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Hi, nice to meet you.
I'm Hallie, a Midwest native, New York City transplant and the mind behind corals + cognacs. If you're looking for an online destination for stylish inspiration and musings on Manhattan living, you've come to the right place.
I hope you enjoy reading corals + cognacs as much as I enjoy writing it.
FAQ //LOCATION: New York, New York •BY WAY OF: The Midwest (Cleveland/Chicago) •HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? Attainable, trendy and fun. I’m constantly wearing unexpected pairings – like statement pumps and a graphic tee. •FAVORITE ITEM IN YOUR CLOSET? The vintage Gucci clutch I thrifted for $40. •ANY OBSESSIONS? I like my coffee black, my heels high and my martinis dirty. •GUILTY PLEASURES? Complex carbohydrates and shoe shopping -- both in excess. (And SoulCycle, as a result.)
ARE YOU A FULL-TIME BLOGGER? No, I work as a Development Manager and Contributing Editor at Glam.com. •WHY DID YOU START YOUR BLOG? I've spent nearly seven years on the corporate grind, where sartorial humor and an expertly crafted color-block can get lost in the boardroom. As a result, I decided to create a blog -- a space where I’d hoped my writing, styling and excessive shoe collection would be better comprehended. •WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Living stylish and spontaneously in New York City – and beyond. I aim to inspire others to have fun with fashion and to live lightheartedly •HOW’D YOU THINK OF THE NAME? To be honest, the name just came to me. I’m a big color-blocker and a sucker for alliteration in writing. It just fit. •WHAT’S THE CORRECT WAY TO WRITE IT? corals + cognacs.
HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE IT? corals and cone-yaks. •WHAT KIND OF CAMERA DO YOU USE? A Canon T3i with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. •DON’T YOU FEEL WEIRD TAKING PHOTOS OF YOURSELF? Absolutely. Everyone looks at me like I’m insane – especially when it’s cold. Wouldn’t you? •DO YOU WORK WITH ADVERTISERS/SPONSORS? Yep! Shoot me an e-mail and let’s talk. •HOW ELSE CAN WE KEEP IN TOUCH? On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
I’ve got a shopping secret to share today, lovely ladies.
It’s especially good for my Chicago-area gals, but still worthwhile even if you’re not — especially with the holidays upon us. Read on!
Two weeks ago, on a rainy Thursday morning in Chicago, I got up, grabbed a coffee and headed to the suburbs with Jess to do some designer discount shopping at the newly opened Nordstrom Last Chance store in Chicago, IL.
If you haven’t heard of Nordstrom Last Chance, you need to. It’s Nordstrom’s final-clearance store (even after Nordstrom Rack), making it the perfect place to find insanely discounted designer shoes, apparel, handbags, accessories and home decor.
The Chicago location opened in late October in Yorktown Shopping Center (an easy 20-minute drive out of the city). Local ladies, you need to head up for a little Saturday shopping spree.
(If you’re not local to Chicago, you can find the Last Chance store closest to you here. As an FYI, Nordstrom Rack is are much more common — and they feature a lot of their in-store items online, which you can shop at a similarly steep discount here.)
Jess and I made the trip on the first day the store had opened, and holy freakin’ madness… All I can say is that it’s a good thing we came willing and ready to shop.
Here’s how the day went — keep reading, ’cause next I’ll share my advice for making the most of your next discount or holiday shopping haul:
Upon entering the store, you’ll first find yourself pass by the handbag section, which is where I started my quest. Almost immediately, I was fishing out bags, clutches and wallets from Marc Jaobs, Kate Spade and — yes — even 3.1 Phillip Lim.
We’d arrived mid-morning after the store had already opened, so we were SOL on shopping carts. Once I came up for air, I scanned the store to find Jess and spotted her furiously raking through an array of outerwear (faux fur vests and jackets galore!) with a handful of gorgeous coats already draped over her arm. Success!
In the shoe aisle, we both found a surplus of Ugg boots and Hunter boots. There were a ton of new-looking Nike sneakers, too.
Just over an hour later, I left with a bag full of gorgeous designer items at a very steep discount — many of which I’ve styled together in today’s post (linked below, my skinny jeans have been a particular repeat offender).
If you’re going, here’s my advice (or really, these tips will be useful for holiday shopping, too):
Arrive early in the morning if you can (and know that you’ll hit traffic between 8 and 10 a.m).
Nothing is worse than shopping when you’re not in the mood, so be in the right mindset. These deals are really good, so the store will be crowded. (Coffee, girl, and make it a Venti!)
Go with a girlfriend who knows your taste, sizes and favorite designers. Grab a card, divide and conquer!
Look an item over before you purchase it. Some pieces are (very) gently worn, and there are no returns if you’re shopping in-store. It can be worth the investment, though: I found a Phillip Lim ‘Pashli’ bag (retailing around $800) for $120; reason being, it had a stain on the back-side of the bag that I knew could easily be removed.