Archive for the ‘Cool Sites’ Category


Wardrobe Ave $50 Site Credit Giveaway

In Cool Sites,Giveaways,indie fashion on January 7, 2011 by Naoko Takano

Heard of Wardrobe Ave? New on the scene of e-commerce sites selling direct from designers, this growing e-tailer has something for everyone on its pages.

They sell an array of chic and covetable items, all from independent designers, small boutiques and vintage sellers. The platform allows you to shop directly from the designers or shops, and they ship worldwide.

I, for one, am drooling more than a bit over the JANICE white ruffled dress, the the Black Phoebe Wrap, the Silver Cuboctahedron Necklace, and the Tree Branches Chiffon Scarf.

To help ring in the New Year, Wardrobe Ave has graciously partnered with Chic Steals to offer a $50 credit to their site to one lucky winner!

One lucky Chic Steals reader will win a $50 in credits to!

How to Enter


1. Visit and leave a comment on this post telling me what you’d buy if you won. (1 entry)

2. Tweet this giveaway. Leave a SEPARATE comment on this post with the link to your tweet! (tweet as many times as you’d like for additional entries)

However, if you do not keep your additional entry comments separate from your required entry comment, they WILL NOT BE COUNTED.

Giveaway open to anyone in the world!!
Giveaway period is open from today until Sunday, Jan. 16, 11:59 PM PST.

Winner chosen by and notified by email.

Also: Wardrobe Ave is currently running a 20% OFF Coupon Code promotion:

Take 20% off their ENTIRE store using code WARDROBE through now through January 31!

Good luck in the giveaway! and even if you aren’t the lucky winner there’s still that promo to take advantage of!


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Try on Dresses Online: Miss Selfridge’s Magic Mirror is Here!

In Cool Sites,Technology on December 28, 2010 by Naoko Takano

 I was so impressed with this innovation that I had to share with all of you.

I never thought I would see the day that one could try on clothing “virtually”…but it’s here.

Miss Selfridge has implemented an online application where you can snap a photo of yourself and overlay their clothing onto your photo…all on their website platform.  (Up until now this was more than possible if you felt like messing about in Photoshop or some other graphic-editing program [i.e., taking a photo of yourself, then downloading product photos from your favorite online store and layering the items over your body in the program].  But to have this functionality self-hosted on a clothing e-tailer’s site, especially one as big as Miss Selfridge, is huge.  I hope other sites jump on this bandwagon stat!)

You need to first wear a neutral-colored, tight-fitting sheath.  You position your computer’s camera device so that you are about 3 steps away from it, and align the dress that appears onscreen with your body.  Using the touch-sensitive virtual buttons that appear to be suspended in midair on your screen, you resize the dress so it fits the lines of your body, and then choose the camera button, which snaps a photo that you can then share on Facebook.


Fun!  It’s really neat to see how a piece of clothing will look on you before you actually buy it, and once you get the hang of it, it’s quick to try different pieces out.  Saves the hassle of putting on and taking off clothes entirely.  Plus, it helps with the decision-making…for instance, that beige dress I tried on above I really didn’t like until I tried it on…and now, I’m more inclined to get it since I thought it surprisingly flattering for my body type.


1.) Doesn’t work in Firefox (I have the latest version).  I had to use Safari as my browser to allow the application to work.

2.) The Resize and Camera (“take a photo) buttons have an extremely tiny area of sensitivity.  You have to fumble about in midair for awhile until buttons respond – and sometimes they don’t at all.  I found that I could get the buttons to respond only by moving super-close to my camera and trying to “touch” the buttons with my head.  Only then would they respond and I had to rush back to the exact spot where the dress was aligned in time for the photo to be snapped. AND, you can’t use the mouse to click on the buttons when they don’t respond to touch.  MAJOR programming drawback.

3.) Building off 2.), the application takes photos too quickly.  I had trouble fitting my pose and the dress size correctly with only a 3-second countdown.

4.) You can’t take a photo to share on email, or save on your computer, or in an online account. You can only post them on your Facebook profile, and the photos that you can post end up SUPER-TINY.  In order to share the above with you, I had to take a screenshot (of the photo of me wearing the dresses, that for some reason the application tilts, shrinks, and adds a polaroid-style border to – MOST ANNOYING).  Thus, you only have small photos of my 20-minute try-on session to look at.

5) I noticed at least one of the dresses was a different version when you go to buy it – the peacock-print caftan does not have a cut-out shoulder in the version that’s available on the site.  Consistency, please!

6) You can’t try on separates.  Forget about creating whole outfits…and the dresses you can try on are just a tiny fraction of all the pieces they offer for sale online anyway.

7) Unless you have really good lighting, your photos will be really dark and grainy.  The more neutral the background, the easier to see as well.

You may or may not have seen this already, but Wieden + Kennedy Tokyo’s ad for Google search employs a similar technique…though not necessarily usable unless you have a projector. 

Try On Dresses in Miss Selfridge’s
Magic Mirror

If you have a spare 15-20 minutes to play around, this is a super-fun way to spend it!  (I just hope they address some of the technology issues and add more clothing pieces to “try on” soon!)


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Introducing Smashion: Buy and Sell Your Clothes for No Fees! (Better Watch Out, Ebay!)

In Cool Sites,Ebay,Smashion,Thrifting on December 6, 2010 by Naoko Takano

If you’re anything like me, you probably have a number of gently-used clothing, shoes, and accessories in need of a good home.  And if you’ve tried to sell them online before, pretty much the only option was Ebay.  But was it really worth the hassle? You’re hit with a listing fee, a Gallery fee, a Reserve Price fee, a final price fee if your item does sell, a Buy It Now fee…and if your item doesn’t sell, you don’t get your money back.  (Sure you can relist it for free, but if it still doesn’t sell??  You’re outta luck, my friend.:-(  And if your item does finally sell, usually what it ends up selling for isn’t really worth all that listing hassle and fee upon fee upon fee.  There’s a reason many people call it FEEBAY!

I have tried many times to sell clothing from my closet (that I’ve hardly worn, mind you!) on Ebay with frustrating results.  Sometimes I ended up paying Ebay more money than I actually make from the sale!!

That’s why I was so excited to hear about Smashion, a no-fees online online fashion marketplace and community that connects buyers and sellers with a passion for budget fashion.

Yes – NO FEES!  At allSell for free, buy for free.  A virtual free-for-all, if you will.;-)  Launched in October of 2009, Smashion enables users to buy or sell lightly-worn or NWT (new with tag) apparel and accessories in the Marketplace, and also acts as a social networking platform for users to express their unique style and converse with each other on fashion topics.

Got something to sell?  Whether it is a piece of jewelry you’ve designed, a pair of new shoes that have been sitting idly in your closet, or that dress you wore only a couple of times (but still looks great), you can sell it on Smashion.  They charge no listing or transaction fees, nor do they have any hidden fees. 

But Smashion isn’t just limited to buying and selling.  It’s also a social networking and sharing platform, where you can:

* Get inspired and inspire others in the Gallery, where you can upload pictures of your own unique looks or the styles you’ve captured on the street.

* Talk with other users in the Forums on anything that’s fashion-related, from the latest trends and your favorite designers to a fashion crisis you’re facing. Start by introducing yourself and learn why the Smashion Forums are unique.

 * Read up on recent fashion news or opinions on the Smashion blog.

* Find your friends on Smashion or invite your friends to join in on the fun.

Smashion was originally founded in response to the growing trend of wearing second-hand clothing and the lack of a community-based, fashion-focused online marketplace.   They showcase everyone, from closet recyclers and wardrobe refreshers to vintage treasure hunters and budget-conscious fashionistas, providing a service for the community that is fee-free.  Since launching they also have included independent designers who are tired of high fees on other sites, and business owners who are looking to sell excess inventory in their Marketplace, so there is always something for everyone.

And if you like finding buried treasure, how about Diane von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger, Vera Wang, Sam Edelman, Anthropologie, Escada, and Michael Kors?  Just click around and go hunting…

Click on through using my invite link below, and see what it’s all about…

Check out Smashion

Edit 12/7: By the way, they also are currently having a Holiday User Referral program going on where you could win $100 cash for inviting your friends to join.  Check out this page for more details!


FTC Disclosure: Smashion is now a sponsor of Chic Steals with a paid advertisement in my left sidebar.  However, I was not paid for or compensated for this post in any way.  To read my full disclosure policy, see here.

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Cyber Monday Deals & Steals

In Cool Sites,Sale on November 29, 2010 by Naoko Takano

gif source

So is everyone gearing up for Cyber Monday?

I’ve never been one to head out on Black Friday, fighting the crowds (are there even crowds? someone will have to fill me in), to try and snap up the biggest and best deals of the year in person.

Nope, I always wait for the following Monday – since I do most of my shopping from the computer anyway.  And here are a couple that I’m probably going to hit up!

First off…I’m doing a little promotion of my own…

15% off your entire purchase from my Etsy shop and ShopChicSteals…use code CYBER in your checkout at Etsy for Etsy purchases…and just email me at admin at carlyjcais dot com what you want to buy from ShopChicSteals and the PayPal invoice I send you will reflect the 15% discount.  (15% off promotion is valid until Tuesday, 11/30/2010 at 11:59 PM)  My Etsy shop is where I list my handmade accessories; ShopChicSteals is where I’ve listed items that are in my closet that I no longer wear, thrifted finds, or the creations of my DIY tutorials.  I have items from Banana Republic, DKNY, Anne Klein, Nine West, and Gap up for sale, as well as my DIY Party Skirt, DIY Fringed & Studded Bag, DIY Fur Cape, and DIY NecklushCheck it out here! is having 50% OFF the lowest posted price on all SALE shoes!  (and it’s already started!!!)  Enter code FP72HMPZF at checkout.  Jeffrey Campbell, Vince Camuto, Sam Edelman, Industry, Finsk…??  I’m there!
At there’s a ton of what they’re calling “Blitzen Deals” happening hourly, but the one I’m most interested in is 10:01:00 AM-  12:00:00 PM  PST $5 Off ALL T-Shirts!  (And if you miss that on Monday, on Tuesday you can get 12% off ALL Products from 2:01:00 PM – 4:00:00 PM and 10:01 PM – midnight)  For all the promotions, just click this link and you can see the list of “Blitzen Deals” and their start time (in Pacific Standard Time).  I’ve added a Flash panel above with a couple of the products I’ve designed using Zazzle (which is a really fun interface for designing personalized products, BTW!). is having a Stock-Up Sale (with many 2-for and 3-for items), a Black Friday Sale (prices start at $3 – pictured above), and a Buy 1, Get 1 Sale.  And they’re offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders with code CYBERMONDAY10Check it out here!

NastyGal is having a tiered sale through Monday – buy $100 you get 10% off, a $100-$200 purchase gets you 15% off, and if you spend more than $200 you’ll score a 20% discount.  Plus all orders over $150 ship free! Sale is offering $25 off any $100 order – good through Tuesday!  Use code CYBER at checkout.  (and they sell alot more shoes than just the slipper things in the banner above…like Diesel, Carlos by Carlos Santana, Seychelles, Nina, and Two Lips. 20% Own Brands - Women's is offering 20% off ASOS Collections items – enter code ASOS20 at checkout – (and Free Shipping Worldwide for the Holidays!).  That watercolor dress below is calling my name! (and my wallet, since it will be $76 with the coupon code above…)

And finally, has 20% off + Free Shipping on orders over $65 going on as well (with code 20FREE)…AND if you order $100 of products you get a $10 gift code…$150 and you get a $20 gift code…$200 and a $40 gift code for your next order, usable only within 7 days. (Don’t forget to enter code GOCYBER to get this promo as well)  I love their selection of BB Dakota, 80%20 shoes, Cheap Monday, and Plastic Island.

Also, for you all DIY’ers and sewers out there… has some great deals going on…

As does M&J Trimming, who have 15% off their entire site happening for Monday only!  (No coupon code necessary)  They also have some fabulous new studded trims that I’m salivating over!!

Happy E-Shopping!


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$50 Macy’s Gift Card Giveaway from Macy’s "Find Your Magic Campaign"

In Cool Sites,Cool Stores,Giveaways on October 7, 2010 by Naoko Takano

This Fall Macy’s invites you to “Find Your Magic” with their latest campaign just in time for the holiday season.

With the tag line “Whatever it is that dazzles, delights, or excites you this fall, it’s in the bag at Macy’s,” this interactive section to the site has daily shopping picks, details on fun in-store events, and a Fashion Director Daily Challenge with create-your-own outfit and outfit sharing feature where you could win a $100 gift card to Macy’s!

To drive the magic bag message in-store, Macy’s is also displaying dresses made entirely from the shopping bag that measure over 10 feet high.  (Can’t wait to check those out!)

Last month, Macy’s released their “Find Your Magic” TV commercial, featuring celebrity designers including Sean “Diddy” Combs, Tommy Hilfiger, Jennifer Lopez, Rachel Roy, Jessica Simpson, Martha Stewart and Donald Trump.

To commemorate this new campaign, Macy’s is giving away a $50 Macy’s Gift Card to one lucky Chic Steals reader!

How to Enter
Edit 10/15: The entry period is over and the winner will be announced shortly!

Watch the video above – and Leave a Comment on this post below telling me what part of the video you liked best!  (Make sure your email address is in your comment or profile so I can contact you if you win!)

Giveaway open to anyone in the U.S.
Apologies to my international readers!:-(
Giveaway period is open from today until Thursday, Oct. 14, 11:59 PM PST.
Winner chosen by

Good luck!

And head to Macy’s now through October 11 for their Columbus Day Sale, with 25 – 70% off storewide (and an added 10 – 15% off with your Macy’s card or pass – available here – just enter your zipcode, locate the Columbus Day sale flier, and download and print your pass for in-store savings!!)  Online there are huge discounts to be had during this sale too – with 2-day specials and an extra 25% savings on all Clearance items…also use coupon code SAVENOW to get free shipping off any order $99+.

Happy Columbus Day Shopping!


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Fall Shoes Under $43 AND a Coupon Code for!

In Cool Sites,Coupons,Shoes on September 27, 2010 by Naoko Takano

Fall is here and I have shoes on the brain! is a great site to shop at a discount (always!) for everything from furniture to kids’ clothing, to books, crafts (my fave!;-)), to women’s outerwear, clothing, handbags, jewelry, and shoes.  It’s always a treasure hunt because you never know what you’ll find on sale there.  Plus, they offer $2.95 shipping on your entire order!  (And currently they’re also having a promotion for  Free Shipping on Outerwear to a continental U.S. address!)

They’ve also shared with me a coupon code just for you:

Enter code 121728 at checkout 
to receive 10% off your entire order!

So as I wrote, I’m definitely in the market for a new pair of shoes for Fall.  But what should I pick?  Boots made for stompin’? Demure little booties? High, high heels?  Here are some items that caught my eye: (and the best thing is, they’re all under $43 if you use the coupon!!)

Journee Knee-High Platform Slouch Boots, $35.91 with coupon
Go Max Prestige 8 Platform Stiletto Heels, $15.29 with coupon
Ardiente Indigo Moon Boots, $42.29 with coupon
Penny Loves Kenny Cavalry Short Boots, $32.39 with coupon

Liliana by Adi Faux Suede High-Heel Boots, $26.99 with coupon
 Bucco 17-226 Lace-Up Boots, $38.69 with coupon

Maybe you’ll be able to find some other goodies there?

Shop Women’s Shoes Now!


FTC Disclosure: All the ideas and opinions expressed are my own. No monetary compensation was received for doing this post, however, I was provided with a discount code. Read more about my Disclosure Policy here.

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