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  • Writer's picturePamela Tucker

One of yesterday’s goals was to check out Bloomingdale’s where I haven’t been in a few weeks. The trip did not disappoint. Bloomingdale’s is not top of mind for me with selling merchandise of newer /emerging designers. I think it is because their merchandise is not always given prominent space, or of course I just miss it. Yet, I do consider Bloomingdale's a leading destination for the most up to date fashions and trends. My trip yesterday introduced me to a handbag designer who was new to me.

Bloomingdale’s sells handbags in different parts of the store, including the entry level space on Lexington Avenue and on the first floor where there are specific spaces for individual brands. (e.g. Burberry, Chloe, Tory Burch). There is a particular space, a few steps up from the first floor that combines a number of brands such as Callista, Themoire and MZ Wallace into one open space.

When browsing this multi brand department I like doing a full circle around before stopping and examining the products. When I entered the area during this trip I was attracted to a black tote bag by LISELLE KISS. I made a mental note to go back to take a closer look at it. Finished circling, I returned to the tote bag. I asked a sales associate for help accessing it as it was on a mannequin. She quickly came over and took one of the same tote bags from a shelf.

The LISELLE KISS tote bag was really nice! Many tote bags are clunky and /or ordinary looking. This one was elegant. The straps were an attractive shape and the bag would be multi-functional. Another great feature was the lining. It was a gorgeous silver. Linings play a key part in my decision purchase process. (That has been noted in a previous post when I wrote about my times having clothes made at Sam's Tailor in Hong Kong. Selecting the linings for jackets was a favorite part of the design process.) I liked that the lining of this tote bag was given attention and style. The inside was as nice as the outside!

While looking at the tote bag, a smiling woman introduced herself to me. The woman was LISELLE KISS. Wow! She was interested in my feedback which I gave. I was impressed with her and the handbags. One of her handbag shapes is the heart. Please refer to image in this post for that. Later in the day I went to her website to learn more about the brand. Interestingly the website states a portion of LISELLE KISS proceeds will support the A21 Campaign, a nonprofit organization that works to fight human trafficking worldwide.

I've been a Bloomingdale' shopper for years. During this shopping visit I found a new lovely brand.

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Several of my previous blog posts detailed my fascination and efforts with selling on resale

platforms such as The RealReal, Mercari, ThredUp and my frequent go to site for selling, Poshmark. I've been successful selling my unworn or slightly worn clothes, shoes and accessories, such as handbags and jewelry. Due to a full time job the only time I devote to this "side hustle" is on the weekends.

I'm eager to learn about these platforms and to sell on them. However, I'm not a buyer of used items, with leading reasons being I enjoy shopping in a store and like being able to see and try on what I buy.

About two weeks ago while working on transitioning one of my closets for easy access to clothes for warmer weather I came across a number of items that I remembered I liked wearing, and even some of them loved wearing on repeat. Somehow I ended up placing these pieces behind frequently worn clothes. They were forgotten for a few years.

I pulled out three items that ranged, if I recall correctly being purchased anytime between 2015 and 2018. For me, even if the garment is considered a"classic" or a "basic', clothes that I purchased more than two years ago are considered old, maybe almost vintage! I'll still wear them but at times they are placed in my closet and not seen for a while.

The three rediscovered, items, all black included: (1) A blazer/jacket by VINCE. (2) A V neck T-shirt by HELMUT LANG and (3) A pair of slim straight leg pants by EILEEN FISHER. This post shows snapshots of the labels. only. The clothes are not shown as I struggle with taking good photos of black garments. Trust me, the clothes are in very good condition.

The three items I placed back into my rotation have common threads among them including: (1) Simple yet a great design. (2) Comfortable fabrics. (3) Relatively easy to maintain. These are great quality clothes that are perfect for wearing during at least three seasons. VINCE and HELMUT LANG have been key components of my wardrobe for years. EILEEN FISHER-- not so much, but like the clothes and recommend.

Shopping my closet turned out to be a nice trip! I ended up wearing these three items a few times since rediscovering them. I'm looking forward to seeing what else I can pickup when I tackle the next closet!

What brands do you wear season after season and year after year?

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Trying new brands, especially with shoes is something I like doing. However, buying shoes online means not trying them on to feel the fit. Since I'm not keen on returning items-- takes too much time and effort, I need to be very eager to try the new brand or be in a daring mood before clicking on the shoes and buying them. About a month ago, after researching comfortable shoes, I took a leap of faith and purchased a pair of shoes from VIVAIA.

While reading various articles about comfortable shoes, I came across the brand VIVAIA. Wow there are articles aplenty written about this brand! Where

was I that I was not aware of this brand until a month ago? The articles discussed the super comfort, the range of styles and color offerings.

Particularly interesting is VIVAIA's focus on sustainability. The shoes, varying by style are made from recycled plastic bottles, hemp, rice husks, recycled faux fur and natural rubber. The packaging (shoe boxes) is made from 90% recycled cardboard and 10% regular cardboard packaging. The shoes are machine washable, though I don't think I'd ever try doing that.

In a daring mood, I dipped my toes into VIVAIA and opted for the $97 Melia style, a pointed toe d'Orsay style flat in black. Check it out: Within a week I received these shoes. I love them. Great comfortable fit and a nice deep shade. At ease with the fit, I decided to buy another pair of VIVAIA shoes. I know fit within a brand could vary among different styles, so with fingers and toes crossed I ordered the shoes shown in this post. The $129 black kitten heel named Natasha with a bow checked all the boxes: small kitten heel, pointed toe and elegant bow. See these lovely shoes above in this post.

Being eager to have these shoes, when I

received notice the order was being processed I started tracking it. Unlike other tracking updates received from other internet companies, this tracking showed the origination of the shoes.

The order tracking let me know they were in Dongguan, China. I do not know if VIVAIA manufactures in Dongguan or it is just a point in the company's logistics mission. Once I saw Dongguan I was hooked on tracking the order. Take a look at the portions I highlighted in green It is remarkable seeing the pair of shoes arrived at the airport in China, cleared US Customs and by the next day the shoes were delivered to the local courier. I love this logistics transparency!

Within a day or two, I received the shoes that were securely and efficiently packed. The outer wrap, tightly secured around the shoe box cutely announced "I'm Here." Please see photo below. Natasha is another great VIVAIA shoe for me.

It was amazing that from the time ordered, it took only about eight days to receive a pair of shoes shipped from Dongguan, China to me in New York City. The order was easy to track and of course the best part is: The shoe fits and I've been wearing and enjoying the Natasha style ever since receiving the shipment.

Do you buy shoes online? If so, do you buy brands you already own, or brands want to try? How successful are you with buying shoes without first trying them on?

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