Posts Categorized: this week i love

This Week I Love …

Freebird by Steven.

So Steve Madden, right? I remember the 90s and how having a pair of his shoes was a BIG DEAL back then. (At least to teenagers such as myself.) And then the brand shifted out of favor for a while, and now it’s just a mainstream, accessible, solid brand. (My most worn pair of shoes is by Steve Madden.)

But Freebird by Steven – a newish offshoot of the parent brand – is a different story. For one thing, it’s WAY more expensive, so always poke around Amazon and eBay before pulling the trigger. But for another, the designs are edgy and tough, made from gorgeously distressed leathers, and adorned with subtle details and creative hardware. I am so very smitten with this brand.

Here are a few pairs you can nab right now:

STEVEMADDEN-FREEBIRD_BOLO_COGNAC_SIDE

Bolo, $275

I used some magical combination of coupons and got these from Amazon for around half off a month or so ago. (They’re cheaper there now, too, and 6pm has a few pairs at half off.) They are even more gorgeous in person, though that 3″ wood block heel isn’t exactly the comfiest. Still can’t wait to pair them with dresses or tees and jeans for summer. Also love the similar Hustle style.

freebird dakota boot

Dakota, $166.21 – $231.90

Love the detailing on this boot, from the wrapped strap to the x-stitched front panel to the back zipper. These also come in black or tan, but this dusty gray will be fantastic for spring and summer wear.

freebird sandals

Wing, $195

Some of the sandal styles are a little too clunky for my taste, but this strappy heel is stunning. More on the casual end of the spectrum so perhaps not ideal for dressy nights out, but perfect for edgy warm-weather looks. More sizes and black version at Bloomingdale’s.

STEVEMADDEN-FREEBIRD_BOULDER_TAN_SIDE

Boulder, $285

I’ve sworn off mid-calf engineer boots, but the combination of medium height and chunky heel on this boot intrigues me. This rich tan is another versatile spring/summer shade for boots, but the Boulder also comes in stone, a dark red-brown, and weathered black.

freebird by steven coal

Coal, $350

So much money, but SO AMAZING. This pair is quite tall at 17″, but would be equally amazing with Boho and rocker chic looks. Fold over the top of the boot shaft to mix it up. This burnished cognac is breathtaking, but these also come in black.

freebird phoenix

Phoenix Low, $275

I know the crusty, weathered, post-apocalyptic look isn’t for everyone, but it gets me every time. And that distressed finish has just a hint of metallic sparkle to it. SWOON. The tan and gray suede versions of this low boot have smoother finishes.

Other sources to check include Nordstrom Rack, 6pm.com, Nordstrom, Shopbop, Shoes.com, Onlineshoes, and Zappos some of which carry exclusive or past-season styles.

Anyone else tracking Freebird by Steven? Thoughts on the styles?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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This Week I Love …

mn1-out-lg

… upfront payout consignment stores.

I’ve been consigning my clothes for many years now, and used to take ALL of my stuff to the Turn Style stores. I’d had decent luck, though the consignment model was a little frustrating: I brought in my items, buyers looked them over, took what they wanted, put them on the floor, and IF someone bought them I could collect my percentage two weeks later. If no one bought them, I could pick them up at the end of the season. Fair, certainly, but long and sometimes fruitless.

When I purge my closet, I follow these guidelines: Anything more than a few years old goes to thrift and charity stores, anything with a recognizable and covetable brand name (Fluevog, Frye) goes to eBay, but the in-betweeners go to consignment. Items that are relatively new and in good shape, but too much trouble to list on eBay. Late last year when I began transitioning my style in earnest, I decided to branch out and try a few other consignment options. And I’m ever so glad I did.

Chains like Style EncoreBuffalo Exchange, Clothes Mentor, Plato’s Closet, Crossroads, and Everyday People run things a little differently. You bring in your items, buyers look them over, make you a cash or trade offer for the items they want to take, and you leave the store with cash and any rejects. Percentages vary from store to store, but in most cases you’ll be offered between 30% and 50% of the planned selling price. And, ya know, no waiting to see if you’ll get paid or not.

What I’ve learned about upfront payout consignment stores:

  • Call ahead to find out what they’re most interested in buying. If they’re full up on boots and you bring them five pairs, they’ll pass. Especially if storage is limited.
  • Some chains buy for all seasons year-round, but others are season-specific. Make sure you know your shops’ preferences.
  • Most stores want stuff that was made within the past two years, especially when it comes to clothes. They can be a little more lenient with shoes and accessories.
  • Wear and tear will work against you. If a sweater is drowning in pills or shoes could really stand a new heel tip, be prepared for passes.
  • Many stores have specialties and they influence buying behaviors. The obvious one is Plato’s Closet which caters to tweens and teens, but some are subtler. Most Clothes Mentor stores focus on mid-market, mall, workwear items, but Buffalo Exchanges often take covetable vintage items.
  • If you can, make a day of it. Pack up your consignables, start with your favorite store, and then take your rejects around to any other nearby stores. (If you’re like me, after about three stores you’ll be ready to surrender the leftovers to your favorite thrift shop.)

Anyone else consign with cash-payout stores? Are there any other chains I’m missing? Folks outside the U.S., do your consignment shops typically pay you out immediately or wait to see if your items sell?

Image courtesy Buffalo Exchange.

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This Week I Love …

… Halle Berry.

For many years, I was unable to identify a style icon. I loved bits and pieces from various women’s personal styles, but I never did land on a single person who dressed exactly as I wished to. But now? It’s Halle Berry. All the way. I am yet to find someone who does creative badassery any better, and her outfits always look comfortable, chic, and re-create-able.

halle berry outfits 1

one | two | three

Interesting proportions, asymmetry, amazing boots, mixed prints. Gah, I love it ALL.

halle berry outfits 2

one | two | three

Variations on a (truly fabulous) theme: Leather jacket, scarf/cowl, tunic, leggings, boots. I’ve had the photo on the left in my inspiration binder for almost five years. Love those Fiorentini + Bakers.

halle berry outfits 3

one | two | three

Drop-crotch pants, a studded belt, and a boatneck sweater. AMAZING. And neutrals all around, but never boring.

I’ve never cared much for red carpet style, and seldom see celebrity street style that inspires me. Halle doesn’t knock it out of the park every time, but even her oddly proportioned outfits look comfortable and interesting. She’s a stellar actress, supports 20 charities including domestic violence intervention, and at 49 pushes back on Hollywood’s tendency to ignore actresses over 40. Also? I feel like she’d be SO FUN to hang out with. And she loves French fries, so clearly we’d be friends.

Anyone else love Halle’s edgy-cool casual looks? Which one of these is your favorite?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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