Monday, September 19, 2011

Surviving the Seasons: One Coat at a Time (The Essentials)

Wow, September is FLYING by!! I've been on hiatus for the past week, mainly because I've been having too much fun, and then realizing that late nights don't work for me and then promptly falling asleep at 8:00 pm on the couch. Yes, sometimes I'm VERY LAME!!

Anyway, as September ends, we are DEFINITELY into fall, and I thought it might be fun to do a review of what I consider seasonal ESSENTIALS to make it through a year of living in Cleveland (or anyway in the Northern U.S. for that matter).

So here goes:

1. The Trench Coat: It rains in Cleveland. A LOT. Well, not as much as Seattle, say, but its still enough to be inconvenient. And if you work downtown (or any place by the lake), an umbrella is pretty much useless because that wind is just going to whip that umbrella upside down. And so, I consider a trench an absolute necessity. If your trench has hood- BONUS! Now you can go find your trench at pretty much any department store, but I recommend you try Overstock or TJMaxx or Marshalls. As much as I consider the trench a necessity, I firmly believe you should save the big bucks for the REAL winter essentials.

Trench Coat: 

2. The Wool Coat: This is your everyday-everywhere coat for the winter. You can wear it to work, out to a nice dinner, somewhere where you want to have a dressy look and still stay warm. Now, you could go with the traditional black pea coat, but have you tried to find your coat in the middle in winter, in the midst of all the other black pea coats? And so I recommend going for a color. It will brighten your winter day (when the sun disappears for weeks on end), and will make it (and you) easy to spot in a crowd. This is where I really recommend the splurge-- my favorite is the J.Crew double cloth with Thinsulate. It's a little early for all the styles, but if you wait a couple of months, you will see the whole Thinsulate collection. If you have a backup coat from last year and have the patience to wait until February or March, you will get a FANTASTIC deal when these go on sale, but buyer beware- you may not find your size.

Thinsulate Coat: J. Crew

3. The Parka: Done incorrectly, you could end up looking like the Michelin Man. However, there are a few brands like North Face and Michael Kors that have nipped in waists, and while they're still puffy, they do have SOME shape. Now, I fully recognize the parka is not exactly fashion forward, but when its snowed for entire month of February, with 6 blizzards in between, including days of the dreaded wintry mix, you will thank me for this recommendation as you stay warm and dry, even when you're outside. Again, I'm a big fan of color here, and this eggplant is adorable!!

So there you have it-- my Cleveland weather essentials. Later this week, I will bring you the optionals! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Head over Heels for Hoodies

OMG, seriously how amazing is the pseudo fall weather we're having!! Now, I will say that I would like for there to be more sunshine, but these lovely cool temperatures are really getting me in the mood for long walks with the pups, fall foliage, and hoodies. Yes, I said hoodies. They're my go-to for dog-walking, heading to the gym, running to the grocery store, and general coziness when I'm at home!

I'm cleaning out my closet and getting rid of some of my hoodies that have seen better days. I'm looking to replace them with a longer hoodie- something that looks somewhat like a sweater coat but is in plush sweatshirt material. Sadly, lululemon has nothing that fits the bill for now, so I've been looking elsewhere:

As you can see, I've found some worthy options, but I'm very torn on which one I want!! The most interesting one is the Statement Tie, but I'm not such a fan of the price tag on that one. So what do you think? Should I get one of these, or wait a little while to see what other places bring in as their full fall collections are available?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Planning for the Weekend: Fabulous Friday

Do you live for the weekends? I certainly do, and sometimes, with the amount of stuff happening in Cleveland, its a little difficult to get it all in. Take this weekend for instance- on Friday (9/9) alone there are not one, not two, but THREE events that I really want to attend. Unfortunately, I can't be three places at once, but as it turns out, I will certainly be attending two of the three events.

So, the first event is one that happens the first Friday of every month- The Tremont ArtWalk. If you STILL haven't been, you really really should consider attending- art galleries and boutiques open late, yummy cocktails on the fabulous patios, not to mention the absolutely delicious food at any one of the restaurants on Professor Ave. If you end up visiting, I highly recommend a stop at Banyan Tree. At this month's ArtWalk, Banyan Tree will have a very special visitor- The Canton Box Company. I've picked up their creations before, and they may make excellent gifts for weddings, bridal showers, or even housewarming presents!

Unfortunately, I will miss the ArtWalk this month though, because instead, I will be attending F*SHO 2011! I missed it last year, and based on reviews from those who attended, I missed an amazing opportunity to see the work of some incredibly talented Clevelanders. I don't usually make the same mistake twice, so I won't miss it this year. Besides, I'm still in the market for dresser and some sort of linen closet (I'm leaning towards a chest, but I'm open to ideas) and I'm hoping I find some stuff at F*SHO.

That said, this Friday I'm MOST excited about the Dredgers Union End of Summer ROAR ALONG the SHORE!! $28 gets you a 2-2.5 hour tour on The Goodtime III, libations, live music by not one, not two, but eight (EIGHT!!) bands, and of course, time well spent with some fabulous Clevelanders!! Seriously, if you haven't seen the view of our city from the lake by nightfall, you are definitely missing out. Besides, if you're on foursquare, and haven't gotten your "I'm on a Boat" badge, this is a great opportunity to take care of that!! And finally, one more reason to go this party- if you take your ticket into Dredgers Union on Friday September 9th, you get 25% off all men's and women's denim!!! Tickets are available at Dredgers Union, Room Service, and online!!

Well Cleveland, if you STILL don't have plans for Friday, you should be ashamed of yourself ; ). Just kidding!! But seriously, I hope you will take advantage of the last few days of summer and enjoy our city this weekend!! Maybe I will see you around!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fashion's Night Out Cleveland

Happy Labor Day all!! I can't believe its September already- this year is going by entirely too fast. That said, September is an exciting time of year- football, clam bakes, fall- weather, fall fashions, and last, but certainly not least, Fashion's Night Out.

Last year, I was very disappointed that I didn't hear about ANY Cleveland retailers hosting FNO events, and it was certainly not for lack of looking. This year, I'm happy to report that there are a few retailers celebrating the event on Thursday September 8th, particularly on the East Side. Lilly Pulitzer at Legacy Village will be celebrating, as will BCBG, Eddie Bauer, and True Religion at Beachwood Place. Personally, I will be spending the evening at Saks Fifth Avenue at Beachwood.

This year, Saks has partnered with Stylelist, The Aids Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic Innovations, and Positively Cleveland to bring FNO revelers the Burberry Fashion Show on big screen, a designer treasure hunt, live music, TONS of prizes, drinks, and of course, SHOPPING!! To attend the event, you must purchase a $50 ticket; however, you will receive a $50 Saks gift card in return. And if you've been to Saks, you know that its not hard to spend $50 there- at the high end, you could purchase some designer baubles, or even pick up a new fall fragrance! No matter what your budget, the skilled staff at Saks will be available to guide you as you make your purchases! You can either purchase your tickets in advance at this link, or purchase it at the door!!

If you're unable to make it to the FNO event at Saks, fear not. Our northeast Ohio retailers have launched their own ShopHop NEO from September 9th-16th. All you have to do is purchase your ShopHop pass for $25 here, plan your shopping trips using the store directory, and receive exclusive ShopHop discounts!! This event would be the perfect time to go explore the shops in Chagrin Falls and get some Jeni's icecream, or even make a downtown-Tremont visit, followed by dinner or drinks at any one of the fabulous establishments on either East 4th (downtown) or anywhere in Tremont!!

So Happy September Shopping all!! And I hope you've been inspired by the many September issues out now!

Disclosure: I am receiving a special media pass to attend the Saks Fifth Avenue Fashions Night Out event. That said, I would be attending the event media pass or not. I can't wait!!!