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Calling the Fashion Junkie Community! I Need Your Help To Curb My Compulsive Shopping Habit!

Fashion Junkie Comes Clean

Fashion Junkie Comes Clean

It’s hard to believe David Letterman, one of my favorite comedians, admitted he suffered from severe depression for 6 agonizing months. I watched his surprising confession on the Oprah Winfrey Network the other night and asked myself, “How could such an incredibly talented and successful person, beloved by so many, suffer from depression?” Then I thought, if only he went shopping!

Joking aside, I too happen to suffer from mild, situational depression along with 19 other adult Americans. But rather than turn to serotonin-enhancing drugs a la Prozac, I’ve masked my symptoms over the years via daily exercise and sadly, compulsive shopping. While I’m not proud of this behavior, nor am I asking for your sympathy, in light of Lance Armstrong’s recent confession, I felt that now seemed like an opportune time to air my dirty laundry.

The reality is depression and compulsive shopping (a.k.a. oniomania, yes, there’s even a clinical name for it) are inextricably linked, with the latter affecting roughly 6% of the American population. I’ve always been aware of my affliction, but, until now, I felt too proud to face the all too many, well-dressed skeletons in my closet. While I won’t divulge exactly how much damage I’ve done to my depleting savings account until Oprah asks me, I am ready to come clean and admit that retail therapy is only a BandAid solution to a much bigger problem. In case you’re wondering, the rush of euphoria that comes from receiving a “present” in the mail pales in comparison to the regret, feelings of guilt and costliness, which lasts far beyond the next fashion season’s new arrivals.

With the proliferation and ease of online shopping, ubiquitous in-store and online retail promotions (end of season sales are my downfall) and advent of flash-sale sites, it’s no surprise compulsive shopping and shopping bulimia  (my personal vice thanks to free shipping and returns) has become so widespread. It came to no surprise that even the Oxygen network debuted a show last fall entitled, “My Shopping Addiction.” For further insight regarding oniomania warning signs and treatment, check out Fashion Junkie’s interview with compulsive shopping expert Terry Shulman.

As a first ditch effort in my recovery, I’m asking the Fashion Junkie community for your support and guidance every step of the way of my rehabilitation. From here on in, every time I get that craving for a coveted pair of Alexander Wang pointy-toe pumps, a buttery-soft leather motorcycle jacket (a major compulsion of mine thanks to Mackage) or an outlandishly priced Celine handbag (surprisingly, something I still don’t own), I promise to post said item on this site and solicit your advice before pulling the trigger. With your help, I’m hoping that this crowd-solving experiment of mine will put me on the road to recovery.

xo
Fashion Junkie

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Filed: Clothes Encounters, Featured Posts, Shop Talk

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The French Invasion

Looking to inject a little joie de vivre into your wardrobe? Lucky for you, a plethora of hipster Parisian-based boutiques recently landed stateside. With kooky names like The Kooples, Zadig & Voltaire and Maje, these ultra cool outposts offer the crème de la crème in contemporary fashion. Herein, some sweet French finds to suit every style and budget. Sorry, Laduree macarons not included.

Maje

Channel your inner Rachel Zoe (but French) with flirty ‘n feminine staples from this trés chic Parisian chain. I’m crushing over pretty much everything, including this two-toned lace top, punchy crimson coat (Fall’s “It Color”) and eye-popping electric blue blazer. The ultimate pièce de resistance: a studded black leather cuff. Available at Bloomingdale’s shop-in-shops and Maje.com. Prices range from $79 – $1,200.

Sandro

This hipper sister store to Maje stocks a stellar rotation of on-trend Boho-chic staples that exude that special je ne sais quoi. Available at Bloomingdale’s shop-in-shops and us.sandro-paris.com. Click here for store locations.

The Kooples

You just might go cuckoo over this edgy masstige label. Note the sleek Savile Row-inspired tailoring and androgynous vibe. Strikingly similar to All Saints, n’est-ce pas? Available at select Bloomingdale’s locations. NYC flagship coming soon. Prices range from $50 to $550. Visit thekooples.com

Zadig & Voltaire

Rock ‘n roll accents and somber shades rule at this posh Parisian paradise. Though made to look like effortlessly chic street fashion, the price tags beg to differ. Reluctantly, I’ve become a bonafide Zadigian. Available at select Bloomingdale’s. Click here for flagship store locations in NYC and L.A. Prices range from $65-$900. Visit us.zadig-et-voltaire.com

Other French newcomers guaranteed to empty your wallet: Celine, Jerome Dreyfuss, Isabel Marant, Comptoir des Cotonniers and Surface To Air. Happy spending!

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Filed: Clothes Encounters, Featured Posts

Crowns & Jewels

What does modern dentistry and jewelry have in common? Quite a lot, according to Sabine Le Guyader and Jill Martinelli, the dynamic duo behind Lady Grey, a wickedly fashionable line of homegrown baubles.

Martinelli and Le Guyader got their start in prosthetic dentistry and orthodontics, while earning bachelor’s degrees for metalsmithing and jewelry design. How apropos! Named after Lady Jane Grey, the naughty wife of King Henry VIII who was beheaded for adultery after only nine days on the throne, this line of grisly, yet gorgeous hardware will instantly transform even your most frightful frocks into an unexpected masterpiece.

I’m digging their claw-like bracelets adorned with human teeth (cast in gold, silver and bronze), all meticulously handcrafted with torches (don’t try this at home!), special molds, metal-welding and other daunting devices you might find in your dentist’s office. That, or a Medieval torture chamber.

Unleash your devilish side and reinvigorate your wardrobe with eye-catching spear necklaces encrusted in silver bismuth, apex-shaped studs and gold-brushed cuffs with spikes…without fear of retribution. Get your Lady Jane fix at Elizabeth-Charles.com. Pieces start from $199.

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Filed: Featured Posts, Trends

Mini Fashion Junkie In The Making

Fashion Junkie Junior

Fashion Junkie Junior

Looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. At the tender age of two and a half, my daughter is already exhibiting common traits of a Fashion Junkie. Case in point: she throws a tantrum if anyone even attempts to choose her outfits and feels compelled to change multiple times a day… but not just because of mac ‘n cheese and poop stains. She’s beyond obsessed with leopard-print (Gap’s fedora is her current fixation) and jeggings, proudly prances around the apartment armed with a Hello Kitty polka dot purse, faux credit card, plastic tube of red lipstick and pretends to go shopping at “the store.” Thankfully Bloomingdale’s hasn’t entered her vocabulary yet.

But what really threw me over the edge were the words she recently blurted out after attempting to test-drive my 4” Miu Miu wedge booties; “I Want To Be Mommy!” While the statement was certainly flattering, it dawned on me that I want my daughter to love me for who I am (though I’m still trying to figure that out!)… not for what I’m wearing. With this in mind, I’ve decided to re-think my shopping strategy this season. Instead of making impulsive online purchases at 4am – the only time I can focus with twin toddlers in my house!, I asked myself, “Self: do you really need 5 more leather Mackage jackets?” Truth be told: I’ve been a compulsive shopper for years and admit it’s a BandAid solution for a much bigger problem. Read more about that in this blog post.

Now that I’ve hit the big “4-0,” it’s about time I grew up and set a good example for my twins, not to mention save for their college fund. As a result, I’ve decided to temporarily boycott boutiques & e-stores and start shopping in my very own closets. Yup…  I managed to snag separate storage for both my beloved footwear and clothes (thank you, hubby!). Much to my delight, I’ve discovered a veritable treasure trove of fashionable finds. Some items worth noting: Elizabeth & James pointy-toe snakeskin wedges purchased on Shopbop circa 2008 (sadly, never been worn), a teal Christian Lacroix lace dress that my insanely stylish Mom scored from Loehmann’s infamous backroom in ’98 (thankfully it still fits like a glove) and a mint-condition pair of Marc Jacobs T-straps in rich oxblood leather, which just happens to be the shade du jour. Maybe I’m way off base here, but perhaps someday my dearest daughter will appreciate the clothing sacrifices I made. Yeah, right… so long as it doesn’t affect her wardrobe.

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Filed: Fashion Junkie Junior, Featured Posts

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IsabellaOliver.com: Celebratory Summer Maternity Sale!

imageCalling all Mom’s-to-be! IsabellaOliver.com, the luxe London-based line of maternity wear that I featured in this Fashion Junkie Fix (newsletter), is throwing their annual can’t-miss summer maternity sale starting today (Wednesday, June 3rd). With savings of 25% off their regular retail prices, the added weight gain almost seems worthwhile.

Having just perused the Isabella Oliver site, I thought I’d recommend a few spring/summer sartorial highlights you simply can’t afford to miss:

  • this body-hugging Ruched Tank Dress (pictured above – available in cobalt and black, originally $175)
  • this ultra chic Monaco Dress (available in crisp white or black, originally $185)
  • this flirty ‘n feminine Midi Kimono Wrap Dress (available in coffee and insignia, originally $240)
  • this slinky strapless Kelly Dress, perfect for a shotgun wedding! (available in tan and insignia, originally $280)

In addition to the insanely stylish roster of merchandise sold on the site, IsabellaOliver.com is also chock full of helpful tips and tricks for building your maternity wardrobe (the maternity No No’s are a must), a slick virtual maternity magazine and informative Style Notes. Also not-to-be-missed are the runway and how-to-wear-it videos, witty and informative blog (written by the company’s co-founders, Baukjen and Vanessa), cool interactive features like this downloadable style widget and my personal favorite: the Socialite tools (a.k.a. Twitter and Facebook fan pages). But I digress…

imageTo take advantage of IsabellaOliver’s blow-out maternity sale, simply use the promotional code ‘summer’ at checkout to receive your discount. Buyer beware: the code only applies to full-priced items (excluding the sale, cowshed skincare and lingerie). Better hurry… you only have until midnight on Monday, June 8th to score all of the fabulous savings. Happy shopping!

P.S. Make sure to sign-up for Isabella Oliver’s email newsletter for even more style secrets, exclusive sales, new collection previews and lots more!

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Filed: Featured Posts, Shop Talk