Why You Should Stop Dry-Cleaning and Start Steaming Smelly Clothes With…Vodka?

Dress and Flowers

Make your clothes smell fresh in seconds. | Shutterstock.

Not enough time to run to the dry cleaner’s before your event? Got some vintage pieces that just can’t shake the musty, granny-closet smell? You don’t have to hide behind a cloud of perfume (or worse, Febreeze) to mask the not-so-fresh scent your clothes are carrying. I learned the easiest way ever to neutralize stubborn smelling clothes (and my inner party girl loves it): vodka. Read more »

Philly’s First Rooftop Flea Market Happening Saturday at Whole Foods

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A Whole Foods storefront. | Image via Whole Foods Market.

Clear your Saturday afternoon because a local flea market for a good cause  is coming to a rooftop near you. Whole Flea, aptly named as it takes place atop Whole Foods South Street, will feature over forty vendors selling hand-crafted jewelry, body products, home goods, art, antiques, ceramics, food, clothing and more.  Read more »

Inside Temple’s Secret Shoe Museum

Chinese foot binding slippers

Slippers worn by an adult woman subjected to Chinese foot binding. | Photo by Lauren McGrath.

Temple’s School of Podiatric Medicine is home to one of Philly’s hidden gems — so hidden, in fact, that the unique charm of the place doesn’t quite hit you until you leave. Temple’s Shoe Museum is a far cry from the pristine halls of Philadelphia’s iconic Art Museum; its artifacts are preserved in a cocoon of cinderblock, yellow fluorescent lights and dusty shelves. The museum curator, Barbara Williams, is a no-nonsense woman who was not too keen on giving me a tour in the first place. (You can only tour the exhibit by appointment  …  with Ms. Barbara.) Crack her shell, however, and you will find that she’s a source of infinite shoe knowledge, so put more time in the parking meter than you think.

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The Essential End of Summer Clean-Out Guide

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How and what to de-sand before summer’s up. | Shutterstock.

Though spring cleaning takes all the glory, the tail-end of summer — what the fashion world refers to as ‘pre-fall’ — calls for its own detox. Think about it: soggy swimwear, sandy beach bags, grimy flip-flops. And while tossing summer’s basics into the back of your closet or some forgotten corner of your garage for months doesn’t seem so bad now, finding a moldy beach cooler next May isn’t the most promising way to welcome back summer.

While I’m not conceding the end of summer yet (two more weeks!), I am advising you to start thinking, even just a tiny bit, about how you’ll clean out your summer gear for its long winter hibernation. For instance, don’t even think about piling your flip-flops in your closet before giving them a solid wipe-down. Brilliant tip: You can even run them through the dishwasher! Same goes for your cooler (wipe this down and make sure to completely dry it!) and your arsenal of swimwear, which calls for a serious soak after a season of use.  Read more »

Market Report: Eek! These 10 Madewell Sandals Have Been Recalled

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The 10 Madewell sandals on recall. | Images via Madewell.

  • Shoe news: These 10 Madewell sandals are on major recall for the health threats they pose. The company has recalled over 50,000 pairs after numerous complaints of a metal shank dislodging and breaking through the bottom of the sandal. Ouch. [New York Times]
  • Speaking of could-be threatening shoes, the thigh-high boot trend is big for fall.Here’s a primer on how to wear them IRL, as demonstrated by five real (read: not model-tall) women. [Glamour]
  • Remember Bebe, mecca of tiny, tight club dresses? Well, the brand is seriously revamping its party-girl image for a more polished vibe. Think less Paris Hilton, more #GirlBoss CEO.  And now we officially feel old. [WhoWhatWear]

Up next: Your everything guide to thrift-shopping like a pro.

Local Pope Lookalike Makes Tees and Tiny Onesies Honoring Pope’s Philly Visit

Pope

Image via Facebook.

In the weeks leading up to Pope Francis’s visit, people creating papal memorabilia are coming out of the woodwork (and creating actual woodwork, like this, which is pretty cool). But one artist stands out, mostly because, well, he sort of looks like Pope Francis. (See above. Catch the resemblance? No? A little bit? A lot?)

That’s artist Brett Bender, and he’s designed a t-shirt and onesie to commemorate the Pope’s visit to Philly. See them all here; they retail for $20 (sizes over XL go up to $25). Because if you’re going to buy a commemorative t-shirt, you should buy one made by a Philadelphian. Tip: Enter code ‘joeyobama’ to get free shipping.

There’s a Huge, Must-Shop Vintage Sale Tomorrow

Malenas

Vintage heaven. | Image via Malena’s Vintage Boutique.

One of my favorite vintage shops in the area, Malena’s Vintage, is tucked on a corner of semi-sleepy West Gay Street in West Chester. I’ve found some incredible pieces there, like this studded leather jacket and this crinoline slip; owner Malena has a great eye and, if you’re lucky, she’ll take you into her next-door showroom, where she stocks pieces that haven’t yet made it onto the store floor. Tomorrow, though, she’s opening up this secret showroom to the public — and discounting everything. 

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The Suburbanization of Philly: 5 More Stores We Want Now That Target Is Taking Over

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The slow suburbanization of Philly. | Images via Shutterstock, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Wiki Commons.

The reaction to Target’s downtown expansion — a TargetExpress concept is coming to Center City next year; another location is opening in Midtown Village — was swift and overwhelmingly positive. And why wouldn’t it be? As I’ve said before, Target is the one of the last gleaming bastions of shopping efficiency that suburbanites cling to: Sure, you have better restaurants, but we have Target. There was, of course, the expected grumbling about the city’s descent into chain-dom, but I’d argue that even the most staunch naysayers would have to admit: Getting a Target is really pretty awesome.

But it also got me thinking: If one of the reasons we move to the suburbs is convenience — garages, big yards, grocery stores with decent-sized parking lots — what happens when Philly gets suburbanized? And, more importantly, is that what we secretly want?

Apparently, maybe just a little bit. I asked around for people’s dream retail wish list, and the answers point to something devoted city-dwellers might not want to admit: We want to bring the ‘burbs – or at least the shopping perks of the ‘burbs — to Philly. It makes sense: While Philly’s independent boutiques are part of the weird, wild fabric of our city, places like Target are, well, easy. And practicality — resounding, reliable practicality — counts for something.  So, here, in no particular order, are the five stores we’d like to see come to Philly next. The not-sexy, no-frills shops that might not win us any retail awards but would make our lives a hell of a lot easier:  Read more »

Market Report: The Problem With That Beyonce Vogue Cover

  • How Beyonce’s cover of Vogue, though stunning, missed the opportunity to give us something insightful and magical by simply relying on the strong, sexy image of Queen Bey we always see. [Washington Post]
  • If you love your sleep as much as we do, check out these four easy ways to speed up your morning blow dry. [The Zoe Report]
  • Check out the $36 espadrilles celebrities are obsessed with right now. [Huffington Post]

Read more »

How to Trade In the Birchbox Items You Don’t Want

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Get excited again for your monthly goodies. | Image via Vasanti.

Have you ever been so excited for your monthly Birchbox arrival, only to find that the products within it are completely irrelevant to your life? That St. Tropez Gradual Tan is a total dud if you’re already a bronzed goddess; so is that Juicy perfume you knew was so not your style after one sniff. Do we just lament the wasted product space and wonder what could have been? Not anymore, thanks to Mirror & Mantel Salon‘s most simple, genius solution of all time: a Birchbox swap basket.

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