Monday, December 31, 2012

Fab Find: Odin New York Men's Jacket

Contrary to my post at the start of this month, some of the offerings from The Shops are still available on despite the fact that it's been well over 90 days since the collection was introduced in stores. I bought this Odin New York jacket for our teenage son several weeks ago, and he wears it all the time. It can be risky picking out clothes for teenagers, but this jacket seems to be a hit.  It's still available on in a range of sizes, and now is on clearance for just $24.48 (down from $69.99).  Note: the description calls it a "cropped" jacket, but IMO it's not that short.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Clearance Alert: C9 by Champion

Right now there's a huge selection of C9 by Champion women's athletic wear on sale this week at Target (as shown in Target's Weekly Ad) as well as on clearance on  But IMO, the real deals are in stores on the clearance racks.  This is the time of year when I always score great buys on C9 stuff, and replenish all my workout and yoga wear.  I think it's a combination of Target trying to blow out the old C9 stock, plus a rash of Christmas returns that are now marked down. Case in point: I was able to get this C9 Supersoft Pullover at my local store (shown) for just $12.99 (marked down from $24.99).

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Have designer collabs jumped the shark?

With the saturation of hi/lo designer collabs out there, muses whether the practice has finally jumped the shark.  In looking over my 2012 blog posts, the list of Target's collabs is long: in January we still had what was left of Missoni on clearance, as well as the second installment of Josie Natori.  February brought us Jason Wu, and throughout the year The Shops concept and Harajuku Mini were ongoing. September gave us Nate Berkus, and December brought the Neiman-Marcus collection... which by all accounts, seems to have been a flop.

February will bring Prabal Gurung to Target, and Racked has noticed that this collaboration hasn't been as buzzed about as you might expect. Compared to the flurry of excitement that Jason Wu's lookbook generated last year - which was one of the most popular posts of the year on Racked - the announcement that Gurung is up next was met with only mild interest.  Back in November, they asked Gurung if he thought designer collabs were still relevant. "There's still a relevance factor, otherwise people wouldn't be doing it," he said. "Target were the pioneers of starting a collaboration like this, and... this is like the benchmark that as a new designer you want to keep. The audience that they have, hundreds of millions! As you grow your brand, what you want to do is increase brand familiarity."

But fashion experts seem to disagree. "It's become very formulaic at this point," Mickey Boardman, editorial director of Paper Magazine, told the New York Post. "Everyone does them, and so they don't really seem as special."

Friday, December 28, 2012

Fab Find: Merona Leopard-print Trench

I bought this Merona Leopard-print trench on a whim a few weeks ago, and have gotten compliments on it every time I've worn it since.  I also still have - and wear - the plaid version of this trench from last year, but it was time to update my wardrobe with a new one.  Both prints are a notch above "basic black" or khaki trench coats.  And Merona's version - crafted of water-repellent material - is superior to the recent leopard-trench offering from Kirna Zabete for Target, which is made of super-thin cotton. only has limited sizes left of this trench (on sale for $34.98) but you can still find it in store in a range of sizes for even less (on clearance for $24.99). sold tablet pre-loaded with porn...

According to TheDailyMail, a devastated mother says her Christmas was thrown into disarray after her daughter's long-awaited gift from Santa Claus came with a cache of graphic porn. Kanisha Morning of Sacramento, California, said that her 9 yr. old daughter had asked for an Android Zeki tablet for Christmas, and was thrilled when she unwrapped it on Tuesday morning. But the enthusiasm turned to shock when her daughter looked at some videos that were on the device.

Ms Morning told CBS Sacramento: '[She had an] awkward look on her face.  At the same time I’m going to ask her what’s wrong She’s handing me the tablet "mommy what’s this?"' The station reported that the explicit videos appeared to be amateur pornography, shot in a house.  Ms. Morning claims that she bought the tablet off because the big box retailer was not selling it in her nearby store. When it was delivered, she said it seemed 'factory sealed.'

When she contacted Target via their website, the store asked her to return the tablet for a new one. But the mother told CBS Sacramento that no longer wants to deal with the company, and went to the media to prevent any other children and mothers from having the same experience. She told the TV station: "This could have happened before. Who knows how many times this has happened and no one said anything about it. Another one could be on its way to another kid."

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Forget X-mas; Target's already moved on to Valentine's Day

The "holiday creep" has happened even earlier this year.  Some of you may remember my Jan. 2, 2012 post when I reported that on last New Year's Eve (12/31/11) I had already spied Valentine's Day merchandise up at Target.  Well, the Bullseye seems to be at it again, as The Consumerist is reporting that as of Dec. 19th, Reader "L" sent in this photographic evidence (shown here) of a Valentine's endcap at her Florida Target store.  

But I guess it could be worse.  Reader "Katie" sent in a note & picture to The Consumerist yesterday that before Christmas, she had already seen Easter candy stocked at her local Stop & Shop.

'Tis the season for returning...

Now that Christmas is over, will you be taking back those unwanted gifts to exchange for something you REALLY want?  If so, then heed The Recessionista's advice, as many stores have changed and/or tightened up their return policies this year.  Target in particular has reduced the return period for computers (tablets, netbooks, and eReaders), cameras, game consoles, GPS units, etc. down to 30 days (instead of 45). In addition, opened items may be denied a refund/exchange. On the plus side, Target can search its system for receipts for customers who lose them.  In fact, most of the time I don't bother saving Target receipts anymore, as I know the store clerks can just look up my returns via my TargetRED Card.

And remember: the return deadline for the Target + Neiman-Marcus holiday collection is Jan. 5th. Perusing Target's website this morning, I notice that almost everything from the collab is still in stock, although several items (like these Brian Atwood gloves, the Tory Burch lunch box and the Tracy Reese dessert plates) are now listed as only "available in stores" and can no longer be ordered online.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Last minute hostess gifts at Target...

If your holiday includes having dinner or cocktails at a friend's or relative's house (as mine does) you'll probably need at least one "hostess gift" so you won't show up empty-handed.  Here are three quick ideas, all available at Target:
  • Festive candles in holiday scents such as "Sleigh Bell" from Mara Mi for just $12.99 each.  Mara Mi products are located in Target stores on endcaps in the stationery department; shown here are some of the coordinating wrapping papers that go with the candles.
  • The Carolina Herrera Stationery Set from the Target + Neiman-Marcus Collection.  At 50% off, it's now just $9.99, and as of yesterday there still seemed plenty of them at my two local stores. 
  • A bottle of bubbly.  Target carries several decent brands of champagne such as Veuve Clicquot and Moet & Chandon; just tuck in a gift bag, and you're all set.
And as a reminder, Target stores are open today until 9pm for your last-minute shopping needs.  Happy Holidays, everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Target + NM Collab slashed to 50% off!

This just in!  Target has slashed prices on it's holiday designer collab with Neiman Marcus to 50% off.  This sale applies to both stores and online.  So whadday think, readers?  Will you buy it now that it's on sale?

And the winner is...

The winner of my latest blog giveaway - for the Missoni for Target tights - is reader Shana! Shana's entry was picked by the random number generator over at Congrats, Shana; I've sent you an email asking you for your mailing address, and as soon as I get it I'll mail out your prize. And thanks again to everyone who entered and for reading my blog!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Reader Giveaway: Missoni for Target Tights

Hello readers! It's time for another reader giveaway as an expression of thanks to all of you who read my blog. This one is a Very Merry Missoni giveaway... so in celebration of the holiday season, I'm giving away a pair of Missoni for Target tights in size M/T.  This pair is brand new in package in the "Passione" purple/pink color, which I found in the back of my "stash drawer" while doing some belated Spring cleaning this afternoon.

To win, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post along with your email address by midnight on Wednesday, Dec. 19th. This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only, and the winner (picked at random) will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 20th. One caveat: due to the fact that I have to go on a business trip this week, I will not be able to mail these out to the winner until Thursday or Friday, so I cannot guarantee delivery by Christmas. Good luck!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Target's Friends & Fans Offer is Back!

Attention bargain hunters!  Target's Friends & Fans offer is back on their Facebook page.  When you spend $50, you get a $10 GiftCard, just by printing the coupon at this link:

And now for the fine print... Limited quantities available. Limit 1 Friends and Fans coupon per guest and transaction. Valid in-store only. Offer not valid on previous purchases. Void if copied, scanned, transferred, purchased, sold or prohibited by law. GiftCards and tax will not be included in determining purchase total. Free GiftCard not valid as payment on this purchase. Terms and conditions apply to GiftCards. No rain checks. Maximum retail value $10 for free GiftCard. No cash value.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Make a statement...

Showy necklaces - or "statement" pieces - are all the rage right now.  They can offer the right amount of glitz and glam to elevate even the plainest black dress to a party-appropriate outfit.  I've been impressed by those offered at Target lately, and thought I'd feature 3 of them here.  From left to right, we have the Beaded Chain Necklace for just $13.59, the Hematite Bib Necklace also at $13,59, and the Gold Spike Necklace for only $11.99.

Unfortunately, the Hematite Bib Necklace seems to be sold out online, but you may be able to find it in stores.  That's where I found mine - only in goldtone with smokey-gray stones - marked down to just $5.98! I wore it to a holiday party and got tons of compliments on it, too.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Battle of the moto jackets...

This isn't so much of a "double-take" as an internal battle between two similar moto jackets available at Target.  Both have the moto-style with leather (or pleather) mixed with knit panels and an asymmetrical zipper. Near left is the Kirna Zabete version, which is still available on and has finally been marked down to 50% off.  At $99.98, it's still a bit spendy, but keep in mind it's made of real leather and boasts the designer name.  And at far left is Mossimo's pleather version, which is only $29.99 and available online and in stores.  Which one would you buy?

Fab Find: Sonia Kashuk Gilded Cage Clutch & Brush Set

Forget the Target + Neiman Marcus collab; you can find the luxe look elsewhere at the Bullseye.  Case in point: this Sonia Kashuk Gilded Cage Clutch & Brush set.  Now I bought this the other day, and can tell you that the quality of this clutch bag is amazing.  Plus, this shimmery minaudière-style bag is roomy enough to hold all your essentials: keys, mobile phone, lipstick, etc.  And at just $24.99, it's quite the steal, when similar clutches from the likes of Sondra Roberts (for $140), Diane von Furstenberg (for $295) and Milly (for $325) can be found at Bloomingdales.

As you can tell, I'm obsessed with the clutch, but the brushes it comes with are fab as well.  This set contains six brushes in all, including a powder/blusher brush, a foundation brush, a fan brush, a synthetic crease brush, and eye shadow brush and a synthetic flat eye liner brush.  Available in stores or here on

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Rumors fly about Target + NM collab leftovers...

Shocking internet rumors are flying about any "leftovers" from the Target + Neiman Marcus collab being destroyed vs. ever going on sale or clearance.  There are several comments on The Budget Babe's review of the collection from folks who've heard this directly frm Target employees, as well as this alleged "insider tip" on ThePurseForum:

"I actually have a friend that is doing PR for target for this collection and we were talking about how much would be left over cause I felt some of this stuff would not sell, but she told me that some of the designers – Oscar de la Renta, Prabal Gurung and Carolina Herrera didn’t want their stuff going on deep discount on the sales racks and Neiman Marcus didn’t want to have this stuff on their sales racks for long, so the agreement was that the stuff that is unsold would be compacted and destroyed after Jan 5th."

In the past, Target has donated unused merchadise to Goodwill stores.  It did cross my mind that this collab might be different - seeing that there were so many designers involved - and that any leftovers might end up getting marked down at Last Call (Neiman Marcus' clearance outlet) stores instead. IMHO, that would be a much better option then letting the merchandise go to waste.

So what can be done about this?  I'm not sure, but I just posted the question of whether this "destruction plan" is true on TargetStyle's Facebook page, and will see whether they respond or not. I have a hard time believing Target would actually trash all the leftover merchandise, since they pride themselves on being ecologically and green-minded.

New at Target: dENiZEN Colored Jeans

Colored jeans - especially in bright tones - are all the rage right now.  While Christmas shopping at the mall last weekend, the hubby asked me "why don't you get some of those?"  Those of you who know me personally will recognize (as I do) that I'm a little long in the tooth to rock this look ;-)  But if you're interested in trying this trend, Target's dENiZEN brand has a new line of fashion denim just for you.

dENiZEN has introduced new, limited-edition colors of their Totally Shaping Mid-Rise Skinny jeans, available exclusively at Target.  This style is designed to flatter a woman's figure and help achieve a long and lean silhouette, and for a limited time will be available in four fashionable jewel-tone finishes: Red, Royal Purple, Turquoise and Rosebud. Sizes range from 2-18 regular, with additional short and long inseams available on To note: I could only find the regular "dark denim" finish on, so I assume these special colors are only available in stores.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Target's desperate display move...

In what seems like a desperate move to increase foot traffic around it's Chrismas collab with Neiman Marcus, my local Target store (shown here) has moved the display to the very FRONT of the store so you can't miss it once you walk in.  Previously this display was tucked in a corner further back, between the maternity section and the dressing rooms.  My store also has an employee acting as a "greeter" to stop shoppers as they pass by to try to get them to check out the goods.  Despite this effort, the section still looks fully stocked.

Wednesday's Rave: Patch NYC Animal Print Bowl Set

I found this adorable animal print dessert bowl set from Patch NYC a couple of weeks ago at Target, and I knew I had to have it... especially since it was marked down to 50% off.  I probably wouldn't have paid full price ($19.99) for these, but at half off I was sold.  These bowls are the perfect size for snacks and other meals besides dessert; in fact, I'm eating fruit out of the "owl" one as I type this post. I got my set for $9.98 in store, and it's marked down to $11.98 on

Speaking of Patch NYC and The Shops at Target... we're approaching Dec. 9th, which will be the 90-day mark since the introduction of the collection.  And since Target collabs seem to only have a 3-month shelf life, I would assume that what's left from The Shops will soon disappear from stores and 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sales of Target + Neiman Marcus less than stellar...

After Target posted an unexpected decline in November same-store sales, expectations had been that its upscale collab with luxury emporium Neiman Marcus could help give its December holiday sales a much-needed lift.  But according to WSJ-Marketwatch, early indications of demand for the designer collection looks to be less than stellar.

“We had high expectations following a warm reception at a NYC one-day pop-up shop on Nov. 29, with over 6,000 attending,” said Citigroup analyst Deborah Weinswig, adding she visited the Target store in New York on Saturday when the collection was officially launched. “We were disappointed by in-store execution. The collection was tucked in the back of the store, shelves were full and messy, and we saw little traffic.”

She added her contacts across the country relayed “similar accounts of in-store experiences.” While J.P. Morgan analyst Christopher Horvers had a more positive note, he noted disappointing sales. “It appears that the collection clearly was a traffic driver to the stores, but product sell-through from our small sample set seemed soft,” he said. “The collection clearly generated less excitement than the Missoni launch.”

But Horvers is still giving the collection some benefit of the doubt. He noted the launch took place at a time when it’s typically a lull during the holiday shopping period. “There’s a long way to go before Christmas,” the analyst said. And as an indicator of future demand, the analyst noted several items on Neiman Marcus’s website were listed as sold out. On Monday morning, Neiman Marcus’s website showed sold-out items including a $59.99 Judith Leiber compact mirror, a $50 Diane von Furstenberg yoga mat and $8 Rodarte wrapping paper. They were all listed as still available on, indicating that Neiman Marcus’s “customer may have a greater affinity for the designers,” Weinswig said.

Target's spokesman Joshua Thomas responded to say that anywhere from 20 customers (in Miami) to more than 150 (in Minneapolis store) lined up outside of its stores before the opening on Saturday. Online traffic also was “on par” with that of Black Friday when the collection was launched, he said. It “wasn’t intended to be a one-day shopping event,” he said, adding the discount retailer “more than doubled” its inventory for the collection, as compared to Missoni for Target, to meet “anticipated demand.”

Meanwhile, I've noticed that all my local stores still seem to be pretty fully stocked with merchandise from the collab, as is the case at this downtown Chicago store (shown here, courtesy of People just don't seem excited about this stuff, which has me wondering if - and when - the merchandise will go on clearance.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Target's incredibly shrinking holiday card section...

Last weekend while at Target I decided I had better pick up my holiday cards and start mailing them out, because by Thanksgiving I had already received a couple in the mail from friends.  The thing was, I couldn't find them at first.  I thought I was going crazy, and thought perhaps this year they had moved them to the greeting card & stationery section.  I must have walked around the seasonal section of the store three times before I finally found them, in the very back corner, tucked in between the Hanukkah supplies and the Christmas lights.

I snapped this picture to show you because in past years Target's holiday card section used to be at least 2-3 times larger than this. Keep in mind that this picture makes the section look grander than it is, since the four main shelves in the middle section aren't boxed cards but "individual" greeting cards. Needless to say, I found the selection to be severely limited, and considered going elsewhere, but I ended up settling on one of their "green" (recycled paper stock) designs as I really wanted to start getting my cards out as soon as possible.  When I got home and complained to my husband about the poor selection, he laughed at me and said "What do you expect? No one sends cards anymore; that's why the postal service is losing billions of dollars.Target must feel that their floor space is better filled with items that will be sure to sell vs. holiday cards."

He does have a point: fewer of my friends bother to send cards now, and I remember that the day after Christmas, Target would always have a ton of leftover cards on clearance.  What do you think, readers?  Are sending holiday cards a thing of the past, or do you still regularly send them (and like receiving them)?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Target + NM Collection: it's here!

On the West Coast, the Target + Neiman Marcus Collection was live as of 12:45am, because that's when I woke up (thanks, insomnia!) and decided to check my computer.  The collection was live on both and  Also at that time, I checked eBay, and there were still only 75 or so items on there, presumably from Thursday's Pop-Up Shop on  NYC.  This morning, there are now over 500, so buyers beware: the things you see on eBay are items that most sellers don't even have in their hands yet.

Some additional shopping tips: if you are having any issues with Target's site, try Neiman's instead, as it may have less traffic.  Scratch that: is reporting this morning that Neiman's website is already sold out of many items, and they provide a list of them here.  Target's site, however, still seems fully stocked.   A tip if you do use Neiman's website: use the code "NMFALL" at checkout to get free shipping on your order from now until Dec. 4th, plus free online returns.  The offer is supposed to also include "free gift packaging", but when I tried to put a couple of items from the Target collab in my cart last night, it said that these items weren't eligible for the gift packaging.  So instead, I ended up buying my things from, where I used my RedCard and got both free shipping plus 5% off my purchase.  I did notice upon checkout there was a disclaimer stating "allow for extra processing time".  I'm not sure what means, except that the shipping ETA was around Dec. 14th.  You may want to keep that in mind in case you're ordering Christmas gifts online, because if they don't arrive until mid-December, you'll have less time to wrap them to send out to family and friends.

If you plan to shop in person, Neiman Marcus stores may have fewer crowds than Target, as I don't think everyone is aware they're opening early at 8am today.  And at NM, you're more likely to get the "personalized service" they're famous for, so if you're looking for one item in particular their staff can help you locate it in the store.  If you do shop the collection at Target, seek out the less-busy ones in the suburbs or outlying areas vs. the major metropolitan outlets.

So what did I end up buying?  Only two things: the Tory Burch Lunch Box from my blog post earlier this week, and this Lela Rose top.  I ended up not getting the Oscar de la Renta bag, because upon further inspection, it looks more tan/beige in the close up pictures than white/cream.  I also considered getting the Carolina Herrera Stationery Set, but $20 seemed steep to me for 3 pads of paper and pencils with her name on it, especially when Target has so many other cute stationery items (at much lower prices) from brands like Greenroom Eco and Mari Mi.