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Archive for July, 2014

How to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

Posted on: July 24th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Buyer’s remorse has happened to us all at some point following a shopping trip. You fell in love with it in the store, but after getting it home you realize the color or fit wasn’t quite right or maybe it was just too much money. In most cases, you can return the item and get your money back. However, there are times when a return isn’t possible and now you’re stuck with the unwanted item. Here are a few tips to help you avoid buyer’s remorse in the future.

Buying a luxury bag at a consignment store is a great way to own a Louis Vuitton like this one at half the cost.

Buying a luxury bag at a consignment store is a great way to own a Louis Vuitton like this one at half the cost.

Never shop just to shop

Shopping is a fun pastime but you need to recognize when you’re just in the mood to purchase something new or whether you really do need some new items for your wardrobe. If you catch yourself in the shopping-just-to-shop-mood, make note of it and recognize that today isn’t the day to make any expensive purchases. Instead, make a list of the items your wardrobe is lacking and clothing and accessories that need to be replaced. When you know what you need, you can go shopping with purpose.

Wait a Day

If you are unsure about an item, give yourself a day or two to think about it. You can put the item on hold or leave it in your online shopping cart. If you are still thinking about it the next day, then buy it. You’d be surprised how often you will completely forget about the item by the next day. This is especially important when making a more expensive purchase.

Don’t Splurge

Before splurging on a big purchase, ask yourself these questions.
1. How often will I use this?
– Buying special occasion pieces is okay once in a while, buy truly expensive items should be worn often. If you are going to use the item daily or even several times a week, then it isn’t a bad purchase.

2. Is it trendy or classic?
– Trendy pieces go out of style and may not have the shelf life that an investment piece deserves. Instead, purchase the item in a cheaper brand and save your investments for classic pieces you will wear often and well into the future.

3. Will I still love it a year from now?
In fashion, newly covetable items emerge each season, so splurging on the “it” bag of the month may have you regretting that decision after only a few short months of wear. If you’ll still love the item a year from now, then you know you’re making the right decision to purchase it.

4. Is this an impulse buy?
Before buying a house or a car, you save money and do research. Saving and researching before purchasing a big item is the best way to shop guilt-free. You can also make a list of pros and cons to help you sort through whether this investment piece is really for you.

5. Can I afford it?
– If you’re buying something that is as much as your mortgage payment, then it needs some consideration and should be taken seriously. Impulse purchases on expensive items can impact your financial future and wellbeing and should not be purchased without thoughtful consideration.

Shopping makes us feel good. Purchasing a new or coveted item triggers the release of brain chemicals that gives you a “shopping high.” Understanding this can help you make sense of shopping impulses, avoid buyer’s remorse, and lower your risk for overspending. Now that you understand what to avoid, go ahead and shop responsibly!

 

Rules are Meant to be Broken

Posted on: July 11th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

In today’s ever changing world of fashion, it’s important not to take any fashion rules too seriously. Each year, designers emerge with new collections that challenge what we’ve been told we should and shouldn’t do. So instead of following those old adages, challenge yourself to break a few fashion rules this year and evolve your own personal style. As Alexander McQueen put it, “It’s a new era in fashion – there are no rules.”

No white after Labor Day
High-end fashion labels have been breaking this rule for years. In a tropical climate, it’s even more imperative that you embrace the white-in-winter trend. With such bright surroundings we can wear bright apparel all year long. So this year, keep your white jeans and shoes in your closet well after labor day for a fresh look in the cooler months in the Florida Keys. This rule also goes for pastels, there is no reason to reserve light pinks, blues and yellows only for spring and summer!

Sneakers are only for the gym
Bright colored fashion sneakers are being paired with dressier pieces for a modern twist on a daytime look. Look for fashion sneakers that aren’t meant for running or intense training but still offer support such as Keds or Toms. Playful prints such as polka dots or stripes add an element of surprise and offer a comfortable alternative to flip flops for a chic yet comfortable look.

Keds

Remove one accessory before leaving the house
Coco Chanel once said that before leaving the house you should remove one accessory. And yet, the infamous fashion icon, Iris Apfel, has done the opposite. Iris is known for piling on her jewelry and has become a fashion muse in her nineties for her eccentric and identifiable style. So next time you’re getting all dolled up, try piling on the bling.

Iris Apfel

Don’t mix prints or pair bright colors together
Contrasting patterns can look fabulous together. Try pairing florals and stripes or polka dots and plaid. The trick is to keep the base color the same for a pulled together look. In addition, don’t shy away from bright colors paired together like red and pink. A red skirt paired with a pastel pink top can look very modern and eye-catching.

For evening only
Bold lipstick and clutches were once reserved for evening only. Lipstick colors such as orange, pink, red and plum can act as an accessory and look great for day. If you wear a bold lip for day, keep your makeup minimal for a polished look. Clutches are also a great way to liven up your daytime look. Swap out your go-to bag for a clutch to change a normal day look into something much more fashionable.

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At the end of the day, wear what makes you feel good. If you feel good, you’ll look good. At DK’s Style Hut in Marathon, you’ll find an eclectic mix of fashion forward clothing and accessories to help you break all the rules. Open daily from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. you’ll find this little store is jam packed with great basics including affordable jeans and tanks, and trendy fashion forward apparel including comfy palazzo pants in colorful patterns and hues. My favorite find from this hip and stylish boutique is their Kitty Ammos Sandals from Skiathos Greece made exclusively for DK’s Style Hut. Stop by their location at 8347 Overseas Highway in Marathon to view their impressive range of goods from all over the world.

Florida Keys Boutiques

Florida Keys Boutiques

Florida Keys Boutiques

Sole Sisters

Posted on: July 3rd, 2014 by Leah No Comments

When I first moved to the Keys, I was concerned I might be the only person living here who dreamt of stilettos, strappy sandals and sexy sling-backs . After a few months as a local, I attended an event where a woman approached me to tell me what fabulous shoes I had on. I was wearing a pair of red and ivory Mary Jane style heels that were, in fact, fabulous. When I looked down, she had on some equally amazing shoes and I knew from then on we would be sole sisters.

shoes

We don’t all own a collection like Imelda Marcus, who amassed over 3,000 shoes from world-famous designers including Ferragamo, Givenchy, Chanel and Christian Dior. However, according to a ShopSmart Magazine poll, American woman do have some interesting behaviors when it comes to purchasing and wearing shoes. On average, woman have 19 pairs of shoes in their closets but only four pairs are worn on a regular basis. In fact, 24% of shoes in our closets have been worn only once and 13% admit to hiding shoe purchases from a significant other. Another quite comical fact: 43% admit that they’ve been injured by their shoes. My guess is this statistic would be higher if they interviewed women in the Florida Keys. Uneven terrain and dock-like platforms can make for some interesting, if not, dangerous situations. It’s been my experience that when your heel catches in between two slats, your body continues to propel forward at the speed of which you are moving. A body in motion, stays in motion, so they say.

imelda marcus shoe closet

The amazing closet of Imelda Marcus.

Now that you understand that more women are like you than not like you, it’s time to figure out whether your shoe collection is meeting your needs.

Woman own 19 pairs of shoes

This article prompted me to count my own collection, which was well over 100 pairs (gasp!). To be fair, I’m in the process of selling five pairs. Okay, it’s still a bit over the top, I know, but I really do wear well over half of them regularly. The other half are evening wear, winter shoes and shoes reserved for specific occasions that get worn when those occasions present themselves. For instance, my tap dance shoes will get worn when I decide to take another tap dance class.

If your own shoe collection is a bit overwhelming it’s time to clean out your closet. If you haven’t worn them in a year or two, it’s time to get rid of them. Sell them at a consignment store or ebay, or donate them to a worthy cause such as the Domestic Abuse Shelter and Florida Keys Children’s Shelter.   By cleaning out the clutter, you’ll be able to find your shoes more quickly and may actually wear them more.

Only Four Pairs are Worn Regularly

Four! This is quite pathetic ladies. Shoes can completely change the look of an outfit. I recommend moving the shoes you wear most often to a less easily accessible place so that other beauties can make their debut. Put a few colorful pairs in front and don’t be afraid to mix it up. When you normally would reach for your black patent leather heels, instead opt for a bright fuschia heel or go for black and white wedges. A little color or a different silhouette will create a whole new look.

13% admit to hiding shoe purchases from significant others

Not that I’ve ever done this before but here are a few good hiding places I discovered in my “research”. The trunk of your car is a great place to “store” shoes until the opportunity presents itself to be moved into the house and immediately into your closet. If arriving by mail, explain that they’re a gift. He doesn’t need to know that the gift is for you. Kitchen cupboards are also a useful place to put shoes if you are surprised in the kitchen after a recent shopping trip. Quickly put the boxes into your cupboard and he’ll just think you’re prepping for dinner. Just be sure to remove them promptly if your significant other happens to do a lot of cooking.

The Essentials

Beyond tennis shoes and flip flops, below is a list of footwear essential for every wardrobe:

PicMonkey Collage

– Black Heels – these are a necessary staple that can be worn with a plethora of looks. From work outfits to casual nights out, a simple pair of comfortable black heels is a must. Go for black leather or black patent leather for a little more oomph.

– Colorful Heels – you must own one brightly colored heel that can transform your outfit. It will make a plain black dress more interesting and elevate a classic look to instant chic. My favorite statement heels are in yellow, fuschia, red and royal blue.

– Metallic Strappy Sandals – gold or silver strappy sandals are the perfect shoe to be paired with evening wear for weddings, galas and formal affairs. Metallic sandals also look fabulous when paired with jeans and will make a casual look more sophisticated.

– Ballerina Flat – comfortable and stylish, these darling must-haves work for day or evening and always look fashionable.

– The Wedge – For Florida Keys girls, we need a high heeled shoe that can handle the terrain, and the wedge is it. Much more comfortable than their stiletto counterparts, the wedge can work around the clock and looks great with casual and formal apparel. Try a pair in a neutral hue such as black or tan and you’ll find they go with everything.

Marilyn Monroe said it best, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” Put another way, fill your world with fabulous shoes and walk towards your dreams.