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I really like the aesthetics of Sophie Bille Brahe. Even if I could save a little bit from shopping from European sites, the prices are still too high for a trendy style I’m not guaranteed to love and the SBB earring prices are for a single earring.

Enter Pinterest which shows your similar images and reminded me that affordable alternatives were feasible. I first found a Korean brand (CRANNE), but the prices were still a bit high and it’s hard to make a return to Korea. Eventually I found Ross-Simons and these pearl crawlers (3-6.5mm cultured pearls and 14k backing) for less than 10% of the SBB earrings. (I almost bought these on Etsy but prefer shopping within the US + return policy.) This is my second pair of crawlers — the first pair I got in a Shanghai boutique eventually broke, another reason not to spend too much on crawlers.

Some of my pearl earring collection…

 

(Left) I got the Chanel earrings as a birthday gift to myself at duty-free years ago and slightly regret not getting something bigger.

(Right) This pair is also from Ross-Simons. I like the front-back look and this pair makes it very easy to put on. You can easily wear the top pearl on its own if you have extra backings. Overall they are much bigger and I wouldn’t mind finding a daintier version in cultured pearls.

(Background) I’m also a big fan of the Muji acrylic storage and velour inserts, which has helped immensely with organizing and centralizing my jewelry.

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Quick reviews and current sales:

  • Anthropologie cardholders: Check your e-mail. 20% off this weekend! And if you’re not a cardholder, what are you waiting for? It’s free and you can still signup for the discount.
  • Madewell. 20% to 30% off almost everything through Monday.
    • Wraparound hinge bracelet vs. catch hinge bracelet (pictured above). Both are solid, well made, and have a classy shimmery sheen. I do not have a super small wrist, but it is on the smaller spectrum and the bracelets fit perfectly. I prefer the look of the wraparound bracelet.
    • Read More

Image source (for the last photo): Canvas Home

I didn’t expect to find Canvas (the home store) items at Madewell, but then, J.Crew and Madewell have been beefing up their home sections. I came across their Dauville collection last year – it’s delightful for those who fancy gold or silver! I have a small bowl and pebble dish which I use to hold baubles or lip products on the bathroom counter.

Madewell has three items on sale: the gold bud vase, gold small pebble dish, and silver medium pebble dish. All are under $16 and ship free with code SALEONSALE through Monday night. You can find more Dauville at Bloomies (which is also running a promotion).

If you fancy more Madewell and have an Amex, get another $20 statement credit for a purchase over $125 through the end of March. This does work on giftcards!

The Gold Choker

Are chokers making a comeback? I have flashbacks from the late 90s with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

COS Matte Gold Choker (€29) vs. Forever 21 Graduated Choker ($5.80)

When I was at COS in Paris, I picked up this matte gold choker. I used to go crazy with their accessories but have learned to tone it down a bit. Overall, I’ve significantly toned down my shopping on this trip to the point where I have no VAT tax to claim back. The “splurge” was the pharmacy goods. You can find a similar graduated choker at Forever 21 in gold or rose gold for much less. If you’re worried about tarnishing, swipe the underside with a coat of clear nail polish.

The Dark Leopard Print Jean

As mentioned here.

Joe’s Jeans Leopard Print Ankle Legging Jean ($75.60 on sale) vs. Old Navy Rockstar Animal-Print Jeans ($22, before additional discounts)

The delicate embroidered blouse

Dolce Vita Deirdra Lace Top ($198, also known as the Sagiso on Anthropologie and currently available in mint for $168) vs. Forever 21 Eyelet Embroidered Top ($27.80, in cream – selling out quickly – and blue) (Update: The F21 top quality is extremely lacking — they used crochet for the detail…)

If you like the look, Dolce Vita also has a dress under the style name Valentina that has made its way around the blogosphere. Find it here and here (in sale colors).

The Leather Fringe Skirt

When I went to Giverny this summer to visit Monet’s gardens, there was a woman in her 50s who was tastefully dolled up in a black leather fringe skirt, long beaded necklaces, tights, and a leather jacket. Since she is French, she pulled it off very well.

Chan Luu Leather Fringe Skirt ($91.60 from $298) vs. Forever 21 Faux Leather Fringe Skirt ($24.80)

As smoothly as the H&M collaborations are run, I’m usually too lazy to wait in line. I’ve never gotten anything from their designer collaborations, but couldn’t resist the lily of the valley necklace from the highly anticipated Marni x H&M collection.

It reminds me of a toy because it sure looks like one! It is very well made. Each piece’s position can be manipulated and moved up or down the leather cord. I like to wear it as a choker style (as seen in the last image), but think it could also work as a belt!





I’m a big Forever21.com junkie. There are some well organized stores (like Times Square in New York), but I hate the crowds. When you shop online, you get pristine inventory and cash refunds when you mail back returns. I go through splurts when I actually like their stuff with the peak being the warmer months. I bundle orders together to return — sometimes in a big USPS flat rate box since they are all the way on the other coast. I justify the return costs with the cost of the items. They really are cheap and going to the store may cost money too. Most importantly, I always rather get cash back than credit. Besides, if you use credit on an order and then return it, it gets messy. Over the years, I’ve returned a ton but found a few loves. In general, their accessories are dirt cheap and the quality reflects that, but I was quite surprised by their new beaded accessories:

I received the bead & sequin stripe clutch in the mail the other day and was impressed with the workmanship. It is a pricier item at $22.80. The tag states it was made in India. There was some glue smell so I left it out to air for a week and the smell is now gone. Don’t be fooled by the stock photos. I’d thought there was a ombre blue scheme going on, but both sides are solid navy stripes. It’s a slim clutch so you can’t fit much. I’ve been pretty preoccupied in my spare time, but may take a few IRL pictures soon. I’ve also been tempted by this bubble gum pink beaded clutch and by this shade of pink in general, but have been resisting so far because I never wear this color.

I also love this simple beaded collar necklace. Based on my experience with the clutch, I’d expect this one not to disappoint either!

Update: Here’s a new beaded clutch that is very Missoni.

One thing I love about living in NYC is having access to tons of J.Crews, Gaps, Zaras, etc. This is particularly useful when it is sale season. Today, I stopped by the Midtown East J.Crew to do a huge return and saw that there is an additional 30% off sale items in stores. This location hasn’t impressed me for a while; I was not impressed with the selection. Talking to the cashier, he mentioned that the newly renovated lower Fifth Avenue location, which I visited in early June, surprisingly only has a rush around 6pm and doesn’t have as much foot traffic as one would think. So, I scurried over after a few errands and sure enough, I easily found what I was looking for in my size. And then some.

I took a breather in the kids department, Crewcuts, and admired all the small details.

If you need a baby sailor stripe baggu, look no further than J.Crew!

Then, I saw a stylish European woman in line with Crewcuts necklaces (girls’ jewelry is currently 25% off) so I had to investigate. I ended up picking up a blue bead necklace with pink ribbon and a braided/beaded concoction. Both are not online. They were around $10 after discount. The nice thing about the tie closure is that you could use them as belts! I also found the coveted leopard print calf hair belt, on sale!!!

In other J.Crew news, I am a fan of the perfect shirt in amory floral. I call it my “getting in touch with the English countryside” shirt, and it matches perfectly with my current wallet and notebook.

For the Longchamp fans, the Soho boutique is having a huge sale. There are tons of apparel marked to 70% off (still $200+ after discount) as well as leather items that are discounted 50%. Their Le Pliage colors from last season are around 20% off. Meh. If you were at the 2007 Sample Sale, you would understand why I walked out emptyhanded.

I also stopped by the Tucker and Clare Vivier sale yesterday afternoon. The CV was mostly cleaned out. Not that I needed another one! None of the Tucker prints interested me.

Thursday and Friday were too productive.