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Image source: Bloomingdale’s

  • Bloomingdales 20% off Friends and Family kicked off. As I mentioned here, if you want the old Planetes (or anything from Longchamp), this is your best bet! For those who are unfamiliar with department store blanket sales, there are a ton of exclusions. Look for the ‘FRIENDS & FAMILY’ under the item name. The sale goes through November 17. Use your Chase Freedom card for another 5% off!
  • For those on the West Elm email list, 20% off any item. Today only. Check your email. I think the code is unique.
  • 40% off sale items at J.Crew. The best part? It’s not final sale (and I don’t expect final sale to return until late December)! I’m checking out this silk dress (that’s a whopping 86% off), this skirt, and this blazer. Havaianas and some RMS that I wrote about previously are available as well.
  • If you’re shopping for your guy, Bonobos is 25% off $175+. Too bad that Amex offer expired.
  • Neiman Marcus (and their contemporary sister, CUSP) has $50 off $200 or $100 off $400 for the next two days. There are a ton of exclusions but Longchamp and Clare Vivier does work! Similar to Bloomies, look for the ‘November Dollar Off Event’ for qualifying items.
  • Brooks Brothers is still having a sale and if you have an Amex, check your offers for a $30/$150 offer.
  • Piperlime has 40% off final sale and 30% off sale through today. I also have some 20% off codes for non-sale merchandise (email me!).
  • And this isn’t a sale but worth mentioning. Fans of the Mansur Gavriel bucket bag, Forever 21 has a convincing knock off. I never got a MG bag because I hate the thought of worn corners (and this should be fixed by their upcoming tumbled leather line. I bet this non-leather version is much more durable!
  • Lucky Magazine’s deal of the day has select Spanx styles for 50% off.

(Image source: The Animal Print Shop)

I. Food

  • I’ve been following David Lebovitz‘s pastry blog for ages. His new iPhone app just relaunched and is only 99 cents. I got it even though I don’t have my next trip planned. There is tons of food p0rn!
  • This recipe for the famous wings from Portland, Oregon’s Pok Pok look surprisingly easy.
  • If you frequent Starbucks, I hope you have a loyalty card (which can be created from any gift card). I don’t go as frequently as I used to, but if you do, I highly recommend buying a discounted gift card. I’ve been a happy customer of Raise.com. They are legit and Starbucks gift cards sell on average for 20% off. Though $80 or even $100 sounds like a lot, Starbucks fans know that that doesn’t last very long. Raise.com has a ton of other retailers as well so it’s a nice, indirect way to get a discount on something that never goes on sale. Why pay full price when you don’t have to? (Note: I’ve never sold any gift cards through them and can’t comment on that.) New customers get $5 off orders over $50.

II. Fashion

  • Gilt City has a free 30% coupon for J.Crew Factory through September 14. It works on top of existing promotions but does have some fine print. In general, I’m not a fan of outlet quality but have really liked some of the J.Crew incarnations at Factory. You can find reviews if you Google, but often the Factory version is more wearable (whether it’s longer, in easier to maintain material) and the price isn’t bad. These Baggus (already on sale) are excluded from the promotion but are still a great find! These jewelry trays are cute.
  • Love the new Clare Vivier spot design. Especially this Margot tote and this pouch. If she ever did a collab with Baggu…

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My love for gold and stripes is nowhere near waning. I love the new updates to the West Elm x Baggu collection!

(Image source)

Baggu Dipped Tote – Striped ($45, +$7 for monogram). Same dimensions as the popular striped duck bag. Comes in navy stripes dipped in red or gold.

Baggu Dipped Weekender Bag – Striped ($99, +$7 for monogram). Same dimensions as the popular striped weekend bag. Comes in navy stripes dipped in red or gold.

Baggu Dipped Tote ($45, +$7 for monogram). Comes in cream dipped in gold, silver, coral, mint, mustard, gray, navy, or red. You can also find a few of these colors for less on eBay.

Updated below…

You remember how I was super excited to finally get the West Elm rose gold flatware? Well, to my extreme disappointment, it tarnishes. It was supposed to be sturdy enough for every day with its plated stainless steel. I’ve been trying to return it but West Elm won’t send return labels and only does UPS pickups. I’m at work during the day, and you know. Note: the rose gold flatware is currently not sold online, but they do have another gold set that has a matte finish.

I eventually bit the bullet and mailed the flatware back to West Elm. I’d only purchased two sets so they conveniently fit in USPS Priority Mail’s padded flat rate envelope (~$6). West Elm proceeded the refund. Finally! Based on comments left on this thread, tarnishing was not isolated to the rose gold set but also the matte gold set. 

Upon further research, I set my eyes on the Portuguese-made matte gold Almoco flatware that is sold at Design Within Reach. Each set is 25% more than West Elm’s, but I found it for a good price nearby (and enjoyed dragging my friends to pick it up with me on an exciting Saturday night). Each set is beautifully packaged in a display box. Each piece is also significant more substantial looking than West Elm. I will review the Almoco after some use…

Almoco Update 1: I’ve been using this set for a while with no complaints. I treat it like my former Ikea set – I’ve left it in the sink with dirty dishes, I’ve run it through the dishwasher (handles down and somewhat dispersed), and I also handwash and set to dry. It still looks like new! I’ve seen it go on sale at Design within Reach but the sales are extremely infrequent.

Almoco Update 2: I’ve been using Almoco for over 2 years. No problems. I hand wash, throw in the dishwasher, or leave them in the sink to soak. If you use the dishwasher, follow their instructions — handles down and disperse. Two thumbs up!

I’m finally graduating from my Ikea flatware. They lasted for 5 years until my summer sublet managed to chip them. I didn’t know that was possible!

Though I haven’t verbalized it here or through my credit card statements, I am really loving West Elm housewares and accessories. I usually take a while to ponder the non-essential apartment purchases and eventually bit the bullet and bought two sets of their rose gold flatware. It cleans well; isn’t high maintenance; has some weight, but not too much; is more gold than rose gold which is fine in my book; and most importantly, brightens my eating experience.

Along with other tableware and linens, the rose gold flatware is 20% off for a limited time and ships free (though much slower than other retailers). If you have American Express Membership Rewards points (that you don’t pay an annual fee for — because if that’s the case you want to save them for airline transfers), you can easily redeem points for a mobile gift card through your American Express iPhone app.

Image source (left only)

Baggu has gotten so popular since I went to my first sample sale 2+ years ago. I’m still processing what I got at the last sale after standing 1+ hour in the cold ill-dressed, so let’s talk about custom Baggu bags. More forthcoming than most brands, Baggu has a special tumblr, just for their collabs!

These are my fave. See the rest here.

(Image source: Baggu, West Elm, Gap, MOMA)

(1) Baggu for Gap. Custom duck bags. I think these are in-store only. When I saw them in the store last spring, I thought Gap was ripping off Baggu. I’m glad they weren’t!
(2) I <3 NY. Iconic logo. Perfect as a tourist gift.
(3) Baggu for J.Crew. Their first vertical stripe in candy pink. I wish this designs came in the baby size.
(4) Baggu for West Elm. The duck bag looks like a dirt magnet to me. The latex dipped bottom looks like an ideal situation for the germophobic.
(5) Baggu for J.Crew. Anchor print. So prepster.

I get a ton of catalogs and like to flip through them before hitting the recycle bin. I nonchalantly opened the West Elm catalog the other day and was greeted by this West Elm x Baggu creation. They took the popular Duck messenger bag, dipped it in latex, and added a monogram. As someone who was previously adverse to the Duck because the thought of canvas getting dirty when placed on the ground, the latex dipping is perfect.

(Image source: West Elm)

I love it! So many choices… it comes in graphite (light gray), navy, orange, red, and teal (looks more like ocean blue). At $45, it looks like a very practical gift. Monogramming is another $7. I hope West Elm has a good Cyber Monday code…