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Check Out Designer Consignment Deals at

25 Oct

I’m a big fan of thrifting.  You get the quality of designer clothing at a reasonable price, and by recycling former-owned items, you can celebrate the environment as well as fashion. I can definitely vouch that pre-loved designer items have treated me well.

However, there is perhaps one downside: the thrill of the thrifting hunt requires a measure of patience. Luckily, if you don’t have time to comb through your local Goodwill or flea market, there are tons of online designer consignment stores that will do the digging for you. One of our favorites is Launched just over a year ago by a fashion industry vet and her graphic designer husband, Covet specializes in designer finds from names like Chanel, Zac Posen, and so on and so forth. The store offers pre-loved clothing, shoes, bags, and accessories, including these brand new Burberry plaid gloves (only $105!), which were featured in In Style‘s  November issue.

Here’s a quick run-down on the fine print: First of all, Covet guarantees the authenticity of each item, and offers an easy return policy (notify them of the return within 24 hours of receiving it, and then return it within 14 days). The store also gives each item a Condition Rating–from 5 to 1 stars–that describes how much love the item previously received. 5 stars indicates brand new with no wear (like the Burberry gloves, these items usually have the original tag still attached), while 1 star items are in fair condition (they likely show flaws that may be cleaned or repaired). We didn’t find any 1 star items posted–all the merchandise seemed to be 5, 4, or 3 stars. Finally, the merchandise changes daily, so if you like what you see, consider signing up for their new product email alerts.

So what did we find? We were most impressed with Covet’s dress offerings. For casual to formal occasions, Covet had a great range of dresses.  Here are our top three picks:

  • This Fisherman Sweater Dress from Thread Social is a great pick for fall and winter. The turtleneck knit top and wool skirt will keep you cozy and at $235 (originally $680) you’ll be able to keep more cash tucked away for a rainy (or snowy) day.

  • Looking for something for a special occasion? Check out this Ruched Cocktail Dress from Marc Jacobs for $240 (originally $1,200–that’s almost $1000 off!). The black silk is gathered at the front to form a delicate rose detail, while an exposed zipper in the back gives the dress some edge.


The off-the-shoulder neckline is very flattering.

Whether you visit Covet to shop or window shop, we have the feeling you won’t be disappointed.

What Does Birth Control have to do with Shoes? Ask Designer Martha Davis.

9 Aug

Credit: Paul Chinn

You may not know the name Martha Davis yet. But, you probably know her design.

Before making the leap into shoes, Davis, who studied sculpture as a grad student at the Rhode Island School of Design, spent the past twenty years making a name for herself in the industrial design world. She built an award-winning career working on design projects for clients like Coca Cola, Sony, and Alessi. Even though many women aren’t familiar with her name, they know her work; Davis is behind the innovative redesign of the Dialpak birth control packaging for Johnson and Johnson’s Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical. Ten years ago, Ortho had 11 oral contraceptives, but Davis was able to design one universal package for all the brands that is refillable and recyclable, saving billions of pounds of plastic and making birth control more accessible and easier to use for many women.

So, long story short, Davis had a successful career. But, something was missing. Shoes, to be specific. That’s right–in 2005, Davis realized she couldn’t find a pair of shoes that were both comfortable and beautiful anywhere. This frustration ultimately led her to enroll at Milan’s Ars Sutoria in 2007, where she spent a year mastering the art of Italian shoe-making. Immediately Davis realized that footwear was a perfect fit for her, as it combined the challenge of functionality with creative sculptural possibilities. She launched her own line of sculptural shoes and boot in 2008, and it has been generating buzz ever since.

These #23 strappy leather sandals with wooden heels, a signature piece in Davis' latest collection, are on sale for $235 at GimmeShoes (originally priced at $588).

I like the unexpected factor in Davis’ designs. Whether it’s proportions, structure, or materials, I find myself drawn to the part of her designs that are “off” in a good way. For example, the positioning of the wooden heels in Davis’ #23 strappy sandals (picture above) makes me think of the wooden legs of an armchair chair. With the zip up back these shoes have a very industrial meets organic feel.

These emerald green peep toe booties are also on sale for $223 at GimmeShoes.

The peep toe cut-outs in these booties are another example of how Davis likes to break the rules. While these cut-outs are very feminine, Davis’ indented wooden heel again evoke a more masculine, functional feeling of an armchair’s wooden legs.

Here’s another example of Davis playing with cutouts, as well as color blocking, to bring visual interest to sandals:

I like Davis’ color blocking strategy of using the bright green and purple straps around the ankle with the more neutral metallic shades around the toes. Having that pop of color around your ankle draws the eye up the leg to give you an extra boost of height beyond what the heel offers. You’ll benefit from the illusion of looking taller, and, theoretically, thinner (yes! that magic word).

The more you examine Davis’ design, the more you appreciate her interest in illusion. Besides working with indented heels, Davis likes to incorporate “hidden” heels into her design, like in these green wedges:
In these shoes, the platform of the wedge heel is hidden in the design. This small little detail adds a touch of mystery and strangeness to what might otherwise be a same-old, same-old wedge.

As Davis says, “The fun thing about shoes is that you can do something delightful with them that can completely change the product and how people feel about it.” We love her arrestingly fresh designs and hope she continues to do intriguing, rule-breaking things with shoes. We can’t wait to see what’s next!

Feel like you’re not doing enough with your life? Wait till you hear about New Dress a Day

25 Jul

You know those moments when you’re catching up with a friend or colleague and discover they’re taking a photography class on the weekends, volunteering at the animal shelter after work, and becoming a certified Yoga instructor in their spare time? You suddenly feel like a bum.

Well, wait till you hear about Marisa of New Dress a Day, an incredible blog that I have to share. Marisa is undertaking a really cool project–she’s refashioning an old dress a day for an entire year, and she’s doing it for only $1 a dress (each piece comes from the flea market or a neighborhood garage sale).

After browsing through her posts, I feel like I can no longer legitimately go to my closet and complain that I’m broke and have nothing to wear. Marisa takes on what she calls “atrosh” dresses–’80s bridal gowns, bridesmaids dresses, shapeless XXL muumuus–and completely transforms them. Check out this winner from Day 149. As with each entry, Marisa starts by giving us a Before picture:

picture credit: New Dress A Day

Then she works her magic. She removes large and in charge shoulder pads, shortens hems, creates belts from leftover fabric, reworks sleeves, changes necklines, and more. Here’s Day 149, After:

picture credit: New Dress A Day

Check out a zoom-in on these awesome pockets:

picture credit: New Dress A Day

According to an interview on Independent Fashion Bloggers’s site, Marisa was inspired to start this project after attending a screening of Julie & Julia. She says, “I had just gotten laid off, was getting ready to turn 30 and was in a complete creative funk. I left the movie and was jealous that Julie Powell had found something to get her creative juices flowing on a daily basis. I knew that I needed to do something too.”

So far, New Dress A Day has given the world 238 refashioned dresses. There are 127 days and $126 left to go.

Marisa, I have to say that you’ve made me feel a bit like a bum–but you’ve also inspired me to get my creative juices flowing more too. I admire the creative commitment this project requires, and I’m inspired by the possibilities of recycled/green fashion that you’ve shown us. I’m looking forward to following the New Dress A Day project for the rest of the year. Keep it up!