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UPI POY 2009 - Entertainment.

If you hurry, you can own a piece of Oprah — her closet, anyway. From March 1 – 11, the talk show maven is auctioning off her previously used clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories.

Check out Oprah’s whole collection on eBay.

Each item has a starting bid of $100. Just three hours after bidding opened today, a red Carolina Herrera dress that Oprah has worn on the show was already up to $810, and there’s more than a week left in the auction!

All proceeds from the sales will go towards financing the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa.

The utility jacket is everywhere right now and for good reason — it’s the perfect slouchy lightweight coat to add some grit and gravitas to a frilly spring dress and casual flats. Here are five of our favorites:

1. Boyfriend Fatigue Jacket by J. Crew. ($148) Check out more utility jackets at the J. Crew website.

J. Crew "Boyfriend Fatigue Jacket"

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The holidays may be full of fun and festivities, but hitting up the
party circuit can become stressful. Figuring out what to wear and how
to make it work for your budget isn’t easy, but thankfully, retailers
are offering tons of party dress options that won’t break the bank!
When the holiday shindig invites start rolling in, remember that a
little sparkle will go a long way. Glittery sequined frocks are
surprisingly versatile paired with everything from heels and fitted
blazers for a professional look or bare shoulders and statement
earrings for a trendy vibe. Here’s our list of 5 sequined party
dresses for under $100 each.

For the sultry showstopper:
This Armani Exchange embellished tank dress ($98) is a stunner,
designed for the woman who wants to make a grand entrance. The glitzy
gunmetal sequins and easy silhouette make the dress an effortlessly
sexy choice. Pair with fierce ankle boots and a cropped leather jacket
for some edge.

Sequin Dress1 Armani Exchange

Sequin Dress1 Armani Exchange

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Anni Sui?!!!

Gossip Girl?!!!

Target?!!! (That’s pronounced “Tar-jae” for you all who don’t know 😉 ).

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that American fashion designer Anna Sui’s just made a collection especially for Target. Her collection hit the store racks this past weekend on September 13th.

The concept is based on the styles of the four main female Gossip Girl characters:

  • Serena van der Woodsen
  • Blair Waldorf
  • Jenny Humphrey
  • Vanessa Abrams

Sui explained her approach this spring in a press release, “My collection for Target combines elements of art and the spirit of New York City with my signature prints, silhouettes and use of color.”

She also loves making her designs accessible, “I have always been a fan of designer partnerships with mass retailers. I think it is a great way to bring fashion to everyone.”

She’s definitely managed to make the Gossip Girl look accessible to many with this collaboration.

What’s your favorite style and which Gossip Girl are you?

Are your tastes graceful yet edgy like Serena?*

anni sui for target screen shot serena

Do you have a thing for baby-doll dresses and bows like Blair?*

anni sui for target screen shot blair

Do you have an daring, devil-may-care approach to fashion like Jenny?*

anni sui for target screen shot jenny

Are you a bohemian with a distinct Brooklyn flavor like Vanessa?*

anni sui for target screen shot vanessa

*All photos are screen shots from the website

With this line this much fun and with so many great pieces, do you really need to choose?

I have to admit, I’m digging both the concept and the designs.  Not all work for me, but that’s the point.  She’s got four distinct styles and there is something for everyone.

Target chose the right combination for sure: a hot designer and the hottest show on television!

With the pieces priced between $19.99 to $149.99, the collection clearly suits both the tastes and the budgets of Target customers because many pieces have already sold out!

Move fast and and do your Gossip Girl inspired shopping here: Anna Sui for Target

What do you think? Do you like the line? Do you think Anna’s style interpretations for the characters are correct?

More links:


For most of us, fashion shows inspire rather than stock our wardrobes. The clothes are too darn expensive, first off, and then there’s the long, long wait until what you spot on the runway makes it into the stores.

That is, unless you live in Japan.

Twice a year, the Tokyo Girls Fashion Show features the hottest and (this being Japan) most adorable fashions, all available for purchase via cell phone.

This particular intersection of fashion and commerce has been on our wish list for awhile, but Japan has beat Europe and the United States to the punch.

It seems like a marketing gimme. Why wouldn’t retailers, especially ones who target gadget- and fashion-obsessed youth, make it easy for consumers to snap up their goods at the touch of the button?

Part of the reason is because of the way Europeans and Americans use cell phones.

Japanese use their phones for anything and everything: reading email, blogging and yes, shopping. Enough cell phones sell in Japan each year to give a new one to half the population.

The Japanese want their phones packed with features that seem like science fiction to Americans: motion sensors for Wii-like games, ecommerce apps that let you pay for food and subway fare, and yes, the ability to shop right from your phone. When it comes right down to it, folks in the US and UK would just as soon use their phones to text – or even, God forbid, make a phone call.

All of this has made it quite a challenge for retailers to adapt mobile ecommerce for the western market. One idea, semicode bars, popped up in H&M ads in the UK in 2007. The idea was consumers would spot a belt or a blouse or a bangle they craved, snap a picture of the bar code, and beam the info to H&M headquarters, where the elves of fast fashion would assemble their purchase.

Sounds great to us, but as the internets are curiously silent about the campaign from 2008 on, it’s probably safe to say it didn’t take off. And you still can’t buy H&M duds from their website.

Save us, Japan!

Summer is the perfect moment for fast fashion. The season of beach and barbecues will scent your clothes with that distinctive sweaty, sloshed drink smell anyway, so why not spend your cash on new margarita glasses instead of clothes that will be one season wonders?

In this spirit, here’s our challenge:  to assemble a complete outfit–from head to toe–for under or around $50.  And to save time and energy (it’s hot outside, and there’s fun to be had), these picks are from just three stores.

♣Perfect ForSaturday Afternoon Errands (add your own jeans under the dress for a completely new outfit).  Dress:  Forever 21, $18.90; Shoes:  Payless, $24.99; Bracelets:  Forever 21, $6.80.  Total:  $50.69



♣Perfect ForHot Nights Out.  No accessories necessary:  this outfit is tough enough as is.  Dress: Forever 21, $36; Shoes:  Target, $26.99.  Total:  $62.99



♣Perfect ForLadies Who Brunch.  The combo of high waist shorts + platform heels = long and lean = requests for your trainer’s number.  Shirt:  Forever 21, $19.80; Shorts: Forever 21, $24.00;  Shoes:  Target, $19.99.  Total:  $63.79



♣Perfect ForSummer Wedding/Baby Shower.  Shirt:  Target, $8.99; Necklace:  Forever 21, $7.80; Skirt:  Forever 21, $15.80; Shoes:  Target, $19.99.  Total:  $52.58



Whether you’re worried about saving the planet or saving your face, green beauty products are the way to go. After all, If you can’t pronounce it, you probably don’t want it on your skin. (Phthalates, anyone?) These green beauty buys will keep you looking pretty.


1. Bare Escentuals 100% Natural Lip Gloss

Non-sticky, easy-to-apply gloss in twelve colors ranging from Iced Coffee (a warm, mocha brown) to Sugar Cookie (barely-there pink.) Quoth one user on “Really hydrates the lips and smells like a glazed donut!” $15 for .14 oz.


2. Beauty Without Cruelty Waterproof Mascara

Glamorous vegans rejoice: No need to get raccoon eyes merely to spare the rabbits. This mascara contains no animal ingredients and goes on smoothly – no clumps. $14.95 for .27 oz.


3. Cargo Blu-Ray Polishing Cloths

Exfoliating cloths to remove makeup and smooth your skin. Reduces the look of fine lines and helps moisturizer penetrate and bronzers go on more easily. Cloths are reusable and surprisingly effective: Word on the interwebs is that you want to use a gentle hand while you’re figuring out how much polishing your skin will take. $15 for 20 cloths.


4. Dr. Bronner’s Organic Body Soap

The great granddaddy of natural and organic beauty products. Dr. B famously claims that all you need are his soaps and enough sleep, and you can forgo all other beauty products. Even if that’s a little too granola for you, you can start your beauty routine and know you’re getting squeaky clean while being kind to critters and the planet. Comes in a variety of different scents; lavender is our favorite and the one pictured. $14.99 for 24 oz.


5. Yu – Be Moisturizing Skin Cream to Go

Free of dyes and fragrances, these pocket-sized tubes will moisten the roughest dry skin. Some people we know even use it on their face, although personally we prefer a moisturizer with sunscreen for that. Will definitely smooth out those cracked heels though. $15 for 1.25 oz.

Here’s one reason to be glad the giant bag trend is dying down: You can actually find things in your purse again. Of course, a more modestly sized bag means you need to be a bit more selective about what you put in it. So here it is: Your desert island (or city clutch) list of absolute, non-negotiable, can’t-live-without-’em essentials. And as an added bonus, each and every one is under five bucks.


1. Hand Sanitizer

Skip the apple a day if you must. If you really want to keep the doctor away, wash your hands. Hand sanitizer is great when you can’t get to soap and water, but don’t want to risk rubbing your eyes with swine flu or any of the other nasty germs in the restroom of your local coffee shop.


2. Nail Clippers

What’s the most annoying thing in the world? When you break a nail and wind up with that little nub of nail on one side. You know, the kind you can’t chew off, and can’t stop feeling all day as it bumps into your keyboard and snags your favorite sweater.

Get yourself some clippers, and you’ll never have to put up with that again. You have a variety of styles to choose from. Most drugstores sell the long-handled ones your local nail salon favors, plus a variety of cutesy clips with cartoon characters on the handles, perfect for the little obsessive-compulsive in your life. I’m a purist, and favor the standard stainless steel clipper. Bonus? It’s cheap.


3. Emery Board

See above. Emery boards are great for smoothing down the really tiny rough edges, and these are so small, they’ll fit easily in your purse. Great for people who just can’t stop biting their nails. (Not that I would know anything about that.)


4. Tissues

Want a runny nose? Don’t carry tissues. To guarantee an extra-sniffly day, wear your best outfit and a perfectly made up face. You’ll be a sneeze machine in no time. Or, if you want to be a poop about it, carry tissues. And then, of course, you’ll never need them.


5. Lip balm

I have a friend who claims that lip balm is addictive. “Think about it,” she’ll insist. “People who use lip balm? Always need it.” I tried to think about it, but I kept staring at her super-chapped lips. Anyway, it’s lip balm for me – preferably with sunscreen in it.

big-blue-dots-toms1Nothing sings spring quite like exposing your toes.  When the weather finally gives you the opportunity to wear mandals, flip-flops, or canvas slips, your feet are thrilled to shed the thick, woolen socks of winter.  But unlike heavy winter boots, which are made to withstand a forceful 6 months of snow, sleet, and ice, warm-weather shoes are made to soak up summer sweat.

Which, by my calculations, just means that you need to have more summer shoes in your rotation.

TOMS shoes are one of my go-to footwear choices for sunny days.  Each pair of TOMS is created from a canvas upper and leather footbed, and sits on a textured EVA sole.  The styles are unisex, and the variations are many:  tie-dye, glitter, sailor, plaid, burlap, graffitti, fleece-lined and utilitarian brights.  If you get caught in a summer rainstorm, just leave them on the front porch to dry; step in mud puddle, and you can gently wash your TOMS in cold water to remove the dirt.  And if you’re wondering how to style them, TOMS look fantastic with wide-legged jeans, tiny skirts, and cargo shorts.

Best of all, TOMS is founded on the principle of one for one:  for each pair of TOMS purchased, the company gives a pair of shoes to a child in need.  TOMS shoe drops have distributed over 140,000 pairs of shoes around the globe.

The more you buy, the more you give.  Didn’t I tell you that you needed more than one pair?

For a limited time, enter SpringTOMS for 10% off at checkout.