Bon Chic Bon Genre

May 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Favorites, Reviews

My Favorite Designer!!

No, GG has not gone French!  While I’ve studied 7 1/2 years of French, my site would not be complete without me raving about my very favorite fashion line.  I can’t say enough about this line!!  BCBG’s Max Azria has been my favorite designer for six years . . . and counting.  It all started with a little red velvet halter dress I purchased for a wedding in 2003.  This dress fit like a glove without hugging too tightly; moreover, it was comfortable and spawned many a compliment.  Since that first fateful find, I’ve purchased (and received gifts of ) many BCBG dresses, shirts, sweaters, pants, shoes, and handbags.  I wear BCBG pieces, on average, three times a week.  BCBG is my go-to apparel when I’m pressed for time and don’t have a chance to answer the infamous “What Shall I Wear” question  – I know that if I grab a BCBG piece, I’ll look polished and refined.   I even attribute BCBG to one of the bonds between my sister-in-law and me.  I became very excited when I discovered we shared BCBG as a fave; today, scavenging a local BCBG boutique is a staple activity we share whenever I’m in town to visit.

BCBG is an acronym for the french phrase bon chic, bon genre—or good style, good attitude. This illustrates the vibe of the line.  Designed by Max Azria under the close supervision of wife Lubova, the label hosts legions of celebrity clients, 475 retail boutiques worldwide, inclusions in major department stores such as Nordstrom and Macy’s, and a slew of offshoots – including the more casual BCBGeneration (which my daughter enjoys!), the more upscale Max Azria Collection, and BCBGirls footwear.   Dresses and mix-and-match separates are the brand’s bread and butter: youthful but not cutesy, easy-to-wear, and with a bit of an edge.   Clients include Paris Hilton, Angelina Jolie, and Sarah Martineau.  I personally have had the surprise pleasure of spotting two specific pieces that I own on television celebrities:  Misha Barton sported the same matte-jersey pink mini dress on “The O.C.;” Eva Longoria sported my blue wrap top on “Desperate Housewives.”  It’s fun to spot your own clothes on celebs!  With all this famous following, you’d think the clothing would cost an arm and a leg to purchase.  Not so – this is the one upscale clothing line with the midscale price tags.  In fact, I can almost always scoop up a stellar piece (or two or three!) in the surprisingly stocked sales racks.  Purchasing BCBG is a win-win!

On GG’s Wish List for this Season!!

Every season, I “doggy-ear” my catalog’s favorites before I head for the boutique.  Here are the dresses I just bought this weekend.  I’m very happy and proud to say I purchased each at Macy’s or Lord & Taylor’s @ 30 – 50% each!!!

Admittedly, this is cuter on than in the picture - I won't wear the clunky dark shoes with it. My shrunken jean jacket goes perfectly!!

Matte jersey is my favorite dress material. This lays perfectly in all the right places. It's more coral than red - a good color for me!

The dress I have on order!!!!! So fabulous - I just might have to post a picture of me in it . . . maybe.

Grading Girl gives BCBG an A+ for timeless class and elegant, easy-to-wear style.  In fact, I wore a black cotton BCBG dress when I shopped for these . . . the third time this week that I donned BCBG.  I see myself continuing to be faithful to this line for a long time to come.  Thank you, Mr. Azria!

Fun at Francesca’s

July 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Fashion, Favorites, Reviews

My Favorite Boutique
I recently discovered a boutique that has apparently been around for a while but I never knew existed – and it’s practically in my backyard.  I’m referring to Francesca’s Collections.  I’m excited about this find because EVERYTHING in the store is affordably fashionable! It’s the type of store where just when you think you’ve seen everything, something new catches your eye.  Since my last review, I’ve been in three different Francesca’s – all have been organized and stocked neatly!  GG can now happily take back my original quote: This is, however, where Francesca’s incidental flaw lies:  the merchandise is crammed somewhat haphazardly.  Tops are folded onto tables with candles, books and other miscellaneous gifts.  Scarves are scrunched into a basket on the floor.  Oh well, I suppose it makes the hunt that more rewarding.

The space itself is quaint with its wall-to-wall apparel, jewelry, handbags, accessories, and miscellaneous gifts.   Ladies, I have to say it’s the perfect store to visit when you have a last minute event or an outfit you need to accessorize or a small girlfriend gift you have to buy.  Oh, and they have boutiques nationwide along with a comprehensive online store; so, wherever you dwell, you can indulge in Francesca’s super buys.

My Latest Compliment to Francesca’s:  Last night, I had to return a dress I bought last week that was damaged with a hole I did not spot when I originally purchased the item.  Well, Francesca’s policy is final sales on sale items.  I was not sure that the boutique would honor my return but my concern was instantly stifled when the cashier not only accepted my return but allowed me to choose another dress at the sale price, even though the sale promotion already ended!!

Here’s GG’s eye-view of the stylish shop:

Apparel ~Francesca’s has dresses, tops, bottoms, and jackets.  The pieces she carries are not to gaudy, trendy, or age-specific.  The four times I’ve been in the store (in the last two weeks . . . at three different locations!), I’ve noticed the clientele spanned from teenagers through 70 year-old women. The average price is $35 or less for any piece!!!  One tiny complaint (no pun intended!) – Francesca’s does not carry extra-small sizes.

Jewelry ~ Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings abound.  I noticed Francesca’s carries many designer copycat styles but at much low er prices.  Good for every day jewelry or for a specific outfit you need to match.  Jewelry ranges from approximately $3 – $50 – not a bad range.

Accessories ~ shoes, purses, scarves, headbands, sunglasses . . . it’s all here.  When you go, don’t forget to look up because there are handbags bordering the entire stores on the overhead shelves.  Some of the handbags are the types one can only wear with one outfit (come on, how many times can you use a shiny, bright turquoise bowler’s bag?) but there are plenty of delicious finds.

Gifts ~ The first time I stepped into the boutique, I purchased a Votivo candle in Red Currant (my favorite scent!) because I haven’t been able to find it elsewhere lately.  Francesca’s sells those more exclusive items while keeping the prices down.  Books, bubble bath accessories and cards keep this place packed as well.

Francesca’s has earned a raised grade from a B- to an  A. It is a very fun boutique to peruse through, they have new merchandise every single week, and I never walk out of there empty-handed!!!   They still would benefit in adding extra-small sizes for the teens who frequent there but many of their smalls work fine; you just have to try everything on – and isn’t that the fun of it?!  Added bonus:  GG loves that Francesca’s is known for frequent sales.  For instance, over a recent weekend, Francesca’s offered 75% off of marked items.  I scored a burnt orange tank for $10!!

A Couple of My Recent Purchases from Francesca’s:

(check out the fabulous pricing)

I frequently wear green!

I frequently wear green!

I have my eye on this - so whispy and delicate!

I have my eye on this - so whispy and delicate!

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