Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Food + Dining Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Shopping + Style Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Arts + Entertainment Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Travel + Visitors Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Homes Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Health Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Giving Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Weddings Parties + Nightlife
Ali Shops Blog

Archive for the ‘Women & Men's Fashion’ Category

What Not to Wear at the Fair

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Like fried food on a stick, bad fashion is fundamental to the Minnesota State Fair. We laugh, because we live here. Brace yourselves: the fanny pack and socks-with-sandals offenders are about to give us a bad rep on national television. TLC’s What Not to Wear filmed at the fairgrounds just before the 2011 Fair opened. Co-hosts Stacy London and Clinton Kelly ambushed an unsuspecting fan in the Agriculture Horticulture Building (poor thing thought she was being interviewed about her love of the fair…she even wore a red “Minnesota State Fair Lover” t-shirt). See it play out—crop art, Giant Slide and all, tonight at 8 p.m. on TLC.


Monday, November 21st, 2011

11 a.m.: We put our turkey caps on to talk Black Friday with retail guru Tina Wilcox of Black Retail, on Shop Girls, myTalk107.1. From the left: Wilcox, my co-host Alexis Walsko and me. Wilcox says tweens are the ones to watch this holiday season–they have long wish lists and few practical concerns about spending. (Check out the December issue of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine for more shopping insights from Wilcox.)

2 p.m.: Costume change! Slipped into Michael Kors sequins to host Herberger’s fashion show–a splashy way to mark the opening of the Southdale Center store.

Oh my. It’s Will Deifel, whom you may recognize from the Calvin Klein ads. (Of course I look possessed.):

Right. The fashion. Lots of faux fur, sparkle, shades of grey, and more sparkle and faux fur:

7 p.m.: One more change, this time to my own dress (from the BCBG clearance rack)…for the Fraser Gala, where I “judged” a fashion show of dresses from Glitz at Mall of America with the evening’s emcee, designer and Project Runway alum Christopher Straub. (Look for his first collection for Maurice’s in stores on Friday.)

10 Reasons to Shop Herberger’s Southdale

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
Herberger’s opens a new flagship store today at Southdale Center, and we’re excited. No, really. Let us count the ways:
  1. Shoes! More than 15,000 square feet devoted to footwear for women, men, and children
  2. EMU shop. Boots, outerwear, sweaters from the popular (Ugg-like) Australian brand
  3. Handbags. Coach, Michael Kors, and Ralph Lauren will all have their own “shops” within the handbag department
  4. Contemporary brands. The One Philosophy shop will offer trendy brands such as Kensie, Willow & Clay, and Research and Design
  5. Intimates. Find lingerie from Betsey Johnson, Wacoal, and others
  6. Fine Jewelry. Huge selection of gemstones
  7. Men’s. John Bartlett, Woolrich, Kenneth Cole, and others offer on-trend options for casual and dress
  8. Self-serve kiosks. Order online-only products in store and get them shipped to your home for free
  9. Two weeks of opening sales, designer appearances, and shopping events
  10. It’s nice to see Southdale look alive again

Shopping Zara at Home

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

I sprinted through Zara at Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie, Ill. over the weekend – so close to an $89 buttery brown motorcycle jacket and $49 skinny green jeans, and yet, so swiftly interrupted by two little boys determined to get over to Marbles: The Brain Store.

No problem.  Tomorrow, I’ll be shopping from the couch after the boys are in bed. The Spanish fast fashion chain is launching online shopping in the U.S. on Wednesday, Sept. 7–with free delivery to all 50 states. You won’t miss a thing: Zara’s full range of women’s, men’s and children’s clothing will be available online.

If you’ve never had the chance to shop one of Zara’s 30 U.S. stores–there are 4,000 stores worldwide–you’re sure to be delighted. It’s a step up from H&M, but with similar nimbleness to transform runway looks into affordable street wear. Zara is known for quickly responding to customer demand–if red dresses are flying out of the store, expect more styles in stores within days. Zara has taken its move to online seriously–the site promises a consumer friendly shopping experience with multiple ways to search for colors, sizes, prices and more. Online returns will be free within 30 days. Here’s a peek:

Len at MOA

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Len, the value-oriented offshoot of trendy Galleria-based retailer Len Druskin, opens its fourth location today at Mall of America – third level, near Nordstrom. Find contemporary, casual apparel for women and men at reasonable prices. The other Len stores are at Southdale, Rosedale and City Center.

Superdry USA Opening at MOA

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Hot British retailer Superdry USA will open Friday, July 29 at Mall of America offering fashion for women and men that fuses British tailoring, vintage Americana style and hand-drawn Japanese-inspired graphics. Think graphic tees, plaid lumberjack shirts, rugged outerwear and a vintage thrift collection for women. Superdry hit the U.S. just two years ago; MOA is the eighth U.S. location – first in the Midwest. The first 50 customers on Friday will receive a $25 in-store voucher valid opening weekend.

Len Opening at MOA

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Fast-moving Twin Cities retailer Len Druskin will open one of its more affordably priced Len stores at Mall of America later this summer in a spot near Nordstrom.

“We are very excited to join the great roster of retailers at MOA,” says CEO Michael Druskin.

This will be the fourth Len store (the others are at Southdale, Rosedale and City Center) and the company’s ninth store overall in the Twin Cities. Druskin hinted at the possibility of yet another Len opening in October. While Len Druskin’s Galleria flagship continues to push higher end fashion for men and women, it’s the Len “style and savings” concept that seems to have legs.

Drama at 50th & France

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Uptown boutique Drama is taking over BluePeg’s space at 50th & France. Drama owner Courtney Smallbeck, who has defied odds and a prior move from Gaviidae Common to Lagoon Avenue, says many of her regular customers live in Edina and South Minneapolis, and appreciate both the energy of 50th, and the free parking. Drama offers trend-right fashions for both the office and a night on the town, from local and national designers – mostly priced between $60 and $110.

The move will happen in early August, after BluePeg’s planned Aug. 4 closing. I happened to walk in to BluePeg yesterday, just as owner Adam Tischler was getting set to go public with the news. He seemed genuinely broken up about it. The store had a cool, masculine look and hip merchandise for the casual guy who cares…trouble is, not enough do – especially at $100-plus for jeans or a shirt. I know my husband would sooner go naked than pay for premium brands, and while I complain that his Gap jeans are too baggy, I haven’t upgraded him. His savings are mine to spend. Especially at 50th & France, with so many great women’s boutiques. Sorry, Adam.

BluePeg’s going out of business sale starts this weekend at 4946 France Ave.

Chic in the Sun

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

“Sun Protective Clothing” tends to conjure images of big, beige button downs so I was delighted to find Mott 50, a new Palm Beach-worthy fashion line with UPF 50 protection (that stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, the clothing equivalent of SPF in sunscreen). The modern, preppy clothes are designed for poolside and beyond: Wrap dresses, shirt dresses, Kate Spade-esque bright print tunics, maxis and more, all priced between $95 and $145. There are also basic t-shirts and polos for women and men. See for yourself: Melly at the Galleria in Edina is hosting a Mott 50 trunk show now through Friday. Designer Monique Moore, a Breck School grad, will be at Melly on Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Changes at Parc Boutique

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Men, you had your chance. Parc Boutique tried offering you something other than a chair to sit in while your girlfriends and spouses shopped. Owner Thao Nguyen wanted to help you look cool for the weekend in premium denim, Ben Sherman shirts and Alternative Apparel tees. But you didn’t buy enough – and interestingly, your gals were too busy shopping for themselves to worry about outfitting you, despite the convenience. Women will shop wherever there is stuff to buy. Men won’t bother – even if it’s right in front of them and they’re bored, waiting for you to decide if you look fat in those jeans. When they finally do muster up the energy to shop, guys tend to go somewhere that has everything they need, rather than a women’s boutique where they might find one shirt. So, like many women’s boutique owners who tried it before her, Nguyen is discontinuing men’s apparel. Everything remaining is now 50 percent off.

As one department closes, another opens: Getting men’s out of the way will give Parc Boutique space to add handbags and shoes. Like the apparel, expect smaller, contemporary lines, priced under $100. The goods will arrive in August! | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved