Friday, December 12, 2008

Style of the day

Great outfit day...Grey wool flannel Phillippa dress (Tory Burch) and Camel knee high "Zipper" boots (L'Autre Chose).

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Style of the day

Great outfit day: Navy/Ivory double tab pencil skirt (Lela Rose), Cambridge crewneck sweater in light spearmint (JCrew), Penelope mary janes (JCrew), Clear glass bead necklace (Express)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

eBay pitfall

I don't sell on ebay all the time -- I go through phases where I'll list items every night for a week and then not for months. I'm often amazed at how unpredictable the final selling price is. Things I think will surely sell...and at a good price...sometimes don't sell at all. Then there are items that seem so mundane I wonder why I'm bothering, and boom! I sell a pair of used -- er, "previously owned" -- Banana Republic wool pants for $51!

One ebay curiousity I have to guard against in particular (and it's completely self-imposed): beware the good sell. I put a lot of effort into the description of the item. With clothing, I find it especially helpful to give the potential bidder a visual picture of how she might pair that item with others that are already in her closet -- making her basics work harder -- or I suggest putting together unexpected combinations or tapping trends she might not otherwise know how to pull off. I've got a pretty good track record. Unfortunately, I've convinced myself not to sell something more than once. Chances are, if I set it aside to sell, there's good reason. But, that doesn't stop me from occasionally getting caught up in the romanticizing of the item. At moments like those, I enlist an external opinion. Usually, a test run by my husband does the trick...

Me (performing catwalk): Honey, I'm second guessing myself.
Him: Don't.
Me: Don't what? Don't second guess myself or don't sell it?
Him (giving me the "are you serious?" look): Trust your first instinct.

Good rule to shop (and sell) by: trust your first instinct. If you find you're soliciting the opinion of a salesperson to dissuade you from those niggling doubts about the item, do yourself a favor and walk away. And, by the way, if you don't have a husband who gives brutally honest opinions, enlist the help of a mother, sister or friend. Or, hire me.

Happy union

Two of my favorite things -- fashion and philanthropy -- came together unexepectedly yesterday. Complaints about my employer I have many...but one thing I greatly appreciate is the 20 hours volunteer paid time off each employee is given every year to spend on behalf of worthy community organizations and activities.

A few members of my team volunteered at the Emergency Foodshelf Network yesterday, and the first job we were given was sorting and coordinating a sizeable donation of Hannah Montana sweatsuits and tank tops. I believe the question we were asked by the volunteer coordinator was, "How are you all at putting together outfits?" Noting the irony, my coworkers stifled their laughter.

Much to my fellow volunteers' relief, I took on the task of coordinating tank top to sweatsuit -- a job that I truly enjoyed and for which I developed exacting standards. (They may be sweatsuits, but at least they should be color balanced.) I personally wouldn't advise anyone to buy Hannah Montana sweatsuits, but for a certain age group of girls these outfits will be wonderful suprises. In the afternoon, we moved on to sorting frozen items into holiday meal boxes. No matter what task we're assigned at EFN, it's always a rewarding way to spend the day, and a great reminder of just how many people need the kind of help that EFN provides. If you can spare it, consider donating your time or your money. You won't regret it.

Style of the day

Good outfit day -- pink silk taffeta a-line skirt (JCrew), putty cashmere turtleneck (TSE), metallic mint belt, pink enamel crystal ball necklace & tortoise shell bangle (JCrew), tall chestnut boots (L'Autre Chose).