Archive for February, 2010

Deals & Steals: Gold Medal Edition

Inspired by Bode Miller’s or Lindsey Vonn’s gold medals and want to hit the slopes (we won’t discuss Vonn’s wipeout on the super-G yesterday…)? Helly Hansen will hook you up with all Oakley and Smith goggles and Kaenon sunglasses at 25% off. They also have steep markdowns on outwear including the Precon II Jacket (pictured at left), constructed of Helly Tech® waterproof breathable fabrics featuring pit zip vents, a removable hood and multiple pockets (was $269.99, now $190.00). There’s plenty to choose from at all sizes marked down an average of 25%-50%.

Just a few storefronts down Thames Street, Potter & Company has marked down a number of North Face winter favorites including the well-known Denali jacket (the full-zip jacket made from recycled Polartec® 300 series fleece) and Windwall jackets and vest (FYI: you’ll find more smaller sizes left than larger sizes left).

For après skiing comfort, slip your tootsies into the UGG® Bellevue (cheers to Newport!) waterproof boot marked down 25% from $179.99 to at  Sole Desire (pictured at right). For chicer kicks, a bunch of Franco Sarto and Poetic License heels (the latter we featured HERE) are marked down 25%. Oh, and for all of you America’s Cup chasers optimistic that the famed race will once again be held in Newport waters, stock up on your timeless Sperry top-siders, marked down10%.

While spring may be on your mind, there’s a whole lot of winter left here in Newport- stock up!

Helly Hansen, 160 Thames Street, Newport, (401) 849-6666,

Potter & Company, 172 Thames Street, Newport, (401) 847-0392,

Sole Desire, 131 Swinburne Row at Brick Market Place, Newport, (401) 846-0067

February 25, 2010 at 12:06 pm 2 comments

On the Move with Angela Moore

While you may have a heard a proverbial preppy gasp when the windows at the Angela Moore boutique, a 12-year staple on Newport’s Bellevue Avenue, fell dark some weeks ago, shoppers were relieved to learn that, upon further inspection, the popular store is just moving down the avenue a bit.

Over the years, we’ve developed a real affiliation with the Tennis Hall of Fame, and when we saw this location become available, we said, ‘This is the time,’” says Moore. “We love the idea because the of the fundraising fashion show we do there. It’s going to be convenient and we love that people can park easily—it’s going to be perfect for the Angela Moore look.” Moore’s new flagship boutique will showcase her complete eponymously-named collection of jewelry, fashion and home accents, plus a colorful assortment of resort clothing and accessories from popular brands including Lilly Pulitzer (plus new lines).

Moore, with the help of her husband Gary, has designed the new shop which will feature Venetian chandeliers and English pine antique fixtures, decorative painting plus a colorful palette including pale blue, crisp white and soft mint green, “and our signature yellow and white stripes,” says Moore. “We’re taking it to the next level.” While the new space is smaller in terms of total square footage, Moore insists that the layout will be easier for shoppers to navigate than and to display their array of goods. Plus, this part of Newport means a lot to Moore. “The block is so historic; it’s a privilege to be part of this block,” she says. And she’s right. Designed by acclaimed architectural firm McKim, Mead and White, the Newport Casino opened in 1880 and today is a National Historic Landmark. Since it’s opening, storefronts have been a part of the famed block, many staying for decades, and Angela Moore hopes to become a part of the Casino Block’s retail legacy.

The new and improved Angela Moore boutique will open at 190 Bellevue Avenue, much to the ladies of Newport’s delight, this weekend. The annual Fashion Show & Champagne Breakfast will be held on Thursday, July 8, 2010 from 9 a.m. to11 a.m. with proceeds benefiting the Tennis Hall of Fame. Tickets are $80 and include a seated fashion show, champagne breakfast, full day of viewing courtside tennis and a $25 Angela Moore gift certificate.

To purchase tickets, call (401) 849-6053.

February 22, 2010 at 6:09 pm 2 comments

Shop Shot: Brahmin

Where: 22 Bannister’s Wharf, Newport

What: Luxury leather handbags and accessories on Bannister’s Wharf

Why: Though loved nationally, Brahmin is headquartered in nearby Fairhaven, Massachusetts. The family-owned company, known for quality leather goods, has just a small number of locations with one right here in Newport. Somewhat inconspicuous with a recessed door up a few stairs, Brahmin can easily be overlooked as it shares a similar façade with retail neighbors Murphy & Nye and Royal Warrant. Inside though, you’ll find a diverse collection of hobo and tote bags, drawstring pouches, shoulder and cross-body bags ranging from vibrant colors to classic hues. Brahmin bags have been featured in recent issues of Elle and Lucky magazines and what’s great is you can find a piece to suit any age. Even better, there always seems to at least one collection on sale, and they’re not messing around. Serious discounts are found here– see for yourself!

PS: I can personally vouch for a Brahmin passport wristlet I bought there nearly two years ago (for less than $30) that I use as an everyday wallet. It was so handy that I went back and got a few more for Christmas gifts a few days later! The large pocket wallet seen at right is from the Classic Tuscan Collection and is super similar. It only looks better with time and the craftsmanship is top notch. At least once a week someone asks me about it (most recently at Empire Coffee & Tea on Broadway) and it’s a pleasure to refer them to a local source! (And right now, take advantage of free and usually ample parking downtown.)

February 18, 2010 at 12:24 pm 3 comments

Dressing Up Daisy

From finger waves to fabulous fringe, women’s fashion in the 1920s was reflective of the increased liberation demonstrated by rising hemlines and lopped-off locks. The swinging, post-war social scene is perhaps described best in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 classic The Great Gatsby, chosen for the National Endowment for the Arts program, The Big Read. (Find out more about the program HERE.) Dapper protagonist Jay Gatsby, played by Robert Redford, and seemingly superficial Daisy Buchanan, played by Mia Farrow, are depicted most memorably in the 1974 film adaption, with the screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola. Much of the filming was done here in Newport to create the fictional East Egg and West Egg villages of Long Island, New York.

This Thursday, Rebecca Kelly, assistant conservator at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, will speak about the references to dress in The Great Gatsby and how they contribute significantly to the development of many of the novel’s underlying themes in an 11 a.m. lecture entitled, Dressing Up Daisy: The Facts Behind the Fiction of Fashion in The Great Gatsby.

“The word Gatsby itself is synonymous with beaded dresses, long stands of pearls, and white flannel suits,” says Kelly. “Shorthand for all that encompasses the Roaring 20s, or the ‘Jazz Age’ as Fitzgerald himself dubbed the era.” Kelly confirms that the role of dress in the novel is indicative of the loosening rules of etiquette during the 1920s due to societal shifts resulting from a number of contributing factors. “Beginning around 1900, industrialization and progress in the mass production of clothing allowed for styles and quality of dress that were once a luxury, only available to the very wealthy, to become increasingly accessible to a wider range of the socio-economic strata,” she says.

Kelly will specifically compare clothing in the novel to the clothing chosen for the 1974 film version of The Great Gatsby that was filmed here in Newport. “When we think of it, we would all certainly know how to dress when invited to a Gatsby ball or party…But who put these images in our heads, was it really F. Scott Fitzgerald?  Or was it perhaps costume designer Theoni Aldredge, who costumed the 1974 film version.  Many comparisons will be made to film stills vs. actual images from 1920s fashion magazines.”

The lecture, taking place this Thursday, February 18th at Rosecliff at 11 a.m. is free, but space is limited and advance registration is requested.  Call (401) 847-1000 ext. 154 to inquire about space availability.

February 15, 2010 at 3:38 pm 2 comments

Deals & Steals: Come Snow or High Water Edition

Looks like everyone survived the “snowpocalypse” that arrived yesterday! With round-the-clock plowing and some old-fashioned elbow grease, a majority of the retail areas around Bristol and Newport counties will be opening at regular times.

Snow or no snow, Kristina Richards Studio in Newport’s Washington Square kicks off a big sale today featuring JBrand and other denim for $50, cashmere for $75, Vix Swimwear for $50 (hello, Florida-bound), Free People for $25 and other stylish finds marked down to a mere $20, $30 and $40. This means you’ll be finding some of the hottest lines at up to 75% off! Sale starts today and lasts through Monday.

The Linen Shop is hosting their White Sale, where crisp white linens including sheet sets, pillows and shams, bath sets and towels are marked down significantly.

Also, the 22nd Annual Newport Winter Festival begins on Friday and lasts for 10 fun-filled days. (First timers should check out my article that explains it all in the Jan. 17 edition of the Hartford Courant- click here to check it out.) Many area retailers are offering a Newport Winter Festival discount, usually from 15% to 20%, with a festival button including Cosmetic Cosmos, Bailey T’s, Beach Party, The Black Dog, Brahmin, Frazzleberries, Jason & Co., Karma, Laura Jean, Pan Handler’s, Wag Nation and more. (Click here for a full listing of button discounts.)

Event highlights this weekend include Friday evening’s Beatlemania concert, Saturday’s 15th Annual Chili Cook-Off, a city-wide Scavenger Hunt (believe it or not, very competitive and a great way to get to know the city), and by nightfall, the comedy show at the Hotel Viking featuring Comedy Central darlings Tony V. and Jimmy Dunn. For the first time ever, Newport International Polo will be hosting a match on Middletown’s Second Beach (Sat. and Sun., free). What to wear to an oceanside polo match? Dress for function more than fashion. You would think it goes without saying, but no heels (spotted a handful of ladies with heels or heeled boots at the Polar Bear Plunge– it wasn’t working). And at some point during the festival, check out the WINEterfest Wine Tasting & Outside Ice Wine Bar at Newport Vineyards, where you’ll find taste various vineyard vintages as well as cheeses, chocolates and spreadable edibles offered from local gourmet purveyors. For those who don’t have the luxury of jetting off to warmer temps right now, you can get a taste of island living at Sunday night’s Tropical Drink Contest at the Gas Lamp Grille.

Parents should make it a point to bring their little ones to Saturday’s Toe Jam Puppet Band concert and/or Sunday and Monday’s Children’s Fair at the Newport Marriott. The Stylephile will be highlighting events throughout the festival, but you should head to the Newport & Bristol Counties Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (33 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport) for a brochure with all the events or check out the day-by-day calendar at

This weekend also kicks off the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and the American athletes will be sporting some fashionable duds for the opening ceremony by Ralph Lauren (the shawl cardigan and opening ceremonies knit hat are must-haves). Tune in to NBC-10 for all the snowboarding, skiing, ice skating and winter games you can handle (set your DVRs now so you don’t miss a beat while at the Newport Winter Festival).

February 11, 2010 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

Shop Shot: Down Under Jewelry

Where: 479 Thames Street, Newport

Turquoise wrap bracelet, Chan Luu

Why: Delightfully delicate, simple but sophisticated, Down Under Jewelry on Newport’s Lower Thames Street has become the go-to place for chic jewelry pieces at varying price points. Owner RoseMary Laramee, a jewelry designer, has a keen eye for fresh, innovative lines and discovering new talent. Once when I was shopping there, I saw what was then the current issue of InStyle magazine with Julia Roberts on the cover and spotted the same Me & Ro silver earrings the star had on in a nearby case. Some of the better known names at Down Under include Echo of the Dreamer, Chan Luu, La Vie Parisienne, Jane Diaz ad of course, Alexis Bittar, which I think I have included in just about any shoot I’ve styled. For a big bang on little bucks, check out their red choco seed necklaces and bracelets—they’re colorful, comfortable and range from about $18 to $35.

There’s a calm energy in the store, one where you feel you can take your time to appreciate the beauty of necklace,

Silver Seasons "Bittersweet" earrings

bracelet, each pair of cuff links or earrings and handful of other finds. (And no, there’s no affiliation to Australia. RoseMary can up with the name of the shop as her first location/studio was “down under” a historic building in Newport.)

Unlike a lot of shops in Newport, you can shop online if you can’t make it there in person (and they wrap everything so beautifully). Visit to get started and check out just a sample of their treasures.

February 9, 2010 at 1:18 pm 2 comments

Deals & Steals: Sweet Savings

Retailers are taking the guesswork out of Valentine’s Day gifting with great deals across Newport and Bristol Counties. And it’s just as important to treat yourself with something special, which is nearly impossible to avoid if you stop by Rib & Rhein. One of Newport’s chicest shops, Rib & Rhein’s global collection is currently stocked with Scottish cashmere sweaters and English dress shirts for men and women, European sports jackets for men, warm winter coats, model fabric short and long t-shirts for women, colorful wraps and kaftans from India, Asian dresses, plus jewelery and home accessories from both India and Africa. There’s a good batch of items already marked down, but now through Valentine’s Day, mention “Cupid” and receive an additional 20% off your total purchase!

J.H. Breakell on Newport’s Spring Street is in the midst of their Annual Winter Sale, where now through February 10th, you’ll save 20% on all original design jewelry in sterling silver and 14k gold.

Laura Jean on Bellevue Avenue welcomes back her $50 table covered with all brands of premium denim. Sale starts Friday at 11 a.m. and ends on Sunday at 4 p.m. Find other bargains on  for men and women on tops, shoes, belts and more at deals up to 75% off. It’s a great weekend to pop by as the store will be hosting a trunk show featuring custom made jewelry by Newport’s Jessica Hagan. (If you haven’t had a chance, visit her studio at 226 Bellevue Avenue in the Audrain Building.)

Middletown’s beloved Beach House is giving all their shoppers a Valentine to remember offe ring 20% off store-wide through February 15th! Stop by the Design Studio next door where furnishings will be marked down 25%.

Tiffany Peay earrings

In Tiverton, find select handmade beaded jewelry featuring colored gold and candy-colored gem stones by nationally-recognized jeweler Tiffany Peay marked at 25% off February 10th through 14th. This doesn’t happen often, so it’s worth checking out her Tiverton Four Corners studio. Special sale hours: Feb. 10-13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Feb. 14 12 p.m. through 5 p.m.

On Saturday afternoon, Stalise, in Portsmouth’s Clock Tower Square, is hosting Mary Ann and Martha designs, a unique collection of sterling silver or 14k gold fill jewelry, each individually designed and crafted, adorned with crystals, vintage lucite and an array of semi-precious stones. Get inspired with the new season looks with Stalise’s selection of brand new spring merchandise–mention you’re a Facebook friend and receive 10% off new arrivals-one day only!

February 5, 2010 at 8:27 am Leave a comment

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