. L’Oreal has an amazing pigment powder that looks beautiful against any complexion!
2 –  Use fluid black liner, like Revlon’s Colorstay Liquid Liner, to draw small C’s (some forward, some backward) and D’s a similar length apart. *TIP: Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect! The look is funky and fierce, not polished. A little variety in size and shape goes a long way.

3 –  Shade within the C’s and D’s with mahogany brown shadow. 

Voila! Instant glamourization.  
The finished product:

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Love it!
Have a safe and happy Halloween!
Kisses,
Coutura