Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday's Rave: these Xhilaration shoes

Regular readers of this blog will know that I recently embraced flats after years of wearing heels. My closet used to be filled with either 3"+ heels and boots - or athletic shoes - and nothing in between. But now that I've learned to love flats, my feet have thanked me.

Now these stylish pleated point-toe lovelies by Xhilaration - with their short 1" wedge - are technically not flats. But they're just as comfy as flats, and dare I say more so because of the slight heel which offers a bit more arch support. Best of all, they don't rub my heels in the back and need to be "broken in" like many flats I've tried. The color I bought is called "Metallic" (which I'd say is a cross between pewter and bronze) but it also comes in basic Black and Pale Gold.

PS: for a primer on the pros & cons of various heel heights, check out this article.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dakota Fanning hearts Target

Guess who else loves Target? It's actress Dakota Fanning - star of the new movie The Runaways - out walking in NYC a couple of weeks ago and sporting a chic tuxedo jacket from the upcoming Zac Posen for Target collection.

While Dakota looks adorable in her chic little jacket, I'm not so sure about the rest of Zac's line. The Budget Babe has posted pics from People Stylewatch Magazine - which you can check out here - and it looks like a mixed bag. I do like the Sailor Dress, as well as the Esther Williams-inspired metallic swimsuit, but I'm not really feeling any of the other styles highlighted by the magazine. I'll reserve final judgement, however, until I can check out Zac's line in person when it hits stores on April 25th.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Isaac Mizrahi on Target

The Gloss reports that designer Isaac Mizrahi recently waxed nostalgic on his past partnership with Target with the following quote:

“The Target thing was not dumb at all. That was the smartest thing. I remember when I did my first show where I had, like, $3 things mixed with $3,000 things. I was going to call it ‘bipolar shopping disorder’ and the people at Target were like, ‘Oh. Could you call it something else?’”

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pick of the Week

It's Pick of the Week time: each week I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad (in the Sunday newspaper) and highlight it here on my blog. Now there's a whole slew of Easter merchandise on sale this week - from candy and baskets to egg-coloring kits and decorations - but I honed in on this particular item because I've always wanted one. This week's pick is this Home Basics cupcake stand (shown) on sale this week for just $15. Once I nab one of these, then all I'll need to decide is what kind of cupcakes to make for Easter... hmmmm... Vanilla? Chocolate? Red Velvet?

Note: this item is available in stores only, and not available online.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Double-Take: Merona vs. J. Crew's madras mini

As I’ve blogged before, designers are still mad for plaid, and we’re sure to be seeing a lot of it this Spring and Summer. And with warmer weather comes the perennial fabric favorite – madras – which I think is a fun way to inject plaid into your wardrobe without looking too “90’s grunge”.

So I did a double-take when I saw this Merona madras patchwork skirt (shown) in Target’s Weekly ad, because it’s almost identical to J. Crew’s "Oceana" patchwork mini from last year! However, the Merona skirt is on sale this week for just $14.99… which is really a steal, considering that the J. Crew version was probably upwards of $50.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New at Target: Frédéric Fekkai

Frédéric Fekkai luxury hair products have hit the shelves at Target, and this week they’re on sale for 10% off. If you recall, I blogged last December that the Frédéric Fekkai line would be rolling out in mass drugstores (including Target) in 2010... and that with that news, Sephora immediately announced plans to drop the line.

To note: not all items in the product line are for sale online, and some are available in stores only.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday's Rave: this Merona striped trench

Need a jolt of "Spring" in your wardrobe? Then this punchy striped trench by Merona is just the ticket. The crisp yellow & white will add a fresh layer to all your Spring neutrals, like black, grey, navy, blue, khaki and beige.

Now I know what you're thinking....horizontal stripes? But just try it on; once the trench is cinched with the belt, your waist will be properly defined. And best of all, this trench is on sale; I've seen it in stores for as much as 50% off (from the regular price of $39.99). Unfortunately, though, it already seems to be sold out online.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review: Giada's Italian Roast Ground Coffee

You may recall that last month I reviewed Giada's Vegetable Marinara sauce and Farfalle pasta, and then earlier this month I reviewed her Garlic Parmesan Vinaigrette. My experience thus far with this line has been pretty hit & miss, and unfortunately, here's another "miss": Giada's Italian Roast Italian Coffee. Described as "rich and smoky with a hint of chocolate", I found it to be none of those things. In fact, as far as Italian roasts go, it was pretty bland. Perhaps my husband and I are just used to stronger coffees, but this one was far too mild for our tastes.

Monday, March 22, 2010

New at Target: Caldrea Essential Collection

Thanks to The Budget Babe, I just learned that Caldrea will launch a new line of luxe cleansers and home scents for Target in April called the Caldrea Essential Collection (shown). Caldrea, which goes by the mantra "Beautifully, clean, Elegantly Green", will feature unique packaging and nature-inspired scents like Citron Ginger, Herbs of Provence, Jasmine Mint, Lavender and Olive Oil in hand lotion, linen spray and more for their Target line. Plus, the Caldrea Essential Collection will be affordably priced from just $5.99 to $19.99.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pick of the Week

It's Pick of the Week time: each week I pick one great buy from Target's Weekly Ad (in the Sunday newspaper) and highlight it here on my blog. This week's pick are these nifty wall decor kits from Umbra Loft and Target Home. For just $18 each, you can get a set of 7 mirrored discs (in various sizes) to create your own wall pattern. Likewise, you can scatter a set of wire flowers (shown) or chrome butterflies to spruce up an otherwise blah wall. What a fun - and inventive - way to add to your decor; much cooler than just hanging a poster to fill up wall space.

New at Target: Miss Trish for girls

Thank you to savvy reader Laura for alerting me that Target IS launching another Miss Trish of Capri summer sandal line... only this time, it's just in toddler and girls sizes (sorry, Ladies!). I haven't viewed them in person yet, but Laura has, and reports that they are "much nicer than the adult versions last season." You can view the selection online here; I do wish they had adult sizes for these adorable Sea Turtle style (shown) as I'd totally get them.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Coral Candlelight

I found this pair of candle holders randomly today on while looking for something else. Although described as "Coral Candle Holders", I think that their twig-like shape and iron-finish makes them look more like tree branches or little bird-nests than sea coral. Regardless, I think I need to order these to bring a bit of nature-inspired beauty into my home. And best of all, they're on sale for 30% off, making the set just $21.99.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Zac's inspiration, ripped from the headlines

Zac Posen’s upcoming collection for Target features prom gowns and dresses for under $100. As for his inspiration, Posen claims it came straight from the headlines. He tells Teen Vogue:

“Lesbian proms have been such a big thing in the news lately,” Posen says. “Rather than create a fake subculture, I wanted to address things that are actually happening.”

But unless Posen has a time machine at his disposal, I'm not sure that’s actually true. Constance McMillen, an 18-year-old lesbian from Mississippi who is currently fighting the good fight to be able to take her girlfriend to prom, has only really made headlines in the last two weeks. Jezebel points out, however, that there have been a few under-the-national-radar prom controversies to which he could be referring. Maybe, but I doubt it.

Regardless, he does end the interview with a good point: “It’s a kick-ass girl who can wear a tuxedo to prom! Don’t be afraid of drama. Prom is one of the few opportunities in life when you can fulfill any romantic desires you have." "And,” he deadpans, with signature Posen wit, “there’s no prenup attached to it.” Nor would you need one at these prices.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday's Rave: this Liz Lange tank top

Pssst....wanna know a secret? Some of the Liz Lange Maternity tops at Target can actually be worn by us non-expecting gals. You just have to make sure that they're not too empire waist-y (with those telltale tie-in-back bows) or too balloon-y (like the ones that have more fabric in front vs. back in order to accomodate growing bellies).

That's why this one is just perfect: the banded, longer tunic length fits like a regular misses top (just size down from your usual size). And the unique neckline is just too cute to pass up: the rosettes are actually made of zippers, which makes this top look like an expensive boutique find (vs. the just under $17 bargain it is).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday's Rant: different Targets carrying different things

Most Tuesdays I take the opportunity to rant about something I do not like about Target… because although I love ‘em to death, they ain’t perfect. Today’s rant is a continuation of yesterday's post, in which I complained that not all Target stores are carrying the same Liberty of London merchandise. Many of you have written in to complain about this as well. I also made a similar rant last year in regard to Target's Orla Kiely and Loomstate designer lines. But rather than sound like a broken record (since I feel like I've talked this issue to death) allow me to offer up a partial solution...

If you're really in love with one of the Liberty of London items, and you can confirm online that your store has it, then make a Target employee find it for you! If an item is out of stock online, but has the "find it at a store" button next to it (like the screen above) then enter your zipcode to see if any stores near you carry it. And if you go to the store that has it in stock and but you don't see it out on the shelf, then do what reader KKatt did and ask an employee to check the stockroom for you. Don't be shy; that's part of their job, to help customers.

UPDATE: Forget everything I just said. Since I posted my tip this morning, The Consumerist ran an interesting story, which you can read in full here. The gist of it, though, is that Target stores and are run separately, and that the accuracy of the "find it at a store" tool is pretty sketchy. I guess that's why Target posts the following disclaimer next to all their search results:

"NOTE: Prices, promotions, styles and availability may vary by store and online. We constantly strive to provide you with accurate item availability information, but because item quantities are constantly changing, the inventory information provided below is only an approximate indication of an item's in-stock status and an item's availability cannot be guaranteed."

So the bottom line is: call the store directly ahead of time to see if they have the item in question (instead of relying on the online "item finder" tool). And also, don't be shy to ask a Target employee for help.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Not all Targets are created equal

Judging from the numerous reader comments I've received - plus having now viewed the Liberty of London line at 3 different Target stores - I can safely say that not all stores carry the same merchandise. I visited the Target store near my work during lunchtime, and the only "different" things this store had (which I hadn't seen before) were a darling 3-pack of headbands and floral flip-flops (both in the girls' department). This particular store had NOTHING in the mens department, not even the printed boxers. Likewise, they had no stationery, home decor, or housewares, and only a scant few throw pillows and bedding sets.

I almost walked out without anything... but then saw this one-shoulder maxi dress (shown) and decided to give it a whirl. I'll try it on for size tonight at home, and if it fits and I like it on, my plan is to shorten it to just above the knee (since the maxi-style isn't really my thing).

Much LOVE for Liberty of London for Target...

Apologies for not posting a "Pick of the Week" yesterday, but I was too busy running to multiple Target stores buying up as much Libery of London stuff as I could get my hands on. Just kidding. Sort of...

Let me start off by saying that I have MUCH LOVE for this line. Dare I say it, but this just might be my most favorite Target designer collaboration to date! It may also be Target's most successful one, judging by the fact that many items are already sold out online + your reader comments that your local stores are already depleted of inventory.

Early yesterday morning, I went to my closest local Target. To be honest, not all the merchandise was out yet. The women's clothing, lingere and PJs were well stocked; other areas, not so much. I couldn't find any home decor and/or housewares. I did find a few bedding sets... and I didn't even intend to buy any bedding, but ended up not being able to resist this one because it just SCREAMS "Spring" and it will complement our bedroom's robin-egg blue walls. To go with the bedding, I also nabbed the paisley silk front/velvet-backed pillow (shown at left near the model's feet). I also purchased some lingere, this top, and this dress.

Later on in the day I went to another Target store, and this one had some different things. They had the menswear out, and I was able to snag two ties for my hubby (which, despite my fears that he'd find them "too wild", he loved!). This store also had the women's swimwear, which looked great but I didn't have the patience to try on. They also had this fab coat that several women were "oohing" and "ahhing" over; this piece is really stunning in person, and I'm betting it will be a sellout. They also had some items not available online, like stationery sets (I picked up a couple as gifts) and fragrant candles. I got the Spiced Black Tea scent - which is to die for - and the Sugared Grapefruit one is delightful as well. I also saw more gardening items than were shown online, including several decorative planting pots and a gardening tool set (in addition to these darling gardening gloves).

Finally, in the early evening - in a last-minute search for some school supplies for son #2 (thanks, bud, for telling me a 6pm you need a costume for your poetry reading tomorrow!) - I went back to my original Target. At this point, they had put out a few more things, but the only men's items they had were the boxers (quite a steal at just $5.99 each, I must say). They also had put out some of the plates/dishes/canisters, but the selection was pretty picked over by the time I got there.

I will say that everything seems very well made and of extremely high-quality. The clothing looks a lot more expensive than it is, and I was surprised that they weren't charging more for some of these items.

Will I buy more? It depends; today I'll check out the Target store near my work, and if I score any new finds, I'll certainly let you know!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Some Liberty of London for Target items already sold out online

Alas, dear readers, I come to you with the unfortunate news that a good number of the hotly anticipated Liberty of London for Target items are ALREADY SOLD OUT online at This includes all of the accessories (including this floral umbrella, shown) and much of the home decor.

Now a few items - like these adorable women's gardening gloves - state that they are "unavailable online temporarily" but that Target can email you once they're in stock. Hopefully, that's truly the case.

On the flipside: the good news is that there seems to be a full selection of the girl's clothing and the women's dresses still available. And surprisingly, the Liberty line is even offering the women's sizes in petites as well!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Naomi Watts hearts Target

Look who else loves Target? It's none other than actress Naomi Watts, hitting up the girls’ racks at the Liberty of London for Target pop-up store this past Wednesday in New York City to shop for her 10-month-old niece.

Naomi is also a Liberty of London fan. "As a kid growing up in London, I would go along Regent Street and look at the windows and dream about their fabrics,” Naomi recalled. “The patterns are so feminine and pretty.”

Friday, March 12, 2010

New at Target: Retro General Mills Cereal Boxes

General Mills is evoking childhood nostalgia by launching five of its best-selling cereals in retro boxes.

The cereals include Trix, Honey Nut Cheerios, Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms. The limited-edition versions will start appearing on shelves at Target stores this weekend as part of a month-long promotion.

General Mills is selling the cereals for a suggested retail price of $2.75 a box. They feature “fun, ‘retro’ package designs and premium offers from the 60s and 80s,” said David Oehler, from General Mills promotions department. A retro box of Lucky Charms (pictured at left) shows an older, more storybook-like version of Lucky the Leprechaun, the brand’s mascot (vs. the current box on the right).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sale Alert: selected shoes at Target

And speaking of shoes... is having a Big Shoe Stock-Up Sale: buy one pair and get the second for half off. And on top of that, you also get free shipping on orders of $50 or more! The sale spans womens, mens, and kids shoes, so this is truly a sale for the whole family.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

In Shaun's shoes...

USA Today is reporting that Olympic snowboard gold medal winner Shaun White will launch a line of shoes at Target this Fall. His shoe collection, which follows his already popular Shaun White 4 Target clothing line, will be designed with skateboarders in mind. Shaun's shoe line will debut this Fall.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday's Rant: Target's Liberty of London already showing up on eBay

Most Tuesdays I take the opportunity to rant about something I do not like about Target… because although I love ‘em to death, they ain’t perfect. Today’s rant is about Target designer merchandise showing up on eBay – at highly inflated prices – before it even debuts in store. Case in point? Numerous Liberty of London for Target items are already for sale on eBay, a week before they hit stores. Which means that either some stores put their goods out early - and shoppers snapped 'em up for resale - or Target employees themselves are stockpiling the merchandise early to sell it on eBay. Either way, it’s WRONG, and it disgusts me.

Ironically, I looked in my blog archives, and I made a similar rant a little over a year ago. At that time, I was upset that my local stores had a scant supply of the Orla Kiely collection, whereas I found many items on eBay being scalped for way over the retail price.

Monday, March 8, 2010

My personal sneak-peek of Liberty of London for Target...

While I was checking out the new Jean Paul Gaultier collection yesterday at Target, I noticed that one store had accidently put out one of the sundresses from the upcoming Liberty of London line early. Try as I might, I was not able to find a picture of it online, but I did find this dress (pictured) that is pretty close. I'll try to explain the differences: the Liberty one has no sash, but the shirred-empire cut of the bustline and the flare of the skirt are the same. The Liberty one also only has the white embroidered flowers cascading down the left side of the skirt (vs. all over). The Liberty dress seemed to be made of a cotton/linen blend, and looked to be very well constructed. I was really tempted to try it on, except I already have at least 6 black sundresses in my closet, so the last thing I need is yet another one. But overall, I was impressed by the quality and the styling, and I'm really excited to see the other Liberty of London fashion offerings once they hit stores next week!

UPDATE: The dress I saw last week is now available for sale here at

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My review of Jean Paul Gaultier for Target

In lieu of a Pick of the the Week post today, I am instead going to post my firsthand review of the new Jean Paul Gaultier for Target collection. In a nutshell: you know how you can appreciate an art form even though it's not your cup of tea? For instance: you may hate the free-form style of Impressionist watercolors, but you can appreciate them for the classic art it represents. That is how to best sum up this collection. It may not personally be for you (as was the case for me) but I commend JPG for being true to his vision and bringing his fashion to the masses at a price point we can all love. All that said, here goes:

Most of the retro-styled sundresses are made of a weird, parachute-type of fabric or a shiny, disco-style jersey. The exceptions are the floral eyelet ones, which are made of cotton and seem to be better made (IMO) but are cut really small. Also, both the black/white and yellow halter dresses are cut WAY low. In other words, not for the modest or faint of heart!

Both the brown leather jacket and the tan trench coat are already sold out online, and I also did not see them at either of the two Target stores I visited this morning. I did, however, see plenty of the brown/red motorcycle jackets (shown) on the racks, and at $199, I'm not surprised. Then again, they may sell out as well, as there are currently only size XS and S left online.

The swimwear was the glam, skimpy stuff suited more towards "sunning" or "strutting your stuff" vs. actually swimming in. And the tops were best suited for clubbing. Again, most were made of this shiny jersey stuff, except for the screen printed lip, eye, and striped anchor tees, which were made of a cotton/spandex blend. And these were a letdown (for me, anyhow) as they are completely split up the left side (the side that ties at the hip) which means you have to wear another tee or a tank underneath or lest be walking around naked.

The one thing I almost (ALMOST) bought was the short-sleeved double-breasted pinstriped jacket. This piece SCREAMS 80's-retro, and in fact I think I had a suit jacket like this in the early 90's when I first entered the job market. This jacket is fitted and styled extremely well, and if I didn't work in such a business-casual environment, I may have purchased it. But alas, it's simply too structured a piece for my sort of lifestyle.

So to sum it all up: Jean Paul Gautier for Target is a fun, colorful, young collection for those who can (and want to) wear it. While it's not my personal style, I can still appreciate it as well-executed capsule collection for Target.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Jean Paul Gaultier for Target shows up on eBay...

In a sure sign that this line is going to be red hot, numerous items from the Jean Paul Gaultier for Target line - which doesn't officially debut in stores until tomorrow - are already up for auction on eBay. You can check out the selection (at highly inflated prices) here. I can only assume that some stores put the collection out early, and that sellers looking to make a quick buck posted them for auction. While there are a few JPG items I want to check out - like this cute anchor tee - I'll be waiting another day to find it in-store or online at

Friday, March 5, 2010

Have a style question? Ask Nina.

Have a fashion faux-pas? Need help finding those perfect jeans? Nina is here to help. Target's StyleBoutique is currently collecting questions for fashion editor, stylist, author and TV personality Nina Garcia to answer. Just submit your name, city, and style question for her here, and Nina will handpick a few questions and post her responses on the site in April.

New Shaun White 4 Target collection at Target

Snowboarding phemom and Olympic gold-medal winner Shaun White is still keeping busy despite the fact that the Winter Games are over. reports that he's continuing his two-year relationship with Target with the debut of his spring line of Shaun White 4 Target. Launching this week in stores and online, his latest collection of affordable denim, hooded sweatshirts, jackets, graphic tees and shirts is centered around hand-drawn art injected with the athlete’s sense of humor. There’s even a print based on his canine best pal, French bulldog, Rambo [shown]. “I really think the inspiration comes from all over the place,” said Shaun. “I’m always traveling, I get to see what people are wearing all over the world. And making clothes for my friends has been the best part.”

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Got coupons?

If you have a mobile phone, Target has an offer for you: mobile coupons available for download on their web site. Once you sign up, you get exclusive offers texted directly to your phone that are scanable upon checkout - specials you won't see online or anywhere else.

Target also offers in-store coupons that you can print at home. There are dozens of categories to choose from (like Personal Care, Groceries, Toys, etc.) and the coupons are updated weekly.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday's Rave: this Converse One Star top

Sometimes it's the simple things that are the best. Case in point: this basic black top from Converse One Star. I was lucky enough to find it on clearance (for 30% off the regular price of $22.99) on last month, and its already become one of the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe.

Now if you'd asked me whether I needed another black top, the answer would have most certainly been "no". But this one goes with practically everything; it has a flattering, drapey neckline and is made of a super-soft rayon blend. And the length is just right to tuck it into jeans or skirts without it riding up.

Unfortunately, it now seems to be sold out on But should you find it on the clearance rack in stores, my advice would be to nab one, pronto.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday's Rant: Target no longer carrying XL men's shoes

Most Tuesdays I take the opportunity to rant about something I do not like about Target… because although I love ‘em to death, they ain’t perfect. Today’s rant is courtesy of The Consumerist blog, who reports that reader "Dave" wrote in to complain that Target is no longer carrying size 13 men's shoes in their stores. If you want a size larger than 12, you'll need to order them online at According to Dave:

"To further add to the Target madness, they have decided to stop selling Men’s shoes and sandals in size 13. The largest size carried in store now is size 12. After checking with team members, there were no pegs, nor DPCI (Target sku numbers) for anything in size 13. They are available online, but for a shipping fee of course. As a man with large feet, I feel discriminated against! Shall I call the ACLU?”

No, Dave; I don't think the ACLU will be able to help you. And I don't think there's much that The Consumerist can do, either. You can always try ranting to Target's 1-800 Customer Service number, but you're probably better off just taking your business elsehere.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Review: Giada's Garlic Parmesan Vinaigrette

A few weeks ago I reviewed Giada's Farfalle Pasta and Vegetable Marinara Sauce, both from her new line at Target. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed with both items, and won't be buying them again. However, I recently tried Giada's Garlic Parmesan Vinaigrette (shown) and finally, folks, we have a winner! I was pleasantly surprised by this tangy dressing, which adds just the right amoung of "zing" to salads. It can also serve as a dipping sauce for bread or veggies. And - come to think of it - it can also probably be used as a shortcut for garlic bread; just spread it on, broil for a few minutes, and you're done!