Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

Cassandra’s Post: What to Wear to all these Holiday Parties?

Monday, November 22nd, 2010 11:12 am

With the holidays around the corner, there are plenty of invitations floating about for upcoming parties both work-related and purely social.  Holiday parties are of course fun and give way to meeting new people.  This also means that I will have to be mindful of my budget, as more parties requires extra funds for gifts and great holiday attire!

Let’s first look at the calendar of events:

Event # 1- December 3rd – Boyfriend’s Boss’ Holiday Party

Event # 2 – December 10th – My Company’s Holiday Party

Event # 3 – December 11th- Coworker’s Costume Holiday Party/Potluck

(What social calendar progress I am making… I said yes to all three!)

The first event is taking place at the boss’ house and there is a possibility of being outside on a cooler evening.  In contrast, my work’s holiday party is going be a cocktail party indoors and although no one of the same crowd (other than my boyfriend and me) will be attending both, I couldn’t possibly wear the same thing!  The third party is a costume party where attendees are two dress up as anything relating to Christmas i.e. ornaments, famous characters, traditional Christmas food, etc.  It goes without saying that it is going to take some creativity, so it’s good that I’m planning now.  On top of that, I am to bring a dish and a present for the gift exchange.  Sheesh!  Being a social butterfly takes planning especially if I don’t want to be too stressed to enjoy myself, not to mention be appropriately stylish.

Dress for Success Plan:

Event # 1 – Since this is somewhat of a casual scene I could pull off wearing jean but better yet, why not my newly tailored skinny pants?  Paired with a light sweater in a festive color and my new pashmina (a recent gift from my boss!) would give me plenty of style and still keep me comfortable and warm outside.  Plus wearing pieces I already own will allow me to stay on budget and save my clothes budget for Event # 2 and 3.  What is great about this outfit is that I can wear flats or dress it up with heels depending on how “dressy” my boyfriend attire is.

Event # 2 – An evening of cocktails and fashion savvy professionals would be the perfect occasion for a little black dress with a little sparkle.  With Black Friday coming up and a shopping date already planned with a friend, this will be the perfect opportunity to get a dress without breaking the bank and maybe have enough for a new pair of shoes, too.

Event # 3 – I was so excited to be invited to a coworker’s party.  I’m really starting feel a part of the team and now it seems that I’ve been successful in making some friends too.  Despite this being a creative and friendly engagement, I want to make sure I still make an excellent impression on my host and attendees.  The great thing is that confidence won’t be a problem since everyone is required to wear a goofy costume.  That being said, I’ve been thinking up ideas that are still unique and creative but will still be comfortable throughout the evening.  To cut costs and rather than rent a costume that someone else may already have, I’ll make the majority of the costume myself and buy the embellishments on discount!

With three upcoming parties and plenty of networking opportunities at each of them, I’ve been extra motivated not to get sucked into gaining holiday weight but still enjoy myself.  I’ve been doing great at meeting my four times a week gym goal (okay, you caught me; last week I could only make it three times).  A huge step in my progress happened when I solicited the help of a trainer to show me how to use a new machine at the gym.  Much like a scared animal, I had been circumventing the machine’s area fully aware of its potential to step up my gym routine, but had no clue how to use it.

The result of speaking up and asking was that I ended up getting my own mini training session—for free!  He showed me not only how to use the machine properly but how using it in conjunction with another set of machines would really help me target strengthening and leaning out my legs.  While it didn’t hurt to ask the trainer how to use the machine, even after a short twenty minute session with the trainer, my legs were so sore the next two days! Gym tip: Pick a machine you’ve never used at your gym and ask a trainer how to properly use the machine in your workout.

Cassandra Altman

Ask GGG: Are my platforms too high for work?

Monday, November 8th, 2010 10:42 am

Dear GGG, How high is too high of a heel for a law office? I have a pair of sky-high chunky platforms that I’m dying to wear, but I’m not sure if they’re too over-the-top. And what about if I’m going to court? — Paula*, age 34, Chicago

Hi Paula! When it comes to office attire, you can follow the same maxim for good writing: When it doubt, cut it out! I’m all for self-expression, and shoes are one of the best sartorial ways us gals get to do that at work. But if it feels more like a date-night shoe rather than a conference room shoe, it probably is. A four-inch height stiletto (plus, maybe, a 1/2 inch platform like the Nine West pump at left) is probably your max, with a slightly lower, thicker heel best for court. Definitely don’t wear shoes to work that could verge on, well, stripper heels. What exactly constitutes a stripper heel?! You know it when you see it. It’s a combination of shoe material (perhaps patent, Lucite, or anything shiny), heel height and thickness (about 5 inches by 1 inch), and platform (at least ½ an inch).

Have a question for GGG? Email!

Photo: Nordstrom

Designer Rachel Roy on Looking Rich for Less (and more)

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010 11:37 am

The designer of several eponymous collections–including her new affordably-priced Rachel Rachel Roy line at Macy’s– shares a bit of what she’s learned about work, life, and looking great.

What elements does an item of clothing need to look expensive even when it’s not?

As a shopper, you should look for good fabric–how it feels when you touch it–and try the piece on to see how it’s constructed. You still might have to get it altered for a little more cost, but tailoring helps the piece look richer right away. Also, check the stitch. If a designer uses a very thin thread, it looks much cheaper than a nice, thick thread. You hear about thread count with sheets, and it’s the same with stitches. If the thread is thicker, I find it makes the garment look richer. Those are little touches I try to give to my [Macy's] collection.

What did you learn back as an intern at Rocawear that prepared you for running your own business?

I learned so much! I think when you work in every department, even departments you don’t like, you learn to appreciate every position.  Working in, for example, the mailroom and in marketing, I learned seemingly little things like how much messengers cost and what time FedEx closes. But those are the things that you actually need to know to run your own company. Also, I’m used to the long hours because I did intern. Now, I don’t mind the hours because I’m working for myself.

You recently told Vogue that you don’t make the gym an utmost priority given your busy schedule as a mom of two daughters.  How do you keep it all together, so to speak?

It’s not easy. I do take it one day at a time, and try to make time for myself, literally just “mind-melting.” Some people call it meditation; I call it mind-melt. Everyday for a few moments (not even 10 minutes if I don’t have it) I either talk to myself or, since I’m a bit spiritual, I talk to God, just trying to put everything into alignment. I also do deep breathing. All of these things sound so corny that I hate kind of listing them, but if you try it when you’re alone–just a deep breath, or sitting up straight–it works. It calms me, and I’m able to be more present for the people that deserve it, like my two little girls.  They deserve a really active, present mom. So, that’s what keeps me going.

To learn more about Rachel, visit

Photo Credit: Barry Williams

Bargain Shopping tips via ABC News

Thursday, May 20th, 2010 4:42 pm

Spoke about summer bargain shopping on ABC’s Good Money yesterday. Some quick tips include look at cost vs. cost per wear, if possible wait 24-hours before you buy, and try to stick to brands you already wear (saves time and money). Also, check out all the online membership only sample sales. Gilt Groupe is my personal fave!

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more about “Shop ‘n’ Save“, posted with vodpod

GGG Finds: A few recent favorite things

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009 4:17 pm

Visiting around the country for the book tour I’ve discovered lots of fun, useful items.  All of the following are Go-Getter Girl approved!

  1. Luna Bar “Minis”: only 80 calories, for when you only need two bites of healthy goodness, not a full energy bar. So cute and delish.
  2. MedeTate by DERMAdoctor: So far, these pantent-pending, anti-sweat towlettes REALLY DO work, more effective than Secret or Degree Clinical Strength, et al. I almost can’t believe it.
  3. Searle Collection dresses. Compliment-getting sheath dresses that are smart/sophisticated/sexy and come in great jewel colors. Found mine for under $200 at Tootsie’s, but seems like they might be more expensive online, not sure why.
  4. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser: A gentle, non-drying cleanser that gets eye makeup off. Yummy fragrance, too.
  5. CVS spray hand sanitizer: Non-slimy and discreet anti-germ solution.
  6. Moleskin Ruled Notebooks. I’m a fan of the Moleskin Reporter notebooks, and received these lovely, thin red journals as a gift from Books, Inc. in San Francisco. Can’t wait to use them!