All you little red monsters out there…..I’m in a red frame of mind…
February 4, 2011

Put on your red dress, baby....

Ok, here’s the thing…I don’t really have a lot of red. Even though my Mother always  told me(and lamented the fact that I liked neutrals) and Marianne Banister tells me that I look good in it, red is just not a color I gravitate to when shopping for clothes. As a result, when I stared into the dark depths of my closet this morningWear Red Day…I found exactly…. none.

Love it!

So here’s what I would be wearing if I owned it….I love this shot of two women in red strolling the city….I want to go to there.

I would also love be wearing these red shoes....

How about a little red dress gossip????

Red in very chic...

Or how about red nails?????

Or Paloma Picasso Red lips???

Or take a nap in a red dress????

I love all those  vintage fashion photographs from Vogue and Glamour (the photos are from  HK Photographs)….and for your information they are all available today(for a fee-$399 to be exact) at One King’s Lane(a great home shopping site but you will have to sign up to view things there) and  a portion of the proceeds from this event  will go directly to the Go Red for Women Campaign.

So, while I’m outfitted in red, I’m in a red frame of mind…and the weekend is upon us! Play nice, book a heart assessment screening with your doctor, go for a nice long walk, and come home safe…’cause we miss you!

Make it Work!…. Creating a sleeveless blouse in 5 minutes…
October 20, 2010

A pretty blouse, but the sleeves don't work for me...

Ok, I bought this lovely silk, wine colored BCBG Max Azria shirt last fall(off Rue La La, if you must know). Love the color, love the hammered satin fabric, love the bow at the neck….hate the sleeves.

 They’re just little, puffy mini-cap sleeves that I don’t like and if I try to wear it under a cardigan….they stick up and make lumps underneath…which I do not appreciate.

Scissors in hand, I remove the offending sleeves...

So yesterday, as I was struggling with this piece of clothing, I thought…what on earth am I doing? My practical angel said “You don’t like the sleeves, you never wear the blouse without something over it…just cut them off,  Donna. Cut them off..right now, while you’re still wearing it. What are you waiting for?”

My impractical angel was shocked… “That’s a lovely silk blouse Donna…you’re ruining it. What would Max Azria say?” To which the practical angel replied, “Sister, if Max knew what he was doing, he’d have made it sleeveless anyway.”

So I whipped out my scissors and whacked the sleeves off…yes…while I still had it on. Oh, sure if was a little difficult at the back, but I still got the job done. 

All's well that ends well, right?

And, it fit perfectly under the thin cardigan I was wearing yesterday on the air. I’m practically a couturier seamstress. And to soothe those of you who sew and are shaking your heads in disgust, I want you to know… I will take this blouse to a seamstress at the cleaners, and have them redo the arm seams and maybe even have them cut it in on the shoulder a little…I like that. In the end, Max Azria may think…”Why didn’t I think of that? It’s brilliant!” Just goes to show you, ain’t nothin’ sacred about any piece of clothing, if it’s not working…as Tim Gunn from Project Runway would say, Make it work!”.

Your new look for spring….hotter hot pants…
April 15, 2010

The look we've all been waiting for...boy short bikini bottoms!

Ok, I was in the salon this week, getting  re-blonded(a little lighter for spring, like it?)and was thumbing through a fashion magazine as usual, and, shazam…discovered what is sure to be THE hot look for spring and summer. Uh-huh…that’s it in the picture above….and I feel confidant that we will all look super in it…can’t wait to wear it to work!  “Boy-short bikini bottoms with prim tops“…Perhaps they assume that putting on a nice jacket, gorgeous necklace and kickin’ heels will make everyone forget/accept that you’re practically nude from the waist down. This is being referred to in fashion speak, as “negative hemlines“. True dat.

"Vintage" look from Marc Jacobs....

Come on design world!!!!!!!!! Boy shorts as outerwear can be successfully worn by I’m guessing a full 2% of the population, and should be worn by 0%.  And in case you’re thinking they’re inexpensive, think again sweetie. Some of these by Balmain, Blumarine and others are high dollah-pricey. And what, you may ask, is the diff between boy shorts and hot pants? Yes, Virginia, there is a distinction…though subtle except to us fashion cognescetti…hot pants expose a little of your….ummm….derrierre, and boy shorts, dear Virginia, are fitted and do not.   

I showed this picture to several women (and these were women in their 20s and 30s….they got a good laugh out of it. Who knows, maybe this look will catch on….I hae no doubt that the NY Times will this summer have an “On the Street” feature with girls and  women who have stepped outside their comfort zone and donned their boy hot shorts…..maybe with heels and a jacket. I look forward to seeing it.

And the winner is…..
March 1, 2010

After much deliberation, this Orla Kiely wallet is the winner....

As you know, my wallet disappeared  last week, never to reappear. But as I told you, I got a call that night from a woman who said she had found my driver’s license, some credit cards, and business cards on the ground. We met at an appointed place Saturday and I got them back…most were useless of course, having been canceled, but to get my license back was HUGE! I thanked her profusely, and gave her a cash reward(appropriate, oui?)…and I was on my way.

Really liked this one....would make a great evening bag!

I started perusing wallets on-line this weekend, looking for one that could be everything I asked it to be: 1. large enough to contain all the stuff I put in it 2. durable 3.  attractive and 4. one new requirement …it also could fit my cell phone, so that I could  use it as a clutch purse on occasion. A lot to ask, yes?

Double Dutch to the rescue!!!

But as I started looking, my daughter called and told me to check out a shop called Double Dutch  in Hampden. I know the place, I pass it all the time and have shopped there before…and I like to keep it local if I can. Double Dutch has loads of cute clothing and accessories. But evidently this February, they got in the mother lode of  wallets, of every size, color and description….shiny, metallic, leather, plastic, with grommets and studs and without….some great looking choices, really. 

Oh really get it....

In the end, I picked one by Orla Kiely….not the least expensive model there(it’s in the top picture), but it was on sale, super chic and I know it will be extra durable. The owner said she carried one for years, and when the zipper broke, they replaced it for free… it. And Kiely makes some smart looking bags and clothing…the line is based in London. Plus I can get my cell phone inside, zipped up with looking like a snake that ate a hardboiled egg. Mission accomplished.

Laments and memories of bargains at C-Mart…..
October 8, 2008



Tears all around today over the demise of C-Mart. I thought you’d enjoy some readers’ favorite memories and thoughts on the situation….This is from Debbie:

Donna, I loved your C Mart eulogy. One day, my husband Howard was shopping at C Mart and as a joke brought me home a paperweight for my office which says “Because I Said So.” I immediately recognized the Pottery Barn box (I’m not sure he had ever heard of Pottery Barn!), and after grilling Howard, discovered that they had tons of Pottery Barn merchandise. As was the case with the designer bags and clothing, they obtained the merchandise after Hurricane Katrina. So we went back, and I was very excited to discover they did indeed have tons of great stuff — dishes, telephones, clocks, linens, hardware, lamps, bathroom containers, and on and on. Some of the dishes they had were the same ones as I was using, so I bought every serving piece, bowl, tray, etc. that goes with the set. I am not the most patient of people, but I did brave the long lines to buy my Pottery Barn treasures at half price. And they brought out new stuff for weeks — so I think we went back 3 or 4 times and kept finding more great stuff. What fun — we will definitely miss C Mart.As I’m writing this email, it has become clear to me that a Congressional bail-out of C Mart is in order.”

This from Susan in Forest Hill:

I remember C-Mart when it was in a dark and odd-smelling building near Main St. in Bel Air. It was like a wonderful treasure hunt to walk along the aisles full of one-of-a-kind clothing and items. Then they moved to Forest Hill and it was still odd-smelling but brighter and larger and it was still like a treasure hunt. One time I found a silver designer gown with an orange crayon-looking mark across the front. The original price tag on the gown was $485.00. I bought the gown (which fit like a glove) for $20.00 and took it to the dry cleaners thinking if they couldn’t get the mark out, I would cut the dress apart and use the material for pillows. They got the mark out for $7.00! I felt so gooood. I had a designer dress for $27.00! It didn’t matter that I didn’t have anything (like the Academy Awards) to wear it to – ever! C-Mart should have never moved to Joppa. It looked too much like a department store and smelled too good. They tried to sell lots of very expensive leather furniture that was in poor condition and the prices were too high to make any of the damaged items worth owning. The thrill of the treasure hunt was gone. The old store in Forest Hill is still vacant. They say you “can’t go back” but I wish someone would turn the pages, start the book over and begin again in Forest Hill.”

This from Jerry…

Its a real shame that so many lives were affected by the mismanagement, greed and inexperience of the new owners. Cmart could have survived the economic downturn if not for those bozos.”

From Jan:

All good things must come to an end, Oh My So Sad! I’ve been a Cmart shopper since the beginning when it was a funky ‘head shop’ in ‘74/’75 on Bond Street in Bel Air, stocked with pipes and crazy hippie stuff. Young Doug got his start selling Eagle Eye shirts to students @ UDel out of the trunk of his car back in the day – kudos to him! I’m wondering if it made national news — my daughter in Chicago sent me a quick txt in disbelief. Oh, how we’ll miss the funky handwritten ‘CU@Cmart’ ads and the anticipation of finding some REALLY great buys.”

This from Kelly:

I started going to C-Mart with my Mom when I was I little girl (1970’s). I have fond memories of C-Mart when it was located in Forest Hill. You never knew what you were going to find — in fact I bought my prom dress there for $15 when most of these types of dresses were selling for $150 or more. When C-Mart announced it was relocating to Joppatowne, I was thrilled. It meant the shop would be a mere mile from my home. Unfortunately, that’s when C-Mart “changed”. All of a sudden they were only selling high-end designer goods it seemed, especially in their furniture department. (If I couldn’t afford a $20,000 couch, chances are a 50% off sale wasn’t going to help!) The other issue I saw was that the style of furniture etc. began moving away from items everyday people wanted in their homes and turned into a flea-market of the odd. Chairs in lime-green with silver sparkles and bright orange tassels, china closets that were so enormous that you needed 15-foot plus ceilings to even contemplate their charm in your home. I am very saddened to see C-Mart close it’s doors, but I couldn’t imagine how they were staying open when they had moved so far away from what made them great in the first place. It would seem to me, especially in these tough economic times, bringing back the old C-Mart philosophy of “quality goods at close-out prices” and ditching the “high-end goods you still can’t afford even if you like the bizarre and garish” would still be a solid business plan at the current location.

This email I got today from Lisa, who has no idea why it fits in this blog!

This message is for Donna Hamilton:I love that watch she wears on the air and was wondering what brand it is and where could I get one! Thanks!”

Well Lisa, it is a Michele watch, and they sell them at Nordstrum’s, jewelry stores, online, and of course, at Saks. Where did I get mine? Half off at where else…C-Mart! When I saw it online during their big Saks buyout, I dispatched my husband there with a detailed description and strict instructions to brave the lines and buy it for me for Christmas. He did, and I still love it. Sniff.

This is from Lori:

Donna, I’d be happy to carry that beautiful Marc Jacobs Venetia bag for you!”

Lori, here’s an idea….maybe I should rent it out and give the proceeds to charity!