How to Manage the Monster Purse

purse

When the Monster Purse Threatens to Devour

We all love them — those over-the-top, huge, monster bags. I’m convinced  there are sea monsters living inside, that steal my goods and carry them to the depths of my cavernous bags. So, how do you keep them from devouring your money, makeup and other tiny treasures? Small bags within the purse.

You can find them at any thrift or resale shop. Small cosmetics cases, clutches and more — often for as little as a couple of dollars, and many in great shape. They’re well priced because people just don’t carry small purses anymore. We are determined that the hubris of our lives must follow us wherever we go, and so has grown the popularity of monster bags.

purse

However could I leave the house without a full set of makeup. You know. On the off chance a torrential downpour wreaks havoc on my carefully constructed face. And horrors! My hair! Must have at the least a brush and some mousse or hairspray. Keys, of course, to every conceivable keyhole, inside and outside my domain. And don’t even get me started on what happens when there are small children in tow.

It’s a juggling match, but one that the bags-within-the-purse method manages well. I have one for makeup. I’m an Ipsy fan and so this month, my makeup bag has a huge set of red lips on it.

I keep my keys on a grappling hook and attach it to the strap of my bag. This serves dual purposes. I’ve never lost my keys since I adopted this habit, because they are there in plain site and I just feel “off” of they aren’t attached. And, no more digging about in the bottom of my Hermione Granger sized bag for desperately needed keys. Don’t you just hate that moment of panic, feeling about blindly in the dark, when you can’t find anything but loose change, gum wrappers and dust bunnies. Oh yes. I have a money bag too — not to be confused with my billfold — this one is only for cash. I find that all that change tends to reduce my lovely billfold to a misshapen mass of leather and causes it to wear out prematurely.

It’s easy to keep those monster purses under control with a little thought and organization.  If your carry a designer bag that you may want to sell at a later date, this type of organization will protect the lining , adding to its resale value. You may even want to add a small bag for trash, then you don’t have to worry about a dust bunny bite.

Every Day is Tag-A-Licious – More Than 300 New Items in Just the Past Week and a Half – Many others 20-60% Off

Well “new” is a loaded word in the resale business. Let’s say, to us. Most I have recently procured and some are from the inventory I purchased with the store. Many of the later are blessed with deep markdowns.

The front window celebrates the new pricing program at reFresh Boutique. We will be cycling out inventory on a regular basis using a traditional consignment store price reduction model. This means that items that are on the floor 90+ days are reduced 60%, 60+ days are reduced 40% and 30+ days are reduced 20%.

tag-a-licious
The front window celebrates the new pricing program at reFresh Boutique. We will be cycling out inventory on a regular basis using a traditional consignment store price reduction model. This means that items that are on the floor 90+ days are reduced 60%, 60+ days are reduced 40% and 30+ days are reduced 20%.

In the picture above “the girls” inexplicably have their backs turned to the window. Cheeky beasts. Not sure why they’re being so shy, but I’ll show you just a couple.

Blue Sweater by J. Crew: Size S $27 (40% merino wool - soft as cashmere) Scarf: Size L - $16 Navy Pants by Cico's: Size XS, $36
Blue Sweater by J. Crew: Size S $27 (40% merino wool – soft as cashmere)
Scarf: Size L – $16
Navy Pants by Cico’s: Size XS, $36

 

crm-sweater-floral-pants
Cream Sweater by Dividend. Size S. $14.00 Black/Cream/Rose Floral Pants by Ann Taylor Loft. Size 4. $21.00 Blue Scarf. Size XL. $10.00

 

 

 

 

What’s in the Window? October 4th.

Warm woolen jackets paired with skirts. Toasty coats and scarves. Sweaters that accentuate curves and a few jewels as frosting.

Large Blue Scarf by: The Territory $18.00 Blue Cameo Necklace $11.00 Blue Coat by: Liz Claiborne, Size Medium, $27.00 Black/Charcoal Jacket by: Alfani, Size 8, $35.00 Black/Gold Knit Tank by: August Silk, Size Small, $12.00
Large Blue Scarf by: The Territory $18.00
Blue Cameo Necklace $11.00
Blue Coat by: Liz Claiborne, Size Medium, $27.00
Black/Charcoal Jacket by: Alfani, Size 8, $35.00
Black/Gold Knit Tank by: August Silk, Size Small, $12.00

 

Beige & Rose Jacket by: Chico's, Sizen S $28.00 Black Skirt by Liz Claiborne: Size S, $14.50
Beige & Rose Jacket by: Chico’s, Sizen S $28.00
Black Skirt by Liz Claiborne: Size S, $14.50
Gold Sequined Suit by: Kate Spade, Size M, $250
Gold Sequined Suit by: Kate Spade, Size M, $250

 

Multi Sweater by: INC, Size Small, $12.00 Red Skirt by: Eddie Bauer, Size 2, $18.00 Necklace: $18.00
Multi Sweater by: INC, Size Small, $12.00
Red Skirt by: Eddie Bauer, Size 2, $18.00
Necklace: $18.00

 

 

Hangers Are Liars — Never Trust Them

reFresh Boutique is bedecked for fall and that means the beautiful jewel tones, rich umbers and reds are painting the racks of sweaters, dresses, skirts, jackets and more.

This lovely dress below is a classic example of why you simply must try on an outfit to know its true worth. This is a 3.1 Phillip Lim designer dress (Size 6, $195). On the hanger it looks like a sack, but it comes to life on our beautiful model. Take it casual or dress it up. You could put a belt with it, but I wouldn’t. It has a way of accentuating the curves of a woman’s body that needs no assistance.

About the Model

Leicie (prounouced lacey) Piscitelli is a sweetheart who loves fashion and hopes to make it her career. She is the most beautiful kind of beauty in that she has no clue at all that she is indeed beautiful. She is kind, soft spoken and a real treasure to work with.  Thank you, Leicie.

 

oragne-dress-with-scarf-rear-view

 

This Alpaca-fur-trimmed suede coat by Marvin Richards is a true beauty. The fur is as soft as…well…fur. The suede is in impeccable condition.This is a piece you can treasure for years to come.

Alpaca & Suede Coat, Size L, $130.00
Alpaca & Suede Coat, Size L, $130.00

 

alpaca-leather-coat-side-view

 

Jacket by Erin London: Size M, $15.00
Jacket by Erin London: Size M, $15.00

I have to say, there is simply nothing like the feel of Angora next your skin to warm you up on a cold day. Wrap yourself in luxury with this lovely piece by Venesha.

angora-sweater-bl-skirt-front

Pssst It’s a Special Event for Loyal ReFresh Clients

It’s time to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall. One of the perks of being a member of ReFresh’s loyalty program are that you are invited to our semi-annual sales events before anyone else!  You get first dibs on hundreds and hundreds of beautiful clothing that is handsomely reduced to make way for the next season. You won’t want to miss out on this opportunity to seriously save and network with other women.

I’m extending this invitation to our Facebook followers as most of you, local folk anyway, are loyalty club members. And let’s face it, I really don’t trust email.

This fall’s event features a French theme. Okay, let’s face it most events will, because I love all things French and the boutique is moving more and more in the direction of having a decidedly French flair. Items that are included in the sale, which are most, will have either an Eiffel Tower tag or a Fleur de Lis tag. Towers indicate the item is 50% off the original price and Fleur de Lis tags indicate the item is 25% off the original price. HINT:  There are very few Fleur de Lis Tags, so most items are 50% off! AND! There is still one full rack of top-quality jeans for only $3.00. Pure madness, you say? Well, it is me after all.

As well there will be an hourly drawing for $25 in store credit — 7pm, 8pm, 9pm.

Equals 50% off Original Price
Equals 50% off Original Price
Equals 25% off Original Price
Equals 25% off Original Price

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will be serving up lovely dessert bites and a faux champagne punch. Yes. I know, punch without the “punch”, but then everyone gets home safe and all are happy.

Green Purses

There are more than 90 handbags on display and certainly not everything on the floor is summer. You’ll find plenty to carry you into the changing seasons. As items disappear off the shelves, I will just as quickly be replacing them.

Fall Purses

I suggest you come dressed to dress. If it suits you, wear tight leggings and a sports bra or cami so you can try on items right on the spot.  The two dressing rooms are likely to be busy.

I’ve scheduled two opportunities for those that can’t get into town on weeknights. So, come to play, laugh, talk, shop and just be girls!

THURSDAY, AUGUST 25TH 

6:00 – 9:00 P.M.

&

SATURDAY, AUGUST 27TH

8:00 A.M.  – NOON

The Princess and the Purse

It’s taken me a spell to sit down and write this. I just wasn’t sure how to approach the story. The word “princess” does not always carry a positive connotation in today’s world where women still struggle to overcome certain stereotypes that hold us back in the workplace. However, when coming from the lips of an older gentleman who had recently lost his wife, I knew there was no need to hesitate over the intended meaning of the word.

Kylie. When the perfect little princess comes into the store, I want you to give her that purse. You’ll know who she is.”

Danny called and asked me if I’d be interested in a collection of Coach, Dooney and Bourke and an assortment of other top-brand purses. Of course I was! He came by that same day. While I referred to him as “older”; his smile, effervescent personality and physique defied labeling him with an age. There was a jovial kindness to his nature that was appealing and contagious. I went through his collection and purchased all but one — a small wooden box purse. A quick bit of research revealed that I had a vintage piece on my hands that I could easily sell for $85. I told him I had decided against it, because as beautiful as it was, I was not sure it would sell in my store.

We agreed on terms and I cut him a check. I was about to hand him the purse when he said, “Kylie. When the perfect little princess comes into the store, I want you to give it to her. You’ll know who she is.” I was taken aback not only by his generosity, but by his trust; and I was honored by it.

I turned my princess radar on.We really don’t get a lot of little girls in the store, which made it even more interesting when just a couple of days later a mother and daughter came in. A dazzling jean jacket in the display window that had caught the child’s eye. So, indeed it was the little girl who chose that moment to come in, neither had ever been to reFresh before. She was exceptionally polite. She asked if I thought the jacket would fit her. It was a size two, so it was conceivable. I pulled it off the mannequin and she tried it on. She wrapped it around her in a warm hug. Alas, it was too large for her. She was disappointed, but handled it with the calm grace of . . . well, a princess.

Sophia the Princes and the Purse
Sophia. A little princess in the best sense of the word.

Her curious eyes began to survey the store with it’s glittering chandeliers and displays, stopping from time to time to alight upon a particularly beautiful item. It was clear to me that she had a deep appreciation for beauty for one of such a young age; I’d guess her to be between seven and nine. Danny was right. I knew.

“I have something I’d like you to see,” I said as I went to the back to get the princess’ prize. I wasn’t about to give it to someone who did not love it. The moment she saw it her eyes flickered with the light of delight. I told her the story about the kind man who had made the very special request, and handed it to her. She was utterly shocked and I could see she realized the value of the gift — not its financial value, but the fact that someone had set aside a special gift for a special person, and that she was its recipient.

Her name is Sophia. I certainly believe that this will be a tale I will long remember — the tale of Danny and his princess, Sophia.

Thank you, Danny. You know who you are.

Kylie Addison Sabra

Why We Love Handbags

Why do we love handbags? If it were merely a matter of carrying about our daily survival kit — well, a kit bag would do just fine. It holds everything you need. Even has little pockets for this, that and the other. But . . . It does seem to be lacking in character.

Kit Bag

The handbag, for many of us, is an expression of our personality. It says either, “She’s feeling well put together, walking taller. She likes being noticed.” Or, it shrugs and says, “She could carry me every day until my handles crack and the duct tape just won’t hold me together anymore.” They both smile and say, “She loves me.”

Some of us carry the same black bag — because of course black goes with everything — every day, and never give it a thought. For others, though, the handbag is an extension of their wardrobe; no different than donning the perfect necklace or the singly appropriate shade of eye shadow. It simply must all work together.

“So that’s it!  IT’S AN INVESTMENT”

 

For some, the handbag is a bit of affordable luxury — a status symbol that lasts for years and in some cases actually increases in value. So, that’s it!  IT’S AN INVESTMENT! Well not always,  but still it is a way to tell the world that you know and are passionate about fashion.

Dooney & Bourke $75.00
Dooney & Bourke
$75.00

It isn’t always about status. The fact is, a well-designed bag will hold up for years, whereas their lesser counterparts might be lucky to make it through a season. We are all individual, with unique ideas about what is an is not important to us.

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So. Why do you love handbags?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over 70 Handbags On Display

I was surprised myself when I did a count.  I just took in some interesting handbags. Brilliant colors replace the golds and blacks previously highlighted.

Evening Bags -- Beaded or Velvet
Evening Bags — Beaded or Velvet

Brilliant Oranges and Pinks -- Make A Statement
Brilliant Oranges and Pinks — Make A Statement
Gold Metals and Designer Etched Leather
Gold Metals and Designer Etched Leather
Orange, Turquoise and Green - Tropical Inspirations
Orange, Turquoise and Green – Tropical Inspirations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

reFresh Jewelry Comes Out of Hiding

yelp-2c-outline

I’ve been determined to mine the piles of jewelry in the back and bring them out to be enjoyed. Mission accomplished. Necklaces adorn the walls like fine art, as well as gracing the front window. The sun plays on the different colors to create a dazzling display.  Costume jewelry is an affordable treasure that adds life to any outfit, pulls together colors and lets you make your own very personal statement.

So much jewelry