Posts Tagged ‘TBD shopping’

Style Report: Fedoras

Posted by Carten Cordell / Friday, May 4th, 2012

Gold Cup is just a day away, and there will be plenty of big brims bouncing around Great Meadow tomorrow — if still searching for a proper topper, see our 2012 Gold Cup Hat Guide  – but outside of the horse race scene, the focus for many a fashionista is the fedora. It’s easy to understand why the perennial favorite continues to have a big following, especially given this season’s fresh takes on the topper — lots of color, feathers and other fun embellishments.

And fortunately your penchant for pretty hats doesn’t have to cost you a pretty penny. A few of our favorite fedoras at equally fabulous prices:

This is one of those great hats you can stuff in a bag again and again then whip it out, and it still looks fabulous. 

Free People Star Straw Fedora, $98, available in other color combos. (Photo:

Free People Star Straw Fedora, $98, available in other color combos. (Photo:



Loving the overall classic style with a big pop of color that’s so very current. The bonus: This is a real bargain.

Color Band Straw Fedora, $26, also available with pink band, South Moon Under. (Photo:

Color Band Straw Fedora, $26, also available with pink band, South Moon Under. (Photo:



Perhaps nothing looks better than an almost-white fedora. Kate Spade’s definitely keeping it classy.

Kate Spade Dunes Lane Straw Fedora, $78, also available with pink ribbon. (Photo:

Kate Spade Dunes Lane Straw Fedora, $78, also available with pink ribbon. (Photo:



 Meanwhile, Anthropologie totally brings the party.

Blue Bunting Fedora, $48, Anthropologie. (Photo:

Blue Bunting Fedora, $48, Anthropologie. (Photo:

Happy shopping!

–Natalie Kaar


Local Sales Sure to Have Shoppers Smitten

Posted by Carten Cordell / Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Enjoy anniversary savings on upholstered furniture through June 3 at The Nest Egg. (Photo: The Nest Egg)

Enjoy anniversary savings on upholstered furniture through June 3 at The Nest Egg. (Photo: The Nest Egg)

You’re already stoked about the weekend, what with Gold Cup and summer-like weather in the forecast, but here at SWAG we highly suggest penciling in time for some retail revelry as well. The sales outlined for our area and online are big and bounteous.

A few of the standouts:

In celebration of the store’s 8th anniversary, The Nest Egg at Fairfax Corner is offering an additional 10-percent discount on upholstered furniture pieces from Lee Industries or Talbott Furniture when three or more upholstered items are purchased from the lines through June 3. This means total savings of 40 percent off MSRP.

Tomorrow, May 4, through Sunday, May 6, The Shoe Hive in Old Town Alexandria is hosting an ASHA trunk show and sale. Receive 20 percent off the New York-based line of jewelry designed by Georgetown University grad Ashley Dodgen-McCormick featuring contemporary, sophisticated designs that showcase fine gemstones as well as other top materials at affordable prices. 

Also in Old Town, Treat is hosting local designer Ruth Barzel and her latest lovelies. Enjoy 15 percent off all spring jewelry designs plus giveaways, sweet treats and more this Saturday, May 5, and Sunday, May 6.

But that’s not all the jewelry deals.  Yet another favorite NoVA boutique is hosting jewelry trunk shows at two of its locations tomorrow. Periwinkle’s National Harbor shop is having a Simple Girl trunk show and offering 25 percent savings, while the Potomac Green location is having a mollybeads trunk show, offering free earrings with purchase.

Attention shoe girls: Now through Monday, May 7, Bloomingdale’s is having a Spring Shoe Sale in stores and online, offering up to 30-percent savings on all sorts of stellar shoes from sandals to flats to pumps.

Through the end of today, May 3, a 15-percent discount is being doled out on all Restoration Hardware outdoor collections.

The Real Deal Sale is still rolling at Neiman Marcus with savings of up to 40 percent on contemporary, shoes, handbags, etc.

And it’s Spring Sale time at Calvin Klein, with 50 percent off everything site-wide.

Happy shopping!

–Natalie Kaar

PS. And let’s not forget dozens of NoVA deals from Specialicious.

Sure Things: Door Monkey

Posted by Carten Cordell / Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

With just a quick button bush on the Door Monkey, out of little ones' reach, the door is free to open. (Photo: Natalie Kaar)

With just a quick button bush on the Door Monkey, out of little ones' reach, the door is free to open. (Photo: Natalie Kaar)

If you’re on round two of baby proofing your abode to keep a far-reaching, exponentially growing, amazingly adventurous toddler from trouble, door guards are probably priority number one. Easy enough, right? Not really.

Many of the door-locking contraptions that involve covers on door knobs either get figured out all too quickly by little ones who watch their parents’ every move, get broken by kiddos using trial and error in an effort to escape, and/or frustrate parents and older children to no end — feeling like they have to jump through hoops all around the house to get anything done.

Enter Door Monkey, a door lock and pinch guard that is placed out of toddlers’ — and pets’ — reach, is super easy to maneuver for parents and older kids, and allows air to circulate in what would otherwise be closed-off spaces. But that’s not all, the handy little apparatus, just $12.95 on Amazon, is great for travel (for Grandma’s house, beach houses, etc., that are anything but baby proofed).

When you attach the device, the door is left slightly open. One one side of the door, you just push a button and pull back on the device; on the other side, you just pull away the hook from the door.The Door Monkey website has lots of photos to illustrate exactly how the Door Monkey works.

It really is a breeze to handle. My family uses one on the main-level door in our living room that leads to the basement stairs. Not wanting to leave the space totally open with a gate — for sound travel and appearance purposes — we love the versatility the device provides. If we want to watch a loud movie in the basement while our daughter is sleeping upstairs, we just take it off the door for a bit. And I plan to have the Door Monkey working overtime this summer with trips to relatives’ houses and the beach.

But if you don’t believe moi that the Door Monkey is a master at preventing monkey business, check out its stellar shout-outs on Amazon

Happy shopping!

–Natalie Kaar

Must-Buy Tickets to Give Mom Big Thanks, Big Laughs

Posted by Carten Cordell / Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

The D.C. Listen To Your Mother Cast, missing Cindy Green. (Photo:

The D.C. Listen To Your Mother Cast, excluding photographer Cindy Green (Photo:

Shoppers, if you’re still shopping around looking for the perfect gift to give your mom this Mother’s Day, great news: Next week on SWAG, we’ll be doling out gift ideas daily. Yes, sometimes procrastination pays, but don’t tell Mom.

And for those of you who don’t want to leave it down to the wire when it comes to showing Mom how much you appreciate all that she does and all that she is, we may just know of your golden ticket. That is tickets ($18 plus $1.98 fee each) to this Sunday’s “Listen To Your Mother (LTYM) at Crystal City’s Synetic Theater, beginning at 2 p.m.

The national LTYM series features live readings from local writers sharing the humor and heartbreak that go hand and hand with motherhood. This year the show will make its debut in the DMV after highly celebrated 2011 shows in Madison, Wisc., where LYTM began as a single show in 2010; Spokane, Wash.; Austin, Texas; Los Angeles and NW Indiana. 

The D.C. performance, sure to have its audience laughing until they cry and crying until they laugh, is produced by local blogger Kate Coveny Hood, who I’m proud to call a friend, and directed by actress, comedian and writer Stephanie Stearns Dulli. The local cast is loaded with everyone’s favorite mommy writers as well, women who aren’t afraid to talk about everything from finding poop under the fingernails to dealing with the unimaginable pain of losing a child.

Chrissy Boylan
Sarah Braesch
Nicole Crowley
Anna Whiston-Donaldson
Stephanie Stearns Dulli
Lindsay Felix
Lis Fogt
Devra Gordon
Cindy Green
Kate Coveny Hood
Monica Sakala
Elena Sonnino
Sue Wagner
Jean Winegardner

To get an even better idea of what to expect, there are videos of last year’s readings on the LYTM website as well as Q&As with the D.C. cast.

While it would be impossible to thank our mothers adequately for all their love and sacrifice, this show, to which they’re sure to relate, could be a good start.

–Natalie Kaar

Manic Monday Markdowns

Posted by Carten Cordell / Monday, April 30th, 2012

ASOS shift dress in tiered lace, available in three different colors, $34.54 before additional 15 percent off. (Photo:

ASOS shift dress in tiered lace, available in three different colors, $34.54 before additional 15 percent off. (Photo:

Hello there, shoppers!

The weekend may be over, and more rain may be in the forecast, but discounts upon discounts all but promise to rid us of our Monday mopes. 

How tempting are these sales?

ASOS is having a mid-season sale through 1 p.m. PST tomorrow, May 1, with deals up to 70 percent off, but, even better, use the code EXTRA15 to score an additional 15-percent discount. is offering two Calvin Klein bras for $40 today (regularly $30-$38 each) plus free shipping with the code FREESHIP4U. is offering 10-percent savings with the code TAKE10 through May 4. is offering up to 75-percent savings on all kinds of photo gifts for Mother’s Day through the end of the day today with the code LUVMOM.

And Sephora is now selling a Sun Safety Kit, featuring 17 top products in sun safety and self tanning plus a reusable train case (value: $193) for $30. If you’re wanting to test-drive the latest and greatest in all things sun and skin, this is it. You’ll score must-haves from Kate Sommerville, Tan Towel, St. Tropez, Fresh and more.

Happy shopping!

–Natalie Kaar

Sale After Sale!

Posted by Carten Cordell / Friday, April 27th, 2012

This weekend don't miss the Tory Burch Friends & Family sale to save 25 percent on stunners like this wildflower caftan. (Photo:

This weekend don't miss the Tory Burch Friends & Family sale to save 25 percent on stunners like this wildflower caftan. (Photo:

Hello there, shoppers! 

While earlier this week we filled you in on some great Friends & Family deals (some still in effect), today it’s our pleasure to send you more of those plus scores of new ways to save. Many of the sales you’re soon to read about bring amazing deals for days and weeks to come. Enjoy!

Cusp–Save 20 percent on select regular-priced handbags and shoes in stores and online through April 30. 

The Dandelion Patch–Save 25 percent off your entire full-priced purchase today through Sunday (not valid at the Outlet or in Georgetown, excluding Trollbeads).

Tory Burch–Speaking of friends and family deals, use the code FRIENDS12 to score 25 percent off sitewide at this weekend.

Michael Stars–Likewise, use the code FRIENDS this weekend to score 25 percent off sitewide at


And introducing OTBD Mother’s Day deals …

Through May 13, save 20 percent at Mystique.

May 1-15, score 15 percent off at Gossypia.

May 6-13, snag 25-percent savings at Pretty People.

May 11-12, enjoy 40-percent savings at Monday’s Child.

May 10-12, delight in a 10-percent-off deal at Apple Seed.


Happy bargain shopping!

–Natalie Kaar 

Shopping News NoVA Needs Now

Posted by Carten Cordell / Thursday, April 26th, 2012

The storefront of Tysons' new Under the Olive Tree (Photo:

The storefront of Tysons Corner Center's new Under the Olive Tree, one of many new additions to the mega mall. (Photo:

Hello there, shoppers! 

The work week is almost through, and what better way is there to celebrate than through taking advantage of some super-sweet shopping news?!

A rundown of what you need to know now, NoVA’s most fashionable and fabulous:


Newness, newness, newness at area malls …


The Disney Store is back at Tysons, and other new additions in our favorite mega mall include: Kiehl’s (REMEMBER: Through May 16, you can snag a full-size sample with any $100 purchase), Cava Mezze Grill (home to the legendary crazy feta), Pinkberry (fresh fro-yo made with only hormone-free milk and live, active cultures), Elevation Burger (featuring organic, grass-fed, free-range beef), Under the Olive Tree (your new source for EVOO and vinegars) and Verdict (day-to-night apparel for young adults). 


Out in Sterling, the highly anticipated ‘Project One’ Old Navy concept store opened yesterday. Also new to the scene: Auntie Anne’s, which needs no introduction, and UK fashion retailer Monsoon Children.


Can’t-miss event after can’t-miss event …

David Baldacci fans, meet the man tonight, April 26, at Barnes & Noble at Tysons Corner Center, for a signing of his latest thriller, “The Innocent.” Wristbands will be distributed beginning at 5 p.m. (on the first floor) for the 7 p.m. event.

Men ready to take shaving to the next level, head to Bloomingdale’s at Tysons Corner Center this Saturday, April 28, for the store’s Upgrade Your Shave event. Bring in your current shaving cream (even if the can is empty) to receive a free 2.5-ounce supply of Art of Shaving’s award-winning glycerin-based cream (worth $14). Plus, receive a $20 Bloomingdale’s gift card with any purchase of $100 or more in The Art of Shaving products.

Find out what Betsy Bloomers has been up to to win big this weekend (Image: Bloomers)

Meanwhile, ladies, you’ll want to celebrate the coming out of Betsy Bloomers and the re-launch of Bloomers’ website, on Saturday. First, there’s the Where’s Betsy? Contest: Enter the contest by end of day April 28 by telling Bloomers where you think Betsy’s been after reading Betsy’s blog on the redesigned site. Review the five locations and enter your guesses at The winner and all five locations will be revealed on Bloomers’ Facebook page. The lucky winner will get a bag full of surprises from all five locations and Bloomers. But that’s not all. Pick a pair of undies from the Bloomers grab bag at either location on Saturday, and check to see what you’ve won … discounts on the day’s purchase, free gifts and more.

Those who love to shop for a cause, save the date for the Old Town Boutique District’s second annual “Boutiques Give Back” Charity Day on May 19, when over 30 Old Town shops will benefit over 30 local charities. For instance, the children’s boutique Pink & Brown will donate profits to K.I.D.S. (Kids In Distressed Situations), Current Boutique will give customers 15 percent off their purchases if they donate gently used suits for Suited for Change, and Red Barn Mercantile will host a variety of activities such as free design advice all day, crafts for kids, and 20 percent of sales from the day will go to Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia

And, finally, save the date for St. Jude Summer Hope on June 6 when Saks Fifth Avenue and Citronelle team up for a night of fashion, food and fun in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The event will take place at Citronelle (3000 M St. NW) in the District, with VIP ticket holders scoring a sneak peek at 6 p.m., general admission ticket holders joining the fun at 7 p.m.  The $60 general admission includes: fashion presentation, fashionista bar, door prizes and gift bag. The $100 VIP admission includes: sneak preview, fashion presentation, fashionista bar, door prizes, valet parking and gift bag. Email Devon Dupay at to reserve your ticket by June 1.

Happy shopping!

–Natalie Kaar 

Fab Finds: At Last, A Stay-in-Place Strapless Bra

Posted by Carten Cordell / Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

The Simone Perele Velia (also available in black). Best strapless bra out there? Very likely. (Photo:

The Simone Perele Velia (also available in black). Best strapless bra out there? Very likely. (Photo:

Hello there, shoppers! With warmer temps on the way, do you find yourself excited about wearing your summer stunners until you think about what you’ll wear underneath in support? Every woman knows all too well the wrestling game that can come — or shall we say practically always comes — with wearing strapless bras.

Break it down on the dance floor? Not without a session of pull-ups. Heck, sometimes you can’t even reach for your drink without a big sink. It can make you want to give up wearing anything that requires wearing a strapless bra.

Of course, there are stay-in-place bustiers, but seriously, how practical are bustiers for your run-of-the-mill strapless dress- or strappy-top-wearing occasion? All those clasps!

So what’s a girl to do? Warm weather apparel is just way too fun to give up. Enter the Simone Perele Velia Plunge Strapless, a pricey (suggested retail: $82), but worth-every-penny bra that is so comfortable you can forget you’re wearing a strapless. I can even chase my toddler around in it, with no need for pull-ups.

Another reason to love it: The plunge style is perfect for tops that are more low-cut. Plus, the Velia is a convertible bra, so you can wear it criss-cross, halter style or as a traditional bra as well. It comes in a neutral praline color and black. 

I recently purchased the bra on (gotta love free shipping and hassle-free returns) during the site’s recent Friends & Family Sale, so I paid around $60, but I would definitely pay full price knowing what I know now.You can also find the Simone Perele Velia at as well as at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom and Vienna’s Trousseau also carry Simone Perele; call about Velia availability.

Definitely worth a try! Need more convincing? Check out the reviews on

Happy shopping!

–Natalie Kaar

Friends & Family Sale Splendor

Posted by Carten Cordell / Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Examples of Case-Mate's personalized phone covers. (Photo:

Examples of Case-Mate's personalized phone covers. (Photo:

Hello there, shoppers! Just in time for Mother’s Day gift buying, spring wardrobe overhauling and pre-vacay planning, several of the most sought-after stores are extending huge sales to friends and family. 

A few fine examples of the absolutely dynamite deals awaiting you and your dollars this fine day:

The Saks Friends & Family Sale–The code FRIENDS will save you 15 percent on jewelry, 20 percent on practically everything else (excludes beauty and fragrances) online through Sunday, April 29.

The Macy’s Friends & Family Sale–Receive an extra 25 percent off online today with the code FRIEND, and score special savings in stores starting tomorrow, with the Friends & Family Savings Pass.’s Mother’s Day Sale–The code LUVMOM will score you 20-percent savings sitewide on all kinds of brilliant beauty buys through May 10.

Pottery Barn Summer Savings Event–Online through May 2, save up to 50 percent on over 200 new items for the bed, bath, floor and more.’s Mother’s Day Sale–Through May 7, save 20 percent on all kinds of cool tech cases, including personalized photo cases, with the code 4MOM.

Happy shopping!

–Natalie Kaar

Undeniable Boutique’s It Had to BU Party

Posted by Carten Cordell / Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Hello there, shoppers!

Hope you all enjoyed the wonderful weather we had on Friday and Saturday before the rain came. SWAG surely did, especially at Friday’s Undeniable Boutique Grand Opening Soiree, “It Had to BU.” Consider our wallets a little lighter, our closets a lot happier, and our affinity for the store catapulted to a whole new level.

And given how packed the store was Friday evening, it looks like we’re far from alone in this. Customers new and old enjoyed perusing loads of feel-good fashions representing signature styles from beachy boho to Parisian chic — it’s a place where you can find amazing stuff for you and your cool mom — from designers difficult to find elsewhere here in NoVA, all at surprisingly refreshing prices. But Friday the store experience was made extra sweet with tasty bites and beverages along with hours of entertainment from 94.7 Fresh FM’s The Tommy Show, who emceed a fashion show featuring Undeniable customers in the store’s amazing apparel.

We had to step out before the fashion show, but here are some photos we snapped while shopping.

Spring has undeniably sprung at Undeniable Boutique (Photo courtesy of Lynn Norusis)


Some of the colorful lovelies that greet shoppers right inside Undeniable's front door. (Photo courtesy: Lynn Norusis)


The Grand Opening goodies! (Photo courtesy: Lynn Norusis)


Customers eye up the amazing array. (Photo courtesy: Lynn Norusis)



Color like this can make even dreary days divine. (Photo courtesy: Lynn Norusis)


Some of Undeniable's irresistible gifts. (Photo courtesy: Lynn Norusis)


Options, options, options. (Photo courtesy: Lynn Norusis)



Accessories, accessories, accessories! (Photo courtesy: Lynn Norusis)



A trunk full of essentials. Must explore every inch of the store. (Photo courtesy: Lynn Norusis)


Ringing up pleasing purchase after pleasing purchase. (Photo courtesy: Lynn Norusis)



And last but certainly not least, the fashionable hosts, Kelly Collis and Tommy McFly. (Photo courtesy: Lynn Norusis)


Thanks to Undeniable’s super-stylish owner, Alicia Russman, and her entire team for a fabulous night — and for bringing NoVA a fabulous store. Russman stresses that the goal of the event was to be more of a customer-focused thank-you than a typical grand opening. She says, “The theme itself, ‘It Had to BU’ is both a play on our UB logo and in recognition that our customers are what make us different.” Mission: accomplished. All smiles all around. 

As for just who UB’s customers are, Russman finds them to be “women who take risks and want to be different than everyone else, or stand out from the crowd.” She illustrates, “We asked customers to be our fashion show models because we wanted to demonstrate that women of all shapes, sizes, ages, backgrounds, etc., can shop at the store.” 

Undeniable is a store that is truly centered on relationship buildling. Russman remarks, “We’re developing some great friendships and building a little UB community. I realize a lot of businesses claim to have this relationship with their customer base, but I know firsthand it’s happening for us.”

After all, evidence abounds. Take the planner of Friday’s event, Shelli Vasser Gilliam, who Russman met at the store. Or bubbly UB sales associate Susie Cole — who helped me score some stylin’ selections Friday — hired after she shopped and raved about the store. Or the event’s hair stylist, Lauren DuFresne, also a recent customer.

Now that’s a store that’s gotten it right. Catch you there soon?

Happy shopping!

–Natalie Kaar

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