A few months ago, my coworkers and I started parking in a garage a couple blocks from the office. It's surrounded by constant construction so we have to hoof it quite a bit to get into work.
I try not to complain too much about this, even though we regularly make jokes about calling an Uber to get to our car. The exercise and fresh air is good, and building an extra five minutes into my routine has been a positive thing for this perpetually late person.
However, it has made me rethink some of my footwear. I realize this is something people in big cities have had to consider since the dawn of time, but I can only speak to my own reality. Walking in heels stinks!
Anymore, if I wear pumps, I also bring a pair of flats for the walk in. And more often than not, I just don't wear pumps at all.
My latest fave is the stacked heel, which just happens to be super trendy for summer. I'm living in these $28 ankle strap wedges from Target. They're dressy enough for work, trendy enough to make me feel relevant and comfortable enough to hoof it to the parking garage.
Saturday, you have to rest from all that dancing to Don't Hurt Yourself and Get Me Bodied (at least, I hope).
This leaves you Sunday with time to kill and money to spend (at least, I hope).
If you're in downtown St. Petersburg, you might check out the Spring Down Central Shop Hop that afternoon. I just learned about it on Instagram.
Participating stores include Ashe Couture, Misred Outfitters, Florida CraftArt, Paper Street Market, ZaZoo'd, Strands of Sunshine, Plain Jane and Milagros. That's a nice mix of clothing boutiques for women, antiques, craft gifts and eclectic home decor.
If you visit each one, you could win "an amazing gift basket." I don't know what that entails, but given the stores involved, it sounds like something I would like. (Alas, I am out of town — one less person for your to go up against.)
Frankly, I think she looks great. Check out her review of the line on Soundcheck, along with the brave photo. And check out the rest of Soundcheck for a weeklong party of all things Beyonce as we get ready for her show on Friday at Raymond James Stadium. I bought new jorts for the event and everything.
Lately, I've been really into dresses. We're at that point in the Land of No Seasons when it's kinda spring-ish in the mornings and nights, and pretty hot the rest of the time. Dresses are just the thing. I'm also constantly reminded how great they are for making it look like you put effort into your outfit when really you put on/had to coordinate less pieces than a pants-shirt or pants-skirt combo.
This number is a fit-and-flare dress from Macy's Maison Jules' line, which I have come to adore recently. It's similar to this one (which I, erm, also bought). They were both on clearance about a month ago, and with another coupon the grand total for today's outfit came to about $15. My favorite part is the pink tulip pattern set over a black dress, which called to mind these darker florals we wrote about last summer. I also appreciate the comfortability and work-appropriateness of the sleeves.
Oh, I have buried the lead: IT ALSO HAS POCKETS. …
Before a Chanel show in Paris. Should have been on the runway.
Prince pushed boundaries not only in music but also fashion. Everybody loved his look but few tried to duplicate it because, well, who could?
"There was nothing too outrageous," his stylist Michaela Angela Davis told the Today show. When they were working together he didn't talk about how he wanted to look as much as how he wanted to feel, she said.
"He made you feel free," Davis added.
This brings me to one of my favorite, and a lesserknown, Pince songs.
Free... "Be glad that you are free. There's many a man who's not. Be glad for what you've had, baby, for what you've got."
Fortunatley there are numerous artists who teach use to be free in how we dress and think. But there's a thin line between being free and being stupid looking. Perhaps what Prince taught us by the way he carried his 5-foot-2-inch androgynous frame, be it in high heels and lace or shirtless with leather pants, is that if you appear confident as hell you can carry anything off.
Nemely Quiroz, 27, tries on a dress with the help of mom Maria Amanda Quiroz, left, and friend Estefania Urrea, 23, at Goodwill's annual Wedding Gala.
It's Wednesday, time to start thinking about where you're going to shop this week. (But isn't that every day? I digress.) Here are some events worth noting:
MODEST MATRIMONY: SAY YES FOR LESS It's back! Brides on a budget can view a selection of new designer bridal gowns, formal and cocktail dresses all priced $400 or less. I've been, and it's super organized and fun and 100 percent worth it. Just be sure to line up early or you may just see your dress of dreams leave in another bride's arms. Benefits training programs of Goodwill-Suncoast. Free. Goodwill, 16432 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. (727) 535-2578. 6 a.m. Friday. goodwill-suncoast.org. …
Photo by Brittany Volk | Times designer, blogger, cooking contributor, Divas photographer
So we established Stitch Fix isn't for everyone. After two boxes, I'm not sure it's for me. But I can tell you one thing: They nailed these cropped pants.
Much like the $16 Amazon curling wand, these pants have dramatically improved my workday appearance game, so much so I heard everyone is calling 2016 the Year of Brave New Katie.
I had been wanting a break from my Express Editor trousers in black and taupe, which only look good with heels. I don't wear heels to work too much, as my bulky bag for the cobbler will tell you, as the wear goes down dramatically when you wear them every day. I mentioned to my Stitch Fix stylist that I may be wiling to try cropped pants that would look better with flats and wedges.
Score. I can't even pretend the Liverpool William straight-leg trousers were a good deal, because they weren't. Deep breath. $98. BUT. I think pants — especially flattering, professional, wear once-a-week (or more), #obssessed, didn't even have to try them on or leave my house to own them — are well worth the cost. …
It was a first for this Deal Diva. A former state legislator and current college dean asked me where I got my dress.
I wore a Nanette Lepore sleeveless frock emblazoned with postcards of bull fighters to the recent celebration of the 50th birthday of USF St. Petersburg. I had worn it a few days before to the Vinos de Dali party at the Dali museum. I decided the dress did double duty honoring the Spanish artist's taste for bull fighting as well as the USF mascot.
Bill Heller, dean of the school's College of Education who served two terms in the Florida House, spotted the bull motif when I was going through the buffet line. (Full disclosure: it was my second trip.)
"Where did you get your dress," he asked me, explaining that his daughter is a "Dali freak."
I was glad to be able to brag about my fab find to the thoughtful dad. I got it from Nordstramrack.com marked down to $99 from $415. Still not exactly cheap but well worth it to me for a fun dress that I will wear often. And yes, people do remember a novelty print like that more easily than a subdued solid. But I don't care. Bill, Nanette and I love it. I think Salvador would too.
USE YOUR NEEDLE: RECORD STORE DAY Saturday is Record Store Day, the morning when music collectors rise early and strap on their Rush T-shirts to hit their local record shops in search of limited-edition vinyl. Plenty of stores will offer discounts, food and drink, live music and other goodies. This year features 7-inches, live LPs, compilations and collectibles from artists such as David Bowie, Lil Wayne and Florence and the Machine. (For a full list, see recordstoreday.com.) General rule: Stores don’t know their stock until Friday or so, and often don’t announce their supply in advance. So your best bet to find that rare J Dilla you’ve got your eye on is to get there early and wait in line. Among the stores participating: Bananas Music: 2887 22nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 321-6814. musicfinder.com. Daddy Kool Records: 666 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 822-5665. daddykool.com. The Disc Exchange: 6712 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 343-5845. thediscexchange.com. Gulfport Records: 5211 Gulfport Blvd., Gulfport. (301) 922-1767. gulfportrecords.com. Kingfish Records: Oldsmar Flea Market, 180 Race Track Road, Oldsmar. (727) 455-9923. kingfishrecords.com. Microgroove: 4906 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (813) 667-7089. facebook.com/microgroovetampa. Mojo Books & Records: 2540 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 971-9717. facebook.com/mojotampa. Planet Retro: 2415 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 218-7434. planetretrorecords.com. Sound Exchange: 14246 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa; 805 W Bloomingdale Ave., Brandon; 7688 49th St. N, Pinellas Park. facebook.com/soundexchangetampabay. The Vinyl Countdown: 1745 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. (813) 810-6298. facebook.com/thevinylcountdowntampa. - Jay Cridlin, Pop Music/Culture Critic …
Sometimes you just need a Magnarp floor lamp to tie your living room together. That's why we brave the wilds of Ikea, the Swedish queen of cheap, modern furniture and decor. Well, the super-sized store is offering one more reason to pay a visit: a food-focused, deal-filled weekend at the end of the month.
To celebrate the nationwide re-opening of Ikea restaurants (you know, the in-store cafes where you find those Swedish meatballs), there will be giveaways and discounts the weekend of April 29-May 1 at the Tampa store.
On Friday, April 29, look for early bird giveaways starting at 5 p.m. The first 100 visitors to the restaurant receive mystery prizes including gift cards ranging from $5-$100. You can also get a three-course meal for $6.99. Use the leftover cash to stock up on these fun Tulpantrad pillows for summer. …
You know the old adage that, before you leave the house, you should remove one accessory? Well, throw out grandma's ring AND toss those bracelets in the gutter, because you're about to arm yourself with America's favorite accessory: free Kahwa coffee.
In honor of Kahwa's 10th anniversary, the beloved local coffee purveyor is holding a "10 Days of Kahwa" celebration with new deals and surprises announced every day.
Yesterday, Kahwa introduced the new Crème Brûlée Latte, available through the end of April. That was cool news, but today's announcement is even better:
Today only, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., you can get your coffee for free-fifty at any Kahwa location. They're calling it "happy hour" and I'm in no position to argue with that.
Register during your visit - or any time by next Wednesday - for a raffle to win a year of free coffee. I'm sorry, my mic wasn't on. YOU COULD WIN A YEAR OF FREE KAHWA COFFEE. HOW GREAT WOULD THAT BE? OH GOD SO GREAT.
Ten Days of Kahwa runs through next Wednesday, April 20. The winner of the raffle will be announced then. And you can keep checking the Kahwa blog for each daily deal reveal.
Oh, sweet clothing swap lifestyle. It takes a while to cultivate, but if you get in the habit of trading clothes with friends, eventually, most of your wardrobe will be $Free.99.
Here's how my outfit breaks down today.
Blouse: $0.00, acquired at a clothing swap at a synagogue luncheon at which the Deal Divas were guest speakers several years ago. We all brought items to swap with the ladies. I think the bow detail on the back is sweet.
Skirt: $0.00, acquired at the latest Times clothing swap. I call this my Meryl Streep skirt, because it reminds me of something she might wear to an awards show with a white collared shirt.
Shop from trunk to trunk in Palm Harbor on Saturday.
Happy Wednesday, everyone! Here's a look at some of the shopping events happening in the bay area this weekend and beyond:
CALLING ALL ARTISTS: UPCYCLE ST. PETE Green Bench Brewing Co. and Habitat for Humanity Pinellas are looking for artists as they team up to host the second annual Upcycle St. Pete Art Auction and Raffle on April 16. Right now, 30 artists are needed to donate pieces for auction using supplies provided by Habitat for Humanity. Participants also receive a $10 credit at the Habitat Pinellas ReStore for materials aside from the pallet. Bidders at the auction can expect anything from wall art to furniture to accessories and more, all upcycled locally. If you’d like to craft a contribution to the Upcycle Art Auction, contact Colin Lyman at (727) 902-7637 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Leah Crowe at email@example.com or (314) 435-1907. The deadline for entries is Monday. The event itself is from 7 to 11 p.m. April 16 at Green Bench, 1133 Baum Ave N, St. Petersburg. greenbenchbrewing.com. …
I mean, I probably wouldn't wear this to the gym exactly. But I'm excited to see what else Ivy Park has in store.
Good news, residents of Tampa Bay's Beyhive: Starting April 14, you'll be able to find Beyoncé's Ivy Park workout gear at Nordstrom of International Plaza.
It sounds like she's come a long way from her House of Deréon flop.
In an interview with Elle, Beyoncé talks about how much time she took to make sure the clothing would work with women with curvy bodies who like to move. Special features include an invisible underlining that "sucks you in" and "lifts your bottom," Beyoncé says, to eliminate "reverb" (or feminine bounce, one might say) from running, biking or jumping. She says her clothing will be sexy but comfortable, sucking in at the waist but borrowing inspo from men's sportswear too.
(To be honest, I'll understand at this point if you're like, WHAT - BEY GAVE AN INTERVIEW - LEMME GO, and stop reading. It shocked me, too. She had some really nice points about how she realized she had power after the first Destiny's Child album, and about the drilled-down meaning of the word "feminist.")
You can check out the first peek at the Ivy Park apparel via Vogue. Prices range from $30 to $200 (so, yeah, more expensive than my Old Navy sale rack buys, but probably more motivating.). …
Looking for shopping deals in Tampa Bay? The Deal Divas are on the prowl, sniffing out hot fashion finds that won't leave your wallet in ruins. Now you never have to miss a shopping deal! Check in often for the lowdown on local bargains, as well as fashion advice, fun photos and style news. Disclaimer: The content of this blog is produced by the editorial staff of the Times and is not tied to advertising. Email us ideas you'd like us to write about.
Stephanie Hayes , addicted to heels for 15 years, has been experimenting with ballet flats, boots and cute sneakers lately. Her poor, tired feet thank her. She can never get enough animal print, and her eye shadow collection has become a bit of a hoard. While other kids were reciting multiplication tables, she was learning to calculate an extra third off the half-price discount during buy-one-get-one week. She knows a healthy swipe of red lipstick can make any outfit better. She can be reached at (727) 893-8716 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie Sanders foolishly spurned pretty dresses and shoes as a child, tossing new clothes over her shoulder at birthday parties with a totally rude "no, thank you." Her drab days of monocolor outfits are over now, and she certainly knows better than to turn down free stuff. Her wardrobe mixes classic with quirk. Think blazers with statement necklaces, and lots of patterned ballet flats. She can be reached at (727) 893-8037 or email@example.com.
A compulsive deal scourer, Michelle Stark is trying to evolve her style philosophy from grab-it-because-it's-cheap-and-worry-if-it-fits later to one that embraces quality staples and more color. When it comes to her closet, it's generally still quantity over quality, but she recently splurged on a treasured pair of Lucky jeans. Progress! Her style leans toward classically cutesy - think Loft, The Limited and Banana Republic, blouses with bows, blazers with polka dots and all the skinny jeans in sight. But she never turns down a trip to a thrift store, or JC Penney. Her greatest sartorial sale achievement was finding her senior prom dress on clearance for $20. She can be reached at (727) 893-8829 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathryn Varn spends most of her fashion energy at thrift stores, flea markets and sale racks at the mall. Her style has ranged from "preppy Hollister defender" to "eclectic hippie aunt," but she has since landed on "vintage career woman who wears sun dresses on the weekends." Her proudest secondhand find was a 1950s blue tea length skirt dotted with sunflowers from Brooklyn Flea, but there will always be a special place in her heart for the pair of high-waisted Levis she cut into jorts during college. Her closet is full of fur-fringed coats from her grandmother, and maybe one day, she'll live in a place cold enough to actually wear them. She can be reached at (727) 893-8913 or email@example.com.
Katherine Snow Smith’s closet is filled with colorful patterns from a Lilly halter with pink and yellow giraffes to a maxi dress with oversized flowers and peace signs. She likes many styles — bohemian, preppy, vintage, classic — as long they’re unique and on sale. She’ll splurge at Saks or Anne Fontaine but favorite spots are T.J. Maxx and consignment stores. Her best purchase? A one-sleeve kaleidoscope-print Valentino blouse from the Sloan Kettering hospital resale shop in New York. (Legend has it Jackie O. used to drop her discards there.) When Katherine was 14 she bought a $29 oversized, velvet-covered anthology of Oscar fashion. She can be reached at (727) 409-3642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lisa Gartner grew up wearing her older brother's clothes (hey Dan!) and kind of never stopped: She still has a few of his button-downs hanging in her closet; luckily his No Fear shirts have been lost to time and sense. A reformed tomboy, Lisa likes to mix masculine and feminine pieces. Her work look is, more often than not, Oxfords with pencil skirts. She owns more baggy sweaters than there are days below 70 degrees in Florida. The bags under her eyes are knock-offs. She can be reached at (727) 893-8707 or email@example.com.
Maggie Duffy got her love for fashion from her mama, and her mama's mama. While she's fond of wearing jewelry handmade by artists, you'll often catch her rocking $1.50 bamboo doorknocker earrings. Bamboo is actually a big motif in her style. Her love of color is evidenced by the many iterations of her hair, which she's having a blast with. She thought her sneaker game was on point until a recent trip where she saw just what she's been missing, so she's resigned herself to work that out. Her personal style can be described as street meets sweet. Years of working retail taught her never to buy full price. She can be reached at (727) 893-8572 or firstname.lastname@example.org.