September 14, 2014

Altuzarra for Target Review

My alarm went off bright and early this morning, but this was one day when I didn't mind getting up before dawn. What could get me up so early on a Sunday? Fashion, of course! I shopped (and scored my favorites) during the Altuzarra for Target launch at my local Target. (Some of the goods are also still available on net-a-porter.) In true form, I'll be sharing my fitting room photos and thoughts in this review. 

The vibe at my store? Fortunately, my store didn't have a crowd, and I arrived at 7:30 to find another shopper and her dedicated (and well trained) boyfriend. Later, a few more shoppers trickled in quietly and tried the merchandise on. My store didn't stock very much, but that's OK, because I had a small wish list. 

Below, a look at the racks waiting to be attacked by hungry #AltuzarraforTarget shoppers first thing in the morning.

The black croc belts were the first to go, while the python print bow blouse and oxford snake dress dress didn't seem in demand.

Altuzarra for Target

Bonus points for the pockets on these well made and comfy peasant dresses. I scored the black one, but it wasn't even on my wish list. Oops! It'll be perfect with ankle boots and a floppy hat for an upcoming casual wedding. 

Altuzarra for Target PeasantDresses

As a frequent wearer of florals, I was intrigued by the orchid print pieces. The orchid sweatshirt pictured below was a must-have for me and speaks strongly to my casual personal style. 

Altuzarra for Target

The orchid sweatshirt was not in high demand in my store, and they carried several of each size. The bow blouse is sheer, and both pieces run true to size. 

Altuzarra for Target

The ruby peasant blouse is beautifully embroidered, had sequins, and is very comfortable. It is slightly sheer, though. The navy orchid blouse has an easy fit with great tailoring, but the cuffs felt narrow. The top button is white and has an Altuzarra logo, which is a thoughtful detail.

Altuzarra for Target

Let's start with my fitting room photos and favorites. For reference, I usually wear XS and size 2 in Target's Women's department, and small or size 3 in Juniors.

I really wanted the jacquard pencil skirt, and I sized up to a 4. It's fitted, sleek, and has a great snake texture. I'm wearing XS in the orchid sweatshirt, black/white bow blouse, and python bow blouse. All felt comfortable, lightweight, and chic, although the contrasting polyester front panel on the orchid sweatshirt was plagued with wrinkles. 

Altuzarra for Target black pencil skirt and orchid blouse

A few of the glam dresses are pictured below. The ruby wrap dress runs small, so I sized up to a 4. It's super low cut on me, but I love the way it drapes. I'm wearing size 2 in the purple orchid dress and 2 in the ruby peasant dress. My favorite of these 3 is the peasant dress due to its easy fit and neckline. My least favorite is the purple orchid dress. I saw loose threads on the cuffs, which was disappointing. All were very comfortable and easy to put on. My studded belt is an old H&M purchase.

Altuzarra for Target wrap dress and red peasant dress

The crane sweater felt hefty, and the embroidery is well done. I'm wearing XS, and found it to be bulky in the shoulders. I'm wearing a size 2 in the oxford snake dress, and it was snug. I'd size up on this one. I appreciated the 3 buttons on the cuffs and the quality side zip. The red peasant blouse is an XS, and it was slightly sheer, or I would've bought it. It has an easy fit with fitted wrists, pretty gold sequins, and a tie at the neck. I think all three looks would be perfect for a professional office environment.

Altuzarra for Target black pencil skirt

*Sept 15 update: I went to a second store to try more on. Below, the well-tailored peplum blazer in XS. It has satin lapels, one button closure, and an unexpected curved peplum with jacquard fabric in the back. I loved the fit but have something similar already. The faux fur jacket is XS, and has hook and eye closures, with a subtle sheen, and two pockets which are slightly awkward to stick your hands in due to the cropped length. I found it too voluminous, and it reminded me of a gorilla, but I think it would suit someone taller than myself. 

Altuzarra for target black faux fur coat and peplum blazer, Altuzarra for target review

I tried on a size 6 in the orchid maxi dress because that's the smallest size this store had. It was tricky to zip up because of the waist detail in the back. (The zipper was too flimsy to get past that seam, which is a problem I've had at Target in the past.) The sleeves and waist run tight, and some shoppers may not appreciate the slippery hand of the polyester. I felt glamorous in it, and it was comfortable, although I'd wait for this to go on sale. If you buy it, I recommend going a size up!  The ruby velvet blazer was a favorite, but the tuxedo ankle pants not so much. I'm wearing S in the blazer (it runs small in the shoulder/armpit area) and a size 4 in the pants. Shoulder pads give the jacket a nice shape, and I can see it being styled with a dark floral dress for '70s boho glam, or with skinny jeans for a modern rocker vibe. The pants had a chic tuxedo side panel, but were too low-rise for my taste. As for the crane dress, It runs small, so I tried on a 4. There's a sturdy side zip, it felt comfortable, and the fabric has plenty of structure. 

Altuzarra for Target orchid maxi dress, red velvet blazer, and crane dress

As an ankle boot enthusiast, I had to give these croc print versions a try. They run small and pointy, so I went up half a size. They're pretty comfortable and have an inside zip with straps around the ankle. Shoppers with an aversion to synthetic shoes may not like them, however, I think the texture and design details work fine for me. 

Altuzarra for Target ankle boots

My overall impressions of the collection? Kudos to CFDA award winner Joseph Altuzarra for a sleek collection! Sizing is varied, so if in doubt, size up because you can always get it tailored. In the future, a larger range of sizes beyond 2-16 would be nice to accommodate more shoppers. While I'm not a fan of snake prints, I still appreciated the solid construction of the snake blouse and pencil skirt (didn't try the matching blazer). I felt that the trench coats, maxi dresses, and pencil skirts were all very chic and true to Altuzarra's signature sophisticated vibe. (I didn't love the sleeveless striped shirtdress as it did not flatter my curves and felt flimsy. It's best to size up on that one and all the pencil silhouettes if you're curvy.) 

This is the most sexy, grown-up collaboration that Target has done, in my opinion. The dresses and jackets look luxe and exude confidence, as evidenced by the perfect styling at net-a-porterI'm excited to style my new purchases in a way that speaks to my casual personal style.

Interesting to note that the return policy for Target shoppers is 14 days, with an extra 30 days for RedCard holders. 

Follow along on @thekeytochic Instagram and Twitter to share your thoughts with me and for more photos and info on fit. 

If you didn't get what you want, read my 12 tips on how to score your favorites!

Shop the collection:

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September 3, 2014

Coordinates of Style

L.A. fashion blogger The Key To Chic wears a matching tropical print crop top and skirt from Sense of Style boutique with ankle strap heels and a Phillip Lim for Target mini satchel.
L.A. fashion blogger The Key To Chic wears a matching tropical print crop top and skirt from Sense of Style boutique with ankle strap heels and a Phillip Lim for Target mini satchel.
L.A. fashion blogger The Key To Chic wears a matching tropical print crop top and skirt from Sense of Style boutique with ankle strap heels and a Phillip Lim for Target mini satchel.
L.A. fashion blogger The Key To Chic wears a matching tropical print crop top and skirt from Sense of Style boutique with ankle strap heels and a Phillip Lim for Target mini satchel.

Ray-Ban sunglasses, tropical print crop top and skirt c/o Sense of Style Boutique, Glaze heels (similar style), and Phillip Lim for Target mini satchel (similar)

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for matched sets, especially ones with a profusion of print and color. So upon spotting this crop top and skirt on the Sense of Style site, they became instant favorites.  With coordinates, I get the look and ease of wearing a dress, but with the option of wearing each piece individually. When I decide to mix and match each piece separately, future fall outfits may include the crop top with high waisted black skinnies and a moto jacket, or a the skirt with heeled ankle boots and a quilted sweater. Versatility for the win!

See more coordinates:

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August 31, 2014

12 Tips for How To Shop Altuzarra for Target

With the Altuzarra for Target collaboration right around the corner, my anticipation and excitement are building. After many years of shopping Target's designer collaborations, I've learned by trial and error how to score all of my must-haves. No need to worry about pushy shoppers, cancelled online orders, and empty racks characteristic of the Missoni launch in 2011. 

I consider shopping these Target collections a sport, and it's almost game time, so I'm going to be sharing my tips for helping you score all of your favorites. Whether you're shopping in store, online, or both, I've got your covered. Let's start with some tips for shopping online.

Target store

1. Learn the lookbook. It sounds basic, but it's often overlooked by some shoppers. Study the lookbook and be prepared. Pick out your favorites, and get familiar with the prints, prices, and colorways. Know which items are online only (so you can shop those first), which will be sold by net-a-porter, and which will be sold in Target stores. For example: the ankle strap heels are a exclusive, the black jacquard trench coat and faux fur crop jacket are available on, and the python print blazer and military trench coat are exclusive to both and

2Play favorites. Make a list or collage of your top picks. I like to create a collage in Photoshop (with prices and sizes) as a visual cue of my must-haves. It helps me stick to my budget (more on that in #3) and save time when deciding what to buy. Have a peek at my top picks.

3. Better stick to your budget. It's easy to get caught up in the frenzy of these collections and go overboard. While Target has a generous return policy, it's easier to avoid overspending and just buy the pieces you absolutely love and that fill a gap in your wardrobe. 

4. 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. Previous collections have been released by Target before or near midnight PST in my experience. If you're on the East Coast, I feel for you! Follow me on Twitter and use the #AltuzarraforTarget hashtag for shopping updates and up-to-the-minute information (see #6). Be extra prepared by using more than one web browser, mobile device, etc. It doesn't hurt to shop on your tablet as well as your desktop or laptop simultaneously. On my desktop, I use Chrome and Safari simultaneously, and I have had more luck with Chrome. Be sure to refresh often and have patience. Items tend to pop up and then disappear during the initial launch. Persistence is key! Interestingly enough, with the Peter Pilotto for Target collection, some items were available on Target's mobile site first. Also be aware of purchasing limits on merchandise. For example, you might only be able to buy two of each item.

5. Save your info. As the time to shop online approaches, be logged into the Target or net-a-porter website 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. Target RedCard users enjoy free shipping, an extra 30 days to return certain merchandise, and a 5% discount on purchases, while net-a-porter ships internationally and has a 28-day return policy. 

6. Click quickly. When shopping the Phillip Lim for Target collection, I placed separate orders for each item as they became available because I wanted to make sure the items wouldn't disappear from my cart. Fortunately, my RedCard allowed me to have free shipping on each order, or I wouldn't have done this. 

7. Stay social. Use social media channels such as Twitter for @TargetStyle #AltuzarraforTarget shopping updates, product info, and to connect with other Altuzarra shoppers. Sign up for Target and net-a-porter's email updates. Join me on Twitter on Saturday night and Sunday morning for more shopping tips and helpful updates. 

Target doors

Shopping in store? Here's what you need to know:

1. Know where to go. Find out which stores in your area will stock the collection. You can check which stores will carry it on Target's site. Better yet, call your local store to double check. Since I have about 6 Target stores near me, I shop the two stores which tend to have the largest selection based upon previous designer collections. Once the collection has launched online, 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.

2. Be bright and early. My Target stores opens at 8 am 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 at least 1-2 hours before the store opens. 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 carry a better merchandise assortment than suburban ones.

3. 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. 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! 

4. Check for go-backs. If your favorite pieces disappear from the racks in a flash, check the fitting room go-back rack, as many items end up there during the morning rush to try things on. Be couteous, be patient, and don't be afraid to chat with other shoppers and trade to get what you want! 

5. Persistence pays off. Target usually doesn't restock these collections, but you can still score your favorites. If you don't find what you want, check back for returns in the coming days and weeks, as many shoppers take items back to the store. Don't forget to check the customer service desk for fresh returns as well. Target has a 90-day return policy for purchases, and a generous 120-day return policy for RedCard users, so familiarize yourself with the complete return policy details by checking your invoice or receipt. The best part about returns? Online exclusive items get heavily discounted when returned to stores, leaving the door open for other shoppers to get really lucky. After a few weeks, the collection will be discounted to 30% off, so frequent visits to Target after the launch could really pay off.

Keep up with me on Twitter while I live blog the online #AltuzarraforTarget release and my Sunday morning in-store shopping/fitting room experience. I'll also be sharing photos on my Instagram of my favorite pieces, with tips on fit, and overall impressions. Naturally, I'll write a comprehensive Altuzarra for Target review with additional fitting room photos and opinions on September 14. 

Happy shopping!

*Update - Read my Altuzarra for Target review with fitting room photos and tips on sizing.

Shop Altuzarra for Target:

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August 28, 2014

Labor Day Sales

Who is ready for the long Labor Day weekend? I'm not yet ready to say goodbye to summer, but I am ready to say hello to Labor Day sales. Fortunately, there's no shortage of budget-friendly transitional apparel and accessories to carry you into fall. Below, a selection of sale items that I'm currently stalking online. 

See stylish Labor Day picks from Old Navy, Nasty Gal, and Steve Madden including: leopard loafers, floral denim jacket, floral romper, striped hoodie, and a bucket bag

Western floral denim jacket, leopard loafers, zip-back black heels, Forever After graphic T-shirt (only $6!), black studded sandals, striped hoodie, floral romper, bucket bag, and floral slip-on sneakers (only $39)

Score more Labor Day deals:

Steve Madden: Use code SNAP for 20% off $100, 25% off $125 or 30% off $150
J.Crew: Use code ALMOSTFALL for 25% off select styles
Threadsence: Use code LABORDAY30 for 30% off sitewide
Topshop: Get 30% off select items 
Asos: Use code HAVE10 for extra 10% off sale
Boohoo: Use code TEACHME for 25% off everything
JOE's Jeans: Use code LABORDAY for 30% off sitewide
Old Navy: Get 50% off select styles

More sale items I love:

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August 26, 2014

Five Fashionable Finds at MAGIC Market Week

When people ask me what MAGIC Market Week is like, I usually respond with "it's a fashion wonderland, and there's a lot to see. It's exhausting, but in a good way." With six seasons under my belt, I've learned how to make efficient use of my time and how to navigate the overwhelming assortment of booths at the various trade shows. Imagine row after row of apparel and accessory vendors, a high energy environment, and more style inspiration than you can process. By the end of each day, I'm enervated, but I'm also excited about seeing new brands and upcoming trends. Attending the MAGIC Market Week trade shows each February and August always ignites my passion for trends and of course, for shopping.

In this post, I'll be sharing five fun brands that I discovered, starting with on-trend Los Angeles line Willow & Clay. You may have seen their merchandise at Nordstrom Rack or Piperlime. What struck me while viewing their collection was the attention to detail and how so many of their pieces mix and match perfectly together. Note the variety of textures and embellishments. I could not resist playing stylist, so I pulled a few looks that would be right at home in my closet. 

Willow and Clay Clothing

Adorable Spanish brand Kling caught my eye with their quirky prints, cute bomber jackets, and feminine flourishes. Furthermore, their enthusiastic sales team, playful assortment of prints, and affordable price points were the icing on the cake. Bumble bee sweater, be mine! See more cuteness on their Instagram.

Kling Clothing

Brazilian brand Dumond's footwear and accessories feature on-trend details and chic embellishments. The metallic laser cut shoes were a personal favorite, while the floral print wedges were a close second.

Dumond Shoes and accessories

I loved pretty much everything at the Pepa Loves booth. The Spanish brand's playful cat prints and relaxed silhouettes make for a fun and casual mix that spoke to my personal style. Plus, how charming are those owl and cat bags? I couldn't stop smiling when browsing their wares.

Pepa Loves Clothing

The fall collection by edgy Los Angeles-based brand Hot & Delicious stopped me in my tracks, which isn't easy to do. Their visual merchandising, with a rich array of textures, prints, and layers, made me hope that the cooler temperatures of fall would arrive soon. The more-is-more combination of fringe and faux fur evokes a boho-meets-rocker vibe that I find irresistible.

Hot & Delicious Clothing

See more style inspiration on my Pinterest boards, and keep up with my fashion, food, and fitness adventures over on Instagram!

Get inspired by more fall trends:

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August 14, 2014

Altuzarra for Target Lookbook Inspiration

With the recent release of the Altuzarra for Target lookbook, my anticipation for the collection's release on September 14, 2014 is at an all-time high. A decidedly more grown-up collaboration compared to previous Target efforts, the Altuzarra for Target line (some of which will also be available on net-a-porter) features sexy and sleek '70s silhouettes, digital prints, killer heels, beautiful blouses, python prints, and gorgeous gowns. Altuzarra stays true to his seductive yet ladylike aesthetic with sophisticated thigh-slit pencil skirts, stiletto boots, and tailored blazers. In fact, many of the looks from the Altuzarra for Target lookbook appear to be inspired by recent Altuzarra runway looks. Let's take a closer look at ten such looks that bear striking similarities.


This ladylike V-neck dress from resort 2015 shares an A-line shape and knee length with the Target version, and both looks also have plunging V-necks. 


The thigh slit is an Altuzarra signature, and the sexy python print skirt from the Target collection echoes this spring 2011 runway style. 


If a tailored velvet suit in a deep shade of crimson is on your wish list, the Target version closely resembles this fall 2010 style with its slim, tailored silhouette. Pair with pointy heels and sleek hair for a maximum femme fatale factor.


Both the Altuzarra for Target boho dress and the resort 2014 dress above feature an A-line shape, belted waist, ties at the neckline, and embroidered details. 


The python print shows up again in the tailored Altuzarra for Target blazer which looks to be inspired by this slightly more cropped jacket from spring 2011.


Both of the looks above include thigh-slit pencil skirts, the appearance of blouses layered under sweaters, and bold colors with print mixing. 


An unbuttoned oxford blouse and thigh-slit skirt in black from the Altuzarra for Target collection mirrors this professional yet edgy look from the spring 2014 collection. 


An LBD is an essential part of the modern woman's wardrobe, and this tailored style from Altuzarra for Target, which features embroidered birds, looks comparable to this resort 2015 style. Both are body-hugging with thigh slits and V-necks, making them alluring.


This tailored black suit from spring 2014 resembles the Altuzarra for Target suit, even down to the square shoulders and shiny lapels. 


A big, fluffy black coat from the Altuzarra for Target lookbook brings to mind a more sumptuous style from fall 2010. It should be interesting to see how the runway-inspired textures translate into Target's lower price points and synthetic materials. Note how both looks are paired with a pencil skirt and sexy footwear. 

Follow along with me on Twitter for up-to-the-minute #AltuzarraforTarget updates and shopping tips on how to score your favorites. I'll be sharing valuable shopping advice that I've learned over the past seven years! Watch this space when the collection launches for shopping reviews with fitting room photos and and sizing information.

Get more Altuzarra inspiration:

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