Friday, April 30, 2010

Jump for It

Jumpsuits aren't really my thing. Probably because I'm short, and honestly, jumpsuits really only flatter those with a long, lanky frame. But if you can pull it off, more power to you. And if you are in the market for one, why not save some $$ while you're at it?

On the left is Tory Burch's version. Just from the picture, I like this one better, perhaps because of the way it's styled. But it's also a jaw-dropping $425! For a fraction of that, you can get the Liberty of London for Target jumpsuit for just $34.99, which is a more wallet-friendly way to try out a trend like this.

Add a Splash of Color to your Bathroom

The latest installment of Target's StyleBoutique series features ideas for bringing color to an otherwise stark-white bathroom. Target's home decor expert Sabrina Soto shows you how to take basic white shelving, layer in bright towels, accessories and décor items, and add colorful toiletries in glass jars to make a big impact without paying big bucks. You can check out all of Sabrina's tips here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday's Rave: this Zac Posen dress

I did end up taking that Zac Posen Sailor Dress back to Target the other day... and while I was there, I felt compelled to try on the Black Sweater Dress. And I'm happy to say, it was a hit! This not-so-basic LBD has subtle diagonal banding, which is not only figure-flattering but reminds me of those Herve Leger "bandage dresses" that are so popular right now. This dress also has a subtle-sparkle to it - with metallic threads woven throughout - and is MUCH better looking in person than in this picture. No wonder this frock is getting rave reviews on Target's web site. Finally, one piece in the Zac Posen for Target collection that lives up to the designer's name!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Double-Take: Crate & Barrel's Chair vs. Target's

It’s time for another double-take, and this time, we take on the furniture department. To be fair, these chairs are not identical. Both come in different fabric options, and I’ve just chosen two at random. But the overall shape is the same, and both get high customer reviews. However, when you hear the price delta between Crate & Barrel's “Décor” chair and Target's “Mitchell” chair, it’s hard to justify paying over 4-times as much for the Crate & Barrel version. Can you guess which is which? The answer is in the comments section.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Not as advertised...

A little warning: if you are looking for this Zac Posen Lipstick Tee as shown on Target's web site, it may not exist. At least not at the two Target stores I've seen it at. In person, this red tee actually has black cap sleeves, and is not solid red. I'm not sure if they made both versions, and the solid red one is only sold on the web site whereas the two-tone one is available only in stores, or whether the solid red was the prototype used for the photo shoot and the other version was the one that was mass produced.

In any case, if you order this particular tee from Target's web site, don't be surprised if it looks a bit different. And, if anyone finds the solid red tee in stores, please be sure to let me know.

Sunday, April 25, 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. Today's pick is a practical one: Johnson & Johnson's Safe Travels First Aid Kit, including Band-Aid brand bandages, Cortaid, Neosporin, Tylenol and Motrin. It's on sale for just $4.79 this week (in stores only) and at that price, you can buy one to stash in your car, one for your desk at work, plus one to keep at home.

My review for Zac Posen for Target

Well, dear readers, after all the fanfare, after all the hype, it's finally here. Zac Posen for Target! To which I celebrate with a huge, and audible, yawn.

I wasn't even looking for Zac's line yesterday, but it found me. I travelled to the Target two towns over - the only one near me that still has a Garden Center - in search of some pretty plants. And while I was there, I noticed that this store had put out the entire Zac Posen line a day early. I poured over the racks with glee... only to come away with nothing but this Sailor Dress (shown) which I will detail later on in this post.

I think the high points of this line are the sparkly Sweater Dress (which is form-fitting and sexy) and the lipstick-red Leather Moto Jacket (which is to die for, but at $199.99 is out of my price range). If you want something from the line that's inexpensive but still screams "Zac", then pick up one of his cute Lipstick tees or tanks.

The Pleated White Top and Tuxedo Jacket both have potential, and looked to be well made. But alas, since I have neither the need for another white shirt nor another black jacket in my wardrobe, I passed on both of these.

The Snap Tape Dress (which look more like rivets than snaps, IMO) is cute, but is cut in an EXTREMELY low "V" in the front. Unless you're very bold, this dress will require a cami underneath. The Gold Halter Dress and Ruffled Dresses in Black and Red just screamed "Senior Prom, 1988" to me, so I passed on these. Likewise, this Yellow Raincoat just seemed puzzling to me; with it's boxy shape and toggle closure, it looked like something a fireman might wear. There are also several items in this line that I found just plain ugly, like all the pieces in his "Safety-pin Print".

Now for the Sailor Dress. It's a gorgeous pink color, bordering on lilac. It also comes in a pink & black Tiger Print which I happen not to care for, but Nicki Hilton seems to like it, so go figure. First off, please use caution when trying on this dress; the inner slip-layer is only held to the rest of dress (at the shoulders) by a few small threads. I did, in fact, see two dresses on the rack hanging there without the slip - as they had come apart - so if you do buy this dress in the store, make sure the slip is attached. Also, as with everything else in Zac's line, this dress runs small, so most likely you'll need to go up a size. In addition, the sailor top isn't for everyone; the ruffles are very voluminous, and can overtake a small frame. All that said: once I finally got this dress on, I looked in the mirror, and was like ....."meh". It was OK, but nothing great, so the dress will be going back today.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Clearance Alert: Liberty of London (select items in store)

Several of you have written in to say that Liberty of London clothing for women has been put on clearance for 30% off. This sale seems to be limited to selected items in the line, and also seems to be the case in stores only, as the Liberty of London collection on has not been marked down.

And some items - like this pleated-back Jumper Print dress - seem to be so successful that not only are they not on sale, but they are being re-stocked by Target (according to their web site). Selected dresses, tops, and swimwear coverups state they will be "back in stock in June", and you can pre-order them now on

New at Target: Sonia Kashuk Nail Polish

Sonia Kashuk has something new to add to her already successful makeup line at Target: a collection of nail colors. Just in time for sandal season, Kashuk has debuted 10 gorgeous, chip-resistant shades for nails and toes for just $3.99 each.

In addition to the punchy purple, sonic blues, and industrial silver (called "Smoke and Mirrors") shown here, the line also includes a top coat, a base coat, and bright reds and pinks, as well as an absolutely perfect neutral shade that's dubbed "In The Buff".

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Maggie Gyllenhaal hearts Target

Guess who else hearts Target, dear readers? It’s actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, pictured here with Claire Danes (whom I showed you on Friday with Selma Blair and Zac Posen himself) at Target's 24-hour Shopping Party last week. Also in attendance at the event were other famous Posen fans including Ginnifer Goodwin, Mena Suvari, Parker Posey, and Michelle Trachtenberg.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday's Rant: Too Many Designers at Target

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 trying to cram too many designer lines down our throat at one time. The Jean Paul Gaultier line is barely on the clearance racks, and we have Zac Posen debuting this Sunday. Meanwhile, we have Eugenia Kim's hats fighting for space in the accessories aisle alongside the Hollywood Intuition offerings, and the new Miss Trish of Capri sandals (which have barely been mentioned in Target press or promotions) competing for room on the shelves along with the new Cynthia Vincent shoes. And of course, the Liberty of London line is crowding both the shoe aisle and the clothes racks, vying for attention as well. That’s a total of 7 designer collections… and I didn’t even bother to mention the Shaun White 4 Target line, appearing in the boy’s & men’s departments.

Don’t get me wrong: I think that Target’s designer collaborations are GREAT. I just wish they’d space them out a bit more, because all of this overlap is taking away from the specialness & uniqueness of each line.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Returns Department...

It’s time for another installment of The Returns Department, a sporadic feature here on this blog in which I share with you an impulse buy that went awry. Such was the case with the Liberty of London comforter set (shown) which I bought about a month ago. It’s been sitting in the corner of our room, waiting for the weather to get a bit warmer before I broke it out… until I finally decided that the print was too wild for my tastes. And my hubby, who never liked the pattern to begin with, wholeheartedly agreed.

As my grandmother would say, "That print is so loud it'll keep you up at night!". So I'm now on the hunt for a pattern that's a little more "tame".

Clearance Alert: Jean Paul Gaultier for Target

I was at two Target stores over the weekend, and both of them had schleppped all their remaining Jean Paul Gaultier inventory (and believe me, there was plenty of it!) to the clearance racks. Right now, what's left is marked down to 30% off, both in store and online. In particular, there were tons of these yellow sundresses leftover - enough to fill an entire rack in one store!

Sunday, April 18, 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. Because today kicks off Earth Week, my pick is an assortment of flavors of Sun Chips (10.5 oz bags) on sale for 2 for $6. By now you've probably seen the TV ads showing the cool new Sun Chips packaging which fully composts in just 13 weeks. Good snackin', in packaging that's good for the environment; what's not to like about that?

And to celebrate the start of Earth Week, Target - in collaboration with GE, Tide and Coca-Cola - will be giving away 1.5 million reusable shopping bags today with any purchase. [Note: limit one per guest, quantities are limited, and no rain checks.]

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Target to partner with Temple St. Clair

The Cut has reported that Target has announced a partnership with Temple St. Clair Carr of the jewelry line Temple St. Clair. Carr uses a lot of gold, diamonds, and gems in her designs, as shown on her web site. Carr founded her jewelry line back in 1986 while living in Florence, Italy. Barneys New York discovered her work in Italy and invited her to showcase her first collection exclusively in New York City. From there, her collections expanded to other luxury retailers and soon fetched a connoisseur clientele.

Since Carr's creations tend to be spendy - like the $4,400 gold, diamond and blue moonstone ring shown here - it'll be interesting to see how she tailors her aesthetic for Target shoppers. I guess we'll find out when when the Temple St. Clair for Target collection hits stores on August 29.

This is what I bought today... now let's see if I can walk in them!

Both the Eugenia Kim and Cynthia Vincent lines have been trickling into Target stores, even though the official launch date isn't until tomorrow (April 18th). I've checked out Kim's hats and will be posting a review later this week. In the meantime, I spied this ONE pair of Vincent shoes at my local Target... and when they just HAPPENED to be in my size, I couldn't resist trying them on. Despite their sky-high platform heels, they are remarkably comfy. Mind you, I wouldn't run for a taxi in them, let alone wear them to the office all day. But for a fun, trendy summer look - say to wear for a few hours at an outdoor BBQ - I just had to buy them.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bootleg Zac Posen for Target hits eBay already...

Ok, so I might be stretching it with the term "bootleg". But a few entrepenurial fashionistas - looking to make a quick buck - must have hit the Zac Posen shopping party in NYC ast night and are now selling their stash at a profit on eBay. Pictured is Zac Posen himself at the event, along with actresses Selma Blair and Claire Danes.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New at Target: more Miss Trish (IF you can find it)

Apologies for not responding sooner to the reader comments from my blog post last month about the Miss Trish of Capri line for kids. Had I paid closer attention, I would have realized that Miss Trish was indeed going to launch a women's line as well. Reader Andrea, in fact, posted this link to Target's press photos, and also told me in a separate post that she spied some at her local Target.

Why mystifies me is that Target hasn't hyped this line more. And the rollout seems sporadic, as several of you have written in that you've seen a few pairs hit stores here and there, but not in volume. Likewise, I've seen NO evidence of Miss Trish at my local stores. Now I'm starting to suspect that they were an instant sellout, since a friend of mine just posted this on her Facebook page (in reference to our local Target store): Miss Trish of Capri at Target...the saleswoman could not stock the shelves fast enough as the women were pulling the sandals off the racks.

Likewise, if you go to Target's website and do a search on Miss Trish, all that comes up is the kids line. My friend sent me this link to the pair she just bought, but as you can see, Target states they are now sold out.

UPDATE: As of today (April 18th) three Miss Trish of Capri women's styles are available on Target's web site.

Nicky Hilton, on the other hand, hearts Target

On the other end of the spectrum, guess which celebrity loves Target? It’s socialite Nicky Hilton, who was spotted last Wednesday night wearing the Zac Posen for Target Sailor Dress in Animal Print (which she accessorized with a wide black belt, matching black stiletto heels and a red Chanel purse). Nicky was attended Nylon magazine's 11th Anniversary Party, and if you look real hard, you can make out her sister Paris in the background walking behind her.

Nicky is the second lucky celebrity to get her hands on a piece from Zac’s upcoming Target collection before the rest of us “common folk”. If you recall, a couple of weeks ago I showed you a shot of actress Dakota Fanning sporting Zac’s tuxedo jacket in NYC.

PS: I'm not a huge fan of this dress in the animal print, but it also comes in a solid raspberry pink which I'm planning to try on (IF I can get my hands on one, that is!).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Emma Roberts does not heart Target

Wannabee actress and aspiring fashionista Emma Roberts has gone on record in the latest issue of WWD to dismiss big-name Target designer collaborations like Isaac Mizrahi, Zac Posen, and Jean-Paul Gaultier as being "cheesy."

In the issue, 19-year-old Roberts - who just happens to be the daughter of Eric and niece of Julia - chats about her "obsession" with fashion, counting Alexander Wang, Miu Miu, and Dior among her favorite labels.

"I would like to be recognized for my style, because I love clothes," Roberts tells the paper, adding that she's inspired by both Audrey Hepburn and Sienna Miller.

However, Roberts also tells WWD that while she aspires to have her own clothing line someday, she wants to "do something in fashion that wouldn't be cheesy. I wouldn't do, like, Emma Roberts for Target."

Emma, maybe you should hone your acting skills a bit more and concentrate on building a career rather than riding your famous dad's and aunt's coattails.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Double-Take: Banana Republic vs. Mossimo

It's time for another double-take, and this time the matchup is between Banana Republic and Mossimo (at Target). Both tank tops sport a double-layer of cascading ruffles on the scooped neckline, and both come in a punchy pink hue. But the BR one will set you back $39.50, whereas the Mossimo one is less than half that.

Can you guess which one is which? I’ve posted the answer in the comments section.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Overheard: "This Giada stuff is selling like hotcakes!"

At my local Target store today, the sales clerk in my checkout line noticed the Orzo in my shopping cart (yes, I bought another box) and commented that "this Giada stuff is selling like hotcakes!" She said she didn't realize that Giada's line included food items, but noted that her cookware, bakeware, kitchen tools and cookbooks seemed to be flying off the shelves this week (and mind you, it's only Monday!). Perhaps that's because selected items from the Giada de Laurentiis line is on sale this week at Target (April 11-17).

Target's Shop-Around-the-Clock Party in NYC

Want to party, dance the night away to live bands and DJs, and shop for the chicest Zac Posen for Target styles... all at the same time? Well if you live in NYC, then mark your calendars for this Thursday night, April 15th. To celebrate the upcoming launch of their new Zac Posen collection, Target is hosting an around-the-clock shopping party in the Big Apple. The party starts at 11 p.m. on April 15 and goes until 11 p.m. on Friday, April 16 (or whenever the assortment sells out). With an array of colorful dresses for day and formal pieces for night, Posen ensures that every woman is dressed the part. If any lucky New Yorkers happen to attend this event, make sure you write in and give us your review, ok?

Sunday, April 11, 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 I ask you: does your bed, couch, or favorite chair need an "upgrade"? Are your favorite places to "get comf" looking a bit dull & drab? Because there's no easier way to update your favorite cozy places then with a few new decorative pillows. Especially now that Spring is here; you may want to swap out your current pillows for new ones in more vibrant, colorful hues. Enter this weeks pick, which is a selection of Room Essentials throw blankets and toss pillows on sale this week for just $9. Target has other selected pillows and throws also on sale this week, making it easy to update your room with style.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Review: Caldrea Essential Collection

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the Caldrea Essential collection of home scents and cleansers at Target, and this past week I tried out a couple of items from this new line. To be honest, I was going to pass on it, just because the last thing I need (I thought) was more products to clean with. But the crisp, clean look of the packaging is hard to pass up, and the scents are hard to resist: there is Citron Ginger, Herbs of Provence, and Olive Oil to choose from, and each have their own unique appeal. I finally settled on the Herbs of Provence, which includes notes of Rosemary, Thyme and Sage… although I could swear I smelled Lavender in there, too. And sure enough: once I studied the ingredient list I found that Lavender, Mint, and Lily of the Valley are also thrown in the mix.

The first product I tried was the Countertop Cleaner. It seems to work well, and leaves a slight, lingering fragrance in the kitchen... but to be fair, it’s not for down & dirty jobs. You should still use soap, some elbow grease and even Comet if the job is really tough, especially in the sink. This cleaner says it can be used on tile, natural and synthetic stone, and finished wood. I also used it on our stainless steel range and hood, and it worked fine, but speaking of which… they have another product called “Stainless Steel Cleaner” which sort of baffled me. It seems to be aimed at stainless steel utensils, pots and pans, and to me, I just don’t get the point - ? Aren’t you washing these things anyhow? Why do you need an additional spray to get it clean & shiny?

I also purchased the fragrant candle (in the same scent) which comes in a short, squat jar and states it is a “Kitchen Candle”, although nowhere on the packaging does it claim to take away other offensive kitchen scents like fish or onions. While I do like this candle, for the same amount ($9.99) I'd rather buy another Liberty of London scented candle, as their packaging was prettier and the candle is actually larger (at 10 oz. vs 8 oz.).

From the 3 Target stores I’ve seen Caldrea at, it looks like the hand lotions are a top seller, as most are already sold out. I personally prefer unscented hand lotion myself, but with their rich fragrances, I can see why these would go quickly. Overall I like this line and will probably try other things from it, over time.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Review: Giada’s Orzo Pasta (plus her Creamy Orzo recipe!)

This is the fourth Giada de Laurentiis food product I’ve reviewed. Previously I’ve blogged about her Italian Roast Coffee (which I found too mild), her Vegetable Marinara Sauce (again, too bland) and her Farfalle Pasta (which was too “gummy”). I did like her Garlic Parmesan Vinaigrette, but that was about it. So on Easter, I tried her Creamy Orzo recipe, which I found here on the Food Network site.

To be honest, it’s really hard to screw up Orzo. I mean it is what it is – tiny, rice shaped pasta. It’s not a unique shape like her version of Farfalle that was hard to cook evenly. That said, Giada’s Orzo is fine. Her recipe was very good, and a hit at the Easter dinner table, with a few modifications… first, I didn’t need any additional liquid besides the cream, so I think the “reserve liquid” from the boiling water is unnecessary (and furthermore, you could just use some regular water if you really need more liquid). I added more grated cheese than the recipe called for – probably a full cup. And, like many of reviewers on Food Network, I found the recipe lacking salt, so I would liberally add more salt and pepper, based on your tastes. When I make this again, I will also try cooking the Orzo in chicken broth (vs. water) to add even more flavor.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesday’s Rave: this Merona Collection cardigan

This is something I bought on a whim yesterday, but which I know I’ll get loads of mileage out of: this cute little cardigan from Merona Collection. I used to stock up on Isaac Mizrahi cardigans when he still designed for Target, and the Merona Collection ones are of similar quality and style. However, the one I bought last year – very similar in pattern to this one– is now looking a bit worn, so it’s time for a wardrobe update. Since I own quite a few solid black and white summer dresses, this is just the perfect thing to throw on when wearing them to the office or out to dinner when the sun sets and the temperature drops. This subtle basketweave-pattern sweater comes in both regular and petite sizes, and even better, I happened to find it on clearance in the store for 50% off!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Double-Take: Gap vs. Converse One Star

Time for another double-take, folks. Today it's Gap's flutter-sleeve top (shown on the left) which is awfully similar to the one from Converse One Star (on the right). Both are made of white cotton and boast a pintucked front, ruffled sleeves and stand-up collar. The Gap one, however, will set you back $59.50, whereas the Converse version is only $20-bucks this week (on sale at Target, regularly $21.99).

Sunday, April 4, 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. First off, a little reminder: all Target stores are closed today for Easter Sunday. Which might be why my local Target store was so darn busy when I tried to make a quick run there yesterday!

Anyhow, today's pick is a selection of men's Converse One Star shirts, tees, and shorts, all on sale for $17-$20. And just in time, too, as our teenage boys have their Spring break next week, so I can haul them over to Target to stock up on these basic wardrobe items.

Selected women's fashions from Converse are also on sale, and you can watch for a post on that tomorrow. Until then, Happy Easter everyone!

Friday, April 2, 2010

New at Target: Eugenia Kim and Cynthia Vincent

The Recessionista has posted a sneak peek (complete with preview pics) of two new Target designer collaborations: Eugenia Kim and Cynthia Vincent. As I mentioned when news of these lines broke back in November, Kim's line focuses on hats, and Vincent's concentrates on shoes. Kim's collection channels old Havana - as shown in this promotional graphic on Target's web site - and taking a cue from Cuba's vibrant culture, she's designed a variety of summer silhouettes using woven and printed fabrics. And Vincent's footwear line offers a selection of wedges, flats and heels in both bright and classic hues, decorated with various hardware and embellishments. She's also re-created a budget-version of her iconic "Luella" sky-high gladiator sandal from last year (you can check out pics here from The Budget Babe) which is sure to be a sellout at just $29.99.

While the pics look nice, I'll need to see the goods in person before I pass judgement. It really all depends on the materials used; too often I've seen Target "cheap out" on fabrics and construction, especially on their designer accessory lines (Miss Trish and Hollywood Intuition come to mind). Both lines hit Target stores on April 18th.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Double-Take: Franco Sarto vs. Merona

Today’s double-take is courtesy of The Budget Babe. On the left, we have the “Grape” peep-toe wedge by Franco Sarto, weighing in at $79.99 at And on the right, we have the “Maribel” wedge by Merona, on sale this week at Target for just $23.99 (regularly $26.99).

Granted, Merona’s “Tan” color isn’t quite as rich as Franco’s “Biscotti”, but other than that, the resemblance is striking, don’t you think?