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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

Shopping Planner: Rhea Lana's, Misred fall launch, Tampa Bay Kids Expo and Halloween stores

Rhea Lana's St. Petersburg children's consignment event runs Sunday the third through Thursday the sixth.

Rhea Lana's St. Petersburg

Rhea Lana's St. Petersburg children's consignment event runs Sunday the third through Thursday the sixth.

KID STUFF: RHEA LANA’S ST. PETERSBURG CHILDREN’S CONSIGNMENT EVENT
Rhea Lana’s is a national franchise of children’s consignment events in which a local business owner gathers quality children’s items from consignors and then holds semi-annual sales. We’re not talking a little sale in someone’s garage; this is a full-blown event that runs Sunday through Thursday, at the former Sports Authority building at 3700 Tyrone Blvd., St. Petersburg. Expect to find everything related to infants, children and teens including cribs, toys, games, strollers, furniture, books and clothing. Consignors set their own prices, and everything has been tagged and entered into a database before the event. The company has earned acclaim for using software to keep track of the inventory, pay the consignors and run the events.
They’ll have a special presale event for consignors, volunteers, moms-to-be and members of the military and law enforcement on Saturday, and a special half-price sale for them on Tuesday evening. But don’t feel left out if you’re not in that group; Tuesday is a 25-percent-off day for the public from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., and Wednesday and Thursday are half off to the public from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. It’s free to enter, and they accept all forms of credit cards and cash. Visit facebook.com/RheaLanasStPetersburg for more information. …

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Slideshow: Tampa Bay Fashion Week melds national brands and local designers on one runway

A queen opening the Elizabeth Carson Racker show.

Luis Santana

A queen opening the Elizabeth Carson Racker show.

Another Tampa Bay Fashion Week is a wrap.

The Deal Divas took in Friday night's show at International Plaza in Tampa, one of two runway shows organizers put on this year. The second was Saturday afternoon at IP (see the Tampa Bay Fashion Week Facebook page for some shots from that show).

This year, for the first time, Fashion Week included brand names in the runway shows, from Banana Republic to Free People to Pandora jewelry. On the one hand, it was polished and professional and you can hardly blame them for wanting to show off Florida-friendly styles from mall retailers. On the other hand, it was a good reminder that nothing can replace the exhilaration of seeing local designers, who were still in the mix. When Elizabeth Carson Racker's line sailed down the runway to Beyonce's Freedom, it was chill-inducing. Her show was built around the concept of unity. Models wore labels like "Democrat," "Republican," "Conservative" and "Progressive" and ripped them off once they got to the end. It obviously took a lot of planning and thought, and all the polish and perfect seams in the world can't make up for seeing that kind of creativity born in our own community.  …

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My Outfit Monday: What we wore to Tampa Bay Fashion Week

Deal Divas looking all manners of surprised, weird, kind of offset from the backdrop and not ready for the photo. I think we stayed true to ourselves.

Deal Divas looking all manners of surprised, weird, kind of offset from the backdrop and not ready for the photo. I think we stayed true to ourselves.

Getting ready for Tampa Bay Fashion Week, in my mind, is always a luxurious exercise. It involves cucumber eye patches, blowouts, careful application of false eyelashes. In this fantasy, we roll up to Tampa Bay's most stylish annual event looking fresh and relaxed, ready to inspire and be inspired.

In reality, your faithful Deal Divas typically work a full day at our jobs as journalists in everything from the arts to politics, and we get ready for Fashion Week by frantically putting on a high heel while running to the car, like something out of a rom com from 2002, and doing our makeup in the rear view at a stop light. By the time we get there, it's a miracle that we look good at all.

This year, Katie, Lisa, Maggie and Kathryn and I barely pulled it together, but we did! We ushered our megabuns and maxi dresses into Kathryn's car on the curb and hauled butt to International Plaza. The show was a great time as usual, in a fresh environment at the mall. More on that soon. …

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Shopping Planner: Dress for Success Inventory Sale, Fabletics Grand Opening, Tampa Bay Fashion Week

Dress For Success Tampa Bay's excess inventory sale is on Saturday and Sunday.

Facebook

Dress For Success Tampa Bay's excess inventory sale is on Saturday and Sunday.

Power Suit: Dress for Success Inventory Sale
They say clothes don’t make the man (or woman), but I know I feel more confident when I look pulled together, especially for a job interview. But if you’re looking for a job, you might not have the means to buy an expensive outfit. That’s where Dress for Success comes in. The international nonprofit organization helps disadvantaged women by providing not only the tools, but also the attire for a professional career. Our own arts and entertainment editor and Deal Diva, Stephanie Hayes, volunteers with Dress for Success Tampa Bay as a personal shopper. The organization receives donations of clothes and ends up with a surplus of attire. So twice a year, it has an excess inventory sale that’s open to the public with proceeds going back to the charity so it can run the boutique and buy larger-sized business attire, shoes and bags.
The next sale is 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at Bayshore Baptist Church, 3111 W Morrisson Ave., Tampa. Suits are $10; separates, shoes and purses are $5; and jewelry is $2. It’s a good idea to wear leggings and a tank top, as the dressing room is one big open space. All sales are final and there’s a $25 minimum for using a credit card. Organizers ask you to please leave children at home. (813) 259-1876. tampabay.dressforsuccess.org. …

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Tampa Bay Fashion Week is live. Follow the Deal Divas.

Tampa Bay Fashion Week, 2014.

Luis Santana, Times

Tampa Bay Fashion Week, 2014.

Tampa Bay Fashion Week is officially open. What is going on this year? Maggie wrote all about it in this story, which provides a full schedule and outlines not one, but two runway shows going down fer real.

READ IT.

There are events all week, starting with the Sip and Shop Soiree tonight (check the link for deets). Five of us will be at Friday's runway show at International Plaza tweeting from the stands, so please follow @dealdivas and check back Monday for a recap if you missed the show.

Us:

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My Outfit Monday: Staples to the rescue

I took a photo in front of a downtown St. Pete burger joint because it's Monday and I've given up and I would just like a burger please.

Brittany Volk

I took a photo in front of a downtown St. Pete burger joint because it's Monday and I've given up and I would just like a burger please.

Of all the Mondays that ever Mondayed, this is by far the most Mondayest. 

It's the day after the Emmy Awards, a fun cultural event in which I like to participate but one that always leaves me dragging at work. Too much excitement for a Sunday night, I guess. 

So today's outfit was inspired by a category of clothing I like to call Things I Don't Have to Think About. That means pieces that reliably make you feel good, and fit, and do what they can to help you look nice and also stay comfortable. Because, honestly, I just wanted to wear jeggings today. 

The skirt is a Loft staple purchased a couple of years ago for about $12 at the Loft Outlet in Ellenton. It has a scalloped edge. I play favorites with it very often. …

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Tweet along with the Deal Divas for Emmys red carpet Sunday

We all know who the real fashion winner (and Emmy winner) is: RuPaul, seen here at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards last week.

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

We all know who the real fashion winner (and Emmy winner) is: RuPaul, seen here at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards last week.

I think I speak for millions when I articulate this dream:

Sarah Paulson and the real-life Marcia Clark walk the Emmys red carpet together Sunday night. They both have awesome hair, much better than the 90s would allow, certainly not the cropped perm of OJ lore. Then, when Paulson inevitably wins her Emmy for playing Clark in The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, they go backstage and do the presser with the statute WEARING the Marcia Clark wig from the program.

If this happens, I will start a new career as Nostradamus.

For more Hollywood hopes and dreams, get out your finest pajamas and join the Deal Divas for red carpet tweeting from the Emmy's Sunday night, starting at 6 p.m. at @dealdivas

We will be on the lookout for everyone in this exhaustive list of predicitons from the Times' Brittany Volk and Andy Rosenthal. Looking at you, Taraji P. Henson and Amy Schumer. To be a part of the Times' Emmys live blog, use the hashtag #tbtemmys. It's so worth it. 

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St. Pete Art and Fashion Week: Fashion fueled by passion

Designer Melissa Dolce with a muse at the opening of St. Pete Art & Fashion Week.

KSS

Designer Melissa Dolce with a muse at the opening of St. Pete Art & Fashion Week.

The St. Pete Art & Fashion Week benefitting the Warehouse Arts District is in full swing.

Tonight designers present models in a wildflower theme for a photo shoot open to the public from 7 to 11 p.m., at Platformz, 179 1st Ave. N. It costs $10.

Friday is Art Night with local artists and live art demonstrations from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at BBD LIfe Studio at 465 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. This is an even $16.

The grand finale on Saturday s the runway fashion show featuring eight Florida designers, artists, cocktails and hors d’ ouvres. That’s 6 to 10 p.m. at One Progress Plaza, 200 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Tickets are $35 at the door but $28 if you buy them at stpeteartfashionweek.

I chatted with one of the designers, Melissa Dolce, earlier this week and realized I had just seen her completely creative work at the Wearable Art show in Dunedin a few weeks ago. There she created a sports related line including a basketball net overlaying and black and red skirt, a true leather dress made of baseball gloves and an adorable be it pointy shift created completely with golf tees. …

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Shopping Planner: Suitsupply Opening, pet photo shoots, book fairs, LulaRoe and St. Pete Art and Fashion Week.

Suit up at the grand opening of Suitsupply in Hyde Park Village.

Suitsupply

Suit up at the grand opening of Suitsupply in Hyde Park Village.

DAPPER DUDS: SUITSUPPLY GRAND OPENING
We all know dudes who love getting booted and suited, so having Suitsupply open in Hyde Park Village is exciting. The Dutch company is known for its modern takes on classic silhouettes, use of Italian fabrics and relatively economical tailored suits. Fashion forward men have probably heard of it, as it was named one of GQ’s 100 Best Suit Shops in America. So come fete the local arrival from 6-9 p.m. today and enjoy music, drinks and light snacks. Complimentary valet will be provided. 1525 W Swann Ave., Tampa.

BARK FOR THE CAMERA: PET PHOTO SHOOT FUNDRAISER
So while your phone is likely loaded with snaps of your fur babies being adorable, having a professional photo would be nice, especially when it’s for a good cause. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay and AGoldPhoto have teamed up this Saturday and Sunday from noon-5 p.m. to photograph your pet for a minimum donation of $75. This includes three digital photos of the pet, which you’ll receive via email, and you’ll have an opportunity to purchase more photo products, with 50 percent of donations going to the shelter, 3607 N Armenia Ave., Tampa. (813) 876-4150. humanesocietytampa.org. …

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In support of gothic beachwear

This is the dress I wore!

Lyst.com

This is the dress I wore!

I went to the beach over the weekend and wore this Forever21 gray dress with black palm trees I bought it last year before moving to New York City for an internship.

I wanted something with both a tropical vibe that reminded me of Florida and the sleek, edgy look I always associated with the city.

Well, turns out I was on to something.

One of my friends and colleagues, Scott Pollenz, told me it reminded him of a gothic beachwear spread in GQ. The photographed styles include the palm trees we know and love but shaded black and thrown against white, gray or red backdrops.

"It’s a mash-up of Hawaiian florals, Nantucket prep, and the Lucifer-gone-country stylings of Johnny Cash, all delivered with a sly smile," the article says, "and it’s here to save you from the jazz hands of 'beachwear.'"

Preach.

This is not only a more subdued substitute to beach fashion that can too often be summarized by one those sequin Victoria's Secret tote/beach bags.

And that makes it the perfect transition to ~fall beachwear~ which can't really exist most places but absolutely can and should exist in Florida. Our leaves may not change, but our bathing suits and cover ups still can.

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A search for heels you can wear to work — comfortably

Target LifeStride Bindi Cut-out Heeled Pumps, $29.99

Target screenshot

Target LifeStride Bindi Cut-out Heeled Pumps, $29.99

Wanted: Professional shoes with height that I can wear everywhere, that won't kill my feet.

I've been KonMari-ing my life lately, and have parted ways with shoes that don't serve me anymore. A bag of very pretty heels remains under bed, not exactly fitting the definition of bare essential but sparking all kinds of joy. My problem, though, is these heels are useful for special occasions only — and best chased with a pair of fast flats.

My everyday work shoe collection, however? Sorely lacking. Sorely!

The fun thing about analyzing every piece of your wardrobe is creating a list of things you actually need (i.e. everyday black work wedges, or a new pair of jeans that fit instead of old, dumb, white-trimmed jeans that aren't flattering). 

I had three rules for my search for work heels:

1. Nothing over 3 inches. And no stilettos. Wedge or stacked heels only.

2. No suede. It rains all of the time here. Best avoid. (This rule hurts because these Taharis are beautiful. Okay, partial suede, acceptable, unavoidable.)

3. Decent price. Duh. What's my name?

I'll be honest: I'm still looking for my one true shoe (or two). …

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Looking sweet upon the seat of a borrowed bike

My Outfit Monday.

Katie Sanders

My Outfit Monday.

First of all, thank you to the person who parked their pretty blue bike outside the Tampa Bay Times offices, providing the perfect prop for a My Outfit Monday post.

Second of all, in your face Labor Day! You have come and gone and I'm still wearing  my white jeans with pride. They go with everything. 

This sweater, however, seems to only go with my white jeans. I love it but if I try it with black, I feel I'm channeling Mini Mouse. With any other color, I think of a crayon box. I'm open to any suggestions because I love the multiple sizes of the polka dots and the three quarter length sleeves. It was an impulse buy at a sample sale at a friend's house a year ago, but I barely wear it. 

My shoes are from the Aerosoles outlet in Ellenton. They are very comfortable and the tan suede make them a good transition from summer to fall. Even better, they are from their A2 collection. So if you take them off and the label shows you don't look like you borrowed your grandmother's shoes. …

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Tim Gunn is woke about the style needs of American women

Tim Gunn, seen here with non-average woman, Heidi Klum.

Getty

Tim Gunn, seen here with non-average woman, Heidi Klum.

I don't like to brag, but Uncle Tim Gunn and I are thisclose. Surely he remembers the phone interview we did in 2011, in advance of his appearance in Tampa, and the special moments we shared. Surely!

Well, maybe not. But I remember him. And I remember enjoying the heck out of him, and thought he was very honest, funny and open to the experience of the average American woman. So it came as not too much of a surprise to me when he penned an epic, truthy op-ed for the Washington Post. The headline goes:

Tim Gunn: Designers refuse to make clothes to fit American women. It's a disgrace.

Gunn asserts that the American fashion industry has turned its back on women who are not stick insects and seven feet tall, women who are willing to pay good money to have clothes that make them feel put together, stylish and attractive. What a crazy concept. He even takes his own show, Project Runway, to task for tokenism. 

You must read it. 

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Shopping Planner: St. Pete Art and Fashion, Haute Accessories week, Summer Snow Day and Belle of the Ball

Expect plenty of color and creativity at St. Pete Art and Fashion Week.

Courtesy of Dona Crowley

Expect plenty of color and creativity at St. Pete Art and Fashion Week.

LOCAL VOGUE: ST. PETE ART AND FASHION WEEK
Art and fashion come together again for St. Pete Art and Fashion Week from Monday to Sept. 17 in various locations of downtown St. Petersburg. This year’s theme is “Electric Avenue Meets Central Avenue.” A few of the events give you the sense of being behind the scenes, like Wednesday’s Making of the Runway, where you can watch local artists create the runway for the main event. The Bloom event next Thursday brings together designers and photographers as they do a live photo shoot. Sept. 16, there’s Art Inspired, a showcase of work from local artists. The festival culminates with Sept. 17’s Runway Fashion Show, featuring eight Florida designers, including Raul Castillo and Allison Elizabeth Designs. The prices range from $10-$35 for each event, but you can get access to all events for $99 by visiting stpeteartfashionweek.com, where you can also find a complete list of events and locations. Proceeds benefit the Warehouse Arts District. …

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Buying clothes can help schools. Who knew?

My $9 shoes.

Kss

My $9 shoes.

A great black and white polka dot dress from ModCloth for half price. Athleta blue flowered yoga pants marked down from $64 to $22.39. Quick. Click on Schoola.com. Now.

Schoola is a win-win. Deals for us turn into financial donations to schools around the world.

The site sells new items donated by retailers and second hand items donated by us and then donates a percentage of sales to schools. You can even decide what school gets the money from the clothes you donate.

When new items donated from a retailer sell, 40 percent of that money is sent to the Malala Fund, which supports 12 years of safe education for girls around the world.

Now follow me closely here shoppers because the next part of the Schoola plan can seem confusing but I know you got this. If you donate a bag of your gently used second hand clothing or that NWT sweater you will never wear because it won’t ever get that cold in FLA, you can pick any school in the country to receive money when your items sell. The school will get 40 percent of your second hand sales as well. …

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