Couture vs. Cheapskate: Grey Lace Tote

Can you guess which tote costs $3495 vs. $68?

Tote A


Tote B

To see results, click here.

Old Navy: Buy One Get One 50% Off

Old Navy is celebrating the new format of their stores by offering Buy One, Get One 50% Off throughout the entire store.

This is perfect timing because I have been dying to see these newly arrived necklaces in-person:

Old Navy BOGO

CC Goes Royal

I know.  It is everywhere and maybe this was your safe haven when everywhere else is Royal Wedding obsessed.  However, after staying basically uninterested up until today, I have to admit I was very moved and impressed with Kate Middleton this morning.  Her poise and grace made me teary.

Fine.  It was also her gown and tiara.

William and Kate Union Jack Throw Pillow
$149 at Amazon.com To Buy

For one, her dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen was breathtaking; a refreshing return to classic, modern elegance so often overlooked for envelope pushing fashion.  Also a touching nod to Britain's iconic designer who tragically passed last year.   She just seems like such a class act.

But don't let Kate steal the show, the belts on Prince William and Harry's uniforms are the show-stopping statement accessory.  I mean bows and knots?  How do we get a CC version of this?

I have to hand it to Princess Beatrice of York.  I love her outfit.  The blush ensemble with silk pleated skirt and crocheted topper is to die for.  I should have known it was by Valentino!  Not to mention that hat by Philip Treacy is what everyone is talking about.

All morning long I wished I had ordered these mugs to sip my coffee from:

King's Road Redux from Rosanna, Inc.
Currently Out of Stock To Buy

Okay now that I got that out of my system...back to our normally scheduled program.


Champagne Celebration Week: The Dramatic Conclusion

So officially it has been a week and 2 days but why cut the party short?

Before the winner of the very intense and extremely popular first ever Couture Cheapskate winner is revealed, I want to highlight one new purchase that is Champagne-oriented.

fresh Citron de Vigne Eau de Parfum
$32 at fresh.com To Buy

Someone brought this fragrance to a meeting and I spent the whole time distracted sniffing the bottle.  It was tres professional. Then I decided I would be that obnoxious person who decides to douse themselves while other people are discussing urgent matters.  That being said, people other than myself also commented on how nice this fragrance smelled.

Also available in rollerball for $18.50 To Buy

Inspired by the Champagne region of France, somehow this scent is a combo of pinot noir, with orange and pink grapefruit and a base of patchouli and sandalwood.  Typically I don't love some of those ingredients and when mentioned together, sound weird, but I love this fragrance.  It is fresh, a little fruity and very light.  Perfect for those who prefer a subtle fragrance and don't want to feel like their perfume is wearing them.

Someone even came into my office yesterday and asked what smelled so good?

Duh.  Me.

So I will celebrate anything that elicits a casual compliment here or there.

And I will celebrate the winner of the first CC giveaway!

(If you knew how long it took me to figure out how to do this...)

Congratulations to reader Karen!  You are the proud owner of a new Maybelline eyeshadow quad and pair of tights...save 'em for Fall!

Thank you for commenting, celebrating and couture cheapskating!


Have a Nice Easter Weekend

Have a nice Easter Weekend!

Rhinestone Bunny Ring
$4.80 at Forever21 To Buy

Philosophy Spring has Sprung! Gift Set
$25 at Sephora To Buy

See you Monday!  

Weekend Uniform: Coral Ikat Scarf

Nothing makes me happier than stumbling across an affordable accessory that can upgrade my otherwise basic weekend uniform.

Navajo Woven Scarf
$6.50 at Forever21 To Buy

On any given weekend in the spring, you can usually find me in some version of a denim bottom and white top.  Denim flares and a white linen tunic keep it casual and comfortable; two critical components for any weekend uniform.  To complete the look mix in this scarf, simple jewelry and a pair of cute flats to run around your local farmer's market or hang in your backyard reading magazines.  I recommend a crossbody bag for convenience and definitely a pair of aviators.

Mini Linen-Blend Saddle Bag
$15 at Old Navy To Buy

The best part of this weekend uniform, besides its simplicity, is its ageless quality.  Women of all ages will look chic and can interpret each piece in a way that fits their style.  Even better?  I bet you have all of these items in your closet right now which means you don't have to spend a dime.

But for $6.50 I say add this coral ikat scarf to your collection for an easy, trendy update to your weekend uniform.

CC Tip:  This scarf is currently in-stores but will sell out fast.  Of course you can always buy online.  Also available in 4 equally cool colors.

Crisp Champagne Candle

Champagne Celebration Week continues with a new candle I am currently loving.

Voluspa candle in Crisp Champagne
$22.50 - $35 at Bloomingdale's To Buy

Of course after falling in love with the Voluspa Italian Tangelo candle I had to sample more from their collection.  Because I am drawn to anything related to the bubbly I had to give the Crisp Champagne a try.

I am glad I did. 

In the past when I have tried something champagne-scented, I have been disappointed because it smells too tangy.  This candle is more sweet and subtle.  The champagne scent is mixed with vanilla and oak for balance to keep it from going too tart.  It is perfect when you want a candle that gives off a light scent but does not overpower the room.  Ideal for small spaces and those sensitive to fragrance.

Cheers Crisp Champagne candle!  We celebrate your elegance and fun-loving spirit. 

Sounds like some CCs I know... 

CC Tip:  Voluspa candles are sold at Anthropologie in smaller tins for $16 if you want to test run a candle before committing to a larger size.  An 11 oz. tin has an 80 hour burn time.


CC On the Sale Rack: Gap

If you are going to be out and about this weekend, I recommend stopping by the Gap.  Practically the entire store is on sale allowing you to pick-up some easy pieces for Spring and beyond.

Including the vintage flare jeans I feature in a lot of my posts:

Gap Vintage Flare Jeans
$48.99 in-store To Buy

Bought a pair of flats to pair with my new denim capris and black skinny pants:

Gap City Flat
$15.99 in-store To Buy

I also bought an adorable brown leather belt with studs on the buckle that I do not see online for $10.  I've said it before that Gap has my favorite belts.  Excellent quality for the price.  And I always snatch 1 or 2 cute ones up during a good sale...such as now...and wear throughout the year.

Everything is on sale from jeans to denim jackets and ribbed tanks to sweaters.  Definitely worth a swing by when out and about this weekend.

I plan to do a second trip to a different Gap tomorrow.  I have no self control.

Let me know what you buy!

Coral Beaded Sandal

So I am not a frequent Lord & Taylor shopper but I will tell you one thing: they have a great shoe department.  L&T have an excellent selection of affordable shoes and brands that most other department stores do not carry.  While on a recent visit I found these:

Matisse "Lucia" Beaded Flat Sandal
$69 at Lord & Taylor To Buy
(Also available in a turquoise/white combo)

I feel like I am constantly saying this but in this case it couldn't be more true:  this picture does not do the sandal justice.  I recommend checking out the link for a better view.  What I hope you will notice is the tiny little layer of rhinestones lining each ring.  The sandal itself is so delicate, pretty and feminine while still staying true to it's tribal origins.  The perfect embodiment of Spring's hot Boho Glam trend.

What I love most about these sandals, although pretty and elegant, they are incredibly versatile.  Equally perfect with sundresses, maxi dresses as a pair of jeans or cut-offs. 

Most times I recommend finding a less expensive alternative to this type of shoe, but because of the beauty and quality of this pair, I think it is worth the $70.

CC Tip:  It looks like Lord & Taylor is doing their Friends and Family Event this weekend where you can save 25% on most items excluding Cosmetics and Fragrances which appear to be 10% off.

Champagne Chicken

So I realize chicken is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of fashion, but coincidentally this week my husband and I cooked this meal from scratch, not once, but twice, since discovering it in our I Love Trader Joe's cookbook.  Quite simply...we loved it.

I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook
$13 at Barnes and Noble To Buy

If you are like me, you are always on the hunt for fast and easy meals that can be thrown together in less than a half hour.  Most of the dishes included in this cookbook fit that bill.  Plus, there are cooking tips included that are interesting.  For example, Trader Joe's pie crusts and puff pastry are made from real butter whereas most grocery store's are not.

So onto the Champagne Chicken.  (Sorry to my veggie friends...you have my permission to stop reading.)

Not mine...but hers
(This link is not the exact recipe)

To see the rest of the recipe, click here.

CC Tip:  Don't forget today is the last day to enter for the super extravagant giveaway!  We are up to 7 comments!  Each and every one is so sweet and I am so grateful for all your support.


Champagne Celebration Interruption

I would now like to interrupt this champagne celebration to alert you to a highly important fashion announcement.

JC Penney is a dress hot spot.

This whole People StyleWatch and JCP partnership has had me intrigued especially after the most recent issue featured a colorful beaded necklace that I thought would be fun for summer.  Unfortunately the necklace is not available.  Unwilling to let a trip go up in flames we wandered into the adjacent dress section and were totally impressed with the stylish selection.

nicole by Nicole Miller Print Shift Dress
$60 $30 at JCP -- no longer available online

First things first.  I love print and I love jersey but I also recognize this dress may not be everyone's cup o'tea.  But it is mine.  The print runs in such a way that it makes you look skinny and the colors I love are all there: black, brown, teal and coral.  The reason I have an affection for jersey is that it is seasonless.  Tights or no tights, this dress will always feel appropriate.  No need for accessories because the dress on its own is a star.  And I am sure you already have shoes in your closet so no added expense there.  An entire outfit for $30?  Done.  Especially because the Nicole Miller version of this dress is over $400.  The Pucci version from which all print shift dresses originate...a mere $1,395.  I will take JCP for $35, please.

Allen B. Polka Dot One Shoulder Ruffle Dress
$70 $35 at JCP -- no longer available online

Truly I cannot recall a time when a dress fit me so well.  And even though it felt made for me, I think it would work for all shapes, sizes and body types.  This dress is equal parts cute, sassy, modern and classic.  Perfect for a warm weather wedding or with tights and a blazer at the office?  Did I mention an upcoming night out in NOLA?  One detail you cannot see is that the polka dots are actually yellow which I think make the dress more playful.  If you have an incredible memory, you may recall this dress was heavily publicized during the Oscars.  I think it sold out and now they have restocked because they seemed to have quite a few in stock.  Don' wait too long though!

Scoop Neck Print Sundress
$60 $30 at JCP To Buy 

Unfortunately a lot of the dresses I tried on at the store and thought were cute are not available online so I can't fully express their beauty.  I know how hard it is to find a cute dress, at a good price, that fits well.  Basically impossible.  And trust me when I say JC Penney is the last place I thought I would find not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 dresses that I would purchase in a heart beat.  But I am thrilled with my purchases and to be pleasantly surprised.

So if you need a dress this weekend or for later on in the season, give JCP a try.

Now back to our regularly scheduled Champagne Celebration.

CC Tip:  Other inexpensive dresses tend to run short.  I was impressed with these dresses for the quality at an inexpensive price point and their longer hem.  Plus money left over to accessorize!

Champagne Week Officially Begins

What better way to celebrate the big CC Birthday than by dedicating the next few posts to life's most festive beverage?  Of course I am talking about champagne!

Christian Louboutin Champagne Flute
(no longer available to purchase)

There would be no way to even bring up the topic of champagne without mentioning my A+, #1 favorite product of my entire life.  And for those of you that know me, this should come as no surprise.

Bobbi Brown "Champagne Shimmer" Eyeshadow
$20 at Sephora and most department stores To Buy

I wish I could take credit for discovering this shadow but it was received on a tip from a co-worker who shares my same complexion.  (For those of you that don't know me...that would be pale.)  She had been looking for a shadow that was natural enough for daytime but not just a boring bone or vanilla color.  She had tried Chanel, Chantecaille and Nars to no success until she finally found our soulmate, the Champagne Shimmer.


I don't know what I could even say to do this shadow justice.

It is the perfect neutral shadow but with a bit of shimmer for brightening.  The official description is a light golden peach but it seems to pick up your natural skin tone and work with it for a flattering effect.  You can wear it alone with either a black or brown liner or on your brow bone with other warm shadows on the lid. 

Women of all skin tones and ages can wear this color because it is a universal shade.  Also, the pearlized effect is subtle and does not crease after a day's wear.  I recommend checking Champagne Shimmer out if you want an easy option in your make-up bag that you know will always work.

If I only could have 1 eyeshadow for the rest of my life, this would be it.  If you like "Kitten" eyeshadow by Stila...Bobbi Brown Champagne Shimmer is far better!

Cheers Champagne Shimmer!  I love you!

CC Tip:  Come on CCs!  We only have 2 entries for the giveaway!  Those 2 are getting a treat just for making me look like not a total a lame-o....I swear you will not be disappointed if you enter.


Oh Snap! Guess Who Is 1-Year Old Today?

In blogging world when any blog hits a birthday or anniversary (depending on how you look at it) it is customary to post an image of some sort of baked good with a candle on top.

Well this little CC is going to forgo that tradition and in it's place feature something that is so beautiful I can hardly even believe it is real.

Marc Jacobs
Quilted Little Stam To Buy

If budgets were not a factor this lady would buy this handbag as the official 1-year present to myself.  But alas it is so I will continue to pretend I own this handbag via my image gallery similar to Cher and her computerized closet.*

So to reflect on the first year of the CC, I would say the following:

Donna Karan Hosiery The Signature Collection
Perfect Opaque Tights To Buy

Would you believe these tights are my favorite thing I have bought in the last year?  Who knew hosiery could be so revolutionary?  They truly are the tight I have been searching for all my life.  To that tip from my sister-in-law...I will forever be grateful.

No clothing.  No jewels.  A pair of tights is going to go down as the best purchase of Couture Cheapskate Year 1.

And do you want to know what would come in 2nd?

Maybelline EyeShadow in Green Gardens

I seriously love this eye shadow.  The colors are beautiful and stay put without any creasing on your eyelids for an entire day.  I would venture to say the colors are equally striking after being worn for a few hours when they settle and get a bit of shimmer.  The perfect pallete of mixed metals and soft feminine florals.

So CC friends, as a token of my gratitude for your support this year, I will be hosting our First CC Giveaway! 

Leave a comment in the comments section telling CC what trend you are most looking forward to this upcoming spring or summer. 

We will pick a winner at random from the comments and they will win a pair of Donna Karan tights and the Green Gardens Eyeshadow Quad.  Last day to leave a comment is Thursday, April 21.  All lame comments will be tossed like last year's gauchos.

*Extra eyeshadow giveaway to the first reader who can correctly identify the movie being referenced.

So thank you for reading CC friends!


$20 Worth of Jewelry

As previously mentioned, sometimes when I am feeling uninspired fashion-wise I look to my my jewels to perk me up.  Given this in-between weather, jewelry is just the trick to make your outfit feel spring despite having to wear tights, closed toe shoes...and your winter coat.

Beaded Flower Bracelet
$8.80 at Forever21 To Buy
(Also available in red)

If you have noticed the "CC Radar" then you know I have had this bracelet on my Wish List for some time now.  Finally at my local F21 I noticed they were down to their last turquoise bracelet so I felt the urgency to purchase.  I played show and tell with this bracelet back at the office and many fashion experts agreed that this bracelet could easily pass for more expensive.  If living in the same case with other $80-$125 bracelets, you would not know this was only $9.

So off the Radar and onto me arm!

Shimmering Beaded Earrings
$3.80 at Forever21 To Buy
(Also available in turquoise)

I have a ton of huge beaded earrings that guess what?  Hurt my ears after wearing for 4 hours.  They are so dang heavy.  What drew me to these is their size.  They are less than 2 inches and not heavy so I can get through a whole day with them in my ears.  And of course I love yellow so these are perfect.  Not to mention their price tag is not heavy either...$4.

Glass Facets Bangle
$5.80 at Forever21 To Buy

Last but not least, another bangle.  Except this one is nice and smooth and not a liability at your local bake sale.  I have a similar version of this bracelet and I have worn it a ton so I was intrigued to see this bangle now with darker glass.  Right away I am thinking what other bangles this will work with in my collection and think it will look chic with my black turtlenecks that unfortunately I am still having to wear.  The accessories experts also agreed this was a bracelet that could easily work with your more expensive pieces...for $6!

Coral Cheeks

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in "Cabo Coral"
$24 at Sephora.com Only  To Buy

Lately I have been really feeling cream blush.  It stays put, looks natural and gives you that perfect flushed look that a powder blush just cannot capture.  I have also been playing with coral blush to stay on-trend.  Shockingly I like it and think it works well with my brown and gold shimmer shadows; layer pink powder blush over for a sun-kissed look.

Plus I went to Cabo this year so I had to have it just for the name.  Clearly I am a discerning shopper.  Also cute if you are looking for something bright, Calypso Coral also from Bobbi.

Cotton Bikini in Candy Apple Coral
$8.50 at Victoria's Secret To Buy

So you thought you could only wear coral on those cheeks?  Not so.  Coral is for all cheeks!  You can get this pattern in most of Victoria's Secret cotton bottoms as well as many other fun sea-themed patterns.  This coral pattern is also available in neon scuba blue. 


CC Stands For Cool Cat

Who is this CC Cool Cat?

Okay...if you can read then you may have guessed it is Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls as it clearly indicates on the cover of the magazine.

And not just any magazine but the cover of  the ESPN Style Report.  I did a double take when I walked past my local newsstand because I don't think I have ever seen D.Rose in anything besides a uniform or sweats.  Sadly, this issue is no longer for sale but below are most of his shots.  (Get it?  Like a basketball player takes shots?  When will this CC cleverness stop?!?) 

So you might be asking why Derrick Rose is considered CC?  Well for starters, he is wearing Balmain and has a statement rose pinned to a black blazer.  Not to mention a fabulous black leather jacket with white jeans.  I mean wouldn't we all wear that?

And swagger for days.

But more important he works his butt off and stays humble despite everyone from the President to Michael Jordan singing his praises.  I hope this CC coverage does not go to his head.  Plus he said something that really resonated with me today.

When asked why so late in the season having already clinched the #1 spot in the playoffs and most likely the best record in the NBA he still continued to try so hard, he said, "My heart won't let me stop."*

So Derrick Rose when you are done picking-up your MVP trophy if you want to swing by and pick-up your honorary title as CC's first Cool Cat, let me know.  I think the prize will be a fab belt.

Sorry to go all sporty on you today but I know a lot of you are sports fans as well as fashion fans.

And my Dad reads every word of this blog so I thought I would include something he might legitimately be interested in.

For my brother, a CC contributor, a style icon of his and all cool golfers...Ian Poulter featured in the same mag.

*My previous favorite quote was from Dwayne Wade, "Don't worry about me.  I can get hot."


Couture vs. Cheapskate: Rhinestone Friendship Bracelet

Can you guess which rhinestone friendship bracelet costs $70 versus $20?

Bracelet A


Bracelet B

To see results...click here!