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The minute is approaching. Only T-1 day until the streets are alive with the sound of spending. It may not be New York over here, but it’s still sure to be a helluva party. Fashion’s Night Out touches down tomorrow here in San Francisco at roughly 6 pm and the sheer number of options that shoppers have is truly astounding. I have created a guide (or cheat sheet) to help ease the pain of having to figure out where exactly it is you should be at a given time. Below is a list of the events, where exactly they are, and what deals are going on.

1. Head to Neiman Marcus whose events are ongoing throughout the night starting at 6pm and ending at 9pm. This is where I’ll spend a good chunk of time taking pictures of the happs for FashionSchoolDaily. Check it out for the guaranteed photo op and these events:

– See work by Academy of Art design students (storewide)

– Meet jewelry designer Mimi So (precious jewels salon, 1st floor)

– Check out models showcasing fall trends (designer jewelry, 1st floor)

-Make-overs and “paparazzi” (cosmetics, 1st floor)

Free booze, Free food

2. Cruise for celebrities at Macy’s but NOT WITHOUT A PRICE!

– Meet Carlos Santana from 6pm to 7pm but only if you buy shoes or a handbag from his line, still it might be worth it… (shoes, 2nd floor)

– Meet Countess LuAnn de Lesseps at 7:30, personally I have no idea who she is but they (the fashion authorities) say that she’s from a show called The Real Housewives of New York City. Hmmm, still don’t care (bridge, 1st floor)

– See a show from 6pm to 9pm! A fashion show of course, or more of a challenge I suppose, called Flutter, A September Night’s Dream put on by my main man, Owen Buenaventura (he hooked it up with press passes to the SFFAMA Awards). Designers include Jill Giordano & Brian Scheyer, Daniel & David Concepcion, Phuong My, Danielle Pettee and Mike San Gaspar. (Impulse, 3rd floor)

3. Sak’s seems’s like they hardly give a shit, I wish they’d elaborate on what exactly they’re doing cause it sounds pretty decent.

– DJ’s and trivia, models and make-overs (they didn’t say much more)

– Something about Chloe artists sketching attendees?

Free booze

4. Bloomingdales has also been pretty vague about their happenings. Here’s what I dug up (it’s not much):

– “Informal modeling” (???)


Free booze, Free food

5. Nordstrom’s is one of my favorite department stores partially because of their exchange policy and partially because of their inventory and friendly employees. Either way, show them love tomorrow, you’ll be happy to hear that they (unlike some other dept. stores) don’t suck at providing useful information to the public.

– Get dolled up at the Chanel cosmetics booth from 6pm to 9pm at the “Girls Getting Gorgeous” event

– Shop exclusive collections from Toms, William Rast, and more

-This is the only place to buy FNO merch like those tees and bags that are everywhere. I want one.

Free booze, Free food

6. Loehmann’s, the department store I always associate with that show, The Nanny (adoringly so) is also in on it.

– The debut their new arrivals to their back room

– Hopefully there’s booze, but that’s just wishful thinking…

7. The Westfield Center is chock full of stores you will want to go to. The deals are overwhelming so I have compressed them into shorted blurbs.

Under the Dome VIP Event – $10 gets you wine and appetizers and other stuff you probably want (5pm to 6:30pm)

Bare Escentuals – Make-overs and free samples

Hugo Boss – Free boozeFree food

Brighton Collectibles – Designer story boards Free boozeFree food

Charles Chocolates – “Guided tasting” which translates to Free food

Edition by Banana Republic – Free boozeFree food

Herve Leger by Max Azria – Perfume with the purchase of a dress Free boozeFree food

Kenneth Cole – Free tote with purchase

LarkCreekSteak – Free desert with mean, so that’s kind of sort of like Free Food

Max & Co. – Free gift with purchase of $500 or more Free boozeFree food

Max Studio – 25% off Gift Certificate, shopping spree raffle

Melvita – Some skin care promo and Free food (actually it’s a honey tasting, but it’s close enough)

Michael Kors – Handbag raffle, DJ, Free boozeFree food

Torneau – Raffle, trunk show, Free boozeFree food

Tous – Goodie bag with catalog, perfume sample, and promo item Free boozeFree food

True Religion Brand Jeans – Free gift with purchase of $150 or more

Vera Bradley – Raffle, discounted purse with other purchase

White House Black Market – Free gift with purchase of $300 or more Free boozeFree food

Shaping up pretty nicely, eh? But the most shocking part is that I’m not even done yet. The FNO website has a few more participating San Francisco retailers that I’ll also mention.

8. The Betsey Johnson store at 160 Geary is participating by offering a free gift with any purchase and of course, Free booze, Free food

9. Jimmy Choo unveils the collaboration with Ugg Australia. Love it or hate it, you’ll probably want to see it.

I know it’s last minute to call for comments but if ou knw of any other participating retailers in the San Francisco area, let me know via the comment box or tweet me (I gave in to it) @laureilly1990 and I’ll add it to the list.

Farewell, and happy shopping.

edit: Shotwell Boutique on Grant St. will be participating with a ‘play dress up and photoshoot’ thing.


Cynthia - It Was Either The Cat or The Fan But The Fan is Unplug

I’m growing fond of lengthy titles like the above, even better if it’s a compound title with a colon or parentheses. Anyway, I’ve just decimated my closet for the first time since I’ve reached San Francisco and it really was about time, although now I’m realizing that without mounds of terrifying scraps of fabric, my wardrobe is actually quite meager. One of the problems I always run into when dividing my things into keepers and scrappers is how to wear an article. I have devised a list of things to consider about the capabilities and functions of garments for when you’re rummaging through your own piles of clothes or through thrift stores

1. Probably the most old school transformations – chop them pant legs off and get yourself a pair of shorts.

2. Long skirts can become strapless dresses. This style looks it’s best with a belt cinched at the waist but make sure that there is minimal bunching. Also make sure that the band is neither too tight nor too wide when sitting at the overbust.

3. Similarly, short skirts can become strapless shirts. Same basic rules apply, instead of a belt experiment with how it looks tucked in.

4. Button-down shirts have so many possibilities, it would be positively criminal to neglect them. See them used as skirts & dresses or just try buttoning them differently.

5. Sometimes halter tops can be worn as one-shoulder tops and sometimes one-shoulder tops can be worn as halters. Don’t try and force this one because it can look really cheesy if you’re trying to shove your head through an armhole or if your only strap won’t hold your top up. Beware, this is only for the bravehearted and lucky.

6. Don’t be afraid of a little t-shirt surgery.

7. Strapless tops can double as skirts, skin-tight skirts of course but since that appears to be in fashion, I don’t really see that as an issue.

8. Try things on upside-down, backwards, inside out, and sideways. There will be a whole set of new kinds of draping that may or may not work on a piece of clothing. You never know what you’ll discover. One of my favorite vests, I only wear upside-down, it’s just more interesting.

9. Try pushing both straps of a tank top onto one shoulder. Jane from sea of shoes did this with a classic AA tank and looked quite cool.

10. Another thing done by Jane from SoS that is quite amazing is that she used a pair of wide gauchos as a one-sleeved dress. It makes more sense if you see for yourself. That girl might just be the queen of versatile, I’m not sure yet.

11. Scarves can be used as many things. They can be tops, skirts, dresses, bags and belts. I promise to do a post on this soon to show you what I mean.

12. You know how American Apparel made a versatile dress that can be flipped upside down and the wider points on the skirt could be tied behind your neck and voila, a slouchy halter top? I’m pretty sure that you can do this with other wide, long skirts by using a safety-pin to fasten in the back.

13. Comparable with #2, strapless dressed can be transformed into long skirts. I’m not going to make any rules for this one, it should be fairly obvious whether or not this can be done.

14. Long necklaces can be strung together to create a ‘body cage’ effect when worn around the arms or over the torso.

15. Silly as it may sound, there are over 30 different ways to lace a pair of shoes, and although this may seem like such a minor, insignificant element of an outfit, think again, it may just be that one thing that sets it apart.

16. Try tops on TOGETHER. Something that may not look so amazing on the outside can look great underneath something else or vice versa, with maybe only the collar or cuff exposed. You can do this in lots of combos (button down/button-down, t-shirt/button-down, cami/button-down, t-shirt/cami, corset/cami, etc).

17. Thigh-high stockings and socks can be scrunched down and worn around the knees or ankles for a slouchy effect.

18. Long jackets and cardigans can be belted or just buttoned if you’d like for a modern, fall-ready dress. Try this with tights or leggings

19. Short poofy skirts can be used under other skirts or dresses to give them more body, this of this as a sort of modern crinoline.

20. If all else fails, go naked.

Hope you take heed to my suggestions and discover something new and exciting in your own wardrobes.

After seeing Emily’s post on how to look ‘runway ready,’ as she put it, or in other words, polish up to take outfit pictures, I was inspired to compile my own list on the same topic. Although this is a hotly pondered topic in the fashion blogging world, it also applies to those few people nowadays who don’t have a blog. This, in my most humble opinion, is a good guide to cleaning up the loose ends in your outfit.



1. Wear sunglasses indoors. When you’re taking an outfit picture in your house before you go out and want to indicate that your outfit also includes a pair of glasses, take your sunnies off of your face and either hold them casually in one hand or slip them onto the front of your shirt (if appropriate). Covering your eyes with them or setting them on your head is amateur.

2. Advertise your wet hair. That’s just tasteless, no one wants to see your soggy locks dampening your probably otherwise perfectly decent outfit. If you’re in a hurry, run the blow-dryer over the fronts of your hair and pin it up with a banana clip: it’ll look sophisticated & runway-esque.

3. Pose with cigarettes or alcohol. No, however great you may look in your photos, you’re not a model and that means that you’re not getting paid to endorse smoking and drinking. It looks contrived and you end up looking desperate.

4. Fasten up your outer-wear all the way. What you’re wearing underneath (unless you’re a flasher) is important also. Leave your coat/jacket open in the front, hang it off your shoulders, or carry it in the crook of your elbow.

5. Hide your shoes under your trousers. Even though skinny jeans are en vogue, people are still wearing wide-leg pants which leaves them at risk for ‘eclipsing’ the shoes they’re wearing and giving the effect of having no feet at all, and seriously, who wants to look like they have no feet? Bear in mind that skinny jeans are still a risk factor.

6. Wear flip-flops. I know this is a popular VICE commandment and I just have to agree. It shouldn’t take too much effort for you to put on real shoes, now, should it.

7. Have a hairband on your wrist. I know I often fall victim to this one rookie error, but I’ve realized it make so much of a difference and makes you look polished if you don’t have bobby-pins clipped to your collar or a hair-tie on your arm, you don’t want people to think that you have a ‘back-up plan’ for your hair or whatever.


1. Keep your sock situation in order. Keep your little socks hidden and your long socks unbunched. If they’re too thick to fit in your shoes, they’re not supposed to go there in the first place.

2. Dress weather-appropriately. When it’s August and you’re wearing a fur hat and a scarf because it looks great with some jacket, you know you’re going to end up taking off some of the add-ons. Posting this as an outfit you’re wearing is only half-true because you only really wore part of it. Plus, wouldn’t you rather be comfortable?

3. Pay attention to non-clothing aspects of your ‘look’. For example, keep your nails trimmed and painted (clear gloss or colour), skin healthy, and teeth clean.

4. Explore the versatility of each garment individually. Look at what you are wearing right now. Do you see how much you could do with it? Even a simple blazer or oxford shirt has innumerable ways of wearing the lengths of the sleeves, your trousers could be cuffed inwards or outwards, your shirt tucked in or out. Don’t go overboard with the combos but don’t neglect the alternative possibilities.

5. Play with accessories, but don’t go overboard. Moderation is the key element, so pick a statement piece like a bold necklace that will complement your neckline or a notable bracelet for exposed wrists.

6. Be bold and shy away from the nude lip. Red lipstick has been one of the key elements of high-fashion for decades, so why is it suddenly fading away in favor of clear gloss? Fight the norm and go with a red or even orange lip colour.