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Fashion

The Eyes Have It

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 19th August 2014

The process of purchasing glasses seems to be an inevitable daunting task, as prescription eyewear can have shoppers forking over hundreds of dollars.

With no overhead charges, such as rent for a brick-and-mortar store or licensing fees for designer frames, online glasses websites are alleviating customers’ fears (and pockets) by providing affordable, high quality eyewear options.

First here are the tips to “what you need to know before purchasing gasses online”:

1.       Get your prescription (RX) from a doctor or eye care professional

a.       Please note that in the USA it is federal law that a prescription must be given to you at the conclusion of an eye examination.

b.      A prescription provides 39DollarGlasses.com with your doctor’s recommendation for clear and comfortable vision. The numbers on your prescription tell 39DollarGlasses.com how strong the glasses need to be.

c.       For more information on perscriptions visit 39DollarGlasses prescription information.

2.       Measure your Pupillary Distance (PD)

a.       Your pupillary distance, or PD, is the distance between the centers of your pupils in millimeters (mm). This measurement is necessary to ensure the correct positioning of your lenses within the frame you have chosen.

b.      Steps to measure PD:

i.      Place a millimeter ruler on the bridge of your nose.

ii.      Have a friend face you about arms length away.

iii.      Have your friend measure the distance between the center of your pupils (the black dots in the middle of your eyes).

iv.      Or you can do it yourself simply by looking in the mirror. If you need your glasses on to do this, you can draw dots on the lenses where your pupils are (using a magic marker or highlighter); then take the glasses off and measure the distance between them.

3.       Review websites’ warranty policies

a.       39DollarGlasses.com offers a 100% Worry-Free Guarantee (certain lenses excluded*).

b.      For more information please visit 39DollarGlasses Warranty Page.

This is an array of sites. The Frugal Diva does not wear glasses (except sunglasses when she needs to travel incognito) so please let me know if you have any preferences among the following options.

39DollarGlasses.com

39DollarGlasses.com is a leading online optical store that offers quality prescription eyewear at great affordable prices (prices range from $39 – $150). Since 2000, the company has sold prescription glasses and sunglasses, reading glasses, bifocals, progressives, and sunglasses to men, women and children all over the world. With high quality materials, a knowledgeable customer service team, and a quick turnaround time, 39DollarGlasses makes it easy to get great eyewear at an amazingly low price. Also, every pair of lenses is custom crafted in the company’s world-class facilities in Long Island, New York. For more information, please visit: www.39dollarglasses.com.

Warby Parker

Warby Parker is an vintage-inspired prescription eyeglasses e-tailer (prices range from $95 – $350). By circumventing traditional channels, designing glasses in-house, and engaging with customers directly, and offering at Home Try-On Program, Warby Parker was able to provide high-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear to online shoppers. For more information, please visit: www.warbyparker.com.

Coastal.com

Coastal.com is an online retailer of eyewear products (prices range from $69 – $200).  Established in 2000, the Coastal.com family of brands offers an extensive, in stock selection of prescription eyewear, contact lenses and sunglasses. Coastal.com’s vision is to make the eyeglasses shopping process simple.  For more information, please visit www.coastal.com.

Mezzmer.com

Mezzmer.com offers a wide variety of eyeglasses, sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses online (prices range from $69 – $120). Tracking the latest style trends, Mezzmer products are of designer quality and appearance, without compromising on the style or quality aspect. For more information, please visit www.mezzmer.com.

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Made In the USA – Clothing

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 21st July 2014

The Frugal Diva likes to emphasize the positive. Let’s concentrate on how we can shop American.

American Apparel clothing at great prices is manufactured right here in downtown Los Angeles employing 5000 workers. Let’s support this local business and their efforts at not only manufacturing in the USA but keeping it sustainable, donating to local schools, giving their employees ESL classes, access to health care, benefits, and encouraging workers to bike or bus to work. While teens are the target market, there are plentiful items for kids that include organic and natural play dough, organic cotton clothes, and fun hair accessories. Even if they are mocked on Sex and the City (a bit dated reference),  a scrunchie keeps hair out of your eyes and off your neck while working out. Dov get your act together! Check out a store near you.

C and C California is super trendy, super comfy, and made here.  Great sales page!

Let’s not forget the gentlemen. Ebbets.com has all manners of throwback sports attire and some are even on sale.

The Made in America Foundation champions manufacturing in the USA and has great resources for finding companies.

Let me know about your favorite made in the USA clothing, accessories, and shoes. I’ll be happy to add them to the list.

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FIDM

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 24th February 2014

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising is a great place to visit, shop, and explore an interesting area of downtown LA. Now for the Diva it’s always more fun if there is some discount shopping involved and FIDM has a wonderful Scholarship Store with some of the best deals in town. For those not in LA, there is an online store, prices are not as good however there are original and unique items.

All the merchandise sold in the Scholarship Store is donated by over 400 successful manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers, many of whom employ FIDM Alumni.  They send overstock and end of season items at great prices.  All the money you spend goes to scholarships so feel good about splurging.

Now they also have exhibits of movie and television costumes plus a gallery devoted to perfume. The FIDM Los Angeles campus houses a Permanent and Study Collection of over 12,000 costumes, accessories, and textiles from the 18th century through the present day, including film and theatre costume. It is one of the largest such collections in the United States, and top designer holdings include Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, and Lacroix.

A current exhibition is 22nd Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design February 11 – April 26, 2014. On view are actual costumes from 2013 movies nominated for Oscars. This exhibit is free to the public and will be open Monday  – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Check it out and watch Project Runway like a fashion insider.

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Posted in Category Test, Fashion | 1 Comment »

365 Hangers

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 7th August 2013

As The Frugal Diva leafs through fashions magazines, the question always pops up – who are these people modeling the clothes?  At 365Hangers.com, you don’t have to ask because the models look like someone you would see at work, shopping, or in your own mirror.  A size 10 dress most likely will be on a size 10 model.  So no more wondering if that style would look good on your body.

365 Hangers carries brand names such as DVF, I.N.C., Marc Jacobs, and French Connection and they guarantee 70% off on every designer label on the website. Let’s do the math – cute sleeveless dress by Aqua for $98 is reduced to $37, maxi from Inc was $79 now it’s $27, and my personal favorite DKNY has a $195 long sweater that was brought down to a more reasonable $59.

When buying clothing on the internet. the shipping and return policies are very important. For all our good intentions, sometimes items don’t fit like we expected or the color doesn’t work. 365 Hangers charges $7 for shipping the entire order and you pay the return shipping. Per their site regarding returns. To request a return send an email to support@365hangers.com to explain your reason for returning the item (damage, inferior quality, poor fit etc). The shopper will then be issued store credit upon receiving the returned items to use towards their next purchase. A 10% handling fee will be deducted from initial product purchase amount (excluding shipping charges) on all returns.

There are great deals here however make the utmost effort to be sure before you buy.

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DSW – Need I Say More

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 14th May 2013

Shoes have many good qualities. They are loyal. Gain a few pounds and your jeans will turn on you.  However you have to gain a lot of weight to out grow your favorite pair of pumps.  They wait quietly at the back of the closet until that perfect occasion when only red heels with white polka dots will do.  And you can try on endless pairs without taking off your clothes.

The best place to spend countless hours looking, trying on and maybe even buying – DSW. So much more than those three letters. It’s a place to hang out and meet other people. If only they served beverages and light snacks, one could easily spend the entire day there. I don’t know whether it’s the sheer choice of all those aisles or the friendly salespeople or the unbelievable prices that make this a such a great destination.

And like everywhere else, it’s more fun if you join the club. It costs nothing and you start getting little notices. Before you know it, points start accumulating, coupons are in the mail, and you are on your way to even greater savings.

This is the type of hunting that I’m talking about. They send me a $10 coupon good for any purchase over $59, I buy a $55 pair of Anne Klein loafers (listed at $79 on the AK website), that are reduced another 50% on clearance to $27 and use the coupon – bringing the grand total to$17 dollars and change plus tax.

Tell them your birth date and they send you a $5 coupon good for that month. Hey, it may not seem like a lot but it’s more then the other stores are doing for me. DSW, a company that helps you look good without spending too much money.

This is a also a great place to buy gifts items-socks, bags, slippers, and gift cards.

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Posted in Fashion | 1 Comment »

It’s In The Bag

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 21st April 2013

We carry them and they carry us through a day’s work, evening out, marketing, and trips to the gym.  Our purses need to have everything from bandages for that occasional blister, lip gloss, all manners of ID, a little cash and some change for the parking meter, hair brush, sun block, keys,  phone and phone accessories, coupons (of course), maybe a laptop or iPad, extra pantyhose, and various unmentionables.  The Frugal Diva watches with envy as The Frugal Dude grabs his wallet and keys to brave the world for an entire day.

Where do we get these fabulous bags and how do we get them at the best price?

6pm.com carries a hugh inventory of everything including backpacks, clutches, and handbags. They are usually my go to place for shoes however the bags are very cute and what’s a great pair of shoes without a bag.

Try  Baghaus for hot, haute bags that include all the latest totes.

Target has lured so many great designers that it is worth your time to cruise the site or stop in person to snap up the latest trend.  Summer is for fun and they have wonderful selections of fringed and print bags.

Have fun shopping out there and let me know your favorite finds!

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Discounts For Recycling

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 10th April 2013

Celebrate Earth Day with these great offers from companies committed to the environment.

BeFrugal has noticed a growing trend right now for some stores to offer a discount to shoppers who donate or recycle items. Here are 4 examples:

a. Donate clothing (from any brand) at H&M and get a discount voucher for a future H&M purchase. You’ll get a 15% off coupon for the item of your choice for each bag of clothes you donate (with a limit two bags per day)

b. Instead of throwing it away, bring in your old hair styling tools. At Sally Beauty Supply bring in a used styling tool to save $5 off a new one $24.99+ (code 444568) or $10 on a new one $59.99+(code 444569).

c. The Blues Jean Bar is offering 10% off new jeans when you bring in a pair of jeans to donate to charity, 15% off when you bring in two or 20% off when you bring in three pairs of jeans in April.

d. Cosmetic company MAC offers a free M·A·C lipstick of your choice when you return their 6 of their primary packaging containers to a MAC counter or MAC Cosmetics online.

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I Promise To Love, Honor, And Have A Discount Wedding

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 27th March 2013

Your wedding day is a great opportunity to acknowledge that you are in love, starting out of a new path, and have the attention of everyone in the room.

First choice, decide how many.  There are two options, just the immediate family or 150 guests. How do I get to that equation? Everyone who has invited you to their wedding, your cousins, your neighbors, your family’s neighbors, and there are two of you-so unless one of you was found on the doorstep of an orphanage or raised by wolves-double all numbers. If you are going to stay with just parents, brothers and sisters, children, and grandparents you may stop reading here.

The rest of you suckers for that big day, let us move forward. Invitations – hand engraved on parchment by a professional calligrapher – no way!!  Printed on your ink jet using nice colored paper from the Paper Source or the envelopemall.com - yes way!! Get some transparent labels for the addresses – print two copies so you can use the second one for the Thank You notes.  Print your own return address labels for the RSVP envelopes and the outside envelopes.  Even more eco friendly are on line invite services.

We all love beautiful flowers. Here is the truth about flowers – they are very expensive and die in three to four days. This is not the kind of investment you want to make. Here are some great options. Living baby roses in a beautiful container.  this is a great tip from Sasha Taylor owner of Bodhi Babies – buy inexpensive glass bowl shaped vases, fill them with water, float a few small candles and then add a few roses or another flower to glide prettily in the water.  Sasha also added color by buying two small ficus trees and strategically placing roses in the leaves. Later use them in your apartment or plant them in your garden. Remember a small spash of color makes a great impression.

You can learn how to make a bouquet from a DIY internet site. Another tradition that I just loved. As the bride walks down the aisle, her friends each handed her a flower that she placed in a embroidered cloth holder. Everyone got to participate and she had a beautiful spontaneous bouquet.

Feeding your guests is the major expense. Remember many restaurants and venues will give substantial discounts for off day weddings. If everyone is local a week night is a possibility.  Or possibly one of your friends has a large home, common room in their condo, or work area space that can be used. Creativity is the key to savings.

First, second or third time around, this can be a fun day without breaking the bank.

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Posted in Fashion | 2 Comments »

Top Button

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 14th January 2013

An oldie but a goodie, Top Button has been around for some time giving you the best sales in LA and NYC.  The membership comes for free, so sign up to receive updates on sales such as the following.

The Fred Segal used to be once a year sale now has a winter date. Right now up to 50 off.

And keeping up with the groupons, they have added a restaurant and spa discount section.  These places are pricey so this might be best for a special occasion.

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Bloomingdales – Still The Greatest

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 7th January 2013

Now you might wonder why a Frugal Diva would cross the threshold of an upscale department store. Here’s why – fantastic sale, coupons that give you $25 off for every $100 that you spend, and the need for a new dress for a very special occasion.  So at the Beverly Center Bloomies, I went to the 3rd floor ready to just walk in and walk out.  These clothes looked perfect if you were young, thin, and trendy. Luckily for me, I was helped by Pamela Ruday (if I misspelled your name, please email me and I will correct it).

Just a little background here, I worked for a women’s knitwear company and had accumulated a nice wardrobe .  It had been about three years since I had seriously shopped for a frock and I wasn’t even sure what was in style anymore. I wasn’t sure what would look good on me and many times had entered a store only to leave without trying anything on. Here I was ready to bolt when Pamela appeared. I explained my situation and she showed what a great salesperson can do when confronted with a woman who wants to flee and will be condemned to wearing a five year old dress that had passed classic to just being old.

Pamela started showing me possibilities. Explaining that certain of these dresses would look much better on the body then they did on the hanger. I looked but I did not believe until they were on me and I actually looked good-dare I say it not only good but confident and just a little hot. Now I asked her to start with only sale dresses and she came up with ten choices which we narrowed down to two DKNY styles that I loved.  One was a black number that looked like a sack on the hanger until she showed me how to pull up the skirt and blouse the top. Amazing, all of sudden this was so flattering that I didn’t want to take it off. The other was a black tank top attached to a light weight tweed skirt that looked like two pieces. At home, I tossed on a draped camel jacket and this became a fantastic ensemble.

The prices?  The original price of $195 became $104.50 after the sale and coupon deduction. The $295 dress became $46.95 after the sale and coupon deduction. How did this happen?  I had to throw in a pair of DKNY sheer pantyhose for $20 (we added the stockings to bring the total to over $200 so I could use two $25 off a $100 coupons) and the total was $168.46 before tax. That’s two DKNY dresses and stockings and you can return them if you change your mind later.

Oh, I also got  a $15 gift certificate that can be used after the sale bringing my total down to $153.46.  They think I will spend alot more than the $15 however that’s were they will be wrong.  It looks like I have another pair of  pantyhose in my future.

Remember Frugal Divas bargains are everywhere however they are only a bargain if they look good and you wear the item. Pamela you saved the day!

Become a Bloomingdale’s Insider and receive coupons by signing up for a credit card. You don’t have to use however it insures that you will be ahead of the curve when they have sales.

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