Tag: shopping

F+F Fashion & $100 Gift Card Giveaway

Where to work styles Minnesota is getting a lot of new food retailers lately, so much so that my favorite humor columnist wrote about it recently. But they don’t all offer clothing as well as food. Retailer Hy-Vee, which sponsored this post, is rolling out the British-inspired F+F fashion label at select locations. The most recent store to add it is the Eagan, MN Hy-Vee. The international fashion brand is in 20 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia and now the U.S. gets to experience the modern, trendy styles too.

ff-fashionSo here’s what it’s like to shop for apparel in a grocery store:

Before this, I had never shopped at a Hy-Vee. It is a giant grocery store, but it reminded me a little of a market or train station in Europe because it was filled with little departments selling different types of things. F+F is one of them–it’s a store within a store that’s laid out cleanly with styles for women, men and children.

It’s higher end and higher priced than I expected for a clothing line within a grocery store. Think better quality than fast fashion, but better pricing than a luxury department store. The fitting rooms were surprisingly luxe and made me forget I was shopping mere feet from the frozen food section. The trickiest part is adjusting to the sizing system. The sizes are European, but the labels also list U.S. and U.K. sizes. I tried on a few sizes before I settled on a Euro 38/U.S. 6.

The F+F fashion line space is small, but they make the most of it by merchandising everything well. There is enough variety to meet many different style tastes, with sections of pajamas, lingerie, shoes, active wear, casual wear, dresses and also styles you could wear to work. I gravitated toward the classic cardigans and blouses. I always check labels for fiber content, and while I had to work a little harder here to read these multi-language labels I was happy to find enough viscose available to satisfy my picky fabric palette. I made an exception for the poly-lined lace blouse, because the style was irresistible!

Fashion from Hy-Vee

Gift Card Giveaway

If you live near a Hy-Vee store, you can enter to win a gift card below! Note that not all locations have an F+F fashion store (you can look them up on the website’s store locator) but the gift card can be used on the great selection of other merchandise at the store.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Where to Shop in San Francisco

Where to Shop San FranciscoOne of my favorite things to do when I’m visiting another city is stroll down streets looking for little places that can’t be found anywhere else. I’ll share my favorite hidden gems with you in my Where to Shop guides, so you can save some time searching for them. My Where to Shop San Francisco guide features a men’s haberdashery, an eclectic vintage shop, and more.

Best Un-Touristy Souvenirs

Jackson Polk

Head to a very touristy place, Ghiradelli Square, to get some delightfully un-touristy souvenirs. First let me clarify that I actually enjoy kitschy tourist shops. I collected spoons for a good decade of my childhood, so that should tell you how comfortable I am with cliche souvenirs. However, once you’ve seen one cable car pencil sharpener and Alcatraz handcuff key chain you’ve seen them all. At Ghiradelli Square’s Jackson & Polk you’ll find a modern, design-conscious take on Golden State souvenirs made by local artists. Pick up a Golden Gate Bridge embroidery kit, a San Francisco art print, or a dainty California state pendant.

Best Vintage Shop

Best Vintage Shop in San Francisco

Open by appointment only, Torso has unique items that have been carefully curated and displayed. The prices range up to $5000, so be sure to share your budget with the staff upon arrival. Most things are on the high end of pricing, since the store specializes in well-preserved designer items. Vintage hats, purses, beaded gowns and jewelry adorn the top floor. The lower level is home to day wear and more affordable pieces. Prices are unmarked, which is a practice I disagree with. There are easier-to-shop and more affordable places in the city, but the range of merchandise here is definitely worth a look if you’re nearby.

Best Men’s Apparel

Where to shop San Francisco

If you’re a fan of men’s fine clothing, stop in Cable Car Clothiers just to check out the way they merchandise their rainbow of silk ties, cuff links, and pocket squares. A barber shop is nestled into the front of the high end men’s clothing store. The rest of the place is practically a museum dedicated to the golden age of San Francisco men’s fashion. With the vintage decorations and attention to detail, you almost expect a 1950s businessman to walk in the front door. He’d certainly be right at home here.

Do you have a favorite shopping destination in the Bay Area? I’d love to hear from you!

Where to shop in san francisco

Stop! Don’t Put Away the Fair Isle

Nordic-knit-sweaterFair isle sweaters to wear all winter long

Updated January 13, 2017

Don’t you just adore winter sweaters? There are so many cute ones this season with little knitted patterns such as snowflakes or animals. I think it reminds me of my childhood snowsuit and sweaters from the 80s/90s. Since starting The Pink Paperdoll, quite a few people have asked are fair isle sweaters only for Christmas. I suppose I am kind of an expert on sweaters, after nearly three decades living in the north and two winters literally working in a castle made of ice.

So the question is…can you wear fair isle after Christmas?

Knit patterned, fair isle-inspired sweaters have an iconic wintery look that’s often associated with the holidays. But these cute, warm sweaters don’t have to disappear at the stroke of midnight on January 1. I know what it’s like to have a favorite wool or cashmere sweater you just want to keep wearing cause it’s so cozy! Perry the dog knows that feeling too.

Fair-isle-for-your-dogSo my answer is yes, you can. Fair isle is so beautifully, classically winter that I see no reason why not to wear it all the way through February. It’s perfect for snowy resort ski trips, lounging around the house and staying warm anywhere you go. Besides, Wear what you love, not what the rules say to wear. Click To Tweet

I still wear my beloved Lilly Pulitzer chevron sweater dress even though the fashion experts say chevron is dead as a door nail. And winter white is wildly popular, despite those rules that say no white after Labor Day.

Are Fair Isle Sweaters Only for Christmas?How to wear fair isle after Christmas

If you’re still concerned about looking too festive in fair isle in the New Year, here are two suggestions for choosing timeless sweaters: the pattern and the color. Then you can be assured you’re wearing fair isle that doesn’t scream “Christmas!”

1. Choose non-seasonal motifs. Shelve the reindeer for next year, and choose instead other animals or year-round patterns. I think snowflakes are acceptable–here’s proof. I also have an heirloom Nordic sweater that’s red and black but highly appropriate in Minnesota practically year round 🙂

Are Fair Isle Sweaters Only for Christmas?2. Choose winter colors. Blues and whites have a wintery but seasonally fresh appeal. But again, don’t fret if your fave threads are mainly spun from red, green or white…nobody’s judging.

Snowflake-sweater-from-vineyard-vinesBuy the perfect winter fair isle sweater

There are plenty of deals to be found on fair isle sweaters. Here are affiliate product links to shop some of my favorite fair isle fashions that are on sale right now:

What does your fair isle look like, and when do you wear it? Happy New Year everyone, stay warm in your sweaters! For more fair isle sweater pics and winter style inspiration, peek at Instagram and Pinterest.