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July 27, 2015

Fall 2015 Back To School Fashion Trends

Although it feels like summer just got started, fall 2015 trends are already trickling into stores. I always anticipate seeing new season merchandise arrive in stores this time of year, but I also know how hard it is to shop for autumn staples such as boots and sweaters when it's sweltering outside and all you want to do is go swimming or stay in an air conditioned space. 

Need motivation to start thinking about fall 2015 fashion? Well the fashion industry is always a step (or two) ahead, and there are so many fun trends to try for the fall 2015 back-to-school season. Pay homage to the Victorian era with lace details and prim blouses, as shown on the runways of Givenchy, Valentino, and Altuzarra. Or experiment with a new accessory - the chic skinny scarf, as championed by Clare Waight Keller at Chloé and style icon Alexa Chung. Take your cue for floor-length proportions (as modeled on the catwalks of Chanel and Dries Van Noten) by layering a duster coat over the must-have skirt for fall - the A-line mini skirt.

If you're already planning your first day outfit, or contemplating how to update your wardrobe for fall, I've selected a few of the top runway-to-retail trends that I've scouted as we approach the end of July. At prices under $130, they're both affordable and easy to wear. Win win! 


fall 2015 fashion trends for back to school
Printed overalls, $110
Denim pinafore dress, $60
Plaid top, $58
Victorian lace blouse, $52
Suedette dress, $90
Suede fringe crossbody, $52
Distressed denim, $75
Paisley skinny scarf, $30
Lug sole boots, $37.10
A-line mini skirt, $38.90
Fringe booties, $109.90
Duster coat, $125

Shop dusters:

Shop suede:
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Shop plaid:

Shop boots:



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July 14, 2015

Blooming Beauties at Rose Story Farm

I'm a firm believer that a change of scenery does a body (and mind) a world of good. It always provides me with a fresh perspective on life and it renews my creative energy.  When I first heard about Rose Story Farm a while back, I knew I had to visit. To spend the afternoon touring a rose farm sounded like the ideal way to spend a leisurely summer day. It's something I've never done, so I placed it on my mental to-do list, allowed far too much time to pass, and finally booked a tour for last weekend. Perhaps you saw this photo I posted on Instagram.

The family-run Rose Story Farm resides on 15 gorgeous acres in a small coastal town called Carpinteria, just south of Santa Barbara. In addition to thousands of rose bushes, it also has rolling hills, lemons, avocados, apples, cute cottages, and a special buttery yellow rose named for frequent Rose Story Farm visitor Julia Child. Our tour of the farm lasted for about an hour, during which we were able to see, smell, and learn about many varieties of roses. It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. 

Rose Story Farm-4

Since this is a fashion blog, here's a quick look at my outfit for the day. Naturally, I'm wearing a rose print kimono. Not visible in the photo: my rose print iPhone case and the rose I placed in the ribbon of my hat. Obviously, I adore wearing roses!

Rose Story Farm-1

Wearing UNIF floral robe (old, shop similar in blue/purple), J Brand jeans, Sam & Libby "Arianna" sandals, Rebecca Minkoff Swing bag, California charm necklace, and Panama hat from Target

Rose Story Farm-2

Below, a selection of beautiful bouquets for sale outside the gift shop.

Rose Story Farm-3

Rose Story Farm-5

Rose Story Farm-pink-rose

Rose Story Farm-6

Our tour lasted about an hour, and afterwards, we enjoyed a delicious lunch on the shaded lawn. I opted for rose iced tea to go with my turkey sandwich, strawberries and garden salad. 

Rose Story Farm-Lunch

For dessert, we enjoyed a lemon cake (made from the farm's lemons and shaped like a rose, of course) with birthday candles for one of the tour attendees.

Rose Story Farm Lemon Cake

I left the tour feeling very relaxed, happy, and inspired by all of the natural beauty of the farm. In addition, I was lucky enough to be able to take home these stunning beauties pictured below. If you could only smell them! My favorite is the pink one on the right, which is called Memorial Day. The fragrance is rich and divine (much more intense than the roses you find in the grocery store).

Rose Story Farm roses

I also took home some rose tea and soap from the adorable gift shop.

Rose Story Farm-bouquet-gifts

Here are some tips our guide Mary gave us for making sure your rose bouquets last as long as possible:

- Use a clean vase to reduce bacteria in your arrangement. She swears by denture cleaner to get her vases and glasses squeaky clean.

- Cut the stems at a diagonal to increase surface area.

- Trim leaves and make sure they don't get submerged in water to limit bacteria growth.

- Change the water often to keep it clean and reduce bacteria.

- Keep the bouquet in a cool environment to reduce wilting. Mary stores her floral arrangements in the fridge before a big event, and then mists them with water. She told us that while rose bushes like the heat, cut roses don't like the heat.

- You can expect your roses to last about five days.

My Rose Story Farm bouquet is now three days old, and is currently on my dining table. I'm happy to report that it looks healthy and is giving the entire room a beautiful fragrance.


Shop rose prints and all things rosy:

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July 12, 2015

Eddie Borgo for Target Review

As a fan of both Target and Eddie Borgo, I visited two Target stores this morning to shop and review the Eddie Borgo for Target collection. Since this collection was limited to jewelry and accessories, I didn't expect any lines or crowds, so I wandered leisurely into the first store shortly before 10am. If you shopped online last night or today, you may have noticed a lot less demand compared to the Lilly launch in April. Fortunately, both of the stores I visited weren't crowded, but unfortunately, they only carried one of each Eddie Borgo for Target item. An employee at the first store told me they had a handful of shoppers early in the morning. I observed that a few of the items were already sold out (namely, charms and wristlets). The lack of inventory was disappointing, but I managed to score my favorites.

Eddie Borgo for Target display

I'll keep this Eddie Borgo for Target review concise. It's a gorgeous summer day, and the outdoors beckon! Here are the pros and cons.

Pros:

Let's talk quality. The bags I inspected in store are made well and have modern prints. I got this black one and this galaxy print one for myself. Charms are sturdy and made of a variety of materials, including resin, mesh, gemstones, and silicon.
You can customize your own jewelry and bags - fun, right? So there are endless possibilities for making each piece unique to your style.
There are lots of D.I.Y. options to choose from: backpacks, choker necklaces, belts, mobiles, slider cuffs, etc.
Earrings are nickel free.
There are lots of great gift ideas here.
There are 3D printed charms available online. 
The jewelry and mini bags work well for summer festivals.
Backpacks (this one's my favorite) serve as cute options for the back-to-school season.

Cons:

The return policy for this collection is 14 days.
Target does not ship internationally.
Some items are online only, while others are in stores only.
Mini bags and wristlets could use some interior pockets for holding smart phones, keys, etc.
The collection is not available at all Target stores. (Use the "store pickup/find in store" feature to locate your favorites.)
The prices can add up quickly if you buy many of the charms, puzzle beads, and studs.

EddieBorgoforTarget-Jewelry

EddieBorgoforTarget charms

EddieBorgoforTarget charms

EddieBorgoforTarget totems

EddieBorgoforTarget stud packs

Eddie Borgo for Target wristlets

Eddie Borgo for Target white marble backpack

Below, the backpack, silicon cuff, gemstones, and studs that I took home. Bonus points for the roomy interior, padded straps and adjustable buckles on the backpack.

Eddie Borgo for Target black backpack

Shop my favorites before they're all gone:


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June 23, 2015

How To Shop Eddie Borgo for Target

If you've been following the news about Target's newest designer collaboration with New York-based jewelry designer Eddie Borgo, then you probably know that his collection of customizable jewelry and accessories launches at over 700 Target stores on July 12. (See where to buy it right here and read my Eddie Borgo for Target review here.) Given the fresh wounds of many people who tried to shop the Lilly Pulitzer for Target launch in April, I'm willing to bet that many shoppers won't have enthusiasm for this collection if they think the launch will be plagued by the same problems as the Lilly for Target collection. Let's hope that demand won't reach Lilly levels, and the Target website won't be riddled with "technical difficulties."

What's cool about this collection? The Eddie Borgo for Target collection differs from past designer efforts because it can be personalized, and it's inspired by craft culture from the '60s and '70s. It sounds like it's time to unleash some creativity for some fun D.I.Y. projects! Think studs, beads, totems, and charms that you can use to create one-of-a-kind looks on bags, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. So your #EddieBorgoforTarget pieces won't look the same as everyone else's! Prices range from $7.99 to $49.99, with everything from galaxy print bags and wall art to geometric shapes and rose gold hues. 

Below, a selection of my favorites. 

Eddie Borgo for Target Lookbook

Taking into account the crazy Lilly for Target launch and the new lessons I learned, here are my thirteen tips for how to shop #EddieBorgoforTarget.

The In-Store Strategy

1. Know where to go.  Once the collection has launched online, and assuming Target's site is functioning properly, you can use Target's "find item in store" function to search for specific items in stock in your area. It's not always accurate, but it can be helpful to help you plan your shopping. Be ready to stand in line on Sunday morning, although I seriously doubt that the lines will look anything like the Lilly launch. Use the store locator to find stores near you.

2. Phone it in. The Eddie Borgo collection will be sold in 700 select Target stores nationwide, instead of in every store like the Lilly for Target line. Call your local stores the week before the launch to see if they'll carry the collection. Get your local store's phone number here.

3. Be an early bird. You know what they say about the early bird. My Target stores open at 8am on Sunday, and I've found in the past that if I arrive by 7:30, then I'm able to get what I want, since there aren't crowds in my area. For people who live in large cities, I'd recommend going one hour before the store opens if you're really motivated. For shoppers in more suburban or rural areas, the competition and crowds are reduced, but the selection of goods may be as well. In my experience, stock varies widely from store to store. Sometimes metropolitan area stores and stores in higher income neighborhoods carry a better selection of merchandise. 

4. Bring a buddy. A family member, friend, or significant other might be able to help you get the pieces you want and help you make purchasing decisions. Divide and conquer! The Jason Wu for Target cat tote would not be mine if not for a dedicated boyfriend. I may or may not have bribed him to shop with me in exchange for Sunday brunch. 

5. Check for go-backs and barter. If your favorite pieces disappear from the racks in a flash, be courteous, be patient, and don't be afraid to chat with other shoppers and trade to get what you want! 

6. Persistence pays off. Target does not restock these collections, but you can still score your favorites. If you don't find what you want after the launch, check back for returns in the coming days and weeks, as many shoppers take items back to the store. Ahem, buyer's remorse! Don't forget to check the customer service desk and clearance racks for returns as well. (That is if it doesn't get bought in bulk and hoarded the way the Lilly collection was.) Call your local stores to ask what they have. The best part about returns? Online exclusive items are heavily discounted when returned to stores, leaving the door open for other persistent shoppers to get really lucky. After four or so weeks, the collection will be discounted to 30% (and eventually to 50% or 70%) off, so frequent visits to Target after the launch could really pay off. 

Target Store


The Online Strategy

1. Learn the lookbook. Study the lookbook to select your favorites, get D.I.Y. inspiration, see what's online only, and check the prices. 

2. Play favorites. Make a list or collage of your favorites to help you stick to your budget. The good news is that the most expensive piece in the collection is $49.99.

3. Know when and how to shop. Since Target's collections debut on Saturday night or early Sunday morning, be prepared to stay up late or get up early (depending on your time zone) in order to shop online. Target doesn't designate or announce a specific time to launch the collaboration online. Join me on Twitter on Saturday night around 8pm PST for the pre-launch. It's where you'll want to be. Be extra prepared by using more than one web browser, mobile device, etc. I use Chrome and Safari, and I have had more luck with Chrome and with mobile shopping. Refresh often and have patience. Items tend to pop up and then disappear during the initial launch. Expect some glitches but don't give up. Remember, persistence and patience are key, and you may have to sacrifice some sleep. Cross your fingers that Target's site won't have technical issues. 

4. Save your info. As the time to shop online approaches, log onto Target.com and have your checkout and payment details saved ahead of time. This makes for faster checkout process and reduces the chances of having your cart emptied before you can click the "complete order" button. Why get a RedCard? Target RedCard users enjoy free shipping, an extra 30 days to return certain merchandise, and a 5% discount on purchases. Sweet!

5. Click quickly. Shop the online only items first and s
ubmit your order right after placing an item in your cart. Do not shop and fill up your cart. Why? Once an item is in your cart, it's not reserved for you. In order to avoid an item being removed from your cart because it's sold out, you need to click quickly and complete your order! If you are a RedCard holder, you don't need to worry about multiple shipping charges if you have multiple orders because shipping on Target.com is free. For non-RedCard holders, shipping over $25 is free. Unfortunately, Target does not ship internationally.

6. Stay social. Use social media channels such as Twitter and Instagram for #EddieBorgoforTarget shopping updates, product info, and to connect with other shoppers. Sign up for Target's email updates. 


7. A little birdie said. Wanna be the first to shop the collection online? Follow me on TwitterFacebook, and Snapchat (@thekeytochic). Please join me on Saturday night at 8PM Pacific time (and early Sunday morning) on Twitter and Facebook to get tips, ask questions, share your excitement, and to be the first to shop the collection. Happy shopping and best of luck! 

thekeytochic Twitter

July 12, 2015 update - read my Eddie Borgo for Target review with shopping information and D.I.Y. ideas.

Get inspired by Eddie Borgo:




Shop Eddie Borgo for Target:



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