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(1) New Balance 696 Reengineered Polka Dot Running Sneaker – I like polka dots. They come in navy or brown (looks very brown here but reads warm/burgundy to me). I found the brown ones on super sale and went with that, but won’t be using them as running shoes. Available on sale in very limited sizes at Urban Outfitters and Bloomingdales and in more sizes at Free People. I sized 0.5 size up.

(2) Old Navy Laser-Cut Peep-Toe Sandals. These have been semi-restocked. They run wide in the front and slightly long. I’m going to see if sizing down works. I love the delicate lace look but don’t intend for them to last past a season or two. Reasonable for $15 (on sale) and synthetic material. They come in gold, black, coral and white/nude. The nude is out of stock.

(3) My feet are craving some arch support. I haven’t worn Birks in a while (and actually sold my old ones), but it’s time to get some again. I’m not sure if I love these Arizonas in rose gold or white (too white!). You can find them at Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and Zappos. I sized down, but was on the border of going TTS and take the narrow width. I.e. I’m a US 8 and should be EU 39 but went with EU 38.

Two thumbs up to this faux suede moto jacket from Target’s ongoing Who What Wear collaboration. I held off on posting this for a few weeks because it was sold out online. It appears to be back in stock for most sizes. It looks like suede, is supersoft, and doesn’t come with the maintenance costs of real suede. Sizing is TTS (I take my J.Crew size). I layer it over this Uniqlo sweater in olive. It also comes in plus sizes. This jacket is pricey for Target. I got it on sale but would buy it at full price in a heartbeat. If you like shoes, make sure to check out the latest additions to this collab — most of it is too trendy for my taste.

This bright Merona red/blue plaid blanket scarf also gets a honorable mention. While a 100% acrylic scarf is far from luxurious, the price is great, it’s warm, and it has a red/blue plaid print that matches most of my outfits.

There are two stackable promotions right now: use code COLD through Thursday for 25% off (good for cold weather wear) and code STYLE through Saturday for $10-25 off if you purchase $50+ (applies to all clothing).

Image: Target, Who What Wear for Target Moto Jacket

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This boho Old Navy Pleated Lace-Trim Crepe Swing Dress was a keeper in a recent Gap, Inc. order.

  • It’s 100% cotton and super lightweight.
  • It comes in white or black. (The white wasn’t flattering on me…)
  • It’s sized for regular, tall, or petites. I went with tall for a longer length (the photo above is regular).
  • It is lined. The straps and bottom hem are attached but it’s really easy to cut and detach the liner. My liner was twisting around but some of the others I tried on were fine and cooperative.
  • Its retail is $40… but I got it on super sale with gift cards.
  • The sleeves are a bit tight.
  • I will wash it on delicate, cold and hang dry.

I love Old Navy‘s spring collection. It reminds me that bare legs and warmer weather isn’t too far away, and it is super affordable*. They tend to use breathable fabrics like cotton and rayon for warm weather styles, unlike some other lower cost brands that go heavy on polyester (*cough* F21). The quality isn’t amazing but it’s good enough — I have yet to see anything fall apart under multi-season use. Many items come in petite and tall sizing and are lined, which makes it work appropriate. My favorites so far are the dresses in the first row and the chambray shirt and sweater in the third row.

*There was a 40% off promotion last week for cardholders. The current promotion is 35% off for Old Navy and Gap with code DAYLIGHT through Monday, March 9, 11:59 ET. I’m a big Gap Inc. fan — the Gap credit card is totally worth it.

Ponte-knit tank dress (also in black), Eyelet dress in white, Maxi cami dress, Striped linen-blend dress (also in red) 

Eyelet shirtdress (also in navy), Belted shirtdress (also in dot print), Ponte knit sheath dressEyelet dress in blue (also in white)

Sleeveless eyelet shirt, Mesh-knit sweaterChambray boyfriend shirt (oversized, inky blue), Gauze eyelet top

Ankle strap sandals in black, white, neon yellow (not pictured)

Image source: Old Navy


DwellStudio Zebra pillow, babygap floral bear (similar), Gap Kids fur hat (similar for baby)

We went to Gap today with the intent to return, but ended up picking some odds and ends (’tis the season to buy baby presents!). It helps that there is a 50% off almost everything early Black Friday promotion (which a lot of places seem to be doing) and GapCash promotion going on. (This sale ends Sunday night. If you’re not a cardholder, it’s 40% off. You can always wait for next week if you miss it.) I really like teddy bears with no embellishments and babyGap has four styles: floral, plaid, rainbow stripes, and marled. Sadly there are no measurements online (note to Gap, please add measurements!) so I waited for an in-store visit. They are roughly 8 inches high. I also ended up getting this fur hat from the girls’ department. Surprisingly the L/XL size fit.

Old Navy has a 40% off sale online with code BIGDEAL. Some exclusions apply and it also ends today.
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Image source: Piperlime

My friend was IMing me last night on how she can’t stop shopping – the sales, free shipping just lure you in, especially when it’s freezing outside. I have a few things on my non-existent list, but am trying to be good since the Black Friday/Cyber Monday mania is about to unleash itself. I can’t guarantee that those sales will beat whatever sales are going on right now, but if you need a kick to get started on your holiday shopping, or shopping for yourself, here you go:

Ending tonight:

Ending tomorrow Sunday night:

  • 25% off $50+ at Shu Uemura with code SHUVIP. Expires midnight ET. I’m a big fan of their brushes, purple powder, and the super natural looking eyebrow pencil.

Ending Thursday:

  • $25 off $200+ at Uniqlo with code GET25. Expires midnight ET. Online only.

Ending Saturday:

P.S. Since my girlfriends and I had an email going on about rugs, I need to mention RugsUSA! I got a striped rug and sheepskin rugs from them a while back (link). The site is not known for having the best service, but I can live with that given the discounts (and credit card protection). The current discount is 60-75% off, but I expect it to creep up to a solid 75% for Cyber Monday. Two thumbs up to the quality. You can google any rug for additional reviews or peruse their Instagram for more inspiration. If you need to make a return, keep the packaging and research printing your own shipping label as it can be much cheaper.

There are some deals that are too good to resist sharing…

Old Navy has 50% off all outerwear and a 20% off code (LASTCHANCE). If you need it by Christmas, you have a few hours left to order online. I like this leopard print blanket coat (similar to J.Crew Cocoon but in a lighter weight and fun print) and I love a good leopard print (as much as my bff hates it). It runs slightly big but don’t size down if you have hips. $28 is the best price I’ve seen it at since it debuted! Don’t like leopard? It also comes in a solid light gray, wine red, or black. Note, it’s not a substantial coat by any means.

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With my Old Navy chambray shirt (similar), gold Saltwater sandals (here, here, or here), and Forever 21 leggings (similar) in a Westin Moana Surfrider elevator (they have many and the decor varies!).

Clare Vivier x & other stories crossbody shoulder bag, Tumi laptop bag, Longchamp XL Le Pliage tote, and 27″ Brics Pininfarina spinner.

I like the concept of traveling light and occasionally remind myself that I traveled around with a carryon for 2 months last summer, but in reality, sometimes I don’t want to stress about packing optimally. I loved the 21″ Bric’s Pininfarina carryon spinner (spinner puts much less stress on your wrist!) and jumped at the 27″ when it appeared on vente-privee for an extremely reasonable price. The 27″ has been checked in multiple times and has no marks whatsoever despite falling 4″ off a rack on a bus. I’m very impressed with the Italian brand’s quality — especially since I hear the worst reviews on Rimowa which costs 2-3x what I paid for my Bric’s. It looks like the model has been discontinued (the finish is a matte texture) and has been replaced with a smooth, shiny material, but you can still find both versions online for retail at Amazon, Horchow, Kaehler, Luggage Pros, Lord & Taylor, and Bloomingdale’s.

I’m a huge fan of traveling with nylon Longchamp. The bags itself are light and chic (I try to look presentable when flying). I typically use the Longchamp XL Le Pliage short handled tote as a carryall for random large objects (like shoes), duty free purchases, food purchases, or to consolidate bags as I often board with a Crumpler camera bag, the Tumi laptop bag, and purse. The camera bag does not always count towards your carryon limit. Should there be any super strict airline employees or policies (like the UK once allowing a single carryon even if you’re only transiting), I chuck everything into the Longchamp, but that hasn’t happened in ages. And if you don’t need the Longchamp, you can easily fold it up!

I used to travel with an L sized short handled tote (small travel bag) but now think it’s too small. I recommend the black or dark colors for durability, as it may pick up smudges. My black Planetes large tote is 4 years old and still going strong! While the Planetes cannot be folded up like the Le Pliage line, it is still easy to store flat in your luggage. I do not recommend the expandable travel tote unless you have an extremely strong shoulder — it’s awkward to carry when expanded. I eBayed mine — what’s the point of keeping if I can’t use it whilst expanded without injuring myself?

Longchamp is currently on sale at Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Magnums, Bagshop, and Longchamp (note: their inventory isn’t 100% accurate). If you’re an early bird, check Saks and Nordstrom in the morning for the best sale inventory. My favorites are the LM Metal travel bag in blue, Le Pliage small travel bag, Le Pliage large travel bag, and of course the black Planetes large tote.  If you’re visiting France, I recommend making your Longchamp purses there for significant savings, but also know that you may have to visit a few Longchamp boutiques to find everything in e.g., Paris, where there is significant tourist traffic which depletes inventory.

Note on Longchamp leather: In one of my first visits to Paris, I purchased a ballet pink Veau Foulonné tote (same shape as the Le Pliage, but in leather) during the July soldes. I’m not super rough on my bags but it did not last my durability test. The corners were too delicate and showed wear after a few wears. It eventually was eBayed. For styles that require durability (e.g. big totes), I do not recommend the Longchamp leather styles. On the contrary, I have a Veau Foulonné key holder in an impractical beige color that is 6 years old and going strong…

Old Navy Printed Metallic Tube Dress in Birds ($34.94*) vs. Emily Isabella for Hygge & West Otomi Wall Tiles ($28/per)

Otomi is no newcomer to the home decor blogosphere. Aside from the active line, spring/summer is my favorite time to shop at Old Navy when they actually have charming, cotton apparel. The dress is super cute, has pockets, and runs TTS. Get 20-30% off through Monday. Codes are on the website. The tiles from Hygge & West are equally alluring. I am contemplating doing something in the apartment with their removable wall tile collection. Oh Joy also has tiles available!

There is a ton of leopard on the market, but not all are tastefully done.

I like Gryphon, which was started by a former Vogue writer. After seeing this 2010 snow leopard print wool coat on Lucky’s Emily Hsieh (major girl crush) and another blogger, I stalked, stalked, and stalked until I was met with success earlier this season. It fits beautifully, much better than the Emerson Fry leopard linen wingtip coat which reminded me of a lab coat. I just need to get it to the dry cleaners first. (Update: I am selling this in size M, please leave a comment or email me at irenelikes at gmail if you are interested!)

I am still intrigued by the faux fur leopard coat. The Forever 21 was too big, the Mango one is pretty sold out, and the ASOS looks more appealing than the F21 one since there are numerical sizes.

Forever 21 Leopard Faux Fur Jacket (on sale for $22 with code HOLIDAY50) / Mango Animal Print Faux Fur Coat (on sale for $99.99 / newer style on sale here) / ASOS Coat in Leopard with Button Front (on sale for $61.57)

If you prefer a small amount of controlled leopard, check out the Keds Champion Laceless Animal (find here or here – note 6pm’s price sometimes fluctuates to $18). They run TTS to slightly big but not enough to size down.

For a subdued leopard, there are also these comfy Old Navy Rockstar Animal Print Jeans. Similar to my post on their chambray shirt, the pros are a classy print, various color/sizing options, and they are super affordable. The color on the left is super subtle in person.


Images from Vogue, Gryphon, Gilt, Mango, Forever 21, Old Navy, ASOS.