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designer

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The 10 Best Handbags of 2017 (For Every Budget!)

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I think any woman can be definitively placed into one of three categories — a handbag girl, a shoe girl or a jewelry girl.

(Which one are YOU?)

I’m most definitely a handbag girl, with shoes coming in a very close second place. Jewelry… eh. Take it or leave it… although if you’re handing it out, I’ll definitely take it.

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Style

How to Build A Designer Wardrobe Without Going Broke

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I could be that bad shopping influence and tell you that all of those amazing spring fashion pieces you’re pining over are MUST HAVES and totally investments that you’ll love forever.

I could tell you that you only live once and to seize the shopping moment — a.k.a. that $2000+ luxury designer handbag!

… OR I could tell you that it IS possible to score that designer wardrobe without regret (and going broke!) — as long as you have a good eye, a bit of patience and the Cleveland Consignment Shoppe. CLEVELAND CONSIGNMENT SHOPPE (CCS) is a unique destination for luxury resale shopping carrying all of the luxury and contemporary lines that shoppers crave, at a fraction of the price.

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If you’re not familiar with consignment shopping, its become a growing trend in retail since 2010. Women are thinking outside of the box when it comes to investing in their personal style and taking advantage of the amazing fashion and deals that can be found in the form of new or gently used, high-end, designer and contemporary consignment clothing and accessories.

I recently spent the morning with CSS owner Susie Vitale as she walked me through her store and explained how CSS came about in 2012 when she saw a gap in how women shop. She explained that while many women gather inspiration from the designer originals, they cannot justify the cost. Rather than settle on a lesser quality product, Susie decided to create a luxury shopping experience where women could score that dream piece without any financial regrets.

As we browsed her racks we created a challenge where in 1 hour I pull together 3 head-to-toe spring-ready looks using CLEVELAND CONSIGNMENT SHOPPE finds.

Challenge?! Hello… now you’re talking.

STELLA IN STELLA

For Look #1, I wanted to create a fun, cocktail party look that wouldn’t seem too heavy or wintery, but would keep me comfortable during this weird transitional period when technically it IS spring, but it’s still straight up freezing.

Enter, Stella.

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Not me, Stella, but Stella McCartney, Stella.

This dress just called to me from the hanger in all of it’s sparkly, new-with-tags glory. Yes, this Stella McCartney lurex bell-sleeve dress (size 38, $275) is NEW. To keep the dress from skewing too summery, I added a pair of sheer, black stockings and a patent peep-toe Saint Laurent platform heel (size 40, $245) — another CSS score.

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Once dressed, this outfit made me want to dance.  Which clearly I did — just ask my photographer!

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Later in the season, I would style this dress with minimal single strap nude sandals and a bare (spray tanned!) leg for a warm weather, evening look.

SUEDE LAYERS

This next look was definitely a more casual departure and a great way to incorporate some of your favorite summer tunics into the spring.

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For Look #2, one of the first pieces that I pulled was this soft Vince suede tunic (SOLD) — it was just very “me.” Another thing that is very “me” this time of year, is transparently pale skin. Rather than wear the suede tunic dress bare legged, I thought about layering it over my favorite pair of white skinny jeans and accenting it with a very on-trend, white bandana neck scarf. I completed the look with some of the most comfortable (like-new) tan Christian Louboutin cork sandals (size 38, $295) I have ever worn.

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Oh, and we can’t NOT mention this amazing Stella McCartney quilted denim “Falbella” bag ($725)— how perfect for summer is THIS? It was sitting pretty in one of CSS’s displays in pristine condition and at a major discount off the designer original price!

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Once the temperature rises, this tunic can be worn solo with a pair of casual, flat, grecian-inspired sandals for a comfortable and stylish summer look.

MOTO STRIPES

One of the most versatile spring staples is a good, lightweight trench coat. When I came across this little, swingy, Theory cropped jacket (size P, $55), I knew it would be a key piece for my final look! While we’re all familiar with the more traditional, long trench silhouette, this Theory version was just a bit less corporate and a whole lot more fun for a busy woman on the go.

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Now, I need to tell you about these jeans. They are the softest, most comfortable, figure flattering pair of denim I have tried on in a while. With moto details, these Etienne Marcel zip moto skinnies (Size 27, $75) are currently available in stores… but prepare to spend almost triple the CSS price!

Here are the jeans from the back — the obligatory bootie shot. The pockets and seaming are just so flattering!

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By now, you may have noticed the shoes. I was hesitant at first to try on these sky high YSL platform ankle strap heels (size 38.5, $339), but they are SO COMFORTABLE. I can’t say I’d run errands in them all day, but they are a great night out option with serious sex appeal. They were also in excellent, like-new condition and so flattering on the foot — who doesn’t want legs that look like they go on for miles?

build a designer wardrobe without going broke

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So there you have it.

Three designer spring transitional looks for less. Way, way, less… thanks to CLEVELAND CONSIGNMENT SHOPPE.

Since consignment shopping may be a slight departure from what you’re used to, let me give you a few takeaway tips:

  1. Come with a plan — the racks of clothing and accessories can be slightly overwhelming and it’s easy to get distracted. Have an idea of what kind of piece you’re looking for to help you focus your search.

  2. Be flexible! If you find a dream item that is a half size too big or too small, don’t hesitate to try it on! You might be surprised at how much fit varies across designers and walk away with a great purchase.

  3. Know your prices and come prepared to pull the trigger. If you’re a savvy shopper you might find an amazing diamond in the rough — a designer piece at a significant discount! Don’t let it go… because I guarantee someone else will come in and swoop it up.

  4. Stay in touch with your favorite consignment shop and keep on top of their new arrivals! Since consignment shopping is limited to the current inventory of sizes, Susie at CSS makes it as simple as possible for all of her customers, both local and nationwide, to stay in the know:

•  SUBSCRIBE to CSS email for new arrivals and exclusive promotions
•  Follow CSS on FACEBOOK for a first look at our new arrivals
•  Follow CSS on INSTAGRAM — @clevelandconsignmentshoppe
•  Text CONSIGNMENT to 49654 for exclusive offers
•  Call the store to buy — (216) 292-8778

Susie and her team are happy to send additional information, images and work with you personally if you are out of state and interested in any of the pieces featured in this post, or on any of their social media feeds!

So, which look was your favorite? Do you have any amazing consignment scores that you can share? Do tell in the comments below!

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(Disclaimer: While this post was sponsored by Cleveland Consignment Shoppe (CSS), all opinions remain my own. My readers and overall editorial integrity are the two most important aspects of The Heart’s Delight. Know that I will only promote or recommend products and services that I would personally use and/or purchase independently of this website.)

Style

The Worst Purchases I Ever Made

worst purchases ever made

Since I know my dear husband reads along daily, I preface today’s post by saying…

Sorry– my bad. Sh*t happens. Luckily, you married a woman who learns from her mistakes.

Yes, plural. M-I-S-T-A-K-E-S. (Hangs head in shame)

I talk a lot about good purchases, good bargains, good basics, good classics, etc. that you should own for both your closet, as well as your home. I want you to know that while I fully stand by my recommendations, I also will be first to admit that sometimes I don’t follow my own good shopping rules. We all make mistakes, unfortunately some are more expensive than others. I thought you guys might be entertained by a few of my worst purchases and perhaps learn a few good lessons along the way.

1) FLORAL SILK PRADA SHOES

Let me set the scene: I was 24 year old. I was working a big girl job in finance and finally making legitimate money. It was bonus season and rather than squirrel away those hard earned dollars for my future, I decided that I wanted to treat myself to something special. I made my way to the designer shoe floor of Barney’s and I proceeded to pick out the most statement making shoes I could find. They were a gorgeous art nouveau floral silk shoe with a square toe and high chunky heel- identical to those in the image above, but in a pink/green colorway. They were also close to $600. I think I wore those shoes a total of 5 times. I know. It makes me ill just thinking about it.

What it came down to is that those shoes were definitely statement makers and not something that could be easily integrated into my lifestyle (a corporate formal wardrobe by day and an alcohol soaked bar/club/lounge wardrobe by night). As pretty as they were on my shelf, that’s where they stayed… until I sold them on Ebay years later for a fraction of what I paid.

LESSON LEARNED: It’s always nice to treat yourself, but when finally splurging on a special item make sure that it’s something that can you can literally LIVE with. Does it work for your everyday? If the answer is: NO, put it down and move on. It’s not special if it just sits in your closet collecting dust.

2) LANVIN PYTHON ‘HAPPY’ BAG

You might be asking yourself, What could be wrong with a gorgeous Lanvin snakeskin bag!? Especially, one that is on 60% off sale! Are you nuts!?

No, I’m not nuts, I’m just not a Real Housewife of New York, or Beverly Hill, or Atlanta… or Cleveland for that matter! I purchased this A-MA-ZING bag 3 years ago enticed by the deal, rather than the bag itself. Kind of ironic that the bag is called the Happy bag, no?

LESSON LEARNED: I broke one of my cardinal rules: Would you want to buy the item if it were NOT on sale? If the bag were full price, I probably would have just walked right past it. There are simply so many other brands/styles that I love exponentially more for the same splurge price. I honestly like the bag a lot, but the truth is the truth. I do wear the bag on occasion, but for the money invested I can’t say it’s one of my better acquisitions.

3) YOGA PANTS

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In 2011, when I gave up my full-time job, I went ahead and cleared my closet of all of the structured pinnings of my former corporate life. Suits got given away or donated, button down blouses got pushed to the back of the closet and I decided that I needed to embrace my new casual lifestyle. I went ahead and filled my drawers with yoga pants, athletic wear and sweatshirts galore. Oh, and p.s.: I was miserable. Each morning, when I got dressed I had a mini-identity crisis.

Who am I!? What the f*ck am I doing?

The girl who always loved to dress up and wear the highest heels was now a walking, talking advertisement for Dick’s Sporting Goods. Nothing against that store, but it’s just not me (at least outside of the gym). My heart was seriously lacking some delight in the style department.

LESSON LEARNED: Don’t dress for anyone but yourself. It’s as plain as that. I purchased all of those yoga pants thinking that’s what everyone expected a midwestern stay-at-home mom to wear. It took a few months to rediscover my personal style (and myself) but I quickly realized that I could and SHOULD wear what made me happy, not what made me fit into some hypothetical mold.

So there you go… my worst of the worst.

I feel much better now that I’ve come clean. Now, I KNOW I’m not the only one out there who’s made some questionable decisions when it comes to shopping! So go ahead… spill it.

What’s the worst purchase YOU ever made?

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(header image via)

 

 

Style

Black + White

black white monochrome look for less The Heart's Delight Stella Compiseno

Are you guys freezing yet?!

Cleveland has gone from sunny and 65 degrees to snow showers and deep freeze in less than 48 hours… which makes the matter of picking out an outfit each morning even more challenging. While the barometer may be all over the place, one constant that remains is my love for black + white. Mixed, or monochromatic, I instantly feel put together when I’m wearing these colors- or more accurately, lack of color.

Here’s a little style insider info as well: you can get away with some major style steals when dressing in these colors! While designer brights and prints are actually VERY difficult to closely replicate at lower price points, black + white pieces are easily interpreted at a fraction of the price of the designer original. Basically, a bargain shoe, bag, dress, sweater, etc. looks much richer and better in quality when produced in black + white.

Here are two designer “splurge” looks I’m lusting over, and of course, my “steal” interpretations:

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Scee by Twin Set SWEATER// Muse SKIRT // Zara BOOTIES // Rebecca Minkoff BAG // ASOS SUNGLASSES

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UNIQLO T-SHIRT // Mango SWEATER // Forever 21 JEANS// Nine West BOOTIES // J.Crew HAT// Forever 21 SUNGLASSES

Use this post as friendly reminder that you don’t need wads of money to have great style… even in the cold!

Stay warm, peeps.

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