The Best News

H&M LogoSometimes you get a text in the middle of the day with the best news you’ve heard all week. Today was one of those days. I found out that in a few short months this lovely town we call home will be acquiring an H&M. Yes you heard me right. We will no longer have to travel over the hill to bask in the Swedish glory that is H&M. The fashion retailer is picking up a 22,000 square foot location in Meadowood Mall come fall 2013.  The new Reno location will feature a store within store layout and include women, men, young ladies, young men, children, maternity and plus-size collections.

In January, Simon Property Groups Inc., announced a multimillion dollar renovation of Meadowood Mall in hopes of revitalizing the once thriving shopping center. So far the renovation seems to be going well with stores like Forever 21 and Vans taking up space. Prior to the revitalization, Meadowood Mall seemed to be sitting dormant. It didn’t seem that the mall would ever stand a fighting chance against The Summit or Legend’s. The renovations that have already been completed are proving this just isn’t the case, and the addition of H&M really drives the point home.

If you have never had the opportunity to visit an H&M you are in for a treat. I have been waiting for the day H&M would move into Reno with eager anticipation. The store offers quality fashion items at a very affordable price. I don’t think I have ever walked out of a store empty handed. I can only think of one downside to H&M moving into town…the adverse effects the store is sure to have on my bank account.

What are your thoughts on H&M moving into Meadowood? Share your comments below!

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My Favorite Reno Stores

In previous posts I have talked a lot about my favorite locally owned stores, so today I am going to share some of my favorite non-locally owned stores with you. I love supporting the Mom-and-Pop businesses of Reno whenever I get the opportunity, but every once in a while I have to fulfill my need for a bigger selection and cheaper prices.  That’s where stores like Forever 21 and BCBG come into play. These stores fill my closet with trendy items and basics that don’t break the bank.

Forever 21

Forever 21 Logo

Forever 21 is known for its knock-off versions of designer items and making trends affordable. Unfortunately where the affordability is plentiful, the quality is usually lacking. I tend to shop at Forever for trendy items that I am not worried about ruining and accessories. I get the most out of the items that I buy by washing them by hand or dry cleaning them.

BCBG Final Cut

BCBG Final Cut Logo

Whenever I have a special occasion that requires a new dress, BCBG Final Cut is always the first store I visit. The store is always widely stocked with a variety of dresses, often starting at $19. The items for sale at Final Cut are final sale only, so make sure you try everything on before leaving the store.

Gap, Inc.

Gap Logo

Gap always has and always will be one of my favorite corporations; I love each of its signature clothing entities: Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic. Here in Reno we not only have access to all three stores, but the factory versions of each of the three as well. I love Banana for work attire, Gap for denim and Old Navy for the basics like t-shirts and tank tops. While Banana Republic can be a bit on the pricey side, Gap and Old Navy are very budget friendly.

What is your favorite Reno store? Share your thoughts below!

Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3

Shop Local: Francesca’s

Francesca's LogoThis post is going to be a bit different from my other ‘Shop Local’ posts in the sense that Francesca’s isn’t necessarily locally owned…But we do have one here in town, and it is awesome. Francesca’s was initially opened in Houston, Texas in 1999. Since the store first opened its doors, the chain has spawned over 250 new locations, one of which is right here in our hometown. The store prides itself on providing a boutique experience; from the eclectic mix of girly clothing, to the huge selection of accessories, to the kitschy gifts around the register Francesca’s does not disappoint.

When you first walk into the store you immediately happen upon a table filled with color coordinated accessories. The accessories are well made and look expensive but most are under $20.00; I almost always head straight for the statement necklaces. There are bags and scarves intermixed with the also color coordinated clothing.

Francesca'sI love the clothing that Francesca’s carries. Even though the store has become a nationwide chain, it still embodies its original ideal–carrying charming hand-picked merchandise. Granted it is picked on a much larger scale these days, the items in the store still maintain a unique feel. For me, Francesca’s is a first stop if I have a special occasion, or if I am just in the mood for something girly. It’s great to know that I can find something flattering almost every time I visit.

The store does quite well for itself here in Reno, due in a large part to the fact that the items they carry are affordable. The stores success is also attributable to the friendly and helpful staff, as well as the expertly stocked and organized racks. Francesca’s Reno is located in Meadowood Mall right next to Victoria’s Secret. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 9:00pm and Sunday from 11:00am to 6:00pm.The next time you’re in need of a fun, feminine dress or blouse, pay Francesca’s a visit–You won’t be disappointed!

Photo Credit: 1, 2

Shop Local: Sippees

SippeesIf you have been reading my blog for any increment of time, you know that I have a thing for second-hand stores. I am excited to let you know that just a few days ago, another one popped up in Midtown. Its called Sippees and it was opened by Jessica Schneider, owner of Junkee Clothing Exchange. Unlike any of the other stores I have mentioned though, Sippees is geared towards the kiddos.

Sippees has a little bit of everything, and stepping through the front door feels more like hopping on a ride at Disneyland than it does entering a store. It contains more than enough fun activities to keep the kids busy while you sort through the racks. The store, which carries new and used children’s clothing, features a giant seal named Sippee, a tutu warehouse, a life-size tug boat, and a sail boat filled with salt water taffy. By the looks of the place, I’d imagine that parents have a hard time getting their kids to leave.

SippeesSimilarly to Junkee Clothing Exchange, Sippees buys, sells and trades used children’s clothing in addition to selling all the goodies and new stuff. I have a feeling that Sippees will do quite well for itself. It’s not like its the only re-sale children’s clothing store, but it is the only re-sale children’s clothing store of its kind. If you don’t have any kids in your life, the store is still worth checking out…its that awesome. If you do have kids though, don’t wait. Sippees will surely become one of your go-to stores.

Sippees is located at 955 S. Virginia Street and is open 7 days a week from 10:00am to 6:00pm. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Photo Credit: 1, 2

Shop Local: Clothes Mentor

Clothes Mentor RenoClothes Mentor is a local second-hand shop here in Reno, owned by none other than…Hillary Schieve, who is also the owner of Plato’s Closet and The Biggest Little Fashion Truck. Clothes Mentor is located right next door to Plato’s Closet in the vibrant and thriving Midtown District. Clothes Mentor caters to a more mature audience than Plato’s Closet though, and the brands they carry reflect that.

Clothes Mentor is run in a very similar fashion to Plato’s. They buy, sell and trade your gently used name brand clothing. The only difference? The brands they’re looking for include Banana Republic, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Louis Vuitton, BCBG, Free People, etc. The store is organized by style, size and color…That means if you’re looking for a little black dress you’ll know exactly where to find it.

The staff at Clothes Mentor is very friendly and knowledgeable about the latest trends. If you’re shopping for something specific, let them know. Chances are they’ll lead you straight to it. After all, they did buy it! When sorting through the racks it is easy to tell that the buyers are very diligent when it comes to purchasing items, this process ensures that you will only find the highest quality second-hand. Many times you’ll find items still intact with original tags.

Clothes Mentor RenoIf you plan on selling your clothing to Clothes Mentor make sure that all the items you bring in are current (carried by stores within the past two years), in great condition (free of flaws and gently used) and name brand. If you follow these 3 simple rules you’re sure to leave with cash…err, clothes in hand. No matter how hard I try, I always find myself in the latter position.

Clothes  Mentor is open Monday-Saturday from 10:00am to 8:00pm and Sundays from 11:00am to 7:00pm. Be sure to check them out if your work or weekend wardrobe needs an overhaul!

Photo Credit: 1, 2

Shop Local: Labels Consignment Boutique

Labels Consignment BoutiqueWe all know that the streets of Reno aren’t exactly lined with fashion houses, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ladies out there looking for the latest designer threads. That’s where Labels comes in. Labels Consignment Boutique brings many different designer names together under one roof, and the best part…Its all on consignment. That means you’ll have a chance to score Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino at a fraction of their original cost. Its a fashionistas dream come true.

Labels Consignment BoutiqueNo need to fret though, you’ll find much more than just haute couture lining the racks of Labels. Intermixed amongst the luxury fashion you’ll also find the likes of Free People, Betsey Johnson, BCBG and Gypsy 05. But like many of the other local shops I have talked about, Labels is yet another location where you’ll have to dig. The real gems are buried, but they are there and they are affordable. I once scored a vintage Betsey Johnson sequin sheath dress, which I wore to my high school prom, for $80…You can’t beat that.

Labels Consignment BoutiqueBlythe Anderson opened Labels Consignment Boutique in 1993 and it has been a Reno staple ever since. I was first introduced to Labels when it was still located off of Lakeside Drive; since then the store has relocated to downtown Reno right off the river on West 1st Street. To this day I love visiting the store whenever I’m in the mood for a unique designer piece; whether that means a new purse, pair of shoes, necklace or dress Labels never disappoints!

Labels is located at 601 West 1st Street and is open Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 6:00pm, Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Make sure you check Labels out for your summer wardrobe updates!

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Shop Local: The Niche

The NIcheIn one of my first posts I mentioned that The Niche is one of my favorite locally owned clothing stores; today I am going to get a little more in depth about what makes it awesome–you get the boutique experience (without the boutique price tag) from the moment you walk through the front door.

You are always greeted by a friendly smiling face who is more than willing to assist you and are instantly taken aback by the trendy fashions and home decor. Similarly to other boutiques, the Niche stocks relatively low amounts of stylish inventory, so you can be sure that you are making a unique purchase.

Lucky for us though, the Niche differs from normal boutiques in one significant respect…their price tags. I love the Niche for many different reasons, but most of all for their super low prices. The store carries various affordable purses, scarves, hats and jewelry, and many of the tops are priced between $20 and $40 with denim ranging upwards of $50.

The NicheIt is unlikely that founder Jamie Getty knew what she was getting herself into when she opened her doors in November 2004. What began as a modest retail location in Shopper’s Square on Plumb Lane has since become somewhat of a Northern Nevada staple. The store has expanded to four locations and seems to be busy more often than not.

The Niche was voted as the “Best Women’s Clothing Boutique” and the “Best Boutique Clothing Store” in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and I do not doubt they will continue their reign in 2013. The Niche currently has four locations, which you can find more information about below.

Reno, Nevada

1300 East Plumb Lane
775.348.8661
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-6:30pm,  Sun 11am-5pm
(View Map)

Sparks, Nevada

121 Los Altos Parkway
775.626.8820
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-6:30pm,  Sun 11am-5pm
(View Map)

Carson City, Nevada

931 Jacks Valley Road
775.267.3785
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-6:30pm,  Sun 11am-5pm
(View Map)

Truckee, California

10164 Donner Pass Road
530.587.3100
Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-6pm
(View Map)

The next time you are looking for a trendy outfit or an unforgettable gift, I recommend checking out the Niche–You won’t be disappointed!

Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3

Fashion On A Budget

In light of recent economic events many of us have had to learn to shop on a budget.  It isn’t always easy, but, from personal experience, I can tell you it is completely doable. Now there probably aren’t many people out there who allot a certain amount of their monthly budget to clothing, but I do. You may think I’m crazy, but the truth is, I love clothes…and on a tight budget I have really had to learn how to stretch a dollar.

Budget Closet

Today I am going to share three dollar stretching secrets with you, and with my helpful hints, you’ll be shopping like a ‘recessionista’ in no time at all.

1.  Outlets and Factory Stores: I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was when the Outlets at Legends opened. It is a shame that several stores have had to close their doors, but the ones remaining offer many options for shoppers on a budget. My favorite stores at Legends include Forever 21, Gap Outlet, Banana Republic Factory and BCBGMaxazira.

2. Shop Online: The Internet is awesome. Websites like Amazon make shopping for bargains extremely easy. Simply type some keywords into the search bar, and instantly you have the best deals at your fingertips. In today’s day and age many sites provide free shipping when you spend over $50.00. You may never have to leave the comfort of your own home ever again.

3. Always Hit The Sale Rack: Okay, so this suggestion may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure you always hit the sale racks first. A lot of times you can find super good deals on clothing at the end of the season. I like to shop for things that I can store until next year—One of the good things about Reno is you’re not going to run into too many people who will know you are wearing last season’s sweater.

If you still need some budget inspiration, take a look at any of the following blogs: The Budget Fashionista, Frugal Fashionista, The Budget Babe or Penny Pincher Fashion. These ladies will inspire you to get the most out of your money and look dang good doing it.

Leave a comment below sharing your favorite dollar stretching secret!

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Shop Local: Plato’s Closet

After concluding my last interview with Hillary Schieve, co-creator of the Biggest Little Fashion Truck, she asked if I’d be interested in helping her out with some spring revamping at Plato’s Closet. Not only is Hillary part owner of the BLFT, she’s also the owner Plato’s Closet and Clothes Mentor—two brand name gently used clothing stores that buy, sell and trade the latest trends in Reno’s Midtown district. Hillary’s request made me outright giddy for two reasons. First, I love Plato’s Closet. Second, I love styling.

Plato's Closet Reno I head to Plato’s Closet whenever I am in the mood for a quick wardrobe update that won’t break the bank. Plato’s sells gently used brand name clothing at a fraction of its original cost. The store also has a staff of buyers who are constantly sorting through clothes to find items that fit the latest trends. The buyers are good at what they do; I can almost always find something I like, and I can’t tell you how many times I have come across items that still have their original tags intact.

Plato's Closet RenoToday’s trip to the store was quite similar to other trips, only this time I wasn’t scouring the racks for myself…instead, I was busy searching for the store displays. I think I went through just about every item of clothing in the store, pulling each trendy piece I came across. Once I had a good collection going, I started styling some of the store mannequins. I tackled one rather large display, and I was pretty happy with the outcome. What was the coolest part about my day you ask? I’d have to say over hearing a couple of customers ask if my outfits were for sale.

Plato’s Closet is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 9:00pm and Sunday from 11:00am to 7:00pm. However, the buying counter is only open until 7:00pm Monday through Saturday and 5:00pm on Sunday. The next time your wardrobe could use some revamping, I suggest checking out Plato’s Closet…your wallet will thank you.

Shop Local: The Biggest Little Fashion Truck

Biggest Little Fashion TruckHow many times have you kicked yourself for not being the first to come up with an idea? I experience moments like this on a regular basis, but I have seldom been as frustrated as I was when I was found out about the world of fashion trucks. A few weeks ago when I interviewed Jessica Schneider of Junkee, I was encouraged to contact Hillary Schieve. Hillary is a Reno City Councilwoman, the owner of Plato’s Closet, Clothes Mentor and the co-creator of Reno’s first fashion truck.

Biggest Little Fashion Truck

Vinnie Lucido, co-creator of the BLFT

After discovering the fashion trucks of San Francisco, LA and New York, Hillary and her business partner Vinnie Lucido felt a strong desire to bring the latest mobile business craze to Reno. That is when Vinnie set out to re-purpose an old delivery truck into the Biggest Little Fashion Truck.  Hillary and Vinnie’s creation features sleek hardwood floors, built-in shelving, outdoor pull-down racks and an onboard fitting room.

What’s the coolest part about the Biggest Little City Truck you ask? I’d say it’s the versatility. The truck is small and easy to stock so it’s able to cater to trends and a targeted clientele.  Even if that means hand picking a selection of items for a private party—that’s right…the BLFT will travel to you for your own personal shopping experience.

Biggest Little Fashion TruckYou can expect to find the Biggest Little Fashion Truck at different events and functions around town over the next couple of months. The truck made its debut at the Women’s Expo on March 23 followed by a visit to Real Deals Saturday this past weekend. The BLFT’s website features an interactive calendar that allows you to track the truck’s whereabouts.

Find out where the truck’s next stop will be by following the Biggest Little Fashion Truck on Twitter and Facebook!

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