Promo Codes, Promo Codes, Everywhere!

Like many of you, I frequently shop online. Upon checkout, just about every site asks if you have a promo code. Alas, I rarely did. Until now.

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My son Ty, who has been a bonafide techno-geek since about the age of four, recently told me that all you have to do get a promo code is open another browser window, Google the name of the store where you’re shopping and the words “promo code,” and you’ll get a list of websites where you can find a host of deals. From percentages off to free shipping, these codes can put a decent dent in your bottom line.

I had no idea that such an option even existed. Maybe I’m behind the curve and you already knew about it—to which I can only reply, “Why didn’t you tell me?!” But if you’re as new to the concept as I am, you’ll love it. And you’ll never shop without it.

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The Perfect Pant. No Kidding.

A dedicated fan of skinny jeans, I’ve been in the market for a pair of dressier pants that have the same basic shape and fit. The Lisette L Pant-Alon is all that and more.

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There are no zippers. No buttons. No lumpy fabric anywhere. They’re pull-on pants with a flat front, a wide waistband, and an amazingly slimming fit. I hesitate to use the term “pull-on,” because it brings to mind the horribly frumpy, elastic-waist, polyester atrocities favored by women who dress strictly for comfort.

These. Are. Not. Those. Pants.

Available in a variety of styles—straight, slim cut, boot cut, flared, ankle, and capri—they work for a diversity of body types. They can be dressed up with a tailored shirt, blazer, and pumps, or dressed down with a T-shirt or tunic and flats or sandals. The fit follows the shape of your body (think of leggings with breathing room), so there’s no bagging anywhere. According to the Lisette L website, the Pant-Alon “flattens and flatters, slims the abs, contours the hips, and shapes the behind.”

Huh. And to think I’ve been going to the gym five days a week for all that.

While I don’t recommend giving up your workouts because of what these pants can do, I do recommend them to show off your accomplishments. And if you’re not a gym rat, they may help you look more like one that you’ve ever imagined.

The Lisette L Pant-Alon is available at Maiden Lane in Nevada City, CA. Phone orders are accepted, so call 530.265.9520.

Be Warned: The Downside of Overdyed Denim

While that intense indigo dye so popular these days gives your jeans a rich, dark color (the fashion statement) and visually slims your legs (the vanity bonus), it can also cause problems…expensive problems.

I have a pale silvery-metallic Michael Kors shoulder bag for which I paid a considerable sum.

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Recently, while lunching with a friend, I noticed that the back side of the bag—the part that rubs against my outer thigh—was smudged a muddy blue color. It took only seconds to realize that the dye on my dark denim jeans had rubbed off onto the leather, and it was there to stay. So much for my plan to carry that costly MK handbag for years. Last time I checked, tie-dyed purses were not in style.

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Now that spring is approaching and lighter-colored handbags are appearing on the scene, keep in mind that overdyed denim is their enemy. My advice is to switch to a black or other dark-colored handbag when wearing dark jeans, and save the lighter bag for clothes whose colors stay put. A good way to tell if an item is colorfast is to lightly rub an inconspicuous spot with a damp white cloth. If the cloth picks up the color, so will your handbag—just from the mild friction of the bag bumping against your body.

I haven’t experienced any problems with the denim dye rubbing off on tops—possibly because there’s no friction involved when I wear a top outside my pants. But before tucking a much-loved white shirt into your jeans, you might want to try the colorfast test on the inside of the waistband.

Heels, Glorious Heels

I am an admitted shoe junkie. Perhaps the best thing about footwear is that it always fits, whether you’re having a slinky day or a chunky day. Shoes are mercifully kind in that respect.

Several years ago, I became enchanted by the skinny-jeans/pants-with-pumps look, since it tends to make one’s legs look miles long. The higher the heel, the happier I was…until it was time to do any serious walking. That just wasn’t going to happen in a tall platform pump. On weekends away, the shoes I packed determined whether or not my husband and I strolled from our hotel to a relatively close-by restaurant for dinner. And since my  favorite out-of-town shoes were always high, that meant not much walking. And dang it…I like to walk!

The upshot is that I spend a lot of time being torn between a style I love and the comfort I require to go the distance, and the fashion-forward gene I inherited from my mom usually wins. [I’m grateful, Mom…truly…but the DNA you passed on to me has a tendency to get in the way. After all, aren’t you the one who said I’m the only kid you knew who dressed up to walk to the corner to mail a letter?]

And then…there were these.

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Stuart Weitzman, as always, comes through. These pumps have a 3-inch heel and a 1/2-inch platform, making them the equivalent of a 2-1/2-inch heel. They’re the perfect solution when you want a stylish, dressy look without the limitations of a shoe that’s uncomfortable to walk in for any length of time. They look great with dresses and skirts, and also make a contemporary statement with skinny pants and jeans.

Shoe-Shopping with the Girls

Two weeks ago, I met my niece Karen and great-niece Megan in LA for a shopping trip. They flew from New Jersey for the occasion, so this was clearly a very big deal. And trust me…there is nothing quite as thrilling as three generations of style-conscious females in one of the country’s leading fashion centers.

We hit Century City, The Grove, and Rodeo Drive over a three-day period. Our purchases ranged from multicolored flip-flops (Meg) to Louboutin pumps (Karen) to Stuart Weitzman wedges (me)…and yep, there was some clothing in there, too.

I have no doubt that the SWs will be my go-to shoes all spring and summer.

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Unlike most wedges, they’re extremely lightweight. I love the look of tall shoes with skinny jeans, but I hate clomping around with what feels like a five-pound weight on each foot. These, on the contrary, feel almost airy. And in true Weitzman form, they’re about as comfortable as it gets.