Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

All of us know at least one female friend who has the money to splurge on a whole wardrobe of the latest designer clothing every season. However, most of us can only gaze with green-eyed envy. The alternative to staying trendy every season without burning a hole in your pocket is StarletCloset.com.

StarletCloset is the best way to do your Designer Looks for Less shopping. The femme-friendly website displays about 250 runway photos of each season’s fashion, and a stylist’s recommendations on how you can steal those runway looks without spending thousands of dollars.

Women typically shop after being inspired by each season’s runway looks. For example, we fall in love with an amazing Oscar de La Renta red sheath dress and an incredible Ralph Lauren white clutch after flipping through the latest fashion magazines. We keep a mental picture of it in our mind and the hunt begins- store after store, hour after hour of trying on dress after dress (and a few skirts and tops), trying to make it work. Sadly, most of the options in the stores do not embody the look we had in mind.

While the joy of finding an almost exact copy of the designer look at the fraction of the price can be exhilarating, most women just don’t have the time. Now StarletCloset does the hunting for us! With more and more retailers beefing up their online selections, women can get amazing variety and great deals online, without setting foot into that discount store yet again.

The model behind this new venture is New York-based Amanda Fields, whose career has taken her to New York, Milan, Paris, and currently Athens. We were delighted to interview her so we could get a glimpse of her jet-setting world.

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What makes shopping at StarletCloset different from shopping at other online clothing websites?

We keep up to date with the latest fashion by featuring the latest season’s runway looks along with our recommendations. The clothes that are featured are hand-picked and approved by our board of stylists. Not only do we select clothes that resemble a particular designer look, we also help you dress like a star by recommending matching shoes, bags or accessories.

What apparel labels are recommended on StarletCloset?

We have a wide range of apparel for women- from work clothes to casual clothes. Some of our recommended labels are well-known such as Gap, Old Navy, Esprit, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Steve Madden. Some clothes are picked from bargain online retailers like Overstock and Smart Bargains. Our recommended labels are designer brands such as BCBG, Vera Wang and Vivienne Tam. But the great thing about shopping at StarletCloset is that the exact designer dress may be cheaper here than it is in department stores!

Amanda, what are your favorite online stores from which you frequently buy on StarletCloset?

Dresses from eDressme and Bluefly! My friend bought a BCBG dress from Bluefly that was identical to the one she saw at Bloomingdale’s, and she saved $150! I have also found some amazing deals on SmartBargains. Oh, and do check out the unique gifts from UncommonGoods.

Why can’t women just use a regular search engine to shop for apparel?

Just try typing “red halter dress” into your average search engine. The image you have in your mind does not necessarily coincide with the hundred different red halter dresses that “match your search criteria.” The great thing about StarletCloset is that each item is hand-picked for its style and good value, which cannot be found through a word search.

Do you think brand or style matters more?

Definitely the style. Brand is just a status symbol. Who cares if your bag has a big double “C” on it or a pattern of “L’s” and “V’s”? I think it is more beautiful when an item speaks for itself.

Do you dress differently when you’re in New York than you do when in Athens?

For sure! I feel like I can change my style a little in each city I visit. My wardrobe staples are mainly the same no matter where I am: jeans from Miss Sixty and Seven For All Mankind, an American Eagle denim miniskirt, my one pair of Gucci shoes (I need a little luxury in my life), Pumas, flip flops, and assorted dresses and tops (I say “assorted” because the assortment changes with each location as well!).

I will bring along what I think I need and try to pack light, but I always end up buying a few new things along the way. I definitely feel more free to dress “crazy” while in Europe, though. I bought a pair of gray and teal high top sneakers here for about 30 Euros that I call my “Euro-trash shoes.” Definitely something I wouldn’t have bought while in New York!

How do you compare the fashion sense of people in New York versus people in Athens?

New Yorkers, while eclectic, different, trendy and edgy, still tend to play it safe. I know this is hard for Americans to imagine, seeing as New York is the craziest, most fashion-conscious city that they know of state-side. But… Europe is just different. People aren’t afraid to wear colors together that, to us, just don’t match. Just today, I saw a girl with most of her hair about an inch long, and about one third of it on the right side of her head was down to her waist. Even the hipsters in the East Village don’t really do that.

What fashion tips do you have for Tango Diva readers when they travel?

Always wash your makeup off at night, no matter how jet-lagged you are. Moisturize with a lotion that has SPF; it prevents aging better than anything else. When in doubt, pack fewer things- you can always buy it if you forgot it! Always bring along a great novel to read on your trip. Never treat hotel staff or waiters or flight attendants like they are lower human beings. This doesn’t make you look better… just extremely un-classy and definitely not glamorous! Drink a lot of water on the airplane because your skin gets extra dry with the air pressure and high altitude. And remember – smile! Nothing makes you look better than that!

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