Archive for the ‘fashion’ Category

Men’s Grooming

Sorry I’ve been gone for a bit! New job, lots of biking and the surge of the Twins has kept me away from posting as much I should be.
One thing worth noting is a small, relatively small and unknown shop in the Galleria. At first walk by, most people would chalk Ampersand up to tableware and particular gifts. However, nestled in the back corner is a GREAT selection of Men’s grooming products. And not just your basic, daily needs. I’m talking a specialty in straight razors (more to come at the end of November) also. I’ve been in before for the Molton Brown shower gel, but they’ve expanded their men’s section to rival any other store in the Twin Cities. I took home a sample of peppermint shampoo and the next day I was back to buy the bottle. I’m pretty sure 90% of my drawer is full of things purchased at Ampersand. Not to make this a random plug for a spot, but I hope Ampersand sticks to this new niche of the market.

Ampersand Website

Dapper on Sale in St. Paul

Perhaps you’ve seen Summer of Dapper (or its girlier partner, Summer of Dresses) and been inspired.  Perhaps you’re heading back to school or starting a new job.  Perhaps you just want to revitalize your wardrobe for fall.  Regardless of the reason, BlackBlue has you covered.

The boutique, located at Selby and Dale in St. Paul, focuses primarily on menswear (although they do have fashions and footwear for the ladies).  With a full selection of clothing, shoes, and accessories, BlackBlue is the place to get your dapper on.

And right now, you can update your wardrobe for less: BlackBlue is holding a sale to make room for new fall merchandise, so stop by for 40-60% off their hand-selected fashions, including both men’s and women’s footwear.  Don’t miss it – sale goods will go fast!

614 Selby Avenue
651-260-5340 or

Video preview of Minnesota Fashion Week

“A preview of Spring 2010 MNfashion Week. Meet some of the event holders and learn why Minnesota fashion is a force to be reckoned with!”

Check out the video here and follow MNfashion on twitter to stay up to date on all of the MNfashion Week happenings!

Carrie Cordelia Handbags Trunk Show

Although we’re no New York or Milan, it’s safe to say that Minnesota has a pretty rockin’ fashion scene.  Need proof?  Check out the list of events for Minnesota Fashion Week, which is so jam packed that fashion ‘week’ is actually fashion ‘two weeks and one day’.  But I’m certainly not complaining!  Events begin this Friday, April 9, so call your friends and make a few fashion dates!

One event that is not to be missed is the Carrie Cordelia Handbags trunk show on April 22.  The evening will feature the premiere of the handbag collection, as well as music, hors d’oeurves, and wine.  Carrie Cordelia features two handbag lines that are a must-see: Cordelia, which is all about feminine silhouettes in lush fabrics and colors for women, and Cobalt, which has a contemporary look and abundant organizational features for the man in your life.  Something for everyone!

The trunk show is from 5:00 to 8:00 pm on Thursday, April 22, at the W7 Collective in the historic Pilney Building on West Seventh in St. Paul.  In addition to being a fun night with beautiful handbags, a portion of each Carrie Cordelia sale will be donated to the Children’s Culture Connection. Handbags with a heart – what’s not to love?

For more information or to RSVP, check out the Carrie Cordelia trunk show event on Facebook.

wedding style on the cheap

This is a busy time for brides-to-be, whether engaged over the holidays or Valentine’s day and just beginning to plan, or in the final stages for their summer wedding.  Regardless of where you’re at in wedding planning, there are three things that can be assumed:

  1. Money is tight.
  2. Time is tight.
  3. A dress must be purchased.

Luckily for you, Twin Cities bridal shops are teeming with trunk and sample sales over the next couple of months.  Personally, I’m a fan of sample sales (at which I got my $4,000 dress for $99).  They are likely to be more chaotic, and the dresses are a bit older and might not be in amazing condition, so weigh the factors (such as cost of cleaning and repairs) before buying anything.  But on the plus side, if you’ve put off the dress purchase, sample sale gowns are off the rack, which means you’ll take it home that day, instead of waiting at least 6 months for a special order.

Many bridal shops’ websites list trunk and sample sales on their websites.  For example:

  • L’Atelier Couture is holding a sample sale from March 29-Apr 3
  • Rush’s Bridal is holding a One Day Only sale on March 28, at which all bridal gowns in the store will be 50% off
  • Macy’s downtown is holding a Lazaro trunk sale from March 5-7
  • Heartstrings Bridal is holding a Casablanca trunk sale from March 26-April 3
  • Napier Bridal is holding a Mia Solano trunk sale from March 19-21
  • Brides of France is offering 10% off everything in their store (Edina location only)
  • Wedding Shoppe is holding an Alfred Angelo trunk sale from March 11-13

Keep a faithful eye on your favorite shop’s website and you could be rewarded!  Or if you’re not afraid of the hype, you can run with the brides at the $299 Sale, held every fall at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Happy shopping!

Len: deep discounts on up-to-the-minute fashion

I have to confess: I’ve walked by the new Len Druskin outlet in the City center many, many times, always dismissing it as too expensive, too stuffy, too not-my-style.  But last week, while en route to my monthly deal-hunt at the basement Marshall’s, I decided to give Len a try.  And I was pleasantly surprised.

Len has rack upon rack of stylish clothing, neatly organized and impeccably sized (as is usually not the case at outlet stores), and at a range of prices.  Everything in the store is at least 50% off, with deeper discounts throughout.  There is a wide variety of brands, from unknown to designer, and if you’ve experienced the frustration of a clearance rack in which the only sizes are XS and XXXL, you’ll appreciate the wide availability of sizes at Len.

And then there are the accessories: more than a dozen sparkly racks and tables of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, headbands, belts and handbags, all at prices that make it easy to justify buying three or four (or five or ten).  My only complaint about Len?  The open layout and big windows made me continually nervous that my boss would walk by and see me shopping.  There is a lot to look at, and I was there for awhile, so if you’re planning to go, block out a good chunk of time, and come up with a good excuse.

Adding to Len Druskin’s well-established repertoire (which includes a Southdale outlet), Len is a welcome addition to the downtown retail market, adding a previously lacking step between the bargain basement (Marshall’s) and the pricey (everything else).  For price (and style) minded shoppers such as myself, it’s the perfect compromise.

Len, Minneapolis City Center, 612-455-1663,

Vita.Mn Hotness Revealed

I went to the Hotness party last night, and it was immediately apparent why Mpls ranks as the 9th most vain city. There were hotties all around.

The winners of the Hotness Contest were revealed

  • Hotness 2010: 500 days of Becca
  • Hotness 2010: The Silver Fox
  • Hotness 2010 runners up: The men
  • Hotness 2010 runners up: The women
    I have to admit I have a few laments. The first being it was really really really loud. So I apologize for the sound on the video. The extreme noise also made it hard to mingle, schmooze, flirt, and get’cher groove on.

    The other lament is not getting to meet Christian-Philippe Quilici.

    Now, since I was one of the nominees you may expect my next lament to be not winning, but I have a confession. I didn’t even vote for myself. What can I say?

    One the awesome side, the party was full of the beautiful people and I got to meet some very nice and totally cool hotties.

    Also, me and my crew picked out our own two hotties, the best dressed and a guy standing next to us whom should be in the contest next year.

    How many times can you spot Jason DeRusha?


    SaLe at StyledLife

    This is the time of year when Minnesotans get restless: tired of winter and ready for a change.  The harsh reality, however, is that winter is far from over.  So until the snow melts, we’ll have to find ways to keep our day-to-day lives interesting.  One such way is to revitalize your wardrobe.  Any easy (and inexpensive) way to do this is to buy a few new fabulous accessories and fancy up what you already have.

    StyledLife will help you re-accessorize: swing into their new flagship location in the Galleria and you’ll find fall merchandise from 30% to 70% off.  Want something fresh for spring?  That’s on sale too – Valentine’s Day gifts and new merchandise are 20% off.

    StyledLife offers a wide variety of accessories, from your basic earrings, necklaces and bracelets, to scarves and handbags, to men’s accessories, vintage and designer products, and even a music bar.  There really is something for everyone.  And if you have trouble figuring out your ‘something’, StyledLife will give you a free in-store consultation.

    StyledLife in the Galleria, 952-928-8888,

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