Thursday, November 13, 2014

Designer vs. Store Brand

This always intrigues many of us.  Which dress do you think is more expensive?  The one on the left or the one on the right?   Thanks so much to several of you for commenting!  A few of you said the one on the left and one of you said the one on the right.    

The more expensive dress is....The dress on the right.  It's a designer dress, a Carolina Herrera, marked as $1374.00 at Off Saks Fifth Avenue.  The dress on the left was from the Loft Outlet and was $44.99 and there was an additional discount off that the day I shopped.  So, what do you get for the more than $1329.01 difference in price?  Below is my analysis as I work hard to complete an management course and become an AICI certified image consultant.

Upon close inspection, the Carolina Herrera dress is exceptionally well made.    It is a unique silk fabric and is fully lined with silk.  It has meticulous stitching and darts to make sure it falls precisely where it should. The fabric is matched at every angle. The fabric is also something you won't likely see on many other people.  It's unique and memorable.  In my opinion, it's more than a dress; it's a work of art.  As someone learning to sew, I am absolutely in awe of this dress.  However, as you'll read below, I was impressed with the construction of the lower-priced dress as well.

Gorgeous silk lining in this designer dress.

The stitching on the inside is meticulous.

It has a velvet belt constructed into the waistline.

Meticulous darts and flawless stitching.

Unique graphic print silk fabric.

The way this is sewed, the lines are constructed to fall exactly 
where they should.

      For the huge difference in price, the Loft Outlet dress is made quite well.  The dress is 94 percent polyester and 6 percent spandex.  It is lined with a beautiful black lining, which I didn't necessarily expect given the price.  The "v" pattern in the dress (below) doesn't match visually as perfectly as it could from all angles.  It doesn't have the exceptional construction (the many, many meticulous darts) that the Carolina Herrera dress has, and as a result, with natural movement, the pattern doesn't look right at all times.  But for a more than $1300 difference in price, I am impressed with the overall construction of this dress.

The lining on the Loft Outlet dress.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

HomeGoods Happy Fan Winnings

I am so grateful to HomeGoods for giving me my Happy Fan shopping spree and two boxes full of beautiful items for my home!  These are things I honestly would not have bought for myself.  I told HomeGoods my style is elegant and glamorous and they nailed it when they sent me some gorgeous mirrored frames and crystal candleholders.  Those items inspired me to find more elegant items on my shopping spree.  I can now say our house is finally a reflection of my style and my husband's style.  As you'll see below, he found the perfect chandelier for our living room!

So, here is what I found!  It was SO hard not to buy everything in the store!!
-Damask Chair $129.99
-Luxe Mirror $79.99
-Large Mirrored Frames $129.99 and $89.00
-Crystal Lamp $59.99
-Large Silver Mirror $39.99

Extras:  Mirrored Chest
             Large Closet Mirror
             And many more to come... :)

This photo doesn't do this chair justice.
It's actually the key inspiration piece for my living room!
I'm going to make pillows to coordinate and find a wool floor rug too.

This was an "extra" I went back to buy!  
I have always wanted an elegant mirrored chest.

My husband bought me this chandelier after the shopping spree to add 
to the new elegant feel of our living room.  I'm such a lucky woman!

These huge mirrored frames will go in our piano room.
I am going to replace the current prints with large prints of 
piano music!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

HomeGoods Happy Fan Shopping Spree

I always secretly dreamed of being on the show "Supermarket Sweep," but I never thought I would actually win a shopping spree.   On Saturday, the HomeGoods store in Clifton Park opened its doors at 8 a.m. so I could have a private shopping spree for one hour.  In addition to the two boxes of hand-picked items I mentioned yesterday, HomeGoods overnighted me these gift cards.   I got a $500 gift card and I received 5 gift cards of $25 for friends to shop with me!   I love shopping (especially with the store to myself), so it was an amazing experience.  I'm still taking photos of the items I scored and I will share those tomorrow!  Hint, I spend a lot of time in the lighting aisle as you can see below :)  I also carried a list of items I wanted and a tape measure to check dimensions.  Thank you again to HomeGoods for treating me so well!  

The colorful array of gift cards from HomeGoods!

We are definitely a HomeGoods family!

Decisions, decisions...

Monday, November 3, 2014

HomeGoods Happy Fan Delivery #1

When I entered the HomeGoods Happy Fan contest, I did not think I would win!  I am sure glad I did though!  HomeGoods/TJX treated me like royalty.  The first and second deliveries of hand-picked items I received matched my personal style exactly.  What impressed me the most is with every delivery, the company included a hand written note congratulating me!  As you can see, my sweet daughter and I had such a great time ripping open the boxes and discovering what was inside.  They even got the color of the tissue paper correct - hot pink!

Here are a few of the hand-picked items below.  I received two gorgeous mirrored frames, a black and silver zebra tray and some stunning crystal candle holders.  These are honestly household items I probably wouldn't have bought for myself.