Friday, February 27, 2009

Fashion and the Recession: How are you going to shop?

There was a lot of talk during the weeks leading up to NY Fashion Week about how the fashion industry was going to respond to the current economic crisis. The concensus was that designers would go one of two ways, either offering extreme, over-the-top, almost escapist designs (in hopes, I suppose, that the "unique factor" would compel shoppers to part with their hard-earned money) OR getting back to basics and encouraging consumers to shop for quality. I think the overwhelming majority of designers at Fashion Week took the second approach. We saw a lot of black, a lot of solids in general, and plenty of mix-and-match separates.

(Of course, come hell or high water, there's always going to be Betsey Johnson, and if you like that pop art, kitschy kind of stuff . . . then we'll just go ahead and confess that we like it too . . . and that you can buy it in our store. )

But the REAL lesson we should take away from NY Fashion Week is to shop for quality. Buy good pieces that wear well and that you'll be able to pull out seasons after season and still look great. And you don't have to wait until these fall/winter designs hit the stores. There are lots of good quality basics available right now, so you can invest wisely in your wardrobe for spring and summer. For a few suggestions from our store, check out these new arrivals:

While you're here, give us a little feedback. Let us know how you plan to save money on your wardrobe this season.

Friday, February 20, 2009

William Rast at NY Fashion Week

Why do we love William Rast jeans so much? The reasons are simple: they fit great, have this awesome biker+rocker+cowboy cool vibe, and what was that other reason? . . . oh yeah, Justin Timberlake. The got some great coverage of the William Rast runway show at New York fashion week. This article gives a recap of the Fall/Winter line along with a little backstory on the brand we love--and a great video of JT at the show. Don't forget to check out our selection of William Rast men's denim!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Paula Abdul wearing Trina Turk!

Did anyone watching American Idol this Tuesday happen to notice Paula's dress? We did... because we have it in the store! She was wearing Trina Turk's Eltie dress in coral (we've got it in black). Instead of wearing the rope belt it comes with, she wore it with a wide gold belt, which we also loved! Whatever your opinion of Paula, you've got to admit the dress looked good. :o)
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a screen shot of her from the show, but American Idol's website has a video that shows the dress pretty clearly. This can be viewed at

Here's the dress we have in black, and you can click to see more information about it on our website.

Visit our blog

And here's Siobhan wearing it at the store's Christmas party (pictured with Asheton in Nicole Miller)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Our top 5 Spring trends

I guess maybe Punxsutawney Phil was right after all.

I thought Spring was here, and just as I got a touch of Spring Fever... it's gone. Well, luckily the weather here in South Carolina is obviously unpredictable, so our top 5 Spring trends could be very useful soon!

Trend #1: Cleopatra-inspired necklines. Designers are using jeweled necklines on tops and dresses to hearken back to the days of Cleopatra, and we're loving it. Not only do these jeweled necklines dress up even the simplest of frocks, but it leaves us less to worry about in the way of accessories. Some of our favorites are the Jeannie Dress by Joyous & Free, Trina Turk's Paradise Top, and the Zinc Dress by Sweetees (which, by the way, also comes in blue).

Trend #2: Grecian goddess-inspired dresses. Whether it's one-shouldered, twisted, or off the shoulder, these drapy & flowy dresses are sure to make you feel regal and feminine. This navy off-shoulder dress from one of our junior lines has all the folds to make it perfectly Grecian, but we've updated it with a belt to define the waist. In the middle, the Vedette dress by Sweetees has embraced a couple of additional trends for spring - sheer fabrics & water color prints! And on the right, the halter neck and jeweled top make this dress great for a girl wanting to bring out her inner goddess!

From left to right: One-shouldered, printed dress by Muse; Nicole Miller's faux wrap dress, and the cerise one-shouldered knit dress by Envi.

Trend #3: Wide-Leg & Distressed Denim. Okay, maybe those of you who are a bit more conservative don't feel like you can pull off the ripped & faded look... Luckily, skinny jeans are still in & wide leg jeans are bigger than ever! Pictured below are the Liliana Wide Leg in Aegean & the Dita Petite Bootcut in Pacific Blue, both by Citizens of Humanity. Both styles are brand new this month, and they are not for sale online... So if you have questions or would like to purchase, visit the store, give us a call, or send an email!

Trend #4: Feminine details. Look for details like ruffles & bows dressing up simple silhouettes. You'll be seeing lots of sashes, wrap dresses with bows, ruffled necklines, tiered skirts & dresses, and special attention paid to hemlines.

I know you've already seen Nanette Lepore's Swept Away Dress, but we love it so much we couldn't help but show it again! Yet again, Sweetees is right on trend with the Belva top pictured in the middle (also available in white). And once more, Nanette Lepore's specialty is obviously making us feel more feminine. The Very Cherry Dress pictured on the right is a perfect example. With the flutter sleeves and bow in front, you'll definitely feel like a lady in this one.

Here we have a ruffled button-down shirt dress from one of our junior lines (which is also available in both black & royal blue). Pictured in the middle is a navy blue silky top with tons of ruffles along the top (you can't see it in this picture, but the sash also ties into a lovely bow in back!). And on the right, we have the Periwinkle dress by Scrapbook, which showcases the tiered ruffles I mentioned earlier.

And for a perfect example of the special attention being shown to hemlines... the Luv-to-Luv Dress by Nanette Lepore!

Trend #5: Last on our list, but certainly not least... Safari prints! Whether it's leopard or zebra, colorful or black & white, this is the season of the safari! This is great for us because you know zebra print is our favorite! So here are just a few of our zebra print dresses currently in stock. On the left, we have a fuschia and black wrap dress by Nicole Miller, followed by the Kensington Dress & the Dancer Dress, both by Trina Turk. Visit our website to see more of Trina's zebra collection for spring!

So there they are... our top 5. And by the way... did you know you automatically get a $10 gift certificate for becoming a fan of McAuley's on Facebook? Just leave us a wall post to let us know!

Friday, February 13, 2009


I know my last post had a pretty high sugar content, what with the revelation of my candy addiction and all that Valentines Day love talk. But you haven't heard the end of it yet. We're going to talk sweets again today because one of the hottest trends for this spring is . . .
candy colors!

Yes, just like you see in the delectible pictures above. :)

Here are a few of the beautiful candy colored items already available at McAuley's.

Visit our online store today and look delicious for spring!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dressing for Valentine's Day

Well ladies, love it or hate it, Valentine's Day is upon us. It just so happens that I love it. Always have. Even when I wasn't in a relationship because . . . well . . . I like candy, and any excuse to give and receive candy (especially when it's accompanied by an adorable pink and red color scheme) is just fine by me. But, even if you're not like me--and the mere thought of a Necco heart or a red Russell Stover box plunges you into an emotional funk from which you can't extract yourself until Easter--the simple fact is that we all have to get out of bed this Saturday and decide what to wear. So here are a few wardrobe guidelines for whatever situation you find yourself in this Valentine's Day. Here we go . . .

The Lonely Heart: You're not in a relationship right now, but you wish you were. You do enjoy Valentine's Day and all the festivities that go along with it, but you're hesitant to participate because you don't have a special someone to share it with.

Advice: Enjoy the day! Have flowers delivered to yourself at the office on Friday (no one needs to know who they're from). Bake some Valentine's goodies for your coworkers. Make plans to go out with your friends. Above all keep yourself busy and happy. And when it comes to your outfit, the goal is to make every guy you encounter wish that you were his Valentine. Wear Valentine's colors to show you're enjoying the spirit of the day, but nothing goofy or too thematic.
This red sweater and a pair of Nanette Lepore cigarette pants should definitely do the trick. Oh, and don't forget the high heels. They're vital.

The Girl in Limbo: You're in the classic undefined relationship. He spends lots of time with you, does nice things for you, and you're almost positive there's an attraction between you, but he just hasn't made the first move.

Advice: Give him some encouragement, but DON'T overdo it. He may be trying to work up the courage to take things to the next level, but then again, he may not. If he hasn't asked you out, get a group of friends together, and ask him if he wants to come along. And of course, it never hurts to look absolutely great.

If you're going out for a casual dinner, try a soft, flattering knit like this pink mock button-up turtleneck and a great pair of jeans like the Honey by Joe's Jean.

If your plans require something a little dressier, try the Wellesley dress by Trina Turk paired with with some red accessories.

The Love Bird: You've been in this relationship for years. You can finish each others sentences and you can't really remember what life was like before he was there. Now the challenge is finding ways to keep things exciting.

Advice: Since you've made the relationship work for this long, you're probably already aware that if you sit around waiting for him to do something amazingly romantic, you may get disappointed. So take the initiative this year and plan something special for him. Of course you'll want to check with him first to make sure your plans won't get in the way of anything he has planned for you. With regards to wardrobe, you need to mix things up a little. This is a great time to buy something new to wear--and probably something a little out of the ordinary for you.
If you usually wear pants, try a dress like Trina Turk's Kikki dress pictured here or (if you're a little more daring) the one-shoulder Cerise dress by Envi.

Eva Franco's Montana top paired with a black pencil skirt makes a beautiful and festive ensemble for Valentine's Day. (Hint: Try the Spanx Bod-a-Bing! skirt. It's amazing.)

The Scrooge: You know this girl, the one who wears black and proudly proclaims that she hates Valentine's Day. Perhaps she doesn't think women should be defined by the men in their lives, which is quite understandable; perhaps she's just bitter.

Advice: Don't wear black. It makes you look bitter. If you want to stage a healthy protest against Valentine's Day, be my guest. But you don't have to look like you're in mourning in order to do so. Wear a rich green or purple or a sunny yellow. Hey, why not make it look like you're glad you don't have to worry about all of this Valentine's Day nonsense! Cause you never know when you may run into that special someone who hates Valentine's Day as much as you do. (Sorry if that was offensive. I couldn't resist.)

Well, I hope you all have a beautiful Valentine's Day full of romance, fun, and plenty of chocolate.

P.S. If I see any of you wearing all black, I reserve the right to force feed you a cupcake with pink sprinkles on it!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Spring Fashion Forecast!

At long last, here is our Spring/Summer '09 Fashion Forecast -- a short list of our favorite trends for the coming months. Enjoy!

Here are some color combinations we predict will be hot this spring and summer:

Black, White, and Turquoise

Kelly Green and Navy Blue

And our favorite accent color of the season: Yellow!

Here are a few simple, easy-to-wear looks for the coming months:
Tee-shirts with Lightweight Scarves
We have a great selection of soft, knit scarves for summer by Michael Stars at our online store.

The Maxi Dress

There's so much more we could say about this topic! Animal prints, and turquoise jewelry, and cute vests over tank tops, and tailored shorts . . . but all of that will have to wait for another post because we're insanely busy getting ready for a sale!!! Our Pre-Valentine's Day Sale, that is. It runs Friday-Sunday of this week, and if you're in the area, you won't want to miss it. More on that in our next post.
Bye for now!