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October 2016

Fashion, Home

My Top 5 Favorite Boutiques on Newbury Street

I moved to Boston for work a little over a year ago and have shopped on Newbury Street almost every weekend (surprising, I know). The one-mile street is lined with numerous shops, trendy cafes and various restaurants. The street starts at the end of the Boston Public Garden and is lined with top designer stores such as Chanel, Burberry, Tiffany, Valentino, etc. Then there are the more-well known stores including Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, H&M, Zara, Anthropology, and Urban Outfitter. However, I want to share with you my top 5 favorite lesser-known boutiques on Newbury Street.

If you will be visiting and shopping in Boston or if you live in Boston, then consider checking out these stores!

LIT Boutique (Price Range: $50 – $100)
LIT Boutique is a must stop for me because they offer a wide variety of apparel, jewelry, sunglasses, décor, etc. LIT Boutique was originally located at 325 Newbury Street but they recently opened a second location on 223 Newbury Street. What I love the most about this store are the unique pieces at affordable prices especially when they are on sale! I especially like the accessories selection at the store. My favorite finds are the square mirrored sunglasses and a black leather jacket for $15! 1-lit-boutique

Lou Lou (Price Range: $20 – $50)
Lou Lou is my favorite store for accessories. I can spend an hour in here just looking through the different necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, hats, scarfs and bags. There are cool little trinkets everywhere in this store and every time I visit Lou Lou, I have to constantly resist the urge to pick up more accessories.2-lou-lou

No Rest for Bridget (Price Range: ~$50)
No Rest for Bridget is actually one of my recent favorite finds. It’s hard to tell whether a store on Newbury Street is affordable or a pricey designer that you’ve never heard of. Without this expectation, it can be intimidating to wonder into the store price-blind. Furthermore, there are so many small boutiques on Newbury Street that sometimes if a store is not well known, you will walk right past it without a second glance. Anyways it took me over a year to find this charm! No Rest for Bridget offers ~80% apparel and ~20% beauty / makeup. The apparels are different, priced affordably and are good quality!3-no-rest-for-bridget

Goorin Bros (Price Range: ~$100)
If I have to point to a single thing that triggered my love for hats it would be this Goorin Bros store. Goorin Bros was founded in 1895 and is one of the oldest hat makers in the US and is still headed by the Goorin family! The store has numerous hat styles and colorful feathers and pins to accessorize the hats. I also love how each style is offered in different sizes so the hats will fit even for those of us who have smaller or bigger heads. The hats are a little pricey but they are of great quality!4-goorin-bros

144 Newbury Street (corner of Dartmouth and Newbury Street)
I always look forward to seeing what is in store at 144 Newbury Street. This shop is a pop-up store for different sample designer sales, photography shops, jewelry makers, home décor companies, and for a while FoMu Alternative Ice Cream. Out of curiosity, I always stop by this store 😀5-144-newbury-street

Thank you for reading!

Fashion, Home

Faux Leather Leggings + Blazer

Blazer: Aritzia Kent Blazer
Camisole: Babaton Everly Camisole
Leggings: Petite leather leggings (Asos)
Bag: Ferragamo Miss Vara WOC
Shoes: Alexander Wang Gabi Booties

1-happy-pursuits2-happy-pursuits3-happy-pursuits4-happy-pursuits5-happy-pursuits6-happy-pursuits7-happy-pursuits8-happy-pursuits

I have been looking for an affordable, petite, faux leather legging / pants for the longest time and finally got my hands on a pair from Asos! I am 5’2″, 110 points and the US 4 size fits perfectly. The material is thin but very comfortable and will go great with oversized sweaters in the cold months! The only downsides are the legging is high-waisted and the waist band does not have a strong elastic.

Thanks for visiting!

Fashion, Home

Canada Goose Parkas – Worth the Money & Where to Find Discounts

Winter is coming and if you’ve been looking for a warm winter coat you have probably heard of Canada Goose, a popular manufacturer of warm winter parkas. If you’ve been looking at Canada Goose parkas then inevitably you’ve asked are they worth the money and can you purchase them at a discount?

I have asked myself the same two questions when I considered buying a Canada Goose parka last winter and this year. I want to share my thoughts and tips; I hope they will be helpful for you, especially the part about how to save some money! As background information, I did not buy a CG parka last year but did recently ordered the Canada Goose Trillium parka. (Note: CG parkas were $700 last winter but have increased to $900 this year 🙁)

Canada Goose – Worth the Money?1-canada-goose-worth-the-money
Whether something is worth the money is always a tricky question to answer. Everyone has different levels of income and expenses; furthermore, everyone prioritizes different things in life. To help answer this questions, I think it may be easier to break it down to these five sub-questions:

  1. Disposable Income – I think the most important question is whether you have disposable income. Canada Goose jackets are currently retailing for ~$900 which is a hefty price for a coat. If you do have $900 to spend on a coat then this box is checked and you can proceed to the next few questions. If you are considering significantly cutting back on food or other necessary expenses or are thinking about putting this purchase on a credit card then I would say the coat is probably not worth it.
  2. Alternatives – Assuming the first box is checked and you have disposable income, I would consider how else can you spend the $900 (i.e, shoes, bags, travel, etc.) and whether that will bring you more or less happiness. Personally, my winter splurge debate came down to purchasing the Louboutin Pigalle pumps or the Canada Goose parka. Eventually I concluded I may be happier short term with my first gorgeous red soles, I would probably be happier long term with a super warm coat. Alternatively, if you plan on giving up Starbucks coffee or eat out less to help fund this purchase, think about which scenario will make you happier (preferably long term).
  3. Do You Need It? This question has multiple considerations. How cold does it get where you live? Do you walk to work or commute via public transportation where you have to wait in the cold or do you hop directly into your car? How warm are your other coats? Do you spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter? All of these questions should help you better answer whether you actually need a super warm coat.
  4. Cost per Wear – Say you purchase the coat at full retail price of $900. Then lets assume you plan to wear this coat everyday from December to April and this coat lasts you seven years. Your cost pear wear would be less than a dollar per day ($0.8571 to be exact). If you already have warm coats then you probably don’t need another one but if you don’t have warm coats then consider whether you are willing to pay the incremental cost per wear to have a Canada Goose jacket. For example, say you are looking at a North Face or a Patagonia jacket that is around $450 then are you willing to pay $0.8571 to have a CG coat or pay $0.4286 for North Face / Patagonia coat?
  5. Cost-Benefit Analysis – $900 is a lot for a coat so it’s important to make sure you will reap enough benefits to justify the premium. Being warmer is an obvious benefit but there may be other intangible benefits that could be equally important. Personally, there are two key benefits that convinced me to pull the trigger. One, I will no longer shiver as I walk to work in the winter. Two, I would be more susceptible to spending more time outdoors walking around instead of avoiding the cold by staying indoors or hoping from store to store.

Canada Goose – Where to Find Discounts?2-canada-goose-where-to-find-discounts
Canada Goose jackets are excluded from most Friends and Family sales including Shopbop and Saks Fifth Avenue. From my own shopping experience / research, here are four places you can get them on discount:

  1. Bloomingdales (Loyalist Program)
    Bloomingdales has a Loyalist program that occasionally gives 5,000 points or $25 for every $100 you spend. Basically you get a gift card for future purchases at Bloomingdales and the gift card is redeemable in $25 increments. Bloomingdales is currently having this promotional event and it is available until Oct 23rd. For a $900 coat, you will get 45,000 points redeemable for a $225 gift card so the net cost would be $675 excluding taxes. (Note: 75% of points will expire on Dec 31 so make sure you plan your purchases appropriately!)
    Make sure to use Ebates to get additional cash back (8% cash back currently for Bloomingdales). Also if you have the Chase Freedom card, you can get additional 5% cash back in Q4 for department stores. I purchased my coat through Bloomingdales using Ebates and Chase so excluding taxes the cost for the Canada Goose parka was $558!
  2. Niemen Marcus (Gift Card Event)
    Nieman Marcus often has gift card events. For example the current gift card event is spend $700 get $200 or spend $1,000 get $300. Canada Goose jackets are eligible for the gift cards. For a $900 coat, you can get back $200 so the net cost would be $700. Again make sure to use Ebates (4% cash back currently for Nieman) and Chase Freedom (5% cash back in Q4). Excluding taxes, the cost for the Canada Goose parka will be $619.
  3. Amazon
    If for any reason you can’t buy through Bloomingdales or Nieman Marcus, you can also look on Amazon. Depending on the size and color, Canada Goose Trillium coats can start at $675 and the Canada Goose Kensington can start at $719. Then you can get 3% cash back using Ebates and also make sure to use the best credit card to get additional points / cash back.
  4. Gilt
    I have seen Canada Goose Parka’s available on Gilt for ~$700. Then using Ebates can give you an additional 10% cash back currently.

 

Overall Bloomingdales has the best deal and it also has the best selection (Although some coats are backordered currently).

I hope you found this post helpful and as always thank you for visiting! Please share in the comments below if you know any other ways to get discounts on these coats!

Fashion, Home

New Designer Handbags Added to My Wish List (2016)

I love making handbag wish lists mostly because it gives me another reason to look at pictures of pretty bags. Also I find it very interesting to look at my old wish lists and see which bags I continue to like and which bags I no longer crave for. You can see my prior handbag wish list here. Out of that list, the bags that remain on my wish list include the Celine Box, YSL Sac de Jour and Lady Dior. Handbags on that list that I no longer want include Chloe Drew (chain too long), LV Alma (no longer love the shape), YSL envelope clutch (hardware too yellow) and Mansur Gavriel (for now).

Here are 11 new handbags that I am adding to my wish list!

1. Bulgari Serpenti Forever Shoulder Bag
The Bulgari Serpenti Forever Shoulder Bag is a top contender for my handbag purchase next year. The design on this bag is stunningly beautiful from the Bulgari’s signature snakehead closure with black and white enamels and malachite eyes to the snake-like shoulder straps to the geometric lines on the bag. This bag comes in a variety of colors and finishes but my favorite is this emerald green calfskin version – it is stunningly beautiful. There are two reasons holding me back from purchasing this handbag. One, I have too many small shoulder bags. Two, the leather on this calfskin version is very delicate and easily stretchable. This is the main hold back. I generally prefer more durable leather and carefree handbags and am hesitant about getting a handbag that I need to baby. Overall, the top two contenders for next year are Bulgari Serpenti Forever bag and Celine Box.1-bulgari-serpenti-forever-shoulder-bag

2. LV Capucines
I love the Capucines collection from LV. Compared to the familiar LV monogram handbags, I think the Capucines is much more beautiful, elegant and feminine. I especially love the versions with leather body and python handle. I think the Capucines has a similar look to the Hermes Kelly but is more feminine due to the softer edges and the LV logo in the middle. There are two sizes for the LV Capucines BB and MM; for my height the BB size is the better option. There are also two reasons holding me back from purchasing this bag. One, this bag is extremely pricey. It took me five years to take the plunge on a Chanel classic flap and I won’t be surprised if it takes me around five years to eventually get the Capucines. When handbags are this pricey, I want to make sure I really want the bag and it isn’t merely a short-term yearning. Two, I don’t think the Capucines will be the most practical bag with the large flap and the middle handle. 2-lv-capucines

3. Fendi Peekaboo (With Leather Weaves)
I have always liked the Fendi Peekaboo and consider it to be one of the classic bags. However, the Peekaboo was never added to my wish list because of the price and I just feel like something was missing from the Peekaboo. Well, that all changed when I saw this Indigo Peekaboo with leather weaves along the edges. Before this bag came out, I liked the Peekaboos with contrasting interior colors or monster eyes. However, this specific Peekaboo with the vibrant purple color and the weaves is the one. I believe this specific bag is from the Spring / Summer 2017 collection so if and when I am ready to purchase my next bag and I am still able to find this exact Peekaboo (in the regular size) then I think this bag might just be the winner. Compared to the Capucines I think the Peekaboo will be more functional.3-fendi-peekaboo

4. Chanel Boy (Large Chevron Pattern)
The Chanel Boy was never on my wish list because I prefer the look of the classic flap. I do like the Boy but I never loved it. Then Chanel came out with the Boy in the large chevron pattern and I had to fight hard to hold on to my money! To me the large chevron print feels much more chic than the classic quilting or even the smaller chevron print. Maybe it’s because the larger chevron print looks simpler and therefore is more aesthetically pleasing to me. There are three reasons holding me back from purchasing this bag even though I know Chanel might stop producing the Boy with the large chevron. One, it is very pricey. Two, for the price, the bag should be full leather. The old medium Boy is comparable to the M/L classic flap and at $200 price difference the Boy should not have fabric lining. Three, I have only seen these bags in lambskin and even though I’ve heard the lambskin on the Boy wears better than lambskin on the classic flap, I don’t know if I am ready for another lambskin bag that I need to baby.4-chanel-boy-chevron

5. Diorama
The Diorama is beautiful. I love the simple geometric lines on the bag. Simple yet stunning. The Diorama and the Chanel Boy are very similar in style and even though they are both on my wish list, I would only get one. If Chanel never came out with the large chevron Boy then I would hands down pick the Diorama. The bag offers better value in terms of price and the bag is made of full leather. I also think in general the Diorama looks better than the Chanel Boy (with the exception of the large chevron print). I have heard a few arguments on forums that Diorama copies the Chanel Boy therefore you should go for the original (Chanel). I agree with the first part of the argument, yes the shape and the chain of the Diorama are very similar to the Boy. However, I don’t agree just because of that you should go with the Chanel Boy. To me the bags are still different due to the different quilting and hardware.5-diorama

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